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Crash-test gays.

At their annual convention in Dallas, and just before summer vacation, 12,000 Southern Baptists approved a boycott of Walt Disney Corporation to protest what they see as Disney's overly permissive stance towards homosexuality. They are specifically steamed at Ellen's coming-out party on Disney's television network, ABC. They're also complaining that Disney extends health benefits to partners of its gay and lesbian employees. And they can't stand the Gay Day that draws thousands to Disney World each June, even though the Imagineers have made it clear that they don't organize them -- it just so happens, like those swallows at Capistrano. The Baptists see no point in attacking individual gay people; that is not the Christian thing to do. So they go after a big fancy organization. If the mouse is the Disney mascot, then a big yellow chicken should be the mascot of the Southern Baptists.

Also miffed by what they perceive as growing homo-hospitality, the American Public Philosophy Institute (APPI) -- a group of conservative intellectuals, academics, and counselors, some "ex-gays," and some ex-Quayles like Bill Kristol. In June, they announced that homosexuality is a "tragic affliction" by people suffering from "gender differences" and an "infantile refusal to accept reality." They vowed to make the "truly compassionate choice" to discourage homosexuality and provide treatment for it.

Christopher Wolfe, president of the group, said: "This is not something negative. We're here to help. Understanding homosexuality as a disorder and how we deal with that is a position that hasn't been well-represented." One conjures up Heaven's Gate's poor old Marshall Applewhite. His Scared Straight Program didn't quite succeed.

Joseph Nicolosi, director of the National Association for the Research and Treatment of Homosexuality, concluded from his studies that there is no such thing as a gay person." They are really just crash-test dummies dropped into Greenwich Village from high-altitude balloons. His studies also showed that gay men are "disconnected" from people and live in an unreal world. He concluded, without irony, that's one reason why gay men like theater.

One researcher from the quasi-prestigious South Carolina School of Medicine said that "gender disturbances" can be corrected through an eighteen-to-twenty-two-month therapeutic regimen that punishes nonconforming behavior (such as "limp wrists in boys, swaggering in girls") and rewards conforming behavior (girls "playing with dolls"; boys playing baseball). A trip to Disney World is no longer in the reward column.

Well, two can play the science game. So as the Southern Baptists and the APPI were kicking us in the agenda, I was doing my own research. I discovered the tragic Post-Ellen Traumatic Stress Disorder.

First, short-term memory loss, causing an inability to remember any gay history before Ellen came out at the end of April. In my independent audience-polling throughout the country, I asked people if they thought Ellen's new girlfriend Ann Heche truly loved Ellen or if she was merely cashing in on Ellen's celebrity lesbianism. My margin of error was 4 percent, but a whole bunch thought the latter. I even reviewed the statements to make sure they understood their choice and each time they voted overwhelmingly that Ann is not a sister but a sybaritic sycophant. That anyone would forget that there were no celebrity lesbians fifteen years ago to cash in on is proof of short-term memory loss.

Second, obsessive-compulsive disorder. most obvious in long-distance bike riding. Huge numbers of gays are doing distance bike rides, sponsored by Tanqueray with Naya water chasers, from Boston to New York City, from San Francisco to Los Angeles, from Philadelphia to Washington, D.C. The airline industry is worried. X-treme bungee jumping could be next.

Third, dissociation, with the side effect that gay people see no need for membership or participation in national organizations. In fact they dis political associations with. "I don't need to get involved. Ellen's gay. It's OK."

If I'm reading my Bible Code correctly, soon Minnie Mouse ears will come with chadors, The Flume Ride will be a baptismal font. and Atheists Day at Disney World will sell out.

It's creepy and unnatural that Baptists are so fixated on homosexuals. I say, let the Christian Fundamentalist Chicken and the Disney Corporate Mouse duke it out at the old Heritage Park and Water Fun Village of Jim and Tammy Faye Bakker. Leave us out of the fight.
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Title Annotation:humor
Author:Clinton, Kate
Publication:The Progressive
Date:Aug 1, 1997
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