This inconsistency is very telling. The forces of “tolerance” and “diversity” are ever more intolerant of anything less than total ideological homogeneity. Earlier this year, the Susan G. Komen Foundation — the group that gave us those pink “awareness raising” ribbons for breast cancer — decided to end its funding of Planned Parenthood on the grounds that, whatever its other charms, Planned Parenthood has nothing to do with curing breast cancer. Within hours, the Komen Foundation’s Nancy Brinker had been jumped by her fellow liberals, and was strapped to a chair under a light bulb in the basement with her head clamped between two mammogram plates until she recanted. A few weeks back, Mark Regnerus, a sociology professor who “says he’s never voted for a Republican presidential candidate,” published a paper in the journal Social Science Research whose findings, alas, did not conform to the party line on gay parenting. Immediately, the party of science set about ending his career, demanding that he be investigated for “scientific misconduct” and calling on mainstream TV and radio networks to ban him from their airwaves.
As an exercise in sheer political muscle, it’s impressive. But, if you’re a feminist or a gay or any of the other house pets in the Democrat menagerie, you might want to look at Rahm Emanuel’s pirouette, and Menino’s coziness with Islamic homophobia. These guys are about power, and right now your cause happens to coincide with their political advantage. But political winds shift. Once upon a time, Massachusetts burned witches. Now it grills chicken-sandwich homophobes. One day it’ll be something else. Already in Europe, in previously gay-friendly cities like Amsterdam, demographically surging Muslim populations have muted leftie politicians’ commitment to gay rights, feminism, and much else. It’s easy to cheer on the thugs when they’re thuggish in your name. What happens when Emanuel’s political needs change?
Americans talk more about liberty than citizens of other Western nations, but, underneath the rhetorical swagger, liberty bleeds. When Mayor Menino and Alderman Moreno openly threaten to deny business licenses because of ideological apostasy, they’re declaring their unfitness for public office. It’s not about marriage, it’s not about gays, it’s about a basic understanding that a free society requires a decent respect for a wide range of opinion without penalty by the state. In Menino’s Boston, the Freedom Trail is heavy on the Trail, way too light on the Freedom.
— Mark Steyn, a National Review columnist, is the author of After America: Get Ready for Armageddon. © 2012 Mark Steyn