Conservative Republican Congressman outed as gay, resigns

Private lives should remain private, even those of people we disagree with.

Atrios and Kos seem cheerful about this leading to this.

I’m not.

The Congressman’s votes against gay rights no more made his private, consensual sexual life a legitimate public issue than Bill Clinton’s pro-feminist issues stances made his tomcatting a legitimate public issue.

And, unlike Kos, I’m glad he resigned in time to allow the recruitment of a Republican candidate to replace him, giving the voters of his district an actual choice about who is to represent them. It’s called “democracy,” and I’m (mostly) for it.

Author: Mark Kleiman

Professor of Public Policy at the NYU Marron Institute for Urban Management and editor of the Journal of Drug Policy Analysis. Teaches about the methods of policy analysis about drug abuse control and crime control policy, working out the implications of two principles: that swift and certain sanctions don't have to be severe to be effective, and that well-designed threats usually don't have to be carried out. Books: Drugs and Drug Policy: What Everyone Needs to Know (with Jonathan Caulkins and Angela Hawken) When Brute Force Fails: How to Have Less Crime and Less Punishment (Princeton, 2009; named one of the "books of the year" by The Economist Against Excess: Drug Policy for Results (Basic, 1993) Marijuana: Costs of Abuse, Costs of Control (Greenwood, 1989) UCLA Homepage Curriculum Vitae Contact: