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Getting it right on gay rights … or at least trying

Getting it right on gay rights … or at least trying

Of all the issues that divide the American people, none is more vexing than gay rights. 

We can differ whether the border is secure … or not.  Whether the last election was stolen … or not.  Whether we should have surrendered in Afghanistan … or not.  They are contentious issues, to be sure – but are still debatable on facts, perceptions, and beliefs.  None of those issues directly question the fundamental constitutional rights of a segment of the general population.

We have within society a large segment of the population that believes that gay sex is a moral transgression and a threat to the health and future of the species.  Those beliefs are often the result of deep religious convictions.  Two of the biggest religions in the world – Christianity and Muslim – oppose homosexuality.  In the most extreme cases, sexual acts between same-sex persons are subject to harsh punishments – even death.  In theocratic states, gay relationships are banned by law.

We grapple with this issue on a daily basis.  The United States was founded on Judeo-Christian principles, but our Founders gave us a secular Constitution that protects the rights of those who are not affiliated with a special religion.  In America, atheists have the same rights as Christians, Jews, Muslims, etc.

With that in mind, do gay people have the same rights as heterosexual people – even those with strong religious convictions?  

For some populations, that question evolved from “no” to “yes”.  The most notable example is black Americans.  But also, Asians – and more specifically – the Chinese.  Women.   They all evolved into greater constitutional rights.

Today, gays enjoy the full range of constitutional rights.  They can co-habitat … be employed … join the military … live wherever they choose … get married … raise children … buy homes together.  All things that were disallowed in the not-too-distant past.

There has also been a cultural change.  Gay people can live openly.  They are accepted in careers where their sexuality would have ended them.  Openly gay people can be seen in entertainment and the newsrooms.  Even Christian denominations have opened the doors to gay clergy – to the level of bishops.

However, there is still a significant portion of the population who morally abhor gay relationships.  It is both a matter of religious fervor and personal anxiety.  But the religious intolerance is losing out to secular acceptance – and there is no going back.

While there are still deep feelings regarding homosexuality – on both sides – as a civic or public policy issue, the game is over.  Those who oppose homosexuality have few public policy issues to advance.  There is some room for civic debate when it comes to limiting salacious aspects from the youngest children.  Extreme or harmful sexual practices can be outlawed.  But that is also applicable to straight sexual practices.  Examples of explicit gay sex can be restricted by location and age group.  Same for hetero performances.

There are folks who not only hate the “sin” but the sinner as well.  Some display hostility against gay people.  Some get violent.  But none of that will change the fact that gay relationship is fully protected by the Constitution and the courts.  Intimidation or violence against gays is a crime … period

Through my commentaries, I have occasionally advised political candidates to leave the gay issue off their brochures.  There are very few civic, legislative, or constitutional options that can be pursued by public officials to limit the rights of gay people.  

If you do not want to have a gay person cross the threshold of your home, you have that right.  You can feel however you like about gay folks.  But to try to inhibit their rights individually or collectively will only cause problems for everyone – and ultimately fail.

Gay life has been normalized both legally and socially.  There are not long two sides to that debate.

So, there ‘tis. 

About The Author

Larry Horist

So,there‘tis… The opinions, perspectives and analyses of Larry Horist Larry Horist is a businessman, conservative writer and political strategist with an extensive background in economics and public policy. Clients of his consulting firm have included such conservative icons as Steve Forbes and Milton Friedman. He has served as a consultant to the Nixon White House and travelled the country as a spokesman for President Reagan’s economic reforms. He has testified as an expert witness before numerous legislative bodies, including the U. S. Congress. Horist has lectured and taught courses at numerous colleges and universities, including Harvard, Northwestern, DePaul universities, Hope College and his alma mater, Knox College. He has been a guest on hundreds of public affairs talk shows, and hosted his own program, “Chicago In Sight,” on WIND radio. Horist was a one-time candidate for mayor of Chicago and served as Executive Director of the City Club of Chicago, where he led a successful two-year campaign to save the historic Chicago Theatre from the wrecking ball. An award-winning debater, his insightful and sometimes controversial commentaries appear frequently on the editorial pages of newspapers across the nation. He is praised by readers for his style, substance and sense of humor. According to one reader, Horist is the “new Charles Krauthammer.” He is actively semi-retired in Boca Raton, Florida where he devotes his time to writing. So, there ‘tis is Horist’s signature sign off.


