The Politics of Pleasure
Taken from Sodom's Second Coming, What you Need to Know About the Deadly Homosexual Assault by F. LaGard Smith, Harvest House Publishers, 1993. Used by permission.
Is it possible that, even as you read these words, there are gay-rights activists sitting around in boardrooms or bathhouses furtively conspiring against the American culture? As a criminal law professor who knows what it takes to prove a criminal conspiracy, I'm not one who generally favors conspiracy theories. But it is clear that somebody out there is orchestrating the gay-rights crusade. Somebody, or a group of somebodies, is zealously pursuing a course of action aimed at the homosexualization of America.
It's not happening by accident. Somebody is organizing the Gay Pride marches and convincing the mayors of big cities to participate. Somebody else is sitting behind a computer drafting the latest gay-rights initiative for the upcoming city or statewide election. There are teachers all across America who are discussing over coffee what would be the best way to expose your sons and daughters to the moral acceptability of a gay lifestyle.
Whether any of these people are working directly in concert, or only indirectly in sympathy with each other, we may never know. But there is one thing you can count on: There is a gay-rights network in which many minds are working overtime to advance the goal of the gay-rights movement.
For over two decades, much behind-the-scenes maneuvering has been going on. Consider, for example, the 1972 Gay Rights Platform drawn up by the National Coalition of Gay Organizations.1Among the Coalition's goals were the following:
- Repeal of all laws prohibiting private sexual acts involving consenting persons.
- Repeal of all laws prohibiting prostitution, both male and female.
- Repeal of all laws governing the age of sexual consent.
- Repeal of all legislative provisions that restrict the sex or number of persons entering into a marriage unit; and the extension of legal benefits to all persons who cohabit, regardless of sex or numbers.
- Enactment of legislation so that child custody, adoption, visitation rights, foster parenting, and the like shall not be denied because of sexual orientation or marital status.
- Encouragement and support for sex-education courses, prepared and taught by gay women and men, presenting homosexuality as a valid, healthy preference and lifestyle as a viable alternative to heterosexuality.
If you are finding some comfort in knowing that, two decades later, a substantial portion of their platform has yet to be realized, consider the success of another of their planks which 20 years ago would have been considered unthinkable, but now reads like the leading story in a current issue of Time magazine:
Issuance by the President of an executive order prohibiting the military from excluding for reasons of their sexual orientation, persons who desire entrance into the Armed Services; and from issuing less-than-honorable discharges for homosexuality; and the upgrading to fully honorable all such discharges previously issued, with retroactive benefits.
As we will see in a later chapter, the sex-education plank has also had growing success in some parts of the country, as has the plank relating to homosexual parenting and adoption. Had the Labour Party won the last election in Britain, they were pledged to reduce the age of consent for homosexuals from 21 to 16. Might this be a portent of what could happen soon on this side of the Atlantic? (You can bet that NAMBLA, the North American Man/Boy Love Association, is hoping so.)
Never underestimate the resolve or initiative of gay-rights activists. They have not hidden their sordid light under a bushel. The evidence of a premeditated, long-range gay-rights agenda is compelling - topped off by the election of a President from whom they now expect - and are getting - repayment in kind.
That is why it is so important that we examine the strategy and tactics of the movement. If gay-rights advocates are successful, then two decades from now we could be facing legalized prostitution, both male and female; the complete legalization of homosexual relations even with children; legal marriages for gays; parents losing custody of their children for disapproving of homosexual behavior; and even churches convicted of "hate crimes" for preaching that homosexual behavior is a sin.
The 12-Step Gay Agenda
With that grim prospect in mind, we turn now to a closer examination of the gay movement's l2-step agenda:
- Boldly claim freedom from social restraint and demand independence from the moral order.
- Associate homosexuals with others in order to achieve legitimacy.
- Depict decent folks with traditional family values to be the bad guys.
- Promote the proven lie that gays constitute 10 percent of the population, so that there is legitimacy through sheer numbers.
- Confuse the terminology so that no one realizes the difference between sexual orientation and sexual behavior.
- Enlist science and medicine in a bogus search for some genetic cause for homosexual behavior.
- Don't let anyone know what it is that gays actually do sexually.
- Find creative ways to sidestep what the Bible teaches about homosexual conduct.
- Open the door to the church and get its blessing for homosexual expression.
