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The elephant in the room:

Whenever one of these morality scandals comes up -- whether it involves homosexuality, adultery, or being on a list compiled by someone the media calls a "Madam" -- it often involves a Republican. Critics love to charge Republicans with hypocrisy -- preaching traditional family values to the rest of us by day while trolling bathrooms and pressing sweaty palms to computer keyboards by night.

Whatever explains these other public moral dramas, hypocrisy doesn't fully capture the GOP's plainly dysfunctional relationship to homosexuality. Believe it or not, there are plenty of traditional-values Republicans who are not secretly gay. They might be wrong about homosexuality, but they're not hypocrites.

Yes, there are many prominent Republicans whose private actions are inconsistent with their traditional-values personas. Sen. Larry "I am Not a Gay American" Craig is the latest of them, assuming the various allegations against him are true. Jim West had an aggressively anti-gay record both as a Washington state legislator and as mayor of Spokane, yet cruised for gay sex and anonymously told an online acquaintance that he hated the "sex Nazis" who try to regulate people's private lives. There are many other examples.

But there are also many closeted gay Republicans not closely associated with the party's religious right. Mark Foley, of last year's congressional page scandal, was not an anti-gay member of Congress. While he didn't support everything I wish he had, his rating from national gay-rights groups was usually quite good and I'd take his record on gay issues over many Democrats'.

There's an entire website devoted to outing (mostly) Republican politicos. That site does not hurt for news and information. Its working list of closeted gay Republicans — whether officeholders, staffers, or party officials — is a very, very long one. I can tell you the website does not even come close to listing all of the gay Republicans working in prominent positions in Washington and elsewhere.

And not nearly all of these gay Republicans are anti-gay, or work directly for anti-gay causes. Many despise the party's anti-gay rhetoric and actions. They are Republicans because they are pro-life, or support low taxes, or want a strong national defense, or desire an exciting job in public policy, or for any of a hundred other reasons. You could call it hypocrisy to be gay and work for a generally anti-gay political party, regardless of the gay person's own views or what she does within the party to oppose its anti-gay policy positions, but if so, this is surely a watered-down form of the vice.

What unites these cases is not really hypocrisy. It's two other things. First, nearly all the gay Republicans working in Washington or elsewhere are to one degree or another closeted. Second, at a personal level, very few Republican officials around them care whether someone is gay.

From the top of the party to the bottom, few Republicans personally and viscerally dislike gay people. President Bush has had friends he knew were gay. So has Vice President Cheney. Even the most prominently and vigorously anti-gay Republican, Sen. Rick "Man on Dog" Santorum, had a gay spokesperson whom he defended when his homosexuality became known.

The big, open secret in Republican politics is that everyone knows someone gay these days and very few people -- excepting some committed anti-gay activists -- really care. It's one of the things that drives religious conservatives crazy because it makes the party look like it's not really committed to traditional sexual morality.

So to keep religious conservatives happy the party has done two things. First, it has steadfastly resisted efforts to ease anti-gay discrimination in public policy, even when Republican politicians know better. I can't tell you how many Republican staffers told me, for example, that their bosses privately opposed the Federal Marriage Amendment but would be voting for it anyway.

Second, to keep the talent it needs and simply to be as humane and decent as politically possible toward particular individuals, the party has come up with its own unwritten common-law code: you can be gay and work here, we don't care, but don't talk about it openly and don't do anything to make it known publicly in the sense that either the media or the party's religious base might learn of it. It's the GOP's own internal version of "Don't Ask, Don't Tell."

This uneasy mix of the public and the private is not exactly what I'd call hypocrisy. It's perhaps better described as a form of ideological schizophrenia: private acceptance welded to public rejection. It's a very unstable alloy.

For the closeted gay Republican, this alloy means a life of desperation and fear and loneliness, of expressing one's true feelings only in the anonymity of the Internet, of furtive bathroom encounters, of late nights darting in and out of dark bars, hoping not to be seen. It means life without a long-term partner, without real love.

Worst of all, it may mean a life of deceiving a spouse and children. It's hardly surprising that most of the men caught cruising in parks, bathrooms, and other public places are deeply closeted and often married. They don't see themselves as having many other options.

Nevertheless, it seems to work until the day you get caught tapping your toe next to a cop. Desperation sets in and you say things that bring everyone much mirth at your expense, like, "I'm not gay, I just have a wide stance."

For the GOP, this alloy of public rejection and private acceptance means enduring more of these periodic public morality convulsions. How to end it? The private acceptance will continue and, I predict, become even more prevalent as young conservatives comfortable around gay people take over. There will be no purging the party of gays. There is no practical way to purge them, and even if there were, most Republicans would be personally repulsed by such an effort.

These closeted politicians, staffers, and party functionaries will occasionally be found out one way or another and again will come the shock, the pledges to go into rehab, the investigations, the charges of hypocrisy, the schadenfreude from Democrats and libertines, the sense of betrayal from the party's religious conservatives.

This doesn't happen to the Democrats because the party's public and private attitudes toward homosexuality are fully consistent: acceptance of gays. Their homosexuals feel little need to remain closeted (with the recent exception of Jim "I am a Gay American" McGreevey). Notably, past sex scandals involving gay Democrats, like Rep. Barney Frank (with a prostitute) and Rep. Gerry Studds (with a congressional page), occurred some two decades ago, when the party was less accepting and the men themselves were still closeted.

The only practical way out of this for the GOP is to come to the point where its homosexuals no longer feel the need to hide. And that won't happen until the party's public philosophy is more closely aligned with its private one. That will be the day when the GOP greets its gay supporters the way Larry Craig, with unintended irony, greeted reporters yesterday at his news conference: "Thank you all very much for coming out today."

UPDATE: I've re-opened comments after briefly closing them to let a few commenters cool off a bit. Please try to avoid rudeness and stay on the topic of the post. If someone responds poorly or stupidly to something brilliant you say, quietly declare victory and go home rather than repeating yourself or cleverly insulting them. I'll close comments permanently if things veer off again.

Oh My Word:
Not in your entire post did you use the word "bisexual" or even acknowledge the obvious fact (esp. for those that have kids) that a lot of them have attractions to both men and women. Skirting this and suggesting they are secretly "gay," a conveniently undefined term, is a major defect of this and other posts of yours.
8.29.2007 2:26pm
Pendulum (mail):
I'll second Oh My Word and add that I wish more people discussed the distinctions between sexual orientation and sexual behavior, and if you want to get really psycho-philosophical, between sexual orientation (as one *actually* is) and sexual identity (as one *thinks* one is - ie a confused teenager before he realizes he's gay)
8.29.2007 2:30pm
LotharoftheHillPeople:
Excellent post.
8.29.2007 2:33pm
Brian K (mail):
Hypocrisy is the act of pretending to have beliefs, virtues and feelings that one does not truly possess. (wikipedia)

i'd pretty much call what much of the GOP is doing hypocrisy. just because they are hypocrites to advance their political objectives or maintain their base of power doesn't make them any less of one.
8.29.2007 2:33pm
Hoosier:
"This doesn't happen to the Democrats because . . ."

I can't tell from the post what "this" refers to. Charges of hypocricy? The liberal Schadenfreude? True.

But is "this" refers to the entire situation of closeted public officials who may be found out in a nasty way, then I don't know that this is true. There are how many openly gay Democrats serving in Congress now? Is this number equal to the number of gay Democrats in Congress? I doubt it.

The outing of a Democratic Senator in this way would likely be a career-killer in any number of states. A former student of mine is a Congressional staffer, works for a Democrats, and does not make his orientation known at the office.

The GOP has a bigger problem, without a doubt. And a little humilty might be in order among the defense-of-marriage crows at this point. But it would be hard for me to imagine a Democratic Member who represents--completely hypothetical follows-- a section of the South Side of Chicago, or East Side Cleveland, coming clean about being gay. The churches are political heavyweights in those areas. And they are not gay-friendly.
8.29.2007 2:35pm
Ben P (mail):
Is it a defect really?

Sure there's a difference, but does it matter to those who adopt "anti-gay" positions?

To the "moral position" it's basically true that "gay" = Homosexual = Someone who engages in homosexual activity. (whether or not exclusively)
8.29.2007 2:36pm
Rickm:
Way to write a long, thoughtful post that takes jabs at 'the schadenfreude from Democrats and libertines', yet fails to castigate the Republican party for systematically strengthening and exploiting anti-gay hate and bigotry.
8.29.2007 2:36pm
Carolina:
I'm a bit perplexed whenever I see Republican's referred to as "anti-gay." Republicans are generally against gay marriage, but beyond that issue, what issues is Congress debating that would make someone "anti-gay."?

No one is seriously arguing that homosexual sex should be recriminalized. It's just a non-issue now. Outside of sex, don't gays have the same concerns and issues as heterosexual voters?
8.29.2007 2:36pm
Hoosier:
Defense of marriage crowd(!)--I have no idea how the crows feel about this.
8.29.2007 2:37pm
Guest101:
Carolina,

1) Being opposed to matrimonial rights and all of the associated civil benefits for homosexuals sounds pretty plausibly "anti-gay" to me, yet you seem to cast it aside like it doesn't matter.

2) There is that lingering issue aboue military service that you conveniently neglect to mention.
8.29.2007 2:41pm
Tek Jansen:
Carolina:

whenever I see Republican's referred to as "anti-gay." Republicans are generally against gay marriage, but beyond that issue, what issues is Congress debating that would make someone "anti-gay."?


It's not a congressional issue, but the Texas GOP platform includes the following:

We believe that the practice of sodomy tears at the fabric of society, contributes to the breakdown of the
family unit, and leads to the spread of dangerous, communicable diseases. Homosexual behavior is contrary to the
fundamental, unchanging truths that have been ordained by God, recognized by our country's founders, and shared by
the majority of Texans. Homosexuality must not be presented as an acceptable "alternative" lifestyle in our public
education and policy, nor should "family" be redefined to include homosexual "couples."


and

We oppose the legalization of sodomy. We demand that Congress exercise its authority granted by the U.S. Constitution to withhold jurisdiction from the federal courts from cases involving sodomy.

That was the first state platform I looked up, some others are likely similar. And that qualifies as "anti-gay" by any definition.
8.29.2007 2:42pm
Thorley Winston (mail) (www):
It's not a congressional issue, but the Texas GOP platform includes the following:


Unless you're going to relate this to a closeted individual who works for the Texas Republican Party*, it has nothing to do with Carolina's point.

* And no, that doesn't necessarily include Texas Republican elected officials who if they are anything like Republicans and Democrats in the other 49 States, really don't give a rat's arse what the "party platform" says either.
8.29.2007 2:46pm
Tek Jansen:
Thorley Winston:
Unless you're going to relate this to a closeted individual who works for the Texas Republican Party*, it has nothing to do with Carolina's point.


Carolina: No one is seriously arguing that homosexual sex should be recriminalized.

Texas GOP platform: We oppose the legalization of sodomy.
8.29.2007 2:51pm
Thorley Winston (mail) (www):
There's an entire website devoted to outing (mostly) Republican politicos.


Is there also a website devoted to outing the people who run the website dedicated to invading the privacy of allegedly gay "Republican politicos." Names, addresses, places of employment, that sort of thing.
8.29.2007 2:54pm
Fco (www):

"And not nearly all of these closeted gay Republicans are anti-gay, or work directly for anti-gay causes. Many despise the party's anti-gay rhetoric and actions. They are Republicans because they support low taxes, or a strong national defense, or want an exciting job in public policy, or for any of a hundred other reasons. You could call it hypocrisy to be gay and work for a generally anti-gay political party..."


Calling the GOP an "anti-gay party" is the kind of nonsense to be expected from trolls and flamers in the comments section. It's a shame it's coming from a contributor.
8.29.2007 2:57pm
Thorley Winston (mail) (www):
Thorley Winston:
Unless you're going to relate this to a closeted individual who works for the Texas Republican Party*, it has nothing to do with Carolina's point.


Carolina: No one is seriously arguing that homosexual sex should be recriminalized.

Texas GOP platform: We oppose the legalization of sodomy.


And I repeat:

[I]f [Texas Republican elected officials] are anything like Republicans and Democrats in the other 49 States, [they] really don't give a rat's arse what the "party platform" says either.
8.29.2007 2:58pm
Tony Tutins (mail):
As a data point, I know several people who were once married (to opposite sex people) and now are in long-term same sex relationships. They self-identify as gay, not bi.
8.29.2007 2:58pm
Brian K (mail):
Is there also a website devoted to outing the people who run the website dedicated to invading the privacy of allegedly gay "Republican politicos." Names, addresses, places of employment, that sort of thing.
you can find sites that invades the privacy of women who've had abortions, doctors who provide abortion and people who donate to pro-choice groups.
8.29.2007 2:58pm
Mark P. (mail):
I wish I (or someone) had the number of Democrats who voted for (and against) "Don't ask, don't tell" handy (I do know that the stat for Democrats in the Oval Office was 100% in favor). And the Defense of Marriage Act. And the Federal Marriage Amendment. I'll bet it was a significant proportion, although (I hope) not a majority. And let's not look at the State level and examine the Democratic percentages in favor of defense-of-marriage legislation and constitutional amendments regarding same-sex marriage.

Republicans are rewarded (or, at least, not significantly penalized) for taking anti-gay positions. But let's not kid ourselves into thinking that the Democratic Party, when it comes to actual legislation, finds it easy to support pro-gay policies. There's still a lot of "triangulation" by the Party going on on these issues. The backlash to the legalization of same-sex marriage in Hawaii, Massachusetts, etc., and the tepid response by Democrats, was surprising to me. Not our finest moment. But I'm still optimistic over the long haul.

To the question of whether criminalization of homosexual conduct is still an issue: Is sodomy still a violation of the Uniform Code of Military Justice? If so (and I don't know the answer to the question), how many Democrats in Congress have pressed for legislation decriminalizing sodomy in the armed forces?
8.29.2007 3:08pm
Justin (mail):
Brian K,

There is often no use trying to discuss certain issues with people whose commitment to their party reaches a certain level relative to their commitments to other values. The fact that Thorley was equating the idea of outing public officials with providing a road map to violaence and intimidation against private citizens (and thoroughly encouraging the creation of the latter) should be your first hint.
8.29.2007 3:10pm
Pendulum (mail):
As to Tony's data point, I'd suggest that selection bias is at work. Individuals who are gay would be much more likely to leave long term straight relationships for gay relationships than bisexuals would be.

You probably don't know many bisexuals who have remained in long term marriages because they don't let you know they're bisexuals.
8.29.2007 3:10pm
CrazyTrain (mail):
No one is seriously arguing that homosexual sex should be recriminalized.

Umm, where have you been? Several, very prominent Republicans, including the President of the United States, publicly supported the criminalization of homosexual sex in Texas, and even argued to the United States Supreme Court that it should remain criminal.

I suggest you use this thing they have called "Google" and investigate why Rick Santorum was referred to by Dale in this very post as Rick "man on dog" Santorum.

This is quite typical of right-wing commenters here who try to pretend the GOP does not have a significantly hateful continent in its ranks. But you can ignore my comments, stick your fingers in your ears, and pretend you don't hear me and keep lying to yourself that the GOP is only against affirmative action for gays, and gay marriage.
8.29.2007 3:11pm
CrazyTrain (mail):
contingent, not continent.
8.29.2007 3:12pm
UW2L:
Guest101: "2) There is that lingering issue aboue military service that you conveniently neglect to mention."

Funny, I was just thinking, while reading this post, that the GOP's "unwritten law" that you can be gay and work here, we don't care, but don't talk about it openly and don't do anything to make it known publicly sounds an awful lot like the "don't ask, don't tell" policy that was instituted by our last... wait for it... Democratic president. Things haven't improved under the current administration, and today's Democratic candidates are distancing themselves from the 14-year-old policy, making the GOP's current credo look, rightly, outdated. It is my hope that if we have a Democratic president come into office in 2009, we'll see this ugly, destructive policy relegated to the trash heap alongside sodomy laws.
8.29.2007 3:12pm
Justin (mail):
Is sodomy still a violation of the Uniform Code of Military Justice?

- The answer is yes, but it is only punitively enforceable if there is a (broadly defined) "plus" factor in favor of criminalization (i.e., public sodomy, violating curfew for the purpose of sodomy, sodomy with a superior, sodomy with an inferior, and so forth), according to the most recent CAAF decision I've read. You do not need a plus factor for a non-punitive discharge (i.e., DADT is still the rule of law).
8.29.2007 3:14pm
UW2L:
Mark P, beat me to it. I couldn't find the "don't ask, don't tell" voting record on a quick search either.
8.29.2007 3:14pm
KevinQ (mail) (www):
Thorly Winston said:
And I repeat:

[I]f [Texas Republican elected officials] are anything like Republicans and Democrats in the other 49 States, [they] really don't give a rat's arse what the "party platform" says either.


In other words, they publicly advocate one point, while believing something else? Then they are hypocritical, or, as Dale said, ideologically schizophrenic.

K
8.29.2007 3:14pm
CrazyTrain (mail):
Calling the GOP an "anti-gay party" is the kind of nonsense to be expected from trolls and flamers in the comments section.

No. It's what is expected by those of us who actually care about things called facts. The most prominent GOP politician in the United States today -- The President of the United States -- supported the CRIMINALIZATION of private, consensual homosexual conduct. If that is not "anti-gay" then what, pray tell, is????????????
8.29.2007 3:15pm
Carolina:
Tek,

To add to Thorley's points, regardless of what the Texas GOP party platform says, is sodomy a hot issue in Texas politics? Op-eds? Floor debates? Bills being introduced? Of course not. It's a non-issue, as I said.

My point is simply that gay activists have won their war. No one is fighting anymore, except for those who argue civil unions are not enough or those who demand that gays in the military should be able to be open and obvious. In the large scheme of things, these are tiny, tiny issues.

The great culture war over homosexuality has been fought, and the religious right lost. It's over and done.
8.29.2007 3:15pm
Francis (mail):

For the GOP, this alloy of public rejection and private acceptance means enduring more of these periodic public morality convulsions. How to end it? The private acceptance will continue and, I predict, become even more prevalent as young conservatives comfortable around gay people take over.


Ha! The grassroots of the current Republican party is largely the evangelical movement. Getting through the primary process will mean, at least for the next few elections, that the elected officials will have paid homage to "family values". A more tolerant Republican party will arise only when the path to high office does not require a stop at Jim Dobson's office.
8.29.2007 3:15pm
CrazyTrain (mail):
the "don't ask, don't tell" policy that was instituted by our last... wait for it... Democratic president.

What an absurdly misleading statement -- the dadt policy was an improvement on the prior policy of asking and investigating whether people were gay. Repeal of that policy was publicly opposed by all major Republican politicians. What world do you people live in??? Seriously.
8.29.2007 3:16pm
CrazyTrain (mail):
No one is fighting anymore, except for those who argue civil unions are not enough

Another lie or willfully ignorant statement from Carolina. Please name a major GOP Presidential candidate who supports civil unions. When John McCain said he would support them on Hardball, he had to withdraw his statement a few minutes later.

Regardless, Civil unions are not recognized in almost all states, and several GOP supported referenda illegalized civil unions along with Gay marriage. Again, Carolina, I refer you to Google. Use it before you post and you will stop making yourself look silly.
8.29.2007 3:19pm
Justin (mail):
"war. No one is fighting anymore, except for those who argue civil unions are not enough"

As others have mentioned, this assertion is absurd.
8.29.2007 3:22pm
Brian K (mail):
Justin,

your point is well taken
8.29.2007 3:22pm
Richard Gould-Saltman (mail):
Carolina:

"Non-issue"?

A series of lawyers, presumably from various State A.G.s offices, has stood up in front of the SCOTUS, within the last twenty years, and argued: "There is a legitimate state interest in criminalizing certain sexual conduct between consenting adults, which is not trumped by any Constitutional right." BTW This argument clearly appealed, and appeals, to Justice Scalia. I'm guessing that at least some of those folks still hold that same view. If several "someones" had not clearly held the belief that such conduct should be a crime, and that the state should devote taxpayer resources to prosecuting those who engage in it, there would have been nothing for the Court to hear.

This doesn't boggle my mind quite as much as the fact that, during my lifetime, some lawyer from Virgina, also presumably from a State A.G.'s office, stood up in front of the SCOTUS and argued with a straight face, in about 1967, that the state had a legitimate interest in making it a crime for the Lovings to get married, because they were different colors.

r gould-saltman
8.29.2007 3:22pm
Happyshooter:
Prof Dale:

That is one whole lot of kissing up to the two most important power groups on campus. Don't you have tenure yet?
8.29.2007 3:23pm
jonah gelbach:
Dale,

I agree with a lot of the substance you write. But to say that the GOP's position of "private acceptance welded to public rejection" isn't hypocrisy is like saying a house isn't a dwelling.

I am curious to see how you will find a way to define the word "hypocrisy" that both (1) encompasses most people's understanding of the word while (2) not also encompassing "private acceptance welded to public rejection".

For whatever it's worth, here's a dictionary.com definition of "hypocrisy": a pretense of having some desirable or publicly approved attitude. Note the use of the word "pretense" together with "publicly". Sounds an awful lot like "private acceptance welded to public rejection".

Here's one from the Am. Heritage Dictionary (by way of dictionary.com): a pretense of having some desirable or publicly approved attitude. Sounds an awful lot like "private acceptance welded to public rejection".

Here are two others, from Worldnet by way of dictionary.com: 1. an expression of agreement that is not supported by real conviction
2. insincerity by virtue of pretending to have qualities or beliefs that you do not really have
Sounds an awful lot like "private acceptance welded to public rejection".

So what is your definition?
8.29.2007 3:26pm
Oh My Word:
1. A clarification: Opposition to sodomy does not mean the person is against someone having homosexual desires or otherwise anti-that person.

2. "As a data point, I know several people who were once married (to opposite sex people) and now are in long-term same sex relationships. They self-identify as gay, not bi."

Self-identification is a convenient, and conveniently vague, data point. If the guy was aroused for a woman in a regular marriage (an essential prerequisite for pregnancy), then he's obviously going to try to rationalize his later choices as much as possible by vaguely saying he "found himself" as gay.

If you can be aroused for a woman even though you later self-identify as gay, that is the very definition of bisexuality, no matter how hard one tries to come up with a rationalization or pseudo-psychological explanation.
8.29.2007 3:30pm
Lugo:
I'm a bit perplexed whenever I see Republican's referred to as "anti-gay." Republicans are generally against gay marriage, but beyond that issue, what issues is Congress debating that would make someone "anti-gay."?

Unless the Republicans totally, abjectly surrender to the gay agenda, they will be regarded as "anti-gay" - and probably they'll be called "anti-gay" even if they do, not least because the goalposts for not being anti-gay will probably move.
8.29.2007 3:32pm
Steven Horwitz (mail) (www):
Very nice analysis Dale.

It is, of course, ironic (or perhaps poetic justice) that in a world where same-sex relationships could be turned into legal marriage (precisely what Craig opposes), both the demand and supply of anonymous bathroom quickies would be significantly lower, which would also reduce the police resources devoted to combating it.

The situation that "caught" Craig is partially one of his own creation.
8.29.2007 3:34pm
AntonK (mail):
Let's see - Ted Kennedy committed intoxication homicide against his female employee but is considered a model supported of womens rights. Gerry Studds actually committed statutory rape yet was considered a model of support for gay people. William Jefferson had 90 grand of bribe money in his freezer and yet is considered a model of support for his impoverished constituents. Oh, wait - President Clinton was credibly accused of sexual assault, but he's considered a champion of womens rights as well.

Larry Craig is the hypocrite, though. Go figure.

Blaahhhh!
8.29.2007 3:34pm
Le Messurier (mail):
I'm against gay marriage and legally sanctioned gay unions. I could care less if they live together, and the morality or legality of living together is not a question which I feel is necessary to impose on others by law, but I am firmly anti-homosexual because 1: what they do to one another is disgusting, and 2: it is VERY unhealthy. Convince me that 1 &especially 2 are incorrect and perhaps I'll change my mind.
8.29.2007 3:36pm
CaDan (mail):

Let's see - Ted Kennedy committed intoxication homicide against his female employee but is considered a model supported of womens rights. Gerry Studds actually committed statutory rape yet was considered a model of support for gay people. William Jefferson had 90 grand of bribe money in his freezer and yet is considered a model of support for his impoverished constituents. Oh, wait - President Clinton was credibly accused of sexual assault, but he's considered a champion of womens rights as well.


