In the past few years, there have been many scandals where politicians have been accused of being closeted homosexuals. The allegations usually are true, and, in a strange twist, the politicians tend to be anti-gay in almost every respect. Kirby Dick explores this hypocrisy in Outrage, a documentary which hasn’t been widely viewed among the American people. Outrage mostly targets Republican politicians, but it also discusses a prominent Democrat who is no longer in office.
The film begins with the saga of Larry Craig, the senator from Idaho who was caught soliciting sex in a Minneapolis airport bathroom. Rumors had circulated about Larry Craig for many years about his sexuality. He married a woman named Suzanne Thompson who already had three children from a previous marriage in 1983 seemingly to quell these rumors. After the scandal, she stood by his side and asserted that her husband wasn’t gay. Larry Craig didn’t resign from congress after his arrest came to light, but he didn’t run for re-election in 2008. Outrage examines other claims that came forth about Larry Craig’s sexuality. Larry Craig consistently supported anti-gay legislation throughout his run as a congressman.
Charlie Crist is also outed as a gay man who also supported anti-gay legislation as the governor of Florida. He also was a Republican. Now, he is an Independent running for the senate in Florida. Charlie Crist was considering a run for the presidency of the United States. The best support for Charlie Crist’s homosexuality is a statement from a former girlfriend who says “Call me in ten years, and I’ll tell you some stories” in response to a question about Crist being gay. However, the support isn’t overwhelming.
Ed Koch, a Democrat, is also outed. He was the mayor of New York City from 1978 to 1989. Ed Koch never married and refused to discuss his sexuality in interviews, but he also did little about the AIDS epidemic that was ravaging the gay community during his stint as the mayor. Koch has still not revealed his sexuality and thinks it is no one’s business.
One person mentioned as being in the closet is Ken Mehlman who has recently revealed himself to be gay. Among political circles it was no secret that Ken Mehlman was gay, and Outrage even suggests that Washington D. C. is full of gay people who make excellent aides because they can work long hours and don’t have families. Overall, Outrage is a controversial movie that has led to some debate about whether politicians should be outed in this form, but Kirby Dick argues that there is no debate. He says that the fact that they vote against a group of people to which they belong makes them targets for outing. Outrage is a fascinating documentary with excellent special features. It’s worth a view.