- The Washington Times - Thursday, November 25, 2004

The gay agenda and its discontents

In his Monday-morning quarterbacking of the election’s effect on homosexuals, James Driscoll asserts, “Gay leaders bet the ranch and lost” (“New gay political strategies,” Op-Ed, Thursday).

For those of us in the trenches on this issue, we really wish they had “bet the ranch.” At 11 rallies for equal marriage rights held throughout the heartland and in Washington in October, most of the national homosexual-rightsorganizations couldn’t even be bothered with sending over a few staffers, much less promoting the events.

While national homosexual organizationsassiduously mined the marriage issue in their fund-raising letters, they ultimately hid behind and made excuses for a crop of Democratic Party candidates who refused to endorse full legal equality for our community, including marriage.

Sen. John F. Kerry, for example, said he opposed a federal constitutional amendment but favored one for his home state of Massachusetts, destroying equal marriage rights in the one state where we have them. Campaigning in Missouri, he said that if he were a Missourian, he would have voted in favor of that state’s draconianamendment.A month later, he claimed he hadn’treadtheMissouri amendment and instead would have voted against it. So just what was his position? Whatever that position was, it certainly didn’t help turn Missouri into a “blue” state.

As we asserted back in August 2003, “Against the simplistic ‘right vs. wrong’ for which the White House is now infamous, the Democratic front-runners with their muddled ‘support’ for our community will have a difficult time being heard, much less understood.”

In politics in the age of sound bites, the only way one has any chance of winning is with a short, easily understood message. For our side, that message should be “equality vs. discrimination.” According to exit polls, some 60 percent of Americans favor at least some form of legal recognition for homosexual relationships, either full marriage or civil unions.

Though many Americans may not understand homosexuals, most do not want to be seen as discriminating against any group. That is why leaders of the anti-equal-marriage-rights movement live in mortal fear of our successfully labeling them as haters, and thus sending their careers into tailspins, as we did with Laura Schlessinger and Anita Bryant before them. This can be done only if we have a clear anti-discrimination message on our side.

Civil-rights movements have never won by betting the ranch on the “Elect me and I’ll free you” strategy, the strategy employed by almost all homosexual-rightsorganizationsin 2004. Freedom movements, such as the great abolitionist movement, won by boldly asserting the rights of the oppressed regardless of electoral circumstances, taking on lukewarm “allies” and foes alike. Every time he hedged on rights for blacks, poor President Lincoln found himself hounded by the abolitionists, even during the great conflagration of the Civil War.

Likewise, it’s long past time that our community stopped throwing good money after bad on politicians who don’t truly support us and began focusing on the rallies, marches and sit-ins that are the bread and butter of real civil rights movements.

It was this strategy that ended Jim Crow a generation ago. It’s this strategy that can help convince the nation that lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgendered Americans are deserving of equal legal rights in every respect — employment, marriage, access to public accommodations, etc. If we are indeed a civil-rights movement, we have to begin acting like one.

ROBIN TYLER

Executive director

Dontamend.com

Equality Campaign

Chicago

In the first sentence of his op-ed “New gay political strategies” James Driscoll illuminates the central tenet of homosexual politics. Rather than seeing the defeat of homosexual attempts to redefine marriage for what it is, an unequivocal rejection of an effort to transform a sacred institution, Mr. Driscoll wonders how “smarter strategies, tactics and timing … will get better results.”

The homosexual movement has always been about deceit; its leaders have always wondered how to market a behavior that most Americans (the numbers indicate) find morally reprehensible.

Paradoxically, homosexual careerists such as Mr. Driscoll claim affinity with Christian orthodoxy by implying that Jesus himself would support their agenda by virtue of His view of equality. Yet homosexuals ignore large parts of the Christian Bible that find certain behaviors, homosexual sex for one, listed as abhorrent.

According to the Christian worldview, rights are not created by the omnipotent state and bestowed ad hoc on the politically powerful and protected group de jour. They derive from an omnipotent God, and it is the purpose and duty of the Constitution to protect them. In other words, there is no constitutional right to marriage; there is only a constitutional safeguard against encroachments on that God-ordained institution and inalienable right.

The rejection of same-sex “marriage” through the ballot initiatives of myriad states represents an immutable attitude among the majority of Mr. Driscoll’s countrymen. Artificial inequalities, such as denying the status of “marriage” to people of the same sex, are not equivalent to legitimate inequality concerns within the scope of civil rights and do not deserve the protection or promotion of the state. No amount of marketing will change that reality.

SEAN MCKEON

Brattleboro, Vt.

Jobs will not end homelessness

In a recent column about the homeless (“Concerned somebodies help the homeless,” Metro., Nov.19), Adrienne Washington states that “the price of homes for sale rose four times faster than incomes.”

Mrs. Washington is so right. To those people who say the solution to homelessness is jobs, I like to point out the reasons why I disagree. When I was hired by Giant Food in 1972, I started out at $5.50/hour. Even at minimum wage, I was able to buy a car, pay for an apartment and pay my tuition at American University. Thirty years later, things have changed. The minimum wage at Giant is $6.50 an hour, cars are $20,000, tuition at American University is $8,000 (or more) per semester and rent, as the article states, is outrageous.

I don’t always agree with Mrs. Washington’s comments, but the problem of the homeless — which we can all agree on is a major problem — is only getting worse.

BOB FUSTERO

Silver Spring

The will to fight

Thomas Sowell is correct when he states that the Islamist terroristsandformer Ba’athists have a finite supply of resources with which to wage war against the United States (“Enemy without limits?,” Commentary, Monday).

But Mr. Sowell neglects to recognize that the resources necessary to finance and wage a prolonged, low-intensity guerrilla war pale in comparison to the vast resources required of our nation to counter such an insurgency.

And then, of course there is the most essential of resources: the national will to fight. Without it, neither we nor the insurgents can effectively sustain military operations to the point where the adversary capitulates.

The question is not so much who has the most tax revenue and weapons in this war, although that is certainly a large part of the equation. The fundamental question is which side will resolve to endure the human pain and the material costs of the fight longer than their adversary?

BROOKS D. TUCKER

Major, Marine Corps Reserve

Annapolis

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