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Anthony Weiner Stayed Out of Your Bedroom, Now Stay Out of His Anthony Weiner Lied, But at Least He Didn't Lie to Himself

You can call embroiled Congressman Anthony Weiner a lot of things, but at least you can't call him a hypocrite.

New York Congressman Anthony Weiner admitted Monday to participating in a series of inappropriate internet relationships over the past three years. In that time, the outspoken leftist and potential New York mayoral candidate flirted via Facebook and Twitter with six different women, none of whom was his wife. He even sent at least one young lady a photo of his erect penis. In his guilty press conference, Weiner said he took responsibility for his behavior, but he also said he wouldn't step down.


You can term Weiner's digital dalliances a lot of things. He himself said it was "dumb" and "destructive," while Washington Times editor Emily Miller said it evidenced "low character." Andrew Breitbart, the right-wing pundit who obtained and then released the Weiner photos, even said he expects an apology from Weiner, as Wiener initially accused him of being in cahoots with hackers. Honestly, all of those reactions seem fair—one might even add that Weiner is clearly a liar (and a worse one than most politicians). What you can't call Weiner, however, is a hypocrite.

If you look at Weiner's eight terms in office, not a single one has been bolstered by his commitment to "family values." If anything, Weiner has made it his modus operandi to destroy pieces of legislation that would infringe on people's civil rights, especially when it comes to issues of sexual orientation and gender. NARAL Pro-Choice America gave Weiner a 100 percent rating for his reproductive rights voting in 2006. He's also voted no on a bill to ban gay adoptions and a constitutional amendment that would have banned same-sex marriage. For more than a decade, in fact, Weiner has said that LGBT people should have the right to get married outright, a stance he says he says is "noncontroversial" in his mind.

Compare Weiner's legislative decisions to that of Senator David Vitter, who once equated gay marriage to natural disasters after he himself had visited numerous prostitutes. Or former Senator Larry Craig, who chastised the philandering Bill Clinton as being "a nasty, bad, naughty boy" but was later arrested for trying to have gay sex in an airport bathroom. If you try to legislate morality, you should probably be squeaky clean in your own affairs. If not, you're not just lying to the public, as Weiner did, you're also lying to yourself. You're holding yourself to one standard while trying to pass laws that would hold the rest of the country to another. That's much more dangerous than a legislator trying to cover up a sleazy Twitter exchange.

For whatever reason, it's commonly accepted in America that our politicians lie to us constantly. Few, however, are caught lying in a way as direct as Weiner was. If Weiner should step down for anything, it should be for his duplicity. What he shouldn't resign over is sending raunchy pictures of himself to other consenting adults on his own time. Weiner has long had the good sense to stay out of America's bedrooms; it's time for America to stay out of his.

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This article was produced in partnership with the United Nations to launch the biggest-ever global conversation on the role of cooperation in building the future we want.

When half of the world's population doesn't share the same opportunity or rights as the other half, the whole world suffers. Like a bird whose wings require equal strength to fly, humanity will never soar to its full potential until we achieve gender equality.

That's why the United Nations made one of its Sustainable Development Goals to "Achieve gender equality and empower all women and girls." That goal includes providing women and girls equal access to education and health care, as well as addressing gender-based discrimination and violence against women and girls.

While there is still much work to be done, history shows us that we are capable of making big leaps forward on this issue. Check out some of the milestones humanity has already reached on the path to true equality.

Historic Leaps Toward Gender Equality

1848 The Seneca Falls Convention in New York, organized by Elizabeth Lady Stanton and Lucretia Mott, is the first U.S. women's convention to discuss the oppression of women in sociopolitical, economic, and religious life.

1893 New Zealand becomes the first self-governing nation to grant national voting rights to women.

1903 Marie Curie becomes the first woman to win a Nobel Prize. She is also the only woman to win multiple Nobel Prizes, for Physics in 1903 and Chemistry in 1911.

1920 The 19th Amendment is passed in the U.S. giving women the right to vote in all 50 U.S. states.

1973 The U.S. Open becomes the first major sports tournament of its kind to offer equal pay to women, after tennis star Billie Jean King threatened to boycott.

1975 The first World Conference on Women is held in Mexico, where a 10-year World Plan of Action for the Advancement of Women is formed. The first International Women's Day is commemorated by the UN in the same year.

1979 The UN General Assembly adopts the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW), also known as the "Women's Bill of Rights." It is the most comprehensive international document protecting the rights of women, and the second most ratified UN human rights treaty after the Convention on the Rights of the Child.

1980 Vigdis Finnbogadottir of Iceland becomes the first woman to be elected head of state in a national election.

1993 The UN General Assembly adopts the Declaration on the Elimination of Violence against Women, the first international instrument to explicitly define forms of violence against women and lay out a framework for global action.

2010 The UN General Assembly creates the United Nations Entity for Gender Equality and the Empowerment of Women (UN Women) to speed progress on meeting the needs of women and girls around the world.

2018 The UN and European Union join forces on the Spotlight Initiative, a global, multi-year initiative focused on eliminating all forms of violence against women and girls.

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As the UN celebrates its 75th anniversary, it is redoubling its commitment to reach all 17 Sustainable Development Goals, including gender equality. But it will take action and effort from everyone to ensure that women and girls are free from discrimination and violence. Learn more about what is being done to address gender equality and see how you can get involved here.

And join the global conversation about the role of international cooperation in building the future by taking the UN75 survey here.

Let's make sure we all have a say in the future we want to see.

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