Former Congressman Aaron Schock (R-Illinois) was one of the most anti-LGBT Republicans in Congress. And at Coachella last weekend, he was reportedly seen kissing a man.
According to a report from millennial LGBT site Qweerty, Rep. Schock — who served in Congress between 2009 until 2015, when he resigned amid a corruption scandal — was so anti-LGBT that he once earned a 0% rating from the Human Rights Campaign on LGBT issues. As a Congressman, Schock opposed the repeal of Don’t Ask Don’t Tell (the policy prohibiting gays and lesbians from serving in the military), voted for the Defense of Marriage Act (which restricted the definition of marriage as a union between a man and a woman), and voted against adding “sexual orientation, gender identity, gender and disability” to the list of protected classes for federal hate crimes legislation.
Schock trended on Twitter Wednesday afternoon following the Qweerty report, and many accounts posted the photos that purportedly show the former Congressman passionately kissing a man at the Coachella music festival, as well as posing shirtless next to several of his friends.
While the tactic of “outing” people as gay is typically frowned upon, LGBT accounts on Twitter said it’s necessary to out Schock — if indeed the person in the photos is him — given that he’s used his position as a public official to make life harder for LGBT citizens. Others called on Schock to apologize for his anti-LGBT record.
“While it is the position of Queerty not to out public figures, we make one serious exception when someone has actively hurt LGBTQ people or causes and refused to own up to it,” Qweerty’s Dan Tracer wrote. “If the photos and accounts are accurate, Schock is out enjoying freedoms won through the sweat and blood of a community he directly harmed at every step of his political career.”
“We would be thrilled to learn that he has changed his opinions about his community and renounced his past, but there is not yet any evidence he has done so.”
Outing is a brutal political tactic that should be reserved for brutally anti-LGBT closeted politicians. Aaron Schock has a brutal anti-LGBT voting record and he deserves to be outed.https://t.co/dTRPQubhzn
— Dan Savage (@fakedansavage) April 17, 2019
Aaron Schock’s sex life should not be the story. The story should be how he voted against members of his own community.
As congressman, he voted against repealing “don’t ask, don’t tell” and said he supported an amendment to the US Constitution that would ban marriage for gays. https://t.co/s1DK3Wo6TT
— Adam J. Smith (@AdamJSmithGA) April 17, 2019
Just FYI, if you're one of the gay guys currently palling around Coachella with @aaronschock, I hope you'll encourage him to not only come out but to come out against his INCREDIBLY HOMOPHOBIC voting record while he was selling all of us out in congress. https://t.co/f8WjTXRVqG
— Kit Williamson (@kitwilliamson) April 17, 2019
Schock has not yet made any statements about the photos or the allegations as of this writing, and his verified Twitter account has been silent for roughly a month. In March of 2019, Schock agreed to a deal with federal prosecutors in his ongoing corruption investigation that he would pay back $68,000 he was accused of embezzling from his campaign committee and an additional $42,000 in unpaid taxes, in exchange for prosecutors dropping felony charges of fraud and theft.
Tom Cahill is a contributor for Grit Post who covers political and economic news. He lives in Bend, Oregon. Send him an email at tom DOT v DOT cahill AT gmail DOT com.