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    Gray areas

    When you live in Tokyo, you’re the first to find out when there’s an accident at a Japanese nuclear facility and the last to find out when the Governor of New Jersey comes out and announces his resignation.

    Every gay guy linked to the left of this page, along with many others besides, has offered an opinion (well, not Eric at Classical Values, though I’d be interested to hear what he thinks). I think the one I agree with most is Agenda Bender, who wants to restore sexual purity and discretion to the Governorship of New Jersey by taking it over himself. I’ll campaign for him.

    But seriously, looking at the transcript of the speech, I worry:

    I am also here today because, shamefully, I engaged in adult consensual affair with another man, which violates my bonds of matrimony. It was wrong. It was foolish. It was inexcusable.

    And for this, I ask the forgiveness and the grace of my wife.

    Discount Blogger says that yesterday’s press conference may, not surprisingly, be a defensive move against coming charges of misconduct in office. We don’t know yet. But just taking what the Governor said at face value, I have to wonder at some people’s reactions. I don’t see how McGreevey’s speech can be construed as saying that gays are unfit for office. I also don’t think that the pressure to be closeted, which I detest as much as any out homosexual, can be summarily blamed (though Right Side of the Rainbow does imply that McGreevey made a bad choice in a bad situation).

    One of the arguments most gay marriage advocates use is that it would help keep gay guys from screwing around on their partners. McGreevey–looking at the content of his speech and leaving aside his sincerity, which we can’t assess–believes that it was wrong to break his vows and screw around on his partner. Shouldn’t people who think gay and straight relationships should be taken equally seriously be paying attention to that part, too?

    Given what he says about the pain caused to his wife, it does not appear that she was the sort who agrees to look the other way while her husband picks up a guy every few weeks to keep the jones from driving him crazy. Pointing out that, in a better world, none of this would have had to happen…that’s fine. But McGreevey accepted responsibility for a marriage and child, and he wants to avoid piling public scandal on top of private upheaval. If he believes that’s more important than proving that out gay men can be respectable politicians, I have a hard time thinking ill of him for it. We’ll see what happens.

    One Response to “Gray areas”

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