The issue of sexual orientation is being used time and time again for political gain as two recent cases in Singapore and Taiwan have shown. But why does sex and sexual orientation hold so much power in the minds of the public?
While it might be generally accepted that coming out not only contributes to an individual's sense of well-being but also serves a public good, Charles Tan observes that some LGBT activists are appearing to advocate the reverse when it comes to the issue of outing politicians.
Australia's broadcasting regulator has determined that although Channel Seven's controversial expose that showed former NSW transport minister David Campbell's visit to a gay sauna had invaded his privacy, it did not breach television standards because the reasons that led to his resignation was ultimately of public interest – even though Campbell had resigned BECAUSE of the story.
While this might sound like another story of a closeted gay politician whose double life is exposed, David Campbell was outed not because he is known to have caused harm to the gay community – the most commonly agreed on circumstance in which 'outing' is justifiable.