Dark Ages logic used to attack gay issues program
Commentary by PAT MURPHY
Fiddle-faddle on alarmists trying to blackout Idaho Public
Televisions airing of "Its Elementary," a discussion dealing with
Critics subscribe to the balderdash that merely showing "Its
Elementary" (a) is promoting homosexuality; and (b) the program may seduce swarms of
young people into suddenly switching to homosexuality.
Gov. Dirk Kempthorne had the good sense to refuse to sign on with a few
loony legislators who want to punish Idaho Public Television through the purse.
Long before television, there was homosexuality. Homosexuality predated
the birth of Christ, which means, before the invention of Idaho Public television.
This sort of assault isnt new for public broadcasting. It has
endured battles since its founding over programs that religious and political critics
PBS created an uproar with a Cold War series examining communism.
Critics suggested the show would drive droves of Americans into the arms of Marxism, which
And when sex education was introduced into public schools, PBS and its
local affiliates were again under siege for airing "This is Sex."
It may be another generation or two before homosexuality is accepted
with intelligence. Todays anti-gay policymakers and religious leaders surely
dont and cant.
Their reasoning seems to be that so long as they dont know
whos gay, and arent forced to think about it, no problem.
That means one to 10 percent of the U.S. population thats gay (no
one seems sure how many) is acceptable to religious zealots and conservative politicians
so long as theyre out of sight, out of mind. Classic blissful ignorance.
Consider examples of two outed gays, Steve May and Mel White.
May is a Republican member of the Arizona state legislatures
House, and an officer in the Army National Guard. May acknowledged during legislative
debate that hes gay, and for that, he may be booted out of the Guard. Until he
merely mentioned being gay, May was thoroughly acceptable to the Army.
And the Rev. Mel White is a gifted speech writer who spun golden
phrases for the likes of the Rev. Pat Robertson and the Rev. Jerry Falwell. But White came
out of the closet and admitted being gay, and he was gone, although his speech writing
skills are still just as artful as they were before Falwell and Robertson knew he was gay.
Except for junk religious deprogrammers, most reputable researchers
agree homosexuality is genetic, not acquired. So, gays cant and wont vanish
any more than African Americans and Jews will vanish because the Aryan Nations devoutly
wants them to.
While other industrialized societies regard homosexuality with
intelligence, the United States still wallows in the sort of ignorant treatment that the
poor, mentally ill and tubercular suffered in the Dark Ages.
Murphy is the retired publisher of The Arizona Republic and a
former radio commentator.