Well, that would be the headline if US Rep. Gerry Studds were a Republican.
Instead, the media coverage has glossed over this minor little inconvenient fact and has focused on the reaction of liberals hailing Studds as a “gay pioneer”.
“Gerry’s leadership changed Massachusetts forever and we’ll never forget him. His work on behalf of our fishing industry and the protection of our waters has guided the fishing industry into the future and ensured that generations to come will have the opportunity to love and learn from the sea. He was a steward of the oceans.”
– U.S. Sen. Edward Kennedy, D-Mass.
“No one fought harder for human rights, particularly in Latin America; for our environment; and for the fishermen of New England and the entire nation. He was a true pioneer.”
– U.S. Rep. Jim McGovern, D-Mass., whose wife, Lisa, once worked as an aide to Studds.
“Gerry often said that it was the fight for gay and lesbian equality that was the last great civil rights chapter in modern American history. He did not live to see its final sentences written, but all of us will forever be indebted to him for leading the way with compassion and wisdom. He gave people of his generation, of my generation, and of future generations the courage to be who they are.”
– Dean Hara, who married Studds in 2004.
Yep, Studds is in the same league as other pioneering gay icons like George Michael, Mark Foley and Jim McGreevey. Except Studds actually did have sex with an underage Congressional page… and boasted about it.
Studds was never ashamed of the relationship with the page.
“This young man knew what he was doing,” Hara said. “He was at (Studds’) side.”
Studds told his colleagues in a speech on the floor of the House that everyone faces a daily challenge of balancing public and private lives.
“These challenges are made substantially more complex when one is, as am I, both an elected public official and gay,” Studds said at the time.
So bravo, Gerry Studds. You were the first Congressman to be out, proud, and a confessed child predator who is still bravely defended by your political party. What a great role model for gays who followed you. I shall miss you.