- Break down legal restrictions against sodomy and instead establish legal restrictions against discrimination.
- Dismantle the American family and make it possible for gays to marry and adopt children.
- Perpetuate myths about heterosexual AIDS so that the disease becomes a political asset for the gay movement.
Step One: Boldly claim freedom from social restraint and demand independence from the moral order.
For homosexuals, this first crucial step is what "coming out" has been about. Before "coming out," homosexuals were collectively and individually suffocating in the seclusion of closeted guilt. As long as their homosexuality was still in the closet, there could be no relief from the guilt, no sense of moral freedom, no claim of legitimacy.
But that's mostly in the past. For today's homosexuals, the gay closet has become a relic of an unenlightened era. First one, then another, then homosexuals by the thousands have now stepped forward with ever-increasing boldness, throwing off the shackles of societal disapproval and asserting their sexuality with the fervor of political revolutionaries. Firing their first volley in the infamous 1969 Stonewall riot in New York's Greenwich Village, militant homosexuals signaled their Declaration of Sexual Independence and established themselves as a nation within a nation. "Gay and proud" became their anthem, and "gay rights" the banner to which they pledged their allegiance.
Like the self-righteous Pharisees of Jesus' day who boldly asserted their religious freedom in the face of his condemnation, today's homosexual crusaders proclaim their freedom as if it were an Emancipation Proclamation from slavery. Yet the promise of moral freedom for gays is merely illusive. What gays fail to appreciate is that in their self-proclaimed freedom they have become even more enslaved to their own passions.
That's what Jesus was telling the Pharisees in John chapter 8: "I tell you the truth, everyone who sins is a slave to sin" (John 8:34). And that is his message even today for those who would press for unrestricted sexual expression of any kind: No matter how loudly we declare our freedom, we are still shackled to whatever passions maintain their power over us.
All the more is that true when we dare to claim liberation from the moral order itself. It's one thing to violate the moral order through human weakness - something which all of us do. It's another thing altogether to deny its authority over us. It is here, in the attempt at moral emancipation, that gay activists tragically fool themselves into thinking they are free.
However much we might wish to deny it, the moral order has a way of keeping us in its grip even at the very moment we refuse to acknowledge its existence. We may feel free, as if we were astronauts floating in outer space. But, like them, we are tethered, whether we like it or not. And of course we ought to like it, for our tether is also our lifeline. Isn't that what Jesus was saying? Feeling sexually free without a moral tether is an invitation to sure destruction. Being free at the end of a morally-legitimate lifeline is being free indeed! The gay-rights claim of moral freedom is a myth. That one small step out of the closet for homosexuals is one giant step toward certain disaster for both homosexuals and society at large.
Step Two: Associate homosexuals with others in order to achieve legitimacy.
In John chapter 8, Jesus was confronted by snobbish religious leaders who rested their personal righteousness on their heritage as descendants of Abraham. "How could we be religiously wrong as long as we are Abraham's descendants?" they were asking.
The gay-rights movement has ingeniously adopted a number of different ways to follow the same ploy. The idea is to somehow associate themselves with groups of heterosexuals who are unquestionably accepted throughout society, in the hope that they themselves will thereby be accepted. So far the tactic is working better than they ever could have imagined.
Just Another "Community"?
Perhaps more subtle than some of the more articulated arguments is the frequent reference to "the gay community."
The "gay community"? You mean, like the black community? The Hispanic community? The Christian community?
While no one would deny that there is a segment of society made up of homosexuals sharing common interests - and therefore a "community" in that sense - if gays can somehow be linked with the many legitimate communities which make up our society, their hope is that homosexuality itself might appear to take on the same legitimacy as, for instance, race or national heritage. Of course, that link is as patently contrived as if an attempt were made to confer legitimate status to the "adulterous community," or to the "tax-fraud community," or to the "white-collar-crime community."
Equally subtle is the hiding place that one might hope to find in the midst of a "community." Whereas we rightly assess personal moral character only in the case of individuals, we normally think of communities in a morally neutral sense. In "the black community," for example, one can find both moral and immoral members of the community. The same goes for "the white community," "the Hispanic community," and so on.
However, when an entire community's identity is based solely upon its unique moral character, the implication is all too clear: If there can somehow be a sanitized, legitimized "gay community," then the individuals who make up that community can automatically be considered morally legitimate as well. Instead of guilt by association, there is a hoped for legitimacy by association.
