The Great Denial

Douglas Murray writes, Most Western Gays Remain in Denial about Islam:

Most gay spokespeople continue to think that the political Right is the sole locale from which anti-gay sentiment can come. … But Pat Robertson just wanted to stop gays from marrying. He didn’t call for people to throw us off high buildings. … Despite the growing awareness that this was precisely what the Islamists wanted, gay “spokespeople,” publications, and groups went through the 2000s sharing the old leftish delusions.”

And they still do.

And from Warren J. Blumenfeld, How do we stop Islamic militants’ attacks on LGBT people? Letting go of the delusions of progressive cultural relativism might be a good start.

And then there’s this.

Jihadism, Not ‘Self Loathing’

Walter Olson takes down the now-trending meme that the blame for the Orlando massacre falls on the attackers “gay self-loathing,” rather than radical Islamic jihadism:

Then there are the witness accounts, both of survivors at the Pulse scene and of those who knew Mateen before the attack. Survivors describe him as shouting during the attack about US policy toward “his” country (by which he apparently meant Afghanistan, though born in the US) and as declaring his solidarity with the Tsarnaev brothers, of the Boston Marathon massacre. … Note that he did *not* shout out his solidarity with famous conflicted gay persons, nor did he swear allegiance to some quack “ex-gay” therapist. …

[The massacre] is attributable not to the hypothesized “push” of self-loathing due to whatever may have gone on in his sex life, but to the “pull” of a malign and evil ideology. And it is to that ideology we should look for explanations of the Orlando atrocity.

More. Via New York Magazine, The Myth of the Violent, Self-Hating Gay Homophobe:

Internalized homophobia has been linked to depression, loneliness, a sense of helplessness about the future, and increased risk of suicide. Perhaps unsurprisingly, people with high levels of internalized homophobia often have problems sustaining healthy romantic relationships…

Only if you’re steeped in an ideology of fanatic hate do you get a rampaging murderer.

Also, many may be too quick to assume “Grindr use and Pulse attendance as evidence that [the murderer] himself was gay,” the article suggests, alluding to “the possibility that even if he were curious about same-sex behavior or attraction, that wouldn’t necessarily mean he’s gay.”

A Sorrowful Pride Day

The Washington Blade thinks Donald Trump represents the greatest threat to LGBT lives and liberties.

Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton claim laws restricting gun ownership will keep firearms out the hands of murderous jihadis (they don’t, of course, actually believe this). As Glenn Reynolds writes:

Gun control is much stricter in Europe, but that hasn’t stopped mass shootings like the ones at Charlie Hebdo’s offices or at the Bataclan concert hall. (It’s also very strict in California, but that didn’t stop the shootings at San Bernardino.) Talking about gun control is mostly a way of avoiding a tough problem.

The killer was able to could acquire his weaponry because he was a licensed security guard, making the claim that more gun restrictions would “prevent” such crimes all the more grossly disingenuous. But if a few of the patrons had been carrying, and perhaps members of the Pink Pistols, they could have defended themselves (but hey, only the state should be allowed to defend people, right, right).

And this: Virtually all mass shootings happen in “gun-free” zones.

National Public Radio said there are conflicting reports over whether the shooter was motivated by loyalty to Islamic State (as the police report) or hatred of gays (as his father states), as if the two didn’t go together.

The Log Cabin Republicans get to the point:

“It’s no secret that abroad men who are gay — and merely suspected of being gay — are targeted for execution; today, that threat has reached the United States. … If the shooter’s suspected motivations are indeed confirmed, we call upon President Obama and the presumptive nominees of both parties to condemn the attacker and acknowledge in no uncertain terms the cause of this massacre: Radical Islamic terrorism.”

More. James Taranto in the Wall Street Journal:

But the point is, the Islamic terrorist who carried out the deadliest attack in America since 9/11 chose as his target a sexual minority. Such an atrocity posed a test for those on the multicultural left: Would they see clearly the threat of Islamic terrorism when it targeted a minority whose interests they vigorously champion against far lesser threats?

