". . . and having done all . . . stand firm." Eph. 6:13


Pandering to LGBT Activists Just Blew Up in This Politician’s Face

March 7, 2024

The Bible teaches that sin harms all who take part in it. Three politicians who attempted to force taxpayers to fund an LGBT center that hosts drag shows for children, BDSM session for sadists, and promotes events hosted by the Communist Party’s youth league are learning this scriptural principle. But their response to the self-inflicted controversy shows they have not learned very much.

The story began last year, when Rep. Brendan Boyle (D-Pa.) tried to add an earmark to the federal transportation bill for the William Way LGBT Community Center, a place Philadelphia residents refer to as “WayGay.” As it turns out, the center is a cultural Marxist meeting place, where hammers and sickles meet whips and chains — often in view of minors.

Among its many outrages, WayGay held an underage drag show for children as young as 11. The Philadelphia Gay News reported:

“A bearded man in studded leather platform boots approaches and begins to apply make-up to the face of a little boy.

“This is Esai, and he is 11 years old. According to his mother, Dre, he has been sneaking her heels into his bedroom since he was much younger. Dre is a drag performer herself, having produced another drag show by the name of “Fierce” — the only queer burlesque festival in the world. She also produced the first non–gender binary talent show for kids, ‘Twinkle.’ … Esai’s birthmother, who is transgender, is now his father.”

WayGay’s youth drag camp program was reportedly organized by a 12-year-old girl as “a Bat Mitzvah project for her progressive synagogue, Mishkan Shalom, in Mt. Airy.”

The group tied itself repeatedly to political extremism. It advertised the Philadelphia Young Communist League’s protests at the 2023 national meeting of Moms for Liberty, the parent-led grassroots organization that opposes teaching radical transgender theory and Marxist-spawned critical race theory in the public schools. The center combined its focuses last April by hosting “Regeneration: A Global Eco Drag Show,” which featured “drag performers, who share cultural, environmental, queer, decolonial visions.”

The latest wrinkle came to light this week, as researchers found the LGBTQ center hosted a BSDM meet-up hosted by The Aviary, which boasts of itself as “Philadelphia’s friendliest and longest running kink and fetish party.” The group holds an event open to anyone “18 and up interested in BDSM, kink, and fetish” the second Saturday of each month at the William Way LGBT Center.

“Genitals and anuses must remain covered in non-play areas,” say the Rules of Play. “You must get permission from a [Dungeon Monitor] to play with fire or puncture the skin.” The group advertises the fact that its activities span seven rooms, including the juvenile-sounding “Playground,” where participants “can sit, color, enter a blanket fort, or have story time!” But two of the rooms are closed due to renovation.

“Let’s send them $1M so they can get those two other kink play rooms back in action!” joked John Shelton, policy director of Mike Pence’s Advancing American Freedom.

When the center’s reputation came to light, House Republicans voted to remove the funding for WayGay and two other LGBT centers, and the Left was, as ever, indignant. Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg went on NPR (at your expense) to denounce the GOP’s refusal to fund underage drag show venues as a “maddening” example of culture wars, supposedly initiated by Republicans. Boyle bashed “the Republican majority” for “voting to strip funding from the only three projects that have LGBTQ in the organization’s name.”

“The William Way Center clearly qualifies for Community Project Funding based on the merits,” said Boyle. “The only reason why it is now being targeted to lose these dollars is because of disgusting and ugly bigotry. … It is disturbing that House Republicans have chosen this dark path. Discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation is wrong,” he said, Boyle-ing over.

The matter seemed to be resolved last July. But like the villain in a horror movie, the appropriation came roaring back to life. Boyle and fellow Pennsylvania Democratic Rep. Chrissy Houlahan promised they would “work with U.S. Sens. John Fetterman and Bob Casey to try to restore the funding,” reported Philadelphia NewsRadio KYW.

Fetterman and Casey heard them out and decided WayGay deserves your tax dollars. The pair slipped a request for a $1 million Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) grant to renovate and expand its building into the Consolidated Appropriations Act for FY24’s list of earmarks. Fetterman even took a victory lap, proclaiming in a press release he felt “particularly proud we were able to get the William Way LGBT Community Center funded after House Republicans stripped it out.”

Predictably, Fetterman called the refusal to fund the Communist/drag queen center an example of “House Republicans’ misguided and bigoted culture war.”

The trio bathed the LGBT center in rapturous praise. Boyle explained the center was “a beacon of hope” that provides “vital social services, including employment counseling, meals for seniors, and many other resources.” Fetterman feted its “critical work.” Senator Bob Casey (D-Pa.), who unseated Rick Santorum in part due to his status as a pro-life Catholic father, said the funding will help the center “provide lifesaving services to the community.”

But eagle-eyed policy analysts saw the renewed funding and sprang into action. Shelton began sounding the alarm Tuesday morning. Libs of TikTok publicized WayGay’s wayward ways. Senator Mike Lee (R-Utah) spoke out. “The Schumer minibus has taxpayer-funded sex parties. Yes, really,” he said. “This brings an entirely new meaning to ‘whipping a bill,’” quipped Rep. Thomas Massie (R-Ky.).

