HRC On Foley

The right message, I think, from the Human Rights Campaign, the largest lobbying group for gay equality:

"Gay or straight, Democrat or Republican, it is completely inexcusable for an adult to have this kind of communication with a minor. Congressman Foley brought shame on himself and this Congress by his horrible behavior and complete lack of judgment. We strongly condemn his behavior."

The only problem with it is that technically, these teens were not legally minors in the District of Columbia, with respect to the age of sexual consent. I hate to insist on this point, and I don't mean to excuse the interactions. But accusations of pedophilia as such - clinically or legally - are unfounded; and we need to be clear about the offense. This is about abuse of power with impressionable and vulnerable young people and immense, astounding hypocrisy. It would be the same offense if the victims were female and the congressman heterosexual. And it's inexcusable.