Full Disclosure

by Shaker Maud

People's private life is their own business, and I extend this principle to public figures, in general. Though I think the single most important driving factor in straight people's acceptance of gay people and support for their rights has been the courage of gay people in outing themselves to their friends and family, who thereby have discovered that gay people aren't some alien life form found exclusively in New York and San Francisco, but are their friends, neighbors and relatives, I also don't believe it's generally appropriate to out others. Being gay is a risk to people's livelihoods, family relationships in some cases, and safety and well-being, and for the most part I don't think it's appropriate for someone to impose those kinds of risks on another, especially when zie has not had the opportunity to prepare for it.

There is one exception to this. When someone wields public power, whether as a member of government or through leadership in organizations which actively work to shape government policy, or through influential writings in an academic and/or health care field, and when that person uses hir power to work to suppress the basic rights of others based on the view that they are in some way defective, that person has the responsibility to be honest about what hir personal stake is in the policy issue zie is trying to influence.

If you are an influential medical researcher and you are receiving fat fees from a drug company whose products you advocate the use of, the public is entitled to know that so they may consider it in evaluating your support for those products.

Likewise, if you are a founder of an aggressively anti-gay lobbying organization, if you are a widely-published professor of neuropsychiatry who also serves as a board member of an organization which purports to turn gay people straight, if you further are a member of another organization which peddles anti-gay and anti-trans bigotry to parents and schools in the guise of scientific guidance on raising healthy children, and you are discovered to have a history of taking "fun trip"s with a young male companion whom you met through Rentboy.com, I think the public, whom you are attempting to persuade of the evils of Teh Gays and their Agenda, is entitled to all the information which might aid in their evaluation of what sort of substance you are spreading in the name of Science and the Public Good.

Meet the Rev. Dr. George Alan Rekers.


[Related Reading: Rogers Outs Republican Senator.]

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