Friday, July 31, 2009

Let the Harvey Milk bashing begin courtesy of Focus on the Family

Sadly,(Harvey) Milk and his many partners could be poster boys for an analysis produced by authors from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention that shows the widespread degree to which men who have sex with men were abused as children.

. . . Milk and his partners live tumultuous, painful lives, rife with anonymous sex, public sex, bathhouses, prostitution, drugs, depression, alcohol abuse, suicide attempts and multiple partners. The pain and confusion of childhood sexual abuse festers on as their lives unfold

Later in life, Milk condemned child predators. But he evidently never made the connection with his own childhood sexual abuse or that of his partners. Nor does he ever question the brokenness that surrounds him – drugs, risky sexual behavior, alcohol abuse, depression and suicide – except to blame society.

And it begins.

Jeff Johnston of Focus on the Family has written an irresponsible piece on Harvey Milk that is all over the map. It looks like the piece was created to criticize the movie Milk but tailored to include talking about Milk's recent selection as a Presidential Medal of Freedom recipient.

Johnston is clearly trying to imply that Milk was "introduced into gay sex" by older men.

He is also pulling the "gays lead lives full of promiscuous sex and other risky behavior" factoid in an effort to denigrate Milk and create the idea that President Obama erred in giving Milk the Presidential Medal of Freedom.

For the record, Johnston is being highly deceptive when he invokes the Centers for Disease Control's name because he isn't even citing the organization's work but a link to another Focus on the Family piece, Childhood Sexual Abuse and Male Homosexuality.

The irony is that piece freely cites work from Straight and Narrow which was written by Thomas Schmidt. Schmidt is not a doctor but a theologian who freely cited Paul Cameron in Straight and Narrow.

Now about Johnston's other assertions, I will be honest. I don't know if Milk was promiscuous and I don't really care.

I don't know if Milk was "introduced to sex by an older man" and again I don't care.

What Johnston is doing is blaming Milk for the something he could not control but worked to end.

We know how things were back then for lgbts. Gay men were not free to be out or open abou their lives for fear of reprisals. There is a lot of shame in secrecy and with shame comes bad behaviors.

Also, lgbt children could not be open either. So when they found enclaves where they could be open (be it Fire Island or whatever), they went full speed ahead.

The only implication Johnston and I agree on is the fact that this is not a way to live.

But if Johnston or Focus on the Family in general feel that there was something wrong with the decisions that Milk and other lgbts made in light of the world they had to deal with, then they would stop trying to hinder the progression of lgbt rights.

Every time Focus on the Family and other so-called moral groups attack lgbt clubs in our schools or any other thing that would help lgbts, they work to create the unfortunate world where there is shame and secrecy for those who don't fit the heterosexual orientation.

Johnston's and Focus on the Family's attack on Milk clearly reinforces the fact that he is highly deserving of the Presidential Medal of Freedom.

They exploit a world of shame and fear.

Milk worked to destroy it.

He taught lgbts to stand up and demand our respect, to not hide in dark corners, and not let the world define us.

Harvey was an American hero.

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Anonymous said...

I wonder if the moron even realizes that Harvey Milk was assassinated 30 years ago. He writes of him in the present tense, as if the man is alive and doing all of the things that the idiot writes about!

Anonymous said...

Just Thanks.

Bill S said...

"drugs, risky sexual behavior, alchohol abuse, depression and suicide."
Yep, heterosexuals NEVER have those problems. I guess my entire family is gay.
Is Johnson old enough to have grown up during that period? I've seen his picture, and he doesn't look much older than me. He hasn't a frakkin' clue what it was like to be gay in the '50's and '60's. I don't either, but at least I have the presence of mind to guess how tough it was-after all, it wasn't even LEGAL to be gay in some parts of the country.

Buffy said...

"Nor does he ever question the brokenness that surrounds him – drugs, risky sexual behavior, alcohol abuse, depression and suicide – except to blame society. "

Studies have shown that substance abuse, suicide, mental health problems and other issues among LGBT people can be linked to the discrimination they face at the hands of others, being "in the closet", harassment, etc. The way FOTF and others try to pretend it's caused by "being gay" and not a result of societal factors is disingenuous at best.

Anonymous said...

I am tired of this. My exhusband is gay. He was abused by another boy when he was a boy - but this has nothing to do with it? He was detested by his father - but it has nothing to do with it? I am a christian. I never said an unkind word about God in my life, and asked the lesbian couple next door to watch my children - but I am judgemental? My exhusband treated me like crap, was abusive to the kids, preyed on young men (from 15 and on up) and continues to deny it, even though I witnessed it with my own eyes and even documented it - but it is all okay because he can now admit he is gay? He has destroyed lives around him, lied, abused, and been a man without integrity or honor. All this is okay because of hateful people like me? I am tired of hearing about people who actively pursue homosexuality being excused of every kind of destructive behavior and misconduct because a christian like me - who has never knowingly said anything hurtful to anyone in my entire life - is supposedly waiting in the wings to point a finger and say 'you're wrong'. I am sure all the gay and lesbian lifestyle supporters will find this just one more instance to label people homophobic and judgmental. Yet - I have been the scapegoat for his activities for what seems like a lifetime. I have been treated far worse than he has ever even thought of being treated, by the very person who would say I am judgmental, and our kids have been plunged into risks they never should have been - you all say what you want about your lives, and believe the politically correct lines you throw out. I know the truth, from behind the scenes.

BlackTsunami said...

I don't know the situation with your ex-husband and I am sorry that it happened.

But here is the problem. Your ex-husband was obviously a sleazeball and not because he was gay but because he sounds like a selfish predator.

Why should lgbts who have done nothing wrong to anyone have to suffer for his crimes?

Also, your idea that homosexuality is a "destructive behavior" is wrong. Now I believe in individual choices and the fact that everyone has control over his or her behavior . . . to a point.

When society creates a negative ambiance that lgbts, particularly lgbt children have to live under, you simply can't ignore the effects of this to their hearts and minds.

Furthermore, I respect the fact that many people have a religious objection to the lgbt community. However that objection should not make it alright for them to make up phony facts or manipulate figures to denigrate the lgbt community and that objection does not give them the right to make laws to strip the lgbt community of our rights or hinder laws to strip the lgbt community of our rights.

Your personal objection to homosexuality is just that - a personal objection. It should not give you carte blanche to put yourself on a pedestal or blame us for your ex-husband's crimes. Since you imply about people talking responsibility for their personal behavior, might I suggest that you practice what you preach in the case of your ex-husband. Blame him for his crimes and not the lgbt community.

Göran Koch-Swahne said...

I come from "Eruptions..." and want to say thank you for this. It needed to be said!

Bill S said...

Alvin, doin't you see? According to "anonymous", if ONE gay man does terrible things, that's proof that ALL gay people do terrible things!

[that was sarcasm.]