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» Scarleteen Boards: 2000 - 2014 (Archive) » SCARLETEEN CENTRAL » Sexual Ethics and Politics » Outing politicians: Ethical?

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Author Topic: Outing politicians: Ethical?
orca
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http://potw.news.yahoo.com/s/potw/51/brokeback-hill

A guy on a blog has been outing politicians. He only goes after those who try to make laws against homosexuality yet are gay themselves. Is this really ethical? What is everyone's opinions on this?

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Listen, strange women lyin' in ponds distributin' swords is no basis for a system of government. Supreme executive power derives from a mandate from the masses, not from some farcical aquatic ceremony.--Monty Python and the Holy Grail

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Gumdrop Girl
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It's not ethical to out anyone. Declaring one's sexual orientation is a deeply personal matter that should only be done on one's own terms.

Outing a person is right up there with divulging a person's protected medical information.

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orca
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The thing is, this is someone's PRIVATE life, not public life. Why does that matter? Yeah, you might not agree with their politics, but that doesn't mean you should out them, thus endangering their job and the chance of future jobs. If it was ok to out someone just because you don't like their policies, then that would mean it's ok to out someone for spilling a drink on you.

I'm just wondering why it is that a politician's private life matters at all to the public. So long as it isn't effecting their policies, or they aren't murderers, why does their private life matter at all? This issue of politicians' private lives is being play out by the media quite a bit. The religion of the presidential candidates is being questioned all the time, though I don't see how that really has an effect on if they'll make a good president or not. A person can be a certain religion or a certain sexuality or a certain gender, but that doesn't mean they are going to have certain political ideals. Shouldn't we be focusing on those ideals more instead, like what their views are on stem cell research, gay marriage, the war, separation of church and state, and abortion, rather than whether they prefer men or women or whether they believe in several gods, one god, or no gods at all.

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Listen, strange women lyin' in ponds distributin' swords is no basis for a system of government. Supreme executive power derives from a mandate from the masses, not from some farcical aquatic ceremony.--Monty Python and the Holy Grail

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-Lauren-
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It's a fuzzy area. I mean, at one end of the spectrum, outing someone is unethical and a huge violation of their privacy. On that same track, how is reliable information that a politician even IS homosexual obtained?

On the other end, I'm for hypocrisy being pointed out where it exists, and I absolutely think politicians should be called out as people partially in control of so many aspects of American life if they're found to be legislating against behavior they freely engage in themselves.

I guess I'd say I'm on the fence.

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Ikeren
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quote:
Yeah, you might not agree with their politics, but that doesn't mean you should out them, thus endangering their job and the chance of future jobs.
I'm saddened because I believe this statement is true. If a politician is demonstrated to be gay, you are endangering their career. Which really shouldn't be.

I believe the reason religious questions come up is because theoretically, a president is representing their nations best interests. If the president is a member of say, a radical Islam sect (Mujahadeen, got his education in a madrass in Pakistan), I could see why it may be an issue.

The other reason it is asked is because people still (somewhat incorrectly) tie religion to morals - theoretically, in some people's minds, a "good Christian" President would be better than a "good Atheist" President, because people think they have a firmer understanding of the moral compass that is found in the faith.

And regarding sexuality, religion, gender, I would say it does have some effect when considering personal bias, and thus, the questions are fair. Most women wouldn't take away women's rights (I know, I know, Margaret Thatcher. But...there are extremes. I said most). It is likely a conservative Christian President wouldn't be gung-ho about abortion, stem cell research, and be in favour of separation of church and state.

You know what? I think I may be all wrong.

Because that line of reasoning says "and a homosexual politician wouldn't do anything anti-homosexual." because apparently they do.

Alright. If we apply Utalitarianism to this; most good/least harm. One could argue while it may hurt a certain politicians career, it will do much good for one of the most under-represented/harmed/discriminated groups in the nation.

If we apply Kant's Categorical Imperative (Would it be okay if everyone did it in the same situation.) - It could still be argued yes.
Condition 1: Person campaigning against homosexual rights.
Condition 2: Person has some power and public life.
Condition 3: Person themselves is gay.
In those circumstances, would it be okay for everyone(anyone) to out someone doing those things? I think the answer is yes, because of condition 1.

Outing someone is wrong, I would agree, unless certain conditions are met. I don't think one of the conditions would be "I dislike them" or "it's ok to out someone for spilling a drink on you." - I think one of the conditions would have to be that they are causing great harm that could be ameliorated or affected by outing them.

You're meeting 2 major ethical systems. Good enough for me.

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19, male, interested in Sadomasochism (BDSM) and some bisexual tendancies.

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