Trump Derangement Syndrome

The Washington Blade, the LGBT paper in the nation’s capital, is so distraught over the election of Donald Trump that it just declared 2016 to be the “worst year ever” on its cover. Worse for the gay community, mind you, than the deadliest year(s) of the AIDS epidemic; worse than when the Supreme Court upheld sodomy laws in Bowers v. Hardwick; and worse than when Bill Clinton signed the Defense of Marriage Act.

More. What is it with those on the left declaring things are the “worst” ever—whenever they lose power. David Boaz on Worst Congress Ever? You Must Be Kidding.

Nondiscrimination Protections by Judicial Decree?

Columnist Steve Chapman writes that a lawsuit heard Nov. 30 by the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals in Chicago could find that the statutory expansion of the Civil Rights act to bar discrimination on the basis of sex should now be interpreted to cover sexual orientation.

Well, that would be preferable to the proposed Equality Act’s gutting of the Religious Freedom Restoration Act, sought by the Human Rights Campaign and other progressives who are hot to stick it to people of faith.

Castro’s Dead. Good

From the facebook page of libertarian movie-review site Miss Liberty’s Film & Documentary World:

Fidel Castro is dead. A great film (free online) to remember him by is “Improper Conduct,” on the subject of Castro’s gulags for gay people. He hated gays and decided to “get rid of them,” in the manner that socialists do such things.

From Foreign Policy two years ago:

“Though the Castro family is no longer sending LGBT people to labor camps as they did in the 1960s and 1970s, the only permitted LGBT movement in Cuba is the official, state-run one.”

From 2016 Green Party presidential candidate Jill Stein on Twitter:

Michael C. Moynihan responds to Stein:

More. As Cuban writer Reinaldo Arenas describes in his memoir Before Night Falls:

Homosexuals were confined to the two worst wards of El Morro: these wards were below ground at the lowest level, and water seeped into the cells at high tide. It was a sweltering place without a bathroom. Gays were not treated like human beings, they were treated like beasts. They were the last ones t come out for meals, so we saw them walk by, and the most insignificant incident was an excuse to beat them mercilessly. The soldiers guarding us, who called themselves combatientes, were army recruits sent here as a sort of punishment; they found some release for their rage by taking it out on the homosexuals. Of course, nobody called them homosexuals; they were called fairies, faggots, queers, or at beset, gays. The wards for fairies were really the last circle of hell.

And let us not fail to remember that other icon of the Cuban revolution, Che Guevara. And more here.

And yes, Donald Trump got this one right:

“Fidel Castro’s legacy is one of firing squads, theft, unimaginable suffering, poverty and the denial of fundamental human rights,” [Trump’s] statement said. “While Cuba remains a totalitarian island, it is my hope that today marks a move away from the horrors endured for too long, and toward a future in which the wonderful Cuban people finally live in the freedom they so richly deserve.”

Trump added: “Though the tragedies, deaths and pain caused by Fidel Castro cannot be erased, our administration will do all it can to ensure the Cuban people can finally begin their journey toward prosperity and liberty.”

LGBT Tribalism and Orthodoxy

As I noted in an update to the prior post, Chad Felix Greene has penned a thoughtful essay at HuffPost on LGBT political orthodoxy that’s well worth reading, I’m Gay, But I’m Not ‘LGBT.’ Here’s Why. A few excerpts follow:

The LGBT movement has always been tribal, but until fairly recently it was defined by its great diversity of ideas and ferocious demands for celebrated individuality. …

Cultures either evolve or they become ferociously tribal. The left in the last decade has encouraged tribalism in all minority groups, rejecting cohesive assimilation at any cost. In the wake of equality and social normalcy, the LGBTQIAP+ movement has chosen to follow this path. Unfortunately this has created an almost cult-like environment.

Gays today live with so much freedom, equality and social acceptance the worst thing they seem to imagine is a Christian might hesitate when asked to write ‘Support Gay Marriage’ on their wedding cake. This is what happens when society changes so quickly. … Teenagers fighting for recognition of their identity and causing controversy for taking their same-sex date to prom went to college and learned about advocacy. … But by the time they got old enough to be in charge, all the injustices were gone – but the passion and the narrative remained. Today we have an entire generation of gay people in their 30’s who have not left high school in their minds. They are still fighting Ellen’s 1996 battle. … They are still arguing against Falwell and raging against Reagan. Still trying to prove homosexuality isn’t a choice or sinful. …

Where once the gay movement defined itself by open and welcoming love and support for everyone, including non-gay people, today one can be exiled for dissent. As I have written about for years now, the gay left has become absolute in its authoritarian approach to what is appropriate to believe as a gay person. Where it was once fairly understandable to question why a gay person would be a Republican, today there is actual hatred directed towards individuals perceived as traitors for choosing this affiliation. The gay movement once defined itself as almost ridiculously diverse. Today it holds a single political affiliation: LGBT are Democrats. There are no other options. Even non-conservative alternative parities are targeted.

