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Houston Voice, July 2, 2004
File 011
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Houston Voice, July 2, 2004 - File 011. 2004-07-02. University of Houston Libraries. University of Houston Digital Library. Web. December 16, 2017. http://digital.lib.uh.edu/collection/montrose/item/2139/show/2120.

Disclaimer: This is a general citation for reference purposes. Please consult the most recent edition of your style manual for the proper formatting of the type of source you are citing. If the date given in the citation does not match the date on the digital item, use the more accurate date below the digital item.

(2004-07-02). Houston Voice, July 2, 2004 - File 011. Montrose Voice. University of Houston Libraries. Retrieved from http://digital.lib.uh.edu/collection/montrose/item/2139/show/2120

Disclaimer: This is a general citation for reference purposes. Please consult the most recent edition of your style manual for the proper formatting of the type of source you are citing. If the date given in the citation does not match the date on the digital item, use the more accurate date below the digital item.

Houston Voice, July 2, 2004 - File 011, 2004-07-02, Montrose Voice, University of Houston Libraries, accessed December 16, 2017, http://digital.lib.uh.edu/collection/montrose/item/2139/show/2120.

Disclaimer: This is a general citation for reference purposes. Please consult the most recent edition of your style manual for the proper formatting of the type of source you are citing. If the date given in the citation does not match the date on the digital item, use the more accurate date below the digital item.

