Is Markos Moulitsas (DailyKos) a Closeted Gay Homophobe Blogger?
Over at my Truth About Kos Blog, where I first published this inquiry, I made it clear that
I don't think anyone should "out" gays out of antagonism toward gays or a homophobic desire to embarrass gays. However, when public figures who are secretly gay make a public point and spectacle of denouncing gays publicly, while denying their own private and strong homosexual desires, and sometimes homesexual behavior, then I believe it is constructive to "out" such public figures." Why? Because demonstrating the hypocrisy of the public vs. private positions of these gay public figures compels them and entire societies to confront homophobia and reevaluate it in the light of the reality than many of those who persecute gays and fight gay rights are secretly gay themselves. It is in this context that, we intruduce a letter that Markos C. A. Moulitsas Zuniga (MAMZ) wrote to his college newspaper, published on January 25, 1993 (below) in which Moulitsas Zúñiga:
(a) condemned Bill Clinton for seeking to allow gays to serve openly in the military, and
MAMZ joined the US Army in 1988, at the age of 17, and says he remained in he US Army for four years. Is it possible that MAMZ wanted to be the only gay in the military so that he would be at less risk of acting out his own homosexual feelings and desires? One study shows quite conclusively that subjects who are most antagonistic toward gays are also the most aroused sexually when they watch films of men having sex with other men. We should absolutely consider this study as we read MAMZ's virulently homophobic letter below. But first, here an abstract of the study, showing the potential relationship between the virulent homophobia in MAMZ letter (below) and MAMZ own sexuality.
Homophobia and Homosexual Arousal
A 1996 study done by the Psychology department at the University of Georgia and subsequently published in the prestigious Journal of Abnormal Psychology concluded with some very interesting findings. The title of the study was Is Homophobia Associated with Homosexual Arousal. While we have all heard anecdotal just-so stories explaining outward homophobia as some sort of denial or projection, this study gathers empirical data to support these types of hypotheses. This is not good news for the ego of the hondo-macho type.
The basics of the study
The researchers gathered 64 male University of Georgia students to participate in the study. They were all fully informed about the nature of the study and were told they could stop at any time. Once they showed up for the study, they were given a few surveys that have been historically demonstrated to be valid assessment devices. The survey that is probably of most interest here is a survey designed to measure the level of homophobic tendencies or homonegativity. After the surveys were administered, the participants were instructed how to fit the apparatus taken to a private room. Once in the private room, baseline measurements were taken before a display randomly showed three types of sexually explicit videos: heterosexual, homosexual-females, and homosexual-males.
The apparatus was basically a band that the participants wore around their penis. The band contains technology that measures the circumference of the participant's junk. Any increased blood flow due to arousal is measured by the increase in penile circumference. While this may be kind of funny, it is a time tested measure that has been used in numerous studies.
In the analysis of the data, two groups were compared. High score homophobic males and low score homophobic males. These categories were determined by the scores obtained from the before mentioned survey.
The interesting part
Both groups showed an overall increase in penis circumference while watching all three categories of sexually explicit material. But the only instance where there was a significant difference in engorgement between the homophobes and non-homophobes was during the homosexual-male porn. The homophobic males showed significantly more engorgement while watching two men go at it than the non-homophobic males. BodyBuilding.Com citing Adams, H.E., Lester, Wright, L.W., and Lohr, B.A. (1996) Is homophobia associated with sexual arousal? Journal of Abnormal Psychology. 105(3) 440-445. [PDF]
Is Markos Moulitsas gay? I don't know the answer to that question. But, is Markos Moulitsas among those "homophobic males" who could be expected to demonstrate significantly more homoerotic penis engorgement when he watched gay films? The above study would seem to indicate that he might well be one of those homosexual homoerotic gay men. It's a question whose answer will undoubtedly become known in the fullness of time. Admittedly, this is a question about his sexuality, not an assertion of a known truth. And yet the letter that MAMZ wrote to his college newspaper, the Northern Illinois University Northern Star, should be considered, particularly in light of the above study. However, as reported in Paragraph (6) of "The Indictment of Markos C.A. Moulitsas ZÚÑIGA by Justice and History (Updated with Additional Information and Counts)":
6). Markos C.A. Moulitsas ZÚÑIGA (MAMZ) is not a "liberal" and he is not a "progressive." In an essay submitted to the Northern Illinois University campus newspaper, the Northern Star, MAMZ strenuously opposed ALL service by gays in the US military, a position more extremely Republican and discriminatory than that taken by many other military members and conservatives. Northern Star
Here's the letter:
It's truly disturbing how much ado has been made over Bill Clinton´s campaign promise to lift the ban on homosexuals from the U.S. military. It's ironic how it has taken a president who has never served in the military to make a promise that affects the military in such a negative manner. Those who have served in the military, such as myself, understand the demands and pressures of military life are incompatible with allowing integration with homosexuals.