Non-responsive. Move to strike.
8.29.2007 3:38pm
Laura S.:
Do you realize that you are criticizing the Senator for voting in the manner the electorate prefers rather than in accordance with his own interests?

Is it right to assume that an elected official is or should be the personification of the policy the polity demands?

It is we who make hypocrites of men by presuming an entanglement of the person and the policy--not the men themselves.
8.29.2007 3:41pm
Tony Tutins (mail):
what they do to one another is disgusting, and 2: it is VERY unhealthy.

Gay couples don't do anything that straight couples don't also do -- unless your sex life is plain vanilla.
8.29.2007 3:43pm
DJR:
Carolina,

One Supreme Court decision decision does not end the debate. See, e.g., Roe v. Wade. While those in favor of gay rights "won" Lawrence v. Texas, that does not mean the war is over, just as it was not over when those in favor of gay rights "lost" Bowers v. Hardwick.

As for "those who argue civil unions are not enough," you might look, for example, to the recent Virginia law that prevented gays from even simulating by contract some of the rights that hetero couples can get by waltzing into the courthouse and asking for a marriage license. You might also look to the laws of dozens of other states that have passed anti-gay marriage or anti-civil union laws or constitutional amendments. I assure you that those initiatives were not pushed by the Democrats.

The question of whether being gay and same-sex relationships will become an accepted part of American society will be decided in the coming decades. Those who are fighting against that result now are invariably republican. In 20 or 30 years, I predict the war will be over, and the Santorums of the world will be remembered with the shame that we now remember openly segregationist politicians from the civil rights era. But for now, there is an anti-gay party, and it is the Republicans.
8.29.2007 3:43pm
Steven Horwitz (mail) (www):
Le Messuier,

No one can convince you it's not disgusting any more than you could convince me that lima beans aren't disgusting (which they are ;) ). But I will ask you this:

Presumably anal and oral sex are your items of disgust and unhealthiness. Do they disgust you equally when performed by married heterosexual couples? Are they equally unhealthy? If so, does your disgust carry over into using the law to not give sanction to the relationships in which such behavior takes place? That is, should we prevent heterosexual couples from being legally married if they engage in behavior you call disgusting and unhealthy? If not, why not?
8.29.2007 3:44pm
Houston Lawyer:
There's a big difference between being tolerant of what your colleagues do and endorsing what they do. But tolerance is not what is wanted but blissful acceptance is, at the point of a gun if necessary.
8.29.2007 3:45pm
Guest101:
UW2L,


Funny, I was just thinking, while reading this post, that the GOP's "unwritten law" that you can be gay and work here, we don't care, but don't talk about it openly and don't do anything to make it known publicly sounds an awful lot like the "don't ask, don't tell" policy that was instituted by our last... wait for it... Democratic president.

As I assume you're well aware, don't ask, don't tell was a step forward for gay rights in the military at the time Clinton implemented it, and was (arguably) the best he could do under the prevalent political circumstances at the time. So let's not blame Clinton for doing the best he could to improve marginally improve the situation in the face of Republican opposition.
8.29.2007 3:45pm
Ipwnedu50:
I am utterly amazed that the libertine/libertarian/liberal folk in the world are so logically inept that they fail to recognize that their accusations of "OH NOES11!1!!! !HYPOCRITE!11!!111!!" is actually a Logical Fallacy.

Specifically, it's the Ad Hominem Tu quoque Fallacy. This Fallacy fallaciously asserts that a certain position is false or wrong and/or should be disregarded because its proponent fails to consistently act in accordance with that position.

Fallacy usually takes the following form:

A makes criticism P.
A is also guilty of P.
Therefore, P is dismissed.

I am utterly amazed that people who are supposed to be intelligent, like Professor Carpenter, keep falling for this silly fallacy.
8.29.2007 3:47pm
jim:
To follow on Oh My Word and Pendulum, I would ask whether the Senator is really gay. I recall that the sociologist who wrote the Tearoom Trade found many men who engaged in anonymous sex with other men in public restrooms, who, when interviewed, emphatically denied they were gay — a gay person, these men would say, was a man who loved other men, while these men loved their wives, and merely had meaningless sexual encounters with men. That book is obviously from a different era, but I would think that today gay identity would be even further removed from Senator Craig. Gay identity is now defined in such a way that marriage makes a great deal of sense. That was not always thought to be true within the gay community.

All of this rests on "gay" being a culturally located identity, rather than a simple synonym homosexual, but if this seems pedantic, consider that it highlights that human sexuality is a group of complex phenomena that can be shaped positively or negatively by societal constraints — a fact which is crucial to some conservative rationales for same-sex marriage.
8.29.2007 3:48pm
J. F. Thomas (mail):
1: what they do to one another is disgusting, and 2: it is VERY unhealthy.

He forgot the exception: except when it is two (or more) hot chicks.
8.29.2007 3:48pm
J. F. Thomas (mail):
To follow on Oh My Word and Pendulum, I would ask whether the Senator is really gay.

Homosexual maybe, but most certainly not gayyy!
8.29.2007 3:52pm
Justin (mail):
In regards to Le Messeur's "butt sex is groooooosssssss" attack on homosexuality, I assume he supports the right of lesbians to get married?
8.29.2007 3:55pm
DJR:
Le Messurier:

If you're referring to oral and anal sex, straight people do both regularly. In fact, both are on the rise among young people, particularly those who have pledged to remain "virgins." There is little anyone can do to convince you of what is or isn't disgusting, but with proper precautions both of those activities are no more unhealthy than vaginal intercourse.

As for something that is both disgusting and apparently healthy, you might check out this link regarding how eating your boogers is healthy.
8.29.2007 3:57pm
Justin (mail):
Ipwned,

We aren't in a parliamentary debate mode, and your claims about logically fallacy are simply irrelevant to the topic that Dale is actually trying to discuss.
8.29.2007 3:57pm
J. F. Thomas (mail):
As for something that is both disgusting and apparently healthy, you might check out this link regarding how eating your boogers is healthy.

Now that is truly disgusting.
8.29.2007 4:00pm
American Psikhushka (mail) (www):
Pendulum-

I'll second Oh My Word and add that I wish more people discussed the distinctions between sexual orientation and sexual behavior, and if you want to get really psycho-philosophical, between sexual orientation (as one *actually* is) and sexual identity (as one *thinks* one is - ie a confused teenager before he realizes he's gay)

This is just one more problem with the GOP and general conservative hypocrisy with the issue of homosexuality - because there are a lot of closeted gay or bisexual men, gays or bisexuals have a tendency to think that nearly everyone is like them, when 95%+ of men are not, closeted or otherwise. (Contrary to the "all germans are 'half-a-fag'" crowd, that 95%+ holds true for german and scandinavian men as well.) So they tend to treat everyone as if they were "confused teenagers" or secretly like them when they are not.

It's sort of like the dynamic with alcoholics, they have a tendency to think that everyone cannot control their behavior with alcohol like themselves, so they don't think anyone can handle alcohol. It seems like a failure to realize that everyone is not like them. (This is just an analogy, I'm not endorsing any of the "addiction" theories about sexual orientation.)
8.29.2007 4:02pm
Guest101:
Ipwnedu50,
No one is arguing that homosexual activity is not wrong because Larry Craig, a critic of homosexuals, does it too. That would be tu quoque. But all of us liberal libertines would say that homosexual activity is just fine whether or not Larry Craig does it. The fact of Craig's hypocrisy is independently amusing, but has nothing to do with any proposition about the morality, or lack thereof, of homosexual behavior, and therefore there's no logical fallacy involved.
8.29.2007 4:06pm
Steven Horwitz (mail) (www):
Following up on Jim,

Craig may well not be gay. It might instead be the case that he engaged in some "opportunistic homosexuality." If one looks at it in a Posnerian way, he could have been looking for a substitute for his absent wife and this was a low-cost option. Airport men's rooms are legendary for this precisely because there's a large group of traveling men away from spouses/partners of either sex who might choose to engage in a bathroom quickie as an inferior substitute.

Plus, given that he's a prominent public figure, choosing this particular substitute for married, heterosexual sex makes sense. He wanted something as anonymous as possible so that his identity could not be discovered (hence, the irony of him later flashing his business card when trying to get OUT of the situation). None of the other options available as substitutes for his absent (or uninterested) wife would work: a singles bar (gay or straight) or prostitution (male or female) involved the risk of recognition or a trail of some kind.

So engaging in this particular behavior does not necessarily mean that he's gay in the sense we normally use the word. He appears to have wanted to engage in a homosexual act, but that need not be the same thing. Would we call prisoners who resort to gay sex in homosocial environments with no other options "gay?" I wouldn't. He may well BE gay, but on the basis of this incident alone, it's not the only conclusion one can draw.
8.29.2007 4:07pm
John425:
The PC police will immediately call me "homophobic" because while I could care less what you do and whom you do in your bedroom, I also consider homosexuality outside the norm. Ergo-I won't support equal rights and/or "special" rights for them.

And everyone, homosexuals included, can Va ya con Dios.
8.29.2007 4:07pm
Rickm:
John425 wrote: "The PC police will immediately call me "homophobic" because while I could care less what you do and whom you do in your bedroom, I also consider homosexuality outside the norm. Ergo-I won't support equal rights and/or "special" rights for them."


The PC police won't be the only ones calling you homophobic--nearly every reasonable human being will. At least you air your bigotry out in the open.
8.29.2007 4:16pm
Ipwnedu50:
We aren't in a parliamentary debate mode, and your claims about logically fallacy are simply irrelevant to the topic that Dale is actually trying to discuss.

We don't have to be in "parliamentary debate mode" for the fallacy to apply. Appeals to hypocrisy are STILL fallacious. I find it telling that it's most often folks of the libertine persuasion that like to employ the tactic.

I'll give you an example, a person could go around preaching a message of "Love your Neighbor and be kind to one another", all while secretly being a scourge and engaging in all manner of rudeness.

The message is still valid even if the person preaching it can't/won't live up to it. If you want to disprove the message, you have to attack the message itself, with clear and convincing evidence. Attacking the person delivering it with appeals to hypocrisy only reveals you to be an idiot.

And yet, leftist libertine types who wish to be permitted to engage in all sort of perversion routinely do this when it comes to Republican/Conservatives who fail. Frankly, I am sick of it. The libertines are committing a fallacy, and it's long past time that they start getting called on it.

Thomas Jefferson once said that it was the duty of a representative to vote the conscience of their district, after all, it's the people of the district that they are representing. Thus, a representative who might be personally pro-abortion, might vote in a pro-life manner if they were in a district that was majority pro-life. That's the nature of our system of government.

Last I checked, Craig is in a strongly pro-traditional marriage State.
8.29.2007 4:17pm
J. F. Thomas (mail):
If one looks at it in a Posnerian way, he could have been looking for a substitute for his absent wife and this was a low-cost option.

Which is why Posner is a complete moron. If it wasn't intended to be dead serious, his paper on the economic roots of homosexuality would have been regarded as a Swiftian accomplishment of satire. I wonder what he considers foreplay with his wife--he probably hands her a 20.
8.29.2007 4:19pm
Ipwnedu50:
Ipwnedu50,
No one is arguing that homosexual activity is not wrong because Larry Craig, a critic of homosexuals, does it too. That would be tu quoque. But all of us liberal libertines would say that homosexual activity is just fine whether or not Larry Craig does it. The fact of Craig's hypocrisy is independently amusing, but has nothing to do with any proposition about the morality, or lack thereof, of homosexual behavior, and therefore there's no logical fallacy involved.


Sorry, it's blatantly obvious that the entire motivation of pointing out the failings of Craig and Haggard et el, are an attempt to discredit the message espoused by them. That's Tu Quoque, like it or not.

You just got called on it, and don't like it.
8.29.2007 4:20pm
Ipwnedu50:
The PC police won't be the only ones calling you homophobic--nearly every reasonable human being will. At least you air your bigotry out in the open.

Good job on committing another fallacy. Can you guess which one?
8.29.2007 4:21pm
American Psikhushka (mail) (www):
And what's with this "libertine" term?

To me this seems like a polarization tactic - you either march in lockstep with the whole social conservative agenda or you are the Marquis de Sade. Plus the term seems to imply someone who would violate someone else's rights for their pleasure, which libertarians are against. Perhaps "sensualist" would be a better term for someone that isn't hung up about consensually partaking in pleasureable activities where no one's rights are violated. But "sensualist" doesn't sound nearly as negative, so I guess its going to be "libertine" until they come up with a more pejorative term.
8.29.2007 4:22pm
anon1:
Let's see. Cynthia McKinney, Bob Filner, Patrick Kennedy, Ted Kennedy, can I think of any more off the top of my head? These DEMOCRATIC congresscritters go around assaulting innocent people. As members of the "I hate violence so much I'd rather lose a war than fight one" party, are they not hypocrites?

Moreover, Senator Craig was not victimizing innocents, as the above democrats were. Why does Craig get more press time? Because on the left there are no enemies.
8.29.2007 4:25pm
JB:
To respond to an earlier thread, I'm sick of the "Buuuut Ted Keeeeennedy diiid it!" Republican whining. Ted Kennedy's drunken cowardice in the face of a self-caused car accident has nothing to do with his attitude towards women's rights.
8.29.2007 4:27pm
Oh My Word:
I note that just about all the rest of the posts on this here thread still ponder this amorphous and misleading existential question of whether Craig is "gay."

The guy is bisexual, plain and simple. He is attracted to his wife as well as men and has acted on those urges. Whether or not he finds male sex to involve a romantic attachment or not does not change that. He has diverse sexual urges, as do most of us in some form or fashion.
8.29.2007 4:29pm
Guest101:
Ipwnedu50,

The problem with your reasoning, again, is that I don't really give a damn, for purposes of my own assessment of homosexual activity, whether Larry Craig or Ted Haggard participate in it or not, and I've yet to see anyone make the argument, "See, there's nothing wrong with being gay! Even Larry Craig is gay!" I think the homophobes are wrong whether or not they're also getting blowjobs in the men's room. So, again, you're simply incorrect that a logical fallacy is being committed here.
8.29.2007 4:31pm
Teh Anonymous:
anon1: Hmm, "go around assaulting"? This implies that the individuals you name make a habit of it; can you prove that for each of them?

Ipwnedu50: I can't remember if there's a fancy Latin name for this or not, but maybe the person you're attempting to rebut sincerely thinks you're wrong. Attributing feelings to an antagonist to strengthen your argument is pretty noxious when you don't have much if any evidence.
8.29.2007 4:31pm
Le Messurier (mail):
Steven Horwitz
You must be a lawyer. If you read my post you will realize that I said, in so many words, that the law ought to stay out of it. Just as I am against abortion, I don't believe the government out to be involved in the question of homosexuality or abortion. Lawyers think all problems are best solved by another law, or twisting an existing one. With or without laws it IS disgusting and unhealthy.

DJR

...oral sex, (snip) are on the rise among young people, particularly those who have pledged to remain "virgins."

Yeah, thanks to Monica Lewinsky! And my god man, what kind of surfing are you doing to find that link? Get some help.

JFThomas

He forgot the exception: except when it is two (or more) hot chicks
That of course is perfectly OK with me! :)
.
8.29.2007 4:33pm
J. F. Thomas (mail):
The message is still valid even if the person preaching it can't/won't live up to it.

So I suppose this means it doesn't matter what perversions Craig or any other champion of "traditional family values" performs in public restrooms or with prostitutes, or how depraved his private life is, as long as his voting record is in line with your beliefs, he has your vote? He could show up stoned out of his mind with a hooker on each arm for a vote on the FMA and as long as he voted for it, you would overlook his personal failings.

Or is my logic flawed?
8.29.2007 4:34pm
Guestster:
I won't support equal rights...

What rights should homosexuals be denied, then?
8.29.2007 4:35pm
samuil (mail):
AntoshkaK.
What the hell had happened to you.
Got thoroughly brainwashed by Trotskyites again?
Or is it still affects from the old country lingering in your brain?
8.29.2007 4:39pm
ejo:
they aren't denied any rights now-they can marry individuals of the opposite sex, just like anyone else. they can own property. they can will it to whomever they like. as their relationships are incapable of producing children, they can adopt. does society (or Republicans) have to accept cruising in public restrooms as well?
8.29.2007 4:40pm
Clayton E. Cramer (mail) (www):

The big, open secret in Republican politics is that everyone knows someone gay these days and very few people -- excepting some committed anti-gay activists -- really care. It's one of the things that drives religious conservatives crazy because it makes the party look like it's not really committed to traditional sexual morality.
Uh, no. There are a lot of Republicans who disapprove of homosexuality, and don't want it to be given the preferred status that the homosexual activists want--but we don't hate homosexuals. We just don't think the courts should strike down democratically enacted laws without some Constitutional basis a bit stronger than, "Well, it would make the activists happy."
8.29.2007 4:45pm
J. F. Thomas (mail):
they can own property. they can will it to whomever they like. as their relationships are incapable of producing children, they can adopt.

Well, in some states they are prohibited from adoption and it can make custody of natural children problematic. In some places being gay is enough to have a parent declared unfit. Many of the automatic rights and inheritance rights that are granted to married couples require extensive and expensive legal manuevering for gay couples (and may even be impossible). So to say that they aren't denied rights is simply untrue.
8.29.2007 4:46pm
Elliot123 (mail):
DC: "Their homosexuals feel little need to remain closeted (with the recent exception of Jim "I am a Gay American" McGreevey)."

This reminds me of the people who claim to have gaydar. They claim to be able to spot a gay by some special talent. Unfortunately, they don't know how well it works unles they have a sample of gays, try their gaydar on the sample, and then examine the results.

So, I would ask DC how he knows Dems feel little need to remain closeted unless he has knowledge of the full scope of gay Dems? Where did he get a list of all gay Dems? Is it reasonable to think a gay Dem might have a reason other then his party's platform to remain closeted?
8.29.2007 4:46pm
Steven Horwitz (mail) (www):
Ejo wrote:

they aren't denied any rights now-they can marry individuals of the opposite sex, just like anyone else.


"No one is denied any rights now - everyone can marry individuals of the same race."

That was the argument of some on the losing side in Loving v. Virginia. I'd be curious to understand how you see the difference.

The problem, of course, is that gays and lesbians can't do what heterosexuals can: marry the person they love.
8.29.2007 4:52pm
Brian K (mail):
Appeals to hypocrisy are STILL fallacious.
We are not making appeals to hypocrisy...someone who seems so well versed in logic should be able to figure that out. liberals are not saying gays should have equal rights because those hypocritical family values conservatives have gay sex also. we are saying that gays should have equals and are calling conservatives hypocritcal because there actions with regards to homosexuality is the exact definition of hypocrisy. the "homosexuality is wrong" argument is absurd regardless of the actions of conservatives and counter arguments are not based on conservative hypocrisy...that's just icing on the cake.

I find it telling that it's most often folks of the libertine persuasion that like to employ the tactic.

hmm...so not only are you false (this board is evidence to the contrary) but you are committing the exact same fallacy that you accuse the "libertines" of committing. you're not attacking the message your attacking the messenger.

Attacking the person delivering it with appeals to hypocrisy only reveals you to be an idiot....And yet, leftist libertine types who wish to be permitted to engage in all sort of perversion routinely do this when it comes to Republican/Conservatives who fail.
all again you commit the very fallacy you are complaining of. when are you going to call yourself on it and admit that you are an idiot?
8.29.2007 4:53pm
LM (mail):

Sorry, it's blatantly obvious that the entire motivation of pointing out the failings of Craig and Haggard et el, are an attempt to discredit the message espoused by them. That's Tu Quoque, like it or not.

You just got called on it, and don't like it.

Guest101 offered a logical and to my mind quite reasonable rebuttal to your argument. Correct me if I'm wrong, but it looks to me like your unsubstantiated response was to call him a liar. If that's your idea of "logic," I'll pass, thank you.
8.29.2007 4:56pm
Guestster:
does society (or Republicans) have to accept cruising in public restrooms as well?

Who said it has to be accepted? Sex in public is icky.

But I was hoping John425 would answer the question.
8.29.2007 4:58pm
Joshua Holmes (mail) (www):
There are a lot of Republicans who disapprove of homosexuality, and don't want it to be given the preferred equal status that the homosexual activists want--but we don't hate homosexuals.

Fixed. And absurd.
8.29.2007 5:00pm
Grant Gould (mail):
This uneasy mix of the public and the private is not exactly what I'd call hypocrisy. It's perhaps better described as a form of ideological schizophrenia: private acceptance welded to public rejection.

The term is "Doublethink." It's an important part of the Ingsoc Republican system.
8.29.2007 5:01pm
David M (mail) (www):
Trackbacked by The Thunder Run - Web Reconnaissance for 08/29/2007
A short recon of what's out there that might draw your attention, updated throughout the day...so check back often.
8.29.2007 5:02pm
David Sucher (mail) (www):
le messieur said:

"...I don't believe the government out to be involved in the question of homosexuality or abortion."

So that would mean that if the government is silent then both abortion and same-sex marriage are ok. (Presumably "marriage" would not be a state-sanctioned status.) Right? Is that what you are saying?
8.29.2007 5:03pm
dll111:

Ipwnedu50:
Thomas Jefferson once said that it was the duty of a representative to vote the conscience of their district, after all, it's the people of the district that they are representing. Thus, a representative who might be personally pro-abortion, might vote in a pro-life manner if they were in a district that was majority pro-life. That's the nature of our system of government.

Last I checked, Craig is in a strongly pro-traditional marriage State.


You think his voters will see it that way?

And I doubt his stump speeches all began with, "My constituents believe that . . ."

These were his stated beliefs and his constituents voted for him because they believed his beliefs aligned with theirs. They didn't vote for him because they thought he'd vote how they wanted him to, whether or not he agreed with it or not.
8.29.2007 5:04pm
Lugo:
So I suppose this means it doesn't matter what perversions Craig or any other champion of "traditional family values" performs in public restrooms or with prostitutes, or how depraved his private life is, as long as his voting record is in line with your beliefs, he has your vote? He could show up stoned out of his mind with a hooker on each arm for a vote on the FMA and as long as he voted for it, you would overlook his personal failings.

One could note that the feminists all leaped to the defense of Bill Clinton, despite his dubious "private life".

But that aside, no, I don't care about the private life of a politician so long as he votes the way I want him to. What I hired him to do is represent my interests, not act as an shining examplar of my preferred behaviors.
8.29.2007 5:04pm
J. F. Thomas (mail):
One could note that the feminists all leaped to the defense of Bill Clinton, despite his dubious "private life".

One could note this but they would be guilty of gross exaggeration.
8.29.2007 5:08pm
cathyf:
and the Santorums of the world will be remembered with the shame that we now remember openly segregationist politicians from the civil rights era.
So Santorum will be the next generation's version of Robert Byrd? Really? Interesting theory... I must say that I haven't been able to detect any indications that any democrats feel any "shame" over their association (past or current) with the kleagle. Unless, of course, you mean that "the same shame" is the same lack of shame.
8.29.2007 5:10pm
Jon Rowe (mail) (www):
"With or without laws it IS disgusting and unhealthy."

The behavior that Craig apparently was looking for (what other men have testified they engaged in with him) is practiced by probably around 90% of the heterosexual population and, while it does carry some health risks, has a very low (some say impossible, but I think that goes too far) risk of HIV transmission.
8.29.2007 5:10pm
J. F. Thomas (mail):
Thomas Jefferson once said that it was the duty of a representative to vote the conscience of their district, after all, it's the people of the district that they are representing.