  1. Boston

    What’s to get right. Queers are a protected species

  2. frank Stetson

    Good for you Larry.

    I am convinced Congress acted because so many are either gay or actually know some gay folks quite well. Sometimes familiarity breeds contempt (dems and repubs lately), other times it breaks the cycle of fear and loathing over something strange and different.

    So what is it for you Larry? For me, it’s in the family, and it’s in my relationships with others starting with my first manager (not groomer, manager) who was somewhat “flamboyant” in speech mannerisms, historic in terms of family on the Mayflower, rich, and tended to date younger men, put them through college (they we well over 18…..just didn’t go), then break up and be extremely down and heading to the bars for awhile to start the process again. But he was rich, very rich, so he could afford this life choice. Once I joked about his femininity and he put me through a wall with a single punch to the shoulder…. Funny. Died young of aids.

    Remind me to tell you the xmas party story — really funny —- starts with me saying to a buddy, not going, and the buddy says: we have got to go, there will be leather. It gets even better from there. There’s even strip bars, pimps and whores before the night is through…..

    Second story was business associate who I knew for a decade but we never talked about who we were dating so no idea. A Mayor Pete sort of personality. I found out he was gay about the time my wife diagnosed with MS. In those times, the approach to MS was with a steroid sledgehammer, two methods, US — blast em and taper down, and EU — blast em and cold turkey. Both bad. So we were sitting in his hotel room at a conference and I will tell you, couldn’t pick a better friend to share my problems with. He had long term relationship, had just broken up due to his getting aids, and by this time, could get a better cocktail to live a long life. But I had never asked “who you dating” and had no idea for a decade. It is just not important, what was important was who he was and what he did, especially in helping me work through my wife’s diagnosis. Memorable.

    People are people, takes all kinds, and sexual preference should be the least of our worries. For those having hissy fits over gaydom, I wish they could meet these two guys to see how those fears are unfounded at least for these two gentleman.

    So, in my case, it’s just from knowing folks over the years that my fear and loathing have diminished. I will say I still don’t like to see it, but then again, that’s me —– I cringe when I see two people holding hands, I am pretty reserved in that way. Just who I am, I don’t hold it against folks. But I do cringe.

    What is it Larry — you being totally objective from a antiseptic distance or do you have some familiarity too?

  3. Rat Wrangler

    A same-sex married couple living down the street does not impact my worship of God at all. My marriage of over 40 years has not been compromised because this couple legally married. Legal marriage is nothing more than a contract obligation between two people in which the State has too much say. If we removed marriage laws as they stand now, and make cohabitation a contract obligation and nothing more, then any two, or more, people could have the same legal protections as married couples do now, even if those people have no sexual relationship at all. I could see two spinster sisters living together and wanting the ability to share legal decisions and properties just as married people do. If the contracts are properly written, we could effectively end divorce courts, and put a lot of divorce lawyers out of work. Contracts could contain all the possible ramifications of their violations, so all the court would have to do is determine just how the contract was broken.

  4. Darren

    If a couple is gay, that is their life and their issue not mine. That is what is supposed to make this country great.
    The problem lies when their rights take precedent over my rights. We should both have the same rights correct? It used to be
    leave me alone and let us be together as a couple. Then, we should have a right to marriage. Then, we want the same right as other couples in their marriage. Now, everything about being gay is great and we want the same experience for EVERYONES child. It seems being gay has to be forced on everyone. This is were my rights become violated. I think a gay couple should have access to all of life’s experiences such as marriage. As 50% of all marriages end in divorce, not to mention the fighting. Why should they be denied that wonderful experience.

  5. Frank stetson

    What extra gay rights are you exactly talking about? Can you be specific?

  6. Rick

    If they want to screw each other in the rear end, let them screw each other in the rear end. I think it is pretty weird and kind of gross, but if that is what they want, they should be able to do it. According to the sacred scriptures, man lying with man is an abomination and anyone who practices such a thing will not make it into the Kingdom. If they are willing to take that chance, go for it.

    • Joseph S. Bruder

      Many men screw women “in the read end” – do you consider that a sin too? or gross or weird? A lot of men might disagree with you.

