Clicking on banner ads enables JWR to constantly improve
Jewish World Review Oct. 20, 2000/ 21 Tishrei, 5761

Marianne M. Jennings

Marianne M. Jennings
JWR's Pundits
World Editorial
Cartoon Showcase

Mallard Fillmore

Michael Barone
Mona Charen
Linda Chavez
Ann Coulter
Greg Crosby
Larry Elder
Don Feder
Suzanne Fields
James Glassman
Paul Greenberg
Bob Greene
Betsy Hart
Nat Hentoff
David Horowitz
Michael Kelly
Mort Kondracke
Ch. Krauthammer
Lawrence Kudlow
Dr. Laura
John Leo
David Limbaugh
Michelle Malkin
Jackie Mason
Chris Matthews
Michael Medved
Kathleen Parker
Wes Pruden
Debbie Schlussel
Sam Schulman
Roger Simon
Tony Snow
Thomas Sowell
Cal Thomas
Jonathan S. Tobin
Ben Wattenberg
George Will
Bruce Williams
Walter Williams
Mort Zuckerman

Consumer Reports

Ten things the gay community should understand -- WATCHING the United Way/Boy Scout/gay community/corporate donations saga is like watching a Jerry Springer show on the thematics of The Odyssey. Everyone throws punches and gasps despite never having read the epic or pronounced Circe.

The Boy Scouts of America (BSA) became nonprofit non gratis when the Supreme Court ruled that its policy prohibiting gay troop leaders is protected under the constitutional right of freedom of association. The gay community and its spineless shortsighted corporate friends responded, "We'll fix them." Here in Tempe, Arizona, the self-declared gay mayor finds himself a recall target because he and a silly city manager became dictators, ordering city employees about on their BSA donations.

This controversy highlights the brutish tactics the gay community employs in its battles. They make ten mistakes in dealing with their fellow citizens. Perhaps this list can set the record straight, as it were.

#1. The vast majority of Americans don't deserve to be portrayed as Matthew Shepard killers. Are there violent heartless rednecks out there? Sure, but a couple of barhopping guys in Wyoming are not representative of the rest of us.

#2. Sexual orientation and sexual activity are private issues. Was l' affaire du Monica in vain? Privacy demands on everything from smoking to genetic screening are not suddenly irrelevant when it comes to sexual orientation.

#3. It is silly nagging to say that being gay means so much more than one's sex life. Such an assertion smacks of obsession. Sexuality is but one part of who we are. To argue it is the focus of life belies human superiority to beasts.

#4. The vast majority of Americans don't care whether someone is gay. If #s 2 and 3 were heeded, we wouldn't know. Even when we do know, we don't care. At work we care about slackers. At home we care about neighbors maintaining their yards.

#5. Homosexuals are often victims of their own conduct, not prejudice. I worked with a woman who let us know every day in every way that she was a lesbian. She drove us crazy not because of sexual orientation but because she was a miserable human being. There was no task she didn't whine about, no unpleasantry she didn't utter and no day she smiled. When she attributed her lack of advancement to her orientation one co-worker objected, "Actually, it's because you don't carry your load."

#6. Americans favor equal treatment of gays and lesbians, but oppose special treatment. We resent anyone being fired for reasons other than poor job performance. An indomitable spirit of justice is ever present and vigilant in matters of earning a living and homosexual workers have this indignation as an ally. Opposition to homosexuality as a protected class like race does not squelch equality. Race is a physical trait. Homosexuality is not. And see rules #2, 3 and 4.

#7. Inconsistent arguments test our patience. A former student of mine who felt compelled to disclose his sexual orientation once asked, "Do you honestly think anyone would choose the miserable life I have?" Then why condemn the Family Research Council for its work in converting gays? If tolerance is important, why attack the BSA?

#8. Opposition to gay marriage is not homophobic. Marriage is more than insurance and pension benefits. It has been, in this era and all that came before, a union between man and woman for purposes of procreation and protection of progeny. Parental rights confusion in homosexual unions alone should give pause. The role of government is not one of dictating relationships. However, it is the role of government to provide legal protection for those relationships that further society's best interests.

#9. Maligning heterosexual marriage does little to advance discussion. No marriage is perfect. No parent is perfect. That humans don't always rise to the ideals of marriage and parenthood is insufficient reason to surrender its structure to same-gender unions.

