It’s Pride Week this week, that time of year when opinion-formers’
minds turn to the status of gays in society. And helpfully, the Wall
Street Journal editorial page is here to give them a little pastoral
[The narrowness of the Senate vote to withhold federal
funding from school districts who prevent Boy Scouts from meeting
on their premises] underscores the sharp cultural divisions that were
revealed in the last election. But in particular it shows the power
of the gay-lesbian lobby in modern liberal politics. Far from being
besieged in American life, homosexuals now have the clout nearly to
defeat a group that has historically done as much as any other to
turn unruly boys into responsible men.
Well, the gay-lesbian lobby can’t be that powerful if it lost
the vote. But what I’m interested here is the way that the Journal‘s
editorial page has moved from a kind of beefed-up Economist-style
libertarianism to supporting anti-gay Jesse Helms amendments. How
many people on Wall Street (the Journal‘s self-declared constituency),
or indeed in America, would find it shocking, surprising, or even
noteworthy that gays and lesbians in America might have as much power
as the Boy Scouts?
In fact, the more one reads that paragraph’s last sentence, the less
it makes sense. Is there some a priori lemma that anybody with
nearly as much clout as the Boy Scouts cannot be besieged in American
life? Wonder what the African-American community would make of that.
And what’s the other side of the implied distinction? If Boy Scouts
turn unruly boys into responsible men, what does the gay-lesbian lobby
do? Surely the Journal can’t be implying that it takes responsible
men from the heartland of America and turns them into unruly boys
displaying their pierced nipples during the Gay Pride Parade?