It’s Time for Gay Vigilantes to Kick Some Ass
The new documentary, “Waiting for Superman,” has educators talking about school reform. But that should take a backseat to a school year already steeped in tragedy. Last month, bullying forced a number of gay adolescents to commit suicide.
In fact, the high-profile suicide of Tyler Clementi, the Rutgers teen who ended his life by jumping from the George Washington Bridge because of bullies who outted him on the Internet, was just the beginning of the New York region’s problem with homosexuality. And the problem, of course, isn’t contained to the classroom.
Last week, a gay man in the Bronx and two teens, who were thought to have had relations with the man, were kidnapped and beaten. One teen was cut with a box-cutter and the man and a teen were sodomized with a plunger and a small baseball bat.
This week, Carl Paladino, a candidate in New York’s gubernatorial race, spoke to a gathering of Orthodox Jews in Williamsburg about gay marriage and raising a family. “I don’t want [children] brainwashed into thinking that homosexuality is an equally valid and successful option – it isn’t.” Later on, he criticized his opponent, Andrew Cuomo, of marching in the gay pride parade. “[T]hat’s not the example we should be showing our children.”
Paladino admitted that his hateful pandering to other ardent believers comes from his Roman Catholic faith. But it’s not just Catholicism that preaches such poison. All three monotheistic faiths are replete with a call to arms against homosexuals.
A few examples: Leviticus 20:13 says “If a man lies with a male as those who lie with a woman, both of them have committed an abomination and they shall surely be put to death.” Timothy 1:9-10 states “Law is not made for a righteous person but for those who are lawless and rebellious, for the ungodly and sinners, for the unholy and profane, for those who kill their fathers or mothers, for murderers and fornicators and homosexuals and kidnappers and liars and perjurers, and whatever else is contrary to sound teaching.” And sura 4:16 in the Koran declares “If two men among you commit indecency, punish them both.”
On the Michelangelo Signorile Show, a Sirius Radio program, Signorile, who is gay, told a caller “If religion didn’t condemn homosexuality there would be no gay bashing.” The only way to end the attacks, Signorile continued, is to pressure “your church to stop condemning homosexuality, just as your church stopped condemning black people a long time ago or Jews…”
But words are not enough. Of course the gay rights movement has improved federal hate crimes law, which was signed earlier this year, and they won a reversal on Proposition 8, the California law banning same sex marriage, that is until it goes back to court. Hate crimes based on sexual orientation, however, according to the most recent FBI statistics report, are up 11 percent.
What the gay rights movement needs is something a bit more threatening.
Was it Martin Luther King Jr.’s nonviolent boycotts, powerful orations, and ability to incite millions of others to peacefully demand equality that was paramount to the civil rights movement? Absolutely. But it wasn’t the peaceful protests alone. I don’t think King would have been as effective without the fury of the militant Black Panthers wreaking havoc in the background. The Black Panthers helped strip away that label of victim. After centuries of pogroms and genocides from the Inquisition to the Holocaust, the formation of the state of Israel-boasting one of the toughest armies around-did the same for Jews.
Both the Black Panthers and the Israeli army have been labeled goons and thugs. Their tactics have been censured. But one thing is certain, their enemies feared retribution.
If young gay people had the equivalent of Israeli soldiers or Black Panthers, they’d feel less isolated as religious leaders and politicians shame them, (who oddly enough are often closeted homosexuals themselves, like Senator Larry Craig or Bishop Eddie Long). Violence is not the answer, but intimidation could help. United gay vigilantes might even give credence to the peaceful human rights wing of the movement. And maybe, just maybe, youngsters like Tyler Clementi would feel more comfortable in their own skin, believing that a Superman of sorts existed for the gay population.
Where do we find this Superman? Four words: Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell.
Yesterday was National Coming Out Day. It’s also Bully Prevention Month. Gay American soldiers, who are clearly unwanted in the armed forces, could give new meaning to coming out and bully prevention. United States law, if it doesn’t change after U.S. District Judge Virginia Phillips’s injunction to end “don’t ask, don’t tell,” is practically inviting this.
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