Rather than deal with the fact that the Republican Congressional leadership has protected open and closeted homosexuals in its ranks, some conservative radio talk-show hosts are blaming the recent publicity over the Mark Foley scandal on a Democratic plot somehow linked to George Soros. They contend that Democrats engage in more horrible conduct. But these claims and charges, from partisans who put loyalty to the Republican Party over morality, are clearly designed to cover up the fact that Foley, a House Deputy Majority Whip, was known to be a homosexual and that any contacts he was having with former pages were, on their face, entirely inappropriate. House Republican leaders failed to protect the children.
House leaders say they were misled by Foley about his contacts with young boys. But they knew that Foley was a homosexual, or at least they were aware of reliable reports to that effect that had not been denied by Foley. They stood by him nevertheless. This is the “big tent” theory taken to an absurd and dangerous extreme. But they had done the same thing with Rep. Jim Kolbe, who had come out of the homosexual closet. Indeed, the 2006 annual convention of the Log Cabin Republicans featured a dinner honoring the “openly gay” congressman. The event featured video tributes to Kolbe from Vice President Dick Cheney and Speaker of the House Dennis Hastert, who called Kolbe a “strong and dedicated public servant in Congress.”
House GOP leaders wonder why the sexually explicit emails surfaced now, just weeks before the November elections. House leaders contend that they only knew about one set of emails, in which Foley asked for a page’s photo and age, and not the other more offensive ones. This position concedes that House leaders knew that Foley had been corresponding with a former page with personal questions of a sensitive nature but that because Foley contended the exchange was “innocent,” they are off the hook. They insist that they raised the issue with him and couldn’t do anything more, except recommend that he terminate contact with that particular page. This position is not tenable because the Republican leadership knew?or should have known?that Foley was a homosexual. His homosexuality was the subject of stories back in 2003.
Even if all that the House leaders say is true, the facts still show that they were aware that he was having questionable Internet exchanges with a former page. But did it not strike Republican leaders that it was strange that Foley, 52, was corresponding with a young boy only 16 years of age? Or was it rationalized because Foley was a Republican and member of the House leadership?
As I reported in my previous column, Foley himself attended the 2003 national convention of the Log Cabin Republicans. After the Foley scandal broke over the weekend, however, Foley’s name and picture were removed from the organization’s website.
The so-called conservative media should do a better job of covering this scandal. On Monday, the supposed right-wing Fox News Channel aired a “debate” on the matter, with the two sides represented by liberal Democrat Bob Beckel, who got caught in his own sex scandal, involving the procurement of a prostitute, and Tammy Bruce, a lesbian Republican. “Being homosexual has nothing to do with attraction to children,” declared Bruce. “I agree. I agree,” Beckel said. But then she seemed to contradict herself, saying, “All I want frankly is a gay person in office who is not a sexual compulsive. I mean is that too much to ask for? I don’t think it is.”
Bruce has appeared at functions sponsored by the Log Cabin Republicans, the homosexual activist group whose executive director had defended Foley’s refusal over the years to respond to questions about his homosexuality. That laid the groundwork for the scandal we are now seeing unfold.
In his October 2 Washington update, Tony Perkins of the Family Research Council refused to toe the politically correct Republican line. He declared:
“Foley, an unmarried 52-year-old representative, had always refused to answer questions about his sexual orientation. Now that his emails and messages to teenage male pages have been revealed, it appears clear that Foley is a homosexual with a particular attraction to underage boys. While pro-homosexual activists like to claim that pedophilia is a completely distinct orientation from homosexuality, evidence shows a disproportionate overlap between the two. Although almost all child molesters are male and less than 3% of men are homosexual, about a third of all child sex abuse cases involve men molesting boys?and in one study, 86% of such men identified themselves as homosexual or bisexual. Ignoring this reality got the Catholic Church into trouble over abusive priests, and now it is doing the same to the House GOP leadership. They discounted or downplayed earlier reports concerning Foley’s behavior?probably because they did not want to appear ‘homophobic.’ The Foley scandal shows what happens when political correctness is put ahead of protecting children.”
That is the bottom line: the House Republican leaders did not protect the children. They protected one of their own, a known homosexual making overtures to a young boy. Regardless of whether some of the more offensive Internet messages were held back for political impact, the House Republican leaders could have avoided the scandal if they had taken steps to rid their leadership and membership of known and active homosexuals. They have only themselves to blame.
If Hastert and other top House leaders don’t resign, look for many pro-family conservatives to sit out this November’s elections.