Wall Street Journal Fails to Identify GOP-Bashing Author as Gay Activist

This past Tuesday (Sept. 9), The Wall Street Journal allowed a homosexual activist to criticize GOP “gay-bashing” on the top of its op-ed page – but didn't let readers know the author has a dog in the fight.

In his lengthy article, “The GOP Should Kiss Gay-Bashing Goodbye,” James Kirchick is identified simply as “assistant editor of The New Republic.”  But Mr. Kirchick is not just another opinion writer.

Kirchick was named the 2007 Journalist of the Year by the National Lesbian and Gay Journalists Association (NLGJA).  In 2006, he won the NLGJA's Excellence in Student Journalism Award.  Last month, he spoke at a session on opinion writing at the NLGJA convention in Washington, D.C.

Kirchick argues that Republicans should embrace homosexual rights because the “national mood” favors legal recognition of gay couples, but more importantly, because the GOP is “on the wrong [emphasis added] side of history.”  Opposition to the homosexual agenda is thus defined as bigotry.

Rather than focusing on the GOP's interests, Kirchick devotes most of his column to promoting the notion that homosexuals are an oppressed minority group, victimized specifically by the GOP's social conservatives.  Backers of the Federal Marriage Amendment (FMA), for example, “depicted gays as a nefarious force.”  At the 1992 GOP convention, “gays became the target of a divisive campaign aimed at stirring up the GOP's socially conservative base.”  Pat Buchanan and Dan Quayle joined in “denigrating gay people.”  Happily, John McCain refuses to “mak[e homosexuals] pariahs for political gain.”  It's “unfortunate,” however, that McCain did not “go after” his party for “their cynical stigmatization of an entire class of citizens.”

Portraying homosexuals as victims comes straight out of the gay activist playbook.  Mr. Kirchick is following the approach laid out by public relations experts Marshall Kirk and Hunter Madsen in their 1989 book After the Ball.  One of their primary strategies is to define homosexuals as “victims” deprived of equal rights, in order to recast the debate over homosexuality as a civil rights issue rather than a moral issue.

If homosexuals are viewed as victims, then anyone who disagrees with the homosexual agenda can be smeared as a bigot. The next step, called “jamming,” is to make people feel ashamed for questioning the gay agenda in the first place. Comedian Jerry Seinfeld might have been satirizing “jamming” with his line, “Not that there's anything wrong with that!”

The emphasis on victimization conceals the moral radicalism of the gay rights movement.  For example, Kirchick defines the proposed FMA as “writing discrimination into the Constitution.”  Think about that for a moment. If that is true, then all marriage laws the world over joining male to female in matrimony are simply tools of bigotry rather than reflections of God's natural, universal plan for humanity. 

Mr. Kirchick gently chides John McCain for not criticizing his party's “stigmatization” of homosexuals, but that's exactly what Mr. Kirchick does to people who believe in traditional morality.

By redefining traditional morality as a form of bigotry, gay rights advocates are laying the foundation for the criminalization of Christianity, Judaism and every other religion that preaches God's view of sexual morality.  If that sounds radical, consider that 11 Christians were jailed in Philadelphia in October 2006 and five were charged with felonies related to their alleged “hate crime” of preaching out loud at a gay street festival.  

Or you could ask the pastors in Canada, Great Britain and Sweden who have been hauled before human rights commissions and threatened with jail and fines simply for publicly discussing sexual morality.  One English bishop was investigated for a “hate crime” for saying on the radio that he believes gays can change, because God loves homosexuals enough to heal them from their sin like any other sinner.

A few years ago, a lesbian attorney and gay rights leader told a gathering of scholars and journalists that the gay rights struggle is “a zero sum game. Someone wins, someone loses.” She was referring to Tufts University's decision to throw a Christian club off campus for not allowing an unrepentant gay to be a club leader. She finished with rare, brutal honesty: “Gays win, Christians lose.”

Mr. Kirchick's article is effectively a warning: Utter one word against the rising sexual dystopia and you will be called a bigot and banished from polite society. At the least, the Journal should have alerted its readers to his status as an activist on this issue.

Robert H. Knight is Director, and Brian Fitzpatrick is Senior Editor, of the Culture and Media Institute, a division of the Media Research Center.