Academic journal article The Journal of Social, Political, and Economic Studies

Homosexuality and the Principles of a Free Society

Academic journal article The Journal of Social, Political, and Economic Studies

Homosexuality and the Principles of a Free Society

Article excerpt

An issue arose at Wichita State University recently about the official recognition of a homosexual student group. It embodies, in microcosm, both a burning point of contention in American life today and important questions relating to the principles of a free society.

Because small events can pose major issues, it is a mistake to see the Wichita State incident as inconsequential and isolated. As we all know, it is part of a much larger confrontation that is taking place throughout American society. It involves the homosexual movement's drive for a respectable status for homosexuality, and for breaking down the distaste for homosexuality that until now has strongly characterized the mainstream of society. This drive is finding expression not only on campuses throughout the United States and many other countries in the Western world, but in the public schools, in churches, and indeed in every part of our national life. Often it takes militant, even grotesque, forms. Chiefly it asserts homosexuality as an acceptable "lifestyle" and demands that it should be recognized as such by all other members of society.

In a still larger context, this movement must be understood as part of the long-standing effort to displace the cultural and moral (as well as political, legal, Constitutional and economic) premises of traditional American society on a wide variety of matters, not just sexuality. This effort has been at its height since the 1960s but goes back well over a century, and has been conducted by the predominant intellectual culture, which has long been deeply alienated from the traditional society, and its ideological allies recruited from all possible unassimilated or disaffected groups. It is a part of the "culture war" that the Left conducts tirelessly in an effort to supplant traditional attitudes within the American mind and memory.

The Issue at Wichita State

Before we get into a detailed discussion of the principles involved, it will be worthwhile to note the specifics of the episode at Wichita State--not because that episode is unusual, but because a concrete case helps us grasp the issues. Concrete cases have the advantage, too, of leading us to questions of principle that we might not otherwise notice.

In October 1993, a group called "10 Percent" that is characterized in the student newspaper as a "gay, lesbian and bisexual student discussion group" applied for official recognition, which would allow it to hold its meetings in campus facilities and to seek funding from student fees. (The name "10 Percent" calls for some explanation. The group is no doubt seeking to perpetuate the claim made by sex-researcher Alfred Kinsey years ago that a significant number--ten percent--of the American population is homosexual. The notion has recently been exploded by new studies showing a far smaller percentage and by the observation that Kinsey's sampling was atrociously unscientific, having been based on a convict population.)

The Student Senate voted 9 to 5, with two abstentions, to deny the application. The reason expressed by the majority was that the group promotes sodomy, and that sodomy is illegal under Kansas law.

The University's vice president for student affairs, a senior administrator, attends Student Senate meetings, and argued that the group is legitimate "as a place where people go to talk about and look at the issues of oppression." (He's a wonderful man and a good friend, but it's not out of line for me to observe that his statement conforms to what is 'politically correct'; it's immensely difficult to be an administrator at a public university these days without embracing such views.) One of the co-presidents of "10 Percent" was quoted by the student paper as saying, in a more militant tone, that the denial "is a direct example of the kind of homophobia and heterosexism on this campus."

This author is a member of the Faculty Senate and of the Senate Executive Committee, and he looked forward to a vigorous debate when another member of the Executive Committee told us that she had been asked to present a resolution opposing the Student Senate's denial of recognition. …

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