Tuesday, January 21, 2014

The Gay Agenda

Sally Kern--the Oklahoma state representative who once declared that gays are a bigger threat to America than terrorism--has been talking about the gay agenda again. This time, she's taken the public stage in response to the recent ruling by a federal judge declaring that Oklahoma's constitutional amendment banning same-sex marriage violates the federal constitution

Her invocation of the legendary gay agenda sent my imagination into overdrive. Here is the result.

The nefarious Gay Agenda Team (better known as the Gay-Team) has gathered once again in their secret base of operations (better known as Joe's basement apartment) to plot their next move.

Joe, leader of the group, stands by the heavy wooden table that dominates the center of the room. He carefully smooths out his worn copy of The Gay Agenda. His fingers touch the page almost tenderly as he scans the now familiar list of numbered goals. 10 of them, in deliberate mockery of the much-despised Ten Commandments.

The other members of the team--Billy and Gary--are eating leftovers and drinking beer on the sofa and watching old recordings of Queer Eye for the Straight Guy.

"Alright people, let's get going."

He's ignored.

Billy lets out a gasp. "He looks so much better with that new haircut. Doesn't he look so much better with that new haircut?"

"Definitely," answers Gary through a mouthful of reheated Chicken Tikka Masala.

"I said let's get going!"

The others grudgingly shuffle to the table.

"First off, let's have some updates on how things are going. Gay Agenda Item One: Take over the public education system so that we can use the indoctrinating power of the schools to make all children gay. How's that proceeding. Billy?"

Billy squirms a bit. "Um, well, turns out that schools hire based on teaching ability and devotion to educating children, not gayness. So our agents had to get college degrees in elementary education and compete with everyone else for teaching jobs."

"I don't want excuses. I want an update. How's it going?"

"As I was saying, schools hire based on ability and devotion to education. So our agents had to, you know, become talented and dedicated teachers. And, well, now they seem to care more about teaching the kids than indoctrinating them to be gay."

"You mean our agents have been turned?"

"Well, not exactly. I mean, they're still gay. But it turns out...well, I hate to break this to you, but it turns out schools don't have the power to make kids gay, even if they tried. It's like it's biological or something."

Joe lets out an audible sigh. "So what are you telling me?"

"Some of our agents like being teachers. Because they're good at it and they want to make a positive difference in the lives of kids. And they just want to, you know, do that. This whole indoctrination business strikes them as a pointless misdirection of their energies."

"So they have been turned!"

"Joe. They just want to be teachers. Why don't you, I don't know, cross out Gay Agenda Item One and replace it with something like, Promote a world where anyone with a talent for teaching who cares about positively impacting the next generation is free to become a school teacher without recrimination or discrimination based on nothing but sexual orientation."

Joe stares at Billy. "First of all, that's a lot of words."

"I can probably shorten it with the help of a good editor."

"Second, it doesn't sound nefarious. We're supposed to be nefarious. This just sounds like people wanting equal opportunity and freedom from discrimination."

"Yeah. The thing is, Joe, we're not so big on the whole 'nefarious' thing. We just want equal opportunity and freedom from discrimination."

Joe feels his blood pressure rising. He takes five deep breaths before turning to Gary. But Gary has disappeared. It takes him a moment to notice the top of his blond hair, just peaking over the edge of the table.

"Gary, what are you doing down there?"

"Petting Molly." And then, in a higher voice: "You're a good widdul girl, aren't you Molly? Yes you are! Yes you are!"

Joe can hear Molly's excited whine. He sighs. "Stop petting the dog and tell me about Agenda Item Two."

Gary rises and looks across the table at Joe. "Agenda Item Two?"

"Yeah, you know, the one about systematically destroying heterosexual marriage by changing laws so gays can marry each other?"

"Right. Well, we've actually made really good progress on the changing the laws part."

"So I've heard. And?"

"And...it turns out it has no effect on heterosexual marriage."


"Straight couples...well, their marriages are just the same as they were before. Bad marriages fall apart at about the same rate. Good marriages are still as good as they were before. No change."

"But I was assured by Anita Bryant and James Dobson that gays getting married would destroy marriage!"

"Yeah. Turns out they didn't know what they were talking about."

"Okay, but what about the conservative Christians who argued that letting gays marry would trivialize their marriages. Surely they now find their own marriages to be trivial, right? They look at their marriage and say, 'Well, this doesn't mean anything to me anymore, since gays have it too,' right? I mean, at least their marriages must be falling apart."

"Apparently not. Just recently Rick Santorum was going on about how strong his marriage was and how meaningful and important it was to him."

"What!? Even Rick Santorum? Even he still finds his marriage valuable and meaningful even though gays can get married too? How is that possible? I would've sworn that at least he would experience his most intimate relationship as suddenly trivial and empty. You mean he still loves his wife and finds meaning in their union?"


Joe's head sags. "I guess that was a failure. I suppose we should just abandon that marriage equality strategy and--"

"Actually, we want to keep going with that one."

"But why? You just told me that it didn't work!"

"The thing is, we don't care about destroying the institution of marriage. We just want to have access to it, too. You know, equal opportunity and freedom from discrimination."

"That again? Next thing you know, you're going to tell me to crumple up this whole Gay Agenda and just replace it with Pursue equality of opportunity and freedom from discrimination, regardless of sexual orientation."

"Well," says Gary, "now that you mention it." He looks at Billy.

Billy nods. "Equality and freedom from discrimination. The new Gay Agenda. That, and getting the laundry done."

"And having a Doctor Who marathon," Gary adds. "Next Tuesday, my house."

"Doctor Who," Joe breathes. "That's the Gay Agenda? Equality, laundry, an Doctor Who?"

"About right. Yup."

For a moment Joe hesitates. After all, he's been devoted to his nefarious schemes for a long, long, time. But he does like Doctor Who. A lot. And the magical whining sound of the Tardis can fill many empty places in his heart. Even, perhaps, the hole left by a Gay Agenda that nobody ever really believed in anyway.


  1. Thank you, that gave me a bit of a giggle. :)

    Can I ask you opinion on matter related to the serious issue of identity and agenda?

    A fundamental part of your philosophy seems to involve engaging with other people, stepping into their shoes, etc. How does this stack up against an emotional need or moral obligation to resist injustice? For instance, let's say you've got a lesbian, nudist, Muslim, trans* woman living in the conservative heart of Saudi Arabia. That's only five descriptors and already she's possibly going to feel like the most isolated person on the face of the earth, and all without her identifying in a way that a progressive liberal would find immoral. Simply saying that people shouldn't regard her with prejudice doesn't tell *her* much about how to live the good life.

    And there are so many other descriptors we could tack on besides those five. So let's go even further. Suppose we could identify the one person on earth who would be most *unjustly* reviled if they were completely transparent about who they are.

    How much should this person conform in order to satisfy the need to engage with other people, or how much should they resist the injustice of how people would see them if they were transparent? Or is the right alternative a third way in which they establish a false identity and engage with others by way of roleplaying?

    1. Jarod: Some excellent questions. I wish I had excellent answers. One reason to struggle to achieve more compassionate, empathetic, and accepting societies is precisely because of the hardship faced by those who find that they cannot with integrity conform to the demands of rigid social expectations in societies lacking compassion, empathy, and acceptance. None of the options that the individual confronts is a good one, and it becomes a matter of choosing the lesser evil--which won't be the same for everyone, I think.