And Jefferson had a couple skeletons in his closet that I'm sure he wouldn't have wanted his constituents to find out about (I won't use the the more appropriate but racially offense phrase).
8.29.2007 5:11pm
David Muellenhoff (mail):
To respond to an earlier thread about President Bush's position on gay issues: at least in 2004 he was not opposed to civil unions at the state level and said so on Larry King.
8.29.2007 5:12pm
Brian K (mail):
We just don't think the courts should strike down democratically enacted laws
then why do you have no problem with courts striking down gun control laws with no more constitution basis than "i want to own my 12 guns without registering them". ohhh...that's right, your a hypocrite and a political hack. makes sense.
8.29.2007 5:14pm
J. F. Thomas (mail):
The behavior that Craig apparently was looking for (what other men have testified they engaged in with him) is practiced by probably around 90% of the heterosexual population

At least before you get married ;)
8.29.2007 5:15pm
Justin (mail):
The Burke/Mills debate is not interesting in relation to Craig, for the reasons that dl111 gave. I don't see there to be any reason that Craig either was nor attempted to appear to be a Millsian democrat.
8.29.2007 5:16pm
ejo:
homosexuals simply can't accept how good they have it in this country-hence, the strained comparisons to the civil rights movement. maybe that plays well on campus but it doesn't reflect reality. again, do we have to accept gay cruising for the Republican party to advance?
8.29.2007 5:18pm
J. F. Thomas (mail):
So Santorum will be the next generation's version of Robert Byrd?

Hopefully Sanatorium will, one day in the future, have the grace and good sense to apologize, like Byrd has numerous times, for his beliefs and acts.
8.29.2007 5:22pm
DJR:
Le Messurier:

Yeah, thanks to Monica Lewinsky! And my god man, what kind of surfing are you doing to find that link? Get some help.


Heh heh. Okay I fell for the troll, congratulations. For those still arguing with IpwnedU I suggest you let him take a bow and desist.
8.29.2007 5:24pm
LM (mail):

This uneasy mix of the public and the private is not exactly what I'd call hypocrisy. It's perhaps better described as a form of ideological schizophrenia: private acceptance welded to public rejection. It's a very unstable alloy.

I think you're slicing it a bit thin to say there's any real daylight between hypocrisy and what you call "ideological schizophrenia." Would you call it ideological schizophrenia for a member of a restricted country club to sneak his blond Jewish or light-skinned African-American friends onto the golf course, provided they promise to keep their voices down? I can think of a lot of words for that, but ideological and schizophrenia are not among them.
8.29.2007 5:24pm
J. F. Thomas (mail):
homosexuals simply can't accept how good they have it in this country

Now there are the words of a bigot. [Insert group here] can't accept how good they have it. They should just shut up and be glad we are not rounding them up and putting them in camps.
8.29.2007 5:30pm
Michael B (mail):
"So what unites these cases is not really hypocrisy. It's two other things. First, nearly all the gay Republicans working in Washington or elsewhere are to one degree or another closeted. Second, very few Republican officials care whether someone is gay." DC

True, it's not really, it's certainly not primarily or critically, hypocrisy. If it is then "hypocrisy" is defined so loosely that anyone who holds any elevated standard whatsoever is guilty of hypocrisy. By such an implied standard the only way to avoid hypocrisy is to be a libertine or nihilist, to be dissolute - and further to give legal, enforceable sanction to such non-standards. I think speed limits are a good idea; I have violated speed limits. Ergo, speed limits should be abolished?

Tolerance and not wanting to institute severe or legal sanctions against homosexuality is not at all the same thing as applauding and more positively sanctioning every agenda the homosexual lobby wishes to institute via legislatures, executives and, most prominently and most critically, judiciaries. Judiciaries have far fewer checks and balances than the other two branches of govt., thus they are more susceptible to manipulations and interest groups that can result in immediate, legally sanctioned, societal impact.

Those are facts. They are facts that pertain to definitions and to societal and legal standards and the institutions tasked with maintaining those standards, they are not mere opinion.

But the homosexual lobby, which is politically sophisticated and often is highly aggressive, doesn't wish to admit of those definitions, distinctions, standards and institutional roles. Instead, they prefer to enjoy the schadenfreude together with the social/political and institutional leverage the charge of "hypocrisy" affords.

DC's attempt in the primary post is little or nothing more than a subspecies of those same outlooks and tactics. Whether or not distinctions and standards are warranted is a valid debate, a debate that all members of society should be admitted to partake in and have their input weighed in the balance. But simply because some advocates and allies violate those standards and simply because most all advocates are broadly tolerant of those who violate those distinctions - whether it's speed limits or some far more complex subject - does not imply the distinction/standard itself should be abolished.
8.29.2007 5:32pm
Steven Horwitz (mail) (www):
ejo wrote:

homosexuals simply can't accept how good they have it in this country-hence, the strained comparisons to the civil rights movement.

Actually, the "they don't know how good they have it" bit sounds an awful lot like an argument from the Civil Rights movement too, just the other side.

maybe that plays well on campus but it doesn't reflect reality. again, do we have to accept gay cruising for the Republican party to advance?

Way to change the subject. Sex in public bathrooms is a problem gay or straight. The issue is about excluding same-sex couples from the protection of the law.
8.29.2007 5:36pm
Horatio (mail):
They should just shut up and be glad we are not rounding them up and putting them in camps.

At minimum, GLBTs should be actively opposed to radical Islam, and support all efforts to destroy it
8.29.2007 5:37pm
J. F. Thomas (mail):
Judiciaries have far fewer checks and balances than the other two branches of govt., thus they are more susceptible to manipulations and interest groups that can result in immediate, legally sanctioned, societal impact.

This contention is of course absurd. Judiciaries are generally less, not more susceptible to the manipulations of interest groups which is precisely why Court decisions sometimes piss people off so much. But a functioning and independent judiciary (and ours mostly is) is more constrained in its actions than either of the other branches.
8.29.2007 5:45pm
ejo:
sorry, I can't see much linkage between how homosexuals are treated in society and blacks in the Jim Crow south. perhaps you can find me a picture of the gays only drinking fountain? it's a ridiculous comparison but par for the course. about as ridiculous as an argument that Republicans accepting same sex marriage will eliminate the problem created by Larry Craig trying to pick up a stranger in a toilet stall, the theory being offered in this thread.
8.29.2007 5:50pm
Ipwnedu50:
The problem with your reasoning, again, is that I don't really give a damn, for purposes of my own assessment of homosexual activity, whether Larry Craig or Ted Haggard participate in it or not, and I've yet to see anyone make the argument, "See, there's nothing wrong with being gay! Even Larry Craig is gay!" I think the homophobes are wrong whether or not they're also getting blowjobs in the men's room. So, again, you're simply incorrect that a logical fallacy is being committed here.

You are actually committing another Fallacy, this time the "Straw Man" Fallacy. I didn't say that anyone made the argument that you are attempting to construct: ("See, there's nothing wrong with being gay! Even Larry Craig is gay!")

I said that Homosexuals and their allies are using the failures of Haggard and Craig in an attempt to discredit the message that they espouse.

There is a wide degree of difference between: "See, there's nothing wrong with being gay! Even Larry Craig is gay!"

And

"HA HA! These homophobe bigots are hypocritical and can't even live up to their own message."

And you can deny doing the latter all you want, but it's transparently obvious that the latter is what the entire Ted Haggard, Larry Craig feeding frenzy is all about.
8.29.2007 5:52pm
Ipwnedu50:
So I suppose this means it doesn't matter what perversions Craig or any other champion of "traditional family values" performs in public restrooms or with prostitutes, or how depraved his private life is, as long as his voting record is in line with your beliefs, he has your vote? He could show up stoned out of his mind with a hooker on each arm for a vote on the FMA and as long as he voted for it, you would overlook his personal failings.

In-so-far as the validity of Haggard or Craig's message is not affected by their own personal failings you are correct.
Which of course is my point. The people who espouse the Tu Quoque argument fail to recognize that attacking the messenger isn't a logically valid way to attack a message.

Or is my logic flawed?

Yes, your logic is flawed.
8.29.2007 5:55pm
Hoosier:
Elliot--I've never met a *straight* man who claimed to have gaydar. On the other hand, I have three gay friends who are just super-duper sure that they can spot a gay guy a mile away.

For at least one of them, "gaydar" really means "Boy, HE'S cute!"
8.29.2007 5:55pm
LM (mail):

They should just shut up and be glad we are not rounding them up and putting them in camps.


At minimum, GLBTs should be actively opposed to radical Islam, and support all efforts to destroy it

"At minimum?" And what should their politics be on a good day?

It's one thing to argue that it's in the self-preservation interest of GLBT's to oppose radical Islam. But turning that into a normative admonition is the kind of collectivist politics anti-gay activists here and elsewhere criticize GLBT activists for practicing.
8.29.2007 5:58pm
Hoosier:
"J. F. Thomas :
The behavior that Craig apparently was looking for (what other men have testified they engaged in with him) is practiced by probably around 90% of the heterosexual population

At least before you get married ;)"

Well, I officially proclaim this the POST OF THE DAY!!
8.29.2007 5:59pm
El Blogero (mail):
I suppose one of the reason why outings are primarily a Republican event now is the GOP's refusal to adopt or even pretend to adopt the major policy positions advocated by the gays. Nonetheless, if we accept the premise that being against gay marriage or voting for the DOMA is anti-gay, then the anti-gay scorecard would include almost all of the current Dems running for president and a majority of Dems in Congress. The only way to reconcile this is to presume that when Dems say they are AGAINST gay marriage or FOR DOMA, they are doing so with a wink and an unstated, "Okay, we are lying, but we have to," that is understood and acknowledged by gays and the press.

The other noteworthy angle on these types of stories is that many, if not most, GOP members usually support the resignation or even defeat of GOP members who are outed in this manner. Is the GOP support for such resignation or defeat anti-gay? If not, why not and if so, why doesn't the gay community rise to the defense of the outed member or condemn the calls for resignation or defeat?

Here is another angle: are outings generally considered anti-gay or are they generally considered okay and newsworthy regardless of party affiliation? What is the threshold for the mainstream press to participate in the outing of a gay Dem officeholder? (Anti-gay voting record? Criminal charges? Allegations in divorce proceedings? Persistent rumors? Actual knowledge? Some combination of the above?) It is hard to determine for Dems, but a fairly low threshold seems to be developing for GOP outings. On its face, it would appear that gay GOP members would be well served by converting to Dems to take advantage of more flexible rules and a bit more protection.
8.29.2007 6:00pm
Don K (mail):
What rights am I denied? Mmmm... let's see if I can think of a few:
The right to leave my estate to my partner whether or not my family objects
The right to visit him in the hospital whether or not his family objects
The right to make medical decisions on his behalf if necessary whether or not his family objects

And the right to have these be the default options.

Is that enough? Yes, I know, these things can be duplicated legally (although maybe not in Virginia), but wills can be challenged, and hospitals can choose to ignore medical powers of attorney and other documents (especially if family members are nearby).

And while it's true Pres. Bush said he didn't object to civil unions, he also supported the original version of the FMA that would have banned civil unions as well as marriage. In this case, I think actions speak louder than words.
8.29.2007 6:00pm
Ipwnedu50:
We are not making appeals to hypocrisy...someone who seems so well versed in logic should be able to figure that out.

Of course you are. There would be absolutely no other reason to create the media circus that the Ted Haggard event created if it were not to make an appeal to hypocrisy. It served no other purpose. Of course you probably already knew that.

You can deny making appeals to hypocrisy, but you are doing it.

liberals are not saying gays should have equal rights because those hypocritical family values conservatives have gay sex also.

Straw man. No one suggested this was an argument that anyone was making. Read the Fallacy again:

A makes criticism P.
A is also guilty of P.
Therefore, P is dismissed.

we are saying that gays should have equals and are calling conservatives hypocritcal because there actions with regards to homosexuality is the exact definition of hypocrisy.

By making an appeal to hypocrisy, you by definition commit the Fallacy I pointed out.

the "homosexuality is wrong" argument is absurd regardless of the actions of conservatives and counter arguments are not based on conservative hypocrisy...that's just icing on the cake.

If your first point was correct, there would be no need to do the latter.
8.29.2007 6:01pm
Ipwnedu50:
hmm...so not only are you false (this board is evidence to the contrary)

Hardly, this board, and many other libertarian leaning boards are evidence that there are appeals to hypocrisy coming from those who seek moral anarchy.

but you are committing the exact same fallacy that you accuse the "libertines" of committing. you're not attacking the message your attacking the messenger.

Hardly. I didn't say that libertines/libertarians are wrong because they are libertarians/libertines. I said that they are committing a logical fallacy by appealing to hypocrisy as a tool in the attempt to discredit the traditional values message.

all again you commit the very fallacy you are complaining of.

Again, you are mistaken. Pointing out that a particular group tends to engage in a behavior is not saying that the group is wrong because they are members of that particular group. I am pointing out that people from a particular group tend to be the ones making the appeal to hypocrisy when it comes to Haggard, Craig, Et el.

when are you going to call yourself on it and admit that you are an idiot?

I won't do that, I do not wish to take your title from you. :)
8.29.2007 6:05pm
Horatio (mail):
It's one thing to argue that it's in the self-preservation interest of GLBT's to oppose radical Islam. But turning that into a normative admonition is the kind of collectivist politics anti-gay activists here and elsewhere criticize GLBT activists for practicing.


Have sex with any consenting adult - go for it. But to support policies, or identify with political activities that don't support the destruction of radical Islam - the greatest threat to Western Civ, IMHO - is self-destructive.
8.29.2007 6:06pm
Guestster:
sorry, I can't see much linkage between how homosexuals are treated in society and blacks in the Jim Crow south.

Did I miss the post where someone said gays are being treated exactly like blacks were in the south?
8.29.2007 6:06pm
The General:
liberals are always trying to cast Republicans as anti-this and anti-that for what are really just policy choices.

Opposition to affirmative action is anti-black.
Opposition to welfare is anti-poor.
Opposition to socialized medicine is anti-affordable health care.
Opposition to gay marriage is anti-gay.
Opposition to the amnesty for illegals is anti-immigrant.
Opposition to increased minimum wage is anti-worker.
Opposition to subsidized abortion on demand is anti-woman.
Opposition to massive intrusive government policies aimed at rolling back global warming is anti-environment.
Opposition to terrorism is anti-Islam.
Opposition to stem cells is anti-science.

In other words, whoever opposes whatever liberals want to impose on us today is against the people for whom the proposed policy is supposedly intended to assist as if there is no other possible reason to be oppose to proposed policy other than some personal enmity towards that group...which is, of course, totally absurd. These accusations exist to allow the liberals to demagogue these issues while silencing opposition to the proposals.

So when liberals scream anti-this or that take it with a grain of salt. that's just hysteria and insults that take the place of actual arguments.
8.29.2007 6:09pm
J. F. Thomas (mail):
I said that Homosexuals and their allies are using the failures of Haggard and Craig in an attempt to discredit the message that they espouse.

True. Because Haggard and Craig have taken a moral stance on homosexuality. Homosexuality is not wrong in the way that speeding is wrong, bad but something we all do because we are in a hurry or because we are not paying attention. Homosexuality is a perversion entered into of someone's own free will and is a deviant lifestyle that is destructive of the self, family and the very fabric of society. For Haggard and Craig to take a moral stance against homosexuality while simultaneously practicing the very acts that they publically declare are not fully controllable and unnatural but also a threat to society as a whole, is the height of hypocrisy. I don't see where the logical fallacy is at all. It directly contradicts everything they claim to believe in and advocate. They are walking proof that homosexuality is not a choice, that, for them at least, their sexual desires, can not be controlled, and even to a lesser extent, that homosexuals can lead an otherwise "normal" life.
8.29.2007 6:11pm
RV:
I also consider homosexuality outside the norm. Ergo-I won't support equal rights and/or "special" rights for them.

Red hair is also outside the norm, no equal rights for them either. Interracial marriages are still much less common/normal than intraracial ones, so none of them either.
8.29.2007 6:12pm
LM (mail):

And you can deny doing the latter all you want, but it's transparently obvious that the latter is what the entire Ted Haggard, Larry Craig feeding frenzy is all about.

Ipwnedu50, help me out here because you remember these terms of art better than I do. What do you call the logical fallacy of using empty rhetoric like "transparently obvious" when logic would require actual authority?
8.29.2007 6:15pm
J. F. Thomas (mail):
bad but something we all do because we are in a hurry or because we are not paying attention.

Now that I read my post, this is apparently Craig's defense.
8.29.2007 6:16pm
Brian K (mail):
Ipwnedu50,

your ability at self delusion is amazing...so amazing in fact that i find your posts hilarious. please keep them coming...the enjoyment i get from laughing at you is a pleasing distraction from my studies
8.29.2007 6:20pm
ejo:
I also question the credibility of a thought that includes as aside along the lines of "with the recent exception of Jim McGreevey". Jim McGreevey kind of ruins the "only repressed Republicans" do it train of thought.
8.29.2007 6:21pm
whit:
several falsehoods and misstatements i see

one: most DEMOCRATS do not support gay marriage either. feel free to refresh your memory of the last democratic debates, for instance. so, saying its only a repub thing is wrong.

two: being against gay marriage as a matter of policy, does not make one "anti-gay"

three:"Umm, where have you been? Several, very prominent Republicans, including the President of the United States, publicly supported the criminalization of homosexual sex in Texas, and even argued to the United States Supreme Court that it should remain criminal. "

the issue in the case was whether or not the law was constitutional. iow, one can think it wrong, as a matter of policy to criminalize gay (or various forms of straight sex) sex without agreeing that it's UNCONSTITUTIONAL under the fed constitution

this is similar to abortion. i am pro-choice. i do not, however, think roe v. wade is "good law". similarly, i am 100% against any sort of law criminalizing sodomy, etc. however, that case was pretty "icky law" to put it mildly.

have you read that case?
8.29.2007 6:21pm
PDXLawyer (mail):
Joshua Holmes:

You wrote that it is absurd to say:

There are a lot of Republicans who disapprove of homosexuality, and don't want it to be given the equal status that the homosexual activists want--but we don't hate homosexuals.

Is this really absurd? Would it be absurd to say that I don't hate ex-convicts, but also don't believe that they should have the right to own guns equal to that of others? Would it be absurd to say that I don't hate drug addicts, but don't believe that drugs should be legalized?

If you think that the analogies are absurd, isn't this because you think that disapproval of homosexuals is absurd, while disapproval of ex-cons and addicts isn't?
8.29.2007 6:24pm
Clayton E. Cramer (mail) (www):

Have sex with any consenting adult - go for it.
But is it really necessary to do it in public restrooms? The ACLU sued a few years back, based on Lawrence, arguing that the Virginia law that prohibited sex in public restrooms violated the rights of homosexuals.

For all the attempts of homosexual activists to claim that they are just like straight people, except for who they love, the reality is that homosexuals pursuing other homosexuals for anonymous sex in public restrooms is very common--common enough that the NGLTF issued a press release yesterday saying that police shouldn't be out arresting men for sex in public restrooms.

Why is it so incredibly important to homosexual activists to cater to the "tea room" crowd? I'm guessing from the energy that the ACLU And NGLTF put into defending this practice that this isn't a tiny fraction of homosexuals doing this. It is clearly not a group that embarrasses the activists, either.
8.29.2007 6:25pm
whit:
***"No one is denied any rights now - everyone can marry individuals of the same race."

That was the argument of some on the losing side in Loving v. Virginia. I'd be curious to understand how you see the difference.

The problem, of course, is that gays and lesbians can't do what heterosexuals can: marry the person they love.***


this is one of the dumbest analogies ever. whatever one thinks of gay marriage - there is a significant difference between men and women, that does NOT exist among the races.

biology, endocrinology, etc. it is a laughable analogy.

the history of marriage is such that interracial marriage has been around for thousands of years. racists CREATED anti-miscegenation laws to CHANGE marriage.

contrarily, gay marriage is practically unheard of in history, and thus it is gay marriage that is a fundamental change to marriage. men and women are not the same. a male-female coupling is (how do i put this) a coupling between two fundamentally different "creatures" whereas racial differences are nowhere near the same thing

and i'm not against gay marriage. i'm against dumb analogies, that equate difference between the races to difference between the genders.

there is a lot of history (mostly among leftists) in trying to claim that most gender differences are 'socially constructed' but science just keeps proving them wrong. even from birth (there are studies to this effect) boys and girls are DIFFERENT. the races are not different in this way. there are excellent arguments for gay marriage but claiming that discriminating against gay marriage is similar to discriminating against interracial marriage ignores biology, chemistry, endocrinology, etc.
8.29.2007 6:27pm
Clayton E. Cramer (mail) (www):

Whenever one of these morality scandals comes up -- whether it involves homosexuality, adultery, or being on a list compiled by someone the media calls a "Madam" -- it often involves a Republican.
And it often involves a Democrat: Barney Frank; Gerry Studds; Bill Clinton. But the national media do their darndest to downplay those incidents. That's one of the advantages of having low moral standards--no matter what you do (sodomizing 17 year old pages, allowing your boy toy to run a house of prostitution from your apartment, adultery, perhaps rape, in the case of Clinton)--it's all good!
8.29.2007 6:28pm
Ipwnedu50:
your ability at self delusion is amazing...so amazing in fact that i find your posts hilarious. please keep them coming...the enjoyment i get from laughing at you is a pleasing distraction from my studies

Now you retreat to another fallacy: Ad Hominem abusive. How quaint.
8.29.2007 6:28pm
Justin (mail):
I think we should just kill all APDAfolk upon graduation from college. Although alumni must be protected, or I'll lose a bunch of good friends ;).
8.29.2007 6:29pm
American Psikhushka (mail) (www):
Oh My Word-

He has diverse sexual urges, as do most of us in some form or fashion.

Actually if you are referring to same sex attraction, whether or not it is acted on, this doesn't seem to be true. If you look at the research Prof Volokh posted a while back, the rates of same sex attraction were under 5% of the population. Granted this was a social science study with all the accompanying self-reporting problems.

Note that I don't have a problem with GLBT's, I'm just citing some research. I don't have a problem with gay marriage either. Can anyone credibly say that gays would cheapen marriage when you can get a drive-thru heterosexual marriage officiated by an Elvis impersonator to someone you just met that night?
8.29.2007 6:29pm
ejo:
uh, there are several posts making Civil Rights era comparisons-I'm not making the ridiculous analogy, they were.
8.29.2007 6:29pm
Justin (mail):
Yes, Clayton, the media did just its darndest to play down the Bill Clinton sex scandals.
8.29.2007 6:30pm
LM (mail):

liberals are always trying to cast Republicans as anti-this and anti-that for what are really just policy choices.

Opposition to affirmative action is anti-black.
Opposition to welfare is anti-poor.
Opposition to socialized medicine is anti-affordable health care.
Opposition to gay marriage is anti-gay.
Opposition to the amnesty for illegals is anti-immigrant.
Opposition to increased minimum wage is anti-worker.
Opposition to subsidized abortion on demand is anti-woman.
Opposition to massive intrusive government policies aimed at rolling back global warming is anti-environment.
Opposition to terrorism is anti-Islam.
Opposition to stem cells is anti-science.

In other words, whoever opposes whatever liberals want to impose on us today is against the people for whom the proposed policy is supposedly intended to assist as if there is no other possible reason to be oppose to proposed policy other than some personal enmity towards that group...which is, of course, totally absurd. These accusations exist to allow the liberals to demagogue these issues while silencing opposition to the proposals.

So when liberals scream anti-this or that take it with a grain of salt. that's just hysteria and insults that take the place of actual arguments.


OK, but just to be clear, opposing our policy in Iraq is anti-American, right?
8.29.2007 6:31pm
Clayton E. Cramer (mail) (www):
Don K writes:
Is that enough? Yes, I know, these things can be duplicated legally (although maybe not in Virginia), but wills can be challenged, and hospitals can choose to ignore medical powers of attorney and other documents (especially if family members are nearby).
So you think that marriage makes wills unchallengeable? Did you miss the lawsuit involving Anna Nicole Smith and her late husband's children from a previous marriage?
8.29.2007 6:31pm
DeezRightWingNutz:
[deleted]
8.29.2007 6:32pm
American Psikhushka (mail) (www):
And re:"Gaydar"

Usually when someone corrects one of these sexual telepaths they just say "oh, he is, he just doesn't know it yet", so not only are they graced with special supernatural sexual powers, they are infallible as well. Sort of like gay-detecting popes. And of course if their subject tries to disagree with them they are "in denial".
8.29.2007 6:39pm
PDXLawyer (mail):
whit:

I think you're wrong that being against gay marriage as a matter of policy does not make one "anti-gay." The gay marriage debate is really a debate about who is moral and who is not.

