What you’re about to hear is a lecture given by Fr. Josiah Trenham on May 16, 2016, at the opening plenary session at the World Congress of Families X in Tbilisi, Georgia. This lecture was delivered to a packed audience of 2,500 persons at the Royal Philharmonic in downtown Tbilisi in the presence and with the blessings of Georgian Catholicos and Patriarch His Holiness Ilia II. This lecture presents the 50-year history of the gay revolution in California as paradigmatic for the rise and development of the international LGBT agenda. It also exposes the deeply anti-civilization and anti-religion presuppositions of this aggressive movement. The World Congress of Families, hosted by highly esteemed Georgian businessman and Orthodox Christian, Mr. Levan Vasadze, brought together scholars of the family, leading pro-family and pro-life activists, and national politicians from Italy, Poland, Hungary, Moldova, as well as participants and presenters from more than 50 countries. This was the first time that the World Congress was held in an Orthodox nation. In the coming weeks, videos of the speeches and more information on this significant event will be found on the World Congress of Families website, at http://www.worldcongress.ge.
Fr. Josiah Trenham: In the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.
Your All-Holiness Catholicos and Patriarch of Georgia, Ilia II: Evlogēson, Despota. I ask your blessing. Highly esteemed and deeply respected brothers, Levan and Alan and Larry, such a joy to be here in Georgia, and I’m so deeply grateful to have this invitation to speak.
I was born and raised in Los Angeles, California, in the United States, as my father and his father before him. Los Angeles is the birthplace of the LGBT revolution. Los Angeles is the international center for homosexual propaganda and activism, the leading producer of its literature, the primary source of its media, the location of its religious iteration in the so-called “gay church,” and the center of its financial base in Hollywood.
More gay and lesbian institutions have been started in Los Angeles than anywhere else in the world. AIDS was first discovered at Cedars-Sinai Hospital in Los Angeles, wiping out what was for gays a golden age of so-called “sexual freedom.” Los Angeles was the site of the first homosexual uprising in history, ten years before the stonewall riots in New York City, and it was there that the first so-called “gay pride parade” was held in 1966, just a few months before I was born. At that time, the gays dragged a 20-foot papier-mâché phallus down Hollywood Boulevard, truly an expression of the idol of their devotion.
I stand before you today, dear friends, as someone who has lived through the revolution, a revolution more disturbing to the norms of human civilization than perhaps any other revolution. When I was born, the Los Angeles police department was making thousands of annual arrests of homosexual men for public sodomy and fellatio in our city parks and public bathrooms. There’s a long and consistent history of unusual bathroom use in the LGBT community that has consistently endured. Even a sitting U.S. Congressman, Larry Craig, was arrested in 2007 for soliciting homosexual sex in the Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport. Today there are digital apps that guide homosexual men to particular bathrooms for sexual acts throughout the airports and other public places in America. Keep that history in mind when you hear about the contemporary debates about the so-called “transgendered bathroom” bills. That is a history no one is talking about.
Hollywood in the early 1960s, though already deeply corrupted by sexual anarchy, was still submitted movie scripts to bishops and priests for approval, for moral evaluation before going to screen production. At that time, in the late ‘60s, still 75% of American homes were occupied by married couples: husbands and wives, fathers and mothers to our children. Most of the United States had anti-sodomy laws. Los Angeles had its own ordinance against cross-dressing. California’s law code referred to homosexuality as the “infamous crime against nature.” How ironic that in these few decades now the only infamy is to consider homosexuality an infamous crime. Americans just a short while ago knew that sex could be unnatural, that perversion existed and was unhealthy, and that it was never purely private and that it had tremendous public consequences.
That was 50 years ago. Today California is transformed. It is the paradigmatic study for the radical rise in cultural ascendance of the rainbow revolution, and no one should ignore California’s lessons, for they are being propagated around the globe today. What is the pattern of that revolution? In 1953, ONE Magazine, the first gay journal, began publication. In 1958, the Supreme Court of the United States ruled that homosexual magazines were no longer violations of the anti-obscenity Comstock Law.
