Most of the people drawn to marriage promotion and family values politics just want to improve marriage and family values. Some people who make a public name for themselves as family values politicians, though, were drawn to the movement to fight their own temptations. They were concerned about sexual morality in the first place because they knew the desires they were suppressing in themselves.
The Republican Party hitched its wagon to the "family values" star a generation ago. When sexual orientation became a major political issue, that, too, became part of the sexual purity package that Republicans used to differentiate themselves from Democrats. Opposing homosexuality and excoriating adultery became almost obligatory for new Republican politicians. Some of the people drawn to the movement at that time had demons they were fighting in themselves. Some of them got elected.
And now the chickens are coming home to roost. There are so many family values Republicans in office with affairs and, more rarely, homosexual encounters in their past that there is a new family values sex scandal almost every week. This week's affair, by State Sen. Paul Stanley over an affair with an intern, follows sex scandals of Mark Sanford and John Ensign and Larry Craig and Mark Foley .... And, no doubt, more to come.