AS HIS LETTER OF REPLY shows (The Mail, 9/3), Peter LaBarbera’s brand of dislike for homosexuals is more troubling than the more blunt form common among “fundamentalists,” with whom he claims to be lumped. Clearly, he is different. All they have in common, it seems, is that weird logic which allows you to fight against a person’s basic rights and yet claim that this is not a species of hate. But his letter makes clear that LaBarbera has mastered the insouciant, impartial cadence of the tolerant.
His mastery of the style should not hide the weirdness of his enterprise. Why is he obsessed enough with this issue to make it his full-time occupation? The type of person that can write ironic, cheeky letters (“One waits and waits”) usually has enough diversity of mind to make such a dogged focus on one issue seem tedious. This makes me suspect that LaBarbera is not what his style portrays. His real enterprise seems, like so many who fight directly and indirectly against gay rights, a kind of grand working-out of a personal dislike for the idea of two men or two women loving each other in all ways.
What I’m saying at base is that LaBarbera’s activities are transparent, except perhaps for the conservative elements that fund him. Thus, more than anything, it’s odd that he doesn’t find his own pretense embarrassing.