The president declared it. A pastor prayed it. And woe betide those who differ with this new reality announced at yesterday’s presidential inauguration: Gay is now an official social category as defined and tangible as black or white. Put another way, romantic attraction and sexual desire are now viewed as being as innate and immutable as skin color.
Make no mistake about it. Another significant step was taken yesterday at the inauguration, and what was once associated with the extremist views of radical gay activists is now as American as apple pie. As expressed in the closing prayer of Episcopal pastor Luis León, “We pray for your blessing, because without it we will see only what the eye can see. But with your blessing, we’ll see that we are made in your image, whether brown, black or white; male or female; first generation immigrant or Daughter of the American Revolution; gay or straight; rich or poor.”
Earlier in the festivities, and framing his speech in historic, Constitutional terms, President Obama said, “We, the people, declare today that the most evident of truths -- that all of us are created equal -- is the star that guides us still; just as it guided our forebears through Seneca Falls, and Selma, and Stonewall . . . .”
Seneca Falls, Selma, and Stonewall? By Seneca Falls, Obama was referring to a watershed moment in the women’s rights movement that took place in the mid-1800’s in Seneca Falls, New York. By Selma, he was referring to the pivotal Civil Rights marches and protests that took place in Selma, Alabama in the mid-1960’s. And by Stonewall he was referring to the Stonewall Riots that took place in New York City in 1969 when drag queens and their gay friends fought back against the police who raided their bar.
So, the president spoke of Seneca Falls, Selma, and Stonewall in the same breath, and in front of the whole nation at his inauguration, thereby equating women’s rights, black civil rights, and gay rights – which include bisexual, transgender, and other categories as well – also putting the women of Seneca Falls, the blacks of Selma, and the drag queens of Stonewall in the same category.
Do we realize just how significant this is? Do we grasp the implications?
The president also said: “It is now our generation’s task to carry on what those pioneers began. For our journey is not complete until our wives, our mothers, and daughters can earn a living equal to their efforts. Our journey is not complete until our gay brothers and sisters are treated like anyone else under the law -- for if we are truly created equal, then surely the love we commit to one another must be equal as well.”
To repeat my opening comments: woe betide those who differ with this new reality announced at yesterday’s presidential inauguration. The war is on against people of conscience and people of faith who do not affirm homosexual practice, no matter how loving and fair-minded they may be.
In my book, A Queer Thing Happened to America, I stated that this was the progression of gay activism:
First, gay activists came out of the closet;
Second, they demanded their “rights”;
Third, they demanded that everyone recognize those “rights”;
Fourth, they want to strip away the rights of those who oppose them;
Fifth, they want to put those who oppose their “rights” into the closet.
I have often been ridiculed for laying out this progression, but it is unfolding in front of our eyes, with a massive shift taking place in just the last year. And with the president of the United States declaring at his second inaugural speech that homosexuality (and more) is equivalent to gender and skin color, a line has been drawn in the sand. And that line in the sand will soon become a line in the courts and law books to the point that anyone who does not affirm homosexual practice will be codified as a bigot or worse.
As I wrote in 2011, “the legitimizing of homosexuality as a perfectly normal alternative to heterosexuality also requires that all opposition to homosexual behavior must be delegitimized. At the very least, the gay agenda requires this (and let recognized gay leaders renounce this if it is not so):
“Whereas homosexuality was once considered a pathological disorder, from here on those who do not affirm homosexuality will be deemed homophobic, perhaps themselves suffering from a pathological disorder.
“Whereas gay sexual behavior was once considered morally wrong, from here on public condemnation – or even public criticism – of that behavior will be considered morally wrong.”
Yesterday marked a watershed moment in the gay rights movement, and it is time for people of conscience and faith to draw our own line in the sand: We will be loving and respectful to all people. We will oppose bullying and unfair treatment of all people. But we will not equate homosexuality with gender and skin color, and we will not celebrate that which we morally and spiritually oppose.
And so, Mr. President, we will not be intimidated, and to use your terms, in the spirit of Seneca Falls, Selma, and Stonewall, we will stand up for what we believe is right, regardless of cost or consequences.
If we agreed with you, sir, that there is no moral or social distinction between homosexuality and heterosexuality and that homosexuality was innate and immutable, we too would champion this cause. But we do not agree, sir, and in the spirit of Martin Luther King and others whom you hail, we will not compromise our convictions, come what may.
Michael Brown holds a Ph.D. in Near Eastern Languages and Literatures from New York University. He is the author of 25 books, includingLine of Fire. Follow him at AskDrBrown on Facebook or @drmichaellbrown on Twitter.