josh rosner

WHY OUTING CLOSETED PUBLIC FIGURES IS MORALLY JUSTIFIABLE

In Gay Rights on March 10, 2011 at 2:34 am

I had published today on The Drum a piece about why outing closeted public figures – particularly hypocritical clergy and politicians – who masquerade as happily married men, and vote against legislation that would assist the gay community or preach hatred from the pulpit while living life in the closet, should be outed. I argue this isn’t a privacy issue. ‘Gayness’ now has well-established acceptance in the wider community. So, naming some as gay should not be an issue. Nor should naming someone as straight. It’s not a privacy issue. It is, however, an issue of hypocrisy and damage.

I’ve been thinking about this issue for a long time and I’ve continually oscillated between one side and the other. People have a right to privacy, on the one hand, weighted against the value and importance of people being out. With the senseless murder of Ugandan gay rights activist David Kato in January this year, I started to give some serious thought to where I stand on outing. Clearly in his case – although he was already out – outing would be wrong. It is wrong in any scenario in which a potential consequence is death. So, I draw a line. But it was the visit of American writer and gay rights activist Amistead Maupin who finally made up my mind. Maupin is emphatic in his support for outing and his arguments are compelling.

The closet is insidious and highly dangerous. And it helps nobody, including the closeted person.

Outing closeted public figures, I argue, is not only morally justifiable. It is a moral imperative.

You can read it here.

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  1. I don’t know why you are using discredited polls. To quote Miranda Devine:

    * We were told last week, for instance, that the majority of Australians, 62 per cent, are in favour of same sex marriage, according to a Galaxy poll of 1050 voters, and that this figure has been rising inexorably over time.

    But the poll, commissioned by advocacy groups, Australian Marriage Equality and Parents and Friends of Lesbians and Gays, arrived at its conclusion by asking a leading question.

    “A number of countries allow same-sex couples to marry. These include Argentina, Canada, the Netherlands, Norway, Portugal, South Africa and Spain, as well as parts of the United States and Mexico. Do you agree or disagree that same-sex couples in Australia should be able to marry?”

    Why the preamble? Obviously, asking the question in the way Galaxy did implants the idea that same-sex marriage is so commonplace and widely accepted in reasonable countries that to disagree would be perverse. *

    It is sad that you have a narrow view on this issue. Do you think that telling my friends (open gays against gay marriage) to stay in the closet is healthy too?

  2. Just read your article.
    Your attempt to disguise your homophobia under the guise of some ‘ethical imperative’ (which apparently only applies to homosexuals) is laughable.
    You’re a bigoted cunt, your only real desire is to encourage violence and discrimination against homosexuals in the community, presumably because you are too cowardly to take action yourself.
    You disgust me, and judging by the comments @ Unleashed, everyone else has seen through your sad attempt to whip up some more anti-gay sentiment.

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