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January 27, 2015

Blackmail: Openly Gay Legislator Threatens to Expose Colleagues' Extra-Marital Affairs if They Don't Vote Her Way on Gay Marriage


Were she just some sort of moral crusader who ran on a platform of righteous values and then went around exposing all such incidents she definitively knew of, that would be one thing. But this is a fit of pique stemming from her disagreement with the policy positions of opponents. She is claiming to be aware of these alleged cases of married legislators having affairs, but she is willing to continue to hold her silence about the sins provided they shut their mouths and donít speak out on issues where she disagrees with them. If she was such a moral crusader who felt this information was important to the public she should have already exposed them, regardless of party affiliation or sexual orientation. (Yes, gay people can be unfaithful too.) But that's not what she's doing. Whatís going on here is known by a much more ugly word: extortion.

Yeah, people generally don't seem to understand what blackmail is. You're allowed to reveal someone's secrets -- there is no law against that. The media does that, of course, every day.

It becomes blackmail -- and criminal -- when you threaten to reveal secrets unless the target either takes an action you demand or refrains from taking an action you demand. The demand does not need to be for money (in most jurisdictions); obviously, a particularly nasty form of blackmail -- sexual blackmail -- demands not money but sexual favors.

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posted by Ace at 11:59 AM

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