And they’ll never see the irony of declaring themselves champions of diversity and enemies of intolerance.

If They’re Democrats, It’s Not Homophobic

Log Cabin Republicans call out the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee for running a sleazy ad saying of an out-gay House candidate in Arizona, Pinal County Sheriff Paul Babeu, “We can’t trust him with our kids.”

As reported by the Washington Times, the ad dredges up and sensationalizes accusations of harsh, bootcamp-style disciplinary practices at a private school for troubled teens in Massachusetts where Babeu served as headmaster and executive director from 1998 to 2001. A state investigation recommended that certain practices be stopped but Babeu was never accused of wrongdoing by the state.

The ad, however, uses language that recalls accusations that gay men who are teachers are pedophiles and sexual predators, and not so subtly suggests that Babeu is a threat to children.

“Attack ads don’t get more homophobic than this,” Log Cabin Republicans President Gregory T. Angelo said in a statement. “Not only is this commercial factually inaccurate, but it shows just how low the DCCC is willing to go to stop a gay Republican from being elected to Congress.”

Democrats always think they get a free pass to be homophobic against gay Republicans, just as they feel they can be racists toward black Republicans and sexist toward Republican women.

Immigrants and Values

Donald Trump proposed an ideological test that would limit immigrants seeking admission to the U.S. to “those who share our values and respect our people,” saying: “Those who do not believe in our Constitution, or who support bigotry and hatred, will not be admitted for immigration into the country.”

Trump noted that such a test has been used during the Cold War as a basis for allowing immigrants to come to our shores, further inciting those who believe we were on the wrong side of that struggle.

LGBT activists immediately responded with condemnation and mockery.

Russell Roybal, deputy executive director for National LGBTQ Task Force Action Fund, told The Advocate that Trump’s proposal is a form of “thought-policing.” And, of course, progressives are never in favor of limiting expression and discussion.

The Human Rights Campaign issued a statement claiming that “What’s craziest about this ignorant, incomprehensible plan is that Donald Trump and Mike Pence would fail their own test,” because they met with evangelical Christian leaders who oppose same-sex marriage and favor allowing small business owners with religious objections to abstain from providing expressive services for same-sex marriages.

Whatever the merits of the Trump suggestion, the response highlights what many choose not to see: that a great number of immigrants from Muslim countries are intensely anti-gay (and hostile to Jews, and to women’s equality).

In the U.K., an ICM poll revealed that more than half of Muslims disagree with homosexuality being legal in Britain.

If a political party proposed allowing hundreds of thousands of anti-gay conservative Christians to immigrate to the U.S. from abroad, I suspect the response from LGBT progressives would be far different.

Bruce Bawer observed:

Here in Oslo, a gay couple who were holding hands in the largely Muslim neighborhood of Grønland were physically assaulted by a man who told them: “This is a Muslim neighborhood.” In a follow-up story, Dagbladet interviewed a local man, born in Pakistan but resident in Norway for ten years, who argues that “Grønland is a multicultural environment where there are many people who don’t like homosexuals, so they shouldn’t hold hands.” He says such things are OK in west Oslo, where there are few Muslims, “but here in Grønland they shouldn’t do it. Ideally, it should be forbidden to practice homosexuality in this area.”

There are those who have been quick to dismiss this as an isolated incident. On the contrary, it’s simply an indication that Norway is headed the same way as the rest of Western Europe.

He added, elsewhere:

One familiar response is: “Well, non-Muslims beat up gays, too!” Yep – indeed they do. Yet for a while there, in much of Western Europe, homosexuality was on its way to being a non-issue. In Amsterdam in the late 1990s, I was delightfully surprised to discover that when groups of straight teenage boys passed gay couples in the streets, they just walked past without any reaction whatsoever. The sight of gay people didn’t upset, threaten, amuse, or confuse them; the familiar, insecure urge to respond to open homosexuality with some kind of distancing, disdainful word or gesture – and thereby affirm to one another, and to themselves, their own heterosexual credentials – was simply not part of those kids’ makeup. For me, it was a remarkable experience. Amsterdam then seemed to me the leading edge of a new wave in the progress of human civilization.

