Jim Conzelman, Lee Cohen, Kirk Fordham, Robert O’Conner

30 Comments on "Jim Conzelman, Lee Cohen, Kirk Fordham, Robert O’Conner"

  1. Anonymous July 12, 2004 at 4:47 pm · Reply

    How appalling that you have put your agenda in front of people’s individual right to privacy. A person being gay is their own business and who they choose to work for is something that they have to decide for themselves.

  2. Anonymous July 12, 2004 at 5:01 pm · Reply

    The point here is that these people that are being outed are open in our community…they come to our bars, smile, have a good time with their friends and spend 8 hours the next day helping someone take away rights. I might agree that people have to make the decision to come out on their own, but in our community they are plenty out and if they choose to lie during the daytime about who they are, they can’t get upset when their night life interests get leaked.

  3. Anonymous July 12, 2004 at 5:45 pm · Reply

    Here here! What is appalling is that men and women who openly identify as gay or lesbian would ever choose to work for homophobic, bigoted, prejudiced members of Congress or the Senate, let alone serve as heads of think tanks and money raising programs that promote hate against themselves. They are public persons and as such, they cannot hide that they are gay any longer! They work to make us second class citizens; they don’t have that choice any more!

  4. Anonymous July 12, 2004 at 5:55 pm · Reply

    Again – THEIR Choice — not YOURS.
    I have watched my gay friends struggle with coming out to those not in the community – and you know as well as I do that it isn’t easy and that sometimes living two lives is the comfort zone that they choose. I always thought your community was supportive of each other, I am very sad to see that it isn’t.

  5. Anonymous July 12, 2004 at 6:00 pm · Reply

    I totally support your “Final Call to Conscience” campaign……Read about it in Advocate online and have been looking for this blog ever since, finally found it this am…..In the 21st century it is nothing but self effacing and self destorying to be gay or lesbian and work one of the far to many bigoted elected officals in position to make up all second class citzens for good…..
    More power to you Michael, look forward to the continuing fall”out” from your efforts, Thanks.
    Signed, Karen (only anomymous bec I’m not registered as a blogger myself)

  6. Anonymous July 12, 2004 at 6:06 pm · Reply

    We ARE supporting each other! Fighting for our rights is the most productive way we can build a better environment for gay and lesbian people in this country.

    And you seem to be confused about who’s being “outed” here. These aren’t teenagers trying to figure out who they are; they are adults, selling out the gay and lesbian community. And they’re already out!

    I’m sorry that your friend has had a tough time in coming out, but it’s 2004, not 1952. Being gay is not a crime. If you’re having trouble coming out, go see a therapist; they’ll be happy to help.

  7. Anonymous July 12, 2004 at 6:28 pm · Reply

    YOU sound like a bitter ex boyfriend or someone who is suffering from this outing campaign.

    First of all, I don’t associate me being gay by only what I do at night, going to bars or clubs or what not. The difference is I’m proud of who I am during the day as well and am open and honest about it and do not work for someone who would treat me any differently for being gay! These people do! And it’s not just bars and clubs…many of them are partnered and live their lives as gay people except for the 8 hours they are hard at work stripping other gays of their rights. We have a right as a community to unmask the people who are doing this to us and if they are too afraid to stand up at work and say that I don’t support your policies because I am a homosexual, then they should remember that when they get the cold shoulder from those of us in the community who are directly affected by their actions at work!

    I don’t know the gentleman who runs this site or his employment status or the reasons he personally feels the need to out these people on Capitol Hill. What I do know is what it’s like to not be out, to be in the closet, scared and wondering how the world will react when you do come out. I remember what that was like and what it was like to go to clubs at night and not mention any of it during the day. That is something I can sympathize with and understand. What I cannot understand is the fact that many of these staffers are ONLY closeted at work and are employed, and support and assist their employers in discriminating against the very people they refer to as friends when they are done at the end of their work day.

    I have nothing against those who are closeted and want to stay that way. It’s a sad life to hide who you are, but that is THEIR choice, as you said. But when they spend the daytime working towards taking away my rights and everything those of us who are active in fighting work hard for, when they roadblock that work and the years of fighting for what few benefits homosexuals have, then YOU CAN BET YOUR ASS that I don’t have an ounce of pity for them when someone at work finds out that they have been lying about their sexual orientation during the day! Not an ounce!

  8. Anonymous July 12, 2004 at 6:30 pm · Reply

    I would also ask that the administrator of this site do not remove posts that are critical of his fight…it only helps by showing the ignorance of others. Please do not remove the comments. We who support this campaign can answer their questions regarding the reasoning for this outing campaign. Don’t run from their criticism!

  9. Michael Rogers July 12, 2004 at 6:36 pm · Reply

    The only posts removed from this site are those with personal attacks that are completely unrealted to this current campaign. Please stick to the issues at hand, not unrelated personal attacks. Name calling and/or false statements will be deleted.

