Note: Brian Fitzpatrick contributed to this article
This past Tuesday (Sept. 9), The Wall Street Journal allowed a homosexual activist to criticize GOP “gay-bashing” on the top of its op-ed page – but didn’t let readers know the author has a dog in the fight.
In his lengthy article, “The GOP Should Kiss Gay-Bashing Goodbye,” James Kirchick is identified simply as “assistant editor of The New Republic.” But Mr. Kirchick is not just another opinion writer.
Kirchick was named the 2007 Journalist of the Year by the National Lesbian and Gay Journalists Association (NLGJA). In 2006, he won the NLGJA’s Excellence in Student Journalism Award. Last month, he spoke at a session on opinion writing at the NLGJA convention in Washington, D.C.
Kirchick argues that Republicans should embrace homosexual rights because the “national mood” favors legal recognition of gay couples, but more importantly, because the GOP is “on the wrong [emphasis added] side of history.” Opposition to the homosexual agenda is thus defined as bigotry.
Rather than focusing on the GOP’s interests, Kirchick devotes most of his column to promoting the notion that homosexuals are an oppressed minority group, victimized specifically by the GOP’s social conservatives. Backers of the Federal Marriage Amendment (FMA), for example, “depicted gays as a nefarious force.” At the 1992 GOP convention, “gays became the target of a divisive campaign aimed at stirring up the GOP’s socially conservative base.” Pat Buchanan and Dan Quayle joined in “denigrating gay people.” Happily, John McCain refuses to “mak[e homosexuals] pariahs for political gain.” It’s “unfortunate,” however, that McCain did not “go after” his party for “their cynical stigmatization of an entire class of citizens.”
Portraying homosexuals as victims comes straight out of the gay activist playbook. Mr. Kirchick is following the approach laid out by public relations experts Marshall Kirk and Hunter Madsen in their 1989 book After the Ball. One of their primary strategies is to define homosexuals as “victims” deprived of equal rights, in order to recast the debate over homosexuality as a civil rights issue rather than a moral issue.
If homosexuals are viewed as victims, then anyone who disagrees with the homosexual agenda can be smeared as a bigot. The next step, called “jamming,” is to make people feel ashamed for questioning the gay agenda in the first place. Comedian Jerry Seinfeld might have been satirizing “jamming” with his line, “Not that there’s anything wrong with that!”