Monday, June 22, 2009

The Gay Agenda: Found! (Again)

From time to time, those opposed to LGBT rights come across "proof" of The Gay Agenda. This evidence, which they usually find on the world wide web and then present to their like-minded readers as though it is a startling top secret revelation, usually consists of some sort of compilation of policy priorities that such-and-such LGBT organization has produced.

For instance, in his eerily-titled "Gay Rights- a cascading tyranny of nihilistic hedonism" post, James Tanner is at it again, this time claiming that the LGBT rights movement is "masking its true objectives behind a facade of equality." Imbuing gays with the incredible desire to destroy US culture, Tanner claims that the true objectives "of the Gay Rights movement include the utter destruction of our entire society."

How does he know this?

Because the Gay Liberation Front Manifesto says so, that's why. This manifesto, you will notice, was originally written in London in 1971. Tanner claims that heterosexuals supporting LGBT rights today "have no understanding of the history of modern radical liberalism." Now, several issues immediately jump out from this post. For one, attributing the goals of some gay people, or one LGBT rights organization, to gays "as a group," as Tanner does throughout this post, is a standard hasty generalization. (I don't mean to be so Logic 101 here, but some posts merit such a treatment). Here, Tanner has examined one particular manifesto and has generalized it to be representative of the LGBT rights movement and gay people as a whole.

His post is littered with statements like "they are as a group," "they," and "their," yet he cites no names and only provides the words of this one LGBT group. This post shows no capacity for Tanner to see LGBT people as individuals. This fallacy is quite common among people who are unwilling or incapable of viewing minority groups as being composed of individuals as nuanced and capable of divergent opinions amongst themselves as Everyone Else. I sincerely wonder if Tanner has forgotten that he's even talking about human beings and not some abstract, non-human Gay Agenda.

Unfortunately, it has been my experience that it is often futile to point out to those who make such simplistic generalizations that just because some gay people have certain goals, it doesn't mean that all gay people have these goals. If I, a lesbian, point out that I do not in fact aim to utterly destroy "our entire society," I am considered to be an exception to the general rule regarding gays. Or, the conspiracy theorist will take his theory to a whole other level and claim that rank-and-file members of the LGBT community have been hoodwinked, so to speak, by the LGBT Elites.

Secondly, and most egregiously, Tanner makes absolutely no connection as to how this particular manifesto is connected to the present-day LGBT rights movement in the US. He merely presents this manifesto, claims that gay rights supporters have no knowledge as to how this manifesto is related to the gay rights movement today, and then leaves the readers to fill in all the blanks and all the history themselves. Any semblance of a historical narrative completely lacking, he leaves his conclusion that LGBT people "as a group" are "nothing more or less than an extension of radical liberalism" completely unsupported. He builds no bridge, so to speak, from 1971 to 2009. Not that I would seek out Tanner's interpretation of history (as he has presented inaccurate accounts of history before), but if I only had his post to go by, I would be left wondering what all has happened in those 30+ years in which this manifesto was written in London and how it affects the LGBT rights movement in the US today.

Third, and of particular disappointment, is that Tanner's grand conclusion is an abysmal non sequitur. Observe. Near the end of his piece, he cites some of the specific goals of "the movement" such as eradicating discrimination against gays and lesbians, teaching that homosexuality is valid, allowing gay people to contact other gay people, and allowing gay people to kiss and hold hands in public like heterosexuals can. He then present these goals, without argument, as though they are self-evidently wrong to all people of High Morals and then, then!, he claims that inherent in these goals is "the utter destruction of our entire society." (I think that's why he boasts that he's not sympathetic towards any of these goals). Upon reading his conclusion, I did the Scooby-Doo WTF head tilt. That's how I always know I've just read an abrupt, unexpected plot twist that comes from nowhere and knocks you right off your chair. I was right up there with him, ready to concede that I could maybe see how some people could oppose some of those goals but then, like Chicken Little, he had to go where so many have gone before and get all hyperbolic on us.

See, it's not at all clear, at least to anyone who doesn't already agree with Tanner about things, as to how a laundry list of things like allowing gay people to hold hands in public will lead to the "utter destruction of our entire society." So, at this point, I think it could be most helpful to translate. By "our entire society," I don't think Tanner really means to say "our" entire society. Sadly, that which he calls "our" entire society, is really the society that exists in Traditional Values UtopiaLand, where employers can fire queers, police can raid gay bars, and gays forever suppress their "lifestyle choices" instead opting for that special something that is Man-Woman Coituslove. Using his worldview as the universal norm, he displays that unfortunate social conservative tendency to pass off his ideal society as the only authentic way of living for all of humanity.

To end, Tanner claims that his blog is dedicated to, among other things, "advancing freedom of conscience, belief and basic human rights for people of all faiths, traditions and cultures." That is a noble aim. Sadly, given that Tanner admits that he is not at all sympathetic to any of the "Gay Rights Movement's" goals, goals that include basic freedoms and rights for gay people, this noble aim does not at all resonate and, instead, rings ridiculously hollow.

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