Separated at birth?
On the left, “Dr.” Marcus Bachmann, spouse of a certain US Republican presidential aspirant, and professional homophobe who always sets my gaydar bleeping. On the right, John Wayne Gacy, psychopath, serial killer of young men and repressed homosexual.
No respectable, accredited psychologist or psychiatrist would call homosexuality a disease, much less attempt to cure it. But “Dr.” Bachmann is not a respectable, accredited physician or psychotherapist. And he says LGBT people are “barbarians”, and he claims it can all be cured by prayer. Never mind that there has never been even one successful conversion from gay to straight; his racket is to try to pray away the gay. For pay, natch.
John Wayne Gacy was, on the surface of things, a fine, upstanding, conservative citizen who lived in the suburbs of Chicago, in a lovely house, complete with a lovely wife. But this heterosexual existence was one big closet, and in the crawl-space underneath it, the bodies of several young men were rotting and seething with maggots. Turns out that Mr. Gacy also was trying to cure the gay, but by projecting his own tendencies onto various young men he’d lured into his house, sexually assaulted, and then strangled to death with a rope. Since Gacy was a volunteer clown who entertained kids in his “respectable” day life, he gave his murderous modus operandi a cute, clownish name: the “rope trick”. In this way, he kept trying, unsuccessfully, to cure himself of his desire for same-sex love, which he had been taught, in true religious-right fashion, to regard as sinful and worthy of death. Only, since he couldn’t admit it in himself, because that would have meant death for him, he had to project it onto someone else, someone young and trusting and vulnerable (though not necessarily gay). That other someone became his scapegoat. He kept repeating this pattern, over and over and over again. Yet it never cured him of the gay. But he kept on doing it until finally, the FBI caught up to him. The day he was taken into custody was the day it finally stopped. His final victim count: 33 men.
33 young, potentially productive lives, lost to a psychopath who thought he could kill his own homosexuality by doing away with them.
The practical definition of insanity, some say, is to make the same mistake over and over again, expecting to get it right the next time. Both men, you might say, meet that definition. The one keeps trying, unsuccessfully, to cure the gay; the other kept trying, unsuccessfully, to kill it.
Now, I’m not suggesting that Marcus Bachmann is a serial killer (although his brutish remarks lead me to believe that he does, at the very least, have some sociopathic tendencies). But his likeness to John Wayne Gacy, in looks and attitude, is pretty scary, no? And as long as no one stops him, like Gacy, he’s gonna go right on doing it. And messing up lives, much in the same way “Dr.” George Rekers messed up young Kirk Murphy, who later killed himself.
The practical definition of an insane society is one that permits this sort of thing to happen, over and over and over again, and never does anything about it, never learns anything from it, and never tries to stop it.