Republican U.S. Congressman David Dreirer from California, the subject of several high-profile outing attempts, has just announced he will be retiring and will not seek another term. Dreirer voted to support the anti-gay federal Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA), voted to not allow same-sex couples to adopt, and even voted to prevent gays from being protected by federal hate crimes laws — all before being outed by Michael Rogers and Larry Flynt between 2000 and 2004. After his outing — Dreirer never publicly acknowledged if he is gay — did vote in favor of repealing Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell, and against a federal marriage amendment that would have banned same-sex marriage in the U.S. constitution.
The Larry Flynt article, “Gay & Ashamed,” included this excerpt of Dreirer’s voting record, through 2004:
2004: Voted for the Marriage Protection Act. 2001: Supported legislation allowing federally funded charities to discriminate against gays and lesbians, despite local laws. 1999: Opposed the Employment Non-Discrimination Act (as he had in 1996 and ’97). 1998: Voted to prohibit gays and lesbians in the District of Columbia from adopting children (D.C. is 3,000 miles from Dreier’s own district); opposed restoration of funding to the Housing Opportunities for People with AIDS program. 1997: Opposed the Hate Crimes Prevention Act; opposed increases in state AIDS Drug Assistance Programs. 1996: Voted for the Defense of Marriage Act; opposed the Housing Opportunities for People With AIDS program.
Dreier, a bachelor, was passed over for a GOP leadership position in a controversial decision in 2005 that some observers speculated had to do with questions about his sexuality. Rep. Barney Frank (D-Mass.), who is openly gay, was asked if Dreier was passed over because he was too “moderate.”
“Yes, in the sense that I marched in the moderate pride parade last summer and went to a moderate bar,” Frank famously responded, adding that he had no knowledge of his sexuality.
Even in retirement, an beyond, it’s important to never forget who worked to keep the LGBT community second class citizens. No one deserves a pass.
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