Building the Resistance to Same-Sex Marriage…
(fifth in a series of articles)
By J. Mark Brewer
I was a law student when I first learned of the consequences of not being politically correct concerning homosexuality.
A former Miss America’s contract as the citrus growers’ brand-ambassador was allowed to lapse because she had successfully campaigned for the repeal of a pro-homosexual ordinance in Miami-Dade County. She was quoted as saying, “What these people really want, hidden behind obscure legal phrases, is the legal right to propose to our children that theirs is an acceptable, alternate way of life.” She was publicly humiliated — “pied” on national television — and her name — Anita Bryant — became synonymous with something called “homophobia” and “hate speech.”
As a new Air Force J.A.G. officer, my first court assignment was to represent the United States in an administrative discharge proceeding concerning a female service member. She was being kicked out of the service for allegedly engaging in homosexual acts. Even as an inexperienced young lawyer, I managed to prove that she had committed the requisite two homosexual acts. She was given a “general” discharge and sent back to the United States.
I don’t remember when thereafter I first noticed that there are only two instances in which “sex” occurs in the “ethics” rules for lawyers. Both are in the same, “anti-discrimination” provision:
A lawyer shall not willfully, in connection with an adjudicatory proceeding … manifest, by words or conduct, bias or prejudice based on race, color, national origin, religion, disability, age, sex, or sexual orientation towards any person involved in that proceeding in any capacity.
There it was — right there with the prohibition racial discrimination; a lawyer could not “manifest” any “bias or prejudice” based on “sexual orientation.” Hadn’t I done precisely that just a few years earlier? Hadn’t I done that on behalf of the United States government? And yet in that case, I hadn’t set out to prove that the female service-member was a homosexual. My task was limited to proving that she had engaged in homosexual conduct.
Then, suddenly, the issue of homosexual rights — that is, not the right to be a homosexual — but the right to openly engage in homosexual practices and be insulated from any push back from the rest of society — was everywhere. Suddenly it had become a daily staple of bar journals and legal news sources. I don’t remember when I first noticed that.
Was it when California’s voters approved a referendum that “only marriage between a man and a woman is valid or recognized in California”? It must have been before then. It must have been as early as 1993 when I first noticed the enormous consequences of this new so-called right. That was the year Travis County, Texas legalized “domestic partnerships,” in order to attract business investment to Austin, the state capitol.
Not until the spring of 2015, however, did the consequences of this new “right” really began to sink in for me. That’s when I knew that people who for years had thought that the emerging collection of special protections for homosexual behavior was, “no big deal,” were flat wrong.
Indiana Gov. Mike Pence had signed a “religious freedom” bill. The backlash, in the name of homosexual rights, was ferocious with the now infamous threats and boycott of a small-town pizza joint whose owners had the temerity to volunteer that they would decline to cater a homosexual marriage celebration.
So, now we know that Anita Bryant was right — at least partly so — when she embarked on her doomed campaign nearly 40 years ago. Ms. Bryant primarily worried about children being confronted with a dangerous alternative way of life.
Today, all opponents of special homosexual rights have cause to be worried about their very survival — legal and economic. Anyone who opposes the new Manifesto of homosexuality and gender neutrality/gender identity is at risk.
The opinions expressed by columnists are their own and do not necessarily represent the views of Barb Wire.