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By Carman Bradley

The Nation, a journal for mostly gay readers, recorded on May 3, 1993:

All the crosscurrents of present-day liberation struggles are subsumed in the gay struggle. The gay movement is in some ways similar to the movement that other communities have experienced in the nation’s past, but it is also something more, because sexual identity is in crisis throughout the population, and gay people – at once the most conspicuous subjects and objects of the crisis – have been forced to invent a complete cosmology to grasp it.  No one says the changes will come easily.  But it’s just possible that a small and despised sexual minority will change America forever.[i]

This cosmology may be labeled “Homosexism.”

Homosexuals face tremendous “cognitive dissonance” living out their lives in an overwhelmingly heterosexual social reality.  Cognitive dissonance is the feeling of imbalance (unpleasant psychological tension) when people find themselves doing things that do not fit with what they know or with the opinions they hold or with the natural realities they experience.  In the late 1950s, social psychologist, Leon Festinger observed that in people who have dissonant cognitions (pieces of knowledge), the level of psychological stress increases with the degree of discrepancy between cognitions and the number of discrepant cognitions.  He discovered that to cope with dissonance, after a decision is made (here accepting one’s homosexuality), people would attend to information that conforms to their attitudes and values while ignoring, denying or distorting information that is inconsistent with their beliefs.  Indeed, people alter aspects of the decision alternatives to reduce dissonance, which leads to viewing the chosen alternative as more desirable and the rejected alternative as less desirable.  This effect is called the spreading of alternatives and Festinger labeled the social model the “free-choice paradigm.”[ii]   Viewed from the perspective of cognitive dissonance theory, the homosexual claim to equal access to all heterosexual societal privileges including marriage rights is a consistent extension of a chain of beliefs, ideological choices and political objectives, which have evolved into a complete worldview.

Homosexism is the view that there is no “meant” relationship between anatomical sex (genitalia), sexuality and gender.  The meanings attached to male and female are seen as social constructs, and as such; homosexists believe they can be “deconstructed.”  The act of “coming out,” of declaring publicly one’s sexual orientation, has been characterized as a political act, it is at the least a declaration of having adopted the homosexist worldview.   Heterosexuals do not “come-out” and not all people who participate in homosexual intimacy identity themselves as homosexual or bisexual for that matter.

This new cosmology is an umbrella ideology for most non-heterosexuals: gays, bisexuals, lesbians, transsexuals and self-labeled queers.  Homosexism proclaims that one’s sexuality is a given, not a matter of choice, and therefore, the acting out of one’s sexual attractions is seen as a morally neutral decision.  Gays and lesbians claim an innate orientation.  Transsexuals and queers contend sexual orientation is fluid.  Bisexuals declare alternating and simultaneous orientations.  The worldview holds that there is no conflict of credibility, no ideological irrationalities, between the various assertions of these non-heterosexual orientations; in fact, homosexism allows for identity change within these categories and even heterosexuals may sway into the homosexual lifestyle.

However, homosexist activists deny the scientific evidence of successful sexual reorientation and vilify ex-gays and ex-lesbians who witness to achieving a new and fulfilling heterosexual life.  Judging their own value system to be as good, if not superior to the heterosexual paradigm that entertains sexual reorientation, Erinn Tozer and Mary McClanahan go so far as to deny the legitimacy of a homosexual’s desire to change.  They write:

An individual's desire to change is a reflection of an oppressive and prejudicial society wherein lesbian, gay, and bisexual persons are considered deviant and inferior.  Therefore, this request is not truly voluntary.  If psychologists are complying with the Principle of Social Responsibility, they will recognize that the cause of human suffering, in this case, is the sociopolitical context wherein the gay population exists.[iii]

What they advocate instead of reorientation therapy is talking the client out of his or her wish.  Tozer and McClanahan explain their view rhetorically:

What about the client who insists, even after this discussion, that she or he wants to be heterosexual?…we believe that it is more ethical to let a client continue to struggle honestly with her or his identity than to collude, even peripherally, with a practice that is discriminatory, oppressive, and ultimately ineffective in its own stated ends.[iv]

The witness of ex-gays and ex-lesbians is a huge hope for some who wish to escape their lifestyle and a tremendous source of cognitive dissonance among others.  In their own form of heterophobia, these homosexists deny any avenues of escape.