The funding seemed especially extraneous, as WayGay is already receiving $2 million from the taxpayers of Philadelphia, thanks to a city grant approved by then-Mayor Jim Kenney (D). (Kenney has a long history of vitriolic attacks against the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Philadelphia, such as tweeting, “The Arch don’t care about people. It’s about image and money. Pope Francis needs to kick some a** here!”)

When the going got tough, Fetterman got going for the hills: He asked the committee to remove the funding. “After further review,” wrote Fetterman on Tuesday, “I am writing to withdraw my support and request the removal” of the funding request. Senator Patty Murray (D-Wash.) submitted a technical edit removing the appropriation late Tuesday. The earmarks attached to bill that passed Wednesday do not include the center’s $1 million grant.

Fetterman soon realized his dilemma: He needed a dark antitype of Solomonic wisdom to extricate himself from the tangle he had created, to back away from the funding without losing his LGBT support. In statesmanlike fashion, Fetterman blamed his staffers. Fetterman “tells me he does NOT support withdrawing the $1 million in federal funding for the William Way LGBT Center, and that the decision was made by his staff,” reported Bryan Metzger of Business Insider, who says Fetterman’s exact words were, “I did not support that document.” This raises questions either about Fetterman’s veracity or the unaccountable authority of Hill staffers.

Fetterman further confused matters in a second statement released later on Wednesday. “Unfortunately, at the 11th hour my staff was made aware that funding for William Way, which was in the bill because I championed it, would not pass in the FY24 appropriations process,” Fetterman said in a statement. “The choice was either to pull it or watch it get stripped out, attacked by Republicans, and ultimately killed,” Fetterman said. “This is not the end of this fight, and I am going to fight for William Way to secure their funding in the FY25 appropriations process.”

But if Fetterman wanted to pose as a champion of taxpayer-funded LGBTQ activity, as he avers, wouldn’t he want to force Republicans to vote on the issue? Wouldn’t he want to put Republicans on the record as heartless homophobes stealing services from “vulnerable” senior citizens, especially in an election year? Fetterman would only let the GOP off the hook if he knows that funding Marxist-tied, gender-fluid, underage drag-show kink is a political loser.

Thankfully, this incident illustrates a few lessons:

1. Embracing trans activists and the plus in “LGBTQIA+” remains a third rail in American politics. Undoubtedly, some keen politico with the Republican Party of Pennsylvania has filed away Bob Casey’s statements supporting the WayGay center for the home stretch of his uphill Senate reelection campaign this fall. Fetterman’s fetid reversal shows that forcing taxpayers to pay for perversion aimed at their children remains politically toxic. We must make sure it remains so.

2. The Left will never stop, so Christians must constantly stand as Watchmen on the Wall.Shelton spied Fetterman’s earmark as part of his regular analysis of the minibus for AAF. Organizations like FRC comb through legislation to assure your values are protected — and that work urgently needs to continue, with your support. As the quotation (erroneously) attributed to Thomas Jefferson says, “Eternal vigilance is the price of liberty.”

3. Congress must return to normal order. “This inexcusable misuse of taxpayer dollars is what happens when bills like this week’s mini-omnibus are written behind closed doors with pet projects inserted to buy the votes of Senators and Representatives,” noted constitutionalist Congressman Massie. Returning to the long-ignored legislative norms, when Congress passed an annual budget and bills dealt with a single subject — one of the key aims of Speaker of the House Mike Johnson (R-La.) — would give greater transparency to the American people about how their tax dollars are being used.

4. Congress should reverse its position and abolish earmarks.The House of Representatives took a wrong turn when it reinstated the use of earmarks, funding requests for pet projects. Big-spending congressmen such as Rep. Emmanuel Cleaver (D-Mo.) — who once famously ended a prayer “Amen, and ay-woman” — referred to earmarks in religious terms, saying festooning a bill with spending requests as a “time to get saved.” As long as earmarks persist, appropriations like this can hide in plain sight. “There are over 6,000 earmarks in the bill, costing taxpayers a total of $12.7 billion. There is no way any mortal could actually vet all of the earmarks in the 48-hour time period they’ve given us so far,” said Senator Lee. “Heads must roll.” Or, at a minimum, earmarks must be cut off.

5. We must return the size, scope, and expense of government to its constitutional parameters. Then-Congressman James Madison once responded to an unconstitutional funding request by saying, “I cannot undertake to lay my finger on that article of the Constitution which granted a right to Congress of expending, on objects of benevolence, the money of their constituents.” The Constitution does not authorize Congress to give HUD grants to radical LGBT centers. (For that matter, I cannot find congressional authorization of HUD.) Until government returns to the powers delegated in Article I, Section 8 of the U.S. Constitution, these and other outrageous funding requests will persist.

Ben Johnson is senior reporter and editor at The Washington Stand.