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We’ll Have a Gay Old Time: Television and the Culture War

When the Flintstones were singing “We’ll have a gay old time,” they must have had the 1997 television season in mind. The Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation (GLAAD) has released its 1997 “TV Scoreboard” and claims the fall lineup of programming includes “a record setting 30 lesbian, gay, and bisexual characters.”

For those of you who haven’t been keeping track, the scorekeepers at GLAAD offer details and statistics. According to their analysis, 1997 represents a 23% increase “compared to the historic 1996 fall lineup.” This is due, they explain, to the addition of “three characters introduced during the 1996-97 year and four new characters this fall.” In the year to come, GLAAD promises to monitor the treatment “of lesbians, gay men, bisexuals and transgender people.”

The great event of the 1996-97 year was, of course, the April 30 episode of “Ellen” where its title character Ellen Morgan proudly came out of the closet. At the same time, Ellen Degeneres announced her own lesbianism and cohabitation with partner Anne Heche.

Now “Ellen” is back in the news—right where Degeneres wants it to be. First came the October 11 cover story in TV Guide in which she announced her plans for an “even bolder” approach to her character’s lesbian identity and her frustration that ABC officials wanted only to take “baby steps.”

“And when I hear ‘baby steps,’ that makes me feel bad. It’s like they’re saying, ‘OK, you’re gay, and we’re tolerating this, but don’t show us how you really would be, don’t kiss a girl on the lips’.” But kissing a girl on the lips is precisely what Ellen has in mind, and that fact earned her show an on-screen parental advisory from ABC. Predictably, Degeneres threatened to walk off her show citing “blatant discrimination.”

Of course the agenda of homosexual promotion will not stop here. The New York Times reports one proposal for an upcoming script includes a scene “in which Ellen Morgan and a woman she has fallen in love with walk toward a bedroom, presumably to have sex.” Reportedly, ABC has not decided whether to allow the scene.

The big news in the TV Guide interview was about a very different kind of “baby steps.” Degeneres announced that she and partner Anne Heche want a baby. But, she quickly adds, “right now, I’m too selfish. I just can’t.” Degeneres also added that Heche wants to bear the baby, and “Anne usually gets what she wants.”

Why should America care what Degeneres thinks about pregnancy, children, or any other personal matter? Put simply, it is because Degeneres has become the Joan of Arc of the crusade to bring lesbianism into mainstream acceptance. With her, the feminist motto “the personal is the political” is fully realized. She now sets herself and her prime-time character as the pioneer of a homosexualized America, where same-sex relationships are on an even plane with heterosexual marriage and children are the playthings of homosexual partners.

As TIME magazine television critic James Collins argues, “instead of being integrated into the show, Ellen’s homosexuality has become the show.” Indeed, it has become the only real point of the show. “Ellen” is now a 30-minute advertisement for the postmodern homosexual lifestyle.

Vice President Al Gore, speaking at a recent audience of the Hollywood Radio and Television Society, praised “Ellen” for raising America’s consciousness. After lauding several older series for helping Americans to overcome their prejudices, Gore stated: “And when the character Ellen came out, millions of Americans were forced to look at sexual orientation in a more open light.”

In response to criticism of Gore’s praise for “Ellen,” White House communications director Ann Lewis—sister of Barney Frank, an openly gay member of Congress—said critics had better get used to the new morality. Speaking of those who object to the homosexual agenda on “Ellen”, Lewis said: “They’ve got a problem with reality.”

This is the agenda set out for all to see. The imaginary world of television becomes the very real world of post-Christian America where the family is whatever you want it to be and sex is nothing more than a sensual smorgasbord, free from all moral constraints. Anyone who objects to this mainstreaming of homosexuality has “a problem with reality.”

The ordeal of “Ellen” is a calculated effort to draw sympathy from the American public and to break down whatever inhibitions remain in the nation’s moral memory. The Hollywood establishment—in cooperation with political leaders such as Al Gore—is open in its advocacy for the homosexual agenda. Will Americans allow the total undoing of our moral system and the complete redefinition of the family? Only time will tell, but know this: the people at GLAAD are keeping score.