My criticism of the “outing” of David Dreier assumed that he had kept his private life private. That turns out not to be the case, according to this LA Weekly account. Apprarently Dreier’s lover is also the chief of staff of the House Rules Committee, which Dreier chairs.
If Dreier had a wife, it would be against the rules of the House for him to employ her. If he had a girlfriend and made her the committee chief of staff, that would constitute, I think, a real scandal, and the press would generally agree.
So although I see no reason to use Dreier’s sexual orientation against him, I also don’t see why the rule “Keep your pecker off the public payroll” shouldn’t apply in this case. Mr. Smith should find a new job, and Mr. Dreier should be rebuked for having employed him in the first place.
It’s unfortunate that this (to my eyes) legitimate issue can’t be raised without raising the (to my eyes) illegitimate issue of Dreier’s homosexuality. But, as in the McGreevey case, the fact that a sex-and-politics scandal has gay overtones shouldn’t be allowed to shield its principals from public scrutiny.