October 21, 2006
'Peds, queers, fags your in Idaho now'
Posted by: Chris
No, it's not a sign welcoming home Idaho Sen. Larry Craig (R) the subject of a D.C.-based "outing campaign." It's the message board sign outside the landscape supply and horse-boarding business owned by Joe Valentine in Post Falls, Idaho. The side of the message board visible for southbound travelers was even more hospitable: "Don't fruit with Idaho. Kill Yo-Yo Boy."
According to a story in the Spokane Spokesman-Review, the same paper that reported Craig's denial of gay rumors, Valentine didn't post the sign to target the Republican senator:
According to Valentine, “Yo-Yo Boy” is his nickname for convicted killer and child molester Joseph Duncan, who killed three members of a Coeur d’Alene family and allegedly abducted two children from the family home so he could rape and molest them.
“People are kind of numb. I think they need to wake up a little bit,” said Valentine, who drives classic cars emblazoned with the Confederate flag. One has a horn that plays “Dixie.”
With enlightened constituents like Valentine, ready to smear all gay people based on the depraved acts of one homicidal (not homosexual) pedophile, it's easy to imagine why an aspiring gay politician might want to remain in the closet.
I'm among the first to criticize elected officials for hiding their homosexuality because it's politically inconvenient, but raw bigotry like Valentine's does pose an interesting question: Should gay candidates be essentially disqualified from office, or at least higher, statewide office, based on the intolerance of their constituents?
Outing activists would probably argue that so long as they don't stake an anti-gay policy positions — and Larry Craig has among the worst gay rights records in the U.S. Senate — then it's OK to serve from inside the closet. But is hypocrisy the only justification for inquiring into a public official's sexual orientation (not sex life)? What about deceiving constituents in general about who they are? Is that lie justified by the likely career damage based on bigotry that would be caused from being honest?
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