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First things . . . Richard Falknor on 12 Oct 2012 09:46 pm

Gay-Marriage Zealots Continue Intimidation Tactics

Gay-marriage zealots strike again.  The Potomac Tea Party Report tells us this morning —

Black deaf university diversity officer put on leave for signing gay marriage petition

Derek McCoy (Maryland Marriage Alliance) warns

“I join an ever-growing number of Marylanders in expressing my complete dismay over Gallaudet University’s decision to place Dr. Angela McCaskill on administrative leave for signing the marriage referendum petition. Dr. McCaskill has served Gallaudet and the greater community for 23-years. She is the first deaf African-American woman to be granted a Ph.D by the university. She joined over two hundred thousand Marylanders in signing the petition. Quite simply, it was well within her rights to sign the petition. And further more, it is the responsibility of all American citizens to be engaged in the electoral process.” (Highlighting Forum’s.)

But those intimidating Marylanders for exercising free political speech may not be limited to university-based cultural Marxists.

GOP politicians seeking politically-well-placed gay support and, we suspect, ‘ruling class’ social acceptance – as former governor Bob Ehrlich did — might well follow his path. 

In July 2006 Tracy Mehan, a former appointee in both Bush Administrations, revealed (NRO) “Maryland’s Thought Police”  —

“Robert Smith, a Maryland gubernatorial appointee to the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority (WMATA) board, appeared regularly as a panelist on a local cable talk show. As the Washington Post reported, during a recent show the topic of homosexuality and federalism came up, and Smith at one point said, ‘That’s fine, that’s fine. But that doesn’t mean that government should proffer a special place of entitlement within the laws of the United States for persons of sexual deviancy.’

Later, Smith acknowledged the comment and reiterated it.

‘Homosexual behavior [emphasis added], in my view, is deviant,’ he said. ‘I’m a Roman Catholic.’ Smith said he made these comments as part of a discussion on a proposed ban on same-sex marriage. ‘The comments I make in public outside of my [Metro board job] I’m entitled to make.’ Moreover, Smith stated that his personal beliefs ‘have absolutely nothing to do with running trains and buses and have not affected my actions or decisions on this board.’ (Highlighting Forum’s.)

The reaction to these politically incorrect opinions was swift and certain. Jim Graham, another board member representing Washington, D.C., and ‘an openly gay elected official,’ issued a prepared statement after a WMATA meeting calling for Smith to disavow his remarks, apologize, or for the governor to remove him. Shortly thereafter, Republican Governor Robert Ehrlich fired Smith.

The governor issued a statement that ‘Robert Smith’s comments were highly inappropriate, insensitive and unacceptable. They are in direct conflict to my administration’s commitment to inclusiveness, tolerance, and opportunity.’”

Concluded Mehan —

“In Maryland the issue has been joined between traditional morality and moral relativism, between freedom of speech and religion and oppressive, overweening thought control. Governor Ehrlich has made his choice evident in the cashiering of Robert Smith.” (Highlighting Forum’s.)

Joseph Bottum (First Things) in June of 2006 quoted from an email on the Smith travesty he had received from a friend–

“One of Smith’s fellow board members, however, said it most succinctly, asserting, ‘To defend this point of view is beyond the pale.’

That last phrase arrests the attention. What Governor Ehrlich and Smith’s colleagues on the WMATA board were saying is not just that they disagree with Smith about the moral quality of homosexual conduct, not just that Smith’s views are in error, not just that his views are unreasonable, but that they are immoral. Indeed, nothing less would justify Ehrlich’s decision to remove Smith. Ehrlich could hardly admit that Smith’s views were reasonable, the kind of thing that a person may in good faith believe even if Ehrlich himself disagreed, and yet nevertheless justify removing Smith from an office that has no significant connection to gay rights on the basis of those beliefs. No, what is being said here is that Smith’s views on homosexual conduct, which are the views of the Catholic religion and of a great many Americans (both religious and nonreligious), are, in the words of Smith’s former colleague, ‘beyond the pale’—beyond, that is to say, the range of beliefs that moral people might hold in just the same way that, say, racist beliefs are beyond the pale. Only bigots think that way.” (Highlighting Forum’s.)

Editor Bottum’s friend asked —

“…[I]t remains to be seen whether, should [self-consciously nonreligious people] come to achieve majority power, they will be as tolerant of traditionally religious Americans as traditionally religious Americans long were of them.” (Highlighting Forum’s.)

Unfortunately the secular government class (including some in the GOP) clearly view free political speech as obsolete — if not an embarrassment.

We would hope the Speaker of the House, for example, would take a firm public line against Islamist demands that we abridge the First Amendment to prohibit what Islamists view as blasphemy.

Unfortunately one of the few firm lines Mr. Boehner has taken is to disparage Representative Michele Bachmann’s request for an inquiry into the extent of the free-speech-suppressing Muslim Brotherhood’s penetration into our government.

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