Talk:Robert Herbert

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"some historians conclude that he was likely gay"[edit]

I think "some historians conclude that he was likely gay" is about as vague as it gets. The source added says "some historians have concluded he was likely gay" which is ... exactly the same vague thing. I presume "gay" here is intended to mean homosexual and not "gay" as that word would have been understood in Herbert's time. At the very least we need to name some repuable historians who have concluded Herbert was homosexual and cite their works and provide whatever evidence on which they have based their conclusions (e.g. initimate letters, memoirs, opinions of close family/friends). I think we need more than "he never married but he shared a house with a man who later married" as evidence (I am sure we could all name plenty of not-gay men who would fit that profile). If there is no evidence, then I think we should remove any discussion of his sexuality or if the speculation comes from a reputable historian, downgrade it to "Despite speculation by [whoever] that he was a homosexual [with citations], no evidence has been presented as to his sexuality". Today, some people believe Barack Obama is Islamic and that he was not born in the USA, but neither of these speculations is discussed in Barack Obama because there is a lack of evidence from reliable sources. Kerry (talk) 07:34, 27 September 2015 (UTC)

It's a reasonably widely reported story, and I think it belongs in the article, although the wording could be better than what is there now. [1] [2] [3] [4] [5] The Drover's Wife (talk) 12:59, 27 September 2015 (UTC)
But the first two merely pose the question, the third says the two men had a "friendship" (complete with the quote marks), the 4th and 5th says it is a speculation by "various/some researchers" (unnamed). All of these appear to be recent works speculating over a house-sharing 150 years ago. Nobody's putting up evidence and nobody seems to be "concluding" anything merely "speculating" because they know they don't have the evidence. I don't care if he is gay or not; it's a more interesting story if he was, but I don't see the difference between this and "Obama is Islamic" (another interesting story) except that Obama's article is protected by the higher BLP standard. If the Herbert article was subject to BLP, would we be adding it? Kerry (talk) 07:48, 28 September 2015 (UTC)
These are valid points as well. I'm actually not terribly fussed either way. The Drover's Wife (talk) 08:02, 28 September 2015 (UTC)
Until something more concrete is confirmed by someone (which is unlikely) its too speculative and therefore doesn't belong. I would remove the first sentence in the second paragraph of the Personal life section and leave the rest as is. - Shiftchange (talk) 08:13, 28 September 2015 (UTC)