I'm not a big fan of "outing", but I also adhere to the rule that if you are going to work against the interest of your own lifestyle for the sake of power, then the public deserves to know the depth of your own hypocrisy.
I have always taken the view that outing a gay person should be approached with caution, and that in doing so one should strictly adhere to the Barney Frank Rule. As articulated by the openly gay Massachusetts congressman during another anti-gay GOP witch-hunt over a decade ago, when Frank threatened to out a number of gay-baiting Republican fellow congressmen, the rule insists that outing is only acceptable when a person uses their power or notoriety to hurt gay people.
Dreier clearly meets that standard, for his voting record is strewn with anti-gay positions. To cite just a few: He voted against the Employment Non-Discrimination Act (ENDA), which would have banned discrimination against gay people in hiring; voted for the gay-bashing Defense of Marriage Act; voted for banning adoption by gay and lesbian couples in the District of Columbia (3,000 miles away from Dreier’s district); voted to allow federally funded charities to discriminate against gays in employment, even where local laws prohibit such bias; and voted against the Hate Crimes Prevention Act.
Dreier is not just a political homophobe but a heartless AIDS-phobe as well, voting against the Housing Opportunities for Persons with AIDS (HOPWA) program designed to give shelter to the impoverished sick, and against funding for the federal ADAP program that furnishes the poor with the AIDS meds they need to stay alive.
Dreier can probably survive outing in his district and be re-elected, and it won’t hurt him much with Arnold and his cronies either. But Dreier’s days as a key member of the ultra-homophobic Hastert-DeLay House GOP leadership may be numbered. The telegenic Dreier has often served as the GOP leadership’s spokesman on the TV chat-show circuit. It will be interesting to see whether, the next time Dreier shows up on Crossfire or Chris Matthews’ show, he’s asked about the contradictions between his anti-gay voting record and his hitherto-secret life.