By Sean Kosofsky
I love it when Geoffrey Fieger plays hardball. Republicans are far better at the game, but occasionally we see some muscle and some courage coming from Democrats. I don’t support blackmail as a general rule, but the threat to “out” Michigan Attorney General Mike Cox for having an affair is simply delicious.
Do I think office holders are entitled to make mistakes and have some privacy? Yes. But Mike Cox does not deserve that courtesy because he has had a double standard in regards to the GLBT community for years.
It began years ago when he was working in the homicide division for the Wayne County Prosecutor’s office. Triangle Foundation tried working with him on a series of anti-gay murders in Detroit, and he didn’t seem to take them very seriously. Instead of keeping the investigations open, he closed several homicide cases against gay black men that mattered a great deal to our community.
Cox’s campaign tried to smear the pro-gay candidate for Attorney General, Gary Peters, in 2002. Even though Peters had voted to ban gay marriage, with almost everyone else in 1996, Cox accused him of supporting gay marriage. Cox ended up winning that seat by a small margin. So we learned early on that he doesn’t care much for gay people and he is a liar. Not a great combination for the state’s top attorney.
As Attorney General he attacked Governor Jennifer Granholm for banning anti-gay discrimination in state employment and said that the executive order did not apply to his office. He was wrong and lost that battle with Granholm. His base in the Republican Party is the religious right, and he has only moved to the right while in office. In 2004 he supported putting a constitutional ban on marriage equality for GLBT people on the ballot, even though the language went further than banning marriage.
Since the last election he has been on a relentless course to deny gay and lesbian people basic health insurance through domestic partner benefits. He has gone outside the legal mainstream to argue that voters intended to take away the health insurance of gay people when they voted against marriage equality.
Mr. Family Values now has a major problem. Everyone knows that he cheated on his wife. He admitted to it years ago, even before he came out in support of “one man, one woman” marriage (notice that “man” came first). What a hypocrite! He pursues deadbeat dads with a zeal we have never seen in state government, he attacks gay families and non-discrimination policies, and he runs with the traditional family values crowd that condemns infidelity, homosexuality, pornography and other things that are none of their business.
Mike Cox owes the gay and lesbian community, and our families, an apology. He slandered all of us, while he was cheating on his wife, and probably concealed it from her, making him a philanderer and a liar. This is not unlike when Americans found out that Bill Bennett had a gambling problem, or when we discovered that Rush Limbaugh was addicted to drugs or when ex-gay activist John Paulk was caught in a gay bar. Mike Cox has been concealing his own sins while dragging GBLT families through the mud in 2004 and pouring salt in our wounds in 2005.
If marriage is supposed to be between “one man and one woman” then what about this other woman he was sleeping with? Obviously Mike Cox believes infidelity is still compatible with marriage. He must have thought so the night(s) or afternoon(s) he was sleeping with the other woman. Even if Cox thinks homosexuality is a sin, why should he think he can apologize for his sin and move on? If he can be cruel and heartless to GLBT families that have been faithful for decades by forcing a public referendum on us, we can do the same to him.
We must let not let voters forget this development. A sexual “choice” of Cox’s own may now cost him the support of his friends, family, and supporters and may cost him his job. One year until judgment day.