Alas, it is now very clearly the opposite. The number of reported gay-bashings in Amsterdam now climbs steadily year by year. Nearly half Muslim, the city is a front in the struggle between democracy and sharia, under which, lest it be forgotten, homosexuality can be a capital offense. Things have gotten so bad there that even on the part of the exceedingly politically correct, there has been a degree of acknowledgment that something has changed, and is still changing.

As Douglas Murray wrote before this latest controversy, The gay community is in denial about Islamism. Or LGBT activists leaders are, at least.

More. An observation from Mallard Fillmore.

Politics as Usual

Via the Washington Post, Paul Ryan is in another fight he doesn’t want, this time over LGBT rights:

Republican leaders have tried to steer lawmakers away from wading into the hot-button debate. But with LGBT issues already boiling in the states, social conservatives seem eager to take up the cause by seeking to attach an array of religious-exemption measures to must-pass spending bills, a move that could seriously gum up the budget process.

Earlier this week, House leaders cautioned Republicans at a closed-door session that Democrats were likely to keep trying to force them into uncomfortable votes on LGBT discrimination, according to aides and members who were present.

Unintended Consequences Undermine Gay Rights in Africa

U.S. Support of Gay Rights in Africa May Have Done More Harm Than Good, and that’s the New York Times’ summation.

The paper reports:

After an anti-gay law went into effect last year, many gay Nigerians say they have been subjected to new levels of harassment, even violence. They blame the law, the authorities and broad social intolerance for their troubles. But they also blame an unwavering supporter whose commitment to their cause has been unquestioned and overt across Africa: the United States government.

The U.S. support is making matters worse,” said Mike, 24, a university student studying biology in Minna, a town in central Nigeria who asked that his full name not be used for safety reasons. “There’s more resistance now. It’s triggered people’s defense mechanism.”

And there’s this:

Since 2012, the American government has put more than $700 million into supporting gay rights groups and causes globally. More than half of that money has focused on sub-Saharan Africa. … But tying developmental assistance to gay rights has fueled anger across the continent.

Anti-gay American evangelicals have blood on their hands here, but resistance to liberal America’s attempt to impose its values also is a significant factor.

Good intentions expressed through heavy handed actions by a foreign government can and will backfire. A better strategy would be quiet support by privately funded NGOs backing locally controlled LGBT efforts, rather than the U.S. government throwing money around and issuing ultimatums, even if that’s what U.S. LGBT lobbies want to see.

Totalitarian Jerks

This is why more people are coming to hate the self-righteous PC left: Charity race for children’s hospice where runners dress in drag is ‘a hate crime.’

That the children’s hospice had to grovel to the transgender activists for forgiveness turned my stomach.

Little Robespierres.

Cry Wolf

If there are Christian tattoo artists, we may have the next wave of anti-anti-discrimination cases.

I can’t say I find Mr. Bythewood’s argument for not providing the tattoo particularly convincing (is there really a “traditional tattoo honor code?”) but that’s the point. I don’t have to.  It’s his business, and unless I’m very mistaken, he’s not the only tattoo artist in New York.

Anti-discrimination laws, including those based on gender, were most needed when discrimination was extensive, unregenerate and unlocalized.  Since the 1950s, America has switched the defaults, and marginalized the kinds of discrimination that were taken for granted: based on race, gender, and now even sexual orientation.  There will never be no discrimination unless someone has finally figured out a way to make a utopia work when its inhabitants will be human beings endowed with liberty.  The best a free society can hope for is to stand, as a whole, for individual liberty, draw clear enough lines about what is truly out-of-bounds, and leave the gray areas for people to negotiate.

Getting a tattoo, ordering a cake for your wedding, arranging for a photographer to document your happiness; these are perfectly respectable gray areas where there are choices pretty much anywhere in this country.  Those choices will not always be ideal ones everywhere, but unless the rule we are seeking is that everyone must have ideal choices everywhere, every time, we have to consider what the appropriate limits on government power must be.

I don’t want my government demanding that I can get a tattoo or a cake from anyone I want.  As an un-inked American, I could no more have gotten a tattoo from Mr. Bythewood than Jane Marie could.  Going somewhere else is one of the calamities I must live with as someone who values a free society.

Bythewood is partly right that Jane Marie trivializes the tradition of feminism with her overstated “wolf cry.”  But that kind of self-dramatizing is becoming endemic.  As true discrimination has diminished, it takes more effort to play the victim.  Histrionics are practically necessary.

This does not just trivialize the profoundly important movements that got us to today, it trivializes government itself.  There are vitally important things that we should expect of our government.  But policing an infinite number of daily commercial and personal transactions is not among them.