In 1955, the ONE Institute of Homophile Studies began offering courses, holding an annual conference, and publishing a journal. UC Berkeley taught its first undergraduate courses in gay and lesbian studies in 1970. By 1972, the first queer studies program was launched at San Francisco City College. These were the first gay studies programs in the world, and have since spawned numerous gay and lesbian study programs at secular universities. Harvard University endowed the first chair for gay and lesbian studies in 2009.
LGBT activists in the mid-20th century identified three major obstacles to the legitimization of homosexuality: the law, the mental health profession, and the churches. Upon these three obstacles the movement fixed its gaze. It became more aggressive, organized guerrilla tactics, staged lesbian and gay kiss-ins in public, disrupted professional conferences of psychologists, especially those studying reparative therapy, and disrupted church services.
And this aggressive LGBT activism was successful. In 1973, the American Psychological Association removed homosexuality from its list of pathologies. In 1975, all California laws against consensual homosexual acts were revoked. Having altered law and having altered psychology, the remaining obstacle was opposition in the churches.
Religious opposition to the legitimization of sodomy remained and remains the bane of the LGBT movement. Roman Catholics, Evangelical Protestants, Orthodox Christians, and Mormons, by far constituting the great majority of religious believers in the United States, remain dogmatically opposed to the legitimization of sodomy and committed to the support of the traditional family. Proving unable to intimidate believers, the LGBT movement turned its gaze to a full-throttled attempt at marginalization of America’s traditional faith communities. Suppression and social ostracizing are the tactics today in what is the promotion of the most intolerant movement born in my country, a true celebration of intolerance.
When the LGBT movement exploded on the scene in the ‘60s, its claim at that time was an appeal for societal tolerance, but any reasonable observer of LGBT literature, lifestyle, or parade display would conclude that the gay claim for tolerance is disingenuous. Gay literature over the course of decades in both academic and popular genres decried traditional marriage as “patriarchal,” chaste marital sexuality as “sexual repression,” and religious opposition to sodomy as “base bigotry.” Theirs was not a call for tolerance; theirs was a call for the overthrow of traditional religious and civilizational norms for family, sex, and law.
Gay pride parades provide a prism through which to understand the movement’s angst. These parades feature, amongst other grotesque displays, a troupe of dancing gay men dressed in nothing but g-strings from the waist down, and as Catholic nuns in full habit from the waist up. They call themselves the “Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence.” And they don’t just walk in parades in front of politicians and CEOs; they enter churches, they disrupt liturgies, they defile holy things, they stand in communion lines, and they commit sacrilege. Does that sound to you, friends, like tolerance? Extremist provocation is what it is.
In 1976, Los Angeles officially established Gay Pride Week, and it has since become not just a state but a national commemoration. These are the new holy days of the secularists, and the movement has its new icons as well. California has made May 22 “Harvey Milk Day,” to be celebrated in its public schools, and the LGBT activists have established gay-straight alliances on the majority of our high school campuses. The goal is the overthrow of traditional marriage and family life and the essential restructuring of society.
Having victory in the media, in medicine and psychiatry, in the law courts, and on the secular campuses, the LGBT lobby is now pressing for the suppression of dissent. The new “immorality” has been legislated, and all opposition must be silenced. Currently the State Assembly of California is debating AB-1888, an atrocious bill that would strip California’s Christian colleges and universities of any ability to receive federal and state financial aid unless they endorse same-sex marriage and would expose these academic institutions to crippling discrimination litigation.
The sodomization of California was and is an anti-democratic imposition. A majority of our citizens rallied against this to promote State Propositions 6, 22, and 8; all were designed to protect traditional marriage. And unable to bear the rebuke of democracy, the LGBT movement found support from our new national oligarchs, that is, our activist judges, to eviscerate the will of the people. And all state laws banning same-sex marriage were overturned last year in 2015. Today the USA has a national ambassador for the promotion of sodomy, and it uses the LGBT agenda as a litmus test for granting humanitarian aid and military intelligence against terrorism to needy nations. How far we have fallen.
Here is but a summary of a volcanic movement that has succeeded far beyond the imagination of its founders. A blitzkrieg of social upheaval, an outbreak of societal insanity, an explosion of vulgarity and perversion unheard of in the history of the West that makes the barbarian invasions of the 5th to the 9th centuries, popularly known as the Dark Ages, look timid. It is the withdrawal of grace from a culture, the descent of the plague of impenetrable darkness, the ninth plague on ancient Egypt at the hand of Moses the God-seer, upon the contemporary West. When will this degrading ideology crumble?
