The Arguments We Endure
This column has referred in recent weeks to a wide variety of narratives established by the Right describing their perceptions of LGBTs and the purported effects our existence poses on society. I’ve taken pains to point out that the only reason there are any of these issues in the general social conscience is because the Right goes to such pains to put and keep them there. Most of the references I’ve made to date are of historical positions taken by these people whom I describe as the perennial malcontent bent on creating evermore absurd supports of their opinions. Theirs is a world of manufactured descriptions designed to describe the world in a fashion to keep the faithful frightened, under control and coming back for more. And, they just so hate it when the rest of the world doesn’t take heed of their craziness and fall into line behind them. Their general countenance is of supremely uncomfortable people doing their best to prevent the one facet of existence that is guaranteed, constant and unequivocal. Change. Adaptation. Evolution.
The right has a small cadre of spokesmen and women who fabricate a surprising variety of reasons to be frightened of us gay people. Oh, they like to target other threats to their tribe’s way of thought, such as scientists, non-Christians such as Muslims, and proto-Christians like Mormons and Unitarians, the iniquitous such as unwed mothers and poor people, and the undeniably lost, like atheists, secularists, humanists, liberated women, Muslims and other suspect dark people, Mormons and Unitarians. You, know, the “Other.”
But, the right has a particularly hard spot in their tough-loving hearts for LGBTs. They spend a lot of time producing new vistas on how horrible and threatening we are. Following are a sampling of the diatribe narrative presented in recent weeks about the striking threat men-who-love-men and women-who-love-women are to society.
This shall be an ongoing narrative, with frequent additions and updates each week, and a new list beginning each Wednesday. Much thanks to Right Wing Watch, Media Matters, for doing the heavy lifting in tracking these examples of Free Speech and the exercise of Freedom of Religion.
`The Liberty Council is a Christian, Florida based think tank, public interest law firm and ministry that offers free legal services to people and organizations in the areas of religious liberty, anti-abortion “sanctity of life” and traditional family issues. On the Liberty Council’s syndicated radio program, Matt Barber, who is the Director of Cultural Affairs for both the Liberty Council and Liberty Alliance Action as well as an Associate Dean of the Liberty University School of Law, hosts the American Family Radio “Liberty Live” talk show. On November 15, Barber claimed that the Respect for Marriage Act, which would repeal the Defense of Marriage Act, would impose “San Francsico style social engineering” on the country. He said that if children are brought up in same-sex households, they’re more likely to identify as gay and gay men are more likely to contract HIV. Therefore, apparently, without DOMA, children of same sex parents are more likely to contract the AIDS virus. I wonder if he considers that there are still going to be the same number of same-sex household families with or without DOMA, And, he never explains just why it’s so horrible if a gay child in a gay household doesn’t have to struggle for years to come to terms with being gay.
California State Senator Mark Leno (D-SF) passed and helped implement SB 48, the Fair, Accurate, Inclusive and Respectful (FAIR) Education Act which would require instruction in social sciences to include a study of the “role and contributions” of “lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender Americans” in the same way that schools currently include the contributions of ethnic minorities, and prohibits adoption of textbooks and other materials, instruction or school-sponsored activities containing any matter that “reflects adversely” upon persons because of their “sexual orientation.” The law effects public, charter and alternative schools uniformly, but not home schooled children.
Michael Brown is Director of the Coalition of Conscience and President of FIRE School of Ministry, author, according to his website, of “the book the publishers are afraid to touch,” A Queer Thing Happened to America, hosts “The Line of Fire” radio program. In his November 15th program, Brown equates the Jerry Sandusky scandal at Penn State with the lives of any LGBT citizens of note who contributed to society in a positive, meaningful manner, such as Oscar Wilde, Walt Whitman and others. Never mind that scholars can’t even agree whether Whitman was homosexual, bisexual or even had any homosexual experiences, or that Lord Alfred Douglas, the man with whom Wilde had the affair that led to his imprisonment, was twenty-one when their affair began. According to Brown, all those gays are paedophiles. According to Brown, “it is equally outrageous that gay activists want us to celebrate, in history, men who are known for similar acts in their own lives, be they consensual, or other.” Clearly, Brown thinks Sandusky’s sickness is on par with Wilde, Whitman, Alan Turing who broke the German Enigma code machine, and is considered the father of modern computing and artificial intelligence. Same with Alexander the Great, Leonardo da Vinci, Michelangelo, G.F. Handel, P.I. Tchaikovsky, T.E. Lawrence of Arabia, Laurence Olivier, Danny Kaye, Florence Nightingale, Napoleon, Voltaire, Jean Cocteau, Proust, Michel Foucauilt, George Washington, Alexander Hamilton, James Buchanan or Abraham Lincoln, to name a few. Note that the FAIR Act doesn’t say anything about mentioning historical figures’ sexual orientation. FAIR only prevents gay figures in history from being excluded from the history books simply because they’re LGBT.
So, we begin. This chronicle of right wing paranoia and absurdities seems daunting from my perspecitive. It’s a dirty job, but somebody’s gotta do it. Check back frequently for updates.