      And you do know, don’t you, that we have freedom of religion in this country, which also means “freedom from religion”, and that it’s irrelevant to the law what the “sacred scriptures” think is an abomination? Gay people pay taxes just like you do, and deserve equal protection under the law.

  7. Bibfy

    Rumor has it many women like this too; perhaps you are less widely experienced….

    More important: do not judge others, lest you face the same judgement.

    You have been weighed. You have been measured. And you come up lacking.

    • Rick

      I have not judged others bibfy, I only said that it grosses me out and I stated what the scriptures have to say about it. The scriptures actually have more to say about it than what I wrote and none of it condones men or woman lying with the same sex.
      Also, I should have said that I don’t think government should be involved in it at all. Government needs to stay out of it just like government needs to stay out of telling us what we can do in other areas. It won’t be long at the rate of moral deterioration that humans will be wanting to marry animals; watch and see! The only reason government would need to be involved in that is because those same humans would insist on getting social security and health insurance from their employer for their wife the sheep or their husband the the horse, or substitute what ever animal you want.

    • Sam

      Your daughter loves it

      • Sam

        Meant for bibfy

        • Bibfy

          Can’t be me, I don’t have a daughter. But nice of y’all to continually. attack family. I guess it’s the best you can do, you certainly can’t put together a cogent argument.

          You should find a nice long rod, and very slowly, stick it up your ass. And then: rotate.

          I thought at some point you folks would stop the third grade crap especially if I answered in kind. Apparently not, you just love shoveling shit. Figures.

          So I’m gonna take a breather for a bit because this stuff is just really stupid. Between your demoncrats, yourccommiecratz, talking about my daughter, talking about my mother, it’s frankly just boring as hell. You couldn’t talk issues if you tried, all you got is bullshit

          Bibfy saying ttfn

          fyi: bibfy = ben is back, fuck you!
          and he means it.

  8. Bibfy

    I think you are gross and weird, but don’t think I am judging you.


    Here’s a buck, buy a clue c

    • Rick

      You are funny bibfy. You know, another thing that you are not considering about the man made climate change thing, is that our sun (the bright shiny thing in the sky during the day) goes through changes. Sometimes it puts out more heat for a period of time, and sometimes it puts out less heat for a period of time. It is not always constant. When the sun puts out less heat for a period of time, say ten years, the earth cools some (global cooling), and when the sun puts out more heat for a period of time, say ten years, we have what is called global warming. That is why the bought and paid for science had to change the name to climate change so that they are right either way. Pretty smart aren’t they.

      • Bibfy

        Wrong thread smart guy.

        • Rick

          I will admit it when you are right. This is the wrong thread. Have a good night.

      • Tom

        Rick, Bifby knows all about climate change and global warming. She is full of hot air. Save your breath. By the way, I did not think your original post in this thread judged anyone. Bifby has accused many of judging others . This is a sign of someone hung up on judgement because they have usually been judged harshly and do tend to judge others. Good post! I agree.

    • Blake

      Leave your sister out of it

  9. Bibfy

    Are you attacking my family accusing them of incest?

    Wakey, wakey, flakey, blakey, you shanty irish whiskey row living lowlife.

    • Tom

      Now who is judging?! Perhaps you should listen to the advice you give others!

      • Bibfy

        Ditto you prudish judgmental fake independent.

  10. KawikaFiveSix

    Islam has been giving Gays and Lesbians free “Flying Lessons” from the tops of tall buildings.
    Disclaimer: One free lesson per customer. Your actual ability to fly is not guaranteed. Lessons on landing properly have been placed permanently on hold until the demand is greater.

    Alternately, the Mozlems just hang them.

    Yet Dhimwit Gays and Leftists will still throw all support to those that want them thrown off a building or hung!

