Anti-Gay Lawmaker Resigns After Being Caught Having Same-Sex Relations

Ohio state legislator Wes Goodman

Hypocrisy occurs in varying degrees throughout the American political system. Ohio state legislator Wes Goodman recently provided a case-in-point example when the openly anti-LGBTQ 33-year-old was caught engaging in sexual relations with another man in his office.

Goodman — whose wife is a prominent anti-abortion lobbyist — stepped down from office after the embarrassing event. Fellow Republicans have called Goodman “the conscience of the conservative movement.” He has been known to promote the rhetoric of Christian family values and the importance of marriage between a man and woman.

Saying One Thing and Doing Another

It has only been a year since Goodman was elected to represent the 87th district of Ohio, but after an observer reported Goodman’s illicit acts to the Ohio House Chief of Staff, the young man is making an awkward exit from the public eye and asking that the media respect his request for privacy.

In the past, Goodman has put significant effort into sharing his endorsement of highly conservative rhetoric. For example, his Twitter biography describes him as “Christian. American. Conservative. Republican. Husband to @Beth1027.”

The website for his campaign, which is no longer online, expounded on Goodman’s far-right views with the statement “Healthy, vibrant, thriving, values-driven families are the source of Ohio’s proud history and the key to Ohio’s future greatness. The ideals of a loving father and mother, a committed natural marriage, and a caring community are well worth pursuing and protecting.”

Not the First Time This Has Happened

You might find it hard to believe, but the American political figures who are homophobes have a precarious history of turning out to be gay. It begs the question, with so much progressivism at work in the current political climate, why not just adopt a more open-minded stance?

Alaska’s Attorney General Troy King, Washington State Representative Richard Curtis, California Republican Congressman David Dreier and Idaho Senator Larry Craig are just a few examples of closeted state employees who were revealed to be have same-sex attractions after promoting anti-LGBTQ causes.

Sexual Assault Allegations Complicate things

Had you put the case down at first blush, it might seem just unfortunate and awkward, but there’s more to know about the young state Congressman. Goodman’s case is particularly unsavory when you consider some of the additional charges of sexual assault.

Before being caught, Goodman is accused of abusing as many as 30 men and teenagers. The allegations include sending vulgar images and even videos of himself masturbating to men he was interested in. Goodman was known for using political gatherings to introduce himself to large numbers of young men.

Goodman even went as far as to invite young men to join him naked for a hot tub visit. One 18-year-old victim was apparently pressured into going to Goodman’s room during a fundraising event in Washington D.C. After falling asleep, the underage man awoke to Goodman unzipping his pants and fled the hotel. Hel later shared the story with his parents, who passed it along to other sources.

A Ripple in the Republican Community

Those close with Goodman have avoided speaking to the issue directly, but they maintain that they saw potential in the young man.

Tom Zawistowski, president of the Republican PAC who supported Mr. Goodman’s successful campaign wisely commented that “We don’t have a problem with someone that has a homosexual lifestyle,” adding that they were confident Goodman had “conservative credentials.”

Goodman has understandably avoided the media at a time when the LGBTQ community is feeling aggravated by the transition from the progressive Obama Administration to the less LGBTQ-friendly Trump White House.

It is unfortunate that our nation’s discourse surrounding same-sex relations is still often so volatile, particularly on the right. Goodman touted some pretty crappy public sentiments before this scandal came out, and he’s apparently nothing short of a sexual predator. However, there’s no denying that he is an unfortunate product of a society that still works to make people feel as though being gay is something they should have to cover up.

Kate Harveston is a political writer with an interest in social justice and progressive change. She has a background in journalism and Criminal Justice, so she enjoys anything related to law, politics, culture and the written word. In her spare time, her favorite activity is reading dystopian fiction. If you like her work, you can subscribe to her blog, Only Slightly Biased, or follow her on Twitter for updates!

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