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毎日新聞 2006年10月5日 19時17分
Web posted at: 12:02 JST
Posted on Wed, Oct. 04, 2006
Debate shifts after Foley says he's gay
NEW YORK - By finally acknowledging after years of evasion that he is gay, Mark Foley has altered the debate among conservatives and gays over his overtures to male pages in Congress.
Some conservatives say House Republican leaders knew previously of Foley's sexual orientation and were too lax in investigating his actions for fear of seeming bigoted. Some gays blame Foley's personal problems on being so long in the closet while representing a party hostile to many gay-rights causes.
"This is the problem with the closet: it's a terrible place to be, and it's got to be worse if you're a Republican," said Rep. Barney Frank, D-Mass., who in 1987 became the first member of Congress to voluntarily make his homosexuality public.
As far back as 1996, two years after his election to Congress from a south Florida district, Foley was "outed" by a gay newspaper. Another gay publication ran a similar story in 2003, prompting a Foley news conference at which he denounced the report but again declined to discuss his sexual orientation.
On Tuesday, four days after resigning from Congress because of explicit e-mails to male pages, Foley acknowledged through his lawyer that he is gay. He coupled that disclosure with assertions that he had been molested by a clergyman while a teenager.
Some conservative leaders, who have been pressing the Republicans to oppose gay-rights measures, seized on Foley's disclosure to criticize the House GOP leadership.
"They discounted or downplayed earlier reports concerning Foley's behavior - probably because they did not want to appear 'homophobic,'" said Tony Perkins, president of the Family Research Council. "The Foley scandal shows what happens when political correctness is put ahead of protecting children."
Similarly, former House Speaker Newt Gingrich, in an interview on Fox News, suggested that current House GOP leaders reacted cautiously to initial reports of Foley's e-mails for fear of being perceived as gay-bashing.
Such comments angered leaders of national gay-rights groups, who said Foley's behavior was reprehensible - but should not become grist for harsher attitudes toward gays.
Conservative leaders "continue to try and dodge responsibility for their cover up, instead opting to do what they do best by blaming gays," said Joe Solmonese, president of the Human Rights Campaign. "It is completely unacceptable, regardless of party or sexual orientation, for an adult to engage in this kind of behavior with a minor."
The National Youth Advocacy Coalition, which represents gay and lesbian youth, said Foley should be investigated and, if warranted, prosecuted.
"Some may believe that this is a gay issue. It is not," the coalition said. "This is an issue about protecting children from those who seek to do them harm."
There are now three openly gay members of Congress - Frank, Rep. Tammy Baldwin, D-Wis., and Republican Rep. Jim Kolbe of Arizona, who is not seeking re-election.
Frank predicted Wednesday that the Foley scandal, plus Kolbe's departure, will create a difficult atmosphere for any gays, closeted or not, seeking to remain active nationally as Republican politicians.
"Now they're viewed as causing trouble," Frank said in a telephone interview. "I think you can see a purge coming."
Conservative gay columnist Andrew Sullivan wrote that he was among many in Washington who had heard that Foley was gay yet unwilling to come out.
"What the closet does to people - the hypocrisies it fosters, the pathologies it breeds - is brutal," Sullivan wrote on his Web site. "From what I've read, Foley is another example of this destructive and self-destructive pattern for which the only cure is courage and honesty."
Sullivan also asserted that many closeted gay men in Washington work for the Republicans despite what he described as GOP policies "deeply hostile to gay dignity."
The president of the Gay and Lesbian Victory Fund, which recruits openly gay candidates to run for office, said many of those remaining in the closet "think there's something wrong with being gay."
"From what we've seen of Mark's actions, he felt is was OK to be gay on the side, but not to be openly gay," said Chuck Wolfe, who has known Foley for many years. "It was all on the sly."
Among the gay activists who had been trying to "out" Foley was Michael Rogers, who runs a Web site aimed at exposing closeted Republicans whose political work includes opposing gay rights.
"The conservative side is encouraging them to hide their lives from public view," Rogers said. "Had Foley lived his life openly and been proud of who he is, this never would have happened."
The D.C. Closet: Frank discusses the Foley scandal and the climate for gay politicians in Washington
The D.C. Closet
Openly gay Rep. Barney Frank discusses the Mark Foley e-mail scandal and the climate for gay politicians in Washington.
