Former Republican lawmaker from Illinois Aaron Schock released a statement on his Instagram account today announcing he was gay. "I am gay," he wrote in the Insta post. His post reads: "I am gay. For those who know me and for many who only know of me, this will come as no surprise. For the past year, I have been working through a list of people who I felt should finally hear the news directly from me before I made a public statement."
Speaking of how important his family accepting the news is, he wrote "I wanted my mother, my father, my sisters, my brother and my closest friends to hear it from me first. The fact that I am gay is just one of those things in my life in need of explicit affirmation, to remove any doubt and to finally validate who I am as a person."
Schock expressed his regrets for coming out late
He also expressed regret that he did not come out in the public earlier and said, "In many ways I regret the time wasted in not having done so sooner. I offer my story as one person's experience. I've come to believe it is, in some respects, just a more public version of a difficult and ultimately, now optimistic, journey familiar to many LGBTQ people."
Schock was elected four times to the Congress. But interestingly during the 18th Congressional District when he was representing Illinois, he had strongly opposed same-sex marriage. He had, in fact, voted against repealing the barring of LGBTQ community joining the military.
But clarifying about his stance then, Schock said that in 2008 he was campaigning in a conservative district and could not differ from party's nominee John McCain's stance. He said that in the current situation if he was in Congress, he would support LGBTQ rights in every way he could. He also said that he respects them for those differences and sought support from people saying, he hopes people will allow him for the same.
Schock quit Congress in 2015
Schock had to quit being a Congressman in 2015 as he was indicted on fraud charges. A congressional l ethics probe against charges of him using public money (tax) to go on lavish trips and organize big events. He was charged in what was called spending scandal in November 2016. He was indicted on 24 felony counts. Charges against him included mail and wire fraud, theft of government funds, false statements and filing false federal tax returns.
However, in September 2019, criminal charges against him were dropped. According to the final deal, he was asked to pay more than $40,000 in the form of taxes. He was also told to reimburse campaign committees $68,000.