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Cliff Schecter
Cliff Schecter
Cliff Schecter is an author, pundit and public relations strategist whose firm Libertas, LLC handles media relations for political, corporate and non-profit clients.
Gay acceptance: GOP's Black Swan
Conservatives continue to have irrational fears over issues of sexuality, pursuing an agenda of 'misguided' policies.
Last Modified: 10 Jan 2011 14:24
 Karl Rove, former senior adviser and Deputy Chief of Staff to former President George W. Bush is believed to have spear headed the conservative campaign to prevent Gays to serve openly in the military [Getty] 

In Black Swan, Natalie Portman, a pristine and proper ballerina, must figure out how to go beyond her ability to dance the white swan in "Swan Lake." She must find the passion, a darker side if you will, to convincingly portray the seductress that is the black swan. Of course, as she takes this leap, Portman's character is drawn deeper and deeper into a hallucinatory psychosis, unable to distinguish between reality and delusion.

In the film, Portman must become the Black Swan to play it, there is no middle ground where she can inhabit the character, but not the character's life - which causes her to lose all the self-control and discipline she has gained on stage as well as off. Which would seem to work the same way as conservatism, at least with regard to social policy - as right wingers fear in their fevered and misfiring synapses that we'll all become black swans just like they would (and often still do), without authoritarian rigidity dictating every aspect of our personal lives.

In other words, much like in the film, in the conservative worldview there can also be no middle ground. Either we all become Pat Robertson - you know, before the newfound love of the pot plant - or you know where things are headed. To quote the great Dr. Venkman from Ghostbusters, "human sacrifice, dogs and cats living together...mass hysteria!"

This same dance has played out with policies relating to birth control, divorce, religion in schools and a variety of other issues. But most recently, it reared its Rovian head to spit venom on legislation that would make gay Americans equal to the rest of us under law and started a brawl among conservatives that is worthy of Camille and Kelsey Grammar.

The first of their two most recent Swan Lake moment happened during the vote in the recent lame-duck Congress to allow gays and lesbians to serve openly in the military. The Family Research Council, recently rewarded for all their hard work at being bigots with the designation of "hate group" by the Southern Poverty Law Centre, pulled some statistics out of a part of their body they're afraid to acknowledge to claim that "homosexual assault" would skyrocket if we let openly gay service members into our armed forces.

These happy - or gay if you will - protectors of our purity worried aloud about the "sleeping" and/or "intoxicated" victims of what would seem to be gay sexual Terminators not simply satisfied with converting foxholes into Liberace revivals, but forcing themselves on anyone and everyone within stone's throw of their tiaras.

The Family Research Council is an organisation, mind you, whose founder was outed not too long ago for having shopped for a European travelling companion at Rentboy.com. He had a bad rotator cuff, you see, and naturally a gay escort site was the safe choice for a place to seek assistance for the strenuous task of porting his Sampsonites through the Old World.

Yes, you really can't make this stuff up.

The second right wing, anti-gay freak out is happening right now. The Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) is set to go off in February in Washington DC, with the usual collection of witch-burners, Civil-War revisionists and GOP Presidential candidates. But the conference decided to invite GOProud, a organisation for openly gay conservatives, to be a "participating organisation."

This has led to a Star Wars Bar of angry righty groups, from the aforementioned Rentboy renters to the "Concerned Women of America" to howl in protest and pull out of the festivities. According to the conservative magazine WorldNetDaily, a group called Liberty Counsel accused GOProud of  "’undermining the military’ by promoting open homosexuality, and ‘undermining marriage’ by opposing the Defence of Marriage Act."

Yes, Liberty Counsel is looking into the mirror in the dance studio and seeing that Black Swan staring back at them, flapping its wings. Even allowing a gay group to be at CPAC would obviously cause mass heterosexual divorce and perhaps even child sacrifice. Regarding their claims about "undermining the military," I totally understand. It explains the perennially weak British and Israeli fighting corps.

One would almost feel sorry for many of these people, if it weren't for the fact that they're destroying innocent lives in their quest to keep their inner Black Swan at bay. But as soon as irrational fears of their own sexuality or that of members of their families or close friends starts corrupting government policy, my sympathy comes to an end.

In his Thoughts On Government in 1776, President John Adams reminded us that "fear is…so sordid and brutal a passion, and renders men is whose breasts it predominates so stupid and miserable, that Americans will not be likely to approve of any political institution that is founded on it." 

Lets keep that in mind as the all the wannabe white swans of the Christian Right continue to show their true colours while working to undermine equality.

 

Cliff Schecter is the President of Libertas, LLC, a progressive public relations firm, the author of the 2008 bestseller The Real McCain, and a regular contributor to The Huffington Post.

Follow Cliff Schecter On Twitter: @Cliffschecter

The views expressed in this article are the author's own and do not necessarily reflect Al Jazeera's editorial policy.

 

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