GLR September-October 2022


bers justify their position, and why don’t their heads explode? The standard line is to maintain that sexual orientation is a per sonal matter that’s irrelevant to one’s professional life or polit ical affiliations or beliefs about the free market. But this raises the question: if being gay is extraneous to one’s larger identity in the world, why join an organization based upon this very trait? Why, indeed, does the LCC exist at all? Perhaps there’s a sense in which the Republican Party’s action was a tacit recog nition of this existential chasm at its core. Shock and Awe A comprehensive report commissioned by the Southern Baptist Convention has been released that spotlights two decades of sexual abuse by clergymen and church officials; and it is devastating. The 300-page report, which documents a pervasive pattern of sexual abuse “at all levels of SBC society,” sent shock waves through the organization. Readers of this col umn may not be so shocked, as we have noted a number of high-profile cases of televangelists and their ilk being exposed as abusers over the years. Our angle is of course the gay one, but most of the abuse in the SBC is of the heterosexual kind, so it differs from the Catholic priest scandal in this respect. We thought we understood the latter—a product of priestly celibacy, the large number of gay men in the priesthood, etc.— but these explanations don’t apply to the SBC. New York Times columnist David Brooks argued reasonably that the low status of women in the SBC is a big factor, but that still doesn’t ex plain the prevalence of abusers specifically among the clergy and church leadership. Well, there are essentially two possibil ities: either the ministry attracts a certain type of man who’s predisposed to abusive behavior, or there’s something about the position that tends to corrupt the person occupying it (while also providing opportunities for finding victims). Either way, the “soul searching” that many SBC leaders have promised seems entirely warranted. HolyWar? An example of the above would be L.A.-based pas tor Jesse Lee Paterson, a radio host and star of the “Manos phere,” where part of his shtick is to issue anti-gay news flashes and rants. It turns out Paterson has been involved in multiple same-sex liaisons over many years, including a ten year relationship with a man who’s come forward and admit ted as much. Paterson also exhibited a pattern of sexually harassing male associates, as several have charged. His stand ing in the Manosphere has collapsed—which doesn’t exactly bring tears to our eyes. One of his favorite sayings was that “Homosexuality is the spirit of the devil.” On one level, this is a garden-variety case of Christian hypocrisy and confirmation of the proposition that the intensity of the homophobia is pro portional to the level of involvement in same-sex activity. But two elements stand out: First is the fact that something called the Manosphere, described as “a loose network of men’s rights activists, incel groups, and similar organizations,” exists. Sec ond, it turns out Paterson was outed by a radical right-wing Catholic site called Church Militant. To be sure, Catholic ani mosity toward Protestants goes back to the Reformation, but this is a highly targeted salvo by a right-wing Catholic group that seems to have it out for a right-wing evangelical group. Does this sort of thing go on a lot?

Flipping Buns Corporate tie-ins for LGBT Pride are a world wide phenomenon, but the themes for these things are starting to get a little... baroque. Take Burger King Austria’s attempt to connect Pride with hamburger buns. Someone in marketing must have noticed that burger buns and gay men have some thing in common: both come in “tops” and “bottoms”—and voilà! Soon they were churning out Whoppers that didn’t have the usual bun configuration but instead either two top or two bottom buns. Everyone was confused. People took to the chat boards to explain patiently that two tops or two bottoms makes no sense: “It doesn’t work that way.” Burger King was a laugh ing stock—though perhaps they should get some credit for get ting people to talk about gay sex. A company spokesperson

explained that the point of the campaign was to show that “We are all the same inside.” (Well, yes: we’re talking about a mass-pro duced, highly standardized product.) The final upshot of the switcheroo was to remind us that the tradi tional Whopper is already a perfect pairing of one top and one bottom.

Fellow vegetarians: Avert your eyes!

What Could GoWrong? Abill that’s working its way through the Ohio legislature will require certain high school and college athletes competing in women’s sports to have their genitals in spected to ensure that they’re not transgender. It’s a problem— a manufactured one in this case—that goes back to the ancient Greeks, where the Olympics were conducted in the nude to prevent anyone of the wrong (non-male) sex from competing. The beauty of the Greek system is that it was a Panopticon in which everyone could see everyone else. The potential for abuse in the clinical privacy of today’s medical chambers, es pecially when underage females are involved, is obvious. One critic observed that a feature of the law is that an inspection is triggered when an athlete’s gender status is challenged, and this could lead to cisgender girls being falsely accused, given that some girls have naturally elevated testosterone levels. But it also seems possible that accusations could be entirely arbi trary or malicious—at which point we’re back at the Salem witch trials, when mere accusations could ruin lives. Cognitive Dissolution In what may be a sign of the times, the Texas Republican Party has officially expelled the Log Cabin Club (LCC) and blocked its members from playing any role at its upcoming convention. The news is hardly shocking to the rest of the LGBT world, which has always marveled at these folks’ ability to reconcile their gayness with membership in a party that wants to erase their existence. So how do LCC mem

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