Jonah Goldberg

The gays have won. The problem is no one will admit it.

The biggest and latest news is that Canada is poised to legalize same-sex marriage. But the signs of the gay victory have been all around for us for years.

The sitcom "Will and Grace" features openly gay characters who joke about their sex lives in ways that little more than a decade ago would have sparked complaints if uttered by heterosexuals, let alone homosexuals. Showtime's "Queer as Folk" depicts random gay sex in precisely the same trivial terms that HBO's "Sex in the City" depicts random heterosexual sex, which is to say with an air of unbridled celebration.

For the popular culture this signals the final stage of mainstreaming homosexuality. After repeated protests from gay groups in the late 1980s and early 1990s, Hollywood stopped casting gays and lesbians as villains (think of "No Way Out" and "Basic Instinct"). By the end of the '90s, gays could be found all over movies and TV, but they were depicted as virtuous celibates. In movies like "Sling Blade," "My Best Friend's Wedding" and that execrable drek by Madonna "The Next Best Thing," gays were cast as the only decent and honorable white men around.

My favorite example was the gay character from the Fox nighttime soap, "Melrose Place," which ran for most of the 1990s. Every straight character in the show was having sex at the drop of a hat. Except, for the gay guy, Matt Fielding, played by Doug Savant.

Almost every episode featured the gay pretty boy lecturing his straight friends about their reckless promiscuity or bailing them out from their dysfunctional relationships while he remained as chaste as Greg Brady on "The Brady Bunch."

But the gay victory doesn't just manifest itself in the popular culture. The mainstream media has collectively decided to mainstream gays. The New York Times runs gay "marriage" announcements alongside straight ones in its wedding notices section (aka "the chick sports pages").

Jonah Goldberg

Jonah Goldberg is editor-at-large of National Review Online,and the author of the book The Tyranny of Clichés. You can reach him via Twitter @JonahNRO.
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