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Wesley Clark in ‘The Advocate’–Over the Top Once Again

Former General Wesley Clark is joining the metrosexual revolution, posing for the cover of the nation’s most influential homosexual magazine wearing a white tee-shirt and a black jacket. The February 3, 2004 edition of The Advocate features a major interview with Clark, considered a top-tier candidate for the Democratic presidential nomination. The cover quotes Clark staking his claim for the homosexual vote: “I’m the one person who can bring gay issues forward. And I will.”

Clark, a former NATO Supreme Commander, catapulted to the front ranks of the Democratic presidential field even though he was a newly minted Democrat and had never held elected public office. A native of Arkansas and a former Rhodes scholar, Clark appeals to the ‘Clinton Democrats’ and is buoyed by the former president’s implicit support. Many of Clark’s leading campaign advisors are veterans of Bill Clinton’s campaigns and his administration–and Clark is financially supported by a host of those known as F.O.B.’s, or ‘Friends of Bill.’

Nevertheless, Clark used the interview in The Advocate to announce that he would repudiate Clinton’s infamous “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy regarding homosexuals in the military. “The armed forces are the last institution in America that discriminates against people,” Clark lamented. “It ought to be the first that doesn’t. They ought to have the right to be who they are.”

Writer Jon Barrett explains that Clark, once elected president, “is prepared to fix what his former commander in chief, Bill Clinton, left broken.” Clinton had promised to end the military’s ban on homosexuals in the armed services as he ran for president, and had been expected to issue an executive order to that effect early in his administration. Instead, Clinton ran into the determined opposition of the military’s top brass and a backlash of public opposition. He retreated to a policy that pleased no one–effectively allowing closeted gays in the military, but discharging anyone who declared a homosexual identity.

Clark will have none of that. He told the magazine that he would instruct the military leadership to come up with a new policy that would end all discrimination against homosexuals, and he expects little overt opposition. “Times are changing in the armed forces, just like they’ve changed in America.”

The Advocate recognizes the significance of Clark’s declaration: “In a testament to how much has changed in the decade since ‘don’t ask, don’t tell’ was born, all nine of the Democratic presidential candidates who are currently elbowing their way across the country say the policy is discriminatory. But the 59-year-old Clark, a retired four-star general and former NATO commander, could be the only one with enough brass to make a difference.” Since the article was written, the Democratic field has been reduced to seven–all of whom are ardent supporters of gay rights.

That remains to be seen, and Clark is a long way from the Democratic presidential nomination–much less from the White House–but his cover photo and interview in The Advocate are proof positive of the dramatic gains made by homosexual activists over the last decade. Fueled by powerful political patrons and supported by activist judges, gay activists have pushed beyond anything even they could have imagined just a few years ago.

In a retrospective article, The Advocate noted that their first candidate survey, sent in 1970, received few replies–especially from candidates registered as Democrats or Republicans. Now, all of the major Democratic candidates participated in The Advocate’s survey–and all declared themselves fully on board for the normalization of homosexuality. The magazine summarized the candidates’ positions in a chart, “Rating the Dems,” that indicates that all of the Democrats support either gay unions or homosexual marriage, the Employment Non-Discrimination Act [ENDA], adoption rights for homosexuals, and a repeal of “don’t ask, don’t tell.” All oppose the proposed Federal Marriage Amendment.

Clark, who gained headlines for his over-the-top statements on abortion last week, will also draw attention for his radical statements about marriage in his interview with The Advocate. He celebrated the recent decision of the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court ordering that state’s legislature to allow same-sex marriage. In Clark’s thinking, marriage is simply a legal contract–nothing more. “I think that people who want to form a contractual relationship–whether they are same-sex or different-sex–should have exactly the same rights and responsibilities,” he told the magazine.

With his son recently married, Clark was asked, “If your son had been born gay, would you want him to have the same rights that he enjoys today?” Clark, who has been married since 1967, responded: “I would want him to have the right to have a stable relationship. But whether you call it marriage or not is up to the church or the synagogue or the mosque. And it’s up to the state legislatures.”

Astoundingly, Clark went on to comment, “I think marriage is a term of art. It’s a term of usage. But the legal side of it is not: It’s not negotiable.” Marriage is a term of art? A “term of art” is a word or phrase used–most often by lawyers–as a form of legal shorthand. The term is understood to be a contrivance used for convenience. To call marriage a term of art is to insult humanity’s most venerable institution. Clark’s statement points to the real agenda of those pushing for same-sex marriage–the destruction and radical redefinition of the institution itself.

Former Vermont governor Howard Dean, another Democratic candidate, presented a similar argument in a cover interview with Lesbian News [yes--there really is a periodical published as Lesbian News]. “Marriage is in no danger of being harmed in any way. We have had civil unions [signed into law by Dean] in this state for three years, and as far as I can tell, it hasn’t hurt anybody’s marriage.” Of course, the redefinition of marriage doesn’t just affect anybody’s marriage, but everybody’s marriage. Perhaps we should just revise the motto of the 1992 Clinton campaign and make it clear: “It’s the institution, Stupid.”

These interviews with major Democratic candidates underline the fundamental moral divide that threatens to pull America apart. When an institution as necessary as the military is transformed into a laboratory for social experimentation, the nation is inevitably weakened. When an institution as venerable and basic as marriage is redefined as something it is not, civilization itself is undermined.

The 2004 presidential election is not just about politics and competing philosophies of government. No, the election is really about worldviews and competing philosophies of life. Candidates Clark and Dean have helped to make that fact crystal clear.