Tuesday, May 18, 2010

The impending demise of the Independent Gay Forum

Battered by financial losses, mainstream newspapers are dropping like flies, It is no surprise that some gay periodicals are failing as well. The Guide was a radical paper based in Boston; it moved to Canada, but the change did not save it. The Chicago Free Press is closing up shop. In the nation’s capital, the DC Blade died last year. Then it was resurrected, but for how long?

Generally, one does not expect online sites to suffer the same fate, since they are much cheaper to run and maintain. Still, this carnage seems to be looming.

Facing dissolution (or so I am told). the Independent Gay Forum (www.indegayforum.org) or IGF advertises itself as “reporting on gay issues within the libertarian paradigm.” This description is not altogether accurate. All too often, genuine libertarian perspectives have tended to be overladen with heavy doses of social conservatism.

The defining issue of the group was gay marriage. Some like myself (I was a marginal associate of IGF), who supported the cause of gay marriage, hold that same-sex marriage is an amenity that should be available to those seek it. But we perceive no grand, metaphysical rewards in the achievement of this goal. Above all there must be no pressure for gay men and lesbians to assume the marital state. That should be an option, not a requirement.

Others, who formed the social-conservative wing of IGF, had a much grander, almost metaphysical goal in mind. They supported gay marriage as part of a broader campaign to rescue our society from impending social disintegration. These folks claimed, not unreasonably from their point of view, that gay marriage was actually a conservative issue.

Yet behind these arguments there lurked the repressive view that gay men needed to be tamed, to be enclosed within social bonds that would limit their horrifying tendency to promiscuity. In this way a new line was drawn between the decent sheep and the recalcitrant goats--between those who dutifully accepted the demand to live constrained lines of monogamy and the dangerous social experimenters. What a disgrace! With the goal posts moved, this was just a replication of the old distinction between heterosexuality (good) and homosexuality (bad).

Politically, the Independent Gay Forum claimed to be advancing a “nonleft” view. In fact, this stance meant an almost perverse loyalty to the Republican Party. Most of the adepts of the group (which drew its strength from the more clandestine Internet listserve, BQ-Friends) were fervent supporters of our disastrous intervention in Iraq. In a word, they were Bushbots. They even preferred to look the other way when Iraqi death squads, flourishing in the turmoil unleashed by the American invasion, began to murder gay men in droves.

So the time has been called for the Independent Gay Forum. I would say that that is appropriate.



Blogger Burk said...

But goal posts with a point, in terms of social stability, social services foregone by couples who take care of each other, reduced disease transmission, and general happiness. Optional by all means, but social pressure to marry for gays would be highly beneficial for gays, for gay culture, and for society at large. There is a place for freedom and debauchery, but there is also a large place for stability and long-term happiness. Every study shows large health benefits to married couples.

2:08 PM  
Blogger Dyneslines said...

You have made the case for the taming theory, BB. Yet the question remains: does it accord with the professed libertarian ideals of the IGF?

2:39 PM  

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