Top Five Moral Hypocrites

An excerpt from ••here••:

    Souder joins line of family-values backers gone astray

There was something shy of nationwide shock when Indiana Republican Rep. Mark Souder, a staunch advocate of family values and abstinence education, announced Tuesday that he was resigning because he’d been having an affair with a staffer. That’s because it seems like every other week brings news that another conservative culture warrior has been caught engaging in the kind of behavior that he (and, yes, they’re almost always men) spends his working hours inveighing against. Since it can be hard to keep the players straight over time, we thought we’d present our ranking of the Top Five moral hypocrites since the social-conservative right came into power during the 1980s. The list is followed by a lengthy (dis)honor roll.

Ted Haggard
Haggard, a minister and onetime head of the powerful National Association of Evangelicals opposed gay marriage and “sexual libertinism.” He was forced to resign after a male prostitute came forward to claim that Haggard had paid him for sex and methamphetimine.

George Alan Rekers
As a co-founder of the Family Research Council, which believes homosexuality is “unnatural” and “can never be affirmed,” Rekers was one of the pillars of the anti-gay movement until earlier this month, when the Miami New Times reported that he hired a stud from to accompany him on a 10-day European vacation.

Mark Sanford
The Republican governor of South Carolina and one-time presidential hopeful captivated a nation when he disappeared to Argentina to visit his “soul mate” Maria Belen Chapur last year. As someone who opposed gay marriage and had castigated Bill Clinton for adultery and dishonesty—”the issue of lying is probably the biggest harm to the democratic system of government,” he said at the time,” he said at the time—Sanford’s decision to lie to the citizens of his state about where he was while carrying on an adulterous affair came as a something of a surprise to his conservative supporters. But at least Sanford has shown a romantic streak worthy of a soul-mate-smitten suitor: Now divorced, he recently hit the Appalachian Trail again to see if there’s still a spark with Maria.

Robert Bauman
Bauman, a GOP congressman from Maryland, was a founder of the arch-conservative Young Americans for Freedom and sponsor of the Family Protection Act, which sought to legalize discrimination against gay people. He was arrested in 1980 for soliciting sex from a 16-year-old boy just weeks from Election Day. Jerry Falwell’s Moral Majority stood by Bauman, but he dropped his reelection bid and eventually came out of the closet to write a memoir subtitled “The Conscience of a Gay Conservative.”

David Vitter
The married Louisiana senator is staunchly pro-family, anti-gay-rights, and was an enthusiastic patron of prostitutes. After his phone number turned up in D.C madam Deborah Jeane Palfrey’s phone records, Vitter admitted to a “very serious sin” in his past, but refused to step down.


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