Homosexism has its own lexicon in which traditional terms like “promiscuity” become “sexually active lifestyle,” “semen” turns into “bloodily fluids,” “fidelity” slips into “serial-monogamy” or “multipartnerism” (with consensual rules).  An effective construct in homosexism is the notion of the “homophobe” – virtually any person who challenges homosexist ideology.  The use of the term “homophobe” is a doubly effective propaganda tactic in the war of ideologies.  This “name calling” tactic attempts to link a rational point-of-view (heterosexism) to a negative symbol (HOMOPHOBIA/RACISM), leading homosexuals to reject competing arguments on the conjecture that the person is racist.  Some heterosexuals will follow suit, while others will resist entering into confrontations to avoid the emotionally offensive label.  The extent of the use of this construct in shielding homosexism from close scrutiny and criticism is evident when homosexuals who criticize gay or lesbian lifestyles are characterized within their own communities as victims of “internalized” homophobia.  The treatment of AIDS activist Larry Kramer is a rich example.  At the height of the AIDS shock, in a chronic rage of cognitive dissonance, Kramer struck out at  (1) gay men, (2) the religious right, and (3) middle-class male heterosexuals, with equal veracity.  He said:

Get your stupid heads out of the sand, you turkeys!…I am sick of guys who moan that giving up careless sex until this blows over is worse than death.  How can they value life so little and cocks and asses so much?  Come with me, guys, while I visit a few of our friends in Intensive Care at NYU.  Notice the looks in their eyes, guys.  They’d give up sex forever if you could promise them life.  This is a horrible illness, wasting, wretched, painful, ghastly to watch and to witness and to endure. [v]

I have learned, during these past seven years, to hate.  I hate everyone who is higher in the pecking order and in being so placed, like some incontinent pigeon, shits all over all those below.  And, sadly, tragically, as more and more of my friends die - the number is way over two hundred by now - I hate this country I once loved so much.  And as each day Ronald Reagan and the Catholic Church and various self-styled spokespeople for God - the Right Wing, the Moral Majority, fundamentalists, Mormons, Southern Baptists, born-agains, Orthodox Jews, Hasidic Jews…enemies all - take the law into their own hands…[vi]

I am going to tell you something you’ve never heard before.  I am going to tell you that the AIDS pandemic is the fault of the white, middle-class, male majority.  AIDS is here because the straight world would not grant equal rights to gay people.  If we had been allowed to get married, to have legal rights, there would be no AIDS cannonballing through America….Yes, indeed, the white man made AIDS…The greedy heterosexual white man with money, who two thousand years into the so-called Christian era, is still boss and master.[vii]

In a now famous letter to the Native, playwright Robert Chesley wrote:

Read anything by Kramer closely.  I think you’ll find that the subtext is always: the wages of gay sin are death….I am not downplaying the seriousness of Kaposi’s sarcoma.  But something else is happening here, which is also serious: gay homophobia and anti-eroticism.[viii]

To this day, advocates of homosexism have not reconciled the negative ecological consequences of gay sex with their worldview.  Larry Kramer said of his AIDS activism:

I have failed and I am ashamed of my failure.  I blame myself - somehow I wasn’t convincing enough or clever enough or cute enough to break through your denial or self-pity or death wish or self-destruction or whatever the fuck is going on.  I’m very tired of trying to make you hear me.[ix]

