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The Gay Emperor Has No Clothes

Editorial by James Gibson

The pro-homosexual movement will limp out of Cleveland bruised and battered not only because its legislative efforts were resoundingly defeated for the eighth straight quadrennium, but, more importantly, because its credibility is now in tatters. Soulforce, the AMAR coalition and other bondage groups have been exposed for what they truly are: a paper tiger big on headline-grabbing publicity stunts but short on substance and support. The lavender lobby played itself up big time during the weeks prior to General Conference. They talked of thousands of "LGBT people" (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgendered) descending on Cleveland for a "massive" display of "nonviolent" civil disobedience.

Just days before the conclave opened, however, Soulforce founder Mel White issued a desperate plea via e-mail to his real and imagined followers. It seems the church which had promised to host White's minions had withdrawn its offer of sanctuary. To make matters worse, the Cleveland City Council had rebuffed White's previously negotiated figure of $25-$45 and had instead set fines for civil disobedience at $150-$180 per arrest. Apparently, most of the protesters could not afford such a steep penalty. When the day of disobedience finally arrived on May 10, all of 300 people showed up. Most of them were professional protesters. A few were delegates and even a handful of bishops threw in their lot with the gay brigade. For the most part, however, the "massive" display of "nonviolent" civil disobedience was a gigantic flop, despite the media coverage.

The following day, with votes on questions of homosexuality being debated in the plenary session, White and company threatened additional "nonviolent" action. This time, it was all of 50 protesters hopping the barriers and briefly disrupting proceedings after delegates voted to uphold the Discipline's statement that homosexual practice is "incompatible with Christian teaching." When informed of their impending arrest, 20 of the protesters headed for the exits, leaving 30 poor souls to press the demand for a four-year moratorium on homosexual prohibitions in the Discipline. The delegates promptly rejected that demand and proceeded to uphold the denomination's long-standing prohibition of homosexual clergy and the more recent prohibition of same sex covenant services.

They came, they saw, they were conquered. The Gay Emperor has no clothes.

James Gibson
Marshallville United Methodist Church

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