- The Washington Times - Thursday, July 31, 2003

“I believe in the sanctity of marriage. I believe a marriage is between a man and a woman. And I think we ought to codify that one way or the other. And we’ve got lawyers looking at the best way to do that.” — President Bush, July 30

See those words? Mark them.

President Bush said on Wednesday what so many, many people feel and think inside the closet but are afraid to say in the public arena.

Ourspiritual leaders fear speaking those words might mean fewer jingles in the collection baskets.

Our politicians fear the loss of votes.

Our business leaders fear the loss of, well, business.

Our community leaders fear being labeled homophobes.

Our relatives fear offending a family member or friend.

Reporters fear offending editors, co-workers and themselves.

Hollywood and Madison Avenue, by contrast, are having a stereotypical blast. Both cable and network television are broadcasting so-called gay- themed shows. The programs actually mock homosexuals. One of the newest is Bravo’s “Queer Eye for the Straight Guy.” On the show, five gay guys who call themselves the Fabulous 5 and cruise New York City in a limousine with tags that say “Fab 5.” Each gay guy is an “expert” in food, grooming, culture, fashion or decorating. The purpose is to change the image of the straight guy so that he can succeed in wooing a straight gal. For instance, Tuesday’s show featured the fashion “expert” shopping in Ralph Lauren, explaining to the straight guy, who wants his girl to accept his hand in marriage, how fashionable it would be for him to own a black suit — as if straight guys don’t already know that black suits are accepted attire at funerals and weddings.

At the end of the show, the gay guys huddle to watch the straight guy-straight gal’s romantic interlude. The drama-meter — the gay guys’ giggles, the number of times their place their hands to their months, their gasps, etc. — as well as their cheers and the high fives determine whether the straight guy succeeded or failed. Their goal: to mold him in their image. A sort of perverse idolatry. Of course, the gay guys themselves couldn’t possibly fail, since they are the experts.

ABC-TV plans to air a family sitcom this fall called “It’s All Relative.” On that show, the focus is again on stereotypes — or the “cultural gap,” as ABC calls it — between the Irish Catholic family of a straight guy and the well-heeled gay dads of his fiance.

It will be easy not to watch those or similar programs. All we have to do is hit the remote or turn the dial. That is precisely what white audiences do — and what they did — with black programs, and vice versa. For example, white viewers preferred to watch the blue-collar bigot Archie Bunker of “All in the Family,” while blacks seemed to prefer the bigoted entrepreneur George of “The Jeffersons.” Both shows mocked their overplayed bottom lines — stereotypes and discrimination — which is something I thought homosexuals would guard and fight against. Yet, here we are.

The news was overrun this week with “gay-themed” stories. There were Mr. Bush’s comments on gay marriage, while we await court rulings on the same subject. Then there was the education story of the week: New York plans to open the first publicly funded school for homosexuals. Yet, no one is complaining about the blatant discrimination this school would pose. What happens to the straight girl or boy who wants to attend? What will happen to the student who is gay when they enroll but becomes “straight” during one semester?

What will happen when Jews or Baptists want their own public school? Suppose I want to open a public school for students who only wear dreadlocks?

And what, I cannot imagine, will happen when a parent tells his teen-age son, “No, you cannot attend that gay school?” Will the gay-rights community then sue that parent, forcing dad’s hands? Raising a student rights or civil rights case?

Equally important is the safety issue. There are a lot of sick people out here. Some of them verbally harass homosexuals, and some go too far, with violence. Won’t that threat of violence increase with so many “gay” children all in one very open, very public place?

Get a grip, America. While some individual rights are indeed inalienable, you really and truly must heed what some folks are saying: That was Adam and Eve in the garden. Not Adam and Adam, or Eve and Eve. And, it wasn’t child’s play, either.

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