Dog Whistle

If you think that headline was written by a hate group leader like Tony Perkins or perhaps Tim Wildmon, you would be on the right track. After all, the idea that gays pose a threat to children is a paradigm of anti-gay bigotry. The polemic in question ran as a commentary in the Orlando Sentinel. The full title answers part of the question: “Gay attorney to Disney: Mature ‘Beauty and the Beast’ robs kids’ innocence.” That gay lawyer would be Joseph R. Murray II.

The last time I wrote about the self-absorbed, self-promoting Mr. Murray, he had posited at Breitbart that North Carolina’s HB2 is beneficial to LGBT people. Uh-huh. Mr. Murray seeks constant attention. He achieves that in part by assuming idiotic anti-gay positions. We do not know if this superficial wannabe really cares about what Disney does or not. It’s the attention that is important.

Sunday morning I sent a note to the opinion editor of The Sentinel. I pointed out why this article is offensive. I also asked if the piece would have run were it not authored by someone claiming to be gay. The words I used were “cognitive dissonance.” I also asked if anyone at The Sentinel appreciated Mr. Murray’s odd background. Murray certainly cannot speak for the gay community.

Murray claims to have once worked for American Family Association. Now I realize that third or fourth-tier Hofstra Law is not Harvard but was Murray that desperate for employment that he joined an anti-gay hate group? He also claims to have worked for Pat Buchanan’s 1999 campaign (which would have been six years prior to passing the bar). Mr. Murray seems to have made some terrible choices for a gay man.

Murray’s office is in the small Mississippi town of Ripley. He claims to be a civil rights lawyer but doesn’t seem to have been in federal court for about four years. The bottom line is that the article in question was written by an anti-gay Christian conservative out of rural Mississippi. The fact that he claims to be gay is irrelevant.

Having indulged in the ad hominem (for which I will not apologize), there’s not much of the piece that I want to comment on. Nevertheless:

When Disney’s “Star vs. the Forces of Evil” had a scene at a boy band concert, no red flags were raised. From the Beatles to One Direction, boy bands have always been the rage among America’s kids.

But what was different about this innocent scene was that it also served as Disney’s first on-screen depiction of same-sex signs of public affection. When the “camera” panned to the audience, there were gay couples kissing — lesbian couples, and straight couples. The move was hailed as heroic by LGBT activists. This enthusiasm, however, is misplaced.

I have not seen the movie in question. However, I can say that the depiction of gay characters is important. It does exactly what the Christian right used to accuse parts of society of doing. It normalizes homosexuality and that is a good thing. It tells gay people and their classmates or co-workers that there is nothing wrong with gay people. In point of fact homosexuality is perfectly normal.

After Murray claims to be a proud gay man:

Prime-time network television is geared for an adult audience; one that understands the world we live in. Adults have long lost their innocence. Whether it be sex, drugs or violence, many of us have had our eyes open to the hardships of the world. We lost our innocence when we grew out of adolescence, but do we really want our kids to lose theirs in adolescence?

The presence of gay people is not a threat to anyone’s innocence or adolescence.

Somewhere along the line, Disney went off course. No longer did it see itself as a defender of children’s innocence. Instead, it saw itself as a conduit to social change. Walt Disney became Harvey Milk.

Off course? The entertainment industry has a responsibility to be a change agent. They did that when they started to integrate smart, thinking black characters into movies and television. They demonstrated that women can be corporate leaders as well as important professionals. They are now doing the same thing with LGBT characters. There is no downside to doing so unless one is wed to the belief that sexuality is either contagious or a learned behavior. I want a gay kid to know that he can have a full life. He can marry, raise kids and even become someone a future corporate titan like Tim Cook. Unlike the morose depictions of the Christian right, he can be happy! The days of the entertainment industry portraying us universally as sad, lonely characters are at an end — or should be.

In 2003, when I was questioning the wisdom of “Gay Days” at a children’s theme park, I wrote, “Make no mistake, Disney is not an innocent victim of circumstance, for that glass slipper just does not fit. While there is no denying the fact that Disney publicly distances itself from the Gay Days festivities, the fact remains that such festivities have received Mickey’s implicit blessing.”

That’s right. 14 years ago this self-loathing faggot was questioning (somewhere, there is no link) the presence of gay people. Moreover, he lacked the intellectual curiosity to find out that Disney had — and has — nothing to do with these events.

On that note I am done with this rubbish without getting to Murray’s take on “Beauty and the Beast.” It is irrelevant. He is irrelevant. The Orlando Sentinel used awful judgment in giving this jerk a forum.

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By David Cary Hart

Retired CEO. Formerly a W.E. Deming-trained quality-management consultant. Now just a cranky Jewish queer. Gay cis. He/Him/His.