In its January 22, 2012 article, “G.O.P. Ventures Into Florida, a State Harder to Pigeonhole,” the New York Times used two propagandistic euphemisms to describe political gay bashers, yet never once directly mentioned gay rights as issues of consequence in the Republican primaries.
One of the offending euphemisms is the phrase “family values issues.” Despite wan attempts by Democrats to stake a claim on that phrase so that anti-gay bigots do not exclusively define it, it remains mainly and overwhelmingly a political gay basher’s bludgeon.
An Internet search of the terms “family values” and “Florida” very quickly reveals that reactionary anti-gay-rights forces have political control over the phrase “family values.” Florida law makers proposed tax credits to movie production companies which film on a so-called “family values” basis — and the proposed law specifically excluded movies with gay characters favorably depicted from the tax credit. In reporting on that matter, The New York Times used the phrase “family values films” in its story headline. Unambiguously there, the Times was conveying the notion that excluding gay people from films puts the films in the “family values” category.
Even if only through editorial carelessness, the Times endorsed the notion that gay people do not belong in “family values” films. The Faith and Family Values Republican Club of Pasco County website includes links to many anti-gay hate groups. The Florida Family Policy Council — which bills itself as a “family values” organization and lobbying group — pulls out all the stops in its political gay bashing. One could go on and on showing evidence that among Republicans in Florida, “family values” and “anti-gay-rights” are synonymous. The state issues a Family Values license plate. Proceeds from sales of the license plate go to Sheridan House, a purported charity. Sheridan House does not on its website say anything directly against gay human beings, but, it holds religious rallies at the New Testament Baptist Church, whose site links to some of the most virulent political gay bashers in the country. Furthermore, the Sheridan House site appears not to link to any gay-affirmative organizations.
The second offending euphemism in the Times article is “rock-ribbed social conservatives.” “Rock-ribbed” is a flattering, not neutral phrase. Significantly, the Times posited “rock-ribbed social conservatives” in Florida’s north as having different political concerns than Republican Cuban-Americans in the state’s south, yet the Cuban-American United States Senator from Florida, Marco Rubio, is maliciously and very aggressively anti-gay. The Associated Press has reported that Gingrich’s evangelical supporters in Florida are planning a conference call — a veritable anti-gay-rights pep rally — with 1,000 pastors. Two days before the Times article appeared, Santorum’s honorary campaign chairman in Florida, Reverend O’Neal Dozier said that gays “make God want to vomit.” The Florida Prayer Network – whose leaders say that gay rights cause natural disasters – is not shy about announcing on its Facebook page that it is allied against gay Floridians with many of the state’s elected officials and that together, they pray against gay human beings’ rights every Tuesday inside the Florida State Capitol.
The editorial board of The New York Times consistently expresses support for gay rights, yet allows hacks like Ross Douthat to allege that ending sexual orientation apartheid is tantamount to abandoning Western civilization. Whereas all leading Republican presidential candidates have signed the malignantly anti-gay “pledge” from the so-called National Organization for Marriage — and whereas NOM has been a sponsor of several of the Republican debates — The New York Times has not yet apparently reported on that “pledge” or published an exposé of NOM and its hate-mongering activities. And that is so, even though right in the Bronx in May, during a NOM-sponsored anti-gay hate rally, a preacher hollered through a megaphone at a mob of anti-gay bigots that God says homosexuals are “worthy to death.” We should not forget that in Florida, NOM produced a fund-raising video with Jerry Buell, who in his public high school class had said that gay people should be allowed to serve in the military, at the front lines with heterosexual troops deserting them from behind.
On a most urgent basis, The New York Times editorial board should resolve never again to use the phrase “family values” as a euphemism for political gay bashing. And they should take the hint — already — to carry out and to publish an in-depth investigative report about the so-called National Organization for Marriage and its pernicious influence on the presidential election.
New York City– based novelist and freelance writer Scott Rose’s LGBT– interest by– line has appeared on Advocate .com, PoliticusUSA .com, The New York Blade, Queerty .com, Girlfriends and in numerous additional venues. Among his other interests are the arts, boating and yachting, wine and food, travel, poker and dogs. His “Mr. David Cooper’s Happy Suicide” is about a New York City advertising executive assigned to a condom account.
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