After Willie Horton ARE GAYS NEXT?

Behind the G.O.P.'s family values rhetoric, lurks a plan to brand the Democrats soft on homosexuality

Campaigning is like working a jury: it takes dry evidence about ballistics, but it also takes looking into the jurors' eyes and whispering darkly about drifters, fast women and empty streets. In 1988 Bush promised "no new taxes," but the television picture of Willie Horton also helped secure his victory. Now gay groups are convinced that they have replaced black convicts in the Republican demonology.

Just beneath the Republican rhetoric against the Democratic "big liberal ticket" is a steady rumble about "traditional family values," an expression that G.O.P. strategists will helpfully make explicit -- as long as they remain anonymous. When...

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