Instead, homosexists contend it is society’s responsibility to find medical technology to prevent all sexually transmitted diseases, rather than the gay community’s responsibility to keep sexuality in line with what medical technology can cure.  Mark Blasius, in Gay and Lesbian Politics: Sexuality and the Emergence of a New Ethic, claims that being lesbian or gay is by definition political.  His idea of gay ethos describes a “way of life” that emerges not so much from moral as from existential criteria, specifically the content of lived experience.[x]  In this ethos, lesbians and gays “invent themselves, recognize each other, and establish a relationship to the culture in which they live.”  Central to the creation of self and ethos, states Blasuis, is the elaboration and defense of lesbian and gay rights, aimed at “self-determination of one’s relationships with others.[xi]  This right encompasses what he describes as the central “moments” in lesbian and gay rights struggles, rights for sexual freedom, equality and “equity in the cultural and social acknowledgment of one’s health needs and the consequent receipt of the benefits of citizenship.”[xii]  Blasius uses AIDS politics to elaborate his claim to an equity right, but his idea extends beyond that to a general claim for “a right of access to protection from any biological risks derived from sexual relations.”[xiii]  He assumes this right from the larger right to sexual self-determination, arguing that in an era of “biopower” and population management the government has an affirmative responsibility to ensure the health of its citizens.

In effect homosexism requires of society and government to enshrine a philosophy or right that “absolutely anything goes” - any nature of relationship(s), any form of family and any partner volume, form and frequency of sexual act.  Furthermore, should there be any health and safety issues arising from the sexual activity protected under these rights, the risks must be surmounted by government, apparently without obligation to the individual responsible for the choice of unsafe lifestyle.  In reviewing Blasius’ book, Shane Phelan, highlights the flaw in this irresponsible “what I want when I want” line of argument.  Phelan writes:

Do governments, even ones heavily invested in biopower and strategies of governmentality, have a responsibility to protect citizens from all health consequences of their behavior?  If this holds only for sexual behavior but not for other forms of self-creation and expression (and it is not clear that Blasius would so limit it), what would justify such privileging?  Blasius notes that sexual relationships are a central means through which we (gays and lesbians, at least) define ourselves.  Do governments then have an obligation to support all the central ways in which we define ourselves?…What of those whose means of definition is a religion that disapproves of homosexuality?  Should they be allowed to discriminate against people whose sexual tastes they abhor?  If not, why exactly should sexuality be privileged over other forms of identity formation and maintenance?[xiv]

Engaging in dangerous sexual activities, taking no responsibility for one’s actions and expecting government to carry the burden of resolving the ecological hazards is one of many homosexist irrationalities. The privileged status of “man-man” sexual relations over “man-boy” relations is another inconsistency.  The homosexist argument claims that because most homosexuals did not choose their orientation, their same-sex attraction is innate, a characteristic like gender or skin color.  Ignoring the insufficiency of this argument to explain the fluidity of queer and bisexual orientations, two questions arise: “why should ‘innate’ man-man sexual attractions be privileged over ‘innate’ man-boy sexual relations?” and “is it credible to contend the difference between a constitutionally protected sexual orientation and a pathological illness boils down to a question of puberty of the partners?”  The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM) defines pedophilia as “sexual activity with a prepubescent child (generally 13 or younger). The individual with Pedophilia must be age 16 years or older and at least five years older than the child.”[xv]  Christopher Hewitt did a review of 18 educational textbooks and found that all drew moral and conceptual distinctions between man-man sex and man-boy sex in our society.  Man-man, labeled homosexuality, was presented as normal and acceptable.  Man-boy, labeled pedophilia, was presented as pathological and harmful.  He discovered in all, some 21 separate societies were quoted in defense of homosexuality, of which 81 per cent were in fact transgenerational (man-boy) examples.  Ancient Greek society (man-boy) was used 94.4 per cent of the time.  Hewlett concluded it is hard to buy the logic that all sexual orientations - gay, lesbian, bisexual, queer and transsexual are “natural,” except for pedophilia, which has characterized so much of historic homosexual behavior.  Homosexuals who claim they were made this way, have what evidence to privilege their innate orientation over pedophilia?  Who is the really hardened invert?  In spite of the legal prohibition against pedophilia and strong penalties for acting out this orientation, men continue to have these relationships, which according to some studies are not all mutually bad.

