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Is it right to out an anti-gay evangelical leader who's a closet case?

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I laud Azariah Southworth (for his name, first of all, and) for even worrying about the outing. It's what separates us from the bad guys, be they Republican or evangelical (or both) - we actually think and worry about our actions.

He was 100% right to out this young man who is a rising evangelical leader, the son of the former Southern Baptist leader (who's a raging homophobe), and a vocal homophobe in his own right.

From Azariah writing in Salon:
Outing Jonathan was not an easy decision. I mulled it over for more than a year and discussed it with friends. Those conversations always ended in, “Yeah, it’s probably not a good idea.” So, what changed my mind?

I was tired of the lies. I was tired of hearing Jonathan say that being gay is not “God’s best.” Meanwhile he enjoys the company of men. Jonathan’s approach to LGBT people and issues may be less extreme than that of the late Jerry Falwell, but in the end the results and message are the same: Your sexual orientation is a sin and you need to change with God’s help. It’s all lies — and the conversation not only needs to change but the leaders as well.

I’m tired of my humanity as a gay man being invalidated by hypocritical leaders like Jonathan, who then expect my support in return.

But I do feel conflict. I do feel a sense of guilt. And that’s because I do have one regret, which is not discussing it with Jonathan first. That was wrong of me. If I had to do this all over again, I would have contacted him first and then decided how to handle the situation from there based on his reaction. (Merritt has admitted in an interview that “we had physical contact that went beyond the bounds of friendship.”)

Outing a person is complex. There is no blanket formula for how and when and why to do it. I don’t think it’s right in every situation. If someone is in the closet and they’re not making an effort to demonize LGBT people, then I say, leave them alone. But if someone is using a public platform to discuss these issues, and doing that while hiding behind a false identity that ultimately destroys the foundation of the arguments they’re making, then, yes, a full disclosure of that person’s false identity is in order. Go to that person and let them know your intentions. If they refuse to come forward with the truth, then publicly call out their hypocrisy.
Spot on.

I'm not a super fan of invading people's privacy, it has to be seriously merited (and I've never bought the "you're a public figure so it's all fair game" argument - that's a cop out, it's nobody's business what Anderson Cooper's boyfriend is up to). In this case, the guy is gay, or quasi-gay, and anti-gay - and an anti-gay public figure, which means hes causing active harm to our community while living as a hypocrite. That's not acceptable.

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