Just Another Civil-Rights Group?
Never is legitimacy by association more coveted than when the gay-rights movement attempts to link itself with truly legitimate civil-rights movements. Every effort is made by homosexuals to ride piggyback on the fortunes of blacks, women, and other legitimate minority groups. But minority groups must never be confused with special-interest groups.
As for minority groups, we champion laws prohibiting discrimination against race, gender, and national origin because they represent a status over which their members have no choice. Naturally, that raises one of the most crucial questions in the entire debate: whether homosexuals have any choice in the matter. (The issue will be more fully developed in later chapters.)
Suffice it to say for now that the burden is on the gay-rights movement to establish that homosexual conduct is not volitionally chosen. In that regard, their persistent reference to "sexual preference" and "gay lifestyle" betrays their attempt to deny personal volition in their sexual practices. Legitimate minority status is a bogus claim by what amounts to nothing more than a special-interest group.
Of course, gay activists point out that we also have laws prohibiting discrimination on the basis of religion, wherein one's faith is personally chosen. But the attempted analogy still misses the mark, because religion is a matter of constitutionally protected belief. Religious belief stands in sharp contrast to homosexual behavior, which the Supreme Court has specifically declared not to be constitutionally protected.
The Pro-Choice, Pro-Gay Connection
Far less lofty than the efforts which are made to mimic legitimate minorities is the well-documented liaison between gay-rights groups and pro-choice, pro-abortion organizations. If ever there were an unholy alliance, this is it! Considering the fact that homosexuals will never have to worry about the unwanted pregnancy that leads to abortion, it gives new meaning to the saying that politics makes strange bedfellows. How strange indeed! More importantly, instead of providing gay activists with added moral legitimacy by association with a high-profile social cause, it simply confirms how morally perverse their movement is. Pro-choice for the "men of conscience," as they are called by their pro-abortion allies, only serves to put gays in league with yet another special-interest group desperately seeking moral freedom where none exists. How much more morally bankrupt can gays be than when they are willing to trade on the lives of 1.5 million aborted babies a year in order to gain public approval of their own homosexual lifestyle!
Ironically, there is already expressed consternation over the potential convergence of two separately developing streams: 1) Gay-initiated efforts to find a "biological determinant" for homosexuality, wherein homosexual orientation is the product of perinatal chemical configurations in utero; and 2) the growing practice of eugenic abortions that would permit concerned parents to abort any fetus indicating homosexual tendencies.
Even though discovery of a "biological determinant" is about as likely as meeting Shirley MacLaine in a future lifetime, gays find themselves in the same embarrassing dilemma as feminists, who demand unrestricted choice, yet are offended when that choice results in the methodical slaughter of female fetuses in sex-selection abortions.
Once one jumps the moral cue, he has to be careful in his choice of allies. The " immoral order" - and there is one - tends to be as integrative and interdependent as is the moral order.
Parading Celebrity Comrades
Among the more visible tactics of gay-rights advocates is their concerted effort to surround themselves in a show of strength with every important personage they can muster, whether it be politicians, entertainment celebrities, athletes, or even religious leaders.
The strategy is no secret. We have it from their own Pens:
Our campaign should not overlook the Celebrity Endorsement. The celebrities in question can, of course, be either straight or gay ...but must always be well liked and respected by the public.
If homosexual, the celebrity jams homo-hatred by presenting a favorable gay image at odds with the stereotype. If straight, the spokesperson (who deserves the Medal of Valor) provides the public with an impressive role model of social tolerance to emulate. In either case, the psychological response among straights is the same, and lays the groundwork for conversion:
I like and admire Mr. Celeb;
Mr. Celeb is queer and/or respects queers; so either I must stop liking and admiring Mr. Celeb, or else it must be all right for me to respect queers,2
Naturally, many of the big names that are paraded before us are homosexuals recognized and admired for their outstanding talent. Consider conductor/composer Leonard Bernstein3and tennis stars Billie Jean King and Martina Navratilova, to name but three.
But it is the heterosexual celebrities who better serve the movement's goal of achieving public acceptability. Simply consider the recent uproar over Colorado's initiative to prevent special gay-rights ordinances, and what you see is a virtual Who's Who of America's top entertainers coming to the defense of the gays. The list is long, including Barbra Streisand, Lily Tomlin, Whoopi Goldberg, Joan Rivers, Cher, Liza Minnelli, and Sidney Poitier. John Denver got in on the act by sponsoring a concert to raise $50,000 in an effort to repeal the initiative.
