Mike Rogers first gained notoriety in 2004 for revealing the sexuality of Rep. Edward Schrock, eventually causing the co-sponsor of the Federal Marriage Amendment to resign. He followed it up by revealing the personal affairs of several other politicians including Mark Foley, David Dreier, and Mark Craig. The Mark Foley revelation came as a shock to many, when the Republican politician's arrest for soliciting an undercover police officer was made public. Now, Rogers looks to be up to his old tricks after a period of inactivity. Rogers stated in a Sirius/XM Radio interview that he is in the information gathering stage of revealing the identity of a congressman with a history of voting against gay rights issues. After taking an "outing" hiatus for several years, what has motivated Rogers to take to his "outing" tactics once again?
Mike Rogers considers himself a journalist committed to exposing hypocrisy among our nation's lawmakers. Others have labeled Rogers as an unethical blogger committed to the revealing the personal affairs of public figures. "Outing" is certainly a controversial practice, because it reveals these personal affairs without the consent of the subject. Rogers claims that he only reveals the identities of those who are vocal opponents of gay rights issues, but this practice is in an ethical grey area. Rogers claims "The Employment Non-Discrimination Act is infinitely more important for me as an activist than marriage." With the GOP holding the majority in the House of Representatives, it is unlikely that this act will be passed.
In 2005, Rogers founded the organization Proud of Who We Are, which is a non-partisan group dedicated to encouraging politicians to be honest and open with their sexual orientation and gender identity. The organization's efforts have stalled in recent years, but with the most recent indefinite announcement, it could garner some much-needed attention. It is interesting and controversial to see that Rogers is a founding member of this interest group, while prominently engaging in the practice of "outing" politicians.
In 2009, Mike Rogers was a topic of the documentary film Outrage. The film argues that the mass media is reluctant to report on issues involving gay politicians and as a result many stories go unreported because of this institutional self-censorship. Rogers seems to be almost singlehandedly combating this practice by forcing the private lives of politicians into the public light.
During Roger's interview, he said "I may be outing a congressman at any time, any day, any place, any year. They're all scrambling around the hill now, 'Who is it?' I'm sure that the congressman is wondering, 'Is it me?' It's interesting to see that it's about three years since I put out a post about closeting people and I mention something in passing and it becomes a media storm." Rogers now has the attention of the media, who are already clamoring for details on the politician's identity. Only Rogers will decide when the identity is revealed.