April 07, 2013


An interesting take and from Tulsa, no less! Gone Conservative Gay push of the '70s is no more BY TED RALL I miss the gays of the 1970s. Before AIDS made them fearful. When they were wild. On the fringe. A threat to decent society. Decent society sucks. I miss the gay-rights movement that came out of Stonewall. I miss the hilariously profane gay pride parades that prompted upright straights to assert, with a (ahem) straight face that if only gays didn't act so flamboyant, so disrespectful, so gay -- then straight society might well condescend to "tolerate" them. (Accept? No way. Approve? Obscene!) "The speed and scope of the movement are astonishing supporters," The New York Times points out this week. And hey, if playing Ozzie and Harriet behind a white picket fence is your thing (or Ozzie and Ozzie), congratulations. This is your moment. But gays and their straight allies are deluding themselves if they believe that achieving marriage equality is anything but a pyrrhic victory for liberals and progressives. A sign carried by a demonstrator at the high court hints at the sad truth: the marriage equality movement isn't propelling gays forward, it's keeping all of us back. "Gays have the right to be as miserable as I make my husband," read her placard. Yay for assimilation. Gays and lesbians may not all realize it yet, but adopting the cultural trappings of America's hegemonic majority culture is a tragic, disastrous, suicidal move. This is why those fighting for the right to enter into state-sanctioned monogamous marital pacts are finding that they're pushing against an open door. Right-wing support for marriage equality ought to make gays suspicious. Theodore Olsen, arguing against California's anti-gay marriage proposition in one of the two cases before the Supreme Court, co-founded the Federalist Society and argued in favor of the judicial coup d'├ętat that installed George W. Bush in 2000. Several possible Republican presidential candidates have endorsed or softened their positions on gay marriage. And 80 percent of voters under age 30 are for it. Even on the right, gay marriage has few enemies left. Why would it? As Jon Huntsman wrote in The American Conservative recently, "Marriage Equality Is a Conservative Cause." Olsen adds: "The fact that individuals who happen to be gay want to share in this vital social institution is evidence that conservative ideals enjoy widespread acceptance." Close but not quite. The sad truth is that the LGBT movement has abandoned its progressive roots. It has become a conservative movement. MORE: URBANTULSA