Even former President (and Sunday school teacher) Jimmy Carter defended his boycott-breaking appearance in Colorado by saying that his visit would help the people who were fighting that law.4
Sadly, there has never been a greater friend and benefactor of the gay movement than President Bill Clinton. His association with homosexual activist David Mixner is well-known. It was Mixner who marshaled the army of gays that helped elect Clinton, and the same Mr. Mixner who persuaded his friend in the nation's highest office to declare the "army of gays" in the Army official. (It was also Mixner who said he became "literally sick to my stomach" when Clinton suggested that the military might have some legitimate concerns after all.)5
Mixner's important political connection did not go unrewarded. During the frenzy of Clinton's many inaugural celebrations, The Gay and Lesbian Victory Fund saluted Mixner with an inaugural ball. It was attended by a host of luminaries, among whom were actress Sigourney Weaver; White House spokesman George Stephanopoulos; three California senators, including Diane Feinstein, Barbara Boxer, and Alan Cranston (now retired); and singers Gladys Knight, Patti Austin, and Peter, Paul, and Mary.
It was a sign of the times, and of the growing public acceptability of the gay movement, when the Lesbian and Gay Bands of America played in the inaugural parade while Girl Scouts handed out American flags and AIDS ribbons.
If the gays ever wanted a calling card, they received it in President Clinton. "Bill Clinton is the Abraham Lincoln of the lesbian and gay community," said Gregory King, a spokesman for the Human Rights Campaign Fund, a pro-gay political group whose 75,000 members raised 2.5 million dollars for the Clinton campaign.6
"Being gay is a plus, because the president's looking for diversity," said Andrew Barrer, director of Coalition '93, an organization set up to push gay and lesbian candidates for federal appointments.7
On every side, gays have gained support from people of influence. The associations which they have carefully cultivated for over two decades have brought them a level of public acceptability that one could never have dreamed of happening in so short a time.
Of course, legitimacy by association misses the issue altogether. If you live by association you can also die by association. Would the gay-rights movement wish us to associate them with homosexual serial killers Elmer Wayne Henley, John Wayne Gacy, Juan Corona, and Wayne Williams?8
A Genealogy for Gays?
Yet not even the impressive list of sympathetic luminaries seems sufficient for gays. Have you heard all the historical revision going on lately? One after another historical figures are being "outed" as homosexuals. The latest coup, if it is to be believed, is "gay-hater" and former FBI chief J. Edgar Hoover, who according to biographer Anthony Summers (Official and Confidential: The Secret Life of J. Edgar Hoover) was homosexually involved with his assistant director, and even dallied with being a transvestite on occasion.
But just look at the revisionist strategy and why gays correctly perceive the reasons for its success:
The honor roll of prominent gay or bisexual men and women is truly eye-popping. From Socrates to Eleanor Roosevelt, Tchaikovsky to Bessie Smith, Alexander the Great to Alexander Hamilton, and Leonardo da Vinci to Walt Whitman, the list of suspected "inverts" is old hat to us but surprising news to heterosexual America.
Famous historical figures are especially useful to us for two reasons: first, they are invariably dead as a doornail, hence in no position to deny the truth and sue for libel. Second, and more serious, the virtues and accomplishments that make these historic gay figures admirable cannot be gainsaid or dismissed by the public, since high school history textbooks have already set them in incontrovertible cement.9
Apparently, it has become particularly important in the debate over gays in the military to dredge up great military figures of the past: Julius Caesar; the entire army of Sparta; Lord Kitchener, Frederick the Great, Alexander the Great (as mentioned), and so on.
London columnist Frank Johnson suggests, tongue in cheek, that, given the preference for anyone with "the Great" after his or her name, it's surely only a matter of time before Catherine the Great is "outed" as a lesbian.10
And who's to know the difference? With none of them around to defend themselves, even George Washington, Napoleon, and General Patton aren't safe.
As a matter of historical fact, Frederick the Great and Kitchener probably were homosexuals. But apparently Alexander the Great was guilty of no greater crime than the male, Platonic friendship in which the ancient world was more interested than in the sexual craving of our own time.