  10. Anonymous July 12, 2004 at 6:43 pm · Reply

    I must say, I normally think outing is a bad idea, but in this instance, I feel about it the same way I feel about trash collection: I’m not going to do it, but I’m glad somebody is.

    At this point in our history, anybody working for a member of Congress with an anti-gay agenda is actively – not passively – working against our interests, It is flatly hypocritical. And that’s the one instance in which outing is not just okay, but necessary and right. Their feelings stopped mattering when their bosses started voting to make me a second-class citizen for all time – and, in the case of Senator John Cornryn (R-TX), referring to my relationship as being coequal with the marriage of a human and a box turtle.

  11. Anonymous July 12, 2004 at 7:02 pm · Reply

    So I guess that question then is when IS outing a bad idea? Just curious. Is someone being hypocritical enough of a reason to out them? Is someone who votes for George Bush enough? How about John Kerry? How about participating in a political process that has for centuries oppressed gay people long before FMA? Where do you draw the line? And do we really think that the personal motivations of the person who is doing the outing are completely unimportant, just the person who is being outed? That sounds dangerously naive to me. Aren’t the motivations of the person doing the outing important as well? And if so, how? Is it irrelevant that every major national LGBT organization–that has been doing work in support of our community for decades–has taken a stance against this? Do we disregard their experience? Do we start from scratch every Monday morning?

    Most importantly, how does outing these people help our cause or even in the shortterm help defeat the FMA that is likely to not pass anyways? Do we really believe that this is helping? And that it is worth the personal injury to these individuals? Taking action is one thing–but not sure it should be called a “FUN ACTION.” sounds like something kindergarten kids do on the playground during recess. I don’t see any concern here for the lives of the individuals who are being the most impacted by this. A concern that has historically been a very real and important part of activism in the gay community. And in particular in determining what we do or do not decide to do to others and how we deal with each other as well. This whole thing seems so malicious, callous, and bitter. At least let’s not lose our sense of that in this whole thing. This is not a “FUN ACTION.” This is AT BEST regretful and probably damaging in the longterm. I’d like to see someone address that here as well and I’m not seeing it at all.

  12. Anonymous July 12, 2004 at 7:06 pm · Reply

    Good for you! There is a right to privacy, but no right to hypocrisy.


  13. Anonymous July 12, 2004 at 8:13 pm · Reply

    If Hill staffers our out in the clubs and in social networks, then outing them to their bosses is not invading their privacy; it’s revealing their secret. There’s a big difference between the two. Nobody is under any obligation to keep your secret.

  14. Anonymous July 12, 2004 at 8:45 pm · Reply

    Thank you, thank you, thank you.

    This fight is way too important to play nice. The fundies want to take away our freedom to live as equal citizens in this country. If some of our very own are helping accomplish this goal, then they need to be stopped. If anyone thinks this is mean-spirited, they should see how religious fundamentalists treat members of their communities who don’t fall in line.

  15. winklejon July 12, 2004 at 8:52 pm · Reply

    I’m thrilled you are doing what your doing. However let’s be clear, you aren’t outing anybody as gay or lesbian. All the people listed have been out of the closet and open for years. You are outing them as soilders in the culture war the right is waging on the LGTB community. When Anti-LGTB crusader Phyllis Schlafly’s son, who helps her in her mission, John was outed, he attacked the LGTB comunity and defended his mother and “Family values” crusaders. Phyllis even admitted she knew her son was gay and offered no appology for her attack on our community. We didn’t ask for this fight. They are attacking us. We can no longer afford to pull our punches when these traitors have our lives in the crosshairs.

    Great to see you are listing Rep Pete King’s chief of staff. As a New Yorker I must make a trip down to Long Beach in his district one of these weekends, and hand out flyers to beach-goers telling of his office’s hypocricy. I would love to make wanted signs listing all these hypocrits and post them around NYC during the week of the convention.

  16. Anonymous July 12, 2004 at 9:14 pm · Reply

    in response to the person who asks when outing is NOT okay…your points are legitimate, but your apparent conclusion – that the fact of ambiguity in certain situations is a reason we shouldn’t do anything in the situation we’re actually facing – is not. I’m not sure whether people who vote for Bush should be outed – it’s a tougher case than what we’re talking about. What we’re talking about is people who live gay lives in every real sense, except during their work hours, when they actively undermine our efforts by working for anti-gay members.

    as for whether this outing effort helps or hurts over the long run – another good question. but my firm sense, and i don’t know anybody who disagrees, is that minds change when bigots realize they know somebody who’s gay – and that that person looks, acts, and in this case, votes just like them. outing a staffer may be an unpleasant way of going about that, but i view it as a justified and necessary way of proving to these misguided people that gays are their friends, their family, their staff.

    would this have been okay ten years ago, when the issue wasn’t as squarely before us, when more of us were closeted, or when the issue wasn’t a constitutional amendment? again, harder cases. but today’s case is easy.

    as for the recommendations of HRC, et al that this shouldn’t be done: good for them. their job is to preserve relationships with, and work with, everyone in our community, and supporting outing would undermine that. let me assure you that a number of them are, personally, just fine with this.

