The Corner

No, Opposition to the Administration’s Transgender Bathroom Policies Didn’t Cause Orlando

Well, that didn’t take long. It was just a matter of time before opposition to the Obama administration’s transgender bathroom policies was linked to the massacre at an Orlando gay bar, committed by a shooter who took time out from his horrific killing spree to pledge allegiance to ISIS.

And sure enough, this morning’s New York Times reports that gay rights “movement leaders” wonder whether “high-profile policy fights like the one over the Obama administration’s recent directive requiring schools to allow transgender students to use the bathrooms of their choice” is increasing violence against gays. The Times’s article, by reporter Sheryl Gay Stolberg, offers potential frames for the mass murder, none of which include Islamic terrorism: “What did it mean that it happened in June, Gay Pride Month? Was it a hate crime against gay people or simply evidence that gun violence is out of control — or both? Gay rights have been advancing at a rapid clip. Has that lessened homophobia? Or maybe made it worse?”

The Atlantic’s religion reporter, Emma Green, posited a “loose connection” between what she called “anti-trans rhetoric” and the Orlando violence, during a segment on WNYC’s Brian Lehrer Show this morning entitled “Orlando and the State of the Gay Bar”: “There is a loose connection that is very difficult to pin down between some of the anti-gay and anti-trans rhetoric that we’ve seen in the U.S. not primarily from Muslim groups but from Christian groups that have laid a foundation for homophobia and transphobia. Although most of the groups that are supporting that type of rhetoric would not condone the type of violence we saw in Orlando, it does create an environment of bigotry and acceptance of homophobia against LGBT people.” (Green went on to say that some people who hold “sincerely held beliefs” about homosexuality can “still extend messages of love and fellowship.”)

Chad Griffin, president of the Human Rights Campaign, told MSNBC today that what happened in Orlando was an example of the toxic mix that occurs when a “deranged, delusional person is taught to hate” by a “preacher on Sunday morning in church or by a politician.” Actually, no “Sunday preacher” taught mass murderer Omar Mateen to hate; we can be sure, however, that radical Islamic propaganda did.

This compulsion to blame alleged Western prejudice for violence committed by Muslim extremists was on view earlier this year after thousands of Muslim men sexually assaulted women in public on New Year’s 2016 in Cologne, Munich, Berlin, Nürnberg, Bremen, Hamburg, Frankfurt, Stuttgart, and Düsseldorf, and in France, Greece, Sweden, Switzerland, Finland, and Turkey. European feminists immediately announced that the real cause of the assaults was Western patriarchy, not Muslim misogyny. A similar swerve from the specific, immediate, and proximate cause of the Orlando massacre to some generalized and greatly exaggerated American homophobia is on display now. For the media elites and liberal activists, there is no Muslim extremist atrocity so grotesque that is not on a par with the imagined sins of Western society.

Yes, there are Americans who oppose gay marriage. And there are parents who do not want a naked biological boy in their daughter’s locker room — a position that has nothing to do with gay marriage or the traditional “gay rights” agenda. To equate either of these positions with the frenzied violence against gays that still occurs in many traditional Muslim societies is absurd. Western elites remain constitutionally unable to acknowledge that there are greater forces of evil in the world than the West itself.

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