So How Did I Miss This?

Monday, February 28, 2005

So How Did I Miss This?

This news has been floating around for a few years on the Web, the mainstream press and the blogosphere. But, somehow, it was news to me -- conservative commentator-for-hire Armstrong Williams settled a sexual harassment lawsuit in 1999 that had been filed by a former male employee, Stephen Gregory.

The 1997 accused Armstrong of more than 50 incidents of sexual harassment, alleging that Williams grabbed his buttocks and genitals on business trips. Soon after he rejected Williams' sexual advances, Gregory charged that Williams fired him.

Williams settled the case out of court two years after it was filed.

Just recently, the GOP-funded (Talon) reporter-for-hire Jeff Gannon resigned his job after it was disclosed that he had advertised his services on the Web as a gay escort. Gannon tried to refute charges of hypocrisy by liberal bloggers who accused him of having written anti-gay comments.

Although Gannon's writings carried an anti-gay tone, I haven't seen anything virulently anti-gay that he has written. But, considering what Armstrong Williams has penned over the years, the commentator-for-hire has no leg to stand on when it comes to hypocrisy charges -- if, I hasten to add, it's true that Williams pursues (and harasses) men behind the scenes.

On his blog, Mike Tidmus shared this excerpt from a February 2004 article that Armstrong Williams wrote (all italics are mine):
“Ever since the Massachusetts State Supreme Court’s Nov. 19 decision to legalize same-sex unions, the nightly news has been saturated with images of gay couples rushing to the altar. This sickens me.”
Last November, Williams wrote this column, arguing that:
"Despite the rhetoric that you hear from the homosexual Cosa Nostra, the lack of support for the gay marriage amendment has nothing to do with prejudice ... It is about recognizing that marriage between man and woman is the bedrock of our society.

"... To abruptly break from those values would have a disastrous effect on our society. For starters, it would speed along the breakdown of family and society. Pushing the homosexual agenda into the mainstream would also inevitably legitimize homosexual adoption. This is truly frightening.

"... placing children in homosexual households would create for these children the sort of gender confusion and social scrutiny that ignites a lifetime of emotional turmoil. I am unwilling to martyr a generation of children just to make a political statement about homosexual rights. Nor am I willing to trash the most fundamental values of our culture."

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