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Movie Review

"Spurred by media images and a new climate of acceptance, teenagers are experimenting more openly with gay and bisexuality."

So stated Newsweek in November of 1993. That was before MTV showcased a homosexual wedding. Before ABC-TV's lesbian kiss on Roseanne, or the coming out of Ellen. The media images are multiplying. And that climate of acceptance keeps getting warmer. A recent example of the entertainment industry's support of the gay agenda is the film In & Out.

By combining A-list Hollywood talent with disarming humor, In & Out promotes homosexuality as healthy and normal, while attempting to vilify its opponents in the name of "tolerance." No diseases. No drag queens. This romantic comedy is crafted for the masses. In fact, one fawning reviewer credited the film with "mov[ing] homosexuality into the mainstream." It is definitely a step in that direction, especially for young viewers grappling with their own blossoming sexuality.

Officially endorsed by the Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation, In & Out focuses on the sexual dilemma of Howard Brackett (played by Kevin Kline), a small-town drama teacher thrust into the media spotlight after being outed by a former student on national television. But Brackett doesn't think he's gay. In fact, he's about to get married. Only after his sexuality is called into question do the wheels start turning.

"It's a challenge to introduce this subject matter in an entertaining way," says director Frank Oz. "No one wants to be preached to." But In & Out does preach. Especially when Brackett's students take a public stand on his behalf, each sarcastically claiming to be gay in an attempt to show how "foolish" the debate really is. By the movie's end, Brackett has embraced his gayness, as have all the "enlightened" citizens of his fictional Midwestern community.

Objectionable elements abound. Profanity. Crass sexual references. But most disturbing is the suggestion that Brackett's pain and confusion could have been avoided if he had just been true to himself at a younger age (the sitcom Ellen took the same approach). In other words, the sooner a child determines which gender he or she prefers, the better off they'll be. A dangerous message. Adolescence is inherently awkward. Questioning is common. Now, gay advocates are using entertainment to recruit young people during this period of hormonal turmoil and curiosity.

This is also a growing problem within the church. The youth mail received at Focus on the Family indicates that more and more Christian teens are embracing gay ideology, excusing homosexuality among their peers and even practicing it themselves. Parents and youth leaders must lovingly set teens straight. Point out God's views on homosexuality (Lev. 18:22, 20:13, Rom 1:24-27). Discuss "love" from a biblical perspective. If necessary, seek Christian counseling. It's essential that teens recognize the devastating social and personal consequences of the gay lifestyle.

When Ellen DeGeneres accepted her Emmy Award on September 14, [1998], the lesbian comedienne told gay teens, "There's nothing wrong with you. Don't ever let anybody make you feel ashamed of who you are." If godly adults don't intervene, children will be left to heed these voices of popular culture.

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Kevin Kline, Joan Cusack, Tom Selleck, Shawn Hatosy, Matt Dillon


Frank Oz ( )




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Bob Smithouser

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