Frank: Foley’s sexual orientation ‘was an open secret in Washington’
By Matthew Link
Special to Newsweek
Updated: 4:32 p.m. ET Oct. 4, 2006
Oct. 4, 2006 - Rep. Mark Foley isn’t the first member of Congress to deal with a scandal involving young men. Former congressman Gerry Studds admitted in 1983 to having sex with a 17-year-old male page, and Rep. Barney Frank, the longest serving of the current three openly gay members of the House of Representatives, dealt with his own scandal involving a male prostitute in 1989. While Studds and Frank went on to successful careers in the House, that obviously won’t be the case for Foley, who abruptly resigned last Friday after his lurid e-mails and instant messages to male pages were disclosed. On Tuesday, Foley announced, through his lawyer, that he is gay and in alcohol rehabilitation. Foley's attorney added that the congressman never had any physical contact with a page. NEWSWEEK's Matthew Link spoke with Frank about the Foley revelations and what life is like for out and closeted gays in Washington. Excerpts:
NEWSWEEK: As one of the few openly gay politicians in Congress, did you know that Representative Foley was also gay?
Barney Frank: It was an open secret in Washington. I personally didn’t have much interaction with him beyond the floor of Congress. Foley wanted to be close to the Tom DeLays and to be an insider Republican. But he did vote better than some closeted politicians—he voted for the Defense of Marriage Act, but against the constitutional amendment on gay marriage.
Do you think the House Republican leadership turned a blind eye toward Foley’s behavior involving pages?
The hypocrisy of the Republicans is that they have more concern for a gay man who misbehaves than for fair treatment of gays who don’t misbehave. They told him to stop, but I think it was like they didn’t want to know. It was wishful thinking—they were hoping the problem would just go away. Maybe there were gay Republicans who were afraid of what would happen if any of this got attention. Hushing it up was better.
What happens now for gays in the Republican Party?
Gay Republicans were already on shaky ground because they were part of such an anti-gay party. They are more of them than you would think. This is a real crisis, since [previously], gays in the Republican Party were willing to be tolerated, but now they may not even get that. It could be a witch hunt, since now there is the sense within the party that “you are causing us trouble.”
Will this scandal affect the outcome of the November election?
It’s more like the bale that broke the camel’s back. This type of thing pisses off both the religious fundamentalists as well as the soccer moms. Since it’s an off-year election, I think people will just simply not vote.
Republican Rep. Dan Crane and Democratic Rep. Gerry Studds both had sexual scandals with pages—female and male respectively. With this track record, were you that surprised about this scandal?
I was personally surprised. We members of Congress don’t have that much face time with pages anyway. Most members don’t pay them a lot of personal attention, and maybe that’s why Foley was popular with the pages. I don’t think this has gotten more attention because it was a boy, although there may be more titillation because of the gay angle. There would probably be just as much uproar if it was an underage female, because of Foley’s work with children.
Do you see any correlation between this scandal and your own scandal in 1989?
The difference between Foley’s scandal and mine is that mine didn’t involve someone underage, and I wasn’t abusing my power over someone who worked under me. And of course I wasn’t the co-chairman of the House Caucus on Missing and Exploited Children. But since I was in the closet at that time, I understand how I was looking for physical and emotional outlets, maybe how Foley was. Being in the closet doesn’t make you do dumb things, doesn’t justify you doing dumb things, it just makes them likelier.
What do you think about President Bush’s reaction through all this?
There’s not much he can do. They may be happy to get the attention off the Woodward book for a change. You almost get the feeling that the country under them has turned into a disaster movie.
© 2006 Newsweek, Inc.
所属議員に醜聞、米共和党に逆風 (日本経済 2006/10/05)
米中間選挙 共和党下院議長の進退論議も わいせつメールで大揺れ (産経 2006/10/05)
性的醜聞 米共和党大揺れ 下院議員辞職「対応怠った」 幹部の責任論浮上
The Washington Post
Shinzo Abe and the Japan of World War II
Wednesday, October 4, 2006; A24
The Sept. 25 editorial "Japan's Future -- and Past" criticized former prime minister Junichiro Koizumi and his successor, Shinzo Abe, claiming that Japan's right wing has made the error of glossing over the country's war guilt. The criticism lacks foundation in fact.
The government of Japan has acknowledged that Japan, through its colonial rule and aggression, caused tremendous damage and suffering to the people of many countries, particularly those of Asian nations. Mr. Koizumi officially stated this position both at home and abroad based on a cabinet resolution.