The North American Man/Boy Love Association (NAMBLA) vehemently denies that “consensual” sex with a child is “child sex abuse.”  In July 1998, the NAMBLA agenda gained official status when the American Psychological Association (APA) published a study by three professors, Bruce Rind from Temple University, Philip Tromovitch from University of Pennsylvania and Robert Bauserman from University of Michigan.  The report based on a quantitative analysis of 59 studies, concluded “child sexual abuse does not cause intense harm on a pervasive basis regardless of gender in the college population.”  The authors want to redefine “child sexual abuse.”  If it were “a willing encounter” between “a child and an adult” or “an adolescent and adult” with “positive reactions” on the part of the child or adolescent, it would no longer be called “child sexual abuse.”  It would be labelled scientifically as “adult-child sex” or “adult-adolescent sex.”  They want society to use a “value-neutral term.”[xvi]  The study appeared in the 1998 issue of APA-published Psychological Bulletin.  The APA claims that publication “does not imply endorsement,” yet in no way has the APA criticized the study nor renounced its premise or recommendations.  In fact, on May 14, the association’s chief executive officer, Raymond Fowler, said the report has been peer-reviewed and “is a good study.”

“Man-boy” sex has been spelled out explicitly in a “gay manifesto for the 1990’s” written by two Harvard graduates, Marshall Kirk and Hunter Madsen.  Their book, After The Ball, concludes with a section entitled, “Gay Love Among the Pagans,” in which the authors confess to the emptiness, pathos and misery that the modern “gay lifestyle” brings to people’s lives by the time they are thirty-five or forty.  They are no longer attractive or sought after by younger homosexuals.  Their answer - to return to the “traditional gay family” of the time of Plato.  Kirk and Madsen write:

The ancient Greek model seems to have worked something like this….As with all relationships, that of the erastes and the eromenos entailed an understood exchange: the youth would share his beauty and enthusiasm, the adult his strength, security, and guidance – as well as more tangible assets, including training in arms, a position in the adult’s business, and so forth.  Both parties would benefit to an extent beyond mere genital relief.  From the point of view of the community, as well, this arrangement discharged a natural need – for homosexual gratification – in a manner advantageous to public character and morality.  Similarly, it was understood that when the eromenos became a full-fledged man – and absorbed all (socially valuable) teaching that the erastes could impart – he would cease to be a lover, and would marry a woman and sire children.  Neither his nor his former erastes’ marriage, however, would end their friendship, nor prevent either one of them from forming a fresh alliance, in turn, with a younger male…and so on.  Something like this, suitably updated (that is, without the wife and kids), is what we tentatively recommend as a new ideal for gay men – family structure of their own.[xvii]

Hunter and Madsen are careful to state later in the book that they would “not advocate sex with minors,” but who is a minor?  Puberty, they point out, is now arriving earlier in children’s lives, often in the 10 to 12 year-old range.  And modern societies, under the pressure of various lobbies, are lowering the age of consent.  It is 14 years now in many jurisdictions and 12 years in the Netherlands.  William Gairdner points out that we are not far separated in legislation from the Netherlands.  He writes:

Unbelievably, radical homosexuals have become so influential and mainstream ever since about 1960, that by 1977 the U.S. Federal Commission on Civil Rights actually called (so far unsuccessfully) for a lowering of the age of consent for all sexual acts, from the current 14 for heterosexual and 18 for homosexual acts, to age 12 for both. Such a law would have given anyone the ‘right’ to sexually use consenting children in any way they pleased without fear of parental interference.  In other words, under such a law you could not legally prevent a 40-year-old from seducing your ‘consenting’ 12-year-old son or daughter.  In Holland today, the age of consent for homosexual sex is 12, as long as parents do not formally object.  Such laws, wherever they may arise in history, always represent a blatant retreat by the State from its traditional protections: of family, of sound parental authority, of children from bad parents, of the sexual exclusivity of the family, and of normal procreational life.[xviii]

According to the DSM, a man-boy marriage at age thirteen would be a pedophilic union.  However, if one could go to the Netherlands and get married, the boy could legally be age twelve.

