: Amazingly, McGreevey is starting his press conference with a most personal announcement. Throughout his life, he said, he had grappled with his identity. He talked about getting married twice. Having doubts in school….
“Were there realities from which I was running?” he asked. “I do not believe that God tortures any person simply for its own sake…. In this, in the 47th year of my life, it is arguably to late to have this discussion. But it is here and it is now…. And so my truth is that I am a gay American. And I am blessed to live in the greatest nation… with the greatest tradition of civil liberties in the world.”
“Yet because of the pain and suffering and anguish I have caused to my beloved family…. This is an intensely personal decision and not one typically for the public domain and yet it cannot and should not pass… I am also here today because shamefully I engaged in a consensual affair with another man that violated my bonds of matrimony. It is wrong… It is inexcusable….”
“I am removing these threats by telling you directly about my sexuality,” he says, telling the press that if his sexual life had remained secret the state would have had problems.
“Given the circumstances surrounding the affair and its impact on my family and my ability … as governor, I have decided to resign.”
He is resigning as of Nov. 15. That means there is no special election, a Democrat — the Senate president — will fill in.
That had to be the most public coming out ever.
: It was a remarkable speech: so painfully personal.
If this were just McGreevey coming out of the closet, that would be that.
But there’s more to this: The hiring of Cipel and the reputed involvement with him is an ethical scandal in and of itself.
There have been other campaign finance scandals dancing around the governor’s office.
And he was a rotten governor. I voted for him. I was wrong. He messed up the budget, robbing the “rich” to buy votes from the middle class. He messed up development issues, pissing off both sides. He made lots of hiring mistakes. He was a suburban mayor who did not have the experience to be governor.
So it’s more than McGreevey coming out of the closet.
Nonetheless, again, it was a most amazing moment in American politics.
: Here’s the full text of the McGreevey speech (I live-blogged the partial quotes above).
At a point in every person’s life, one has to look deeply into the mirror of one’s soul and decide one’s unique truth in the world, not as we may want to see it or hope to see it, but as it is.
And so my truth is that I am a gay American. And I am blessed to live in the greatest nation with the tradition of civil liberties, the greatest tradition of civil liberties in the world, in a country which provides so much to its people.
Yet because of the pain and suffering and anguish that I have caused to my beloved family, my parents, my wife, my friends, I would almost rather have this moment pass. For this is an intensely personal decision, and not one typically for the public domain.
Yet, it cannot and should not pass. I am also here today because, shamefully, I engaged in adult consensual affair with another man, which violates my bonds of matrimony. It was wrong. It was foolish. It was inexcusable….
I realize the fact of this affair and my own sexuality if kept secret leaves me, and most importantly the governor’s office, vulnerable to rumors, false allegations and threats of disclosure. So I am removing these threats by telling you directly about my sexuality.
Let me be clear, I accept total and full responsibility for my actions. However, I’m required to do now, to do what is right to correct the consequences of my actions and to be truthful to my loved ones, to my friends and my family and also to myself.
It makes little difference that as governor I am gay. In fact, having the ability to truthfully set forth my identity might have enabled me to be more forthright in fulfilling and discharging my constitutional obligations.
Given the circumstances surrounding the affair and its likely impact upon my family and my ability to govern, I have decided the right course of action is to resign. To facilitate a responsible transition, my resignation will be effective on November 15th of this year.
: Says NJ.com editor Dean Betz on the NJ.com newsblog:
The dirt is about to get very deep, and the governor’s apparent moment of courage will probably reveal itself to be tainted by cowardice – maybe a lot worse.
: Here, prominently displayed on the NJ Governor’s home page is the governor’s “code of conduct.”
The Governor shall not accept any personal gift, favor, service or other thing of value under circumstances from which the Governor knows or has reason to believe that such personal gift, favor, service or other thing of value is offered with the intent to unduly influence him in the performance of his public duties or under circumstances from which it might be reasonably inferred that such gift, service or other thing of value was given or offered for the purpose of influencing the employee in the discharge of the employee