The idea of being forcibly outed isn't new. I imagine that any group of people who find themselves with a general disdain for gay people has probably run across the concept at some point.
Without getting too complicated, considering I barely skimmed the news source, I give you a couple of links.
Roy Ashburn, a Senator from California apparently has a voting record that tends to deny gay people equality. I honestly didn't read that much about the guy, so I'm taking The Advocate's word for it. That isn't really the point. The thing is, the guy's gay. He got himself a nice DUI while taking an anonymous male home from a gay bar. Days later he admitted that he's gay.
According to another article in The Advocate a blogger plans to out any number of politicians if they vote against something or other that also isn't the point. It's the idea of forced outing that is the whole point but sort of juxtaposed against the idea of anti gay politics coming from closeted gay people, which has happened before. Larry Craig would of course be a prime example.
With first hand experience I can tell you that the closet is a horrible place, but I can't for the life of me imagine a way that I could justify animosity toward gay people who were out.
That's a lie. On some level I can see a place where, from in the closet, my own jealousy might cause problems. Really it would depend on the reasons we find ourselves in the closet. We're all in for very personal reasons.
I also have to wonder how a closeted politician gets to a point where they are basically known, on some level in whatever town they spend most of their time, as gay, but they are able to remain closeted to the people who rely on them for political representation.
So, is it right or okay to out someone? That's really the basic question. Is it ever? Is it never? Are their circumstances that effect the decision?
Can we weight the question with factors such as the person's place in a political machine that often works to undermine efforts seen by many people as an attempt to achieve equality for a group of people that the person is also secretly a member of?
How do you weight for the what it does to a person and their family?
I want to argue that it's always for the best when a gay person comes out of the closet. It doesn't fix things really. It doesn't make your life immediately all it could have been. There's still miles uphill to slog, and we all have our own hill anyway. Throw in being secretly gay while casting votes in the senate to deprive gay people of the simple fact of being treated as equal, and you've created a whole new bunch of circumstances for yourself.
In the end, if you go out of your way to tell people not to do what you do in fact do then perhaps it's best that we all get to know that you do in fact do what you strike so forcefully against.