Many of our opponents are starting to deny homosexuals exist.
Matt Barber of Liberty University threw a fit because Prop 8 Judge Vaughn Walker is gay, but he didn’t call the judge a homosexual. No, he called him “an active practitioner of the homosexual lifestyle,” and said, “Judge Walker apparently chooses to engage in homosexual conduct,” and wrote of Walker’s “alleged lifestyle choices.”
The Mormon Church, according to one LDS website, says to use “homosexual” only as an adjective, never as a noun. It prefers the increasing popular phrase, “men with SSA [same-sex attraction].”
NARTH co-founder Joe Nicolosi has reportedly said there are no homosexuals, just heterosexuals with a homosexual problem.
It wasn’t always this way. Conservatives used to be certain we existed. Educational films warned kids about homosexuals. The State Department refused to hire homosexuals. Anita Bryant spread the word that homosexuals are out to recruit kids (since we can’t reproduce, you know).
So why does the far right now insist there’s no such thing? The Family Research Council reveals the answer.
[H]omosexual conduct is not comparable to other characteristics usually protected by civil rights laws (“race, color, religion, sex, or national origin”). Protection against private “discrimination” has historically been offered only for characteristics that are inborn, involuntary, immutable, innocuous, and/or in the Constitution-yet none of these describe homosexual behavior.
See? There’s no discrimination against homosexuals because there are no homosexuals. Just homosexual conduct. Homosexuality isn’t a state of being — it’s merely a set of actions. Hate crimes against homosexuals? No! Civil equality for homosexuals? No! Anti-bullying laws to protect young homosexuals? No! None of these things are necessary if there are no homosexuals.
This thinking is important when it comes to the “immutability” argument in Constitutional law. Is homosexuality a choice? Our opponents say that deciding to engage in homosexual acts is a choice, and people can stop being gay just by giving up gay sex. That makes sense, though, only if homosexuality is nothing more than same-sex sex. Obviously, though, it’s a great deal more — I was gay before I ever had sex, I’m gay when I’m not having sex, I’m gay right now as I type this (and there’s no man in sight).
Want to see their strategy in action? Here’s that godawful liar Concerned Women of America spokesperson, Janice Shaw Crouse:
Homosexual activists argue that they were born that way. That they cannot change. Actually, scientific research does not agree. They say some individuals have vulnerabilities, but acting on them is not inevitable. Other factors have to weigh in, such as parental disapproval, not being accepted socially, or a situation where the child doesn’t get the appropriate affirmation of their gender identity as a male or a female. In other words, vulnerability alone does not determine a person’s sexual preferences; external factors have to tip the person in the direction of homosexual behavior. Thousands of individuals can testify to the transforming power of their Christian faith that released them from the bondage of sinful behavior and brought them new life, peace, and joy.
But more importantly, note what Crouse does not say. She does not say that people can change what they feel. Only that they can change their actions. In fact, she uses “preferences” and “behavior” as if they meant the same thing. Her point is that we can change our behavior (true) and this will mean we are no longer homosexuals (colossal failure of an untruth!).
Note one more thing: even with all her slippery, squirming, greasy word-weaseling, she still can’t get away from the idea of a characteristic that we can’t change. Instead of calling it sexual orientation, she calls it “vulnerability.” I don’t see how that alters anything. Are some people born with this vulnerability? She conveniently evades that. Can people change this vulnerability? She evades that too, merely saying they can choose not to act on it. But vulnerability is just a code word for sexual orientation: some people are “vulnerable” to same-sex attraction, some to opposite-sex attraction, and some to both. Not even an ex-gay group like Exodus claims they can change that.
Language matters. Orwell taught us to be wary of political language that “is designed to make lies sound truthful and murder respectable, and to give an appearance of solidity to pure wind.”
Janice Shaw Crouse is pure wind. The claim that there are no homosexuals, just homosexual conduct, is pure wind. The assertion that “gay” is something you do, but never something you are, is pure wind. And it’s a dangerous wind, at that.