Understanding the “Gay Agenda”: Part 1 – In the Beginning

By design, Ryan White was made the face of AIDS in the 1980s.

By design, Ryan White was made the face of HIV/AIDS in the 1980s.

The following is part 1 of a multi-part series covering some of the history and tactics of the “gay rights” movement.

By the fall of 1987, AIDS was devastating the homosexual community throughout America. The well-documented promiscuity among homosexuals was a breeding ground for what became known as the “gay disease.” Homosexual males at the time comprised more than 95 percent of known cases of AIDS. Deaths of both out and closeted celebrities of HIV-related symptoms were trending in the news. Cover stories about how “Patient Zero,” the infamous and highly promiscuous male flight attendant Gaëtan Dugas, accused of spreading HIV unconscionably, seemed to be the only news at the time. Predictions of a pandemic were voiced through the Center for Disease Control and the World Health Organization.

The truth turned about to be somewhat different. Yes, Africa has been slammed by HIV (not surprising, even within a traditional heterosexual African culture, where anal sex is viewed as a legitimate form of birth control). But America was saved, relatively speaking, from the predicted pandemic. Why? Because HIV always has been primarily a “gay disease” – and there just aren’t that many practicing homosexuals in America (a statement, by the way, known as “The Big Lie” among many homosexual advocates). Yes, needle-using drug addicts have added to those numbers, as have cases of contaminated blood among hemophiliacs. But, by and large, HIV-related illnesses occurred most frequently among homosexuals.

So it was curious in October 1987 that sponsors of the first federal funding bill in the U.S. House of Representatives related to AIDS was titled “The Ryan White Act,” named after a hemophiliac boy who contracted the virus from contaminated blood. Ryan White became the poster child for AIDS in 1987 – not promiscuous homosexual Gaëtan Dugas, but an innocent little boy born with hemophilia. That story played better in Peoria. Read more

Supreme court DOMA and Prop 8 marriage cases: a preliminary analysis

Wedding rings

The U.S. Supreme Court has now issued its decisions in the two marriage cases, both on 5-4 votes.

In the Proposition 8 case, the majority said that since the group that had brought the measure to the voters had not experienced any personal injury from the original federal court decision (i.e. they were not required to do or not do something) holding Proposition 8 unconstitutional, they could not appeal that decision. They only needed to appeal because the government officials with the responsibility of doing so refused in order to sabotage the law. That ruse seems to have worked now and the bizarre opinion by Judge Walker saying Proposition 8 was unconstitutional because he found it irrational is still valid. There will have to be some further developments to sort out the implications of this decision (for instance, does it only apply to the parties in the original lawsuit so that a county clerk could refuse to comply?).

In the case challenging the federal Defense of Marriage Act, the majority was willing to address the substantive issues but the reader will wish they had not. The majority (Justice Anthony Kennedy was the author) decided DOMA was unconstitutional. Why? Well, the court begins talking about federalism concerns as if it is going to conclude that Congress could not define terms in federal law contrary to the way states use the terms in state law. Perhaps because of the extreme novelty of this rule, the majority backs away from it and says it doesn’t have to decide the question.

Rather, Justice Kennedy says that DOMA is a violation of the constitution (it’s not clear which provision as Justice Scalia points out in dissent) because its purpose and effect is to interfere with “the equal dignity of same-sex marriages” and because it treats same-sex marriages “as second-class marriages for purposes of federal law.” Read more

The bottom line in the marriage cases

800px-United_states_supreme_court_buildingWith Supreme Court decisions imminent in two cases about marriage, it is good to remember the question the court is being asked to answer.

The two cases ask the same basic question: Does the U.S. Constitution require a state (Proposition 8 case) or the national government (DOMA case) to change the definition of marriage to include same-sex couples?

To answer this question, the court would have to answer others. First, is there anything in the text of the Fifth or 14th Amendments that could plausibly read as a mandate to redefine marriage? (Taking a clause out of context to use as a slogan does not count.) Second, when the Fifth (1791) and 14th (1868) Amendments were ratified, could they possibly have been understood to require such a result?

Much of the chatter about the cases is about how the court will find a technicality to prevent ruling on the cases. It’s not clear whether that’s just an attempt to tamp down expectations by the pro-redefinition advocates who may recognize that the legal arguments are an overreach.

If, however, the court is to address the underlying question in the case, more than the cultural understanding of marriage (as crucial is that is) is at stake.

If we are indeed, governed by a written constitution, then the court’s answer (or even avoiding an answer) to these questions is important.

