April 23, 2002

Are gays cool?

Gay libertarian Jonathan Rauch argues in The Atlantic that "social conservatives should support same-sex marriage" because the contemporary coolness of gay men is making marriage unfashionable among straights. Maybe. But are we all that sure gays are really becoming cooler? Sure, everybody says so. But are straight men actually acting that way? There is a lot of evidence that since about 1969, when a riot by bereaved drag queens at the Stonewall Bar who were drowning their sorrows following Judy Garland's funeral launched the Gay Lib era, straight men have been increasingly fleeing from gay-heavy pastimes and institutions. "Not that there's anything wrong about that," as Seinfeld and Costanza would nervously proclaim when protesting they weren't gay.

Consider the musical. This was widely perceived as the Great American Art Form until the American public's increasingly sophisticated gaydar detected its disproportionate appeal to gay men. Of course, plenty of the great figures in the history of the musical - Richard Rodgers, Gene Kelly, Bob Fosse, Fred Astaire, P.G. Wodehouse, and the like - were straight. Yet, over over the last three decades, the musical has increasingly become a gay ghetto as no longer clueless straight guys have taken to avoiding it.

Therefore, I've long suspected that allowing gay men to get married (in what will, no doubt, often be elaborately theatrical ceremonies) will make weddings even more distasteful to straight men than they are now. And that would be bad for society since the character of a society is determined overwhelmingly by its straight men, especially by their attitudes towards marriage

This suggests, by the way, that the long term threat to the American Catholic Churched posed by its youth-fondling scandal is that it is exposing the extent to which homosexuals pervade the Church hierarchy, thus alienating straight men. (Even the gay-dominated New York Times - where 75% of the people sitting around the table deciding what goes on the front page are homosexual, according to its top reporter Rick Berke - has finally admitted that the scandal is driven not by pedophiles but by fairly conventional male homosexuals feeling up adolescent and teenage boys.

There are lots of countries like Italy and Mexico where the male population largely shuns the Church, in part due to the perceived effeminacy of the priesthood. The U.S. Catholic Church was spared this for a long time due to the high masculinity levels of Irish priests, but that era appears to be well over. This does not bode well for the influence of the American Catholic Church. In any society, straight men will always provide most of the leaders.

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