How Obergefell Really Happened

Without a doubt Obergefell was crammed down our throats, as were all the lower court decisions that overturned 34 state laws and constitutional changes voted upon by citizens.

But, it is hard to see that Obergefell would ever have happened if the ground had not been prepared, if those five Supreme Court justices could not at least delude themselves into thinking that a great societal sea change had occurred.

Homosexuals like to give themselves credit for changing America’s mind, that the ground for Obergefell was prepared by their personal interaction with everyday Americans, that they are in fact everywhere, and just like us.

They argue that we changed our minds because of our own personal experiences with all the homosexuals we know personally; those we are friends with; our own sons, daughters, cousins, dads, and uncles who are happily, and charmingly, and certainly non-threateningly, homosexual.

While it is plausible that Americans changed their minds about homosexuals, we certainly did not change our minds about their agenda—that is, marriage, adoption, and the revocation of religious freedom.

But all this mind-changing did not occur because of our personal interaction with individual homosexuals. As I have shown in previous columns, there just aren’t enough of them to have done that. Most people simply do not have homosexual relatives, co-workers, or friends. Even if we wanted to befriend one, there are so few we would end up fighting over them. “That one is mine.” “No, he’s mine.” “No, I called it, mine.”

According to the most reliable data from the Center for Disease Control, there are a few million—3.7 million to be exact—adult homosexuals in the United States. Each of these 3.7 million would have to be out, and proud, and, more than that, friends with an average of 63 other adults who are not same-sex attracted. Gays may be social, but they aren’t that social.

So, how did all this happen? How did America supposedly become so cozy with the gays? Television, followed by news coverage—relentless, never-ending news coverage—of their every utterance and hangnail.

Go to Wikipedia and explore gay characters on television. Homosexuals love to keep track of such things, and the homosexual community of editors at Wikipedia is vast and formidable. There are lists for news and information shows featuring LGBTs, reality shows with them, soap operas with gay characters, situation comedies, made-for-TV films, animated gays, television episodes with LGBT themes, pro-Stonewall TV, 1970s TV, 1980s TV, and so on and on and gayly on.

These voluminous lists demonstrate that for such a teeny-tiny sliver of the population, homosexuals have for decades inundated us with themselves and their “issues.”

The Wiki article on homosexuals on TV dramas runs to a whopping 62 pages.

Did you know there is a show on MTV called The Shannara Chronicles, and that Eretria is bisexual? On CW’s Legends of Tomorrow, Sarah Lance/White Canary is bisexual. On NBC’s Shades of Blue, Ray Liotta plays Wozniak—“the corrupt commander of the 64th Precinct”—and he is homosexual. Ray Liotta plays gay? According to Wiki, Liotta’s character is not the only gay character on that show. So is a character named Donnie Pomp. Blake Moran on CBS’s Madam Secretary is one. And in a veritable smorgasbord of gay, ABC’s How to Get Away with Murder has five: Conor, Oliver, Aiden, Annalise, and Eve.

Are you getting the picture? Not yet?

Ok, let’s look at comedies.

The first continuing homosexual character on American television was Peter Panama on ABC’s The Corner Bar that aired during the 1972-73 season. The BBC’s Are You Being Served, which aired from 1972 to 1985, gave us gay Mr. Humphries. ABC’s Barney Miller had three gay characters. There were also homosexual characters in The Nancy Walker Show, Ball Four, All that Glitters, Soap, Sara, Brothers, Hooperman, Roseanne, Doctor Doctor, and The Larry Sanders Show. On Ellen there were three. Friends had two. Ditto for Sex and the City. Aqui no hay quien viva had no less than seven. Okay, I had never heard of that one, or Antena 3, where it aired. But Glee—everyone knows Glee, on Fox no less—has ten.

Without a doubt, the most important shows for advancing gay propaganda were Will & Grace—NBC’s hit show that ran from 1998 to 2006 where the whole show was nothing but gay—and Modern Family, that premiered in 2009, where two of the main characters are gay, and married, and living right next door! I am told they are also the most stable and normal couple on the show. Natch.

Will & Grace is described by one social critic as “the first successful network prime-time series to feature gay characters in a gay milieu.” It told the story of gay Will, a buttoned up corporate lawyer, and his best friend, interior designer Grace, along with their wacky friends gay Jack and Karen.

Will & Grace taught us that gays are just like us, with the same aspirations, the same troubles, joys, heartaches, laughs. Even Will’s friend gay Jack was presented as completely normal and non-threatening, perhaps a little nutty, even a little man-crazy in a non-threatening kind of a way, bouncing from relationship to relationship. But, oh gosh, it was all so harmless and fun.

Will & Grace naturally found a huge audience. It was in the Nielson top twenty for half of its run. For a few years it was the highest-rated sitcom in the coveted 18-49 demographic. It was nominated for an astounding 83 Emmy nominations, and won 16 of them.

One critic said Will & Grace used “comedy to familiarize a mainstream audience with gay culture,” although the show did not familiarize us with circuit parties, drug-fueled sex binges on Fire Island, or popular New York gay bars like the Ramrod. No less than Vice President Joe Biden said the show “probably did more to educate the American public” on gay themes “than almost anything anybody has done so far.”

For an even more white-picket-fence fantasy, turn to Modern Family. Where Will & Grace showed the sometimes closeted Will and the peripatetic Jack without steady relationships, Modern Family shows us domesticated gay bliss, two gay guys who are decidedly not “monogamish,” that is, in the usual non-faithful open gay relationship. But perhaps the most remarkable thing about the show is how unremarkable such a coupling has become. In a 13-page article on the show at Wiki, there’s hardly any mention at all of “married” gays Mitchell and Cameron.

And what about the influence of Modern Family? I know a very conservative lawyer who works for a mammoth pro-family public interest law firm who loves Modern Family; he says it’s his favorite show. My conservative lawyer friend spends his days fighting in the courts and elsewhere against propaganda made palatable by one of his favorite shows.

It is abundantly clear that homosexual propagandists knew they were not large enough in numbers to change the views of Middle America. In modern political parlance, they had no “ground game.” So, they took to the air. And how seductive TV is. Comedian Dana Carvey once said it’s so powerful you could put an orange on NBC for an hour every Wednesday night at 8 pm and eventually people would point and say, “Hey, isn’t that the orange on NBC?”

Is there solid social science research to back this claim, that television has an effect on social mores in general, and on this issue in particular? A number of studies say so, and so does the fact that advertisers spent $73 billion on TV advertising last year. Advertisers are convinced that being on TV influences behavior.

So, if you want to know how the ground was prepared for Obergefell and all the rest, it’s not because of the guy who cuts your mom’s hair—you know, the one who is so nice! It’s TV, where even chefs on cooking shows have to announce they’re gay, because there is most certainly a gay way to slice tomatoes.

Austin Ruse

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Austin Ruse is president of C-FAM (Center for Family & Human Rights), a New York and Washington DC-based research institute. He is the author of Fake Science: Exposing the Left’s Skewed Statistics, Fuzzy Facts, and Dodgy Data published by Regnery. He is also the author of the new book Little Suffering Souls: Children Whose Short Lives Point Us to Christ published by Tan Books. The views expressed here are solely his own.

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