Having seen the ratings bonanza of the reality dating shows "The Bachelor," "Joe Millionaire" and "The Bachelorette," the NBC-owned cable channel Bravo is getting in on the action. And to lure a perhaps jaded audience, it has come up with a new twist.
In July, Bravo begins airing "Boy Meets Boy," a six-episode series starring a bachelor who chooses, from 15 male contestants, a lover with whom he wishes to share a vacation, paid for by Bravo.
To spice up the series, several contestants are straight males, who hide their orientation. The prizes?
According to Lisa de Moraes of the New York Post, "If the leading man picks a gay man to be his mate, he wins a cash prize and a vacation with his guy of choice. Should he pick a straight guy, the straight guy wins a cash prize because, executive producer Doug Ross (says), 'to get them to do this you have to dangle more than a sociological experiment and exploring ... gay issues.'" I'll bet.
The contestants were forbidden to do more than kiss, though Ross concedes he cannot be sure what went on once the lead man took a contestant home for the night. The show, he says, was all played "in the spirit of fun and progressive gay values."
Yet, ratings and raking in bucks for Bravo are just one motive behind this show. A second is social subversion, the breaking down of taboos. As Scott Seomin of The Gay & Lesbian Alliance told the Post, "This is going to blur the boundaries of what is thought to be straight and what is thought to be gay in this country."
Bravo officials admit "Boy Meets Boy" was designed and created to "challenge preconceived notions of what is considered gay and straight behavior." In short, this show is meant to break down the moral norms of society that, for 2000 years, have held that for men to engage in sex with other men is unnatural, immoral and destructive of body, soul and society alike.
How far we have come in so short a time. If memory serves, it was only a decade ago that Ellen DeGeneres kissed Anne Heche on TV. While that caused a sensation, "Boy Meets Boys" has attracted little controversy. Alexander Pope remains prophetic:
"Vice is a monster of so frightful mien
As to be hated needs but to be seen.
Yet seen too oft, familiar with her face
We first endure, then pity, then embrace."
In its relentless drive to overthrow the moral code that has guided Western civilization since Constantine, the homosexual lobby has moved from triumph to triumph in a few years. And what would constitute total victory for "gay values" over traditional values?
Answer: Acceptance by a majority of Americans of the idea that homosexual relations are as natural, normal and moral as those between a man and his wife, and the extension of the full rights of married couples to homosexual unions.
Victory is not yet at hand, but the gay rights movement has made strides that would have astonished previous generations. Democratic leaders like Hillary Clinton now march in Gay Pride parades, as her party endorses the full homosexual agenda with the exception of gay marriage. Howard Dean is almost there.
As for the Republican Party, it is now a Big Tent where the Log Cabin Club coexists with a Religious Right that is coming to believe it has been sold out by the man it endorsed for president.
If a vote were taken among our cultural and media elite from Manhattan to Hollywood, the entire gay rights agenda -- including gay marriage and adoption rights -- would be approved. Already, The New York Times publishes formal photographs of gay wedding partners.
Among baby boomers and Generation X-ers, millions think that refusing to accept the equality of homosexual unions and traditional marriage is as bigoted as denying the equality of blacks and whites.
But, as Americans laugh with "Boy Meets Boy," consider what we will be smirking at: a "lifestyle" that is the leading cause of the spread of an HIV virus that has killed hundreds of thousands of gay men in America, a death-style that appears to cut off decades of life of those who indulge in it. Even a casual reading of the obituary pages of the prestige press reveals that among the most famous who embrace the gay lifestyle, life is short.
And the star of "Boy Meets Boy" is no boy. He is already 32.
If the tenets of the gay rights movement are true, the Torah and New Testament are wrong, Christianity has been wrong since the time of St. Paul, Aquinas and Augustine were wrong, and the moral edifice by which men in the West have lived for 2,000 years was built on bigotry, prejudice and lies. Was it?
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