Mr. Abe has clearly stated that he has no intention of changing this acknowledgment. Further, Mr. Abe has made it clear publicly on a number of occasions -- including in a forum of Japan's parliament -- that Japan fully accepts the judgments of the International Military Tribunal for the Far East and is in no position to object to those judgments.
The editorial's statement that "he seems likely to dilute Japan's pacifism further" is based on speculation and is certain to mislead your readers.
Mr. Abe's position should be abundantly clear from his own words before parliament: "Amid the progress our country has made since 1945, we have painfully reflected over the past war to make Japan a peaceful country, and have worked hard for its stability and prosperity. We have built a free and democratic Japan. I am proud that the Japan we have created protects basic human rights and is contributing to peace in the international society."
Although it is true that Japan's response to historical issues has provoked dissatisfaction and criticism from neighboring countries, the view that these countries are playing the "history card" also deserves attention.
Minister for Public Affairs
Embassy of Japan
Washington Post Editorial: Japan's Future -- and Past
性的醜聞 米共和党大揺れ 下院議員辞職「対応怠った」 幹部の責任論浮上 2006/10/05 00:11
Washington Times Editorial
Resign, Mr. Speaker
Published October 3, 2006
The facts of the disgrace of Mark Foley, who was a Republican member of the House from a Florida district until he resigned last week, constitute a disgrace for every Republican member of Congress. Red flags emerged in late 2005, perhaps even earlier, in suggestive and wholly inappropriate e-mail messages to underage congressional pages. His aberrant, predatory -- and possibly criminal -- behavior was an open secret among the pages who were his prey. The evidence was strong enough long enough ago that the speaker should have relieved Mr. Foley of his committee responsibilities contingent on a full investigation to learn what had taken place, whether any laws had been violated and what action, up to and including prosecution, were warranted by the facts. This never happened.
Rep. John Shimkus of Illinois, the Republican chairman of the House Page Board, said he learned about the Foley e-mail messages "in late 2005." Rep. John Boehner of Ohio, the leader of the Republican majority, said he was informed of the e-mail messages earlier this year. On Friday, Mr. Hastert dissembled, to put it charitably, before conceding that he, too, learned about the e-mail messages sometime earlier this year. Late yesterday afternoon, Mr. Hastert insisted that he learned of the most flagrant instant-message exchange from 2003 only last Friday, when it was reported by ABC News. This is irrelevant. The original e-mail messages were warning enough that a predator -- and, incredibly, the co-chairman of the House Caucus on Missing and Exploited Children -- could be prowling the halls of Congress. The matter wasn't pursued aggressively. It was barely pursued at all. Moreover, all available evidence suggests that the Republican leadership did not share anything related to this matter with any Democrat.
Now the scandal must unfold on the front pages of the newspapers and on the television screens, as transcripts of lewd messages emerge and doubts are rightly raised about the forthrightness of the Republican stewards of the 109th Congress. Some Democrats are attempting to make this "a Republican scandal," and they shouldn't; Democrats have contributed more than their share of characters in the tawdry history of congressional sexual scandals. Sexual predators come in all shapes, sizes and partisan hues, in institutions within and without government. When predators are found they must be dealt with, forcefully and swiftly. This time the offender is a Republican, and Republicans can't simply "get ahead" of the scandal by competing to make the most noise in calls for a full investigation. The time for that is long past.
House Speaker Dennis Hastert must do the only right thing, and resign his speakership at once. Either he was grossly negligent for not taking the red flags fully into account and ordering a swift investigation, for not even remembering the order of events leading up to last week's revelations -- or he deliberately looked the other way in hopes that a brewing scandal would simply blow away. He gave phony answers Friday to the old and ever-relevant questions of what did he know and when did he know it? Mr. Hastert has forfeited the confidence of the public and his party, and he cannot preside over the necessary coming investigation, an investigation that must examine his own inept performance.
A special, one-day congressional session should elect a successor. We nominate Rep. Henry Hyde, also of Illinois, the chairman of the House International Relations Committee whose approaching retirement ensures that he has no dog in this fight. He has a long and principled career, and is respected on both sides of the aisle. Mr. Hyde would preside over the remaining three months of the 109th Congress in a manner best suited for a full and exhaustive investigation until a new speaker for the 110th Congress is elected in January, who can assume responsibility for the investigation.