December 4th, 2008
04:23 PM ET

The straight scoop

[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2008/images/12/04/mcgreevey-dina-holdinghands.jpg caption="James McGreevey with Dina Matos during better days"]

Editor’s Note: You can read more Jami Floyd blogs on In Session”

Jami Floyd
AC360° Contributor
In Session Anchor

This year we’ve done lots of important stories on gay marriage: in California, Massachusetts, Connecticut and elsewhere. That debate rages on in the public interest.

But we’ve also done some other stories about marriage and gay people that are motivated by a different interest, our prurient interest. Think about it. Jim McGreevy and his wife got a divorce earlier this year. So do lots of other couples. But we were stuck on the McGreevy’s mostly because he is gay. That is what kept his story alive. How much have you heard about the Spitzers after his notorious infidelity. Visiting a prostitute is illegal but that story pretty much died on the vine.

While an affair with a staffer is also a problem, if Mr. McGreevy had not had his affair with a staffer of the same sex, his story would have died too. Instead it lived on for better than three years. Larry Craig’s toe tapping, same deal. And Mark Foley with his illicit emails.

What interests us more, their dereliction of duty or their secret gay lifestyle? I’m betting the latter. So too in the Rios case going down in Missouri this week. Yes he’s a former police officer. Yes he is charged with murder. But the big headlines are all abut his gay love affair with the victim. And that’s the straight scoop on why we care about these cases.

Filed under: Gay & Lesbian Issues • Jami Floyd
soundoff (8 Responses)
  1. KSuzanne

    Yeah, American public isn't time we finally grew up! A politician is not elected to be a religious leader, judged and chosen on high moral ideals. Rather a politician is to represent his/her district, state, country!

    KSuzanne from San Leandro

    December 5, 2008 at 5:09 am |
  2. Chris Yudah

    A year before Bayard Rustin's death in 1987, he said: "Twenty-five, thirty years ago, the barometer of human rights in the United States were black people. That is no longer true. The barometer for judging the character of people in regard to human rights is now those who consider themselves gay, homosexual, lesbian."

    White politicians having affairs with black women were scandalous 35-50 years ago. Today just two men having an affair with each other makes everyone want to see more. Since it is reported that about 65% of all heterosexual men have at least one "gay" experience by adulthood, perhaps [for men] they are watching to make sure it's not them on the television screen.

    But then again we are the same country that went crazy seeing 5 seconds of Janet Jackson's breast. Just imagine what would of happened if we saw 5 seconds of Justin Timberlake's you know what. The FCC would of shut down the Superbowl for years to come.

    Where is that Mayflower, the Puritans are calling.

    December 5, 2008 at 1:35 am |
  3. Bruce Thompson

    Affairs, "cheating, solicitations, should be addressed and be "newsworthy" based on standards (not sexual orientation) of adult behavior in context with their roles, professions, and their expressed thoughts and work (legislators, political figures for example).

    December 4, 2008 at 10:41 pm |
  4. Antoine P. Brunson

    It is the 21st century. Gay relationships have existed since the beginning of time. I think it is better copy because it is still taboo to a lot of people in the less urban areas of the country. We live in a country that expects boys to be boys. Picking up a pricey girl is acceptable within that mindset. Picking up another boy is outside the scheme of things. . . its more intriguing.

    December 4, 2008 at 7:13 pm |
  5. Joanne, Solvay, NY

    Gay rights should be granted all who seek them. As far as other sexual alliances, proclivity, infidelity, whatever...I don't care. Please politicians, do you job, work for the betterment of the people you represent.

    December 4, 2008 at 7:00 pm |
  6. Cheryl, MN

    Amen, Heather! I have friends who are gay who totally abhor the conduct of all of those public figures. Because infidelity is infidelity.

    December 4, 2008 at 6:42 pm |
  7. Timothy Gibson

    Yet, the biggest story of all times in regards to cheating was our own President Clinton, who faced impeachment hearings as a result. While our outgoing President Bush escapes with a record of war crimes as well as a disaster to the world wide economy with what he calls, his values intact.

    It appears the gay issue is one issue where people honestly are more comfortable with seeing two men with guns in their hands rather than two men holding hands.

    December 4, 2008 at 6:40 pm |
  8. Heather,ca

    You bring up a very good point. However, of all the people you mentioned the one that really was the most disturbing was Mark Foley. Here is a politician who presented himself one way in public and turned out to be the exact opposite of that in private. He made public speeches against internet predators meanwhile he was engaging in the very behavior he was against. That for me is by far the worst. If you recall the image of John Walsh and the people in charge of the Center for missing and exploited children just standing there listening to him and believing in every word he said not knowing he was lying and a real sicko.

    As for the rest, I would love to believe we live in a ideal and perfect society where regardless of who you are and who you love you just dont lie and cheat on your spouse whether you are gay or not, but not going to happen. I dont care if a politician is gay or straight. Cheating is cheating. The pain and hurt is the same. The only difference is most of us by now expect politicians to lie about what they promise to give us the voters when in office, not lying to their family. Larry Craig is a joke. He gave the worst political speech ever made in political history. I guess when there is no news to report in a 24hr news cycle cheating is big news whether gay or not.

    December 4, 2008 at 5:05 pm |