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Jim Colby's Coming Out

StoryAugust 05, 1996
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On Friday six term congress member Jim Colby of Arizona acknowledged that he is gay. Colby came out because The Advocate, a national lesbian and gay magazine, threatened to out him for voting for the Defense of Marriage Act – effectively a vote against same sex marriages. David Grier, who joins us today, applauds Colby for coming out but objects to the general principle of outing and considers Colby to have a pro-gay voting record. Larry Gross, who also joins us, considers outing to be good for the body politic and states Colby’s voting record is weak on gay rights. Larry Gross goes on to describe the first instances of outing during the Aids epidemic. Many highly placed closeted gays in the Reagan administration were seen as being unresponsive to the AIDS crisis. Militant gay organizations like Act Up responded by naming gay officials publicly. Senator Mark Hatfield of Oregon, Governor Jim Thompson of Illinois and Malcolm Forbes were all outed in the 80s.


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