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By Trevor Bothwell
web posted March 8, 2004

Nyack (N.Y.) Mayor John Shields is but one of the latest gay marriage advocates who claims he will challenge New York law by taking legal action against the state, which currently prohibits same-sex marriage.

While I suppose we should give the mayor credit for at least opting to take his case to a courtroom instead of simply flouting the law -- in the spirit of San Francisco mayor Gavin Newsom -- and issuing marriage certificates to gay couples, as Jason West, mayor of New Paltz, N.Y., has already done, Mayor Shields wins the prize for most creative slander against those opposed to legalizing gay marriage.

Appearing on Fox News's On the Record with Greta Van Susteren recently, Mayor Shields, who wishes to wed his present boyfriend, said we have to fight the rampant "heterosexism" that has apparently taken the country by storm.


I don't even know what "heterosexism" is supposed to mean (one wonders if the mayor does, either). Taken literally, I guess we could parse the word to define "sexism against those who are different." So in that case, it's ... uh ... no different than plain ol' "sexism"?

Oh, who cares? The mayor doesn't care what the word really means, either. He just thinks it sounds like a trendy new catchphrase implying that anyone who actually has the temerity to challenge this radical redefinition of marriage must be a bigot.

I know. Silly little "heteros." How dare we think a 5,000-year-old tradition could actually be legitimate! (Note to Mr. Shields: There are plenty of heterosexuals who favor gay marriage.)

The point here is not that Mr. Shields' new linguistic invention bears no validity to current etymological convention, at least as far as accurately describing those who oppose same-sex marriage, anyway. What is really at issue is the fact that too many headstrong minority groups would rather cast baseless accusations at their critics as opposed to engaging in meaningful discussion of their issues, which could actually accomplish compromise for both sides.

But you've got to hand it to liberals. They really have figured out how to stifle debate before it even begins. How many times have you heard Democrats and liberals accuse others of being "racists" for opposing race-based affirmative action programs, or "homophobes" (another bizarre word) for simply refusing to believe gays should get special treatment under the law?

When faced with realistic concerns, liberals know they can't compete with the many commonsense arguments of conservatives, so it's easier to brand the opposition as intolerant racists, chauvinists, or bigots. However, this also assumes that liberals are essentially willing to tolerate the views of their opponents in the first place, which often they are not.

Take, for instance, Rosie O'Donnell, who after wedding longtime girlfriend Kelli Carpenter in San Francisco said, "I think the actions of the president [in supporting a Federal Marriage Amendment] are … the most vile and hateful words ever spoken by a sitting president. I am stunned and horrified."

"Stunned and horrified" that the President of the United States is actually interested in defending the traditions of America? Indeed, of civilization itself? The president is "vile" (another word for "evil") because he prefers to "conduct this difficult debate in a manner worthy of our country, without bitterness or anger," as opposed to watching activist courts overturn state laws, or city and state officials intentionally disobey them? (Apparently, use of the word "evil" doesn't bother liberals so long as they can use it to describe the man who would actually destroy it.)

If the gay lobby and its defenders could simply restrain their hyperventilation over their own hatred for Bush and for others with whom they disagree, they might find they'd be taken a bit more seriously. After all, intimating that the president is evil doesn't convey hate?

Nearly two-thirds of the country opposes same-sex marriage. Included in this figure are Republicans and Democrats alike, some of whom just finished competing for the Democratic nomination this year.

Gay marriage activists are not above the law. If they wish to make headway in accomplishing one of the most monumental transformations in all of humanity, they would do well to observe our foundations of democratic rule and renounce the disrespectful taunts, especially when they have to concoct meaningless expressions to do it.

Trevor Bothwell is editor of The Right Report and is a Townhall.com book reviewer. He can be contacted at bothwell@therightreport.com.

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