John Leo

Why didn't Gov. Erhrlich simply say that he disagrees with Smith, but considers him an excellent public servant, which the Washington Post coverage of the story makes clear he is? The answer is that in Washington, and among the elites everywhere, approval of homosexuality is now mandatory. In the old days, employees were fired for being gay. Now they are far more likely to get fired for failing to approve homosexuality or for some remark that the gay lobby resents.

In colleges and schools, regulations on "hate speech" now protect gays from criticism as well as meaningful debate. Andrew Sullivan, the prominent blogger and a gay man, says he is troubled by attempts "to prevent or even criminalize the expression of hostility to homosexuality, or gay rights, or indeed any another form of gay speech." Criminalizing such criticism, and even biblical citations against homosexuality, are no longer unusual in Europe and Canada.

Sullivan cites the case of Lynette Burrows, a British writer on children's rights, who drew an inquiry from Scotland Yard for saying on a radio talk show that she did not believe male homosexuals should be allowed to adopt boys. "It's a risk," she said. "Would you give a small girl to two (heterosexual) men?" She said it was "sinister" to have a police investigation of a comment that hurt the feelings of gays. Also in Britain, Anglican Bishop Peter Forster drew a police investigation after telling a newspaper, "Some people who are primarily homosexual can reorientate themselves." In Canada, criticism of homosexuality is essentially illegal. An ad in a Saskatchewan newspaper listing biblical citations against homosexuality was ruled a human-rights offense. The man who placed the ad was directed to pay $1,500 each to three gay men who were offended by the text.

In the United States, though speech control usually runs afoul of the First Amendment, schools routinely support the pro-gay Day of Silence and ban the Day of Truth, set up by Christians to counter what they believe is organized use of public schools for gay lobbying. A prominent intellectual, talking about gays, complained about "the fascist policing of public discourse in this country by nominal liberals." That was Camille Paglia, who can avoid the speech police because she is brave, candid and lesbian.

 


John Leo

John Leo is editor of MindingTheCampus.com and a former contributing editor at U.S. News and World Report.

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