The answers are actually pretty easy. The Constitution allows the states plenary power over domestic relations and allows Congress power to determine what terms used in federal law mean. The Constitution does not codify the mores of the sexual revolution. It does not establish a super-legislature to censor the laws enacted in the normal political process.

That’s the bottom line.

Is the ‘gay rights’ bandwagon good for business?

Blury_BuildingThe following post is a transcript of a 4-minute weekly radio commentary aired on several Utah radio stations.

A growing number of private businesses are adopting internal policies addressing discrimination in the workplace regarding homosexuality. These nondiscrimination policies are adopted to assure employees that their workplace is safe and accommodating. Interestingly, many private companies that have pursued these internal policies now advocate that nondiscrimination should become public policy. It’s not enough for them to have instituted these policies in their own companies; they now feel compelled somehow to insist that the rest of the world follow suit.

That is peculiar enough. Even more peculiar is when business associations, such as Chambers of Commerce, endorse nondiscrimination policies as a matter of the public interest. In Utah, our own Salt Lake Chamber of Commerce supports a statewide nondiscrimination policy. It says that such a law would be good for business.

That idea gives me pause. Are “gay rights” good for business? Is the advancement of homosexual relationships by a business community good for business?

Of course, there’s no evidence at all, other than anecdotal, that business benefits by championing “gay rights.” It’s hard to argue that homosexuality has any relationship to the world of business, outside of businesses that cater to homosexuality – but that’s a very isolated and niche segment of the business community. Read more

Sexual orientation, religious freedom and law


Why are sexual thoughts a central matter of law and policy but religious thoughts are irrelevant to law and policy?

Religious freedom is all about its “exercise.” There are no concerns in a free society about what religious people think, only about what religious people do. Public concerns about religious belief are rarely provoked by what a religious person thinks, only how that religious person exercises her beliefs. A religious person could believe in animal sacrifice but, unless that person actually “sacrifices” an animal, law and society have no claim on those thoughts and beliefs. Religions, such as The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, don’t litigate over beliefs – they litigate over the free exercise of those beliefs.

The point for law and society is this: Nobody cares about what you think; we only care about what you do – unless, of course, in this day and age, we are talking about the politics of sexual orientation (i.e., same-sex attraction). Your mind’s eye might be drawn to the image of Professor Harold Hill’s “Think System” (from The Music Man) – thinking something is being something.

In this unique example of sexual orientation, law and society are called upon to consider what someone thinks. Homosexual activists and their supporters – including now, by implication, the LDS Church and Boy Scouts of America (BSA) – claim that there should be heightened attention in their private institutions, and qualified attention in law and policy, addressing the fundamental differences between orientation and behavior.

BSA is now confident in the matter: “No youth may be denied membership in the Boy Scouts of America on the basis of sexual orientation or preference alone.” And, “Scouting is a youth program, and any sexual conduct, whether homosexual or heterosexual, by youth of Scouting age is contrary to the virtues of Scouting” (italics added). BSA accepts youth with no thought about sexual orientation, yet homosexual conduct is prohibited. Read more

Will BSA take a well-intentioned but calamitous path?

603px-Boy_Scouts_of_America_Silver_Dollar_Centennial_Commemorative_Coin_obverseBy nature an upbeat and optimistic person, today I am experiencing feelings that are hard to describe. Upbeat they are not. More a combination of sadness and mourning about the fact that this afternoon representatives of the 290 local councils comprising the organization of the Boy Scouts of America (BSA) will vote on a proposed change in the membership policy for youth who choose to participate in the program. Whatever the outcome of the vote – and other proposals may also be presented and considered – the fact that such a potential change is even being considered is the issue.

The current and longstanding BSA membership policy, which applies equally to youth members and adult leaders, denies membership to “open or avowed homosexuals.” The proposed resolution, in its first 731 words, includes language consistent with Scouting’s historic principled foundation and purpose. In the last sentence, it abandons this safe, sensitive and prudent policy in favor of what can most charitably be described as presumably well-intentioned, but calamitous:

“No youth may be denied membership in the Boy Scouts of America on the basis of sexual orientation or preference alone.”

Because the inclusion of this sentence legitimizes homosexuality, and “sexual orientation or preference” is just an alternative way of saying “open or avowed,” the adoption of this proposed change in youth membership criteria will seriously jeopardize the cornerstone of morality that for 103 years has given Boy Scout youth, their parents and adult leaders cause to invest expectation and effort in this outstanding organization. Read more

My letter to the Boy Scouts of America

The following post is a transcript of a 4-minute weekly radio commentary aired on several Utah radio stations.

