Our new homophobia

President Obama’s second inaugural was the first to cite the gay rights movement as an essential chapter of the American story. That “most evident of truths — that all of us are created equal,” he said, “is the star that guides us still; just as it guided our forebears through Seneca Falls, and Selma, and Stonewall.”

The reference was to the Stonewall Inn riots, a multi-day spectacle of street violence that followed a 1969 police raid of a Manhattan gay bar. The conventional retelling describes police brutality so vile New York’s long-suffering gays could not help but respond in kind, and in doing so initiate a fresh era in the struggle for sexual equality. But as is often the case with sanctified anecdotes, reality was more ambiguous. Stonewall was certainly notorious, but as much for its mafia ties and role in the city’s sex trade as its homosexual clientele. Nuances like these provide consistent headaches to anyone attempting to retell Stonewall’s story — consider the contentious reception that greeted  Roland Emmerich’s recent effort to commemorate it in film.

What happened in Orlando, in contrast, was entirely bereft of nuance. As the bloodiest instance of anti-gay violence in American history, Orlando does not simply overshadow Stonewall, it makes pathetic mockery of it and all previous conceptions of what homophobia is.

Like Stonewall, the history of American attitudes towards homosexuality form a complex tale that many are uninterested in acknowledging. Far from a consistent crusade, it’s been a fickle, performative concern, ebbing and flowing over time. Walt Whitman was the most celebrated poet of the 19th century and wrote openly about gay sex — which he claimed to enjoy. President Buchanan may have been gay, but it’s hard to know since his contemporaries didn’t care. Sterilizing “perverts” was proposed during the eugenics craze of the progressive era but vetoed by the courts. Anti-sodomy laws were mocked in their own time as an entrapment tool for lazy cops rather than a useful way to curb crime. Many American gays saw their families destroyed and careers ruined once their homosexuality became known, while others reached the pinnacle of success flaunting it openly.

What even a cursory glance of the nation’s LGBT history suggests, in short, is that the style of homophobic violence perpetuated in Orlando is something horrifyingly exotic to the American experience. It is not consistent with some preexisting tradition of “hate.” It does not remind us  “how far we have yet to go,” the need for “solidarity,” or any other hoary cliche of the gay rights establishment. What it illustrates, in the blood of 100 victims, is the degree western gays have endangered themselves by supporting politicians and activists who welcome foreign proponents of the world’s most radically homicidal strain of gay-hate into our communities.

While American gays seek acknowledgment and approval, gays in the Muslim world fight a war for survival. In nations like Iran and Saudi Arabia, homosexuality is a crime punishable by death — a duty executioners have been more than happy to perform before the cameras. In territory controlled by the Islamic State, which considers the regimes of Iran and Saudi Arabia insufficiently dogmatic, gay men are thrown from the tops of buildings and have their skulls smashed with stones, as prescribed by the Hadith.

The life of killer Omar Saddiqui Mateen is a case study of radical Islam’s exploitation of American multiculturalism. His immigrant father, who supports the Taliban in his native Afghanistan, clearly felt little pressure to abandon his old world obsessions, constantly leaving America to remain politically engaged in the Middle East. He had his own chat show about Afghan politics and fantasized about becoming president. The kid furthered the faith of his father by soaking up hate at a Florida mosque frequented by at least one suicide bomber and taking online courses from a local imam who once served as bodyguard to the notorious “Blind Sheik.”

In the name of celebrating diversity, western liberals have outlawed the only tools we once used to get a handle on this sort of thing: immigration quotas, assimilation initiatives, and a shared understanding that the foreign should conform to the expectations of the host nation, not vice versa. They have exaggerated the benefits of Islam’s presence — Muslims have assisted in “building the very fabric of our nation and strengthening the core of our democracy” in the words of the President — while inventing, then endlessly charging, a new crime of “Islamophobia” to silence anyone who speaks honestly of the challenges.