  11. Jimmy F

    There is one absolute bottom line in the LGBTQ+ discussion. LEAVE ALL KIDS OUT OF THE FRAY. Ron Desantis was totally correct for prohibiting educators from influencing early grade school children into believing that they can “figure out” if they need to be a boy or a girl just because they FEEL LIKE IT. There are 100’s of things you shouldn’t let a child do until they turn 18 years old. This needs to be one of them FOREVERMORE. Very bad people have been manipulating our children for the last 50 years. A quick look at our kid’s woeful lack of skills in the writing, the sciences, mathematics and history is ample proof. It’s time to identify and expose ALL the bad actors in the public education system and in our Universities. These people are more dangerous than China or Russia put together because they destroy OUR nation from the inside out. We have been utter fools to let anybody get away with this for so long. Time for a reckoning in 2023-2024. Expect Twitter to be a HUGE help in this war for the souls of our kids. Expect a ton of light to be shined on “grooming”, “wokeness”, and the utterly ridiculous “personal pronouns” garbage in the near future. It’ll be brutal on Twitter for anybody even remotely accused of “grooming” or demanding that everyone be forced to use proper “pronouns”, but ultimately it will be absolutely the best thing we can do as a nation to protect our kids into the next generation. We’ll see, won’t we, in just a few weeks from now. NOBODY is gonna be able to say they weren’t warned and get a pass.

  12. Frank stetson

    I don’t have your answers here but I do know:

    Being gay does not start at age 18 or any special age.

    If you think you were going to hide the concept of gay from your kids until age 18, you’re smoking something.

    If you think your kids won’t be talking to other kids about the concept of being gay before age 18, you are crazy.

    If you think the discussion of gay lifestyles will somehow turn your kids, gay, they were gay anyway.

    If you think the educational discussion of a lifestyles is encouraging your kids to be gay, and I guess the concept of sex education will make all your daughters pregnant.

    The concept of doing nothing and shielding your kids until age 18 is the same concept of sex education to begin with. There was a time when people thought, it’s better not to be discussed until age 18. We know now that’s a bogus concept and hiding the concept of sex makes for more problems than attempting to discuss openly.

    In my opinion, the first question here is, do we tackle this at all. I think, playing deaf, dumb, and blind, does more damage than trying to discuss the topic openly and objectively. Then, the only question is, how do we tackle this, and what setting do we tackle this, and at what age should we tackle this. I do not have the answers there. Obviously, drag queen reading hour is not either the best age or the best setting. But I believe the consensus can, and should be reached. Gone should be the days of learning about this crap on the street corner.

    Like I said, I don’t have the answers, but I do know, pretending it doesn’t exist and setting a magic age of 18 to lift the curtain. He’s probably not even close to the bus answer.

    I also think some sort of tolerance education for different lifestyles should also be part of the curriculum. Based on just a short sample here on punching bag post, there’s a lot of kids out there with a lot of pent-up anger that they seem to want to take out on different minorities, gay people being one of them. Hopefully we can teach people, specially children, a better way than their parents. In this regard.

    • larry Horist

      Frank Stetson … You have set up a false argument. I do no see any effort to keep gayness a secret until a person is 18. The issue is how or whether it should be part of public education before the fourth grade — or when kids are in the 8 to 10 age group. That is 8 TO 10, no 18. I also think it should be handled at home and not as a matter of curriculum. Of course, instances of bullying or insults can be handled as a general policy — no matter the form of the bullying. Traditionally, students are introduced to sexual biology in the 7th and 8th grades — as puberty becomes a personal issue. But it is all about biology without emphasis on sexual preferences and practices. We have to remember that public schools are not the only source of educational information on the subject of sexuality, Parents play a significant role — and society in general is an educator through church, news, television shows and movies. There is always an element of peer-to-peer education. Schools should stick to basic biology and keep away for the politics of sex.

      In answer to your earlier question, i have had gays involved as my life as family, friends, bosses, employees and vendors — even a gay priest friend in my college days. As a Republican, I have participated in Log Cabin Republican events. In my civic activates, I have appointed gays to various positions and offices — and have established advocacy operations supporting gay rights at a time they were denied almost every constitutional right of speech,, assembly, employment, housing, etc. I would dare say that your involvement with the gay community — and gay individuals — pales compared to mine.

      As an anecdote … When a gay couple friend were over for dinner, there was some talk of their being gay. Our son — who was around 10 or 11 was present. He knew them, but may not have thought of them as gay. So after they left, I asked my son what he thought. He shrugged his shoulders and said “Everyone on Will and Grace is gay.”

      I am very supportive of gay rights and gay marriage, but that does not mean I support all aspects of the LBGTQ++++++ community. I certainty do not approve of the introduction of gay sexual life styles at early grades any more than I support introducing heterosexuality in terms of practices and life styles. I do not approve of trans men in women’s sports.