Regarding this idea that sexual orientation is biologically inborn and is essentially an involuntary condition “beyond the reach of moral judgment,” Paul Waller writes: The same logic would confer moral legitimation on pedophiles, who could also and did claim that they were made that way and therefore were unable to help themselves.”[xix]  Waller notes that among gay-rights militants, ideological rationalizations for child sexual exploitation often take bizarre forms:

Many gay men acknowledge that they have initiated encounters [with young boys].  They argue that these types of relationships offer young boys the only real possibility for healthy acculturation into homosexuality…These attitudes, so pronounced and accepted in [gay] culture…allowed a Covenant House-Father Bruce Ritter case to develop and operate for twenty years…I despair of a liberal culture in which such pathological behavior, such physical and psychological traumas can be inflicted on children and adolescents, and rationalized in the name of gay rights…This aspect of the controversy is not peripheral.  The virtual silence about male (homosexual) pedophilia and pederasty maintained by the mental health and social-work practitioners for, lo, these many years, is scandalous….‘Homophobia’ has been incessantly and unfavorably been contrasted with tolerance of ‘alternative lifestyles.’[xx]

Homosexism also asserts there are no differences between heterosexuals and homosexuals, which are legitimate grounds for discrimination.  The worldview does not recognize the inert nature of homosexual union as a differentiating limitation for rights to marriage and family.  The worldview is also wedded to the feminist analysis of reality and to the promotion of free sex ideology.  In the anthology Lesbianism and the Women’s Movement, Margret Small describes a homosexist cognitive dissonance imperative - the need to berate the alternative and competing worldview.   She writes:

[Heterosexual] Men justify this male-beneficent organization of women’s labor through the creed, the ‘ideology of heterosexuality,’ which ‘says it is natural for women to…take care of men.’  Heterosexuality is ‘not merely an act in relation to impregnation, but the dominant ideology’ which defines women as ‘appendages of men.’  It is not ‘reproduction itself’ which determines the social organization which places men above women.  ‘The ideology of heterosexuality’ does that, ‘not the simple act of intercourse.’[xxi]

Near the start of the sexual liberation era, Phyllis Chesler declared the connection of feminism to homosexist ideology: “What is the feminist method? Given our conditioning as women, can we ever become feminist revolutionaries (or human beings), without becoming lesbians?”[xxii]  In 1989, Sonja Johnson outlined, in Wildfire: Igniting The She/volution, the problem with heterosexism and simultaneously pointed out the targets for homosexist reform:

All women are battered women in patriarchy.  Every woman born is in an abusive relationship with men as a class and with their system since the raison d’etre of all men’s institutions  - political, legal, educational, religious, economic, and social - is to achieve and perpetuate the slavery of women and dominion of men.”[xxiii]  She goes on to say: “As grim at this is, it is only a surface picture…Some understanding of why women under terror merge so completely with their torturers and so strongly resist awareness of men’s perfidy and gynocidal intent helps explain why women as a class the world over bond with and support men’s woman-hating, woman-destroying governments, institutions, values, ideologies, and cosmologies.  Why, in short, we vote, go to church, believe in male gods, follow male gurus and channeled entities, attend and teach at universities, send our children to school, become lawyers and corporation servers, marry, and work for male-defined ‘women’s rights.’[xxiv]

Remember, when the same-sex marriage lobby paraded their select homosexual couples before the media in seemingly harmless marriage ceremonies that they were appealing to your “emotion” for support.  However, the “intellectual” reality is that marriage redefinition lays open the institution to some 97 percent of homosexuals who have no interest in marriage and who are part of a cultural minority which has consistently shown rabid hostility towards the institution for forty years.  Keep the cheery images of two blushing brides or two charming grooms in true historical perspective.  