For the most part the answer was no. [Slate’s Mark Stern] turned his rhetorical fire on the near enemy, in a piece titled “Republicans Are Erasing LGBTQ People From Their Own Tragedy.” He specifically faulted Marco Rubio and Mike Huckabee for tweeting sympathy for the victims without noting that most of them were gay (or, as Stern again put it, “LBGTQ people”).

Stern ignored Donald Trump, who in a statement put the matter straightforwardly: “Radical Islam advocates hate for women, gays, Jews, Christians and all Americans. I am going to be a President for all Americans, and I am going to protect and defend all Americans.” He also ignored Ted Cruz, who, according to Politico, “called on Democrats as ‘loud champions of the gay and lesbian community’ to denounce ‘an ideology that calls for the murder of gays and lesbians.’ ”

Furthermore. ACLU Blames—Wait for It—’Conservative Christians’ for Orlando.

Cautious on Coalitions

The Anti-Defamation League (ADL) has a proud history of fighting anti-Semitic hate, which is increasing in the U.S. (where it is embedded in parts of the so-called alt-right movement, and emerges as hostility toward Israel among parts of the left), in Europe (in large measure as a consequence of Islamic immigration) and worldwide.

Now, NPR reports, the ADL is trying to broaden its mission:

In subsequent years, mostly under the leadership of ADL President Abraham Foxman, the League was focused primarily on fighting anti-Semitism, but the League’s new president, Jonathan Greenblatt, wants the ADL to renew its old civil rights activism and move the work forward. …

There is just one complication. For many current civil rights activists, solidarity with Palestinians is taking precedence over the old solidarity with American Jews. …

And it’s not just the Black Lives Matter movement that is drawn to the Palestinian struggle. Earlier this year, a group of pro-Palestinian gay-rights activists disrupted a meeting in Chicago of the National LGBTQ Task force…. About 200 marched through the meeting site, shouting, “Hey, hey, ho, ho, occupation has got to go!” and “From the river to the sea, Palestine will be free!”

It’s good to reach out and build alliances, as long as you don’t subordinate your core mission to outside agendas. So I’m fine with ADL working with civil rights groups to combat hate and defamation, and hopeful that doing so might help address anti-Semitism among African-American progressives and campus social justice warriors, many of whom believe a tiny Jewish state, surrounded by large theocratic dictatorships that ethically cleansed their Jewish populations during and after World War II, is nevertheless uniquely evil among nations.

But if the ADL follows the ACLU down the road of becoming just another left-umbrella group, that would be a pity.

[No, not just me. Ira Glasser, ACLU executive director from 1978 to 2001, has lamented “the transformation of the ACLU from a civil liberties organization to a liberal bandwagon organization.” Most recently, it has defended using the state to force bakers to design wedding cakes celebrating same-sex marriage. What matters freedom of expression and religion when government-induced equality is on the agenda?]

More. George Will looks at “leftists eager to meld their radicalism with radical Islam,” and “to mend their threadbare socialism with something borrowed from National Socialism.”

The Culture War’s Changing Tides

Columnist Barton Swaim, writing in the Washington Post, asks: The left won the culture war. Will they be merciful?

Swaim takes note that a growing number of religious conservatives “are rethinking their role in American society and politics,” as they concede they’ve lost the fight to have the law and culture reflect their traditionalist views on marriage and sexuality. Increasingly, they now seek, in the words of Albert Mohler, president of the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, “to live faithfully in a world in which we’re going to be a moral exception.”

Many religious social conservatives (albeit with some notable exceptions), writes Swaim:

are determined only to remain who they are and to live as amiably and productively as they can in a culture that doesn’t look like them and doesn’t belong to them. In time, this shift in outlook may bring about a more peaceable public sphere. But that will depend on others — especially the adherents of an ascendant social progressivism — declining to take full advantage of their newfound cultural dominance. I see few signs of that, but I am hopeful all the same.

I’m perhaps less hopeful, given the trope of the progressive LGBT left that social conservatives denied us freedom and liberty and so now it’s our turn to take away theirs (especially when doing so serves the progressive view that “equality” supersedes all other rights). It’s all sadly reminiscent of the many times throughout history when members of a persecuted class have gained cultural and political ascendancy, and then persecuted their former persecutors, often with a vengeance.

