Over the weekend, CBS journalist Itay Hod decided he'd had enough of closeted politicians. In a long Facebook post, Hod ranted that the media has been muzzled from outing anyone for fear of repercussions from gay-rights organizations like GLAAD and the Human Rights Campaign. He waxed on about an "Illinois congressman" with a virulently anti-gay voting history and claimed this congressman was caught in the shower with his male partner by a fellow journalist.
In case we weren't sure who Hod was discussing, he linked to an article about Rep. Aaron Schock's gayest Instagram photos. As of now, Schock's Instagram account has been locked down and cannot be visited by the public. So viewers are saved the guilt caused by trolling through his buff workout pics.
The case of closeted Republican gays has long been a source of consternation among the LGBT community. General consensus still relies on the idea that "outing" is a morally problematic thing to do because, in the past, publicly declaring someone's sexual orientation could put them at risk for violence and harassment.
In the situation of someone like Aaron Schock, this consideration is rendered inconsequential. It wouldn't matter if outing Schock put him at risk of physical violence because he is a man who has made a career out of harming minority individuals. All of his votes are now very easily accessible by category thanks to Project Vote Smart.
Schock voted against the Local Law Enforcement Hate Crimes Prevention Act on April 29, 2009. This act was to ammend federal hate crime laws to include LGBT individuals. So if someone assaulted Schock for allegedly showering with another man in his hotel, he believes that assault shouldn't be counted as a "hate crime" in the way being assaulted for skin color should.
He then voted against the repeal of Don't Ask, Don't Tell in 2010. The repeal has been so widely accepted by now, many forget that it was only a short time ago that LGBT individuals could lose their jobs in the military if it became known that they so much as harbored fond feelings for the same gender.
Despite his efforts to prevent the Employment Descrimination Law Ammendments from passing, the bill passed on January 9, 2009. As recently as July 19, 2012, Schock helped pass an ammendment to prevent funding to actions that would controvene the Defense of Marriage Act, which was ultimately struck down by the conservative-leaning United States Supreme Court.
Aaron Schock is not merely someone disaligned with the LGBT community, he is an active opponent earning a 0 percent approval rating from the HRC.
His actions against minorities aren't limited to issues of gender and sexual orientation. Schock also voted against the DREAM Act which is designed to prevent minority children who were brought into the country illegally from being deported due to their parents' actions. In another child related vote, Schock didn't bother to show up for the passage of the Kids First Research Act of 2013. It passed by a wide margin. Perhaps Schock was busy with his "new best friend" at the gym.
Shock has been asked about his sexual orientation in the past and responded incredulously. His response as reported by The Huffington Post: "Those questions are completely ridiculous and inappropriate... I've said that (I'm not gay) before and I don't think it's worthy of further response. I think you can look it up."
Let us not forget Schock's equally ridiculous response to why he doesn't support marriage equality which began with, "I just haven't," and continued onto rambling about his upbringing.
Outing folks like Representative Aaron Schock isn't just not-wrong. It's an ethical responsibility of journalists to expose blatant hypocrisy from our politicians. Itay Hod claims that his friend's network, which he chooses not to name, ran a video of Aaron Schock talking about his heterosexuality after already being informed that he was lying.
Kudos to Hod for being brave enough to violate one of journalism's most sacred unwritten rules: One must lean toward equality in coverage, but never to the point of offending the personal sensibilities of the rich and powerful by exposing their hypocrisy on the issue.
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