I´m neither socially conservative or prejudiced, and neither is liberal columnist Mike Royko, Gen. Colin Powell, and influential liberal Democrats Sam Nunn and Les Aspin, all who´ve come out against lifting the ban.
Under military circumstances, as much has to be done as possible to focus the unit's mission and keep disciplinary problems to a minimum. Worrying about whether the known homosexual sleeping next to you is watching as you change your underwear may seem trivial as you read this, but to the soldier who's short-tempered after three weeks in the field and four hours of daily sleep, it becomes a matter of great importance to his pride and sensibilities. And in any case, there aren't many people who would change clothes in a group of co-workers if members of the opposite sex were in the same room watching. There is something inherently uncomfortable about it.
Such fears would go a long way in disrupting efficiency and morale in a unit. MARKOS C.A. MOULITSAS Undecided Freshman
As a result of opposition from ex-military people like MAMZ, the US Congress legislated the "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" regime, thereby preventing any president, including President Obama, from opening the military to gays by executive order.
As The Truth About Kos reported earlier,
Cherry Andel, a business student at NIU, contemporaneously criticized Moultisas' stand against gays in the military, saying:I'd like to address this letter to Marcos C. Moulitsas. First, do not assume that former military service people share your views. Rest assured that this one does not. I resent the fact that you assume that just because I'm prior service, I share your opinion. Second, if a military unit is inefficient and morale is down, that is the entire unit's fault and not just one soldier's fault. As military personnel, we are trained to accomplish a mission. If you cannot accomplish that mission because you're worried about who's watching you while you change your underwear, it sounds like you don't have the right mental attitude.
MAMZ has since admitted that he "was an asshole" when he campaigned against gays in the military and against gay rights in general. In fact, even the word "asshole" takes on special meaning in the context of a discussion of common homosexuals sex practices, desires, and behavior. Why not simply acknowledge that he was homophobic, without this remarkable reference to specific body parts that serve an integral part of homosexual intimate relationships? What, exactly, does MAMZ mean when he says he was an "asshole" during the period when he publicly expressed the most virulently homophobic feelings. Is he referring to his desired role in heterosexual relations? Gay or not, MAMZ should acknowledge the petition on behalf of gays and their rights, and he should disavow his (above) homophobic rant against gays. As the Truth About Kos wrote in 2007, when it first discovered MAMZ's homophobic letter in his college newspaper archives,
John M. Shalikashvili, a retired army general, was chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff from 1993 to 1997. Explaining historically why gays are not allowed in the military today, Gen. Shalikashvili said this year in a New York Times Op-Ed piece,
In the early 1990s, large numbers of military personnel were opposed to letting openly gay men and lesbians serve. President Bill Clinton, who promised to lift the ban during his campaign, was overwhelmed by the strength of the opposition, which threatened to overturn any executive action he might take.
Markos A.C. Moulitsas Zúñiga (MAMZ) was one of the ex-military whose vocal opposition to gays' participation in the media made it politically impossible for Bill Clinton to make good on his campaign promise to allow gays to serve in the military.
Regardless of whether he is gay or not, which is of little interest to me, if MAMZ is truly a "liberal blogger" and a "leftist" and a "progessive" (in spite of having acknowledged in an audio tape that he was trained for two years at the CIA while starting his "progressive blog") then he has an obligation as a public figure to embrace gay rights in 2009 at least as publicly as he denounced gay rights in 1993. Once he does so, whether he is gay or not is between him and his lovers, regardless of their sexual orientation.