And yes, I’m talking about, among other indications of intolerance backed by state power, forcing religiously conservative independent service providers—at risk of paying exorbitant fines and/or being driven out of business—to create gay-messaged wedding cakes and to artfully plan, cater and photograph same-sex weddings.

More. From New York Times columnist Nicholas Kristof, The Liberal Blind Spot:

“In a column a few weeks ago, I offered ‘a confession of liberal intolerance,’ criticizing my fellow progressives for promoting all kinds of diversity on campuses — except ideological…. Almost every liberal [responding] agreed that I was dead wrong. ‘You don’t diversify with idiots,’ asserted the reader comment on The Times’s website that was most recommended by readers (1,099 of them). Another: Conservatives ‘are narrow-minded and are sure they have the right answers.'”

(hat tip: Walter Olson)

More. Via a Wall Street Journal op-ed, ‘Freedom of Worship’ Isn’t Enough:

One Colorado, a gay-rights group…wanted to amend Colorado’s constitution to define religious freedom as “the ability to engage in religious practices in the privacy of a person’s home or in the privacy of a religious organization’s established place of worship.”

More. Via the New York Post, Evangelical Christians wonder where the hell their power went:

Politically, old guard religious right organizations such as the Moral Majority and the Christian Coalition are greatly diminished or gone, and no broadly unifying leader or organization has replaced them. In this year’s presidential race, the social policy issues championed by Christian conservatives are not central, even amid the furor over bathroom access for transgender people. …

“If a homosexual couple comes in and wants a cake, then that’s fine. I mean I’ll do it as long as I’m free to speak my truth to them,” said Slayden, taking a break after the lunchtime rush. “I don’t want to get (to) any point to where I have to say or accept that their belief is the truth.”

The problem, many religious conservatives say, is that government is growing more coercive in many areas bearing on their beliefs. They say some colleges — citing a 2010 Supreme Court ruling that required school groups to accept all comers — are revoking recognition for Christian student clubs because they require their leaders to hold certain beliefs. …

And this:

Trump uses rhetoric that has resonance for Christian conservatives who fear their teachings on marriage will soon be outlawed as hate speech. “We’re going to protect Christianity and I can say that,” Trump has said. “I don’t have to be politically correct.”

Progressives think they represent all that is, well, progressive, even as they go about working to deny liberty to others, and then defend themselves citing how conservatives worked to deny them their liberty—as if that then makes it ok to do unto others as they tried to do unto you.

A Libertarian Moment

The Libertarian Party has just nominated successful, two-term governors with reputations as being fiscally conservative, socially liberal, to be its presidential and vice-presidential candidates. With former Gov. Gary Johnson of New Mexico at the head of the ticket, and former Gov. William Weld of Massachusetts in the vice presidential slot, the LP is in a position where it could, perhaps, become a force to be reckoned with.

Many disaffected Republicans can’t stomach the idea of voting for Trump, and a few Bernie supporters can’t stomach the idea of voting for Hillary (and some of them, especially the college kids, were never actually socialists but liked Sanders’ views on pot and could similarly be attracted to Johnson’s long-standing opposition to the drug war).

The Johnson-Weld ticket supports marriage equality. And, in a recent Facebook post, Johnson takes the position that under anti-discrimination laws a private business can’t discriminate against who it will serve, but “anti-discrimination laws do not, and cannot, abridge fundamental First Amendment rights.” I agree with that.

Many had hoped that the GOP would nominate a socially moderate former governor willing to put the party’s anti-LGBT culture-war past aside and move on, while stressing a commitment to fiscal responsibility and to limiting government over-reach. That, obviously, didn’t happen. So this year, in particular, the LP represents an alternative that’s worth considering.

While you can’t expect to get everything you want from candidates running for the highest offices in the land, the Johnson-Weld ticket comes pretty darn close.

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.

History Lesson: Capitalism, Not Socialism, Led to Gay Rights

Via David Boaz:

Some historians like to claim socialist ideas helped bring about gay rights in the modern era. But they’re mistaking academic theory for reality….Those gay intellectuals talked a lot about socialism, but they lived in capitalism. And it was the capitalist reality, not the socialist dreams, that liberated gay people.

