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'Sordid and sick': The evolution of Pat's anti-gayness

by Jeremy Hooper

This week, in large part motivated by the release of MILK (opening 11/26 in major markets, 12/5 in wide release), we have been giving you some glimpses into the times in which Harvey lived and fought. Yesterday we rounded up some newspaper clippings from the early 70's, showing modern-day gays just how long and predictable the fight for marriage equality has been. Today, we want to give you some insight into one of America's most respected conservative pundits and the evolution of his still-fiery-but-not-quite-as-patently-offensive-as-it-once-was rhetoric.

Picture 4-199Today Patrick J. Buchanan pals around with out lesbian Rachel Maddow. He still opposes marriage equality and gay rights in general. He still puts pen to paper to tell gays why, exactly, they are not entitled to full citizenship. He still pisses us off. But check out just how free Pat felt back on June 7 of 1977:

Buchanan's nationally syndicated column -- 6/7/77

Charming, no?

Though one thing is interesting. Look at the bottom of the first column when Pat asks, "...if gay behavior is recognized as a legitimate alternative, upon what basis do we deny homosexuals the right to marry, adopt children and raise them in their own 'sexual preferences'?" This is prescient. One, it shows that the 1977 version of Pat knew that his stances, in a world where gays are largely viewed as equal, are fallible. But even more than that, this quip gives great insight into the current anti-gay strategy of framing every single issue in terms of something other than the matter at hand (i.e. "marriage protection," "child protection," "religious freedom," "special rights"). By admitting that non-accpetance of his virulent '77 views would eliminate the reasons for denying gays in arenas like marriage and adoption, disco era Pat shows us why the "pro-family" (itself a bullshit word) movement has had to create these straw men arguments: Because they needed something to replace the outright virulent views that have fallen out of favor in decent society!

Those who don't remember history are condemned to repeat it. Those who do take a look at gay rights history will learn some interesting things about the side that is and has always been cruel, mean-spirited, and discriminatory!

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Your thoughts

how sweet of him, I guess we can't expect to see him at this years pride parade.

Posted by: queerunity | Nov 25, 2008 11:08:28 AM

MILK,Milk,milk...is good for you. In so many more ways than one. Here from a comment on just how relevant this movie will be....and why.
University of Wisconsin at Milwaukee Professor Paul Brewer, author of "Value War: Public Opinion and the Politics of Gay Rights," cites recent research on the "Virtual Contact Hypothesis" - a theory from the University of Minnesota that holds that "knowing" even fictional gay people from TV or movies reduces hostility of homosexuality as a whole - as evidence that TV and movies can sway opinion. But he says the most powerful effect is in the aggregate collection of pop culture portrayals.
"If I had a hunch, I wouldn't focus too much on any one movie or TV show. One can certainly start debate - like 'Philadelphia' or 'Ellen' - but what we know about media effects is that exposure to any one medium tends to fade over time. It's the steady exposure to positive images of gays and lesbians that changes public opinion."

So just as MILK said, Out of the Closet will help. We still say it.... and we are winning.
Here is how MILK said it in l978. (So all of our under 45 years olds don't remember it.)

"Invisible, we remain in limbo - a myth, a person with no parents, no brothers, no sisters, no friends who are straight, no important positions in employment," Milk proclaimed in his famous "Hope" speech in 1978.

Posted by: LOrion | Nov 25, 2008 11:09:01 AM

Wow. Just wow.
That stream of bigoted sterotypical swill is offensive, though not surprising. Also not surprising is his use of "Chicano". I'm pretty sure even in 1977 that wasn't an acceptable word.

Posted by: Bill S | Nov 25, 2008 4:36:51 PM

The man has been consistently vile. He bashed gays and lesbians at the 1992 Republican National Convention. That speech also kind of invented the concept of a "culture war." It was dangerous talk (including in light of what was going in on Oregon that year), and thank God it was repudiated by many, and not affirmed by the results of the election.

Also, look up comments Pat Buchanan made about AIDS made in the 1980s.

Buchanan would have been an enthusiastic supporter of the Nazi movement if he were in Germany in the 1930s. I don't mean that at all hyperbolically.

He is exceptionally repugnant, and quite unrepentant about his long history of contempt for gay people. I don't know why Maddow, or any fair-minded person, even associates with him. It would be like sharing a stage with Fred Phelps.

Posted by: Rick | Nov 25, 2008 4:48:12 PM

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