Former US politician Aaron Schock comes out as gay

Former US congressman Aaron Schock has shared that he is gay. The Republican politician served in the US congress from 2009 to 2018.

During his time in Congress, the representative from Illinois voted against gay rights and allowing protections for LGBTIQ+ people. He now says he regrets those choices.

Schock revealed his sexuality in a long post on his website, saying that he’d spent the last year making sure everyone close to him heard the news from him directly.

“The fact that I am gay is just one of those things in my life in need of explicit affirmation, to remove any doubt and to finally validate who I am as a person.  In many ways I regret the time wasted in not having done so sooner.” Schock said.

The former politician shared that he’d been raised in a rural area and came from a deeply religious family. Schock was elected to the Illinois legislature when he was just 23, and became a Congressman when he was 29. He said working in politics from a young age had given him a sheltered life, and he felt couldn’t come out because he would have let down the people who he represented.

“I put my ambition over the truth, which not only hurt me, but others as well.

“I also, in retrospect, realize that I was just looking for more excuses to buy time and avoid being the person I’ve always been.” Schock said.

Schock also said that while not all his political beliefs had changed, if he was in Congress today he would be a supporter of LGBTIQ rights.

“The truth is that if I were in Congress today, I would support LGBTQ rights in every way I could.   I realize that some of my political positions run very much counter to the mainstream of the LGBTQ movement, and I respect them for those differences.   I hope people will allow for me the same.”

During his time in Congress Schock voted in favour of the ‘Don’t Ask Don’t Tell’ policy regarding LGBTIQ+ people in the military, opposed same-sex marriage, and voted against amendments to hate crime legislation. When asked if he was gay previously he said it was a question “not worthy of a response.”

Schock resigned in 2018 during a investigation into his campaign finances. Earlier this year he reached an agreement with prosecutors that did not see him being charged, he did however repay money to his campaign that had allegedly been used for inappropriate spending. He has not ruled out a return to politics.

OIP Staff

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