The ongoing LGBT activism that has overtaken a large part of the United States puts us at a strange crossroads in our country’s history: for perhaps the first time in American history, a civil rights effort is in fact more authoritarian and intolerant than the structure of power against which it is rebelling.
Aided by media that are both incompetent and often transparently biased, along with a burgeoning corporate culture that has discovered the economic benefits of public moral preening, we have what Stella Morabito aptly terms the “LGBT mafia:” a profoundly illiberal social movement rather single-mindedly determined to stamp out even minor and inconsequential dissent from its orthodoxy. It’s not going anywhere. In fact, it’s getting worse.
Many of us were appropriately horrified a couple of years ago when Mozilla CEO Brendan Eich was ousted from his position for, years before, having opposed gay marriage legalization in California. Two years later, the controversy surrounding Eich’s downfall now seems rather quaint in comparison—some histrionics, to be sure, and a silly display of activist vanity from OKCupid, but that was mostly it. The dismaying episode was nonetheless quickly over, and perhaps many of us thought we’d seen the worst of it.
The Hounds Smell Weakness
How wrong could we possibly get? Last month North Carolina’s “bathroom bill,” which mandates that men must use men’s restrooms and women must use women’s, unleashed the full fury of the LGBT mafia. It makes Eich’s ousting look like a tête-à-tête in a Parisian Enlightenment salon by comparison.
In response to this incredibly reasonable and commonsense bill, Bruce Springsteen cancelled a concert in Greensboro; dozens of corporations signed a protest letter; PayPal withdrew plans for an operations center in Charlotte; the composer Stephen Schwartz vowed that his productions—among them the Broadway hit “Wicked”—will not run in North Carolina; A&E and Lionsgate declared they will not film any productions in the state; and the federal government is deciding whether it can withhold billions and billions of dollars in highway, housing, and education funds.
All this because North Carolina affirmed what everyone believed until the day before yesterday: that we shouldn’t allow grown men into women’s restrooms.
We must give the LGBT mafia credit: their tactics work, and they know it. State governments and state governors are exquisitely sensitive to negative press, and many of them have folded in the face of this irrepressible onslaught. A year ago Indiana Gov. Mike Pence amended a state-level religious freedom law because of withering criticism from LGBT activists. The law in question didn’t actually do any of the things the critics said it did, but that didn’t matter: Indiana was an example, and Pence had to be broken to the saddle placed on his back.
In Georgia last month, Gov. Nathan Deal vetoed a religious liberty bill that would have protected religious objectors from having to violate their beliefs, including from being forced to accommodate same-sex marriages. This was religious liberty 101 stuff, noncontroversial to anyone who takes the First Amendment even moderately seriously. Just the same, corporations began threatening boycotts and relocations if the bill passed. Deal acted accordingly and scuttled the bill. You could even sort of understand why he did it, at least when you adjust for spineless cowardice.
The latest scofflaw in North Carolina may also have made an impression to its neighbor to the south: Gov. Nikki Haley has dismissed a similar law proposed for South Carolina, saying, “I don’t believe it’s necessary.” (Just you wait, governor.)
No Tolerance for the Tolerant
This is not merely a state-level affair. In Wisconsin, a young woman who “identifies” as a man successfully agitated to run as prom king at her local high school. The school would not allow her to do so, so she and other students protested until “the decision was taken from the school level to the district level,” and the Kenosha Unified School District mandated that the school accommodate the young woman’s desires. A higher authority stripped what little autonomy the high school had in this important and sensitive area.
It should break your heart that this young woman is laboring under the delusion that she is a man. I know it breaks mine. Yet I am also angry at the school district that indulged her misunderstanding and imposed this misbegotten belief on a high school that had correctly assessed the situation.
We are living in an age of growing intolerance and prejudice: not from the scary white male conservative boogeymen who normally fill that role in the public’s perception, but from the ministers of liberal dogma themselves. Are you a clergy member who wants to uphold the ancient conjugal man-woman view of marriage? Tough luck. Do you want to protect your daughter from the predatory men who might take advantage of a well-meaning transgender bathroom access law? Sorry, you’re a bigot. Do you want to run your business in accordance with your sincere and reasonable beliefs? You’ll be run out of town.
This is the LGBT mafia. This is what it does. It is what we have to live with now. If your legislature or governor wants to pass some modest piece of legislation that protects your right to live as you please, then they’ll make your state an offer it can’t refuse.