Caesar, of course, was married, and spent a good deal of time with Cleopatra. Whether this precluded other, homosexual liaisons is by no means clear. But until there is more evidence, the gay-rights movement is no more entitled to him than is the other side.11
In all of the frenzy for establishment of a gay pedigree, it seems to be lost on gay activists that they are committing the same sin which they condemn in heterosexuals: defining a homosexual by his homosexuality. Are historical figures to be admired because of their homosexuality, or are they to be admired for having accomplished what they did despite their homosexuality?
Acceptability Through Sympathy
A final way in which the gay movement succeeds in gaining public support is not a tactic which I would guess anyone is cynical enough to purposely exploit. It just works out that way. I refer here, of course, to the many AlDS-related deaths which have seen one celebrity after another go to his grave prematurely.
It is considered indelicate to mention it, but certain sports, like men's ice-skating, have felt the brunt of AIDS more than others. The obituary in Canada alone includes such top skaters as Rob McCall, Brian Pockar, Dennis Coi, and Shaun McGill. There is also Britain's John Curry. Add to that list Ondrej Nepla, the 1972 Olympic gold medalist from Czechoslovakia, who has already died, and now Barry Hagen, the World Champion ice dancer in 1982 and 1983, who has tested positive to the HIV virus, and you begin to realize how devastating the gay lifestyle can be, even in a single sport.
On another front, who hasn't been appalled by the loss of so many people with creative talent in the field of arts and entertainment? In the past decade there have been so many funerals in Hollywood that, as one gay put it, "I'm simply weary from attending them." Many of those who died were relatively unknown behind-the-scenes writers, choreographers, and dancers. Others have been superstars whose deaths have touched us all.
For example, who among us didn't admire the strength and gracefulness that permitted Rudolf Nureyev to leap in exquisite slow motion? Or enjoy the cinematic roles played by Rock Hudson? I still remember the days of early television and the popular show-biz flair of Liberace. These people are gone now, robbed of life by the homosexual lifestyle which they shared in common. Yet they have become the heroes of the hour.
One might have thought that these tragic deaths would have been an embarrassment to the gay-rights movement. But every cause needs its martyrs, and none could be more suited for the gay movement than deaths which, in one stroke, combine unprecedented public sympathy and celebrity-status homosexuality. What could be better than legitimacy by association unless perhaps it is legitimacy by sympathy?
The connection is not difficult to draw. Were you shocked to learn how Rock Hudson died? If so, how could you possibly oppose gay rights? Hudson was a homosexual, you know.
Were you grieved at the loss which Nureyev's death brought to the world of ballet? If so, what could possibly be wrong with gay rights? Nureyev was a homosexual, you know. No one should underestimate the strength of the sympathy vote. In the midst of all the cynical attempts to gain public acceptability through contrived associations with legitimate minorities, civil-rights movements, and supportive celebrities, nothing grabs the American people quite like the association between AIDS and gay rights.
When faced with death, we often find a common bond that we never knew in life. In death we are neither homosexual nor heterosexual. And that is a comforting thought to the gay movement, because it means that society will then begin to look more kindly upon the special risk that homosexual men face - and thus more kindly upon their movement for social recognition.
The fact that homosexuals have virtually absolute control over that risk hardly seems to matter. For every person who blames homosexuals for the AIDS epidemic and its threat even to young innocents, there are another two or more people who let their sympathy for AIDS victims cloud the quite separate issue of gay rights.
I say "quite separate," but perhaps in another vein we would do well to make the very connection that gays would love us to make. After all, were it not for the movement for gay rights, in several decades the tragedy of the AIDS epidemic for homosexuals and many more innocents in America could literally be ancient history.
- E. Rueda, Homosexual Network (Greenwich, CT: Devin-Adair Publishers, 1982), pp. 202-03.
- Marshall Kirk and Hunter Madsen, After the Ball (New York: Plume, 1990), p. 188.
- Ibid., p. 52.
- Boston Globe, January 6, 1993, LIVING, p. 28.
- Waldman, "Battle," p.42.
- Bob Dart, "Activists see this decade as the 'gay '90s,"' Cox News Service, Feb. 1993.
- Martin Kasindorf, "Clinton isn't marching but is in step with gays," The Nashuille Banner, Apr. 23, 1993, p. A1.
- Kirk and Madsen, After the Ball, p.47.
- Frank Johnson, "Of Militants and the Military," in the Daily Telegraph, Feb. 3, 1993, p.17.