Pat Boone Compares Mumbai Terror to U.S. Gay Protests
In a column posted to a right-wing Wed publication, Pat Boone--once a super-star recording artist--compared the peaceful anti-Prop. 8 demonstrations that took place across America last month with the terrorist attack that left more than 170 dead in Mumbai.
Boone’s article appeared on Dec. 6 at WorldNetDaily, and began by describing the carnage wrought by terrorists thought to be Pakistani in origin.
"Suddenly, hundreds of innocent, unsuspecting people are hostages, some of them being systematically murdered," Boone wrote.
"Bombs are exploding, people are screaming, military are descending into the chaos, TV crews are coming from everywhere to broadcast the carnage worldwide."
Boone wrote that it is posited that the terrorists were Islamic fundamentalists who were dispatched to kill "infidels," then shifted to America and the anti-Prop. 8 demonstrations that have occurred in 300 cities around the country since California voters approved an amendment to that state’s constitution revoking the exiting right of gay and lesbian families to enter into marriage.
Though the demonstrations have been overwhelmingly peaceful, a handful of incidents--most of them taking place apart from the anti-Prop. 8 protests--have been seized upon by religious and social conservatives as emblematic of the anti-Prop. 8 movement.
Referring to these incidents, Boone wrote, "Are you unaware of the raging demonstrations in our streets, in front of our churches and synagogues, even spilling into these places of worship, and many of these riots turning defamatory and violent?"
Continued the singer’s article, "Have you not seen the angry distorted faces of the rioters, seen their derogatory and threatening placards and signs, heard their vows to overturn the democratically expressed views of voters, no matter what it costs, no matter what was expressed at the polls?"
Boone’s article went on, "You haven’t heard about the well-oiled campaign to find out the names of every voter and business that contributed as much as $1,000, or even much less, in support of Prop 8?
"You haven’t heard about the announced plans to boycott, demonstrate, intimidate and threaten each one--because they dared to vote to retain marriage as between one man and one woman?
"You haven’t seen, on the evening news, prominent entertainers and even California Gov. Schwarzenegger, urging the demonstrators on, telling them they should ’never give up’ until they get their way?"
Added Boone, "Assuming you have become aware of all this, let me ask you: Have you not seen the awful similarity between what happened in Mumbai and what’s happening right now in our cities?"
Ceding that the terrorist attack in Mumbai left a grand hotel severely damaged and smoldering, with a high body count, whereas in America nothing of the sort has happened, Boone wrote, "I’m referring to the anger, the vehemence, the total disregard for law and order and the supposed rights of their fellow citizens.
"I’m referring to the intolerance, the hate seething in the words, faces and actions of those who didn’t get their way in a democratic election, and who proclaim loudly that they will get their way, no matter what the electorate wants!"
Added Boone, "Hate is hate, no matter where it erupts. And hate, unbridled, will eventually and inevitably boil into violence."
Denying that marriage is a civil right, Boone wrote, "Every homosexual citizen has the same, identical rights as any other American."
Added the singer, "The Constitution says nothing about marriage, and shouldn’t. Marriage is not a governmental creation; it is a time honored and biblically ordained institution that is subject not to the government but to the will of the people."
Outside of a religious context, marriage is regarded by most legal experts to be a contract entered into by two people, which carries with it a host of legal rights and obligations that are defined and administered by the state.
Boone acknowledged that governments offer certain privileges and rights to married couples, but insisted that marriage itself is not a right to be won by those to whom it is denied.
Wrote Boone, "No ’rights’ were ever granted to citizens on the basis of their sexual habits or lifestyle.
"There simply are no such ’rights.’"
The singer claimed that the insistence of gay and lesbian Americans on the right to family life and family parity constituted "hedonism" and "blind selfishness," writing, "What troubles me so deeply, and should trouble all thinking Americans, is that there is a real, unbroken line between the jihadist savagery in Mumbai and the hedonistic, irresponsible, blindly selfish goals and tactics of our homegrown sexual jihadists."
On Dec. 9, The Human Rights Campaign issued a release in response to Boone’s likening of gay and lesbian Americans to the terrorists behind the attack on Mumbai.
Said HRC president Joe Solmonese in the release, "Pat Boone wouldn’t normally warrant a second thought, even if his only claim to fame these days is his unabashed homophobia, but his disturbing commentary on this right-wing site can’t go unanswered.
Continued Solmonese, "His commentary marks a new low in anti-gay rhetoric.
"And yet it also demonstrates the depths of hatred from these demagogues toward the LGBT community."
Continued Solmonese, "Most Americans would be shocked to see this level of vitriol coming from someone who presented himself as America’s sweetheart."
Solmonese added, "Bigots like Boone will never see how absurd their arguments are, but just like that other anti-gay icon from the 70s, Anita Bryant, Pat Boone’s screed actually helps our efforts for equality.
"In most places in America today it isn’t acceptable to be an outright bigot," continued Solmonese.
"Obviously, Pat Boone hasn’t got that memo."