Today, progressives insist homophobia is a global sickness, not an Islamic one. Today we mourn the dangers of failing to acknowledge bigotry’s spectrum.


  1. Mary

    Right on JJ!

    Multiculturalism is a failure, and we are in grave danger because of our new PM who embraces it naively.

  2. truteal

    This is going to splinter the left in my view, between the people who believe Islam does no wrong and the people who think Islam is inheritably barbaric/homophobic (and the atheists who believe the same thing)

  3. Steve

    It is scary how you could randomly die because of some fool fanatics or whatsover.

  4. Oliver Terry

    I appreciate the intellectual care and vigour with which you defends your arguments, but the whole point of progressivism is that it advances everyone’s interests, not just the interests of single groups.

    The fight for the rights of any group is spearheaded by that group (women’s liberation, civil rights, gay rights, and onward), but it is only by making allies with those not in the group that these causes advance to a degree that societal change is effected.

    Yes, perhaps permissiveness towards other cultures can lead to radicalization, but just as surely ostracism, suspicion, and hatred of these cultures, whether or not under the auspices of institutional and governmental policy, has the same effect.

    Society isn’t driving for uncompromising diversity, diversity has become a necessity (in Canada) because of our immigration policies and international reputation for being a country welcoming of refugees and immigrants in general. How well does assimilation really work? It’s not something that happens instantly, it takes time, and enforcing cultural standards on first, or even second-generation immigrants will likely lead to resentment at best, radicalization at worst.

    I mean really — Germany takes in 400,000 refugees, and do they have mass shootings, gay bashings? I guess it depends on who you listen to. See below link by Ezra Levant, Rebel Commander.

    I understand the point you’re trying to make, but there is another major issue at stake here — easy access (in the US) to high-powered firearms and assault weapons. Turning it into an argument based solely on the homophobia inherent to traditional interpretation of Abrahamaic religions (let’s not forget the traditional Christian attitude towards non-heterosexual relationships) really misses much of the issue.

    Although, as a social conservative, perhaps gun control isn’t an issue which you would choose to address.

  5. Mark

    Does it change your interpretation that the shooter himself was possibly gay, possibly not that religious, and had been frequenting Pulse? Also what of his love for the NYPD?

  6. @ShelterSomerset

    Meanwhile, gay pride parades are getting underway throughout the world (except for the Middle East, excluding Israel) and will be filled with gays marching with their pro-Islam and anti-American banners. That it was the USA that originated gay pride and most everything else gays embrace worldwide, will of course go over most of their collective heads. I half way agree with the gay Left–Islam is not the problem. Yes, the real problem is the anti-American Left.

  7. Jake_Ackers

    If this was pro-radical Islamic terrorism he would of shot up a random place. So the focus would not of been on gays but just the radicalism. However, he picked gays as a specific target. So its anti-gay as well. It because it was a specific TYPE of target. Instead of just any target as has been in the past.

  8. David

    You clearly are ignorant of the fact he had other targets in mind also, and none of them were gay related.

    So Islam is the motivation, please learn the facts before spouting BS online.

  9. Jake_Ackers

    The problem with the left is it tolerates the ENTIRE culture instead of accepting just ASPECTS. You can like Latino culture for family values and the sort but reject the machismo aka sexism. Chinese for food and respect for family but reject the sexism to the point of infanticide. And so on and so forth for each culture. Problem is no one slices the difference. Hindiusm was able to let go of widow burning and the caste system. Oh wait that was by force. But the South let go of racism and slavery oh wait that was by force too. There needs to be more social pressure and yes maybe even a revolution in the Middle East to stop these acts.

  10. Jake_Ackers

    Blacks will always vote Dems, so will gay people. So they are trying to take the Muslim vote which used to go Republican and also want to take the Latino vote which at times went Republican to a degree but is still fluid. The left only wants votes and will throw anyone under the bus.

  11. Conor Mac

    Someone calls JJ on his shit.

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