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Title Houston Voice, July 2, 2004
Contributor
  • Crain, Chris
  • Fisher, Binnie
Publisher Window Media
Date July 2, 2004
Language English
Subject
  • LGBTQ community
  • LGBTQ people
  • Gay liberation movement
Place
  • Houston, Texas
Genre
  • newspapers
Type
  • Text
Identifier OCLC: 31485329
Rights In Copyright: This item is protected by copyright. Copyright to this resource is held by the creator or current rights holder, and the resource is provided here for educational purposes. It may not be reproduced or distributed in any format without permission of the copyright owner. Users assume full responsibility for any infringement of copyright or related rights.
Note This item was digitized from materials loaned by the Gulf Coast Archive and Museum (GCAM).
Item Description
Title File 011
Transcript EDITORIAL & PRODUCTION Executive Editor CHRIS CRAIN Eottor BINNIE FISHER Correspondents BRYAN ANDERTON. ADRIAN BRUNE. LOU CHIBBARO. JR, JOE CREA. MUBARAK DAHIR, LAURA DOUGLAS-BROWN, MIKE FLEMING, MATTHEW HENNIE, PHIL LAPADULA, RYAN LEE, BRIAN MOYLAN, KEVIN NAFF, KEN SAIN, RHONDA SMITH, CHRISTOPHER SEELY, STEVE WEINSTEIN. ANDYZEFFERCYDZEIGLER taitnlxjtas JOHNNY HOOKS, JOSEF MOLNAR, JASON VICTOR SERINUS, MUBARAK DAHIR. JA CHAPMAN, AND ARJAN TIMMERMANS Photogtapliere DALTON DEHART, KIMBERLY THOMPSON Production JOEY CAROLINO, RAY BERG, RONNIE GANDHOK, IRMA ALLEN Webmaster ARAM VARTIAN SALES & ADMINISTRATION General Manager JASON WILSON jwilsottiahoustonvoiceconi Account Executives DONA 80ZKA - dbozkafa'ioustonTOice.com JENNIFER HOLLAND - jtotado toustonvoicecom DAVID TRUONG - dtnjongahoustonvoicexom Classified Sales / Office AdYrwtisfrator JOHNNY HOOKS - jhookitthoustonvoice.com National Advertising Representative Rivendell Media • 212-242-6863 a Window! Pubbher-WINDOW MEDIA tfC President- WILLIAM WAYBOURN Editorial Director- CHRIS CRAIN Corporate Controller- BARNETTE HOLSTON Art Director-ROB BOEGER Director of Operations- MIKE KITCHENS Director of Sales- STEVEN GUERRINI Director of Classified Sales- NATHAN REGAN Chief Financial Officer PAM AYRES Marketing Manager - RON ROMANSKI tiedianta' CHARTER MEMBER Established 1974 as the Montrose Star. 500 Lovett Blvd. Suite 200 Houston, Texas 77006 (713)529-6490 Fax (713) 529-9531 wwwJwustonvoice.coni Contents copyright 2004 Office hours: 9 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. weekdays To submit a letter Letter should be fewer than 400 words. We reserve the right to etft for content and length. We will withhold names upon request, but you must include your name and phone number for verification. Please send mail to Houston Voice, 500 Lovett Blvi Suite 200, Houston. Texas 77006; fax (713) 529-9531 or e-mail to edrt^n-houstonwicecom. Opinions expressed therein do not reflect those of the Houston Voice. Al material m Houston Voice is protected by federal copyr-qht law and m«iy not be reproduced without the written consent of Houston Voice. The ieiual orientation of adwfteer-i. pMoo/anrters. writers and cartoonists publishtd herein is neither inferred or implied The appearance of names or pictorial representation does not necessarily indicate the sexual orientation of that person or persons Houston Voice accepts unsolicited editorial material but cannot take i-esprjnsibility tor its return The editor reserves the right to accept, reject or edit any submission Al rights, revert to authors upon publication. GuMMines lor freelance gmiri .we .mailable mjto nped Forum HOUSTON VOICE JULY 2, 2004 PAGE 10 editorial Don't cry for gay Hill staffers If ever there were a definition of a gay Uncle Tom, it is these semi-closeted congressional aides who work for anti-gay politicians and fear being outed. By CHRIS CRAIN □ CHILL WIND IS BLOWING these days on Capitol Hill, where closeted gay congressional staffers are facing the growing threat of being outed by a small but determined group of activists. Speculation that the Washington Blade, the Voice's sister paper in D.C, was planning to publish a list closeted gay staffers only added to the tumult, as some scared aides acted as if they were scrambling for their very jobs. It's a curious Washington irony that the fear of being outed has mobilized the Hill's gay aides in a way that threats to then- civil rights seem never managed to before. But lest we feel too much sympathy for the plight of these congressional staffers, or too much indignation for the activists who are targeting them, we should keep in mind just who we're talking about. Or, better yet, who we're not talking about. Not at risk are gay congressional staffers open about their sexual orientation. Not at risk are gay congressional staffers working for members of Congress who oppose or haven't yet taken a position on the Federal Marriage Amendment, an unprecedented measure that would forever usurp from the states the definition of marriage and deprive gay couples of their access to the courts to challenge heterosexual-only marriage laws. Not at risk are gay congressional staffers at the lower echelons of authority, who work as legislative aides answering constituent mail or answering the telephones. The activists have said they are focusing only on aides with real influence on public policy Not at risk are gay congressional staffers who are deep in the closet. As a practical matter, the only way an aide's name can make it onto one of these activists' lists is if the staffer is out within the gay community These are not people struggling to figure out their sexual orien tation; they are well-adjusted gay men and lesbians who attend gay social functions and patronize public gay establishments. So who are we talking about? Semi- closeted Hill staffers who happily play in gay D.C. but who work in positions of authority with real influence over members of Congress who support an amendment to the United States Constitution that would prohibit states from legalizing marriage, civil unions or even domestic partner registries for gay couples. IF EVER THERE WERE A DEFINITION of a gay Uncle Tom, it would fit these people. These are not dishwashers or short- order cooks at Cracker Barrel, facing poverty if their redneck bosses learn they're big homos. These are smart, talented, well-educated professionals who could find success in any number of highly paid positions on or off the Hill but who instead have chosen to devote their professional lives to advancing the careers of politicians who would strip them and their friends of basic civil rights protections and even redress of their grievances in the courts. The level of rationalization and denial it must take for these people to show up for work each day must be mind-boggling. Add to that their newfound paranoia that an activist — or even the gay press — might reveal their sexual orientation, and thereby their hypocrisy, and you have some pretty unhappy people about whom all of us should feel absolutely no sympathy whatsoever. DOES THAT MEAN THAT THE RUMORS are correct, and the Washington Blade or the Houston Voice would out this narrow group of semi-closeted, influential and yet hypocritical Hill staffers? Yes and no. No, neither the Blade nor the Voice has worked on a story revealing the names of closeted aides. Yes, we would investigate and report about whether influential Hill aides are gay if facts about their sexual orientation raise highly newsworthy questions of hypocrisy in the stands taken by the anti-gay members of Congress for whom they work, The Blade and the Voice are, after all, gay papers and as such, our reporters regularly ask almost every person they interview about their sexual orientation because it is invariably relevant to the story and to our readers. It is 2004, not 1954, and sexual orientation in and of itself is no longer a "private fact" beyond the pale of inquiry. If the subject of an interview is a private citizen and not a public figure, then their expectation of privacy is understandably higher, and we would respect their desire not to have their sexual orientation discussed in print. We would not, for example, publish photographs from gay-themed events without first asking the individuals for permission. But if the interview subject is a public official or a public figure — in government, entertainment, sports, wherever — then that person's privacy expectations are a lot lower. Those who choose to live their lives in the limelight ought to expect, at this point, to be asked "the question" and have ready an answer about whether they are gay or straight. Asking the question does not by itself amount to outing. Neither does printing the response, whether it is the truth or a lie or a refusal to discuss the matter. Outing someone involves going "behind the answer" and investigating a response (or non-response) and publishing the facts that suggest which side of the bread that someone in fact spreads their butter: gay, straight, bisexual or otherwise. Looking into someone's sexual orientation doesn't necessarily mean monitoring their bedroom or invading their privacy. It could mean simply reporting that they have a same-sex love interest with whom they flit about town, or that they regularly show up at gay parties or bars We reported in 2000 that John Paulk, the prominent "ex-gay" who had appeared on the cover of Newsweek magazine with his wife, an "ex-lesbian," was seen cavorting with gay guys in Mr. P's. The "activists" at the Human Rights Campaign apparently consider it their sworn duty to protect closeted Hill staffers who work for anti-gay members of Congress, but it is the antithesis of journalism to hide such hypocrisy when the facts can be clearly ascertained. It is not the job of the gay press — and ought not be the job of HRC — to protect the identity of semi-closeted congressional aides who have important questions to answer about why they have not acted to protect their fellow gay citizens. [Chris Crain is iM executive editor of Houston Voice and can be reached at ccrain@hoxi^0iTV0lce.coni.
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