Jerry Falwell Jr.’s downfall just may be the only good thing to come of 2020 so far.
Handsome pool boy Giancarlo Granda outlined the salacious details of his years-long affair with the Falwells in a stunning ABC News interview last week, in which he hinted that Falwell masturbated while watching Granda have sex with his wife Becki.
Falwell, who served as president of Liberty University since 2007, resigned after pressure from the school’s board. This week, the board said it has hired a “leading forensic firm” to investigate Falwell’s tenure at the school, Politico reported. Just a reminder: Liberty University is among the most hostile to queer students. The school’s honor code reads: “Sexual relations outside of a biblically ordained marriage between a natural-born man and a natural-born woman are not permissible at Liberty University.” Falwell’s interim replacement as president, Jerry Prevo, is an outspoken homophobe who has fought against LGBTQ rights in Alaska for decades.
As the Blade reported in 2013: “An Alaska church’s decision to no longer sponsor local Boy Scouts of America troops over its opposition to the inclusion of gay scouts has sparked controversy. … The Anchorage Baptist Temple’s decision has left Boy Scout Troop 1316 and Cub Scout Pack 316 without a place to meet. Rev. Jerry Prevo, who is the congregation’s chief pastor, referenced the Bible as he defended his decision to the newspaper. ‘No homosexual will enter the Kingdom of God.’”
Liberty’s hostility to its LGBTQ students was codified by its founder, the evil Rev. Jerry Falwell Sr., one of the leading homophobes of the ‘80s whose cruel and constant attacks on gays undoubtedly led to the suicides of many young gay men demonized during the height of the AIDS epidemic and sent to conversion therapy. “AIDS is not just God’s punishment for homosexuals, it is God’s punishment for the society that tolerates homosexuals,” Falwell Sr. famously said. He’s also the one who labeled Ellen DeGeneres as “Ellen Degenerate” after she came out. His hate wasn’t limited to gays. Falwell Sr. was also a racist who questioned the landmark ruling in Brown v. Board of Education: “The facilities should be separate. When God has drawn a line of distinction, we should not attempt to cross that line,” he said.
Fast forward to 2020 and that man’s son is now out of a job and disgraced after a sex scandal that not only continues to worsen and expand, but that is tinged with gay undertones.
Granda describes Falwell Jr. as a “predator” who was drunk and “giggling” wearing a Speedo at their first sexual encounter. “It’s his thing” to watch, Granda says Becki told him. The evangelical couple also visited a swingers club, Miami Velvet, according to Granda.
Granda later went into business with Falwell’s son, jointly owning a Miami youth hostel with him that is described as “gay friendly.”
“After the affair, the Falwells invested $1.8 million in a property deal to help Granda open a ‘gay-friendly youth hostel’ in Miami Beach, which Politico described as ‘a cesspool of vice,’” Vanity Fair wrote.
So, Rev. Falwell’s son, the head of Liberty University, where drinking alcohol is verboten, is drunk on a bed in a Speedo watching a hot young guy have sex with his wife. He later loans Granda money to invest in a hostel that caters to gay guests and is known as a “cesspool.”
It’s almost too good to be true. And proof that sometimes you really do outlive your oppressors and get a ringside seat to their delicious, karmic downfall.
Let’s celebrate now that one more hypocrite who uses religion to attack LGBTQ people while engaging in the same behaviors he publicly deplores is exposed and, yes, canceled. Maybe 2020 is turning a corner.
Kevin Naff is editor of the Washington Blade. Reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org.