Will ENDA Bring Back 'Outing' of Congressmen?

Tweet and tease tactics replace in-depth reports for activist Michael Rogers.

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Michael Rogers made a name for himself a decade ago by exposing on his blog the sexual orientation of secretly gay politicians with "anti-gay" political positions.

He's largely been dormant since his 2009 documentary "Outrage" and the 2010 "don't ask, don't tell" debate in Congress, but he says he isn't entirely out of the game.

"Don't look to me to put up humongous reports and 500 to 1,000-word posts on my blog and things like that," Rogers says. "That guy's not coming back."

The depth of his work may be done, but Rogers says he has a vast store of research and frequently receives new information. Now, he says, he can toss a claim on Twitter and watch online news publications report about it.

[RELATED: Maine's Michaud: Yep, I'm Gay]

President Barack Obama, left, and House Speaker John Boehner listen to speakers talk about former House Speaker Tom Foley during a memorial service at the U.S. Capitol on Oct. 29, 2013, in Washington, D.C.
President Barack Obama, left, supports the Employment Non-Discrimination Act, which was approved by the Senate on Nov. 7. House Speaker John Boehner, right, has not scheduled a vote on the bill.

In October Rogers tweeted that a Republican congressman and senator are gay, and in June, he disclosed a film project he says could out a congressman with X-rated evidence.

"I can't talk about [the filming] right now," he says. "It's not going to be something that happens in the next week." He's unwilling to offer an age range or other identifying information about the targeted politician.

Rogers tweeted the names of two federal lawmakers last month – as the Senate neared a vote on the Employment Non-Discrimination Act – without his previously routine claims of proof based on research.

"People know my history and my record, so my tweets are fully capable of standing on their own," he says. "I find it interesting when closeted senators don't show up for votes, so I tweet about it."

[PRIESTS: It's 'Empirical Fact' That Many Clergy Are Gay]

Rogers believes ENDA, which would make it illegal to fire someone for being gay, should be a priority for gay people more so than securing marriage rights. He hopes House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, will bring the bill, which was approved 64-32 by the Senate on Nov. 7, to a vote.

But, he said, "In terms of where I would focus any efforts – beyond a tweet here or there, a serious campaign – I would need to know it is something I should indeed be investing my time in."

Rogers declined to discuss behind-the-scenes activism in favor of the bill, saying, "My communications with closeted congressmen in many cases are confidential."

Among Rogers' most high-profile outings were a 2004 report that then Rep. Ed Schrock, R-Va., was leaving voicemails on a gay hook-up service, and an Oct. 2006 report that then Sen. Larry Craig, R-Idaho, was having sex with men in a Union Station bathroom. In Aug. 2007 Craig pleaded guilty to soliciting sex from a policeman in a Minnesota airport.

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