You have to hand it to the right-wing noise machine. They’re not exactly the brightest bulbs in the box. To wit: Lead far-right Web site WorldNetDaily is now writing about growing speculation that conservative anti-gay Republican Illinois congressman Aaron Schock is gay.
Let’s just say that WorldNetDaily – one of the most-read, albeit crazy, right-wing Web sites out there – didn’t exactly do Schock any favors by repeating the allegations, and thus ensuring that the entire conservative echo chamber is now aware that there is some question in some quarters as to Schock’s sexual orientation.
The speculation about Schock has been out there for a while now, but popped up again a few days ago when I published a tongue-in-cheek retrospective of Schock’s then-public Instagram account (he’s since locked the account down and made it private) that included a lot of photos that were awfully gay for a “straight” anti-gay congressman.
Photos like this:
There have been other non-Instagram photos that raised eyebrows as well. This one in particular comes to mind:
Schock also seems to have a thing for being photographed shirtless.
The extent of his self-admiration is a bit odd, even for a member of Congress. Sure, they all love themselves, but most do a good job keeping it to themselves. Not Schock.
Of course, Schock’s problem isn’t entirely that many think he’s a gay Republican. The problem for Schock is that he’d be an anti-gay gay Republican with a zero rating from the Human Rights Campaign.
Schock, you see, opposed the repeal of Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell, opposes marriage equality, opposes the repeal of DOMA, opposes ENDA (barring job discrimination against gay and trans people), opposed adding sexual orientation to the hate crimes bill, and until recently supported adding language to the US Constitution banning gay marriage and potentially repealing most gay civil rights laws (recently Schock demurred on whether he still supports the odious amendment).
Aaron Schock is pretty much bad on anything and everything dealing with the civil rights of gay people. Which would be a rather large hypocrisy if it turned out that Aaron Schock himself were gay.
Journalist Itay Hod explored the issue of Schock’s and the media’s hypocrisy in a Facebook post that fed the story even further.
Here’s a hypothetical: what if you know a certain GOP congressman, let’s just say from Illinois, is gay… and you know this because one of your friends, a journalist for a reputable network, told you in no uncertain terms that he caught that GOP congressman and his male roommate in the shower… together. now they could have been good friends just trying to conserve water. but there’s more. what if this congressman has also been caught by tmz cameras trolling gay bars. now what if you know that this very same guy, the darling of the gop, has also voted against repeal of don’t ask don’t tell, opposed the repeal of doma, is against gay marriage; and for the federal marriage amendment, which would add language to the us constitution banning gay marriage and would likely strike down every gay rights law and ordinance in the country?
Are we still not allowed to out him?
Schock’s defenders – usually conservative Republicans, often of the self-loathing gay variety – claim that Schock is being “bullied” by the rumors about him being gay. Which is a funny accusation for a man that doesn’t even believe in hate crimes, let alone someone who thinks people should lose their jobs simply because they’re gay (especially if they’re in the military). After all, the lead “danger” any outing campaign poses to Schock is that his Republican constituents, and the GOP leadership, end up forcing him out of office because they find out, or at least fear, that he’s gay. But here’s the problem: Aaron Schock thinks it’s okay for people to lose their jobs because they’re gay.
You can see the conundrum.
Aaron Schock’s defenders want gay people to accord Congressman Schock the very protections, societal and otherwise, that Schock refuses to accord gay people in return. And that’s a bit queer.