In early January, Vincent Tolliver, a candidate for the chairmanship of the Democratic National Committee, wrote in an e-mail to The Hill that fellow candidate Keith Ellison, the first known Muslim to sit in Congress, should not be party chairman because of Islamic attitudes toward gays. “Islamic law is clear on the subject,” wrote Tolliver, “and being gay is a direct violation of it. In some Muslim countries, being gay is a crime punishable by death.” Tolliver added that he was “shocked” that the Human Rights Campaign, a gay-rights group with close ties to the Democratic Party, had been “silent on the issue.” (In fact, the HRC has enthusiastically endorsed Ellison, notwithstanding his past links to Louis Farrakhan and his current involvement with CAIR, the Muslim American Society, and the Islamic Society of North America.)
The DNC was quick to act on Tolliver’s complaint: it promptly removed him from consideration for the party chairmanship. “The Democratic Party welcomes all Americans from all backgrounds,” declared interim chairwoman Donna Brazile (famous for passing debate questions to Hillary and then lying about it). “What we do not welcome is people discriminating against others based on who they are or how they worship.” Brazile, an open lesbian, called Tolliver’s remarks about Islam “disgusting” and stated that because of those comments, he was “no longer a candidate for DNC Chair.”
Brazile’s statement was a timely reminder that on the progressive left, where facts and ethical principles take a back seat to identity politics, Muslims are now the top-ranking victim group, and gays – gay men, anyway – are at the very bottom, below blacks, Latinos, Native Americans, women, transsexuals, disabled Americans, weight-challenged Americans, etc. Never mind that what Tolliver said about Islamic attitudes toward gays is entirely correct: on the progressive left, acknowledging such uncomfortable truths is verboten.
Why are gays no longer the darlings of the left? Part of the reason is the mainstreaming of the academic concept known as intersection: if you’re a gay white male, yes, you’re gay, all right, but you’re also the two worst things you can be in the eyes of the left: white and male. Which means that on balance, according to the leftist calculus, you’re more privileged than you are oppressed. That’s especially true, of course, now that same-sex marriage is the law of the land. Indeed, although the left celebrated the Supreme Court ruling in Obergefell v. Hodges well into the night, when the sun rose the next day gay people suddenly looked very unsexy. Is it mere coincidence that at almost the exact same moment when the gay-rights movement won its big victory, the transsexual movement appeared as if from out of nowhere to take its place on the progressive agenda? Suddenly we’re being asked to memorize dozens of new pronouns to cover gender categories nobody had ever heard of a year or two ago. Only yesterday, gay marriage felt exotic; now being gay – just plain gay – feels downright square.
Some gays still think the left has their back. When Obama left office, gays flooded You Tube and Twitter with messages thanking him for gay marriage – which he’d had absolutely nothing to do with (and which he, like Hillary, had in fact opposed for most of his administration). On November 8, gay Americans, buying into the entirely baseless premise that Hillary gives a damn about them, voted overwhelmingly for her – a woman whose family foundation has banked millions from Oman, Yemen, and the United Arab Emirates, all of which imprison gays, and Saudi Arabia, which executes them. Meanwhile the same gay voters jeered at Trump, who in 2005 publicly congratulated Elton John and David Furnish on their marriage; who, according to one local, “changed…Palm Beach” by admitting gay couples as members of Mar-a-Lago; who actually waved a rainbow flag at one of his campaign rallies; who’s been praised eloquently by one of the smartest gays in the country, billionaire entrepreneur Peter Thiel; who reacted with an un-Obama-like rage and candor to the jihadist massacre at the Pulse nightclub in Orlando; and who, upon accepting the Republican nomination, promised to “do everything in my power” to protect gay Americans “from the violence and oppression of a hateful foreign ideology.”