  17. Anonymous July 12, 2004 at 9:28 pm · Reply

    I agree that the HRC is taking the correct stand on this issue…they lose credibility when they use tactics such as outing, even in the gay community who is divided over this issue. That of course does not mean others can’t do exactly what this site is doing and I praise it as well.

    I guess I agree with the point that outing gay staffers would put the issue in the face of the senators they work for…they see a gay person as someone who can relate to them and who votes the way they vote. My issue is that they are voting the WRONG way on this issue and their staffers are helping them do it. I take the more pessimistic view that I think this will damage their relationship with their employers, and frankly they need to find new jobs anyway rather than promote Bush’s agenda. But your point does not help us if you say that outing them shows their stuffy senators that gays are just like them. We aren’t just like them and the senators aren’t that stupid. Having a gay staffer or confidante will not change their vote, it will just make them think, hey even gay people agree that marriage should be between only a man and a woman.

  18. Anonymous July 13, 2004 at 2:02 am · Reply

    Not that it will matter, but I have thought long and hard about this and I think your campaign is not productive and actually sets back the cause.

    The campaign assumes that if someone’s boss disagrees with the sexual orientation or “lifestyle” of his or her employee, the employee must be punished by being “outed” to his or her boss. I think this is ludicrous, especially since the people you will “out” will no doubt be marginalized and replaced with true believers who will stand behind the anti-gay sentiments of their bosses. You are not depleting them of staff, you are empowering them to hire staff who are anti-gay and will not in anyway affect the attitude of the employer or the co-workers. If this the game, should we out others who work for gay-hostile employers? I know a school teacher at a Catholic school who is gay and uses drugs frequently when he goes clubbing. I know a polce officer who is gay who also uses drugs. I know of a married man who has gay liasons. Just the tip of the ice berg.

    Clinton signed DOMA and dont ask, dont tell. Should we hold his staff accountable for that? I’m sure there were plenty of gay Democrats who voted to re-elect him despite signing the two most anti-gay federal laws in U.S. history. He should be held accountable not those under him who didn’t have the benefit of using the President’s pen to write VETO.


  19. winklejon July 13, 2004 at 5:17 am · Reply

    Once again, they really aren’t outing people as gay, they are outing people as hypocrits. Outing a gay teacher is wrong…except if he was tormenting gay students and fighting comprehensive safe sex in schools. These people aren’t deep in the closet. If they were no one would be able to out them.

    I have a number of friends who are high level staffers in NYC politics. None of them finished government studies in college, went to an employment agency and was assigned to a politician at random. They aggressively sought internships with people they liked, they worked hard on campaigns they believed in the thre fundraisers to get certain elected officials attention. In short the actively sought a job in the office of those who they liked. The staffers being outed are conservatives who wanted to work for and help right wingers. John Tolman in his previous job criticized gay AIDS activists and defending the horrible actions of the worst drug companies. He directly undermined our efforts to save our lived. He is not a good man stuck in a bad job. They are all happy and proud of who they work for. Tax cuts and corperate profits mean more to them than civil rights or our lives. Their positions of privlege allow them to ignore a chroniclly ill lesbian who needs to get on her partner’s health insurance. They don’t care if an landlord tries to evict a gay man when his partner moves in. They don’t care that someone barely making a living wage at Cracker Barrel cannot afford to get fired as they are livering one paycheck away from homelessness. There are many innocent victims. None of these staffers are among them.

  20. Anonymous July 13, 2004 at 6:41 pm · Reply

    So, I guess hypocrisy is only political. Isn’t it hypocritical to “out” someone? I guess you also haven’t learned that the best way to bring about change is NOT to stand around griping about things. The best way to bring about change is to work from within. Perhaps some of these “hypocrits” are trying to change people’s minds in a quiet way, by working from the inside.

    It is also true that Congressmen are not elected by their staff members, but by their states. They are not accountable to you or any individual, but to their constituents – right or wrong.

    I’m a very liberal democrat and I disagree with just about everything the Republican congress is doing. However, I allow others to live their lives as they see fit. I will make a politcal statement with my vote, not by invading the privacy of others. I thought the gay movement was for letting people be who they are – not who YOU expect them to be.

    I’m anonymous only because I refuse to have any information of mine associated with this website.

  21. Anonymous July 13, 2004 at 7:31 pm · Reply

    I agree with the previous poster. When one of these Hill staffers commits suicide after his parents see your stories, maybe the blood on your hands will make you think a little more.

