Thursday, August 09, 2007

Sad sex scandal hits Republican leader.

Oops, another Republican sex scandal. And once again, a closet case. The Republican at the center of the incident is Glenn Murphy, chair of the Young Republicans National Federation. Mr. Murphy has stepped down from that position. He cited business reasons.

But there may be much more involved such a police investigation. Local media in Indiana, Mr. Murphy’s home state, say he is under investigation “for alleged deviate conduct” with a young man. The man was staying at the home of Murphy’s sister and asleep when he awoke to find Mr. Murphy performing oral sex on him.

It should be noted that in 1998 another young man said the same thing had happened to him. He complained to the police but the police didn’t file charges.

According to police reports the man, along with Murphy and others, had attended a Republican meeting at the sister’s home. There was a lot of drinking and several of them decided to stay the night instead of trying to return home.

The man awoke to find Mr. Murphy engaging in oral sex with him. The alleged victim says he pushed Murphy away and left the premises. Later Murphy called the man and said they had to meet. Murphy told the man the story of what allegedly happened. Murphy claimed he had been feeling ill and climbed down from an upper bunk bed and for some reason laid down on the floor. The alleged victim claims that Murphy tried to tell him that he, the victim, had started stroking Murphy’s head so Mr. Murphy concluded that it was fine to have oral sex with him. The victim says he was sound asleep and woke up when Mr. Murphy started this. Very different stories.

The alleged victim says he also became worried that Murphy had used his cell phone to take pictures of the man and that he grabbed Murphy’s phone and crushed it to destroy them. The alleged victim says that both Murphy, and his sister, had called him numerous times begging him not to file a complaint or tell anyone what had happened. If the victim crushed the phone and Murphy did not file a complaint about that it would seem to indicate that Murphy was very worried about the situation. If Murphy's story is correct, and the victim came on to him by stroking his head, then there is no reason not to complain about the vandalism. The actions of Mr. Murphy here indicates he doesn't believe his own story.

Murphy’s attorney is claiming the incident was consenting. So there is no doubt there was an incident. I find it a bit coincidental that this is the second time the same scenario has played out with Mr. Murphy. At the same time I find the situation more sad than anything else. Certainly if I were the victim in this case I’d be a bit peeved myself. But I don’t think I’d file a police complaint. I don’t think it reaches the level of trespass that I personally find sufficient to warrant the arrest of someone. Other people might feel differently.

If Mr. Murphy is a social conservative who has promoted the antigay agenda of the Theopublicans then I have a hard time feeling too sorry for him. And I find it unlikely that he got to a top position in the Republican Party without being complicit in this antigay agenda. It permeates the party and is hard to miss. At the same time I can see why many gay people can’t exactly join the Democrats either.

Regardless of which party someone is in I would hope they would be working to change it and not simply going along to promote himself.

I clearly am ambivalent on this. He didn’t attack a child. I don’t know of him being a moralistic crusader from the religious fringe. But he certainly gives aid and comfort to the Republicans who are, these days, opponents of freedom and equal rights. But, at the same time, this appears to be such a desperate act that it is sad to witness a man resorting to this to get a little sexual satisfaction out of his life. No doubt his position in the Republican Party forced him to spend a lot of time in the closet. And that is a psychologically damaging place to be.

What is the ideal situation? I would hope that Mr. Murphy realizes, and fully accepts, his own sexuality. Second, I would hope he recognizes that his own party has declared war on him. Regardless of whether he does nor not the GOP is probably finished with him. SInstead of blaming the victim I would hope Mr. Murphy would simply apologize. And I personally would hope the victim withdraws his complaint and the police get on to other more serious matters.

I would then hope Mr. Murphy takes a good, long hard look at himself and his life. He needs to realize how sad it is to fondle and perform oral sex on a sleeping individual. He needs to deal with the reality. Perhaps he should find a nice partner and settle down. His political career is most likely over, at least with the Republicans. And that may be good. It was no doubt lethal to his psychological well-being. I hope he finds himself and some happiness and satisfaction in life and never again find himself driven to such a sad act of desperation.

I should note that this situation is one that worries me. Some years ago I knew a young conservative (far too conservative) ambitious, would-be politician in Indiana. He was a bit strange on some things and wrong on many topics. But like most people he was fundamentally decent. I worked for him for a period of a few months. And there was little that I didn't learn about him. I knew he was sleeping with another Right-wing leader, also a man. I never told anyone. This was before the big anti-gay campaigns and he never discussed the issue and I saw no reason to do so myself.

One day I was informed by the media that he killed himself. They wanted me to comment about the situation. In that moment I had the awful realization that this was someone who just couldn't live with who he was. For the first time in my life I spoke out in favor of the rights of gay people because I knew what drove this man to that final act. And this is one reason, a major reason, that I am so strongly opposed to the efforts of the anti-gay Right. I know precisely how destructive such ideas can be to people. The man I knew didn't deserve to die but he didn't know how to live according to his own values. I wish I could have told him the values were wrong. I couldn't, I was far, far too young and naive myself to have been able to do that. So I truly hope Glenn Murphy finds peace and happiness with who he is.

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