Yet another public figure is involved in a possible "sex scandal". Senator Craig from Idaho was arrested for lewd conduct for allegedly engaging in behaviors that indicated to an undercover police officer that he was interested in a homosexual liaison. I stress the word allegedly not out of sarcasm because I believe he really did it (I don't really have an opinion about that), but because of how that word is used in some of the reports about it. This article, in particular, bothers me. It talks about his "alleged homosexuality" and about a blogger who had "accused Craig of homosexual sex". Using words like alleged and accused is especially harmful here. It perpetuates the myth that the crime he stands accused of is being gay or bisexual. That is not his alleged crime. His alleged crime is engaging in lewd behavior that would have been a crime whether he was soliciting homosexual or heterosexual sex.
The brain science is pretty clear that sexual preference is a biological drive, not a moral choice. If Craig made any poor moral choice, it was (allegedly) to break the law by propositioning for sex in a bathroom. Also, if it turns out he is in fact gay, then choosing to oppose equal rights for gay people is at best sad and self-loathing and at worst hypocritical.
Our language often implies more than we think. Let's use words like alleged and accused for crimes, not for being gay.