One side says "Homosexual conduct is wrong, and prohibiting gay marriage helps keep waverers on the path of heterosexual virtue." The other side says "Homosexual conduct is not wrong, and allowing gay marriage gives gays the dignity of equal rights and discourages bigotry." It is really a debate about whether gayness is an unusual taste (like a taste for anchovies) or a sickness/weakness (like kleptomania).
8.29.2007 6:42pm
DeezRightWingNutz:
Besides being against gay marraige and against forbidding discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation, are their other anti-gay policies that Sen. Craig favored? I mean, from a libertarian persepective, I oppose most anti-discrimination laws, and I'm undecided on the marraige issue. If someone didn't want to hire me because of my religious believes, I wouldn't want the ability to sue. So, I'm religious but oppose laws against discriminating on the basis of religion. Am I a hypocrite?

I agree with those that call Sen. Craig a liar or fraud, but being pro-DOMA and gay doesn't necessarily mean one is a hypocrite.
8.29.2007 6:45pm
Clayton E. Cramer (mail) (www):

The problem, of course, is that gays and lesbians can't do what heterosexuals can: marry the person they love.
Neither can heterosexuals, if the person they love is a sibling, or a parent, or in many states, a first cousin, or ten years old.

The only secular argument for why the state recognizes marriage is that biological children create inheritance and child support issues that the state will likely have to resolve.

Homosexuals DO NOT produce biological children. I guarantee it. They may have children left over from a marriage or relationship with a member of the opposite sex, but holding a turkey baster doesn't make you the father.
8.29.2007 6:45pm
Steven Horwitz (mail) (www):
Whit wrote:

this is one of the dumbest analogies ever. whatever one thinks of gay marriage - there is a significant difference between men and women, that does NOT exist among the races.

biology, endocrinology, etc. it is a laughable analogy.


The point is that those differences between men and women are not relevant to the question of whether or not same-sex couples should be entitled to the legal protections of marriage. No one is denying that men and women are different. I'm just denying that those differences are (or should be, I guess) relevant for the extension of the right to marry in the same way that I would deny that race is relevant to the right to marry. Why should marriage be understood in terms of "compatible plumbing" if the centrality of reproduction to marriage has pretty much disappeared? Why, then, do those differences matter any more than race does?
8.29.2007 6:46pm
Clayton E. Cramer (mail) (www):
Note that I don't have a problem with GLBT's, I'm just citing some research. I don't have a problem with gay marriage either. Can anyone credibly say that gays would cheapen marriage when you can get a drive-thru heterosexual marriage officiated by an Elvis impersonator to someone you just met that night?
The fact that there are other marriage cheapeners out there doesn't mean that adding another to mix is a good thing. And yes, no-fault divorce was one of those cheapeners.
8.29.2007 6:47pm
Horatio (mail):
But is it really necessary to do it in public restrooms?

No, it's not, but the libertarian in me would do away with "public" restrooms, and replace them with "private" restrooms, in which case if the restroom's owner doesn't care, then...
8.29.2007 6:48pm
whit:
"I think you're wrong that being against gay marriage as a matter of policy does not make one "anti-gay." The gay marriage debate is really a debate about who is moral and who is not."

with some it is. with some it isn't. i am not saying that SOME who are against gmarriage might BE anti-gay. i am saying one does not equal the other.

heck, i recall reading the advocate, village voice, etc. in the (somewhat) distant past and reading many gay authors were against gay marriage, marriage being something "breeders" etc. do

"One side says "Homosexual conduct is wrong, and prohibiting gay marriage helps keep waverers on the path of heterosexual virtue." The other side says "Homosexual conduct is not wrong, and allowing gay marriage gives gays the dignity of equal rights and discourages bigotry." It is really a debate about whether gayness is an unusual taste (like a taste for anchovies) or a sickness/weakness (like kleptomania)."

except that is a SUBSET of the people on both sides.

one can think gay conduct is WRONG, and still think the govt. ought to recognize it as an equal rights thang. one can think gay conduct is not wrong, and think govt. should not place gay marriage on an equal footing with hetero marriage, etc.

there are three things - policy (should it be legal), constitutional (does the constitution require that it be), and the third ... is homosexual conduct wrong...

it's like saying that those who advocate for legalization/decrim of marijuana think marijuana is a good thing, or not harmful.

i am 100% for decrim. i do not smoke MJ. i think MJ is "lame". i think MJ (like all drugs) can be harmful.

that's tangential to the fact that i think it should not be criminal.

similarly, many who are for legalizing gay marriage can think gay conduct is wrong, and many who think gay conduct is fine can be against gay marriage (recall most dem candidates are against gay marriage. do they think it "wrong" for gays to do their "conduct?")
8.29.2007 6:49pm
Colin (mail):
Clayton Cramer said, "The ACLU sued a few years back, based on Lawrence, arguing that the Virginia law that prohibited sex in public restrooms violated the rights of homosexuals."

I don't have much information on this case --- just what Mr. Cramer linked to, in fact. Based on that information, though, his characterization is (unsurprisingly) a lie. The article notes that the motion "could eventually stop Virginia Beach police from setting up 'sting' investigations in public locations frequented by homosexual males 'cruising' for anonymous sex." It was apparently an argument that, because sodomy is no longer an "illegal sex act," that "Virginia's law prohibiting solicitation of an illegal sex act [is] unconstitutional." The client was apparently arrested in a public restroom, but nothing that Mr. Cramer cited indicates that the ACLU argued that the law prohibiting sex in public was unconstitutional. It argued that the law against "solicitation of an illegal sex act" was unconstitutional as applied, I presume because post-Lawrence sodomy was no longer an illegal sex act.

Mr. Cramer, does it not concern you that your unsubstantiated hysterics blast your credibility to flinders?
8.29.2007 6:51pm
The guy with the hat:
Is Craig a hypocrite? If he honestly believes that homosexual acts are wrong, but ends up succuming to homosexual desires (if that is indeed the case), then he is weak...not a hypocrite.

Isn't those who believe it is not only good but praise-worthy to engage in kinky sex, while condeming people as evil for doing the same thing, hypocites. Just because such peole have not (or little) morals to fall short of does not make those who have high moral standards "hypocrites" just because they doen' always meet them.

Isn't it those who demand their "right to privacy," including when it comes to sex, the hypocrites when they seek out a persons private information and use their (alleged) homosexuality to destroy them?

Isn't it hypocritic that those who shout "discrimination" are the ones who want their morality of what is right and wrong be enforced on other people via schools, the legal system, &c.?
8.29.2007 6:53pm
whit:

"The point is that those differences between men and women are not relevant to the question of whether or not same-sex couples should be entitled to the legal protections of marriage. "


which is an opinion, and that's not my point. my point is that the differences between the races are in no way analogous to the difference between the sexes.

"No one is denying that men and women are different. I'm just denying that those differences are (or should be, I guess) relevant for the extension of the right to marry in the same way that I would deny that race is relevant to the right to marry. Why should marriage be understood in terms of "compatible plumbing" if the centrality of reproduction to marriage has pretty much disappeared? Why, then, do those differences matter any more than race does?"

i am saying a good argument can be made that same sex people should be allowed to marry. however, it is not just a matter of plumbing, it is a matter of their very nature, essence, etc. that men and women are DIFFERENT that is in no way analogous to the very minor ways that races are different.

it's a bad analogy.

and again, people CREATED anti-miscegenation laws to prohibit an already accepted kind of marriage (interracial) that is not, in any real way, different from intraracial marriage.

same sex marriage is different because, as i said, men and women are different "creatures" to get all unscientific.

the differences are not social constructs (to a large extent) and we recognize those differences in ways that we do not recognize with races.
8.29.2007 6:54pm
Clayton E. Cramer (mail) (www):


Yes, Clayton, the media did just its darndest to play down the Bill Clinton sex scandals.

They did. Matt Drudge was willing to break the story about the blue dress--and it turned a minor website that few people knew about into a major news source--not completely reliable, but no worse than CBS.



Once the news was out where ordinary people found out about it, the liberal media did nothing but denigrate the importance of Clinton perjuring himself about not only that, but Clinton's mauling of Juanita Brodderick. "It's just about sex," nothing important, was the liberal excuse. And now? It is again just about sex (in a public restroom instead of the Oval Office), but the liberal media are playing it for all it is worth.



I don't have any respect for Senator Craig anymore. His judgment is clearly flawed, [rest deleted]
8.29.2007 6:58pm
Clayton E. Cramer (mail) (www):


The client was apparently arrested in a public restroom, but nothing that Mr. Cramer cited indicates that the ACLU argued that the law prohibiting sex in public was unconstitutional. It argued that the law against "solicitation of an illegal sex act" was unconstitutional as applied, I presume because post-Lawrence sodomy was no longer an illegal sex act.

Does it bother you that they couldn't find a case that didn't involve cruising in a public restroom?



You won't admit that the NGLTF objects to laws against sex in public restrooms.



Next, you are going to argue that all those men having sex with other men in public restrooms aren't really gay.
8.29.2007 7:00pm
Clayton E. Cramer (mail) (www):
Colin writes:

It argued that the law against "solicitation of an illegal sex act" was unconstitutional as applied, I presume because post-Lawrence sodomy was no longer an illegal sex act.
I am pretty sure sodomy wasn't even illegal in Virginia by that point. (Only a few states still had laws against sodomy when Lawrence was decided.) The "illegal sex act" was apparently sex in a public restroom.
8.29.2007 7:02pm
Brian K (mail):
Is this really absurd? Would it be absurd to say that I don't hate ex-convicts, but also don't believe that they should have the right to own guns equal to that of others? Would it be absurd to say that I don't hate drug addicts, but don't believe that drugs should be legalized?
yes it is absurd. both of your analogies are of activities that have a demonstrably significant and negative impact on society as a whole. taking it in the tail pipe does not. therefore your analogies are flawed.
8.29.2007 7:02pm
Idle Lurker (mail):
Clayton Cramer writes:

NGLTF issued a press release yesterday saying that police shouldn't be out arresting men for sex in public restrooms. http://thetaskforce.org/press/releases/prMF_082707

Except that the NGLTF press release doesn't say what Cramer say it says. It closes with:

And by the way, why are Minneapolis tax dollars being used to have plainclothes police officers lurking idly in airport restroom stalls?

This is consistent with support for arresting men for sex in restrooms, but not for entrapping them. It's the difference between observing a drug deal and soliciting one undercover.

NGLTF apparently believes that there are higher law-enforcement priorities than vice stings. You may not agree but surely the point is debatable. That is what I get from their statement.
8.29.2007 7:04pm
Daniel Chapman (mail):
I think the "update" is hilarious... what did you EXPECT with a post like this? This entire thread is destined to be a flamefest.

DC: A "flamefest" is not inevitable. It should be possible to talk about gay issues in a civil way. The overwhelming majority of commenters are able to do so. But the few commenters who repeatedly violate the comments policy aren't welcome here.
8.29.2007 7:59pm
Jon Rowe (mail) (www):

sorry, I can't see much linkage between how homosexuals are treated in society and blacks in the Jim Crow south. perhaps you can find me a picture of the gays only drinking fountain? it's a ridiculous comparison but par for the course.


The question isn't whether homosexuals presently are being treated as bad as blacks were during Jim Crow; it would be kind of hard for government to do that after Lawrence v. Texas. Rather, the question is how were homosexuals treated during the Jim Crow period. If you think being told to drink at a different water fountain is bad, try involuntary electro-shock therapy. Try losing your job and your public reputation because someone finds out you are homosexual. Try being jailed. Try being run out of town. All of these things are part of America's "glorious" past of moral prohibition against homosexuality. It may not be slavery, but it is every bit as bad as Jim Crow.
8.29.2007 9:03pm
PDXLawyer (mail):
Dale, I like your style of moderation. It is, well, moderate.
8.29.2007 9:13pm
Ramza:
I think for the most part I am going to stay out of this thread. People in here are being extremely argumentative, for they feel threatened. Something they care about (their political party) was criticized in a way they feel they need to defend it, to save it from "aggressors." It doesn't matter if the criticism has some merit of truth to it (or is completely true.)

Its personal to people, thus people get vitrolic. Doesn't matter if DC or other commentators criticism were done in the most understanding way (and not trying to cause caustic pain.)
8.29.2007 9:24pm
Elliot Reed:
The PC police will immediately call me "homophobic" because while I could care less what you do and whom you do in your bedroom, I also consider homosexuality outside the norm. Ergo-I won't support equal rights and/or "special" rights for them.
Others have already refuted this, but it's amazing how often this argument comes up: homosexuals should be denied equal rights because we're unusual. Usually the arguer calls us "deviant" but deviance always turns out to be the same thing as unusualness. Somehow nobody ever takes this to the logical conclusion that there should be a special legal and social stigma attached to Jews, economists, American Indians, and people who like unsweetened chocolate.
8.29.2007 9:29pm
wooga:
Isn't it hypocritic that those who shout "discrimination" are the ones who want their morality of what is right and wrong be enforced on other people via schools, the legal system, &c.?

hat,
My belief is that the states (not feds) should be free to issue laws regulating morality. They always have, they always will. As someone who has plenty of sexually 'deviant' tastes, those laws would certainly cramp my style, and certainly prohibit me from engaging in behavior I find natural and part of my being. But that's the price of the social contract. If I don't like it, I'll move. For example, I like porn, and thus I am glad I no longer live in Hamilton County, Ohio.

I have no problem with people on either side of the SSM issue trying to shove their morality onto the public - so long as it is the will of the people, and not by judicial fiat.
8.29.2007 9:38pm
Chris Bell (mail):
Francis touched on the point I thought was most interesting. The Right is wedded (no pun intended) to evangelicals. A significant portion of evangelicals are not going to give up their anti-gay stance in my lifetime or my kids lifetime.

So is the Republican party doomed to their fate? As R. Kelly might say, are they "trapped in the closet?"
8.29.2007 9:42pm
wooga:
My view (immediately above) is not the law of the land right now, so please don't attack me on that ground. I'm saying what I think the law should be. Essentially, I'm a federalist who believes that "discouraging immoral behavior" is a legitimate state governmental purpose, and should be sufficient to overcome any rational basis scrutiny. This would require reversal of at least 10 years of SCOTUS law.
8.29.2007 9:43pm
Elliot Reed:
The question isn't whether homosexuals presently are being treated as bad as blacks were during Jim Crow; it would be kind of hard for government to do that after Lawrence v. Texas. Rather, the question is how were homosexuals treated during the Jim Crow period. If you think being told to drink at a different water fountain is bad, try involuntary electro-shock therapy. Try losing your job and your public reputation because someone finds out you are homosexual. Try being jailed. Try being run out of town. All of these things are part of America's "glorious" past of moral prohibition against homosexuality. It may not be slavery, but it is every bit as bad as Jim Crow.
Also, what does it matter whether the legal and social stigma attached to gays and lesbians during the Jim Crow period was as bad as Jim Crow? It was pretty horrendous either way. Arguing that it's OK because it wasn't as bad as Jim Crow is like arguing that beating you within an inch of your life is OK because it's not murder.
8.29.2007 9:45pm
wooga:
Chris Bell,
A significant portion of evangelicals think alcohol is the tool of the devil. When you note to a Southern Baptist that Jesus drank wine, you will likely hear, "Well maybe he did, but I would think better of him if he hadn't."

The anti-gay base will remain for a long time. It's simply of questioning of where gay issues fall in the line of priorities. I bet evangelicals would more quickly vote for a celibate gay Christian than a drunken atheist.
8.29.2007 9:47pm
Eli Rabett (www):
While quite neutral on the whole thing, if the Republican leadership refers the Craig matter to the ethics committee, the democrats should file a similar complaint against Vitter.
8.29.2007 9:50pm
Chris Bell (mail):
wooga,

Fair point. Perhaps I should say that I predict that gay issues will continue to be priority issues for evangelicals - even if they gay community "wins".

The day the church teams up with gays to fight atheists is going to be after I'm dead, I'm afraid.
8.29.2007 9:52pm
Chimaxx (mail):
Michael B:
"So what unites these cases is not really hypocrisy. It's two other things. First, nearly all the gay Republicans working in Washington or elsewhere are to one degree or another closeted. Second, very few Republican officials care whether someone is gay." DC

True, it's not really, it's certainly not primarily or critically, hypocrisy. If it is then "hypocrisy" is defined so loosely that anyone who holds any elevated standard whatsoever is guilty of hypocrisy. By such an implied standard the only way to avoid hypocrisy is to be a libertine or nihilist, to be dissolute - and further to give legal, enforceable sanction to such non-standards. I think speed limits are a good idea; I have violated speed limits. Ergo, speed limits should be abolished?


The analogy is wrong--and thus so is the analysis. The proper analogy is: I argue loudly and forcefully in public forums about the importance of speed limits, but personally I think they are an unfair imposition on the rights of drivers, and I have a quiet respect for my friends and family members who routinely violate them without getting caught. And that IS hypocrisy.

The actions of individuals like Craig are not necessarily hypocritical. But when these scandals erupt, they shine a light on the hypocrisy underlying the DoubleThink Republican stance toward gays.

We may pass laws (close to a dozen at the state level over the past few years) to prevent them from adopting, refuse (at the federal level) to sponsor or advance laws that will let them sponsor their partners for immigration, and allow our platforms to demonize them in order to help get out the vote, but some of them are fine upstanding people I am proud to have as colleagues and staff--as long as I don't have to acknowledge that pride publicly.
8.29.2007 9:52pm
American Psikhushka (mail) (www):
Ipwnedu50-

Hardly, this board, and many other libertarian leaning boards are evidence that there are appeals to hypocrisy coming from those who seek moral anarchy.

I don't know where you got the idea that libertarians seek moral anarchy. Libertarians generally believe that consenting adults that aren't harming or violating the rights of anyone else should be left alone. There is also the fundamental belief that everyone should be free from coercion in the form of force or fraud. How is that moral anarchy, unless your definition of moral anarchy is any moral structure that disagree with yours?
8.29.2007 9:52pm
Gex (mail):
Carolina,

I'm a gay person so I am telling you these things from personal experience.

Most straight people wouldn't have such a casual attitude towards the marriage issue. If you couldn't marry the person you wanted to marry, you wouldn't thing this issue is such a minor issue.

Second, while some of the benefits and protections of marriage are available to gays through other legal means, historically contracts between partners have been challenged by the family of a partner. The lack of formal recognition of the gay relationship means these familial ties carry heavier weight in these situations, and courts (as a result and with or without their own gay bias) will throw these arrangements out.

Third, just this year in MN a person in MN was not allowed to ride in the ambulance with her partner when a medical emergency arose, because they were not married. A state legislator introduce a bill to allow this. The republicans in the state railed against this "special law" for gays. They argued that it wasn't needed, despite the specific situation that inspired the bill.

Fourth, I am very, very lucky my partner works for a company that allows domestic partner benefits. But if you've followed what happened in Michigan, even extending health benefits to same sex partners has been found to be "marriage -like" and unconstitutional under that state's marriage amendment. This occurred after proponents of the amendment claimed they weren't out to take away health benefits and such. These are the same people that sued to force the university system to rescind partner benefits.

Fifth, there was a minor furor not to long ago about Bush's idea to "fix" health care coverage. Part of it involved taxing people on the benefits they receive through their employer. Straight people were up in arms. Well guess what? That is happening right now to me. She has to pay income tax on the amount her employer pays for my health care premiums.

Its saddening to me that you find us so petty for caring about having the one relationship that is probably the most significant relationship in a person's life. An arrangement that is so fundamental to humanity that it has existed in some form throughout history and across cultures.

Yes, we have the same concerns as straight people do. But one of those things ought to be the rule of law, and equality under the law. With out those things, there is no democracy or freedom. Most people don't worry about things larger than themselves until they have achieved some personal amount of security. Because you do not have to worry about such a fundamental and significant thing as marriage doesn't make us shallow or petty for having it as a high priority in our lives.
8.29.2007 10:02pm
Gex (mail):
Carolina,

I'm a gay person so I am telling you these things from personal experience.

Most straight people wouldn't have such a casual attitude towards the marriage issue. If you couldn't marry the person you wanted to marry, you wouldn't thing this issue is such a minor issue.

Second, while some of the benefits and protections of marriage are available to gays through other legal means, historically contracts between partners have been challenged by the family of a partner. The lack of formal recognition of the gay relationship means these familial ties carry heavier weight in these situations, and courts (as a result and with or without their own gay bias) will throw these arrangements out.

Third, just this year in MN a person in MN was not allowed to ride in the ambulance with her partner when a medical emergency arose, because they were not married. A state legislator introduce a bill to allow this. The republicans in the state railed against this "special law" for gays. They argued that it wasn't needed, despite the specific situation that inspired the bill.

Fourth, I am very, very lucky my partner works for a company that allows domestic partner benefits. But if you've followed what happened in Michigan, even extending health benefits to same sex partners has been found to be "marriage -like" and unconstitutional under that state's marriage amendment. This occurred after proponents of the amendment claimed they weren't out to take away health benefits and such. These are the same people that sued to force the university system to rescind partner benefits.

Fifth, there was a minor furor not to long ago about Bush's idea to "fix" health care coverage. Part of it involved taxing people on the benefits they receive through their employer. Straight people were up in arms. Well guess what? That is happening right now to me. She has to pay income tax on the amount her employer pays for my health care premiums.

Its saddening to me that you find us so petty for caring about having the one relationship that is probably the most significant relationship in a person's life. An arrangement that is so fundamental to humanity that it has existed in some form throughout history and across cultures.

Yes, we have the same concerns as straight people do. But one of those things ought to be the rule of law, and equality under the law. With out those things, there is no democracy or freedom. Most people don't worry about things larger than themselves until they have achieved some personal amount of security. Because you do not have to worry about such a fundamental and significant thing as marriage doesn't make us shallow or petty for having it as a high priority in our lives.
8.29.2007 10:03pm
PDXLawyer (mail):
Maybe J.F. Thomas hit on something. What if homosexual conduct is kind of like speeding - wrong, but not that big of a deal, so long as it is kept within moderate bounds and nothing disasterous happens. Few voters would care if a Senator were clocked doing 60 in a 55 mph zone (though there is a fringe of safe driving zealots or black-and-white law-and-order types who might). On the other hand if he kills a kid by doing 80 in a school zone, chances of re-election go way down. Still, doing 60 in a 55 zone is no cause for "coming out" as a speeder - holding a press conference saying that you speed gladly and see nothing wrong with it. A politician who did *that* would see his re-election chances drop, and this is a good thing.

A difference, of course, is that speeding is not a highly divisive political issue. There is no party or activist group contending that we have a constitutional right to speed, or that speeding is not socially harmful, and is even beneficial, as many politicans do with regard to homosexual conduct).

Some argue that homosexuality (or at least public tolerance of "out" homosexuality) is harmful because, for example, it may destabilize families where one spouse is bisexual. In other words, it is bad, but not that bad. If this analysis is right, the proper response is to disfavor it, but to keep the sanctions rather moderate (not including, for example, cutting off friendship). It may be that this anslysis is *not* right, but if it is not right, it is because of its own merits, not because it is hypocritical or logically fallacious.

Dale's analysis of political reality disturbs me, even though my sense is that it is probably correct. My discomfort is the conclusion that if one political party says that "X" is not wrong, the other party is forced to either: (1) agree that "X" is OK, indeed a really good thing; or (2) say that "X" is just about the worst thing that a person could ever do, and that "X"ers are moral cretins not welcome in the party. In other words, moderation is not a viable political position on any highly controversial issue. Bummer, if true.
8.29.2007 10:16pm
American Psikhushka (mail) (www):
Clayton-

The fact that there are other marriage cheapeners out there doesn't mean that adding another to mix is a good thing. And yes, no-fault divorce was one of those cheapeners.

Or one could come to the conclusion that marriage is always going to be what the people who are married decide it is, so there will always be "one more cheapener" in your words being added by someone somewhere. In that case perhaps the state should get out of the business of trying to define and regulate what means such vastly different things to different people anyway.
8.29.2007 10:17pm
Elliot Reed:
Gex - Good thing you brought up the amendments. Some of them are very broad and could easily be used to invalidate all manner of legal arrangements, including employer benefits, contracts, wills, powers of attorney, and the like. Michigan, Nebraska, and Texas ban all relationships "similar" to heterosexual marriage; Virginia and South Carolina ban gay relationships that "intend[] to approximate the design, qualities, significance or effect of marriage"; the amendments in Georgia, Kansas, Oklahoma, Idaho, and South Dakota are even vaguer and thus potentially even broader.

