Washington is astir over “The List,” a document that purportedly contains the names of every closeted gay staffer on Capitol Hill. David Corn at the Nation has a copy. While he won’t release the names of the gay staff members, he gives us their job titles and who they work for:
What’s interesting about The List–which includes nine chiefs of staffs, two press secretaries, and two directors of communications–is that (if it’s acucurate) it shows that some of the religious right’s favorite representatives and senators have gay staffers helping them advance their political careers and agendas. These include Representative Katherine Harris and Henry Hyde and Senators Bill Frist, George Allen, Mitch McConnell and Rick Santorum. Should we salute these legislators for being open-minded enough to have such tolerant hiring practices? After all, Santorum in a 2003 AP interview compared homosexuality to bestiality, incest and polygamy. It would be rather big of Santorum to employ a fellow who engages in activity akin to such horrors. That is, if Santorum knows about his orientation.
As Pam Spaulding pointed out, Santorum’s communications director, Robert Traynham, has already been outed. But publication of the list might do additional damage to George Allen, who lost the votes of antisemites, a core constituency in his base, when it was revealed that Allen is technically Jewish. On his staff, my sources tell me he actually has two gay employees. News like this could dampen turnout among another of key constituency — Republican homo-bigot “values voters.”