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Why Does Far Right Set Standard on Rep. Weiner 'Scandal'?

| by Jerome McCollom

I have yet to write an Anthony Weiner column because, well, I really don't care about the sex lives of consenting adults. If Weiner wanted to send pics of himself, aroused or not, I don't care.

Former Republican Congressman Christopher Lee sent a pic of himself to Craiglist in response to a post by a woman. Now, he might have been -- or might not have been -- looking to have an affair.

But, I had no desire for him to step down, even though he is of another political party. Sending pics of yourself, even without a shirt, should not be the kind of scandal that requires you to resign. Republicans, who are calling for Weiner to resigns (Dems are too by the way), didn't seem all that excited at that time, to call for Lee to resign.

Now, a spouse might be angry in these cases, but I nor anybody else, is part of that relationship. That is between them. As a vote, I do not choose politicans based on what sexy, or unsexy, pics they might send to other consenting adults. Now, if someone states and votes on gays being such a threat to society that they should be denied the ability to marry -- and then that person has some kind of gay sex scandal, such as Republican Senator Larry "I have a wide stance" Craig, that shows hypocrisy. It shows that you as a politcan run on issues that are actually counter to your nature.

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I wish to quote Amanda Marcotte in her column on the website Alternet:

"The problem with opening the door to conducting sex scandals where simply violating some sexual standard is all that's needed is that the question arises: Who gets to set the standards? The answer is probably closer to "the religious right" than "Dan Savage", if only because the more sexually liberal out there don't bother with feigning outrage at the private behavior of consenting adults.

You saw this problem erupting with the Weiner press conference, where reporters asked questions that implied that a standard of monogamy to be applied across the board, regardless of the preferences of the people actually in the marriage, and that failure to comply with monogamy standards constitutes a grievous personality flaw that requires professional intervention. (One shouted question specifically asked if Weiner was seeking professional help.)

Once the standard for a sex scandal moves from "public interest" to "arbitrarily deciding this person's behavior is gross/immature/offends Jesus", it's open season. Today the crime is not following the standards of monogamy set by those outside your marriage (since we don't know the details of Weiner's relationship with his wife, these are the only standards really in play).

Tomorrow, it could be that your personal behavior offends people who don't approve of premarital sex or who think it's gross or silly for adults to play little private games with each other. Already, half the reason this is a scandal is that Weiner said things while flirting that sound silly in a more public context. Can any of us really say that 100 percent of our flirtations in life would pass the scrutiny of a hostile audience out to maximize our humiliation?"

She is exactly right, we are allowing the religious right to set the sexual standards on the actions of adults. Why? Look, they often set the standards on obscenity prosecutions. Those are prosecutions of adult videos made by consenting adults for other adults.

But the government still prosecutes producers of these videos, at times. (Obscenity shouldn't be a crime of course, unless made with children.) So, I am tired of those who favor the sex police (they have suceeded in banning sex toys in Alabama by the way) from setting the standards of sexual behavior of adults. Even those that become supposed scandals.