Of course maybe all judges to consider cases under such amendments will find that they invalidate only "civil unions" type legislation, but given the sheer number of amendments and the number of anti-gay judges in conservative states, it's a virtual certainty that at least some of them will void most legal arrangements that gays and lesbians try to make with their partner and/or employer to protect their legal relationship.
8.29.2007 10:25pm
Chimaxx (mail):
Clayton writes:
Have sex with any consenting adult - go for it.


But is it really necessary to do it in public restrooms? The ACLU sued a few years back, based on Lawrence, arguing that the Virginia law that prohibited sex in public restrooms violated the rights of homosexuals.


So nice of you to provide a link to the full text of the article, since a quick reading reveals the many ways you mischaracterize it.

1. "The ACLU sued" No one sued. It was a defendant's lawyer who used this argument in his defense. And there is no evidence in the article you quote, in this longer article about the case (which indicates that she lost), or elsewhere on the public web, that the lawyer, Jennifer Stanton, is now or was then a member of the ACLU.

2. "a few years back, based on Lawrence," This part is accurate. This all happened in 2003 and 2004. And Lawrence was the basis of the argument.

3. "arguing that the Virginia law that prohibited sex in public restrooms" Now, Clayton, maybe you are a little fuzzy on the difference between soliciting sex and actually having sex, so let me explain: Soliciting sex is when you ask someone to have sex with you, while having sex usually involves some kind of genital contact. Her argument was that if the Lawrence decision meant that it was no longer illegal for two men to have sex in the state, then soliciting for sex in a public place--whether that place is a ball park, a singles bar or a public restroom--should no longer be illegal.

4. "violated the rights of homosexuals" No, she was arguing that it violated his free speech rights. Since sodomy itself was no longer a crime, she argued, soliciting for it shouldn't be, and were the defendant actually soliciting for public sex--which was indeed still illegal--he shouldn't be punished more harshly than if he had been caught actually having sex in public. As she said after losing the case: "It's pretty harsh to sentence someone to five years in jail for speech, when actual public fornication receives only 12 months."

[deleted personal insult]
8.29.2007 10:40pm
American Psikhushka (mail) (www):
PDXLawyer-

I'm not sure speeding is a good analogy. Those engaging in homosexual sex aren't effecting those around them any differently than if they were having heterosexual sex or playing Yahtzee.

Some argue that homosexuality (or at least public tolerance of "out" homosexuality) is harmful because, for example, it may destabilize families where one spouse is bisexual.

If it was adulterous, I can't imagine how it would destabilize things any more than heterosexual adultery. And by the numbers heterosexual adultery probably dwarfs any other destabilization.

Dale's analysis of political reality disturbs me, even though my sense is that it is probably correct. My discomfort is the conclusion that if one political party says that "X" is not wrong, the other party is forced to either: (1) agree that "X" is OK, indeed a really good thing; or (2) say that "X" is just about the worst thing that a person could ever do, and that "X"ers are moral cretins not welcome in the party. In other words, moderation is not a viable political position on any highly controversial issue. Bummer, if true.

I don't think this particular issue has anything to do with moderation being impossible. The GOP just doesn't want to alienate social conservatives and the religious right. Because of this they take stances on some issues that alienate some libertarians, moderates, and social liberals. Then they try to claim they don't really believe those stances to try to keep those libertarians and moderates. With this and other changes that the party has gone through, like abandoning fiscal conservatism, it's going to be interesting how the party changes in the next few years. I'm not sure it can remain cohesive the way it has been heading.
8.29.2007 10:46pm
PDXLawyer (mail):
Carolina:

You wrote

"in Michigan, even extending health benefits to same sex partners has been found to be "marriage -like" and unconstitutional under that state's marriage amendment."

That decision held the amendment "prohibits public employers from recognizing same-sex unions for any purpose." Nothing prohibits private employers in Michigan from doing whatever they want.

Its clear that you feel strongly aout this because to you it is fundimentally an issue of personal dignity, and personal dignity is very important to you. I agree with you that personal dignity is important, and that people like you who stand up for their personal dignity are not just whining.

On the other hand, fighting for your personal dignity by pretending that it is really about practical matters like riding in an ambulance is dishonest. The Michigan legislature isn't being mean-spirited by refusing to yield on such a minor issue because everyone knows that is not what the fight is really about. The intellectual dishonesty of same-sex marriage advocates (by, for example, overstating their case as you did above) bothers me. The fact that you feel strongly about the moral correctness of your position does not, I believe, justify such tactics.

My own tendency is to thing that same-sex partnerships don't really do much harm. If recognizing same-sex partnerships as marriages makes those involved, like you, feel dignified, why not do it? Same as holding a St. Patrick's Day parade to make the Irish-Americans happy. On the other hand, a majority of our fellow citizens apparently think that recognizing same-sex partnerships would do a lot of harm. Majorities are often right, and even when they're wrong they have a dignitary interest of their own in being respected.

In the end, I am sceptical about technical analysis like you and Elliot Reed present. If you're right, it is because you're right on a basic moral level. All the rest is just legal and logical smoke and mirrors.
8.29.2007 11:03pm
PDXLawyer (mail):
American Psikhushka writes:

Those engaging in homosexual sex aren't effecting those around them any differently than if they were having heterosexual sex or playing Yahtzee.

Going by my own judgment, I suspect you're right, AP. Similarly, you may be right about adultery. Problem is, a majority of our fellow citizens disagree. I'm not smart enough about social dynamics to be sure that you are right and they are wrong, and they are in the majority.

Your analysis that the problem is the "GOP just doesn't want to alienate social conservatives and the religious right" seems to imply that you think these are fringe groups on this issue. In fact, the "religious right" position on SSM is the majority position of the public. In a way, I think you're right that this is related to a loss of ideological cohesion among Republicans. I guess my point is that excessive ideological cohesion can lead to some pretty nasty policy. Incoherence and "muddling along" isn't such a bad thing, even if it doesn't win elections.
8.29.2007 11:20pm
Elliot123 (mail):
If a lawyer represents a clients position, yet personally disagrees with it, or personally behaves contrary to it, is he a hypocrite?

If a congressman represents his constituents position, yet personally disagrees with it, or behaves contrary to it, is he a hypocrite?

If a congressman considers gay sex to be an abomination that cries out to heaven for vengeance, yet supports gay marriage because his constituents support it, is he a hypocrite?

If a congressman is gay, yet opposes gay marriage because his constituents oppose it, is he a hypocrite?

In all four cases, the principals may be expected to argue for the position they are representing with positive statements. Hypocrites?
8.29.2007 11:25pm
AK (mail):
Sen. Rick "Man on Dog" Santorum

Santorum made precisely the argument that any number of libertarians make: if there is a Constitutional right to private consentual sexual behavior, then there is as much a Constitutional right to bestiality as there is to any other act, [deleted]. Some people - apparently Dale Carpenter - took this to mean that Santorum morally equated homosexuality with bestiality, which he simply did not do.

But mark my words: within your lifetime, bestiality will become the new civil right, and you'll be called a bigot for opposing it. Yes, you, Dale Carpenter.
8.29.2007 11:28pm
Justin (mail):
AK, of course, will be outraged when it turns out that animal rights, rather than the right to inflict damage upon animals, is by far the more likely direction of the law - something Ilya Somin noted several months ago.
8.30.2007 12:03am
Randy R. (mail):
Clayton: "I am pretty sure sodomy wasn't even illegal in Virginia by that point. (Only a few states still had laws against sodomy when Lawrence was decided.) The "illegal sex act" was apparently sex in a public restroom."

You are 'pretty sure?" Too bad you are dead wrong. Sodomy was illegal in Virginia, and even after Lawrence was decided, they tried to convict people on that basis.

But that's par for the course with Clayton. He will distort any 'facts' to prove his thesis: gay men = dictatorship.
8.30.2007 12:04am
JosephSlater (mail):
PDX Lawyer:

The government employees a lot of people, so I'm not sure it's all that deceptive to refer to a rule that governs all public workers.

Also, human dignity can often be deeply implicated by day-to-day practicalities: be it the right to ride in an ambulance or be in an operating room, or the right to sit in a bus seat closer to the front than the back of the bus.

Finally, while I'm all for democracy, in cases involving the rights or proposed rights of minorities who are traditionally discriminated against, there is a decent track record of the majority being wrong -- or at least of changing their minds, after activists had pushed the issue.
8.30.2007 12:08am
arturo fernandez (mail):
Why is it so hard to believe Senator Craig is not gay? A gay person is not simply "one who has at any time engaged in homosexual activity", or "who under certain conditions will engage in homosexual activity." A gay person is one who in his attraction to the same gender will find a more fulfilled life and will than give better of himself to others. That's not Craig.

The unfortunate myth that no heterosexuals ever engage in same-sex sexual activity, and so everyone who does must be gay, is being used by bigots to denigrate gay people. This myth is most advanced by liberals, but conservatives bigots are making full use of it to denigrate gay people.

(i wrote these same words in another blog; i hope that doesn't break blog rules)
8.30.2007 12:10am
Randy R. (mail):
Having come late to the game, I've read over all the posts. Quite a few are still of that notion that homosexuality is wrong, immoral or somehow bad.

I am so tired of talking to these people -- if in this day and age you are so clueless about gays, then it's really pointless to talk to you about it. But just to emphasize it one more time: Gay people engage in gay sex because to us it is as much fun and gives as much pleasure as hetero people having hetero sex. If you are a man, and you are not turned on by another man, then why are you so upset that you have to fire us from our jobs, evict us from our apartments, and deny us the ability to marry the one we love? Frankly, why does it concern you so much?

I'm a man, and I'm only turned on by other men. You may be a man who is turned on only by redheads, or blondes, or fat chicks. I don't really care, and neither should you. And I certainly don't go around saying that men who are turned on by fat chicks are immoral, disgusting, shouldn't be allowed to marry a fat chick, or try to fire your ass because you like fat chicks. And if I did, you would wonder about what my problem is.

About the rights of gays: In about 40 states, it is still legal to fire a person from a job simply because he or she is gay, and it is still legal for a landlord to evict a tenant simply because the tenant is gay. ENDA is legislation that would prohibit this (while making exceptions for religious institutions and small businesses and landlords). Yet people still argue that gays have the same rights as everyone else!
8.30.2007 12:13am
O. Hutchins (mail):
[deleted]
8.30.2007 12:14am
Randy R. (mail):
Arturo: "The unfortunate myth that no heterosexuals ever engage in same-sex sexual activity, and so everyone who does must be gay, is being used by bigots to denigrate gay people. This myth is most advanced by liberals, but conservatives bigots are making full use of it to denigrate gay people."

Very true. Many hetero men engage in gay sex. Sometimes they are the most anti-gay of them all. What they do, however, is deny that it is 'sex.' They say it isn't sex if you don't kiss, or if you are the penetrating partner, and so on. As usual, men have an inexhaustible ability to justify getting some!

I think one of the issues that hetero men have with gay men is that they think that all gay men have all this sex all the time. For many gay men, it's true, but for others, it's not. In other words, gay men are pigs because they are gay, but because they are men!
8.30.2007 12:17am
Chairm (mail):
--> "Those who are fighting against that result now are invariably republican."

The various state marriage amendments garnered more votes from Democrats and Independents than from Republicans. And more votes from liberals and moderates than from conservatives.
8.30.2007 12:19am
Randy R. (mail):
Back to the original point: Dale Carpenter has (parden the pun) hit the nail on the head. It's much tougher to be gay and republican than gay and something else.

I knew a gay many years ago who was a repub consultant, and very successful at the big firm he worked at, but if his clients ever knew he was gay, he would have been fired on the spot. He had a boyfriend of many years that he kept quiet about. Finally, they decided to get civil unionized and honeymooned in Paris. He had to make up lies about why he was going to Paris.

On their first day in Paris, his partner died of a heart attack. I can hardly think of anything more devestating -- having to make arrangements, ending the honeymoon, expecting a life together, wanting to enjoy just a few weeks of fun away from a homophobic environment. But it wasn't meant to be.

Upon his return to work, he had to keep silent about the reason for the trip, and the fact that his spouse had just died. Imagine any of you having to pretend you had a great time in Paris, but in reality your spouse died.

Some of you no doubt think this is terrific justice for 'chosing gay.' Some of you think that gay men are all about sex and nothing about friendship, or loving relationships, so you won['t believe any of this story. Some of you will say, 'spare me the pity party' because you think all gays should hurt like this man did.

But hopefully, some of you will see this as a ridiculous situation. Whom did my friend hurt? He still goes to work, still goes a great job, and he does it regardless of his sexual orientation. THAT should be the standard in whatever party, relationship, or job.
8.30.2007 12:26am
JosephSlater (mail):
The state marriage amendments got more votes from liberals than from conservatives? Source?
8.30.2007 12:29am
Michael B (mail):
"Judiciaries have far fewer checks and balances than the other two branches of govt., thus they are more susceptible to manipulations and interest groups that can result in immediate, legally sanctioned, societal impact."
"This contention is of course absurd. Judiciaries are generally less, not more susceptible to the manipulations of interest groups which is precisely why Court decisions sometimes piss people off so much. But a functioning and independent judiciary (and ours mostly is) is more constrained in its actions than either of the other branches." J.F. Thomas
No, you miss the emphasis placed upon the phrase "that can result in immediate, legally sanctioned, societal impact."

Certainly, lobbyists and other interests groups have more ready and more direct access to legislatures and executives. But in terms of being able to have immediate, legally sanctioned impact, judiciaries far surpass legislatures and executives, both of which do have more Constitutional and statutory limits placed on them - i.e. checks and balances - than do judiciaries. Too, legislatures especially have to go through a lengthy, deliberate and more or less transparent process before a bill becomes law. And yes, judiciaries have a different type and kind of pressure placed on them (e.g., in contrast to lobbyists who generally ply legislators and executives), but it's a pressure nonetheless that jurists are capable of succombing to in a manner that reflects extra-juridical interests and pressures.
8.30.2007 12:29am
Brian K (mail):
The various state marriage amendments garnered more votes from Democrats and Independents than from Republicans. And more votes from liberals and moderates than from conservatives.
proof? that's the exact opposite of the results i've seen.
8.30.2007 12:30am
Randy R. (mail):
PDXLawyer: "In the end, I am sceptical about technical analysis like you and Elliot Reed present. If you're right, it is because you're right on a basic moral level. All the rest is just legal and logical smoke and mirrors."

How right you are, PDX. SSM advocates should and DO base their arguments on moral levels (See Andrew Sullivan). The problem is that marriage also confers many legal rights as well that heteros such as yourself enjoy. Why can't we argue for both the morality of SSM AND the basic rights?

True, a majority may think that SSM is wrong. But actually, roughly a one third approve, and one third approve of civil unions, and one third disapprove of either marriage or civil unions. So roughly two thirds of Americans support at least civil unions or some other legal recognition of relationships. (Religious right people are in the one third of people who are against any recognition of gay relationships)

So -- if a majority of people think that civil unions or something equivolent won't destroy society, then certainly we should go with it, correct?
8.30.2007 12:34am
Tony Tutins (mail):
The problem, of course, is that gays and lesbians can't do what heterosexuals can: marry the person they love.

Newsflash: Not all heterosexuals can marry the person they love. My grandparents' marriage is currently illegal in half the states of the union.
8.30.2007 12:42am
Ken Arromdee:
OK, but just to be clear, opposing our policy in Iraq is anti-American, right?

It's certainly possible to oppose our policy in Iraq without being anti-American. On the other hand, some opponents of our Iraq policy really *are* anti-American.

And on the gripping hand, it would take more to convince me that someone is anti-American other than "well, what reason can anyone have for opposing our policy other than being anti-American?"
8.30.2007 12:42am
Randy R. (mail):
Michael B: "but it's a pressure nonetheless that jurists are capable of succombing to in a manner that reflects extra-juridical interests and pressures."

Yes, because the Secret Gay Cabal yields such power over our judges that we can make them rule in our favor all the time! (When we lose, it's only a smokescreen so that we can win bigger the next time around. Like Hardwick).
On the other hand, those poor right wingers have no power to influence, and hence loose time after time in the courts.
8.30.2007 12:43am
Clayton E. Cramer (mail) (www):
Randy R. writes:

Very true. Many hetero men engage in gay sex. Sometimes they are the most anti-gay of them all. What they do, however, is deny that it is 'sex.' They say it isn't sex if you don't kiss, or if you are the penetrating partner, and so on. As usual, men have an inexhaustible ability to justify getting some!
Remember Lincoln's remarks about calling a tail a leg. It doesn't change how many legs a horse has--and a man who has sex with a man is still a homosexual. Redefining reality to be convenient is only allowed in Orwellian universes.
8.30.2007 12:44am
ArtEclectic (mail):
It might behoove some of you to substitute the word "Christian" in place of the word "Homosexual" and "Christianity" for "Sodomy" and see if your arguments still hold up.....
8.30.2007 12:45am
Tony Tutins (mail):
I'm not sure how the thread got turned to gay marriage. Part of the problem people have dealing with "gay marriage" is semantic. Because the word "marriage" has always been associated with a legally recognized relationship between a man and a woman, it is implicitly discriminatory. Governments should quit issuing marriage licenses. In future, only the term "civil union" should be used, to refer to a legally recognized relationship between two people who love each other.
8.30.2007 1:01am
Clayton E. Cramer (mail) (www):

From the top of the party to the bottom, few Republicans personally and viscerally dislike gay people. President Bush has had friends he knew were gay. So has Vice President Cheney. Even the most prominently and vigorously anti-gay Republican, Sen. Rick "Man on Dog" Santorum, had a gay spokesperson whom he defended when his homosexuality became known.

The big, open secret in Republican politics is that everyone knows someone gay these days and very few people -- excepting some committed anti-gay activists -- really care. It's one of the things that drives religious conservatives crazy because it makes the party look like it's not really committed to traditional sexual morality.
There's another explanation that Professor Carpenter missed. The Republican Party has a libertarian wing and a conservative wing. (Also a liberal wing, but it's not big enough to get much lift anymore.)

The libertarian wing doesn't much care about sexuality--they are more interested in laissez faire economics and lower taxes. This wing doesn't want laws regulating what people do in private, but they aren't prepared to go along with the courts forcing states to recognize same-sex marriage--largely because of the dangerous implications of that kind of judicial activism in other areas. To the extent that they are consistent in their libertarianism, they oppose anti-discrimination laws of all sorts--not just the addition of sexual orientation to those laws.

The conservative wing does want laws regulating sexual morality in private, but most of them recognize that there's little enthusiasm for traditional sodomy laws, partly because oral sex has become the norm among heterosexuals, and realistically, few conservatives think that there's much hope of enforcing laws that tell people what they can do in private. Being conservatives, they have some skepticism of government's ability to do good.

However: while many of the conservatives can reluctantly accept "what consenting adults do in private is pretty much impossible to enforce," the step from repeal of sodomy laws to same-sex marriage is quite dramatic. In one case, it's a libertarian argument for less government; in the other, the government has to take an active role in recognizing same-sex marriage.

I have some sympathies with both wings. The Lawrence decision was based on incomplete and misleading history, and I agree with Justice Thomas' dissent in Lawrence when he echoed the dissent in Griswold, calling it a silly but constitutional law. Not every silly law is unconstitutional. As a voter or a legislator, I would vote to repeal such a law (and I supported that repeal in 1975 in California, where I then lived). But in some alternative universe where I sat on the bench, I could not strike such a law down. There is simply no reason to believe that the equal protection clause was understood by anyone in 1868 as requiring homosexuals to be treated the same as heterosexuals.

I really don't think it's a good idea for the government to be telling consenting adults what they can do in private--and it shouldn't matter if it is sodomy or employment. If you accept that the government has the right to regulate one based on the social consequences of action X, then you have implicitly recognized the right of the government to regulate action Y. The arguments in both cases are based on externalities associated with your private actions. Homosexuals believe that sodomy doesn't directly affect anyone else; conservatives have a similar view, equally valid, about employment. I'll leave you free to do what you want in private, but I expect you to do the same.
8.30.2007 1:01am
Clayton E. Cramer (mail) (www):

So -- if a majority of people think that civil unions or something equivolent won't destroy society, then certainly we should go with it, correct?
If a majority felt that way, you wouldn't need judges to order states to create civil unions and same-sex marriage.
8.30.2007 1:03am
Tony Tutins (mail):
If a majority felt that way, you wouldn't need judges to order states to create civil unions and same-sex marriage.

Judges save us from the tyranny of the majority -- the tyranny that passes things like the Patriot Act, in the middle of the night.
8.30.2007 1:07am
Clayton E. Cramer (mail) (www):
PDXlawyer writes:

In other words, moderation is not a viable political position on any highly controversial issue. Bummer, if true.
This is one of the negative effects of a system built around political parties. You build coalitions, and while there's some room for disagreement within each party, clear-cut division lines are easier to explain in bumper stickers and 30 second television ads.
8.30.2007 1:08am
Michael B (mail):
"The proper analogy is: I argue loudly and forcefully in public forums about the importance of speed limits, but personally I think they are an unfair imposition on the rights of drivers, and I have a quiet respect for my friends and family members who routinely violate them without getting caught. And that IS hypocrisy." Chimaxx

No, that's an incorrect analogy and you miss, entirely, the import of what was forwarded, directly upthread.

First, call it hypocrisy and I won't complain as such (Craig, personally/individually, is being hypocritical), the complaint is not with the label or the schadenfreude, it is with the political leveraging such labels are put to. Likewise, I specifically indicated that "it's ... not primarily" hypocrisy, i.e. from a political point of view.

"The actions of individuals like Craig are not necessarily hypocritical. But when these scandals erupt, they shine a light on the hypocrisy underlying the DoubleThink Republican stance toward gays."

That's an assertion, but I see no argument to support it. In fact, precisely the opposite is the case; Criag, again, is personally hypocritical, but it's by no means apparent his polities, his constituents, are hypocritical in the least. Saying it's so, loudly and forcefully, does not make it so. Iow the very opposite of what you've asserted here is true, unless of course his constituents have been aware of Craig's double standard or are themselves, personally and individually, engaged in a similar double standard.

Finally, no one is seeking to "demonize" anyone, even to the contrary (though it would appear you're attempting to demonize me, or at least the position I've taken, in addition to misrepresenting it). Again, from my initial comment, the final graph, emphasis and parenthetical notes now added:

"Whether or not distinctions and standards are warranted is a valid debate, a debate that all members of society should be admitted to partake in and have their input weighed in the balance. But simply because some advocates and allies violate those standards and simply because most all advocates are broadly tolerant of those who violate those distinctions [on a personal level] - whether it's speed limits or some far more complex subject [such as homosexuality] - does not imply the distinction/standard itself should be abolished [on a societal level]."
8.30.2007 1:10am
whit:
"AK, of course, will be outraged when it turns out that animal rights, rather than the right to inflict damage upon animals"

sex with animals is not (necessarily) inflicting damage on animals. perfect example is a woman fellating an animal, or a man or woman being penetrated by the animal. neither is forced on the animal, and in both cases there is ample evidence that the animal enjoys it.

that doesn't make it MORAL (and note i think that gay sex IS moral. i have nothing against it morally).

WA state recently had to pass a bestiality law because it turned out that the cruelty to animals statute (rightly) was determined not to apply in cases like above, since you certainly can't prove CRUELTY in those cases.

we say it is MORALLY wrong, but it does not harm the animal

so, yes the law sometimes legislates morality, even when it doesn't hurt anybody else.

another example is laws against incest - especially same sex incest.

since same sex (brother/brother, sister/mother) etc. cannot bear children, what possible reason is there to outlaw it EXCEPT from morality? we don't like the idea of relatives having sex but it is a sexual act involving two consenting adults... yet we legislate it

again, i don't think that gay sex is immoral in any way. i DO think its disingenuous to argue that heteros are free to have sex (or marry) whomever they fall in love with. it aint true.

and of course, we legislate against polygamy which is also involving consenting adults.

if one posits that sexual contact between consenting adults is not the state's business, then clearly incest laws need ot be overturned (at least in the case of same sex incest).

but we don't overturn it. because it's "icky"
8.30.2007 1:12am
Clayton E. Cramer (mail) (www):
Brian K writes:


Is this really absurd? Would it be absurd to say that I don't hate ex-convicts, but also don't believe that they should have the right to own guns equal to that of others? Would it be absurd to say that I don't hate drug addicts, but don't believe that drugs should be legalized?


yes it is absurd. both of your analogies are of activities that have a demonstrably significant and negative impact on society as a whole. taking it in the tail pipe does not. therefore your analogies are flawed.
AIDS is more readily spread by anal sex than by vaginal or oral sex. That's a significant and negative impact on society as a whole.

