crossposted on Holy Bullies and Headless Monsters
Robert Knight of Coral Ridge Ministries has made a career out of spreading anti-gay propaganda and lies, even to the point of citing the discredited Paul Cameron in front of Congress. And in a recent piece in The Washington Times – one of the only places that will publish his nonsense – Knight is claiming that Don't Ask, Don't Tell was repealed because Republicans refused to get nasty about homosexuality:
Instead of using the military debate to bring to light many suppressed facts that could cripple the homosexual juggernaut if Americans only knew, they played by their opponents' rule book.
In “After the Ball,” a 1989 gay-strategy manual, two Harvard-trained public relations experts warn that “the public should not be shocked and repelled by premature exposure to homosexual behavior itself. Instead, the imagery of sex per se should be downplayed, and the issue of gay rights reduced, as far as possible, to an abstract social question.” Elsewhere, the authors say, “first, you get your foot in the door by being as similar as possible; then and only then … can you start dragging in your other peculiarities, one by one. You hammer in the wedge narrow end first … allow the camel's nose beneath your tent, and his whole body will soon follow.”
For the record, the majority of lgbts never heard of After the Ball, but for some reason, the religious right continues to claim that the lgbt community is using this book as some sort of manual to take over America by utilizing tactics, i.e. planning groups, money, secret organizations, that the religious right themselves are guilty of.
Knight then proceeds to catalog a bunch of things he feels Republicans should have brought up:
* Flawed science has been misused mightily. From Alfred Kinsey's fraudulent research in the 1940s to UCLA Prof. Evelyn Hooker's cooked psychological studies in the late 1950s to misreported “genetic” studies of the 1990s, the public has been browbeaten into ignoring biology, common sense and thousands of years of moral teaching about human sexuality.
* The obvious threat to the military blood supply. According to the Centers for Disease Control, men who have sex with men are 44 times more likely to have HIV and 46 more times to have syphilis. Even if gay men enter the services testing negatively, they're going to have sex in the most likely pool in which to become infected.
* Data compiled by the Family Research Council showing that homosexuals commit a disproportionate number of sexual assaults in the military, even with the “Don't Ask, Don't Tell” policy.
Notice how he never says just how the studies of Kinsey and Hooker were flawed, how he gives himself an out in talking about the blood supply by the “even if” addendum, and how he cites the Family Research Council's useless study, which no one else cited. Knight conveniently forgot to mention the “coincidence” of the discredited Paul Cameron coming out with the same type of study a week before FRC did.
The irony of Knight's position is the realization that 17 years ago, Republicans and those who didn't support gays and lesbians serving openly in the military did pull out the horror stories. They talked about “gay sex,” “the gay agenda,” “fisting,” and even pulled the “gay assault” card.
But things have changed. Homophobia still exists but for the most part, more of us are out and unashamed of who we are despite the efforts of those like Knight. Americans know more of us and the lies about us being an invading horde of Godless creatures just isn't resonating like they used to.
The sad thing is that no one told Knight. But I don't think he would care if anyone did tell him. He seems to be willfully stuck in the past.
Note – In the Southern Poverty Law Center's profile of anti-gay hate groups, Robert Knight's name comes up many times.
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