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Both Sides


Lucky
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It was recently revealed that the former Episcopal bishop of New York, Paul Moore, led a secret gay life, even after fathering nine children. Moore, known as a crusading liberal, was actually the first gay Episcopal bishop by this account. It's a sad commentary, I think, that this man of such courage could not be open about who he was.

 

Today the NY Times has the obituary of a lawyer who led conservative causes for religion and anti-gay rights. He was the personal lawyer to Oral Roberts at one time.

 

However, in 2002, he was arrested "on charges of uttering obscenities and making sexual advances toward a male undercover police officer at an overlook on the Blue Ridge Parkway." He plead no contest to disorderly conduct as the judge told him "That area had been notorious for problems of an unsavory sort...there's no question that you shouldn't have been there."

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"It's a sad commentary, I think, that this man [Paul Moore] of such courage could not be open about who he was."

 

I know two Roman Catholic priest, one straight and one gay, who are the same age as Paul Moore when he died. The straight priest has had a number of different girl friends in the 41 years since we met. I was pretty hard on him over the years for what I saw as a lack of courage.

I was wrong.

 

Many of the people who post here are a generation (or two) younger than these men --- a huge amount of time on this issue. Some of us also have jobs where our sexual orientation makes little or no difference.

 

I am glad that Paul Moore had a (very silent) partner, at least in his last years, who talks with Moore's daughter in last week's NEW YORKER.

 

By the way, You only presented one point of view. Why "Both Sides"?

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One person was secretly gay but working to further gay rights.

The other was apparently gay but working against gay rights.

 

That's both sides of the coin. I think Moore did considerably more for us that the other guy did, and he was courageous for his times. Whenever I see gay men still in the closet, I realize I am not in their shoes and cannot judge the situation. But when someone who is gay is working against gay rights, I find that deplorable.

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"Courage?" Don't make me laugh. I knew Paul Moore quite well. That would be the last word I would use to describe him.

 

He used to come on to all sorts of young men that I knew while married to his wife and raising children. It's not "courage" that makes you leave your vows at the door. And he was a bishop to boot.

 

The "courageous" ones are people of his generation who came out and didn't leave double lives and the more courageous ones are the ones that stayed faithful to their wives and didn't cheat on them with young men they met through church activities.

 

I am sorry but I find someone like Paul Moore appalling. He was telling people -- in a fairly heavy-handed and sanctimonious way -- how to leave their lives for more than 40 years and, yet, he never once practiced what he preached. He disgusted me.

 

Mark

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