What a difference a party makes.

Gerry Studds, the first openly gay Congressman in American history died today.

I think it should be fair to history to note that he didn't choose to be openly gay. That choice was made for him in 1983 when it was discovered that in 1973 he had a sexual relationship with an underage male page.

Now that scandal has caused some to compare him to Rep. Mark Foley. However those comparisons are unfair.

Foley only sent e-mails and instant messages to a page, who claims to have been 18 at the time they were written, but they didn't engage in any actual sexual activity.

Studds had actual sexual intercourse with an underage page.

Foley was hounded out of Congress, and out of the Republican Party.

Studds, a Democrat, was re-elected and served in Congress till 1997.

Now I'm not saying that Mark foley is being treated unfairly.

In fact Foley deserves to be tossed to the wolves.


Studds deserved to be tossed to the wolves as well.

Both men did wrong.

Both showed a supreme unfitness to serve as lawmakers. Both showed extreme poor judgement in controlling their baser appetites and both violated, if not the letter of the law, the spirit of simple moral decency.

However, Studds was a Democrat. You never ask Democrats to resign over the shame they've brought to their office with their behaviour. That would violate their 'rights' and it would make you a bigot to expect them to act with the same sort of decorum you would expect from everyone else.

If Foley was a Democrat, would there be any of this 'controversy' in the media? Or would they treat it like Harry Reid's shady land deals and give it the barest glance?

What a difference a party makes.

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