Does it change anything if Omar Mateen was gay?
The media is abuzz with claims that Mateen was gay or at least closeted. Reports are circulating that his ex-wife of three months said he might have had gay tendencies, but the New York Daily News reported that when asked if he was homosexual, she hesitated and responded, “I don’t know.” She also stated that he told her he liked to frequent clubs when he was younger, but she didn’t specify what kind of clubs. None of this proves he was gay.
Several patrons and employees of Pulse assert he was gay because he patronized the club and tried to pick up men. One witness said he saw him dancing with a guy. Again, none of this proves anything.
It’s more likely he was scoping out the venue for his future shooting spree, as terrorists tend to do. It’s generally good planning to know the layout and clientele, confirm that this is indeed the den of iniquity you want to destroy, and assess how security responds to disturbances.
Moreover, if he was doing his recon job properly, it wouldn’t surprise me if he was just pretending to “pick up guys” to keep his cover. When a Muslim fanatic cases a gay bar for future mayhem, he doesn’t want to draw attention to himself by acting straight. The fact that no one has so much as hinted that he actually “hooked up” with anyone also suggests he was playing a part.
Lastly, a classmate from the police academy claims that Mateen once asked him out. Although he declined, Mateen supposedly visited gay bars with his classmates. Straight people go to gay bars all the time – they go with gay friends, watch the drag shows, and party. It’s also possible he misunderstood a request to “hang out” with one to “go out” – it happens all the time.
Mateen also apparently communicated with gays on apps like Jack’d or Grindr, yet there is no evidence he ever “hooked up” with anyone from these exchanges. It’s not unreasonable to conclude that this might have been more about his terrorist inclinations than his homosexual ones.
Mateen might have been gay, but it’s equally possible he was just a good little terrorist assessing the best targets to infiltrate.
Does it change anything if he was gay? It matters not a whit.
Remember, he was a practicing Muslim who prayed several times a week at the Fort Pierce Islamic Center and pledged his allegiance to ISIS. He shouted “Allahu akbar” as he was slaughtering innocents. He is alleged to have ties to a radical imam in Orlando, and he made two pilgrimage visits to Saudi Arabia, which is very unusual. The suspicion is that Saudi Arabia was a jumping off point to terrorist training camps in other lands, perhaps Yemen.
It makes no difference if he was 100% straight and hated gays and wanted to kill them because of his Muslim beliefs or a self-loathing closeted homosexual who hated gays and wanted to kill them because his sexual urges conflicted with his Muslim faith. Either way, his Muslim religion is the motivating factor.
It would be significant only if he weren’t a practicing Muslim or had disavowed his faith and then massacred his fellow homosexuals out of pure hatred or self-loathing, in which case it would be prosecuted as a hate crime or murder under relevant state or federal laws versus as an act of terrorism by a radical Muslim. To date, there is no evidence that his hatred and motivations were unrelated to and indeed untethered from his religion.
If the only difference it would make is in how the case would be prosecuted, this is really much ado about nothing, given that the Obama administration refuses to prosecute acts of terrorism as acts of terrorism and instead prosecutes them as crimes such as "workplace violence" or "hate crimes." For our commander-in-chief, they are acts of terrorism only in the loosest, most colloquial of senses – with no national security implications and no connection to radical Islam.
President Obama blames this massacre on the internet, where Mateen was supposedly radicalized, and on the availability of guns – even though planes, pressure cookers, knives, rocks, and hands can be instruments of terrorism. And now his lackeys in the press are trying to deflect blame from the obvious and shift it toward Mateen’s sexual orientation – which makes no sense at all.
While rational people all over the world understand that Mateen’s hatred of gays – to the point of brutally killing them – is rooted in radical Islam and bears blame, our leaders are blaming everything but radical Islam. This willful blindness is nothing new. It is how 102 fellow human beings came to be victims in Orlando in the first place.