- The Washington Times - Monday, September 25, 2000

The silence of the self-styled civil libertarians is deafening. Their motto used to be the credo attributed to 18th-century French author Francois Voltaire, "I disapprove of what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it."

No more.

The American Civil Liberties Union, for example, has stood by uncharacteristically mute as militant homosexual activists sought to cancel radio talk-show host "Dr. Laura" Schlessinger's new TV show before it even aired its first episode Sept. 11.

Because she has the temerity to believe that homosexuality is not merely another lifestyle choice, Mrs. Schlessinger must be silenced. The lavender lobby has a truly Orwellian definition of "tolerance."

Led by the Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation and something called Stopdrlaura.com, militant gay-rights activists and their liberal allies have grossly distorted and taken out of context what Mrs. Schlessinger has said about homosexuality on her nationally syndicated radio program.

For the record, all she has said is that homosexuality is "deviant" behavior and "a biological error" in the sense that it deviates from the norm of heterosexuality.

Far from being out of the mainstream, that view has been the prevailing opinion for most of recorded human history, and remains so, in spite of a 25-plus-year effort by no more than 2 percent of the population amplified by a largely pro-homosexual media to convince us otherwise.

If you needed further proof of the media's pro-gay sycophancy, you need only have read The Washington Post's TV columnist, Tom Shales, and his USA Today counterpart, Robert Bianco, who both wrote nastily ad-hominem reviews of the new program. (And they say we're the "haters"!)

Mr. Bianco disingenuously characterized gay groups as merely "monitoring" the show, neglecting to mention their failed censorship efforts.

Fair-minded people should make a point of watching (or setting a VCR for) Mrs. Schlessinger's hourlong, five-days-a-week TV show, which airs locally at 1 p.m. on Washington's Channel 20. To syndicator Paramount Television Group's credit, the studio did not cave in to GLAAD's demands to pull the plug on the show, despite the cowardly withdrawal of advertising by a number of sponsors, among them American Express, AT&T;, Gateway computers, Geico insurance, Kraft foods, Procter & Gamble and SkyTel pagers.

Mrs. Schlessinger's supporters should boycott the boycotters, by not patronizing the aforementioned non-advertisers, and make a point of purchasing the products and services of those who have stuck with the program.

Those include the Room Store and Marlo furniture store chains, the America's Best Contacts & Eyeglasses, Checkers fast-food restaurants, Nasonex allergy nasal spray, L.A. Weight Loss Centers, Bally Total Fitness centers, Honey Nut Chex and Total cereals, and Brinks Home Security, among others.

Meanwhile, many of the same intolerant crusaders for tolerance have launched a similar jihad against the Boy Scouts for standing up for their First Amendment rights of free association in refusing to accept homosexual Scouts and Scoutmasters.

In that case, many of the self-appointed guardians of the First Amendment are again conspicuously missing in action, while others are actively out to punish the Scouts by lobbying to have governments, private charities and corporations withdraw their financial and other support of the Scouts.

That the youngsters themselves might suffer in the process well, hey, that's just the price they must pay so corporate suits and social activists can buff their politically correct credentials and feel good about themselves.

Those of us who support traditional values should put our money where our mouths are by a.) withdrawing from the United Way if your local chapter drops the Boy Scouts from its payroll-deduction plan, as it has done in San Francisco (surprise); Santa Fe, N.M.; New Haven, Conn.; and Portland, Maine, among others; and b.) donating directly to the Scouts to more than offset any loss of funding from politically correct corporations, among them Textron Inc. and media company Knight Ridder.

The efforts of the homosexuals and their allies are likely to fail on both fronts. Now that Mrs. Schlessinger's show is on the air, viewers who tune in to learn what all the ruckus is about will see for themselves that she is not only not the ogre her critics make her out to be, but a welcome, dignified antidote to the likes of Jerry Springer, Ricki Lake and Jenny Jones. Timid advertisers will likely follow.

As for the Scouts, as this newspaper reported Sept. 4, membership and revenues are at all-time highs, with the San Francisco Bay Area Council ironically leading the nation in membership growth.

That a vote to strip the Boy Scouts of their 84-year-old federal charter failed in Congress Sept. 13 by an overwhelming 362-12 margin is proof that the public has no desire to evoke a Vietnam-era metaphor to "destroy the village in order to save it."

It was a message those self-appointed civil libertarians would do well to heed.

Peter Parisi is a copy editor with The Washington Times.

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