#10. There is a difference between tolerance and acceptance. Tolerance is live and let live. Acceptance mandates that the straights surrender religious beliefs. While some religions appear ready to jump ship when it comes to scriptures, there are many that condemn homosexuality, not homosexuals. Those same religions condemn cohabitation, regardless of gender. Faithful members will hire homosexuals, work with them in the community and help them as neighbors. But, they protect their children from the "gay lifestyle." Just as they would not permit a male PE teacher in the girl's locker room, they decline gay troop leaders for Scout camping trip. It's not bigotry or homophobia; it's common sense, applied equally across sexual orientation lines.

The BSA/gay community/corporate battles should be brought to a close with the motto of the gay community: live and let live. That motto, in line with #7 above, also applies to the Boy Scouts and their canon of remaining "morally straight."

JWR contributor Marianne M. Jennings is a professor of legal and ethical studies at Arizona State University. Send your comments by clicking here.


10/13/00: "You Have a Lump."
10/06/00: The government as the pharmacy: Don't
09/29/00: The capacity for truth
09/22/00: Charity with strings and an agenda
09/15/00: The taming of the shrew: Gloria Steinem takes a husband
09/09/00: Why rich folk don't bother me none
08/28/00: Survival of the not-so-fit but conniving
08/25/00: Conventions: A study in contrasts
08/18/00: Resenting the accusations of racial prejudice
08/04/00: Women: Their own worst enemy
07/21/00: Hillary: Our longshoreman First Lady
07/21/00: SUVs: The root of all evil
07/14/00: The basketball gene and white men not jumping so well
07/07/00: I wanna be around
06/23/00: The liberal conversion
06/14/00: Sex and the City: The shallow but vulgar female
06/08/00: No excuses schools
06/02/00: Oh, Canada: Our Nutty Neighbors to the North
05/23/00: The new mollycoddling coach
05/16/00: On adultery and leadership
05/12/00: Taking your lumps
05/02/00: Elian: There's never a liberal around when you need one
04/25/00: Life's circle and tenderness
04/18/00: Womyn who want it both ways
04/11/00: The monsters we're raising with the ergo proposition
04/05/00: Endowing the Hooters Chair for Literature Appreciation
03/28/00: Dr. Laura: The passive/aggressive kid's mom
03/21/00: Dough and campaigns
03/14/00: The volunteerism of conscription and pomp
03/07/00: Hope and pray that religion remains a force in politics
02/29/00: Ditzes in TV Land
02/22/00: Cranky nitpickers make writing a [sic] experience
02/15/00: Those chameleon 60s activists
02/08/00: McCandidate McCain: Flirting with principles
02/01/00: The demise of marriage
01/25/00: Stroke of the pen, law of the land: Clinton's Camelot
01/18/00: Off the Rocker Rorschach Test
01/11/00: Oprah's lemmings
01/04/00: Struggling mightily amidst the comfort
12/23/99: Confused fathers
12/14/99: Drop-kicking the homeless
12/07/99: Turtles and teamsters, side-by-side in Seattle
11/29/99: When conservatives behave badly
11/22/99: Compassionate conservative: Timing and targets
11/18/99: The elusive human spirit and accountability
11/11/99: Succumbing to the intellectual child within with the help of crackpots and screwballs
10/28/99: Live by litigation, die by litigation
10/22/99: Jesse, Warren, Cybill, Donald and Oprah
10/14/99: Inequality and injustice: It's the big one
10/05/99: Dan Quayle, morals and schoolyard bullies
09/30/99: The monsters of epidermal parenting
09/21/99: The Diversity Hoax
09/15/99: Waco Wackos
09/09/99: Selective censorship
09/01/99: The village, the children, judicial imperialism and abortion
08/24/99: Naughty Newt?
08/17/99: In defense of Boy Scouts and judgment
08/10/99: Ruining the finest health care system in the world
08/03/99: Nihilism and politics: ethics on the lam
07/26/99: Of women, soccer and removed jerseys
07/23/99: Not in despair, a mere mortal doing just fine
07/20/99: "Why me?" How about "Why us?"
07/13/99: Bunk, junk & juries
07/06/99: An Amish woman in a Victoria's Secret store
06/30/99: That intellectually embarrassing Second Amendment
06/24/99: Patricia Ireland eat your heart out --- but check out the recipe in 'women's mags' first
06/22/99: Dems and the Creator coup
06/17/99: True courage is more than just admitting troubles

© 2000, Marianne M. Jennings