For that matter, the spread of all STDs qualify as a "significant and negative impact on society," and by that reasoning, laws prohibiting sex outside of marriage could be justified as well.
8.30.2007 1:14am
Clayton E. Cramer (mail) (www):
IdleLurker writes:

This is consistent with support for arresting men for sex in restrooms, but not for entrapping them. It's the difference between observing a drug deal and soliciting one undercover.
Entrapment is unlawful. It is precisely because the vice cop waits (or at least is supposed to wait) for the other party to make the first move that such convictions survive appeal.
8.30.2007 1:17am
arturo fernandez (mail):
Clayton,

It's very possible that he is heterosexually-oriented, but was horny at the time. He has a wife and kids. He has denied being gay. Why not believe him? Prisoners engage in same-sex sex. That doesn't make them homosexual, and it most certainly does not make them gay.
8.30.2007 1:21am
Clayton E. Cramer (mail) (www):
Tony Tutins writes:

Judges save us from the tyranny of the majority -- the tyranny that passes things like the Patriot Act, in the middle of the night.
I agree with you about the proper function of judges. But they are authorized to save us from tyranny of the majority where tyranny is defined by the Constitution and its contractural meaning--not by the whim of a majority of the Supreme Court on a particular Tuesday morning.

Tell me, what makes a majority vote of nine judges more valid for preventing tyranny than a majority vote of a state legislature (the Lawrence decision), or a majority vote on an initiative (Romer v. Evans)? Are five Supreme Court justices dramatically smarter than a couple million Colorado voters? And will you have the same view after President Fred Thompson appoints two more conservatives to the Supreme Court?
8.30.2007 1:22am
whit:
"This is consistent with support for arresting men for sex in restrooms, but not for entrapping them. It's the difference between observing a drug deal and soliciting one undercover. "

"Entrapment is unlawful. It is precisely because the vice cop waits (or at least is supposed to wait) for the other party to make the first move that such convictions survive appeal."

and soliciting a deal (just for the record) is not entrapment.

i spent a LONG time undercover and i solicited many a drug deal. that is not entrapment. in brief, entrapment is enticing, forcing etc. somebody to commit a criminal act they are not otherwise disposed to. asking a guy "got any blow for sale" is not entrapment.

telling a guy "i'll give you $1000 for a gram of coke!!" is entrapment.



i spent many years undercover (mostly drugs and weapons...) and whatever cab
8.30.2007 1:23am
arturo fernandez (mail):
"The various state marriage amendments garnered more votes from Democrats and Independents than from Republicans. And more votes from liberals and moderates than from conservatives."

Chairm, I'm wondering if it's also true that the various state marriage amendments garnered more votes from Republicans and Independents than from Democrats. And more votes from conservatives and moderates than from liberals. I don't know, you tell me.
8.30.2007 1:27am
Clayton E. Cramer (mail) (www):

Clayton,

It's very possible that he is heterosexually-oriented, but was horny at the time. He has a wife and kids. He has denied being gay. Why not believe him? Prisoners engage in same-sex sex. That doesn't make them homosexual, and it most certainly does not make them gay.
Homosexual was a term originally coined to describe those who have sex with members of the same sex. Perhaps you want gay to mean "men who prefer to have sex with members of the same sex, whether they do so or not," but that seems like a rather pointless definition.

Senator Craig flies back and forth every week when Congress is in session. He was either returning home while laid over in Minneapolis, or headed out from Boise. (When I fly to the East Coast from Boise, that's where I end up for a couple of hours.) Either he couldn't wait another three hours to get home to his wife, or it had been almost a day since he had been home with his wife. I'm not sure "horny" is the word that I would use. How about, "lacking self-control"?

By the way, Senator Craig has no children. After the page scandal in 1982, Craig issued a statement denying any involvement with the pages--and bachelor Craig got married during his re-election campaign. The three children are from her first marriage, which Craig adopted. Craig has no children by his wife or any former wife.
8.30.2007 1:28am
Clayton E. Cramer (mail) (www):

"This is consistent with support for arresting men for sex in restrooms, but not for entrapping them. It's the difference between observing a drug deal and soliciting one undercover. "

"Entrapment is unlawful. It is precisely because the vice cop waits (or at least is supposed to wait) for the other party to make the first move that such convictions survive appeal."

and soliciting a deal (just for the record) is not entrapment.

i spent a LONG time undercover and i solicited many a drug deal. that is not entrapment. in brief, entrapment is enticing, forcing etc. somebody to commit a criminal act they are not otherwise disposed to. asking a guy "got any blow for sale" is not entrapment.

telling a guy "i'll give you $1000 for a gram of coke!!" is entrapment.
Hmmm.
I was under the impression that a law enforcement agent was not allowed to be the first to suggest a criminal act, for fear of it being determined to be entrapment. That's why prostitution decoys are careful to never suggest sex, free or otherwise, because they need the john to first suggest sex for money.

See Jacobson v. U.S., 503 U.S. 540 (1992):

After 2 1/2 years on the Government mailing list, Jacobson was solicited to order child pornography. He answered a letter that described concern about child pornography as hysterical nonsense and decried international censorship, and then received a catalog and ordered a magazine depicting young boys engaged in sexual activities. He was arrested after a controlled delivery of a photocopy of the magazine, but a search of his house revealed no materials other than those sent by the Government and the Bare Boys magazines. At his jury trial, he pleaded entrapment and testified that he had been curious to know the type of sexual actions to which the last letter referred, and that he had been shocked by the Bare Boys magazines, because he had not expected to receive photographs of minors. He was convicted, and the Court of Appeals affirmed.

Held:

The prosecution failed, as a matter of law, to adduce evidence to support the jury verdict that Jacobson was predisposed, independent of the Government's acts and beyond a reasonable doubt, to violate the law by receiving child pornography through the mails. In their zeal to enforce the law, Government agents may not originate a criminal design, implant in an innocent person's mind the disposition to commit a criminal act, and then induce commission of the crime so that the Government may prosecute. Sorrells v. United States, 287 U.S. 435, 442 . Jacobson was not simply offered the opportunity to order pornography, after which he promptly availed himself of that opportunity. He was the target of 26 months of repeated Government mailings and communications...
So, did you actually win these cases?
8.30.2007 1:39am
CaDan (mail):
I have figurued out Mr. Cramer!

He believes that teh ghey is contagious. Even one incident of homosexual sex makes on a homosexual. So, if they escape from their closets, they might infect anybody.

Lock your doors and windows. Clutch your firearms tightly. Teh ghey is out to infect us all, just like Charlton Heston in "The Omega Man."
8.30.2007 1:46am
arturo fernandez (mail):
"Perhaps you want gay to mean "men who prefer to have sex with members of the same sex, whether they do so or not," but that seems like a rather pointless definition."

Perhaps I mean what I said, "A gay person is one who in his attraction to the same gender will find a more fulfilled life and will than give better of himself to others. That's not Craig." Craig is not gay, though he might be homosexual, or he might be heterosexual, we don't know. What we do know is that he's anti-gay. You're anti-gay. He has more in common with you.
8.30.2007 1:48am
Brian K (mail):
AIDS is more readily spread by anal sex than by vaginal or oral sex. That's a significant and negative impact on society as a whole.
this depends on the region (it is the exact opposite in europe and africa) and is much less true today than it was 20 years ago. there are also many more people having oral and anal sex. as result there is a greater negative impact from oral and vaginal sex than there is from anal sex. simple math proves your assertion wrong. see this paper which makes the point that needle sharing results for a greater percentage of the new aids cases than anal sex. The majority of people currently living with HIV in the USA are still men who have sex with men, but in 2004, heterosexual transmission accounted for 35% of all newly-diagnosed AIDS cases - up from 3% in 1985. And since aids diagnoses lags HIV by an increasingly long amount, that means that heterosexuals account for an even LARGER share of new HIV cases. Not surprisingly, your data is about 20 years out of date.

For that matter, the spread of all STDs qualify as a "significant and negative impact on society," and by that reasoning, laws prohibiting sex outside of marriage could be justified as well.
- you've made an argument for restricting anal sex (well actually you haven't because that argument is false...but we'll assume you did while i point out yet another flaw in your argument). in your own words :"the step from repeal of sodomy laws to same-sex marriage is quite dramatic." wouldn't that also mean that the step from support for anti-sodomy laws to support for anti-SSM is quite dramatic? so how do you go from "anal sex is bad" to "all gay marriage is bad"? where is this mystical "significant and negative impact" that same sex marriage has on society?
8.30.2007 1:58am
Tony Tutins (mail):
"Even one incident of homosexual sex makes on a homosexual."

I can buy that straight people might experiment with homosex, while trying to figure out what their sexuality is. But a 62 year old man like Larry Craig should have figured out his orientation years ago.
8.30.2007 2:07am
arturo fernandez (mail):
Tony, it's not about being confused. It's about, as Clayton said, lacking self-control. Craig was horny as the time at the airport, and it's not easy finding a woman to have sex with at the airport.
8.30.2007 2:14am
Chairm (mail):
>> "The state marriage amendments got more votes from liberals than from conservatives? Source?"

Examine the exit polls at CCN's elections webpages, for a starter. Other exit polls indicate similar results.

Or do a quick back-of-envelope. Amendments don't get passed by conservatives alone nor by Republicans alone. And the vast majority of winning Democratic candidates (state and national) did not openly oppose the amendments.

Liberals may be more inclined to vote against marriage amendments, but they aren't unanimous; likewise Democrats are not unanimous. Generally, moderates and Independents poll more like conservatives and Republicans on this issue.

Last election cycle I looked at the available estimates, based on exit polls of various sources, and produced a table based on self-identified party affiliation and ideology. If I dig it up before this thread closes, I'll share it with you, if you really would like that level of detail.
8.30.2007 2:23am
Elliot Reed:
Homosexual was a term originally coined to describe those who have sex with members of the same sex. Perhaps you want gay to mean "men who prefer to have sex with members of the same sex, whether they do so or not," but that seems like a rather pointless definition.
Why what it was "originally coined to mean" is dispositive is beyond me. The meanings of words change over time. These days "homosexual" and "gay" generally refer to people who are attracted exclusively (or at least strongly primarily) to people of the same sex, and have no (or only a very weak) attraction to members of the other sex. A person with a reasonably strong attraction to members of both sexes is "bisexual".

The advantage of this set of definitions, relative to yours, is that it avoids such creatures as the "homosexual" who is generally attracted to members of the other sex but not to members of the same sex, has had a series of different-sex partners, is married to a different-sex partner, etc., and whose status as a "homosexual" is based solely on a single incident thirty years ago. What's the point of classifying such a person as a "homosexual"? What does it tell us about them? On the other hand, the limiting cases of the desire/inclination definition are the homosexual virgin and the homosexual who feigns attraction to members of the other sex while fantasizing about members of the same sex. Those people are meaningfully different, in terms of their current, actual characteristics, from similarly situated heterosexuals.

On the other hand, the "you suck one cock, you're always a cocksucker" definition is very useful if your purpose is not to characterize human psychology but to define a stigmatized class.
8.30.2007 2:24am
Chairm (mail):
I should clarify that I did not say that the amendments got more votes from liberals than from conservatives. I said more votes from liberals and moderates than from conservatives. In other words, the conservatives did not, could not, form the large majorities on their own. While moderates helped considerably, liberals also helped.
8.30.2007 2:26am
Chairm (mail):
Also, obviously, neither conservatives nor Republicans have voted unanimously in favor state marriage amendments. The Yes majorities were mixed. As were the No minorities. Taken as a whole, more yes votes came from non-conservatives and non-Republicans.
8.30.2007 2:28am
Brian K (mail):
Or do a quick back-of-envelope. Amendments don't get passed by conservatives alone nor by Republicans alone. And the vast majority of winning Democratic candidates (state and national) did not openly oppose the amendments.
that's true...but according to the last presidential election liberals and conservatives are split roughly equally and very few states have a significant liberal majority. that means that a majority of conservatives and a minority of liberals can come together to pass the anti-SSM amendments.

Generally, moderates and Independents poll more like conservatives and Republicans on this issue.
not necessarily. according to a relatively recent article on yahoo news moderates and independents are closer to liberals on social issues especially abortion.

also, exit polling data and survey data has been shown to be unreliable on certain issues...this was discussed on this very site a while ago with respect to affirmative action.
8.30.2007 2:32am
whit:
"I was under the impression that a law enforcement agent was not allowed to be the first to suggest a criminal act, for fear of it being determined to be entrapment. That's why prostitution decoys are careful to never suggest sex, free or otherwise, because they need the john to first suggest sex for money. "

i can't speak to vice (prostitution) cause that's not what my concentration was. it was drugs (and weapons).

i can ask a guy "do you know where i can buy some blow?"

that's not entrapment.

did it many times.

your case doesn't say you can't ask for X. in the case you mentioned, the UC basically hounded the guy repeatedly. that is an entirely different thing.

if you are not a drug dealer, and i ask you "hey, do you know where i can buy some cocaine" would you sell me cocaine? of course not.
in your case, they hounded this guy for 26 months. it is clearly irrelevant to what i said.

i can (and did) ask somebody for drugs. that is not entrapment

and yes. i won ALL my undercover cases. specifically, i only had to testify in a couple. all the others pled once those people were found guilty.

a very big part of my training was the law of entrapment, since it is THE key defense in UC cases. i would never WANT to entrap anybody. there are plenty of people who are drug dealers. there is no need to entrap non drug dealers. that would be wrong.
8.30.2007 2:33am
Tony Tutins (mail):
Tony, it's not about being confused. It's about, as Clayton said, lacking self-control. Craig was horny as the time at the airport, and it's not easy finding a woman to have sex with at the airport.

I dunno if I buy this altogether. When I was young and prowling the bars, if I struck out with the ladies I don't remember thinking, "OK, I'm horny so I'll just go home with some guy."
8.30.2007 2:33am
Brian K (mail):
I said more votes from liberals and moderates than from conservatives.
but this kinda makes your comparison useless. moderates do not identify as liberal or conservative so you can't lump them together with liberals to make the claim that more liberals voted to ban same sex marriage than conservatives. especially if you are to say that moderates and independents are closer to conservatives than liberals. that would imply that conservatives should be grouped together with moderates/independents...so therefore more conservatives voted to ban same sex marriage than liberals.

more yes votes came from non-conservatives and non-Republicans
this statement suffers from the same problem as above. it seems like you aren't correctly classifying moderates and independents according to your own descriptions.
8.30.2007 2:40am
Brian K (mail):
Tony, it's not about being confused. It's about, as Clayton said, lacking self-control. Craig was horny as the time at the airport, and it's not easy finding a woman to have sex with at the airport.
this has got to be the lamest excuse for craig's behavior that i have ever heard.
8.30.2007 2:42am
arturo fernandez (mail):
Tony, maybe you didn't. Why is it so hard to think some would take relief in getting oral from another male, or penetrating another male, specially when (as was the case in the past) you didn't compromise your "masculinity" if you were taking the "male" role in the encounter.
8.30.2007 2:44am
Elliot Reed:
arturo - nonsense. If it doesn't describe Tony, it can't describe anyone.
8.30.2007 2:49am
Hoosier:
RANDY R. said: "But just to emphasize it one more time: Gay people engage in gay sex because to us it is as much fun and gives as much pleasure as hetero people having hetero sex"

You have A LOT to learn about "heteros"; or at least about MARRIED heterosexuals! We have sex so that our wives will stop bugging us and let us get back to watching sports. And THIS is the big difference between GAYS and the rest of us: You will never catch US in public restrooms trolling for ESPN!

Doesn't this PROVE that HETEROSEXUALS are MORE VIRTUOUS THAN GAYS? (Or at least that we, on average, own more comfortable La-Z-Boys?)

QED, my brother.
8.30.2007 2:50am
Chairm (mail):
Brian K, I originally responded to someone who had said that only Republicans support marriage amendments. That is obviously untrue.

And just now I said that on this issue moderates and Independents poll more like conservatives and Republicans.

I did not lump them together. That's the way they voted. That's how the majorities were formed.

I think the exit polls form various sources, combined with the results from various election cycles, support the observation that state marriage amendments were passed neither by conservatives alone nor by Republicans alone.

Surely it is not so on other initiatives and amendments, so why the resistance on this particular issue?

Or maybe I have misread you objections? No matter, this is not directly related to Carpenter's original post at the top of the thread so I'll leave off and you can enjoy the last word on this sub-topic. Cheerio.
8.30.2007 2:52am
arturo fernandez (mail):
Brian, no one's excusing anything. But not excusing it doesn't mean we can destroy his career and name over it.
8.30.2007 2:53am
nedu (mail):
[...] "lacking self-control" [...]


Rather, it's about a person enjoying a position of public trust —serving in a house wherein proceedings may from to time require secrecy— who's engaging in very risky behavior.

I'm not sure whether I'd be in favor of hounding all closeted homosexuals out of government positions where they handle classified information, as was done in the past. But surely, an assessment free from unwarranted prejudice must still consider that people susceptible to blackmail may pose an unacceptable national security risk.

I'm awfully glad to hear that Senator Craig has temporarily been relieved of his committee leadership roles. I'd be more glad if I knew that there was an inquiry into his handling of any classified information that may have come into his possession during his service. For instance, some years ago, I know he received a classified briefing on the SIOP.

I could give two flying figs about his private sexual proclivities. But there is a serious public concern here. Is he susceptible to blackmail by a foreign intelligence service?
8.30.2007 3:14am
Tony Tutins (mail):
arturo - nonsense. If it doesn't describe Tony, it can't describe anyone.

I am the average american, +/- 2 sigma.

Who does it describe? At closing time, how many straight guys have you observed offering or receiving blow jobs?
8.30.2007 3:16am
PDXLawyer (mail):
Ramdy R wrote:

The problem is that marriage also confers many legal rights as well that heteros such as yourself enjoy. Why can't we argue for both the morality of SSM AND the basic rights?

If you were talking about basic rights, Randy, like the right to travel interstate or the right to vote, I'd agree. Even if you were talking about the "right" to enjoy your favorite route to orgasm, the Supreme Court would agree (though I wouldn't). But, you're talking about the right to ride in an ambulance or the right to a particular tax treatment of employee benefits. These just aren't basic rights. Whether to allow them to *anyone* is a matter which is plainly within the competence of the legislature.

When it comes down to it, the "basic right" you see is the right to be treated exactly the same as heteros, and not to be treated as "icky" by the Government because, morally, you are *not* icky. The AND part only holds up if you win the basic morality argument - it is simply not viable as an alternative argument.

By the way, in Oregon (a rather liberal state) the people passed an anti-gay-marriage amendment by a rather decisive vote, and the Legislature shortly thereafter enacted a civil unions statute which seems to have met with popular approval. The only way I can make sense of this is that the majority of the people feel that homosexual unions are not the moral equivalent of heterosexual marriage (and homosexuality generally is not just a matter of taste without moral or social implications), but as long as that principle is established, they're happy to do what they can to accomodate the legitimate needs of gays. Sounds to me suspiciously like the current de facto position of the Republican party, which is why I think it is so remarkable that this position is not politically viable.
8.30.2007 4:19am
arturo fernandez (mail):
"I could give two flying figs about his private sexual proclivities. But there is a serious public concern here. Is he susceptible to blackmail by a foreign intelligence service?"

nedu, that's nonsense. What if his wife is kidnapped, and he is blackmailed for her release. If he loves his wife, he might release information, so he's a security risk. When you say you don't care about his "private sexual proclivities", you're lying. It's a shame that you're now trying to destroy this man's career and name.
8.30.2007 10:38am
rarango (mail):
Dont know how to react to any of these issues other than to say I would rather not be exposed to sexual acts (or urination and defecation--by members of same sex or either sex in a public place. And for the life of me, I dont see any reason to prohibit the full panoply of civil rights including marriage, adoption, property transfer, and military service to those who are homosexual.
8.30.2007 10:41am
ejo:
has the incidence of "cruising" gone down in gay friendly communities such as San Francisco or other major metropolitan areas (Democratic, by the way)? if so, the posts might have a point on the dangers of repression. I suspect the epidemiological evidence suggests otherwise, however.
8.30.2007 10:44am
J. F. Thomas (mail):
Tony, it's not about being confused. It's about, as Clayton said, lacking self-control. Craig was horny as the time at the airport, and it's not easy finding a woman to have sex with at the airport.

Especially if you are looking for them in the Men's room. He might have better luck if he tried the bar.

You have A LOT to learn about "heteros"; or at least about MARRIED heterosexuals! We have sex so that our wives will stop bugging us and let us get back to watching sports.

After my post about the oral sex stopping after the wedding being nominated as post of the day yesterday, I will nominate this one as today's post of the day.
8.30.2007 10:46am
Rich Rostrom (mail):
Prof. Carpenter writes: "It's hardly surprising that most of the men caught cruising in parks, bathrooms, and other public places are deeply closeted and often married." Is there any basis for this claim other than wishful thinking? When closet cases are so arrested, it's news; when other homosexuals are arrested, not usually. "Cruising" public washrooms is a very popular activity among male homosexuals: vide the numerous websites devoted to favorite locations. Important "mainstream" homosexual activist groups have campaigned vigorously to "decriminalize" such "cottaging" and stop police enforcement of laws against it.

What's surprising is the number of otherwise rational homosexuals and libertarians who are incapable of perceiving the gross impropriety of this behavior. "Improper" is not the same as "wrong"; those who insist that only explicitly injurious acts should ever be prohibited don't understand a fundamental element of civilization. Propriety is normally enforced by social mechanisms, not by law - as it should be. But some people can't or won't respond to mere social influence. For them law is required.
8.30.2007 10:51am
J. F. Thomas (mail):
"Cruising" public washrooms is a very popular activity among male homosexuals: vide the numerous websites devoted to favorite locations.

So is frequenting prostitutes, going to "Gentlemen's Clubs" (aka tittie bars) and other forms of adult entertainment among heterosexual males. Even Sean Hannity legitimized the largest brothel in Nevada by doing what he claimed was an expose on it but turned out to be little more than an advertisement for it. Heck, pornography is now a mainstream industry.
8.30.2007 10:58am
Aultimer:
America's fetish for celebrity has taken too much democracy out of "representative democracy". A vote shouldn't be wholesale endorsement for a candidate's personal views, but that's what it's become.

Laura S. at 2:41 got it right - if Craig's constituents want anti-gay legislation, then double good for him voting that way, since the legislation might hurt him personally. That he has to be in the closet to get elected by those consituents is the real problem.
8.30.2007 11:01am
arturo fernandez (mail):
"has the incidence of "cruising" gone down in gay friendly communities such as San Francisco or other major metropolitan areas (Democratic, by the way)? if so, the posts might have a point on the dangers of repression. I suspect the epidemiological evidence suggests otherwise, however."

I believe yes. For many reasons, one being the internet.

"Crusing" was as much a way for married straight men get what they weren't getting at home. Not many women, specially in the past, and specially if religious, would consent to giving him oral pleasure. And most who did would do a lousy job at it.
8.30.2007 11:04am
arturo fernandez (mail):
Rich Rostrom-' "Cruising" public washrooms is a very popular activity among male homosexuals: vide the numerous websites devoted to favorite locations'

Are you talking about "cruising for sex dot com"? (I hear) recommendations there are way outdated and unreliable. Though not completely gone, "Crusing" was more a thing of the past, and of older gentlemen living in the past.
8.30.2007 11:17am
nedu (mail):
arturo,

I'm afraid his career is already destroyed, as is his name.

There is no denying that Senator Craig appears to closely fit a classic and well-known profile. And the access that his position gives, and his value as an agent of influence, make him an obvious target.

