Former Rep. Barney Frank, who came out gay after 32 years, said that Aaron Schock should be exposed if the gay stories regarding him are true.
It took former Rep. Barney Frank 32 years to come out as gay.
But now, as rumors swirl alleging that resigning-Rep. Aaron Schock is gay, Frank said the Illinois Republican should be “exposed” if the gossip about his sexual orientation is true because of his voting record on gay issues.
“When you are in public office and you vote opposite to the way you live your life, no I don’t think you have privacy,” Frank said. “Anyone who is gay and votes in an anti-gay fashion has, it seems to me, lost their right to privacy, because it’s been converted to a right to hypocrisy.”
Schock has not publically responded to the recent claims about his sexual orientation, but his father Richard Schock told ABC station WLS that “he’s not gay.”
When Frank sat down with “Power Players” to discuss his new autobiography, “Frank: A life in Politics from the Great Society to Same-Sex Marriage,” the Massachusetts Democrat defended a joke he made about rumors over Schock’s sexual orientation. “If they’re not true, he spent entirely too much time in the gym for a straight man,” Frank told Business Insider earlier this week.
Asked about the comment, Frank responded that it was “a perfectly valid thing to joke about” and that any controversy sparked by his remark “is a reflection of the notion that it’s a terrible thing to be gay.”
“I don’t think it’s a terrible thing, and now that I’m not in public office, I feel free to make jokes,” Frank said. “It’s a joke … making fun of gay men who obsess about being in the gym, and it did seem to me that it was an unusual thing. I don’t know many straight guys who spend that much time in the gym and pose with their shirts off all the time.”
Nearly every gay man I know in Washington, D.C., knows someone who knows someone who knows someone who had sex with Schock. The height of this innuendo was reached last year when Itay Hod, a freelance journalist, posted a note on his Facebook page relating a story from an anonymous friend who claimed that he’d witnessed his roommate exiting the shower with an unnamed Republican congressman. Hod didn’t name Schock in his post, but he didn’t have to. “Even though news organizations know this guy is gay, they can’t report it because he hasn’t said so on Twitter,” Hod complained. This hearsay account then became the subject of an entire story in The New York Times.
According to his gay antagonists, Schock deserves to be outed because of his anti-gay voting record. That consists of opposition to gay marriage, the repeal of “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell,” and the institution of harsher criminal penalties for hate crimes. Disagreement with the latter proposal should hardly be considered a requirement by the gay community for qualification as an ally, considering that many gay intellectuals, policymakers, and writers (this one included) oppose hate-crimes legislation on freedom of conscience grounds. There’s no evidence that Schock personally discriminated against gay people, nor did he ever crusade against homosexuality, like Ted Haggard, the former leader of the National Association of Evangelicals who railed against gays and was later exposed by a male escort as a client.