One issue raised by the current sleaze involving New Jersey Governor McGreevey is the issue of homosexuals hiring homosexuals. I have some slight personal experience of the thing, since an Episcopal diocese to which I used to be connected is run by a gay mafia that looks out for its own. Others have noticed it as well, if the Google entries for “gay mafia”, “homosexual mafia”, “velvet mafia”, “homintern” and whatnot are any indication. Many people, for example, find it very hard to understand the response of Catholic authorities to predatory clerical pederasts apart from the influence of homosexual cliques and networks.
Not many people other than the ever-venturesome John Derbyshire have written about the issue, partly because evidence is anecdotal and uncertain, and partly because people these days don’t like conspiracy theories about particular groups. Still, what are blogs for if not thinking aloud? So here are some thoughts:
- People with something major in common that affects how the world looks to them normally prefer to hire each other and work together in various informal ways that tend to exclude others. Not only the gay mafia but the Irish, Jewish and every other kind of mafia is real. If you’re PC, and you can’t bear to contemplate such things, think “old boy network.”
- In the case of homosexuals, the tendency to hire your own is compounded by the motives that lead more normal men to give jobs to their mistresses, exacerbated by the free-floating sexualization of homosexual life. If your way of life features frequent reshuffling of sexual connections, and you have a chance to surround yourself with people you’re sleeping with, have slept with or might want to sleep with, why not?
- It’s also compounded by the view that if you belong to an oppressed minority you have the right to get yours. In certain settings (e.g., religious education and the media) it’s further compounded by a collective interest in turning around social attitudes regarding homosexuality. The treatment of homosexual issues by the New York Times is partly due to general ideological considerations and Pinch Sulzberger’s idiosyncrasies, but also partly due to homosexual editors and reporters who know how they want things covered.
- Other points are more speculative. Many people find that homosexuals often lack a certain seriousness and sense of responsibility, and relish personal dramas and bizarre situations involving play-acting. It seems likely that such attitudes would make abstract obligations like public service seem less weighty and personal connections and concerns more pressing.
All of which shows once again that the superior rationality and virtue of what is called non-discrimination in employment is an illusion. Hiring based solely on particular individual job-related qualifications (i) leaves out concerns that all except the brainwashed should recognize as important, and (ii) in most cases doesn’t exist—since Grutter, not even in theory. If issues of special interest to homosexuals are relevant to a position, whether someone is homosexual is obviously relevant to hiring him. There’s no excuse for attacks on the Boy Scouts for their reluctance to hand boys over to what would often turn out to be a homosexual clique with a special interest in teenaged boys, and if you’re hiring someone to be a newpaper reporter it plainly matters what axes he might have to grind. And even if the position doesn’t involve issues related to sexuality, the number of homosexuals, especially in influential positions, can legitimately concern an organization simply because it affects the nature of human connections within the organization.