The constant low grumble that has
characterized the anti gay rights camp suddenly is sounding more like
a high-pitched whimper during a week that ended with the dramatic
resignation of a veteran social conservative.
To be certain, social conservatives
continue a downward spiral as wedge issue after wedge issue failed
them in November. Hispanics did not forget a push to drive out
illegals on Election Day when they came together as a new political
force by voting overwhelmingly for President-elect Barack Obama.
Feminism won when Alaska Governor Sarah Palin, running as a
Republican vice presidential candidate, accepted the mantel of
feminist. Abortion seems to have been contained as a wedge issue.
And race, well, that's self evident.
But social conservatives wiped their
brows on Election Day as four anti-gay measures in California,
Arizona, Florida and Arkansas were approved by voters.
Slaphappy social conservatives ready to
cash in on political capital earned from backing such measures
quickly extolled their wins are proof they remain relevant to a
tattered Republican Party that appears to be moving away from social
The new plan, however, seems to be
losing its footing. First came the protests against passage of gay
marriage bans in California, Arizona and Florida, where religious
leaders – particularly the Mormon Church – found themselves on
And while this collective post-election
anti-gay wail has steadily increased its rancour and sharpened its
tone, it continues to be met with an equally louder resistance.
Last week's full page ad in the New York Times
blasting grassroots demonstrations against the passage of gay marriage
bans as mob “intimidation” was quickly labeled “untruthful” by gay
activists groups, who responded with their
In the anti-gay ad, The Becket Fund for
Religious Liberty came to the defense of the Church of Jesus Christ
of Latter-day Saints (the LDS or Mormons) who became a target of
grassroots gay activists after their overwhelming support for
California's gay marriage ban most likely tipped the passage of the
“[W]e're united in this: The violence
and intimidation being directed against the LDS or 'Mormon' church,
and other religious organizations – and even against individual
believers – simply because they supported Proposition 8 is an
outrage that must stop,” the ad reads.
The advertisement, titled No Mob
Veto, calls the
demonstrations against Proposition 8 “mobs, seeking not to
persuade but to intimidate.”
It calls for an end to anti-religious
propaganda: “It has no place in civilized society.”
And vows to work against demonstrators
by “exposing and publicly shaming anyone who resorts to the
rhetoric of anti-religious bigotry – against any faith, on any side
of any cause, for any reason.”
“These anti-gay activists are crying
wolf on the Proposition 8 protests, but they actually are a wolf in
sheep's clothing that preaches religious tolerance while practicing
the most defamatory form of religious bigotry,” said Truth Wins Out
Executive Director Wayne Besen, whose group is backing the gay
response. “We refuse to permit this orchestrated campaign to
rewrite history, nor will we allow some of the most notorious Mormon
bashers in America to pose as friends of the Latter-day Saints.”
The pro-gay ad calls the No Mob Veto ad a lie. “Those demonstrations across the country were remarkably
peaceful and were a vivid example of Americans exercising their free
speech rights, and we think it's inexcusable for anyone to
misrepresent these protests for political gain.”
On the campus of the University of
Washington, students protested the publication of an anti-gay marriage rant in their school paper.
Protesters found both the content of
the article and the accompanying image of a man and a sheep
objectionable. Several school groups have called for an apology from
its editor-in-chief, Sarah Jeglum.
Its author, John Fay, argued that gay
and lesbian couples should be banned from marrying because “once
you've legalized gay marriage, why not polygamy, incest, bestiality
or any other form of union?”
“Last week, The Daily
published a homophobic image and opinion article,” said Kathy Rice,
who established Students for a Hate Free Daily as a response to Fay's
column and helped organize the protest. “That article incited fear
into many members of the LGBT [gay, lesbian, bisexual and
transgender] and allied community.”
And in Florida, gay marriage backers demonstrated outside the wedding of Florida Governor Charlie Crist.
Across from the First United Methodist
Church in St. Petersburg, Florida where Crist, 52, and Carole Rome,
39, were married about 250 demonstrator gathered to protest Florida's
passage of a gay marriage ban.
denying the right to marry to millions of Floridians, and now, barely
a month later, he's exercising that same right himself. I don't care
if he's gay, straight, bi – whatever – that's pretty
hypocritical,” Lorna Bracewell, a spokeswoman for Impact Florida,
the group behind the protest, told On Top Magazine.
The most dramatic
move, however, came on Thursday when the Rev.
Richard Cizik, who just last week signed onto the No Mob Veto ad,
resigned after 28 years representing the National Association of
signaling that he was “shifting” towards gay marriage.
In a Dec. 2 interview on National
Public Radio's Fresh Air show with Terry Gross, Cizik confirmed his
shifting views on gay unions.
“Two years ago,” Gross asked, “you
said you were still opposed to gay marriage. But now as you identify
more and more with the younger voters and their priorities, have you
changed on gay marriage?”
“I'm shifting, I
have to admit,” Cizik responded. “In other words, I would
willingly say I believe in civil unions. I don't officially support
redefining marriage from its traditional definition, I don't think.”
And it was our own
Gay Entertainment Report that brought me news that Showtime is
reality-based series that follows a gay or lesbian person that has
lived a closeted life as they reveal their true sexual orientation to
friends and family.
The Gay Slant is a
weekly feature of On Top Magazine. Walter Weeks is a writer for On
Top and can be reached at email@example.com