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Rep. Foley Resigns Over Emails To Former Page


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Another republican bites the dust

Rep. Foley Resigns Over Emails To Former Page

by 365Gay.com Newscenter Staff

with files from the Associated Press - LINK

(Washington) Rep. Mark Foley, R-Fla., submitted a letter of resignation from Congress on Friday in the wake of questions about e-mails he sent to a former male page.

Foley, 52, had been considered a shoo-in for re-election until the e-mails surfaced in recent days. Considered a moderate Republican Foley was one of small number of GOP Congressmen who supported LGBT initiatives.

Unmarried, questions about Foley's sexuality had circulated for several years.

In May 2003, when he took the unusual step of calling a news conference to denounce a report in a South Florida alternative newspaper that he is gay. Foley refused to answer questions about the subject, saying his sexual orientation had nothing to do with is duties as a lawmaker.

Foley's stances on social issues such as abortion and gay rights differ from his party's. He is part of the Republican Leadership Council that was formed in 1997 by moderate Republicans to support candidates who are fiscally conservative but socially inclusive. Asked for investigations

In 2000 he introduced legislation to expand the federal government's role in investigating and prosecuting crimes based on sexual orientation, religion, gender or ethnicity.

Foley voted against his party in 2004 and again this year to thwart a federal amendment to the Constitution that would ban same-sex marriage.

Campaign aides earlier in the week acknowledged that the Republican congressman e-mailed the former Capitol page five times, but had said there was nothing inappropriate about the exchange. The page was 16 at the time of the e-mail correspondence.

The initial correspondence took place in August 2005 after the boy gave Foley a handwritten thank you note before returning to Louisiana.

In his exchanges with the boy, Foley asked how old he was, what he wanted for his upcoming birthday, how he was doing after Hurricane Katrina and for a photo.

The e-mails were posted Friday on Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington's Web site after ABC News reported their existence. The group asked the House Committee on Standards of Official Conduct to investigate the exchange Foley had with the boy, who served as a page for Rep. Rodney Alexander, R-La.

"The House of Representatives has an obligation to protect the teenagers who come to Congress to learn about the legislative process," the group wrote, adding that the committee, "must investigate any allegation that a page has been subjected to sexual advances by members of the House."

Friday evening more emails, many graphic in nature emerged.

Foley's election opponent, Democrat Tim Mahoney, also called for an investigation.

Foley was running for re-election to a seventh term. He has represented his district, which includes West Palm Beach, since 1995. Florida Republicans could replace Foley on the ballot.

?365Gay.com 2006

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