Understanding the Viciousness of the Gay LeftBy Robert Oscar Lopez
In light of the fluffy report issued this week by the College Republican National Committee urging the right, in part, to abandon opposition to gay marriage, the message I am about to deliver is triply urgent: don't fall for the con!
The Gay Left is not the same thing as gay people, many of whom are good folks. The Gay Left is also not, despite what one might think, merely another part of the liberal intelligentsia. It is a peculiar creature, a specific cluster of organizations that evolved from the specific environmental stresses of police repression, psychiatric stigma, and AIDS.
The problem is that while in America the institutionalized persecution of homosexuals has been dispersed into episodes of de facto social friction (as opposed to de jure discrimination) the survival instincts that grew out of an earlier age of repression -- many of which become destructive if they outlive their moment of necessity -- remain integral to the Gay Left's political apparatus.
Where are we now? A quick run-down
During hearings on Capitol Hill, Chapman University professor John Eastman of the National Organization for Marriage unveiled new evidence that the Human Rights Campaign, the nation's largest gay advocacy organization, may have feloniously obtained confidential tax documents from the IRS and then published them with the intent of humiliating political opponents.
This accusation, as has been noted by several commentators including Dennis Prager and Ann Coulter, brings the current IRS scandals to a whole new level. Below is the exchange that took place between Rep. Paul Ryan and Prof. Eastman:
RYAN: So your donors are confidential, that's protected by law. You have proof that the IRS leaked your confidential donor information to a group that opposes your point of view. And your donors were harassed as a result of that. Is that correct?
As Dennis Prager pointed out in his show, this is the most serious chapter of the IRS scandal. A brief transcript:
PRAGER: People will more openly talk about marital problems, and certainly child problems, than they will disclose their financial data [...] And so to publish people's tax returns is to in some ways strip them naked in public [...]
EASTMAN: [...] what was leaked to the Human Rights Campaign was Schedule B of our tax returns, which is our list of major donors and their addresses. And that is as private of a tax return as your own individual 1040 tax returns. And it's a felony for anybody to disclose that information without your permission. The Human Rights Campaign posted this on their website and we immediately called for them to take it down [...]and this is a felony. It is a felony punishable by up to five years in prison, to disclose somebody's tax returns without authorization [...]The Human Rights Campaign had been trying for a long time to get our donor list so that they could do just that to our donors [harass and intimidate them]. The president of the Human Rights Campaign, Joe Salmonese, had just recently become a national co-chair for the Obama re-election campaign.
While bad enough, this is only the tip of the iceberg -- the gay lobby is also gleefully co-opting military and police forces to hound its enemies too.
How did we get here?
In June 1969, a group of homosexuals in New York City got into a protracted altercation with the urban police force that had been raiding gay bars. According the History Channel's sanitized account of this famous event, the riots were "the impetus for the formation of the Gay Liberation Front as well as other gay, lesbian, and bisexual civil rights organizations" and "regarded by many as history's first major protest on behalf of equal rights for homosexuals." The Stonewall riots developed an exaggerated image in the collective memory of the LGBT movement, but this moment of fighting back against violent persecution is the locus classicus for their entire worldview.
By June 6, 2013, we see a different story. This time it is Grégor Puppinck speaking before Geneva's Council of Rights of Man about "the grave matter" of 350 people being arrested and detained, through violent police acts including tear gas, for the simple reason that they objected to the recent gay marriage law passed in France. The peaceful assemblies gathered to defend the rights of children to a mother and a father -- rights that the French law undermines, in their estimation (and mine).
The LGBT movement fought fire with fire. So it became exactly what it fought against.
After Stonewall, the shrinks and the soldiers
The jump from violent self-defense to violence against innocents occurred because the gay community had to contend with brutally real shocks, to which they developed an adaptive response.
