Same-sex marriage is not the only goal of the gay rights movement. It's becoming clear that another goal is the suppression of Americans' First Amendment right to criticize the gay agenda.
The gay lobby tried a broadside attempt to censor criticism by passing a national "hate crimes" law. Fortunately, Congress didn't pass that law, but gay activists are obviously trying to achieve much the same effect through political pressure and intimidation.
Scott Bloch, the head of the U.S. Office of Special Counsel in the Bush administration, has been targeted for termination because he removed "sexual orientation" from the list of anti-discrimination laws protecting employment at federal agencies. Bloch discovered that his Clinton-appointed predecessor, Elaine Kaplan, had unilaterally inserted "sexual orientation" in the list without any statutory authorization, so he removed it.
The gay lobby retaliated, instigating five investigations against Bloch. After all five cleared him of any wrongdoing, the response by the gay lobby was to initiate a sixth investigation.
Reportedly, Bloch has been told privately to resign, twice suggesting that he might be fired if he doesn't. Letters from supporters caused the White House to back off before the election, but it is apparent that the Bush administration has no stomach for this fight and hopes Bloch will go quietly.
There have actually been very few complaints against the Bush administration about job discrimination against homosexuals. Bush just appointed open homosexual Mark Dybul as U.S. global AIDS coordinator, and when he was sworn in with the rank of ambassador, Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice praised his "wonderful family" and referred to his partner's mother as Dybul's "mother-in-law."
Luis Padilla, an employee of a large corporation in Virginia, put this message on the rear window of his pickup truck: "Please, vote for marriage on Nov. 7." His bosses ordered him to remove it because some people said it offended them.
Padilla then parked his truck on what he thought (apparently incorrectly) was outside company property, but he was fired anyway. After a couple of state legislators took up his cause, the company reinstated him.
Robert J. Smith, who served at a small salary as Maryland's representative on the Washington Metro transit board, mentioned his religious views against homosexual conduct during an appearance on a cable television program. Although probably few saw the show, gay activists demanded that he be fired, and Republican Gov. Robert Ehrlich complied.
Michael Campion, a psychologist with the Minneapolis Police Department, was suspended because of his past affiliation with a group critical of the gay lifestyle, despite reports of a good job performance. The city of Springfield, Ill., had previously terminated his services for the same reason.
If Americans don't resist such assaults on free speech, we could be headed down the Canadian road. Dozens of postal workers in Vancouver recently refused to deliver mail they called "homophobic."
In Yale University's student newspaper, a columnist recently described that institution as "really, really gay. Like, totally gay." Yet, when one e-mail expressed a dissenting view on Yale's gay pride day, gay activists demanded reprisals against the dissenter.
Middlebury College now invites applicants to indicate if they are gay. The assistant director of admissions explained that gay students bring "a unique quality" to the college, which he said tries hard not "to be too homogeneous."
Public schools are a major battleground in the gays' efforts to censor any criticism of their goals or lifestyle. Every year, the National Education Association passes resolutions not only demanding that schools not discriminate against sexual orientation, but also insisting that classroom language be monitored to punish "homophobia" and to "promote 'acceptance' and/or 'respect' instead of 'tolerance'" of the gay lifestyle.
Taking their demands for censorship into the courts, gays have been winning. After Poway High School near San Diego endorsed the gay project called "Day of Silence," the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals upheld the school in forbidding student Tyler Harper to wear a T-shirt with the words "Homosexuality is shameful, Romans 1:27."
The dissenting judge pointed out the intolerance of those who claim they want tolerance for minority views. But Judge Stephen Reinhardt, who sided with the school, wrote that Tyler's defenders "still don't get the message."
I am getting the message: For Reinhardt, gay rights means intolerance for free speech.
Clinton apologists once defended his scandalous conduct by saying it was "only about sex." It's increasingly clear that the gay ideology is about far more than sex; it assaults our fundamental right to free speech.
Phyllis Schlafly is a lawyer, conservative political analyst and the author of the newly revised and expanded "Supremacists." © Copley News Service