Meet the Gay Police State

On March 24, 2013, as I stood with other speakers waiting to take the stage at Paris's "manif pour tous" against homosexual marriage, I saw tear gas sail through the air at a crowd of peaceful protesters.

Children, elderly people, and elected officials were hit by the gas.  Christine Boutin, the president of a political party, passed out.  Some videos showing what happened are posted on my blog here.

As I stood behind the fence, waiting for my cue to take the stage, I was torn between two urges.  One urge was to climb the fence and show solidarity with the people being tear-gassed.  The other urge was to flee.  In the end, I was spared having to choose, because the organizers called for me to mount the platform and speak.

The images of a police force "defending" a city ruled by a gay Socialist mayor (Bertrand Delanoe), shooting tear gas at children, was worse than the imagery of Lt. Pike pepper-spraying college students in Davis, and worse, I would say, than the Jim Crow police force using dogs and water hoses on black children during the famous protests led by Reverend Martin Luther King, Jr.  Why do I say it was worse?  Look at the number of people, the sheer quantity of riot police, and the closeness of the tear gas, which is a seriously aggressive chemical agent.  Christine Boutin lost consciousness and was still under medical care after inhaling the tear gas, which was why she could not attend the Washington March for Marriage two days later, as she and Frigide Barjot were both scheduled to do.

Unfortunately, Frigide Barjot also could not attend the Washington march because she had to remain in Paris to respond to press reports demonizing her movement.

The tear-gassing behind the stage in Paris came less than one week after Frigide Barjot and her small group in Brussels, including me, were greeted with a mob of over one hundred Belgian pro-gay rioters hurling insults, pressing against barricades, and physically assaulting Xavier Bongibault, as we tried to make a discreet transit from the European Parliament, where we had testified, to a theater where we were scheduled to address a crowd of French-speaking supporters.

Having spent so many years in the gay community, I found myself falling into an emotional nadir as violence marred events, both in Brussels and Paris.  In both cases, it was the side militating for gay parenting that used physical intimidation: a combination of riled street thugs and armed riot police, the deadly cocktail of "unofficial" and "official" violence that characterizes the dynamics of so many police states.

When I made my way back to Los Angeles the following day, I found myself gazing at the Atlantic Ocean below me and searching for an answer to an agonizing question: how can gays accept their complicity with a police state?  Are they willing to become a police state?

Having grown up with a lesbian mother, and having spent so many years as an out bisexual, I found the  thought utterly repugnant.  LGBTs, the movement based on rolling back bullying and "bashing," are now fully integrated into society's disciplinary institutions: they run schools, command armed forces, dictate jargon to the press, govern cities as big as Paris, run congressional committees on banking regulation, and get to rule on Proposition 8 from the bench of federal courts.

And now, having come into wildly disproportionate power, the movement demands the right to own children as property, insists on safe passage to India to lure poor women into paid surrogacy contracts, and threatens to put adoption centers out of business if they refuse to turn orphans over to gay couples.

When people step up to defend children, as did the people of France in the massive mobilization of March 24, the gays call in street thugs, riot police, and monsters wielding tear gas.

It was another turning point for me, from which I have yet to recover.  For having seen what I saw in Brussels and Paris, I know something I didn't feel comfortable believing before: gays cannot claim that they would be any kinder in power.  They are in power, and they are happy to sit atop a police state.

I suppose it was a long time coming. Go to any Gay Pride event, and you see the floats celebrating "leather men," sadomasochistic outfits of dominatrices and gleeful torture equipment -- both gay men and lesbians are shamelessly fond of eroticizing power.  There is nothing in gay culture that is incompatible with a police state.  If anything, the evolution of gay culture since Stonewall has set us up for a gay police state.  Now it has arrived.

I suppose I should be happy at least knowing what underlies the cries for gay liberation and equality.  Whatever becomes of same-sex marriage in the United States, the gay movement poses a much longer-term problem.  Homosexuality is not a sexual orientation, but rather an ideology.  The LGBT movement is not a community, but rather a political machine backed by big business.  Until it can show that it is capable of increasing its reach and profile without abusing power, it has to be resisted, for it is the face of an ancient urge which must always be resisted: the lust for power and domination.

Robert Oscar Lopez is the author of Johnson Park.  He runs English Manif, a blog on gay rights debates (