Andy Rooney, the 60 Minutes humorist, found himself suspended without pay by CBS in February after a homosexual magazine, The Advocate, attributed racial comments (“blacks have watered down their genes because the less intelligent ones are the ones that have the most children”) to him—comments he denies making, and for which The Advocate‘s reporter has no proof. But Rooney is not alone in being silenced.

Consider the case of Michael Fumento, author of The Myth of Heterosexual AIDS. Mr. Fumento, whose book repudiates the notion that AIDS is poised to break out into the general populace and hence must be considered “everyone’s disease,” had his book rejected on explicitly political grounds by several publishers before it was accepted by Basic Books. Last year, a profile of him in Forbes magazine drew a picket from a group called ACT-UP (AIDS Coalition To Unleash Power) and anonymous death threats, for the author of the profile: The magazine’s editor, multimillionaire Malcolm Forbes Sr. (since deceased), bizarrely chose to receive this group in his office for a two-hour harangue, and a week later ran a retraction of the piece in his magazine, denouncing Fumento’s “asinine” views, insisting that he would have killed the profile had he not been traveling at the time, and publishing a full-page ACT-UP tract with his endorsement at the top. (A few months later, ACT-UP drew further attention for breaking into a mass at St. Patrick’s Cathedral in New York, where members tried to shout down Cardinal O’Connor, chained themselves to pews, and desecrated the Host, until removed by police.)

Days before the book’s official publication date in January, Fumento was fired without warning from his job as an editorial writer at The Rocky Mountain News. The News—which in response to feminist pressure had recently instituted sensitivity training courses for its employees—explained his sudden termination by stating that he made too many phone calls. Numerous national television shows that had booked Fumento called to cancel. As for book sales, at least one letter has circulated to booksellers to keep Myth off the shelves, and at this writing the Waldenbooks chain (the largest in the country) is not carrying the book, despite healthy sales in other stores.

Homosexual activists repeatedly insist that their only goal is “tolerance” and the recognition of their “civil rights.” The behavior of a good many of them, and the complicity-by-silence of others, tells another story. Calls for tolerance and free speech are tactical necessities when such groups are weak, but when they acquire power they quickly get down to the serious business of silencing the dissenting voices.