What a Difference a Party Makes

October 14th, 2006 2:50 PM
From MSNBC (Studds' party affiliation is mentioned only in reference to Mark Foley in this story):

First openly gay person elected to Congress dies

BOSTON - Former U.S. Rep. Gerry Studds, the first openly gay person elected to Congress, died early Saturday at Boston Medical Center, several days after he collapsed while walking his dog, his husband said.

Down below, MSNBC acknowledges the sex scandal that caused Congress to censure Studds:
In 1983, Studds acknowledged his homosexuality after the page revealed he’d had a relationship with Studds a decade earlier, when the page was 17. Studds was censured for sexual misconduct by the House, then went home to his constituents to answer questions in a series of public meetings and interviews with the press.
But it's okay that Studds used his position to take advantage of a young page because:
Hara [Studds' spouse under Mass. gay marriage law] said Studds was never ashamed of the relationship with the page.

“This young man knew what he was doing,” Hara said. “He was at (Studds’) side.”

Contrast this gentle treatment of sexual exploitation with ABC's  obfuscation of the true age of the 18 year old former page who engaged in a salacious Instant Messenger exchange with Republican Congressman Mark Foley - an exchange that it was later revealed may have been a prank.

Update: More blog reaction

The News Buckit notes the standing ovation Studds received from his constituents following the censure vote.

James Joyner at Outside the Beltway wryly reminds us that Studds became openly gay only after being outed in the page scandal.

Wizbang! puts a point on it: "Unlike Mark Foley, Studds actually had sex with male pages."