- The Washington Times - Wednesday, February 20, 2019

Out magazine felt the wrath of the Twitter ratio Tuesday night after tweeting a column that argued the Trump administration’s global effort to end the criminalization of homosexuality is an “old racist tactic” favored by colonialists.

“Rather than actually being about helping queer people around the world, the campaign looks more like another instance of the right using queer people as a pawn to amass power and enact its own agenda,” Out writer Mathew Rodriguez wrote in the piece titled, “Trump’s Plan to Decriminalize Homosexuality Is an Old Racist Tactic.”

NBC News reported earlier Tuesday that the Trump administration is launching a global campaign to end the criminalization of homosexuality in dozens of countries in the Middle East, Africa and the Caribbean.

U.S. Ambassador to Germany Richard Grenell, who is gay, is leading the effort, which kicked off with a strategy dinner with LGBT activists Tuesday evening in Berlin. The campaign was conceived partly in response to the reported hanging of a young gay man in Iran, NBC reported.

In his piece, Mr. Rodriguez claimed that Iran is the Trump administration’s “top geopolitical foe” and that the administration has had its “eyes on Iran for some time” for reasons unrelated to homosexuality.

“Grennell’s sudden interest in Iran’s anti-gay laws is strikingly similar to Trump’s rhetoric after the 2016 Pulse massacre in Orlando, Florida,” Mr. Rodriguez wrote. “After the deadly shooting, Trump used the 49 deaths as a way to galvanize support for an anti-Muslim agenda rather than find a way to support LGBTQ+ people.

“The truth is, this is part of an old colonialist handbook,” he continued. “In her essay, ‘Can the Subaltern Speak?’ postcolonial theorist Gayatri Spivak coined the term ‘White men saving brown women from brown men’ to describe the racist, paternalistic process by which colonizing powers would decry the way men in power treated oppressed groups, like women, to justify attacking them. Spivak was referencing the British colonial agenda in India. But Grennell’s attack might be a case of white men trying to save brown gay men from brown straight men, to the same end.”

Out magazine’s tweet of Mr. Rodriguez’s column received only 162 retweets as of the time of this writing and a whopping 3,000 replies, with many users calling it a bad take, including the president’s eldest son, Donald Trump Jr.

“Insanity! As I have said repeatedly, if @realdonaldtrump came out in favor of Oxygen the left would be against it,” Mr. Trump Jr. tweeted. “Are You Kidding Me?”

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