Last but not least, the homosexist worldview proclaims boundariless non-judgmental free sex, often called “positive sex” or “sex positive” ethos.  Homosexists disassociate sexual intercourse from its procreative moorings and attach no limitations to sexual self-expression.  This notion of “free sex” is captured on the Calgary Birth Control Association website, which reads under the title “OUR PHILOSOPHY”:

At CBCA we believe that sexuality is a natural and healthy part of life.  Healthy sexual relationships are based on trust, respect and equality.  We work for the right of all people to get information that helps them make choices and decisions about their sexuality…In our work we want to give clear information without passing judgment.[my underline] [xxv]

Regrettably, without violating any of these three tenets, it is possible to have multiple encounters, in a bathhouse cubical, with people to whom you never speak or know.  Moreover, in this paradigm should a pregnancy (hetero- or bisexual) disturb the false “serenity” of the free sex ideology, abortion is the technological therapy.   And should sexually transmitted disease defy the notion of “free,” there are pharmaceutical therapies.  In reality the homosexist worldview is feasible only under consistent and careful application of the so-called “Condom Code,” a classic technological fix.

Homosexism and heterosexism cannot be integrated; the dynamic between them is zero-sum - the gains of one are at the cost of the other.   Legislation, such as same-sex marriage, attempts to treat the distinct worldviews with indifference and to unite the “social spaces” they under gird, but in reality the state can only hold to one worldview at a time.   


Copyright ©2008 StandForGod.Org

[i] Robert M. Baird & M. Katherine Baird Ed., Homosexuality: Debating the Issues (Amherst New York: Prometheus Books, 1995), p.33.

[iii] Erinn E. Tozer, Mary K. McClanahan, “Treating the Purple Menace: Ethical considerations of conversion therapy and affirmative alternatives,” Counseling Psychologist, College Park, September, 1999.

[iv] Ibid.  Read <Pivot of Civilization or Rivet of Life? Conflicting Worldviews and Same-sex Marriage> for a full account of reorientation successes. 

[v] Larry Kramer, Reports from the holocaust: the story of an AIDS activist (New York: St. Martin’s Press, 1994), p.351.

[vi] Ibid., p.180.

[vii] Ibid., p.179.

[viii] Gabriel Rotello, Sexual Ecology: Aids and the Destiny of Gay Men (New York: Dutton, 1997), p.97.

[ix] Ibid., p.174.

[x] Mark Blasius, Gay and Lesbian Politics: Sexuality and the Emergence of a New Ethic (Philadelphia: Temple University Press, 1994), p.209  (Quoted in a book review by Shane Phelan, “Queer liberalism? The American Political Review, Menasha, June 2000.

[xi] Ibid., p.137.

[xii] Ibid., p.152.

[xiii] Ibid., p.151.

[xiv] Shane Phelan, “Queer liberalism? The American Political Review, Menasha, June 2000.

[xv] Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of MentalDisorders (DSM-IV), Ameriacn Psychiatric Association, p.527.

[xvi] Jan LaRue, “Legitimizing pedophilia opens the doors to predators,” Insight on the News, Washington, June 14, 1999.

[xvii] Marshall Kirk and Hunter Madsen, After the Ball (Doubleday, 1989), pp367-368. 

[xviii] William Gairdner, The War Against the Family (Stoddart, 1992), p. 357.  Cited in Donald L. Faris, The Homosexual Challenge – A Christian Response to an Age of Sexual Politics (Markham, Ontario: Faith Today Publications, 1993), p.56.

[xix] Paul Waller, letter to the Editor, “Letters from Readers,” Commentary, New York, May 1997.

[xx] Ibid.

[xxi] Jonathan Ned Katz, The Invention of Heterosexuality (New York: Dutton, 1995), p.149.

[xxii] Phyllis Chesler, Women & Madness (New York: Avon Books, 1972), p.241.

[xxiii] Sonja Johnson, Wildfire: Igniting The She/volution (Albuquerque, New Mexico, Wildfire Books, 1989), p.59.

[xxiv] Ibid., pp.62 and 63.