Further, his behavior upon discovery suggests further investigation is needed.
8.30.2007 11:18am
IB Bill (mail) (www):
Wow, is this like the longest thread ever?
8.30.2007 11:22am
Ramza:
Oregon
2004 Anti-Gay Marriage Initative 57% to 43%
2004 Election Kerry 51% Bush 48%

2005 Oregon State House 27 D, 33 R
2005 Oregon State Senate, 17 D, 11 R, 2 I
2005 Oregon Civil Union Bill 19-10 (17 D 2 I For 1 R Abstained, 9 R 1 D against
)
Republican Speaker of House Karen Minnis vowed to kill the bill. July 21 the bill was waterd won, rights were removed, and the language was changed substantually. The bill died in committee

2006 Election occured

2006 Oregon State House 31 D, 29 R (Ds gained 4 seats in the house)
2006 Oregon State Senate, 18 D, 11 R, 1 I (one of the Is changed his party to D)
2007 Oregon Domestic Partnerships (not civil unions, gives full marriage benefits but the name was changed and the law said it only affects oregons unlike the previous senate bill which would allow you to move to vermont or new jersey and still keep your civil union) House, 34-26 for domestic partnerships (31 D 3 R For, 26 R Against)
2007 Oregon Domestic Partnerships Senate, 21-9 (For 18 D 1 I 2 R, Agaisnt 9 R)

Thus the amendment barely passed, with barely any "liberal" or "democrat" bleed over. The first civil union bill was stopped by a Republican House Majority Leader even though the senate was very for it. An election occurred more Ds occupied the House and suddenly a new billed was passed easily.

Seems to me that the Republicans and not the Democrats are the ones who have problems with civil unions and same sex marriage, but hey that is me, I am just looking at the data, go ahead and try to spin it.
8.30.2007 11:24am
arturo fernandez (mail):
Ramza, don't tell Chairm this. He thinks he's a Democrat. Let him vote Democrat, thinking he'll help the anti gay-marriage cause.
8.30.2007 11:39am
IB Bill (mail) (www):
Having just come onboard after taking a day off, all I can say is, "Wow, you miss a little, you miss a lot."

My concern about the "hypocrisy" allegation, that is, that public morality and private behavior must be reconciled, is that it can go one of two ways:

1. One's private behavior must be reconciled to one's public statements. This is difficult, extremely difficult, and one to which all men strive. Failures I don't see as examples of flagrant hypocrisy, but as simply failures. It's part of what it means to be human. Charity is the answer here.

Or:

2. One's public statements must be reconciled to one's private behavior. This seems to be the direction many liberals want to go. The problem is the nature of man -- if we define down our public statements each time we fail in our private morality, we will define down public morality one step at a time. And that's what's been happening for years.

Thing is, people seem to think, "OK, if we just adjust public morality for this one seemingly harmless act, then we'll have a reasonable reconciliation of public morality and private statements, and things will be much better." Sometimes that is correct, but other times it ain't necessarily so, as virtually everyone, even the saints, will still feel it difficult to match up private behavior with public statements about morality in some aspects of their lives. Unless we simply abandon the concept of public morality.

Understand, by these statements, I'm not really talking about homosexuality per se. I'm talking about "doing the right thing" in general. For example, recently, I was following the story on someone's personal blog. She was a former member of the middle class who got addicted to drugs, lost everything, and became homeless. I offered some advice, but some person actually sent her money, and she got back on her feet. Would I suggest because I didn't send her money that that was the right thing to do?

My two cents.
8.30.2007 11:49am
Eli Rabett (www):

From the top of the party to the bottom, few Republicans personally and viscerally dislike gay people.
The base of the Republican party are the Evangelicals and authoritarian Catholics. These two groups are definitively NOT neutral on the issue, and have numerous people who viscerally hate gays.

Thus the initial claim is false
8.30.2007 12:27pm
J. F. Thomas (mail):
My concern about the "hypocrisy" allegation, that is, that public morality and private behavior must be reconciled

There is a huge difference between someone who is a social drinker or even has an admitted drinking problem and preaches against and supports strict laws against drunk driving who gets caught driving drunk and another self-proclaimed tea-totaler who claims that any consumption of alcohol is evil and immoral and gets caught driving drunk. The first has failed to live up to his own standards but is not necessarily a hypocrite (if he repeatedly drives drunk then indeed his behavior is hypocritical), the second is a rank hypocrite. Craig falls in the second category.
8.30.2007 12:44pm
Michael B (mail):
Eli Rabett,

You are merely projecting your own visceral hatred, likely of those same evangelicals and Catholics, which is but one reason you fail to offer a coherent argument and instead opt for certitudes and preachments - together with presumptive convictions of "hatred" designed to damn the other and cast them out of the social/political arena. Wouldn't be worth commenting on excepting you additionally reflect a general type and kind found in holier-than-thou precincts from Hollywood to N.Y and D.C. and places between.

Try some cogency and coherence, in lieu of facile damnations and preachments.
8.30.2007 1:48pm
Hoosier:
The phrase "tittie bars" has now been used in a debate on VC. Just wanted to make sure that this major event doesn't pass unnoticed.
8.30.2007 2:02pm
Eli Rabett (www):
Michael dear, are you claiming that Evangelicals and authoritarian Catholics are not loathing of gays? That they lovingly favor equal rights for gay couples and not castration (ok, only a few do that)?
8.30.2007 2:22pm
whit:
look, i am sure there are plenty of evangelicals and catholics that "hate" gays. ditto atheists, wiccans, etc.

fwiw, i know plenty of evangelicals. NONE of them HATE gays. just because one thinks (that i disagree with them on this) that certain behaviors are immoral does not mean one hates that person

i know it's a common meme, that if you think homosexual conduct is immoral, that you hate gays, or are "phobic" of them. it simply is not the case. it's just a technique to belittle those you disagree with . it's just "hate"
8.30.2007 2:38pm
jrose:
i know it's a common meme, that if you think homosexual conduct is immoral, that you hate gays, or are "phobic" of them. it simply is not the case. it's just a technique to belittle those you disagree with.
The position that gays shouldn't fulfill their basic human need for love and should instead live in lonliness, sounds kind of hateful to me.
8.30.2007 2:51pm
JosephSlater (mail):
Whit:

I don't doubt that a decent number of evangelicals don't hate gays. But. . . .

Suppose X says, "I don't hate Christians. But I do hate their beliefs and practices; therefore, I think they should change their beliefs and practices. I oppose anti-discrimination laws that would protect them from discrimination on the basis of their beliefs or practices. And oh yeah, I don't think Christians should be able to marry Christians."

Would a reasonble Christian person, hearing that, think that X actually did "hate" Christians, at least for all practical purposes? I think they might.

And note here, being a Christian really is a matter of personal choice, unlike being homosexual.
8.30.2007 2:53pm
Thomas L (mail):
All of this vitriol and judgment against homosexuality, my word! Are people really so ignorant as not to realize:

a) "Homosexual" is a STATE, not an activity. You CAN be homosexual AND be a virgin!
b) Not all gay men have anal sex! Time and again, I hear "I'm disgusted by that anal thing" and they don't realize that one can be a perfectly sexually fulfilled gay man and NEVER take it up the backdoor, nor "give it" up the backdoor.
c) Quite a few "straight" people DO participate in anal sex! Lots of men use it with their wives/girlfriends when its' "that time of the month", and lots of folks do it because they tell themselves they can still claim "virginity" if they've never had penis-vagina sex.

If Anal sex is your crusade, then don't take it out on gays, take it out on the straight folks who do it, too! In fact, since only 5% of the population is gay, ergo there are 19 times more straight people than gay, and only about 3/4 of gay men participate in anal sex, while some 10-15% of "straight" folks do it, then on a given night, there are probably MORE straight men having anal sex than there are gay men!!
8.30.2007 2:53pm
whit:
"The position that gays shouldn't fulfill their basic human need for love and should instead live in lonliness, sounds kind of hateful to me."

look, now we are getting into semantics. we all know what it means to HATE somebody. now, it's having a position that "sounds hateful". whatEver. there are people that hate gays. there are people that don't. plenty of people that are against certain forms of conduct etc. have absolutely NO hate for gays.

that's reality.

hate is an emotion. now, you are claiming their positions are "hateful" which is really just so much rhetoric.
8.30.2007 3:13pm
whit:
"Suppose X says, "I don't hate Christians. But I do hate their beliefs and practices; therefore, I think they should change their beliefs and practices. I oppose anti-discrimination laws that would protect them from discrimination on the basis of their beliefs or practices. And oh yeah, I don't think Christians should be able to marry Christians." "

look, suppose that is true. regardless, many evangelicals (whom i know) don't HATE gay beliefs and practices (not that their is such a thing as "gay beliefs" any more than there are "black beliefs" or "male beliefs" except in a very general, aggregate sense). they disapprove of them. furthermore, there is a concept called "love the sinner, hate the sin". hating a conduct does not mean you necessarily hate the persons who engage in that conduct.

you disapprove of certain behaviors and/or the people who practice those behaviors without hating them.

i know plenty who disapprove of homosexual conduct (personally, i don't disapprove)

they do not HATE gays.

again, it's just a way to belittle people. it's like calling somebody a racist because they don't agree on racial preferences.

hate is an emotion. it is how you feel towards a person.

most people can distinguish between an emoptional state and a criticism of a conduct.

apparently, some here cannot.

it's a rhetoricl technique. "oh, they hate gays". it is stereotypical, demeaning, imprecise, and not worthy of people who are going to engage in rational debate.
8.30.2007 3:21pm
jrose:
whit,

You didn't answer JosephSlater's question 'Would a reasonble Christian person, hearing that, think that X actually did "hate" Christians, at least for all practical purposes?'
8.30.2007 3:28pm
Randy R. (mail):
And yet polls consistently say that most Americans would not elect as president a gay man or woman. Strange, if everyone seems to view sexual orientation as not terribly important, right?
8.30.2007 3:31pm
whit:
"You didn't answer JosephSlater's question 'Would a reasonble Christian person, hearing that, think that X actually did "hate" Christians, at least for all practical purposes?'"

no
and furthermore, in his example, he said the person HATED those beliefs and practices. plenty who disapprove/think immoral gay conduct do not HATE that conduct, let alone the person

but in brief, even if they did "hate" a conduct, it does not follow that they hate those that engage in said conduct

that is a very different thing
8.30.2007 3:40pm
Chimaxx (mail):
ejo:

has the incidence of "cruising" gone down in gay friendly communities such as San Francisco or other major metropolitan areas (Democratic, by the way)? if so, the posts might have a point on the dangers of repression. I suspect the epidemiological evidence suggests otherwise, however.


Interesting theory--but where are the epidemiological studies that break down whether particular infections were acquired in a public or private space, and whether they were acquired while in one's home town as opposed to on a visit to the country/city? Or, indeed, whether the infection was acquired before or after one moved to one's current city/county?

I'm not sure how epidemiological evidence has anything to say about this.
8.30.2007 4:03pm
PDXLawyer (mail):
IB Bill: Good post. I agree with you logically and morally but i think you overlooked a basic human weakness when you wrote "Would I suggest because I didn't send her money that that was the right thing to do?" Many people would suggest exactly that. They reason as follows.

I do/am "X" and "X" is central to my conception of myself. I am a person deserving of respect. Since I am "X" and I am respectable, "X" must be respectable. Anyone who says that "X" is not respectable is saying I am not respectable, which is intolerant and wrong.

I've found that those who reason thus can rarely be made to see the error it involves. From the point of view of practical advocacy, the only thing I know to do is go with it - to try to frame the issue so that the relevant "X" is one which supports my position. Since most people have a lot of "X"s, it usually works OK.
8.30.2007 4:29pm
random guy:
Chimaxx said something, in regard to Cramer's Virginia tangent, that also illuminates something being debated about Craig's case. Chimaxx said:


Her argument was that if the Lawrence decision meant that it was no longer illegal for two men to have sex in the state, then soliciting for sex in a public place--whether that place is a ball park, a singles bar or a public restroom--should no longer be illegal.


The ambiguity here is the phrase "soliciting for sex in a public place." Does it mean that just the soliciting is in public, but the sex is intended to be private, or that the sex itself is intended to be in the public place? Chimaxx cites the singles bar, but aren't most of those solicitations of the "let's go back to my place" variety? By contrast, the highway rest-area bathroom proposals tend to be of the "here and now" variety, not the "come home with me" variety.

Here's how that distinction matters in the Virginia scenario that Cramer cited. If people were publicly soliciting for the illegal act of private sodomy, then Lawrence does undercut any such proscutions, as once private sodomy is not an illegal act, then the public solicitation is not for an illegal act. However, if the people were publicly soliciting for public sex, then Lawrence doesn't help them, as they are still soliciting for an illegal act, i.e., public sex.

This same distinction matters in Craig's case, and some commenters in the news and other blogs have blurred this distinction. If Craig's toe-tap is the international code for "let's go back to my place," it should not be a crime. But if it's code for "blow me here where any kid could walk in any second," then it's fine to make that a cime. It's also fine by me, and I'm sure by others, to set up stings by nailing people at the proposal stage, rather than setting up stakeouts and cameras or whatever to catch people in the act.

In the gray area, I suppose one could argue that certain areas are not fully public, such as "let's go back to my van parked here at the rest area." The common sense test ought to be exposure to someone who stumbles upon you. Even if you stay in the stall, I think it's fairly said to be offensive to others, who will know exactly what's going on from the noise, entry/exit (of the stall!), etc. But the van nearby may be safe?

But the bottom line is that I've already seen dozens of conversations about "soliciting for sex in public" in which the speaker and listeners seem to be assuming different meanings of the phrase, causing them to talk past each other without realizing it.
8.30.2007 4:39pm
IB Bill (mail) (www):
PDX Lawyer: Thanks for your insight. BTW, I took a look at your other comments on this thread and found myself in substantial agreement.

The most difficult thing is to get people to understand that because I disagree with this or that behavior that I am somehow condemning them as persons, which I'm not. For example, I don't even like the term "homosexual," which identifies people too forcefully and completely with a single attribute.
8.30.2007 4:47pm
Elliot123 (mail):
I don't care what Craig's sexual practices are. However, I really have to question his judgement and common sense. Since 9/11 airports are about the last place one should expect to have a clandestine and fleeting sexual encounter. There's just way too much security and scrutiny. The average drug dealer knows better than to push his product at airports. Can't a US senator figure it out, too? I expect our leaders to have the brains of the average pusher.
8.30.2007 5:04pm
jrose:
PDX: The only way I can make sense of this is that the majority of the people feel that homosexual unions are not the moral equivalent of heterosexual marriage, [...] but [...] they're happy to do what they can to accomodate the legitimate needs of gays. Sounds to me suspiciously like the current de facto position of the Republican party

Why then do so few states have civil unions? Why doesn't the federal government recognize civil unions?
8.30.2007 5:17pm
jrose:
IB: The most difficult thing is to get people to understand that because I disagree with this or that behavior that I am somehow condemning them as persons, which I'm not.

As a logical consequence of condeming homosexual behavior, one necessarily argues a gay person should remain celibate and lonely. Doesn't that strike you as a de facto attack on the person simply because he/she is gay?

For example, I don't even like the term "homosexual," which identifies people too forcefully and completely with a single attribute.

Such an identification makes sense so long as it is true there are those who are almost exclusively attracted to people of the same sex, and this trait is primarily immutable.
8.30.2007 5:45pm
Elliot123 (mail):
"Why then do so few states have civil unions? Why doesn't the federal government recognize civil unions?"

I suspect most of what we would call support for civil unions is really ambivalence. People support them when presented with a choice, but don't care enough to take any other action. This could make enacting legislation very difficult since the opposition really does care and is not at all ambivalent.
8.30.2007 5:53pm
jrose:
This could make enacting legislation very difficult since the opposition really does care and is not at all ambivalent.

That makes sense. But isn't that fervent opposition mostly Republican, and hence doesn't that undermine the statement by PDX about the de facto Republican position. I think Dale is right. The Republican party is torn between two camps: hostility towards gays and ambivalence (with a very small third faction of pro-gay rights advocates).
8.30.2007 5:58pm
Brian K (mail):
The most difficult thing is to get people to understand that because I disagree with this or that behavior that I am somehow condemning them as persons, which I'm not.

For most* intents and purposes, it's the same thing.

*especially when the persons sees the behavior or belief as central to their core of existance. this is typically seen in race and/or cultural issues (condemnation of rap, demands that immigrants speak english only) or religion (o'reilly's war on christmas, intelligent design, muslims, holocaust denial).
8.30.2007 6:00pm
Canadian Yankee:

Prof. Carpenter writes: "It's hardly surprising that most of the men caught cruising in parks, bathrooms, and other public places are deeply closeted and often married." Is there any basis for this claim other than wishful thinking?


Yes, there is. CNN just interviewed an Atlanta police officer who's been leading the sting against this sort of activity in the restrooms at the Atlanta airport. He said that they have arrested about 45 men this year, and they have "overwhelmingly" been married with families. See the full video here.
8.30.2007 6:15pm
Canadian Yankee:

three:"Umm, where have you been? Several, very prominent Republicans, including the President of the United States, publicly supported the criminalization of homosexual sex in Texas,

the issue in the case was whether or not the law was constitutional. iow, one can think it wrong, as a matter of policy to criminalize gay (or various forms of straight sex) sex without agreeing that it's UNCONSTITUTIONAL under the fed constitution


Actually, as Texas governor, George W. Bush promised to veto any attempt by the state legislature to repeal the sodomy law (which was a law that criminalized homosexual sodomy only). Bush supported the sodomy law strongly enough that he was willing to override duly-passed legislative attempts to end it. That doesn't sound to me like someone who thinks the law is bad policy.

Have you ever seen any indication that Bush has changed his opinion on sodomy laws?
8.30.2007 6:23pm
Elliot123 (mail):
"That makes sense. But isn't that fervent opposition mostly Republican, and hence doesn't that undermine the statement by PDX about the de facto Republican position."

The opposition very well may be mostly Republican, but that doesn't mean it's most Republicans. I suspect a far more accurate and tight description of the opposition would be based on a particular view of religion rather than politics. I'd actually go so far as to say that most Americans - Democrat and Republican - have become bored with the gay issue. The just don't care. And that's about the best description of a victory for gays I can imagine.
8.30.2007 6:30pm
abb3w:
Elliot123:
If a lawyer represents a clients position, yet personally disagrees with it, or personally behaves contrary to it, is he a hypocrite?

Yes; however, generally the interest of impartial service to a client is a greater good than the hypocrisy an evil.

If a congressman represents his constituents position, yet personally disagrees with it, or behaves contrary to it, is he a hypocrite?

Only if his action is covert, or if he persuaded people to elect him on the (false) basis of his sharing their position. I'll also add I feel that unlike a lawyer, the duty of elected officials is not to represent the constituents' positions, but their interests — similar, but not the same. That's why we call them elected leaders, not elected followers.

If a congressman considers gay sex to be an abomination that cries out to heaven for vengeance, yet supports gay marriage because his constituents support it, is he a hypocrite?

Assuming you mean "yet openly supports", yes.

If a congressman is gay, yet opposes gay marriage because his constituents oppose it, is he a hypocrite?

Depending on the extent to which he thinks it is against the best interests of his constituents to allow it. Presuming that he does not feel (as a gay man) such restrictions against gay marriage are to the benefit of society, yes.

In all four cases, the principals may be expected to argue for the position they are representing with positive statements. Hypocrites?

To the extent that their public self-portrayal (of belief and action) does not match the private truth. However, a foolish consistency is the hobgoblin of little minds; in some cases, a degree of hypocrisy is for the net good of society, when outweighed by a higher concern.

I(AmNotALawyer) wonder why he didn't try a "nolo contendere" plea instead — which would give him a better position for defending himself. Do DA's not allow that, or was it merely his ignorance of the law?

As for the question of hypocrisy, there are two possibilities: either he's gay, and has maintained a hypocritical political position to be elected; or he's not, and pled guilty to something he didn't do despite the obvious PR risks and bad example implied. If the latter, he's an idiot, and should be chased out of politics post haste. So, I'd ask those who believe he is gay, and supporting him despite the hypocrisy of his position: what greater good to society is there (if any) that might outweigh the hypocrisy of the position he's held?
8.30.2007 6:42pm
JosephSlater (mail):
Whit:

OK, suppose hypothetical person Mr. X says: "I disapprove strongly of Christian beliefs and practices. I think they are immoral and disgusting and contrary to God's word. I believe they should try to change their beliefs and I believe that public expressions of their practices should not be protected by laws, including but not limited to anti-discrimination laws. Oh, and Christians shouldn't be able to marry Christians."

Again, I will happily grant not every Evangelical or conservative says pretty much that exact same thing with "homosexual" substituted for "Christian." But a significant number do (and a decent number of posters to the VC do).

Are you really saying that it would be unfair for a Christian, upon hearing Mr. X say that, to conclude, "Mr. X hates Christians"? I've certainly heard some conservatives say "the ACLU/liberals/Democrats/etc. hate Christians" based on significantly less than what is often said about gays by mainstream conservatives.
8.30.2007 6:47pm
PDXLawyer (mail):
Why aren't civil unions more prevalent? I suspect part of the reason is that the people who would naturally push for civil unions don't really want them all that much. The main reason SSM advocates are for SSM is that it "proves" that gays are "just as good as" straights.

For those interested in promoting gay civil rights, civil unions are "separate but equal" and so fail to establish the key point that differential treatment is immoral.

The other school of thought is that civil unions are the entering wedge - a step along the path of getting people used to out homosexual couples, so that they won't be perceived as "icky." I think in the long run this strategy is likely to work. Or, to state it from the point of view of anti-gay-rights activists, civil unions are likely to erode society's moral values. Since the American public as a whole seems to come down about at the civil unions point on the gay rights spectrum, I suspect that over the long run they will gain acceptance and after that the social consensus will move steadily in the direction of gay rights.

Obviously some states are more to the gay rights end of the spectrum (such Massachusetts and Hawaii) and some are more toward the traditional values end of the spectrum (like Virginia and Texas). Since the culture in the various states is so intertwined, I doubt any of the minority states will simply go their own way on this issue, eventually they will go all one way or all the other. Had gay rights been constitutionalized/judicialized as abortion was, the effect would have been to moot the political debate and freeze political opinions in their present highly divided state.
8.30.2007 6:47pm
Brian K (mail):
The main reason SSM advocates are for SSM is that it "proves" that gays are "just as good as" straights.
Are you purposefully ignoring the statements of nearly every openly gay man on this very board? if you want to see conspiracy and what not everywhere, that's perfectly fine...just don't pretend it the unequivocal truth.
8.30.2007 6:59pm
PDXLawyer (mail):
Brian K:

You wrote that for most intents and purposes, disagreeing with/condemning a person's behavior is the same thing as hating them as a person. I don't think that is true.

For example, I've read that recent studies have shown that the majority of college students have cheated to some degree. Surely we can all agree that cheating is bad without hating college students as a group. If I know a particular college student who has cheated, and I urge them not to do it again, but to study harder instead, I think I'm helping them rather than harming them.

As a lawyer, if I find that my client has done something tortious or wrongful without realizing that it was tortious or wrongful, I think it is my duty to call it to their attention. At a minimum, they need to know that it is conduct which others condemn and may punish so that continuing it carries significant practical risks. In many cases, they don't realize that something is wrongful because they lacked the information necessary to see it from the perspective of others and see why it harms others. I find that most responsible adults appreciate this sort of discussion. They want to do right.

Of course, there are those who simply want the world to define "right" as whatever they happen to find convenient. They think a good lawyer is someone who can accomplish this. Is there really much good to say about this attitude?
8.30.2007 7:12pm
American Psikhushka (mail) (www):
Rick Rostrom-

What's surprising is the number of otherwise rational homosexuals and libertarians who are incapable of perceiving the gross impropriety of this behavior. "Improper" is not the same as "wrong"; those who insist that only explicitly injurious acts should ever be prohibited don't understand a fundamental element of civilization. Propriety is normally enforced by social mechanisms, not by law - as it should be. But some people can't or won't respond to mere social influence. For them law is required.

Libertarians (I can't speak for homosexuals because I'm not, though I bet they do too) understand this. I don't think many libertarians in the thread are aguing with the laws against public exposure, etc., its the general social conservative attack on and hypocrisy about gays that they are commenting on.

