Gays Like Kolbe

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Despite the temptation to blame Mark Foley’s self-proclaimed gayness for his repugnant behavior with young male pages, it was Congress’s only out gay Republican, Rep. Jim Kolbe of Arizona, who schooled Foley on how to treat and not to treat pages. Kolbe had a friendly relationship with many pages, and on one occasion offered to let several formal pages stay in his Washington home while the congressman was away. Kolbe’s warmth led one page to approach him in 2000 with concerns about some emails Rep. Foley had sent him. Kolbe certainly should have done more, but he did at least confront Foley about his behavior. He later suggested that another page show Foley’s emails to the clerk of the House. At least Kolbe did more than House Speaker Dennis Hastert.

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