This ideology is a cultural and religious iconoclasm. The homosexual political agenda is anti-religion and anti-civilization at its core. There is no precedent in any religion or civilization for defining marriage as between two persons of the same sex or legitimizing same-sex eroticism. Such violent iconoclasm does not just hold in contempt classical religious and political philosophy, but it disdains and it claims superiority over all the great religions of the world, not just rejecting Judaism and Christianity but Buddhism and Islam as well.
Buddhism rejects a lifestyle in which sexual pleasure, unhindered by the moral considerations of nature, fidelity, and chastity, is celebrated. Such attachment to sensual pleasure, in Buddhist teaching, is an obstacle to nirvana. Homosexuality is regarded as an impediment to acceptance into Buddhist monasticism, and the Dalai Lama has affirmed that sodomy is considered sexual misconduct in Buddhism. The Four Noble Truths and the Eightfold Path forbid unlawful sexual acts including sodomy as the misuse of nature, and the LGBT movement recoils at the consideration that moral law governs sexual acts at all.
Islam condemns sodomy as both a sin and a crime. Sura7 castigates men who lust after other men instead of women, and brands such persons “degenerates.” Mohammed is recorded as ordering the execution of anyone practicing sodomy. “If you find anyone doing as Lot’s people did, kill the one who does it and the one to whom it is done,” it’s reported in the hadith.
The sacred texts of Judaism present sodomy as such an offense to heaven that the fires of hell appeared ahead of time and consumed Sodom in the flames. Moses the God-seer forbids sodomy in the Pentateuch as a sin and a crime. “You shall not lie with a male as one lies with a female. It is an abomination” (Leviticus 18:22).
Jesus Christ, our Savior, not only reaffirmed Moses’ legislation against sodomy in his famous Sermon on the Mount; he also reaffirmed the terrifying position of the homosexual city of Sodom on the day of judgment and pressed the law of chastity, calling upon his followers to be free not just of unnatural sexual acts, but of perverse sexual thoughts. St. Paul called same-sex erotic attraction “unnatural affections” and evidence of a depraved mind, and to approve these acts, he says, is to abandon God.
Not even pre-Christian Greco-Roman society, so abused in gay apologetics, could bear with sodomy. Socrates abhorred it, and Greco-Roman society never conceived of undermining the normative definition of marriage as a union between a man and a woman with the intention of bringing forth and raising children. Classical society held in contempt the notion that whatever is done privately by consenting adults has no impact on the stability of the city itself. Classical society knew that private sexual anarchy is never ultimately private and always has a detrimental impact on societal health and virtue. Eros was understood as a dangerous god, never to be given free rein, and sexual desire is never judged simply innocent of itself nor justified as having “love” as its object. Both the object itself and the desire must be legitimate. They must always conform to nature and moral virtue—or else wreak destruction in private and public. Plato is clear: there is no such thing as “safe sex” if sex is against nature.
So here is the essence of the conflict, my friends. It is the LGBT versus the JCIB: Judaism, Christianity, Islam, and Buddhism. Gay propaganda throws such classical wisdom to the wind without a thought nor a reference, as though it never existed, as though these religious traditions do not possess the hearts of the great majority of the world’s populations. They want civilizations to reorient themselves, overthrowing millennia of wisdom, to embrace the legitimization of sodomy and to crown it with the august dignity of the title marriage. Such a cultural redefinition of marriage is suicidal.
I have lived in the heart of the LGBT revolution, and I have witnessed my nation disgrace itself before God and men. And my counsel to beloved Georgians is this: Stand firm in your faith against the LGBT revolution. Do not give in or your cities will become like San Francisco, where there are 80,000 more dogs in the city limits than there are children. Tell the LGBT tolerance tyrants, this lavender mafia, these homofascists, these rainbow radicals, that they are not welcome to promote their anti-religious and anti-civilizational propaganda in your nations.
May God bless your courage, and may God protect your lands. Amen.