The fight for gay rights is won and other commentary

From the left: The Fight for Gay Rights Is Over

“Every day seems to bring welcome examples of how Americans are ­becoming more relaxed about sexual orientation,” James Kirchick observes at The Atlantic. Coming out is no longer the agonizing experience it was when Kirchick did it, hate crimes are down dramatically and on TV “one cannot change the channel without coming across prominent lesbian and gay characters.” So why are activists “hesitant to exult in their victories”? Judging by the activists’ rhetoric, you’d think “the situation has actually never been worse.” They exaggerate the Trump administration’s hostility to gay people, persecute religious dissenters from gay marriage and fan “the flames of hysteria to scare donors into opening their wallets.” Maybe it’s because, for those accustomed to crusading “against government discrimination . . . victimhood is too essential an identity to be so easily discarded.”

Conservative: Dems Open Up About Open Borders

Last week’s Democratic presidential debate saw “a majority of the Democratic field and all of its frontrunners” come out for more or less open borders, notes The Washington Examiner’s Byron York. Julian Castro started the trend Wednesday by proposing to decriminalize border crossings, a shift that, York observes, “could turn US border enforcement upside down,” Thursday’s ­debaters then unanimously supported health care for illegals, “thought to be about 11 million people.” The combination of these two changes would “greatly increase the already-high number of border-crossers and the inducement for more to come.” Expect these extreme stances to only grow more popular among the candidates as primary voting nears: “After all, it is just the first debate in a long race.”

Terror watch: Shame on Antifa’s Apologists

The hard left’s ideology isn’t popular at the ballot box, “so they must resort to caustic measures of their own to literally beat the right,” warns Raheem Kassam at Human Events. Witness the group Antifa, which over the weekend physically assaulted the journalist Andy Ngo in Portland, Ore., sending him to the hospital. (A column by Ngo appears nearby.) Despite Antifa’s history of violence, “Democratic candidates, their fellow travelers in the media and international politicians of the left have long attempted to defend” the group — from former Rep. Keith Ellison, “who endorsed the Antifa handbook which encourages ‘militant’ behavior,” to CNN’s Don Lemon and The Nation magazine’s Natasha Lennard, who’ve both offered apologia. “Given what happened to Ngo,” writes Kassam, “it is time they were all shamed.”

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Religion beat: A New Patron Saint for America

Amid its multiplying scandals, the US Catholic Church badly needs a silver lining, “and an American priest on his way to canonization could bring just that,” writes The Catholic Herald’s Aaron ­Benavides. That would be Fr. Augustus Tolton, “the first African-American priest of the Catholic Church” who was recently “granted the ­title ‘venerable,’ moving along his cause” for sainthood. Born a slave in Missouri in 1854, Tolton fled north with his family as a child and was drawn to the Mass from an early age. When US seminaries barred him on account of his race, Tolton went to Rome to study and was ordained in 1886. With this background, Benavides suggests, Tolton would make the perfect US saint, his story ­“emblematic of the American Dream.”

Culture critic: Let’s Memory-Hole ‘1984’

In The Spectator, Will Lloyd asks: “Is there a literary cliché more dull than saying” of an old book that it is “as relevant today as it was when it was written?” No work gets that treatment more frequently than George Orwell’s “1984,” which marks its 70th anniversary this summer. Yet few remember it as a novel for its characters and plot but for tired themes such as “doublethink” and “Big Brother.” “These ideas have been applied to everything and anything, usually under the shade of the adjectival umbrella of ‘Orwellian,’ ” sighs Lloyd. “Orwellian simply means bad. A long queue at an airport is Orwellian. China’s social-credit system is Orwellian. Kellyanne Conway gassing on cable news, oh yes, that, too, is Orwellian.” In short: “It is a novel with the meaning drained out, leaving behind an empty lake with no fish left in it.”

— Compiled by Sohrab Ahmari & Ashley Allen

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