Kennedy's 'Postcards from
Gay liberation and feminism
Wednesday, June 29, 2005
Like the women's liberation movement, gay liberation has done some good. It has exposed hatred and persecution of homosexuals, which has no place in a civil or Christian society, and in doing so has greatly mitigated those practices. It has elicited responses in the Christian community that augment the ancient way of dealing with the phenomenon (monasticism), with programs for including homosexuals in the community rather than alienating them. But as women's liberation directly touched virtually half the human race, and indirectly affected with unmistakable power the other half, gay liberation directly spoke for only about three percent of humanity when it was an all-male phenomenon and perhaps 10 percent when the radical wing of women's liberation went "all the way" (into lesbianism) and joined, then virtually took over the gay social movement. The "take over" resulted partly from the decimation of the movement's early ranks through AIDS, and partly because the women had stronger leaders, better organization and plans, and better control over their libidos (I've yet to read about an all-woman bath-house or sex club comparable to the ones in the [male] gay centers).
I remember reading in a bookstore in San Francisco in the '70s, in one of the movement's tracts of that time, that charges that gay liberation would lead to homosexual marriage were ridiculous fantasies of the Christian right (remember Anita Bryant?) and there was virtually no interest in that goal. At the time, I think it was true, and I think the change to its becoming the issue that today's "gay liberation" is all about can be tracked to many factors, but none of those is more germane, in my opinion, than the "takeover"or at least the "makeover" of the gay movement by women. These opinions, based on decades of living in the Bay Area, working on university campuses and being influenced by its mass media, were reinforced by "in the life"-type shows on PBS running up to last weekend's Gay Pride celebrations in San Francisco, New York, and other cities. Though one such show berated the former "male chauvinism" of San Francisco's Castro district "gay ghetto" in the early years, the obvious flip side of that is that the formerly chauvinist males in charge have had a strong dose of feminism. I'm not claiming that the men resent the womenI'm sure that even in the early parades they welcomed women's contingents just because their presence added "legitimacy" to their whole cause. But I see inklings that many of the first-generation gay leaders wouldn't know what to make of today's turn of events.
To balance this with Monday's thoughts on the women's liberation movement, I must ennumerate some of the bad traits of the gay movement. The sad truth is that even the good that the movement has done has had effects that I'm convinced are bad for society, for children, and for the health of civilization. In order to win social acceptance for the proposition that homosexuals should not be hated or beaten up, it has seemed necessary (at least in the almost unanimous take of the liberal media on the issue) to accept everything gay liberation stands for, including sexual anarchy and the redefinition of humanity's oldest institution, marriage and the family. Christians, from the beginning of the gay social movement, have said we must love homosexual individuals but, as in every case where sin is found (that is, in every human individual), we must stop short of condoning the wrong while encouraging the right. But now in parts of Europe and Canada, even saying that sodomy is sinful is illegal under "hate speech" laws, and even in the United States saying it comes at the price of bearing the censure of the "progressive elements" of our society.
Webmaster Jon Kennedy