Some of us can remember when socialists, unlike libertarians, were adamant about not associating their movement with something as disreputable as gay rights.

Why Obama’s Bathroom Decree Is Counter-Productive

Peter H. Schuck, emeritus professor at the Yale Law School, on why Obama was wrong to impose a national rule on school bathrooms without public debate:

Do identity-based bathrooms meet this demanding [civil rights] test? The administration’s letter says yes. The subtext is that skeptics must be yahoos and bigots….

Here are just a few questions that people might have asked before making up their minds. How uncomfortable are people with the prospect of those with different anatomies sharing their bathrooms? Is this discomfort likely to grow or decline? Since gender identity cannot be confirmed before entering bathrooms, how great is the risk of voyeurism or other abuses? How costly will it be to provide gender-neutral bathrooms, and how would people of all genders feel about such alternatives?

And Schuck doesn’t even address the issue of public school locker rooms, where these questions are even more pertinent.

‘Equality’ Supersedes All Other Rights, Right?

Files these under signs of the times.

Say as we say, or else:

Greeting customers as “Mr.” or “Mrs.” — or even not using the pronoun “ze” or “zir” — could prove costly for New York City businesses under rules drafted by Mayor Bill de Blasio’s bureaucrats.

The Gotham mayor’s Commission on Human Rights says entities that fail to address customers by their preferred gender pronouns and titles are in violation of the law and could be subject to penalties of up to $250,000.

Law professor Eugene Volokh comments:

this isn’t just the government as employer, requiring its employees to say things that keep government patrons happy with government services. This is the government as sovereign, threatening “civil penalties up to $125,000 for violations, and up to $250,000 for violations that are the result of willful, wanton, or malicious conduct” if people don’t speak the way the government tells them to speak.

I hope there aren’t any Quakers in NYC who still would like to refer to folks by “thee” and “thou.”

Our message on your (church) property:

Greg Bourke and Michael De Leon, who also were among the plaintiffs in the Obergefell v. Hodges Supreme Court case creating a constitutional right to gay marriage, are accusing the Archdiocese of Louisville of discriminating against them for rejecting their headstone design celebrating gay marriage.

The two men bought a joint burial plot in St. Michael Cemetery, which is run by the Catholic Cemeteries of the Archdiocese of Louisville.

They later submitted a design of a headstone for the plot, which featured an inscription of the couple’s wedding rings interlocking and an image of the Supreme Court building.

In a letter marked March 30, the Archdiocese denied the headstone design request, saying it goes against Catholic teaching on marriage. … The Archdiocese said other designs on the headstone, including “both your names and dates of birth and of course the religious symbol of the cross,” were acceptable. “However, we cannot approve the depiction of the Supreme Court building and the use of wedding rings.”

in another account:

Bourke said the Archdiocese is exempt from the local Fairness Ordinance that prohibits discrimination against members of the LGBT community, and the “Archdiocese has every legal right to do what they’re doing,” Bourke said. “We have no protection whatsoever in a situation like this.”

Which suggests he thinks they ought to have such “protection” to force the archidiocese to allow symbols and statements on church property that it finds at odds with the Catholic faith.

In both these stories, those pursing their objectives in the name of equality think what they want trumps the expressive, property and faith rights of others.

More. Via the Wall Street Journal’s Notable & Quotable, remarks by Cuban poet and human-rights activist Armando Valladares on receiving the Becket Fund for Religious Liberty’s Canterbury Medal in New York, May 12:

Just as there is a short distance between the U.S. and Cuba, there is a very short distance between a democracy and a dictatorship where the government gets to decide what we believe and what we do. And sometimes this is not done at gunpoint but instead it is done one piece of paper at a time, one seemingly meaningless rule at a time, one silencing at a time. Beware young friends. Never compromise. Never allow the government—or anyone else—to tell you what you can or cannot believe or what you can and cannot say or what your conscience tells you to have to do.

His full remarks can be viewed here, or read here.