Thursday, August 12, 2004

Reflections on McGreevey's Resignation

New Jersey Governor James McGreevey resigned today after admitting to a homosexual affair.

The situation is troubling for a number of reasons. First, there is the disheartening fact that yet another respected public figure has violated his marriage vows. As McGreevey acknowledged, this was "wrong" and "inexcusable." I cannot defend McGreevey's actions.

Yet, I'm also troubled for other reasons. If this had been a heterosexual affair, there is no way that McGreevey would have had to resign. Bill Clinton anyone? So the resignation really reflects, not appropriate outrage at adultery, but inappropriate bigotry at homosexuality.

More importantly, I believe that McGreevey's personal tragedy wouldn't have happened in an appropriately tolerant society. In spite of his homosexuality, of which he was vaguely aware "from [his] early days in school" (full text of speech), McGreevey married twice and had two children. McGreevey described his personal struggle with his sexuality this way: "I worked hard to ensure that I was accepted as part of the traditional family." McGreevey acknowledged that he was trying to force himself to be someone that he could not be.

Had McGreevey been reared in a tolerant society, he could have acknowledged his homosexuality - both personally and publicly - from the very beginning. He could have entered into a monogamous relationship which was actually workable for him. Then we wouldn't have two children in single-parent homes. We wouldn't have two divorced women and a divorced man. We wouldn't have the governor elected by the people of New Jersey out of office.

This high-profile example of a home broken by long-suppressed homosexuality is repeated in less newsworthy homes thousands of times a year in this country.

Again, gay rights is a family value.


At 11:33 AM, Blogger jsm said...

The fact that his lover was appointed to be an $100,000+/year adviser to the state Office of Homeland Security reeks of patronage and corruption. The fact that his lover wasn't a US citizen and had no special expertise with homeland security AND had exaggerated his credentials to get the job is downright criminal.

The fact that the governor is gay shouldn't even be an issue here.

At 1:48 PM, Blogger jrl20 said...

The more I read about this story today, the more I realize that there is much more to it than just a homosexual affair. I agree that the corruption allegations make the whole thing a lot more complicated than I thought it was yesterday.


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