Not long after the Stonewall rebellion, the burgeoning gay rights movement became addicted to the adrenaline of protest. They stormed the medical professions to de-stigmatize themselves. Psychiatric and psychological associations de-classified homosexuality as a mental illness by the mid-1970s, and the expert "consensus" (of which there would be several more, all unmitigated disasters) was that the urges felt by homosexual men posed no peculiar danger to their health at all. Indeed, by this consensus, men having sex with men were no different from men having sex with women. Within seven years there was a massive AIDS epidemic.
Somewhere, perhaps, there could have been a middle ground between total repression and complete anomie. With women taken out of the picture and modern medicine offering them copious antibiotics, they felt invincible. They had no idea HIV existed. Why would anyone know it existed? For thousands of years sexual mores, taboos, and codes of conduct had ensured that there wouldn't be men running around with thousands of other men, ejaculating into each other's delicate parts after knowing each other for as little as a few minutes.
The AIDS epidemic was as traumatic as anyone could imagine; I should know, as I was there for the worst of it. Growing up in a gay community and spending the 1990s surrounded by homosexuals, I cannot begin to recount the emotions of that catastrophe. To tell one story is to open up about hundreds upon hundreds of others, all wasting away -- uncompensated for having been sold a false "consensus" and urged by idealistic experts to do the very thing that killed them.
A rational reaction to this epidemic would have been to question the 1970s "consensus" about homosexual normalcy and rein in the sexual abandon that had laid waste to so many young gay men. As we know from human history, however, people rarely react to trauma rationally.
Faced with AIDS, the response from some gay groups was to offer comfort; from these gay groups sprang the vast network of community centers and free clinics that still help many gay people to this day.
But the response from political activists such as those who founded HRC in 1980 was to go into massive denial about what their ideology had wrought. Rather than back down, they sought to relive Stonewall again, this time projecting the harm done by a virus onto actual human beings, whom they blamed for willing the disease to destroy them. So a mythology developed that Ronald Reagan was responsible for the AIDS crisis. Homophobia was responsible. Discrimination was responsible. Gay men could not be responsible.
The deflection of blame onto imaginary enemies required tremendous mental work, and this work became the overarching labor of the Human Rights Campaign and its many sister organizations. Gay activists retreated from physical reality and rejected the notion of truth, since both reality and truth had betrayed them. They took comfort in the notion that if others saw them as good and normal, their problems would be solved. And so hiding problems -- which sometimes bordered on lying -- took precedence over self-improvement.
Whenever caught in a misrepresentation -- as they already have been regarding suicide and sexual assault in the military, and as they will soon be regarding same-sex parenting -- they have learned to become aggressive.
There are still many who fear homosexuals rather than hate them. They react to aggressive behavior by gay activists with appeasement and avoidance. They give gays what they want and forego any arguments with them. What gay activists learn from this is simple: Be aggressive and you will get what you want. Stay on the offensive and never play defense. Replace the last false consensus with a newer, glossier consensus, and repeat it again and again without ever apologizing for having been wrong the last time.
When it turns out that men having sex with men are much more likely to incur venereal diseases, push a new consensus about open homosexuality having no impact whatsoever on morale or unit cohesion in the military. When this too goes terribly wrong, and the sexual assault rate rises by 35% after the repeal of Don't Ask Don't Tell (mostly homosexual rapes), then harp on the consensus about same-sex parenting being just as good, or better, than families with a mom and a dad. If all else fails, be aggressive.
The National Organization for Marriage became the target of the Human Rights Campaign's seasoned and entrenched method of coping with the universal disappointments of real life. Had there been no National Organization for Marriage, the HRC would have seized upon a different target -- a church, a random conservative blogger, a Knights of Columbus lodge. Nobody assailed by the HRC should ever take the mean-spiritedness personally. Nor, I must add, should they give in to it. The more you feed the beast that is dysfunctional gay activism, the greater the beast will grow. As I learned during the AIDS crisis, its first victims are usually other gays.
Robert Oscar Lopez edits English Manif.
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