By: Scot Bear
Re: Re: Deviate of a Different Color
By Patricia Nell Warren (WildcatPrs@AOL.COM)
January 26, 1996
NEWS YOU DIDN'T SEE ON TV - A DEVIATE OF A DIFFERENT COLOR
By Patricia Nell Warren
In a recent issue of the Colorado Springs Gazette News,
the executive chairman of Colorado for Family Values, Will
Perkins, was going off on homosexuals in his usual manner.
What fascinated me about Perkins' remarks was that he characterized
heterosexual adultery as one of several "heterosexual deviances."
Today the nation's media shudders with controversy about
homosexuals. Thanks to cultural, religious and medical prejudices,
homosexuals have been labeled "deviants" since sometime
in the 19th century. But gosh, I don't recall seeing any
religious-right leaders being as wrathful about "deviant
heterosexual adultery" as they are about "homosexual deviance".
Yet the Bible condemns homosexuality and adultery with
equal ire -- it demands death for both "offenses."
This is a very illuminating thing to think about. It
means that the religious right are soft on heterosexual
As an American who wants to stay informed, I listen to
religious-right radio, and visit some of the major RR sites
online. But I never see the religious right campaigning
for the death penalty for heterosexual adulterers. No signs
at demonstrations reading DEATH TO ADULTERERS, though you
see plenty of DEATH TO HOMOS signs around.
In California, Sen. Rob Hurtt, who is in the pocket of
the RR, has said he will move to reinstate the old sodomy
penalties of the state, which included -- as many will recall
-- castration and lobotomy for homosexuals. Similar legislative
moves are being made in other states. But gee, I never
see the RR legislators or lobbyists advocating similar treatment
Nor do adulterous heterosexual deviants get routinely
incarcerated in mental hospitals, as homosexuals have been
-- complete with shock treatment,forced sexual re-programming
and the gamut of "therapy." We never see RR leaders or
legislators wanting to bar these awful adulterous deviants
from teaching in public schools, or fair treatment in employment,
benefits and housing, or holding government office.
Amidst the throes of the same-sex-marriage controversy,
all heterosesual adulterous deviants have access to the
rights and joys of marriage, whereas homosexuals who wouldn't
dream of stepping out on their partners cannot legally
marry. A few states still have adultery laws, but almost
never enforce them. Under U.S. law, adulterers get to mess
around with impunity,divorce and remarry again and again
without a care in the world. No Jesse Helms rants in Congress
to deny federal funding to any state or school district
that is soft on heterosexual adulterers.
Perkins brings up the old RR terror of homosexuals endangering
morale in the armed forces. As a matter of fact, our U.S.
military are just as soft on heterosexual adulterous deviants.
Today's U.S. military law still makes adultery a criminal
offense. Yet in practice these horrible "heterosexual deviants"
whose deaths are mandated by Biblical law are not deemed
a threat to red-blooded military morale. There's no ridiculous
"don't ask, don't tell" for adulterers -- in fact, some
military men get macho points with their buddies for bragging
about two-timing their wives.
Men and women who routinely violate the regulations on
adultery never do serious time in military prison, as did
my gay friend Larry Meholick, who did five years, including
some time in solitary. Nor are adulterers hounded by military
interrogators, and drummed out of the service with dishonorable
discharges. A flagrant adulterer can still have high security
clearance,enjoy thetrust of the U.S. government in war time,
and every kind of social perk that is denied to uniformed
I wonder why the religious right are so soft on adultery.
Possibly it's because they'd have to kill half the country,
in order to enforce this kind of "family values."
Another little problem is pastors in the religious-right
movement who have committed adultery. I have listened to
talk shows where pastors openly discussed their extramarital
heterosexual relationships, their divorces, etc. But nobody
is taking away these pastors' lives or civil rights because
of their confessed deviance. Compared to the horrors that
the average homosexual has to live through, including gay-bashing,
these heterosexual deviant pastors get emotional support,
cushy therapy programs -- in short, a slap on the wrist.
Newscasts never tell us of adulterous pastors being adultery-bashed
on the street by angry heterosexuals who are hell-bent on
enforcing Biblical law by the vigilante method.
There are political reasons too. Lots of presently
unchurched adulterous heterosexual deviants are potential
church-joiners and money-givers to the religious-right cause.
A Bible-style crackdown on adultery would alienate too
many people who might go to the polls later this year, and
vote the religious-right way. Heterosexual deviants might
be the swing vote that puts an ultra-right-wing President
in the White House. Whereas the RR feel they can dispense
with the homosexual vote. After all, it is only (according
to them) less than one percent of the population.
It seems to me that the religious right's position on
heterosexual adulterous deviance is glaringly inconsistent
with what the Bible teaches. The inconsistency also reveals
that religious extremism has much to do with controlling
other people's lives -- and little to do with the "word
Perhaps if the same massive machine of hateful feeling
and wrathful law were to start crushing legions of adulterous
American heterosexuals like so many insects, they would
wake to the danger of legislating Biblical belief into
20th century American life.
* (Patricia Nell Warren wrote "The Front Runner," "Harlan's
Race" and other bestselling novels about gay life. She lives
in Los Angeles, where she serves on the Gay & Lesbian Education
Commission of the Los Angeles Unified School District.
Her publisher is Wildcat Press. Visit her Web page at
* (Copyright 1996 by Patricia Nell Warren. May be cross-posted
on the Internet. All other rights reserved. For reprinting
by print media, contact Wildcat Press at wildcatprs.aol.com
or call 213/936-3666 for permission.)