The conversion of the Los Angeles Gay Pride march into the anti-Trump “#ResistMarch” on Sunday marked the effective end of the gay rights movement.
Once, the gay rights movement stood for tolerance: hence the rainbow flag, which is a symbol not only of pride but also of acceptance. But the message on Sunday was that lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer (LGBTQ) conservatives are unwelcome in that spectrum — and are, in fact, aiding the enemy.
The purpose of Gay Pride parades, in L.A. and elsewhere, has historically been to create an environment into which LGBTQ individuals could “come out of the closet” and express their sexuality without fear of persecution.
But the complete transformation of the gay rights movement into a one-sided political monolith has created an environment profoundly hostile to gay conservatives. The gay rights movement has destroyed one closet, only to build another.
Aside from the totalitarian, quasi-fascist mentality of some of the movement’s leaders — which was on full display in the screeching speeches from the front of the march on Sunday — there are two other reasons for the gay rights movement’s transformation from a force for liberation into a tool for repression.
One is that the movement has run out of great causes for which to fight. With the Supreme Court’s June 2015 discovery of a right to gay marriage in the U.S. Constitution, the gay rights movement has little left to achieve. It has poured energy and resources into the new cause of transgender rights, but that is a deeply complicated issue that affects a tiny percentage of Americans.
The other reason the gay rights movement appears to have adopted a one-sided political approach is that its leaders seem to think that they simply do not need Republican support. Although Americans, and Republicans in particular, have been increasingly tolerant toward the LGBTQ community — with Donald Trump specifically name-checking the movement at the 2016 Republican National Convention — the gay rights movement has generally preferred to fight its cause in the courts rather than appealing to the goodwill of voters.
That strategy has largely worked, and the lesson the movement and its leaders appear to have drawn is that they can dispense with Republicans as allies.
But it is one thing to ignore Republicans, and quite another to declare war on them. The leaders of L.A. Pride made a conscious decision to turn their annual celebration into a Democratic Party rally, adopting the rhetoric of the far-left “Resistance.” There was not even a perfunctory gesture at bipartisanship. The battle lines were sharply drawn, with even “our love, and our music, and our joy” denied to people who might vote for the opposing political party.
The #ResistMarch willingly cast aside the idea of standing up for LGBTQ people of all political backgrounds. In so doing, it effectively declared the gay rights movement over. Gay Pride is no longer about pride: it is about the mobilization of popular culture for partisan purposes, with LGBTQ conservatives shoved behind the closet door.
Joel B. Pollak is Senior Editor-at-Large at Breitbart News. He was named one of the “most influential” people in news media in 2016. He is the co-author of How Trump Won: The Inside Story of a Revolution, is available from Regnery. Follow him on Twitter at @joelpollak.
This post has been corrected for typographical errors.