There have been a lot of stories lately about hate-crime hoaxes that gay rights advocates have perpetrated. Just to list a few examples, there was the waitress who falsely claimed that a receipt included a scathing gay insult along with a refusal to tip; there was the radio station that doctored an invitation to make it appear parents refused to let their child socialize with a child from a same-sex parent home; there was the massive hate-crime hoax at Oberlin, which apparently was suddenly overrun by racist, homophobic, antisemites; and, most recently, there was the transgender student at a California high school who falsely alleged a hate crime.
In addition, there’s also a trend to paint every long-dead famous person as gay. Lincoln was gay, we’re told (he shared a bed with his business partner when they traveled through the backwoods, a common practice at the time); Norman Rockwell was gay, we’re told (he painted pictures of little boys); Florence Nightingale was gay, we’re told (she never married). There’s no proof for any of this, of course. Just supposition and hope.
Given that many gay rights activists don’t feel they owe any fealty to the truth, I’m suspicious of the newest uncorroborated story advancing the gay rights agenda. This one, though, isn’t a story about hate. It’s allegedly a story about love: Grant Rehnberg, a gay young man, claims that, shortly before dying, his 90-year-old Baptist minister grandfather, James, who had been married for 65 years, confessed that his entire life had been a lie, that he was gay, and that a friend from his youth was his true love. Grant has now put together an art installation — and is looking for funding — celebrating his gay grandfather (and shredding the Bible he alleges that James gave him when he was a boy).
There’s no doubt that Grant’s story could be true. Gay people have for centuries sublimated their desires to live mainstream lives. Just last month, I linked to a post about a gay Mormon man who has made the conscious decision (with his wife’s agreement) to live a heterosexual life. He believes that the rewards of that life exceed that transient pleasures of gay sex.
There’s also no doubt that Grant’s story could be a bald-faced lie. Right now, these lies tend too often to be the stock in trade for gay rights advocates — and that’s a shame. When your cohort cries “wolf” once too often, no one will believe you anymore. The coin of your realm has been debased, making everything suspect.
Given the rush of cheap lies and dishonest speculation, why in the world should anyone believe an unverified statement about gay love or gay hate without independent proof and investigation to support those claims? If Grant is telling the truth, his grandfather’s life story and decisions are certainly worth examining and understanding. If he’s telling a lie, though, he ought to be ashamed of himself for painting a false picture of a dead man. It would therefore be interesting to hear what other friends and family members have to say about James Rehnberg’s life and love[s].