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Hiding the ugly reality

ALEXANDRIA, La. (BP)–“Public-relations specialists,” observed Alan Harrington, “make flower arrangements of the facts, placing them so that the wilted and less attractive petals are hidden by sturdy blooms.” The deceased novelist’s description is quite accurate, and it is a technique that has been mastered by many activist organizations –- especially homosexual activist groups.

It would be an understatement to say that homosexual activist groups have been successful. Led by organizations like the Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation (GLAAD) and Lambda Legal, activists now have a majority of America accepting behaviors that less than 20 years ago were considered repulsive and even illegal.

Such organizations have done a masterful job of hiding the unattractive reality of aberrant behaviors behind gaudy blooms springing forth from piles of public relations manure.

A case in point involves the salacious story of U.S. Sen. Larry Craig’s arrest for in a Minneapolis airport that took place earlier this year.

It seems a men’s bathroom at the airport had become known as a gathering place for guys who wanted to engage in anonymous public sex. Craig was arrested after allegedly playing footsy with an undercover cop in a neighboring bathroom stall.

When the story broke, the general public was introduced to a seedy reality that homosexual men know all too well — cruising and public sex. It seems there is a significant sub-culture made up of predominately, though not exclusively, homosexual men who enjoy anonymous sex in public places.

In covering the Craig story, several television networks ran stories exposing the sordid world of cruising. The reports gave details of how homosexuals hooked up for their anonymous public trysts. The reports also included the mention of websites that listed areas known as good places to cruise.

Enter GLAAD. Realizing that the sensibilities of straight America likely would be shocked by the seedy details of cruising, GLAAD began pushing the ugly reality of this aspect of homosexuality to the back of the public relations vase.

On GLAAD’s website is a page dedicated to providing “recommendations for the media covering revelations about Senator Larry Craig.” It characterizes the reports that link cruising to homosexuality as “sensational or inaccurate reporting.” GLAAD also states that “such behavior is being condemned by gay and straight people alike.” It added, “Intimations that gay Americans broadly object to the enforcement of such laws against this kind of activity are not supported by the facts…. ”

“[T]hese kinds of furtive activities,” GLAAD stated, “stand in stark contrast to the loving commitments that gay couples everywhere are making …” The “furtive activities” to which GLAAD refers are cruising and public sex.

GLAAD never really comes out (no pun intended) and condemns cruising. It does, however, quote a so-called expert who suggests that only “deeply closeted men” engage in the practice. In a subtle spin, GLAAD tries to insinuate that cruising is the fault of a society that does not allow people freely to flaunt their homosexuality.

GLAAD should have consulted with Lambda Legal before making its sanctimonious assertions that cruising and public sex are not realities in the homosexual community.

On its website, Lambda Legal provides information it calls “The Little Black Book,” giving instructions on “Cruising Safely.”

Lambda Legal describes itself as a “national organization committed to achieving full recognition of the civil rights of lesbians, gay men, bisexuals, transgender people and those with HIV through impact litigation, education and public polity work.”

The introduction to “The Little Black Book” is as follows, “If you cruise in parks, bathrooms or other spaces open to public view, trust your instincts, be aware of your surroundings –- and know your rights.”

The intro continues, “While Lambda Legal and other groups are fighting against the ways police target men who have sex with men, having sex where others might see you and take offense can subject you to arrest, publicity and other serious consequences.”

Lambda Legal acknowledges that public sex is illegal, but it does not discourage or condemn it. Instead, it provides tips on how to engage in the activity “safely.” It also intimates that it’s working to change the laws in respect to public sexual activity. It even tells readers that if “you cruise on-line let someone know your plans” — in other words, tell a friend where you’re going to meet a stranger for sex, and when you plan on being back.

If, according to GLAAD, cruising is so foreign to the homosexual community, why is a prominent activist organization offering advice for engaging in the “furtive activity” of public sex?

Related to the Larry Craig issue is a situation in Florida. It seems Fort Lauderdale Mayor Jim Naugle has infuriated homosexual activists because he has proposed installing automatic toilets at a beach bathroom in order to curb homosexual sex in the public restrooms.

Homosexual activists have labeled the mayor bigoted and homophobic. But what the activists have ignored in their furor to attack Naugle is that it was not the mayor that first called attention to public sex at the beach bathroom. No, it was one of the area’s homosexual newspapers that indicated the spot was a good place to cruise. Talk about irony.

Homosexual activist groups are furiously trying to hide the ugly and perverse practice of cruising, which despite their denials is a significant reality in their community. And, no matter how many pretty public relations flowers they push to the front of their homosexual vase, it will not make the disgusting practice disappear.

It is time to face the facts: Homosexuality is not natural, it is not normal and it certainly is not healthy.
Kelly Boggs, whose column appears each week in Baptist Press, is editor of the Baptist Message, the newspaper of the Louisiana Baptist Convention.

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  • Kelly Boggs