John Reid, Paul Unger aides to US Sen. George Allen

Original title ACTION: George Allen: Virginia Needs YOU! (to open a gay bar)


John Reid, Communications Director, Office of Senator George Allen

Paul Unger, Counsel and Legislative Director, Office of Senator George Allen

With all the juggling Senator Allen must do — on one hand having so many gay friends and on the other being so homophobic — I hope you will encourage the Senator to explore a job with less pressure in his post-Senate career. I have a great idea: Open a gay bar!

Plenty of homophobes have owned gay bars, so don’t let that stop him…and after bashing gay people in the Senate, the least he could do is offer them a fun, safe place for his staff to have a drink, no? Often called the “gayest place on Capitol Hill,” your office would be the perfect place to recruit prospective staff for the Senator’s new venture.

John Reid: As the Senator’s communications director, you would bring some real Virginia celebrity to the new club. A former news personality from Richmond would be the perfect marketing manager for a bar. You, John, know what to say, how to spin the truth, and who to say it to. Just look at the Washington Blade from three months ago, when you told your fellow gay community members that Senator Allen “would only support a constitutional amendment if it becomes absolutely necessary. Right now, Allen believes DOMA “has already resolved this issue.” I’m sure you can come up with some politically acceptable statement for this unbelievable flip-flop against the gay community. I do hope my readers will write you with some ideas of their own as to how you might handle the challenge. I suspect that having a dad who is a member of the Virginia House of Delegates who voted for the most homophobic law in American History has prepared you for taking on those who will oppose the opening of another gay bar in VA.

Paul Unger: As the Senator’s Counsel and Legislative Director, you have a ton of experience that could benefit a gay bar. Paul, you know more about gay people than perhaps anyone else on the hill. After all, you were able to master the talent of simultaneously living an out gay life, while also working for one the nation’s most notorious anti-gay Senators: Conrad Burns (MT). Paul, keeping secrets is important if you are going to work at Senator Allen’s new club…this is where your experience working for Senator Gordon Smith (OR) will come in very handy. Despite a very moving Senate floor speech on teen suicide, Senator Smith was able to keep secret from the American people that an overwhelmingly disproportionate number of teen suicides in the United States are gay and lesbian teens…This conspiracy of silence is nothing new of course — it was the Secretary of HHS under the president’s Bush’s father who disavowed the department from a report on the very topic. A report which concluded gay and lesbian teen suicide comprises up to 30 percent of completed youth suicides annually and that suicide is the leading cause of death among gay male, lesbian, bisexual and transsexual youth.

John and Paul, with all the gay men working for you in your Senate office and over at the National Republican Senatorial Committee — remember Jay Timmons? – he was the first recipientof the Roy Cohn Award — you should have no problem in filling the club up every night. And with the number of gay men working for homophobes on the Hill, you’re guaranteed to find a steady stream of clientele turning to alcohol to bury their shame in your boss’ new bar.

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