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Did Brokeback Mountain inspire Anthony Kennedy’s majority opinion legalizing gay ‘marriage’?

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WASHINGTON D.C., December 18, 2018 (LifeSiteNews) – Among the 25 “culturally, historically or aesthetically significant” movies selected this year by the Library of Congress for inclusion in its National Film Registry is the homosexual-themed Brokeback Mountain.

While popularly identified as “the first gay-themed film to cross over into mainstream culture,” Brokeback Mountain has proven to have been a significant milepost in the steady advancement of gay ideology while simultaneously serving to erode the understanding of man, woman, marriage, family, and sexuality which every religion and culture around the world had embraced for millennia.

“The National Film Registry turns 30 this year and for those three decades, we have been recognizing, celebrating and preserving this distinctive medium,” said Librarian of Congress Carla Hayden in a press release. “These cinematic treasures must be protected because they document our history, culture, hopes and dreams.”

Pursuing homosexuality ‘despite marriages and parenthood’

The movie, starring Heath Ledger and Jake Gyllenhaal, depicts a “secret and tragic love affair between two closeted gay ranch hands,” according to a description provided by the Library of Congress. “They furtively pursue a 20-year relationship despite marriages and parenthood.”

The Library of Congress description continues:

Annie Proulx, the Pulitzer Prize-winning author of the short story upon which the film was based, described it as “a story of destructive rural homophobia.” Haunting in its unsentimental depiction of longing, lonesomeness, pretense, sexual repression and ultimately love, “Brokeback Mountain” features Heath Ledger's remarkable performance that conveys a lifetime of self-torment through a pained demeanor, near inarticulate speech and constricted, lugubrious movements.

But was Brokeback Mountain really a romantic movie about “longing, lonesomeness, pretense, sexual repression and ultimately love,” or was it about two men who repeatedly went to great lengths – always putting their marriages and families way, way on the back burner – in order to engage in homosexual acts?

And the “lifetime of self-torment through a pained demeanor, near inarticulate speech and constricted, lugubrious movements,” portrayed by Ledger was as much about a man suffering over the unraveling of his marriage and family as it was over his inner conflict, succumbing to homosexual urges.  

Popular culture tends to reduce this movie to its lowest common denominators – gay sex and gay romance denied – but Director Ang Lee’s interpretation of author Annie Proulx’s short story, when all is said and done, is about tragedy engulfing two men, their wives, and their children because they indulged their disordered compulsions.  

Brokeback Mountain stands as a pivotal moment because of the impact it had on the American public, and perhaps, on U.S. Supreme Court justices.

The 2005 movie introduced homosexuality to mainstream movie goers in a way that it gained sympathy for homosexuals as victims of “homophobia.”  

But the Ledger and Gyllenhaal characters weren’t victims; their wives and children were.  The two men were actually aggressive in their disregard for those for whom they should’ve cared for more than themselves.  

They two were portrayed as victims, nonetheless, because for nearly three decades victimhood has been foundational to the quest for ever-expanding gay – and now transgender – rights.  

Deep echoes of this are visible in the majority opinion penned by Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy in the Obergefell v. Hodges case, which made same-sex “marriage” the law of the land in the United States.  

It’s almost as if the former Supreme Court Justice were seeking to right the perceived wrongs displayed in the movie Brokeback Mountain.

Kennedy, who cast the deciding vote in 1992’s Lawrence v. Texas case, which struck down sodomy laws, wrote in Obergefell, “Outlaw to outcast may be a step forward, but it does not achieve the full promise of liberty.”      

“Marriage responds to the universal fear that a lonely person might call out only to find no one there,” continued Kennedy, writing for the majority, essentially describing the final moments of Brokeback Mountain. “It would misunderstand these men and women to say they disrespect the idea of marriage. Their plea is that they do respect it, respect it so deeply that they seek to find its fulfillment for themselves.”

During the movie, the Gyllenhaal character suggests that the two men could start a life together running their own ranch, which Ledger’s character dismisses as an impossible dream. Although it is unsaid explicitly, the audience is left to believe that this is due to “rural homophobia,” and more generally attributable to our “heterocentric” society where all gays are victimized if not condemned.  

“Their hope is not to be condemned to live in loneliness, excluded from one of civilization’s oldest institutions,” concluded Kennedy in his opinion. “They ask for equal dignity in the eyes of the law. The Constitution grants them that right.”

Since the Obergefell ruling, I have wondered if Justice Kennedy saw Brokeback Mountain, and if so, whether his sympathy would have been for the abandoned wives and children, or solely for the men with disordered sexuality.

Neither of the men at the center of Brokeback Mountain were alone. They had wives. They had children. Their problem wasn’t that they had been denied companionship; their problem was they repeatedly indulged in depraved sexual acts.   

As the Library of Congress observes, the two men “furtively pursue a 20-year relationship despite marriages and parenthood” (italics added).



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Doug Mainwaring

Doug Mainwaring is a journalist for LifeSiteNews, an author, and a marriage, family and children's rights activist.  He has testified before the United States Congress and state legislative bodies, originated and co-authored amicus briefs for the United States Supreme Court, and has been a guest on numerous TV and radio programs.  Doug and his family live in the Washington, DC suburbs.