As the federal 3-judge panel in Philadelphia nears its decision on the Communications Decency Act, I wonder how some of the more sanctimonious web sites plan to duck the flying bullets of Justice Department prosecution if the CDA is okayed by the courts.
Recently GLAAD distributed a list of URLS where racists and religious extremists are posting anti-homosexual rants. I checked them out, and was fascinated by the luridness of some. Naturally these orgs tend to view anything gay as "pornographic" and "immoral". But, in their urge to make their enemies look bad, some anti-pornographers themselves step into what the courts might view as a purveyance of porn.
These anti-gay postings break new ground in their fervor to "document" the alleged nastiness and immorality of gay people. Naturally the sites are accessible to minors, since it is supposedly very moral and uplifting for a kid to visit these sites.
Among the churchy sites, the Pro-Life Activist's Encyclopedia is a stand-out, published by the American Life League. These people blame homosexuals for abortion. Author Brian Clowes has left no stone unturned in his search for dirt -- a number of lengthy chapters detail gay and lesbian sex acts. He prefaces this material with the warning that it is "extremely offensive" -- virtually the same language that the CDA uses to outlaw "patently offensive" postings. Any youngster who has ever been curious about "what gays do" can certainly find out from the Encyclopedia.
The Encyl even provides helpful information on how to do the gerbil thing -- for those of us who naively believed that it was either a myth or logistically impossible. As the author of The Front Runner I've spend many years keeping up on what gay men do. But I never yet met one who did the gerbil thing and lived. And all along, the American Life League had the inside story! Go figure.
With church orgs giving gay sex such a high profile, who needs the neighborhood BBS?
Doubtless the anti-gay ranters believe that their lush descriptions will terrify youthful cruisers of the Internet away from trying queer sex. But I never trembled for our venturesome teenagers so much as now, with a religious organization telling them how to turn live rodents into sex toys. Gerbiling might become to the Millennium generation what panty raids were to my own.
These sites offer new food for thought on the double standards of radical righters who support the Communications Decency Act. One wonders how our courts can condemn "obscenity" in the Safer Sex Page or Stop Prison Rape, if this sanctimonious smut is to go on flaunting itself without a digital fig-leaf?
Indeed, if our true-blue Justice Department shuts down all the gay-owned sex pages out there, anti-gay porn might become the hottest thing in cyberspace.