  22. Michael Rogers July 13, 2004 at 7:59 pm · Reply

    Has there been a case in modern history of a government staff member living a completely out life committing suicide upon having their evening activities outed? Nope. This is a fake scare tactic.
    If you want to worry about suicide, let’s think of the generations of gay kids who will grow up in a nation that has descrimination against them in it.

  23. Anonymous July 13, 2004 at 8:04 pm · Reply

    Quit being so self-important about your outing campaign. If you think you are sending shock waves through Capitol Hill, think again. Most of the GOPers you have outed have been out for a long time, including to their boss, staff, and the political community. It is not as big of an issue as you make it out to be.

    And quit trying to force your world view on every other gay person. The gay community is supposed to be tolerant, but many in our community are the least tolerant people i know. If being against gay marriage makes one anti-gay, then have the courage to call John Kerry and John Edwards anti-gay since they are opposed to gay marriage(Edwards, by the way, is even on record opposing civil unions; and Kerry supports a Mass. Constitutional Amendment outlawing gay marriage, but supports civil unions).

  24. Anonymous July 13, 2004 at 8:42 pm · Reply

    1. You can’t “out” someone who has been on the cover of a gay bar rag. These people could not be outed if they were not leading “out” lives in some way. You’re missing the point. This isn’t outting, it is simply truth-telling. No one is digging through the garbage of a closeted gay man looking for tell-tale evidence.
    2. These are not closeted teenagers we’re talking about and the analogy is completely false.
    3. If coming out is a choice (and of course it is), then supporting the FMA is also a choice. We hold people responsible for their choices all the time.
    4. We are not “beating up on each other.” People who are gay and yet support FMA are not “one of us.”
    5. Someone above wrote “I don’t see any concern here for the lives of the individuals who are being the most impacted by this [outing].” You’ve got to be kidding me! My partner and I spend $5000 to get the merest fraction of the same legal rights my married brother has (for making what is, after all, a lifestyle choice) and you’re concerned about the impact on lives of individuals being “outed”?!?! It is true, gay folk are often our own worst enemy…but that’s often because we’re so willing to be such milquetoasts.

  25. Ridor July 14, 2004 at 12:30 am · Reply

    This is great. I’m enjoying this very much.

    Way to go, fellas.

    Keep outin’ them!


    P.S. I do not care if they committ suicide. Better them than us in the long run in terms of our rights!

  26. Anonymous July 14, 2004 at 12:36 am · Reply

    i like this whole outing campaign. but i don’t like that posts are being deleted. can you stop doing that?

  27. Anonymous July 14, 2004 at 1:20 am · Reply

    Coming out is a highly personal decision. What gives you self-righteous bastards the authority to decide when these staffers should come out? It does nothing to further gay rights, but instead makes the gay community look and sound like a bunch of bickering old ladies. Rogers and Avarosis have way too much time on their hands if they keep a running tally of which employees of elected officials are gay, which are not, when they came out, who’s in the closet, who’s not, etc. You uptight twits need to chill out and find better ways to spend your time. Mind your own damn business.

  28. Anonymous July 14, 2004 at 2:18 pm · Reply

    What!!!!! Gays who don’t fit the stereotype that their community has laid out for them! Mary! Better prance right over there and bitch slap them to death!

    Clearly it has never occurred to you that there are some gays who just aren’t that obsessed with gay marriage, just like there are Catholics who aren’t obsessed pro-lifers.

    I can appreciate your wanting the right to marry but I cannot appreciate your tactics.

  29. Anonymous July 14, 2004 at 2:45 pm · Reply

    I am against outing in general, but I do think it some cases, it is justified. I don’t think it is right for a closeted gay politician to have the comfort of privacy in voting for the FMA or any other anti-gay legislation. I can certainly understand a gay person being against gay marriage themselves, but I find it reprehensible for one to vote for the amendment that restricts others’ rights. If a closeted politician has no problem with restricting our rights, then why should he/she have a problem with their losing their right to privacy or their political office. As for staffers, I am not so sure, but if they are active in pushing for the FMA, then I see no problem with them being outed as well. Funny how they may not see the connection with restriction of our rights to marry with the restriction of their rights to their job.

  30. Chad June 24, 2011 at 12:37 pm · Reply

    Outing is required only when the peope being “outed” are doing REAL damage…and these people are! They are either themselves, or supporting, people in power who do real harm to gays and lesbians–voting against gay marriage, hiv prevention programs, DADT reppeal…

    These people suffer from stockholm syndrome…they align with their abusers thinking somehow, that makes them not the victim, not a homo. It’s digusting, and I applaud Mike and everyone else who brings these hypocrits into the public forum.

    And in this age of digital communications, I can’t wait to see more of these people exposed…

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