The Boy Scouts of America is scheduled to vote later this month on its proposed nondiscrimination policy on sexual orientation for its youth. I was asked by a BSA official to provide some thoughts on the subject in a letter and here are some of those thoughts. I wrote,

603px-Boy_Scouts_of_America_Silver_Dollar_Centennial_Commemorative_Coin_obverseSutherland Institute is sure of a few facts and consequences, if the policy is approved.

First, BSA is not being challenged legally on this issue. … In other words, this debate, as much as it has been unnecessarily contentious, is a self-inflicted wound for BSA.

Second, the proposed policy is a solution looking for a problem. The fact is that no one knows how many youth not in Scouting, but who would like to be, self-identify with a homosexual orientation. What everyone does know is that that number is unremarkably few….

Third, homosexuality, whether imagined or enacted, is incompatible with Scouting. … For a Scouter to think homosexual thoughts or to act on those attractions is not being one’s better self.

And, fourth, there is the issue of psychological and emotional abuse of a child. For BSA to passively accept the idea that a 10-year old has some irreversible homosexual “orientation” that seals his sexual fate for the rest of his life is psychological and emotional abuse of a child…. Read more

Scouts, Saints and 'sexual orientation'

603px-Boy_Scouts_of_America_Silver_Dollar_Centennial_Commemorative_Coin_obverseIn 1993, between congressional jobs, I briefly worked on Capitol Hill for a national pro-family lobby. I remember a conversation with a former colleague who thought that whether a person was “born gay” or not was irrelevant to the ongoing discussion about civil rights based on “sexual orientation.” He shared with me, adamant about the correctness of his position, that it doesn’t really matter which human weaknesses we’re born with, all that matters is how we choose to act when confronted with human weakness. A man with a weakness for gambling can choose not to gamble. Likewise, my colleague insisted, a person with same-sex attraction can choose not to have same-sex sexual relations.

He added, regardless of the innateness of any human weakness, society is justified, to the degree it feels it must, to frown upon bad behavior.

My colleague argued that just because a man has a sexual weakness for young children, for instance, doesn’t mean that society should condone pedophilia. A predatory act such as pedophilia is immoral, inherently wrong for human beings, in and of itself. His argument came at a time when all sorts of bad human behaviors were thought to have some genetic connection – smoking, alcoholism, drug abuse, pornography, etc. – and also at a time when we began seeing Hollywood make movies about “natural born killers” and other miscreants who seemingly could not control their bad behaviors, the poor souls. Read more

Politicization of homosexuality barrels on

GayBusIn the “gay rights” debate over the years, I have raised the point that the psychiatric and psychological professional associations normalized the condition of homosexuality because of politics, not science. Typically, my claim is greeted with jeers and laughter from skeptical and disdainful opponents.

But truth is truth. When I co-ghost-wrote a book for a former boss, Congressman William E. Dannemeyer, titled Shadow in the Land: Homosexuality in America, in 1989, I knew the truth about the politics of homosexuality within the psychiatric and psychological professions.

Nine years after the 1973 convention vote within the American Psychiatric Association (APA), Ronald Bayer, a professor at the Center for the History and Ethics of Public Health, in the Mailman School of Public Health, at Columbia University, released a book titled Homosexuality and American Psychiatry: The Politics of Diagnosis. Dr. Bayer supports the change in APA policy to remove homosexuality from the official list of mental disorders. Let me repeat: Dr. Bayer supports homosexuality as a normal human condition and, from everything I can discern, supports “gay rights” generally. Read more

Same-sex marriage and our better selves

The following post is a transcript of a 4-minute weekly radio commentary aired on several Utah radio stations:

Last week the United States Supreme Court received arguments in two cases regarding same-sex marriage. The Proposition 8 case out of California concerns the constitutionality of a state constitutional amendment and the other case, the Defense of Marriage Act, concerns prohibitions on the federal government recognizing the same-sex relations of its federal employees.

There are many political and legal angles to these cases. The decisions basically rest in the hands of Justice Anthony Kennedy, who represents the court’s swing vote in such matters. In 2002, Justice Kennedy wrote the majority opinion for a case out of Texas that overturned that state’s sodomy laws and seemingly set a precedent that the court is looking for a way to support homosexuality under the law, including same-sex marriage.

However these two cases are ultimately decided, I have to wonder aloud if the average American today even understands the requirements of a free society. I’ll remind you of what I have stated repeatedly: A free society requires us to become our better selves. Read more