Plenty of seemingly unemployable people manage to make decent livings even though they're consistently wrong. For example: economists (the recession we didn't see coming is now over), football experts (the Patriots are a lock to win the Super Bowl), and political pollsters (Libby Mitchell will be Maine's next governor).
But there's one group that makes even those purveyors of clunkheadedness-for-cash seem visionary:
For two decades, these seers of sexuality have pondered their homophobic horoscopes and discovered impending disasters that never came to pass.
During legislative debate in 1989, state Senator Dennis Dutremble of Biddeford warned, "Nobody knows what problems [granting civil rights to gay men and lesbians] could cause in the future."
I do. None.
Jasper Wyman, then executive director of the Christian Civic League of Maine, offered up a three-spot of erroneous gay-rights predictions in 1991:
-"If the bill becomes law, private institutions, including churches, will have fewer legal protections in teaching children under their charge the values those institutions embrace." (The Record, March, 1991.)
-"If this bill should become law, it will open a veritable Pandora's box of legal complexities and uncertainties." (legislative testimony, March 14, 1991.)
-"Some people will go to jail rather than suspend their religious beliefs." (Bangor Daily News, March 15, 1991.)
Not true, false, and ridiculous.
At least Wyman was polite. The anonymous group "Straight PAC" distributed a flyer in '91 that claimed outlawing discrimination based on sexual orientation would lead to children being exposed to "Gay Bowel Syndrome" and allow convicted child molesters to work in day-care centers. The following year, Deane Stevens, a member of the group fighting a Portland rights ordinance, told the Portland Press Herald, "I think the big thing is health, and that's the big thing they seem to think about. Sex, sex, sex -- they're obsessed with it."
We need a law denying rights to anyone with a prescription for Viagra.
During a 1992 public hearing on ending bias in the Portland school system, Elizabeth Stevens (Deane's opposite-sex wife) announced, "[Gays] do not have children. What better place to recruit than the school system."
That's why so many school kids today are queer.
According to another anonymous flyer distributed in October 1992, gays want to "repeal all state laws governing the age of sexual consent."
Must have missed that bill in the Legislature.
In 1993, Jonathan Malamude of Concerned Maine Families held a news conference to proclaim that a civil-rights law "means that the authorities will want to know your sexual preference -- from childhood if possible."
When I was 6, I didn't like girls at all.
Malamude's pal Carolyn Cosby is quoted in the August 23, 1994, Bangor paper as saying gay rights "means we are protecting sexual fantasies someone claims to have."
Good thing, too, or else my wife would find out what goes through my mind when I watch Meredith Vieira on Today.
In 1995, Cosby told Maine Times, "If you make sexual orientation a special classification in Maine, minority block grants would be extended to gay-owned businesses." During a debate that year in Lewiston, she warned, "If we don't stop gay rights, it's . . . going to hurt your elderly fathers and mothers and disadvantaged minorities."