In December of 2009, while studying at Princeton, Brandon McGinley said that society must regard homosexuality as shameful and disgraceful so that people who "experience" it will "overcome" it. To drive home his point, he referred to another writer's deliberate linking of homosexuality and incest, and the "stigma" that is to be entwined with both:
If we are to reestablish a healthy, positive, and self-respecting understanding of masculinity in society, then homosexual conduct must be viewed as so ignominious, so disgraceful, so shameful that “nobody would assume that a good man would engage in it.” Crucially, this does not imply censure of those who experience same-sex attractions; quite the opposite, it entails love and compassion for those who experience persistent same-sex attraction, that they may overcome this daunting personal challenge.
Anthony Esolen writes that, just as the “stigma against incest allows for the physical and emotional freedom of a family,” the stigma against homosexual conduct makes room for powerful and fulfilling male friendships. Even more, such a stigma, applied with compassion and love for all, lays the foundation for a healthy, powerful, and beautiful conception of manhood to which young boys can look forward with anticipation and joy.
FULL: Reflections On Manliness [The Princeton Tory]
In the time since he wrote that crude call to shame what he calls "homosexual conduct" (and that scientists call sexual orientation), Mr. McGinley has taken a plum job with the Pennsylvania Family Institute, the leading organization fighting against us in that state:
Yesterday, in the aftermath of a federal judge granting marriage equality to the very Pennsylvania citizens that Brandon and his employer have long fought to deny, I noticed that the PFI field director was being quite vocal about the ruling on Twitter. That so, I took the opportunity to ask him if he stands by his 2009 words. And while he did say he believes his prose has gotten better over the years, the Pennsylvania activist made it quite clear that he stands by his views. Here's our exchange:
What else is there to say, Brandon? Well, for one thing, you could acknowledge that your views are actually not Catholic definitives. According to a 2014 Public Religion Research Institute report, white Catholics (58%) and Hispanic Catholics (56%) both favor marriage equality. That doesn't necessarily mean they all disagree on the morality of sex acts, but ti certainly does speak to a prevailing view that does not coincide with the anti-LGBT Catholics who are determined to define the church through its politicized opposition to LGBT rights.
But beyond that, Brandon, you could say, "No Jeremy, I don't believe your sexuality is in the same category as incest." I mean, I posed that question directly. At first I got a very enthusiastic, seven "s"-ed "yesssssss," coupled with praise that I'd done my homework. And then, once I followed up, the limited desire to "improve" past thoughts was limited to the prose The only takeback was in regard to the style, not the subtance. There was no rejection of the idea that homosexuality should be discouraged, just a caveat that "acts" are to be separated from the person.
Those of us who care about LGBT people's well-being should remember this whenever we read the Pennsylvania Family Institute's press releases or hear its surrogates speaking to the media about this week's marriage ruling and how awful it supposedly is. Remember that this very org's field director is on record insisting that "[i]f we are to reestablish a healthy, positive, and self-respecting understanding of masculinity in society, then homosexual conduct must be viewed as so ignominious, so disgraceful, so shameful that 'nobody would assume that a good man would engage in it.'” And when pressed on it? He stood by it.