And "social mechanisms" are subject to all kinds of abuse and criminality. Contrary to what you think, most people don't want the town gossips, prudes, busybodies, voyeurs, sadists, etc. - people with nothing better to do - trying to run their lives with "social mechanisms". Perhaps your "social mechanism" ought to be to get these people hobbies so they will stay out of other peoples' business. Perhaps stamp collecting, quilting, or building ships in a bottle?
8.30.2007 7:18pm
Brian K (mail):
I've read that recent studies have shown that the majority of college students have cheated to some degree. Surely we can all agree that cheating is bad without hating college students as a group.
but this is not what i said. that's why i added the *. cheating is not a core part of the college students life.

As a lawyer, if I find that my client has done something tortious or wrongful without realizing that it was tortious or wrongful, I think it is my duty to call it to their attention. At a minimum, they need to know that it is conduct which others condemn and may punish so that continuing it carries significant practical risks. In many cases, they don't realize that something is wrongful because they lacked the information necessary to see it from the perspective of others and see why it harms others. I find that most responsible adults appreciate this sort of discussion. They want to do right.
i have no idea why you added this in...it doesn't apply. homosexuality is not illegal. you may think it is wrong or immoral, but before you can make this type of argument you have to prove that it is wrong. that is easy to do with laws...all you need to do is look it up in a book. also, as a lawyer you have authority with respect to what the law is. you have no authority to tell someone that their otherwise legal actions are wrong.

Of course, there are those who simply want the world to define "right" as whatever they happen to find convenient. They think a good lawyer is someone who can accomplish this. Is there really much good to say about this attitude?
replace "right" with "wrong" and you've pretty much described yourself and many other commenters on this board.
8.30.2007 7:28pm
Michael B (mail):
"Michael dear, are you claiming that Evangelicals and authoritarian Catholics are not loathing of gays? That they lovingly favor equal rights for gay couples and not castration (ok, only a few do that)?" Eli Rabett

Dear? Do you ever forego patronizing smarm and snide?

Evangelicals and Catholics, among most other Xians, do not hate or loath homosexuals. They variously disagree with some, perhaps several, aspects of the homosexual lobby and their various legislative and judicial lobbying efforts, but no, they do not loath or hate homosexuals.

Craig is the latest and perhaps a representative example. No one is directing any hatred at Craig. If you disagree, please provide the links or other support argument. That he should resign is another issue entirely, but it doesn't reflect any personal hatred or even so much as any ill will toward him or his family. It simply does not. Same is true for a Barney Frank. (Again, if you disagree, provide the supportive links.) Disagreement with policies is not tantamount to "hatred," a charge that has become almost ubiquitous, in order to assume a morally superior posture in the general debate. That that is news to you and others is a reflection of your own state, no one else's.

By contrast, the venom and viscerally despising contempt directed at evangelicals and Catholics, among others, is manifest, here and elsewhere. As such, at least so from a tactical perspective, you're perhaps prudent in merely posturing and continuing to avoid anything more coherent or cogent.
8.30.2007 7:31pm
American Psikhushka (mail) (www):
Michael B-

Disagreement with policies is not tantamount to "hatred," a charge that has become almost ubiquitous, in order to assume a morally superior posture in the general debate.

It depends on the policy, government policies can be quite hateful, in intent, application, and/or effect.
8.30.2007 7:44pm
jrose:
PDX: You wrote that for most intents and purposes, disagreeing with/condemning a person's behavior is the same thing as hating them as a person. I don't think that is true.

Your argiment holds if the behavior and personal characteristic are separable. But for sexuality, the behavior is the only way a person with the characteristc realizes love and intimacy. The behavior and characteristic are inextricably linked. When you condemn what they do, you've condemned who they are.

How do you react to JosephSlater's hypothetical about hating Christian beliefs versus hating Christians?
8.30.2007 8:30pm
PDXLawyer (mail):
Brian K: Honestly, I don't think homosexuality is wrong. It doesn't strike me as "icky" either. (The fact that lots of people feel otherwise gives me pause and makes me less than 100% certain that I am right, though).

If I were a legislator I probably would vote against SSM simply because it strikes me as a pretty radical innovation and I'm leary of implementing legal change too fast. I certainly am against anti-sodomy laws and would be for civil unions if any significant number of people (say more than 0.1%) wanted that option.

My point is only that if a person is sincerely convinced that homosexuality is wrong and/or that homosexual acts are bad for people, expressing that belief is not necessarily hateful, wrong or even inappropriate. I recognize that you reject the idea that homosexuality is wrong (as I do). But you take if further, and reject the premise that anyone could be sincerely convinced that homosexuality is wrong, and that flies in the face of ample evidence.

If you object to my college student analogy, try this one. I am agnostic. Suppose that I had a son who decided to join a reclusive order of Catholic monks. Would I be acting hatefully if I pointed out to him that he was giving up the potential joys of marriage and having a child and extolled those joys based on my personal experience? What if I said that if he wanted to live a virtuous life he would be much more effective by doing good in the world than by spending his days praying somewhere? Sure, it would be a hard discussion to have, because it deals directly with important issues. Hard does not mean wrong, though.

As far as he lawyer-client relationship goes, I don't pass judgment of whether a proposed course of action is wrong or immoral. I do, however, point out when there is a significant argument that something is wrong or immoral which may not be obvious to the client. I then let the client make up their own mind, rather than just passing over the issue because it didn't occur to them. Even when *I* and the client think it is OK, I often point out why people with other personal or religious values (like others the client is dealing with) might have a different take on it. In many cases there is a way to conveniently adjust plans so that they don't offend the moral sense of others. This isn't moralism or moral cowardice - it is getting along with others, which is more considerate and often more convenient than fighting with them.

I believe that it is possible to be moral without being moralistic. It is possible to be open-minded without being standardless. It is possible to work with, and like, someone who has basic traits or views different from mine. That is one of the reasons why the study and practice of law is so much fun.
8.30.2007 8:35pm
jrose:
PDX: Or, to state it from the point of view of anti-gay-rights activists, civil unions are likely to erode society's moral values

Thus, wouldn't you agree these anti-gay-rights advocates have a hold on Republican policy? And your earlier statement that civil unions are the de facto Republican policy doesn't hold?
8.30.2007 8:42pm
Clayton E. Cramer (mail) (www):
Hoosier writes:

You have A LOT to learn about "heteros"; or at least about MARRIED heterosexuals! We have sex so that our wives will stop bugging us and let us get back to watching sports.
Good heavens! A sports-a-holic comes out of the closet! Of course, I don't watch sports. My favorite physically demanding activity involves my wife.
8.30.2007 8:46pm
Clayton E. Cramer (mail) (www):
CaDan writes:

I have figurued out Mr. Cramer!

He believes that teh ghey is contagious. Even one incident of homosexual sex makes on a homosexual. So, if they escape from their closets, they might infect anybody.
Not in the least. I actually would prefer that people like Craig had come out of the closet in college. He would not have been elected to the U.S. Senate, and we wouldn't be having this problem now. And his wife wouldn't be wondering right if Senator Craig brought her home a little "gift" from the airport that she hasn't started to manifest yet.
8.30.2007 8:51pm
Clayton E. Cramer (mail) (www):
J.F. Thomas writes:


1: what they do to one another is disgusting, and 2: it is VERY unhealthy.

He forgot the exception: except when it is two (or more) hot chicks
You are assuming that people who disapprove of homosexual watch, and are turned on by lesbian sex pornography. There are a lot of people in America who don't watch porn, and don't approve of it. Don't assume that every heterosexual is a frat boy.
8.30.2007 8:54pm
Clayton E. Cramer (mail) (www):
Brian K writes:


AIDS is more readily spread by anal sex than by vaginal or oral sex. That's a significant and negative impact on society as a whole.


this depends on the region (it is the exact opposite in europe and africa) and is much less true today than it was 20 years ago.
This is not necessarily so. I've read that there's a lot of heterosexual anal sex in Africa; traditionally, a way for girls to preserve their virginity for marriage.

Secondly, vaginal and oral sex where there are open pathways (such as associated with chancres from other STDs) are high risk as well. This, along with high numbers of different partners, may be a reason that heterosexual prostitutes seem to be at very high risk in many places.

there are also many more people having oral and anal sex. as result there is a greater negative impact from oral and vaginal sex than there is from anal sex.
Relative to the size of the populations involved, no there isn't.

simple math proves your assertion wrong. see this paper which makes the point that needle sharing results for a greater percentage of the new aids cases than anal sex.
I didn't say that anal sex was the highest risk. Needle sharing is definitely higher. And guess what? We have laws that try to discourage IV drug abuse. By the same reasoning, laws that try to discourage prostitution or anal sex would survive a legal challenge.
8.30.2007 8:59pm
Chris Bell (mail):
Michael B and Whit say that Christians do not HATE gays. Although some do, it's a fair point. We should be more precise. It is not Christians that hate, it is God himself.

On the other hand, if there is no God, then this deadly disapproval is but the invention of man.
8.30.2007 9:07pm
Clayton E. Cramer (mail) (www):
jrose writes:

As a logical consequence of condeming homosexual behavior, one necessarily argues a gay person should remain celibate and lonely.
Uh, no. Homosexual orientation isn't a life sentence. There are people who have changed to straight. One of them goes to my church.

Robert L. Spitzer is the professor of psychiatry who played a vital role in getting homosexuality removed from DSM-III, the American Psychiatric Association's standard for defining mental illness. A few years back, Professor Spitzer became curious to know if reparative therapy (which purports to help homosexuals turn straight) worked. His paper, "Can some gay men and lesbians change their sexual orientation? 200 participants reporting a change from homosexual to heterosexual orientation," Archives of Sexual Behavior 32.5 (Oct 2003): p403-18, asked that question.

Spitzer surveyed 143 males and 57 females who had been primarily homosexual in orientation, had gone through various forms of reparative therapy, and were at least five years post-therapy. These were mostly not people that had fought with homosexual urges, but were actively engaged:

Although all of the participants had been sexually attracted to members of the same sex, a small proportion had never engaged in consensual homosexual sex (males, 13%; females, 4%; [chi square](1) = 3.2, p < .10). Significantly more males than females had engaged in consensual homosexual sex with more than 50 different sexual partners during their lifetime (males, 34%; females, 2%; [chi square](1) = 20.6, p < .001). Significantly more males than females had not experienced consensual heterosexual sex before the therapy effort (males, 53%; females, 33%; [chi square](1) = 5.6, p < .025).


The survey group were homosexuals who were highly motivated, and were uncomfortable with their homosexuality—and they were far more successful than Professor Spitzer had expected in changing not just their behavior but their preference:

The mean of the Sexual Attraction Scale for both males and females at PRE was in the very high homosexual range: males, 91 (SD = 19.8); females, 88 (SD = 13.8), t(198) : 1.3, ns. The mean of the Sexual Orientation Self-Identity Scale for both males and females at PRE was also in the very high homosexual range: males, 77 (SD = 24.5); females, 76.5 (SD = 26.7), t(183) < sd =" 21.4);" sd =" 14.5);" n =" 57)" n =" 139)" sd =" 14.5);" sd =" 8.1);" To compare the amount of change from PRE to POST, the PRE values were subtracted from the POST values. On the Sexual Attraction Scale, the mean change in females was 80 (n = 57; SD = 20), significantly more than that in males, 67.8 (n = 143; SD = 20; t(198) = -3.6, p < .001). On the Sexual Orientation Self-Identity Scale, the mean change in males was 68.1 (n = 131 ; SD = 28.3), not significantly different from the change in females, 73.4, (n = 52; SD = 29.3; t(181) = -1.1.


This wasn't a sudden change, either, nor was it done after a few dalliances with homosexuality:

The mean age at onset of sexual arousal to the same sex was 12 years (SD = 2.9). About 18 years (SD = 7.8) later, at age 30, was the beginning of the therapy that they found helpful. The mean duration from the onset of the therapy to the participant beginning to feel a change in their sexual orientation was 1.9 (SD = 1.9) years. At the time of the interview, 21% (n = 42) reported that they were still involved in some form of reparative therapy, usually referring to continuing to attend an ex-gay support group or, on their own, having a life-long struggle with the underlying issues that they believed were related to their becoming homosexual. For these participants, the mean duration of therapy up until the interview was 15.0 (SD = 7.7) years. For the 79% (n = 158) of the participants who were no longer involved in any type of reparative therapy, the mean duration of the therapy was 4.7 (SD = 3.5) years.


Now, Spitzer is careful not to overplay this. He reports that some of them still would have occasional lusts for the opposite sex. But it does appear that homosexuality doesn't have to be a life sentence—at least for those who are sincerely interested in change.

From what I have read, there are homosexuals who aren't capable of changing, and they may be reluctant to see others leave. But don't let anyone tell you that sexual orientation is fixed for everyone.
8.30.2007 9:09pm
Clayton E. Cramer (mail) (www):
PDXLawyer writes:

Honestly, I don't think homosexuality is wrong. It doesn't strike me as "icky" either. (The fact that lots of people feel otherwise gives me pause and makes me less than 100% certain that I am right, though).
I don't find it icky, either. In theory, I should regard it as wrong because the Bible says so, but I've never actually been able to build up much negativity towards homosexuality because of that. It has been dealing with homosexual activists that has persuaded me.
8.30.2007 9:15pm
Clayton E. Cramer (mail) (www):
Eli Rabett writes:

Michael dear, are you claiming that Evangelicals and authoritarian Catholics are not loathing of gays? That they lovingly favor equal rights for gay couples and not castration (ok, only a few do that)?
Over the last 30 years as an adult, I think that I have talked to perhaps five people who "loathe" gays. And nearly all of these were straight men who had been sexually abused as children, and identified their abusers as homosexuals.

I have met quite a few more men who make a lot of jokes about homosexuals. These are overwhelmingly not very mature men (the kind who spend a lot of time ogling "babes" when their wives aren't around). But that's only a surface impression, because I don't generally hang around guys like that.

I have met a lot of people (both men and women) who regard homosexuality as either a sin (if they are Christians), or weird (if they are secular). There's a general willingness to work with homosexuals, and treat them like anyone else. But this doesn't mean general acceptance of what they do--and often these are otherwise pretty liberal people.

And I've even met a fair number of people over the years who consider homosexuality just perfectly wonderful--like the people that you see on television. But even where I lived in the San Francisco Bay Area, I didn't meet a lot of people like that.

Castration? Sorry, but the last time I saw someone other than Fred Phelps suggest that, it was Thomas Jefferson's proposal to liberalize Virginia's criminal code. Being something of a liberal, he wanted the punishment for buggery (defined by Henry VIII as sexual intercourse with an animal, or non-vaginal intercourse with a human) changed from capital punishment to castration.
8.30.2007 9:24pm
Tony Tutins (mail):
Realizing my sex ed classes were inadequate, I turned to Dan Savage's web page. Dan quotes this T-room expert here. A quote pertinent to when and where one would expect the sex act to take place:
Larry Craig then took his hand, palm upward, and ran it along the bottom of the stall divider so that the individual on the other side of the partition could see Larry's fingers making an inviting "come hither" gesture.

This gesture has a precise meaning and is universally understood in the men's-room cruising scene. It translates, "Get down on your knees and place your penis underneath the partition so I can touch or fellate it."
8.30.2007 10:05pm
Bob Van Burkleo (mail):
Now, Spitzer is careful not to overplay this. He reports that some of them still would have occasional lusts for the opposite sex. But it does appear that homosexuality doesn't have to be a life sentence—at least for those who are sincerely interested in change.


That's an understatement, he has estimated maybe 4% of people have a 'malleable sexual orientation' and might change. And the source of this malleability could very well be more biological in origin than 'sincere interest'.

So what medical treatment with significant risk of negative side effects that has a 4% success rate is considered something that should be encouraged for a not necessarily negative condition?
8.30.2007 10:05pm
jrose:
Clayton,

Of course, some people can change sexuality. But the fact we can dig very hard and come up with 200 people who changed sexuality, is not evidence for whether sexuality is primarily immutable.
8.30.2007 10:05pm
PDXLawyer (mail):
jrose asked how I respond to the following hypothetical:

Mr. X says: "I disapprove strongly of Christian beliefs and practices. I think they are immoral and disgusting and contrary to God's word. I believe they should try to change their beliefs and I believe that public expressions of their practices should not be protected by laws, including but not limited to anti-discrimination laws. Oh, and Christians shouldn't be able to marry Christians."

Good question (btw I am not a Christian). First religion has something of a special privilege in America which I don't think extends to sexuality or sexual privacy (whether I am right about this is of course a topic of its own).

Second, "Christian beliefs and practices" covers a pretty broad range of things in present day America. That may be why "Christans are icky" is not a very common position. Perhaps it would be more revealing to confine ourselves to a narrower range of conduct, say infant baptism. Taking the assertions one at a time:

I think they are immoral and disgusting and contrary to God's word. My understanding is that there are in fact sects of Christians who find infant baptism immoral and disgusting and contrary to God's word. As long as they actually believe it, and are telling people this as a way to try to get them to stop, citing the Bible, Freud, Ayn
Rand or anything else, I see nothing wrong with saying this. How else are people supposed to learn?

I believe they should try to change their beliefs Perfectly OK. This is evangalism, which is widely accepted as proper among Christians.

I believe that public expressions of their practices should not be protected by laws, This was tried with respect to religious beliefs in Europe. The Founding Fathers concluded that it involved excessive levels of civic commotion and violence, most notably the Hundred Years' War. It is both unConstitutional and very unwise as a policy.

I suppose the reason I am confident it is an unwise policy is because I am confident that neither Christians as a group nor the widespread practice of Christianity is socially harmful. I suspect this is also true of widespread out homosexuality, but frankly I am not as confident, since the recent historical record is thin.

I believe that public expressions of their practices should not be protected by . . . anti-discrimination laws. I'm not a big fan of anti-discrimination laws in general. Religious anti-discrimination laws in particular are problematic because they infringe on others' free expression and free assoication interests. So I'm OK with this, too. In the context of sex, anti-discrimination laws likewise interfere with others' privacy and association interests. While anti-discrimination laws related to sex are not unConstitutional and don't threaten the basic structures of a free society, my sense is that they should be employed with a very light touch, only to deal with serious, widespread practical problems. All of this, however, is simply my policy judgment - if another policy consensus is reached through a fair political process, I am fine with it.

Oh, and Christians shouldn't be able to marry Christians. In practical terms this would be wrong under any set of circumstances I can think of. In theoretical terms, I suppose it would depend on *why* Christian/Christian marriage was thought to be a bad thing. If the idea was to punish them, then certainly it would be wrong. If the idea was to keep them from propigating, then I think it would be wrong because I don't think Christians (or infant baptizers) are harmful. If there was a long tradition of contrary thought, however, I'd be willing to listen to it before I made up my mind. If the idea was to encourage Christians to convert by making practicing Chritianity less convenient, this is just an extreme example of not protecting their practices by laws. Exremeism isn't good policy and tends to be inhumane.

In summary: There is a lot of historical evidence that legal discrimination against certain sects of Christians (or Christians as a group) leads to unhappy results, like widespread war and civic commotion, if they are a large segment of society. The only place I know of where it actually achieved suppression of Christianity over a long period was Tokogowa Japan, and even then it involved very high levels of violence and social isolation which was probably ultimately harmful. Islamic societies have historically never provided Christians with equal protection, and as far as I can see the results were pretty good by the standards of the time. Of course, this was in the context of a government which was intertwined with religion, which was the state of governmental art at the time.

Now that it has been shown that a secular government is viable over a period of centuries, a reason for discriminating on the basis of religion (preserving religion as one of the foundations of stable government) no longer applies. I don't know of an experiment in deregulating sexual and family practices that has succeeded over a multi-generational period so that we can reliably say that the intuition that this would cause no problems has been vindicated. Until we're sure, we need to go slowly even at the cost of some theoretical/ideological incoherence.

Ultimately I don't know if this helps anybody, but it was interesting to think it through.
8.30.2007 10:14pm
jrose:
PDX: You didn't answer the relevant part of the hypothetical: Are you really saying that it would be unfair for a Christian, upon hearing Mr. X say that, to conclude, "Mr. X hates Christians"?
8.30.2007 10:32pm
American Psikhushka (mail) (www):
Clayton E. Cramer-

Don't assume that every heterosexual is a frat boy.

Ah yes, Clayton, every heterosexual male that has a healthy libido or who views pornography is a "frat boy". The world revolves around your baggage from college.
8.30.2007 11:28pm
PDXLawyer (mail):
jrose also wrote that disagreeing with/condemning a person's behavior is not the same thing as hating only if "the behavior and personal characteristic are separable."

She explains "But for sexuality, the behavior is the only way a person with the characteristc realizes love and intimacy. The behavior and characteristic are inextricably linked. When you condemn what they do, you've condemned who they are."

There is some truth in this, jrose, but I think that it is a mistake to think that the behavior/characteristic link is somehow uniquely stronger with respect to sex/homosexuality than it is with respect to many other behaviors/traits.

For example, horniness is hardly a characteristic which is exclusive to homosexuals. Jimmy Carter famously admitted to "sinning in my heart" because he lusted after women other than his wife. The only way Carter could have "realized" his lust would have been to have an illicit affair. The behavior of sleeping around and the characteristic of male horniness are inextricably linked.

I don't want to overstate the case for repressing one's sexual or other "characteristics." The choice between expression and repression needs to be made considering the costs and benefits of expression as well as the urgency of the characteristic (and the related psychic cost of repressing it). This is not always merely a personal choice which society can safely leave to the judgment of each individual, because the costs can include externalities. Society rightly condemns expressing my characteristic of acquisitiveness through the behavior of bank robbery, because the social costs of bank robbery are too high.

Again, my own judgment, which is imperfect because of my limited knowledge and understanding, is that the costs (social and otherwise) of private consenting adult homosexual behavior are quite low compared to the psychic cost to homosexuals of repressing the characteristics which urge them to that behavior, so that repression is not justified. So I don't disagree with the result you come to in this case. I think you err though in positing that this is somehow a sui generis case and that there is an overarching moral theory which justifies taking sex as a category (or homosexual sex only) out of the usual political/policy cost/benefit analysis that other characteristics/behaviors are subject to. The only justification I have seen for treating homosexual sex/sexuality uniquely is the intuition of some people that their take on the matter has unique moral wisdom and everyone who disagrees with them is either evil or stupid.

In a sense you're right - when I condemn stealing, I am condemning active thieves. Those who condemn homosexual sex condemn active homosexuals. But I don't think that condemnation of this sort can be usefully equated to hatred, which is bad per se.
8.31.2007 12:17am
PDXLawyer (mail):
jrose: Apologies for not answering completely. If Mr. X made that hypothetical statement in the US today, it would be fair for a Christian to conclude that Mr. X hates Christians. I think this because there would be no other reasonable explanation for Mr. X's views. Though there are points of similarity, Christianity and homosexuality are not, under modern American conditions, completely analogous categories.
8.31.2007 12:26am
Brian K (mail):
Clayton,

This is not necessarily so. I've read that there's a lot of heterosexual anal sex in Africa; traditionally, a way for girls to preserve their virginity for marriage.
Now you're are changing the metric. the original topic was whether HIV/AIDS spreads more easily through anal sex than oral/vaginal sex. it was not how often people have each type of sex...that is irrelevant. You're probably have contacting HIV in africa is greater if you have vaginal sex. you're attempt to change the arguments don't conceal the fact that you are wrong.

Secondly, vaginal and oral sex where there are open pathways (such as associated with chancres from other STDs) are high risk as well. This, along with high numbers of different partners, may be a reason that heterosexual prostitutes seem to be at very high risk in many places.
what do prostitutes have to do with anything? we are talking about the general population here, not prostitutes, which suffer from much higher rates of STDs than the general population.

Relative to the size of the populations involved, no there isn't.
so the (at most) 5% of the population that is homosexual has more sex than the 95% of the population that is heterosexual? you really need to brush up on your math skills.

simple math proves your assertion wrong. see this paper which makes the point that needle sharing results for a greater percentage of the new aids cases than anal sex.

I didn't say that anal sex was the highest risk. Needle sharing is definitely higher. And guess what? We have laws that try to discourage IV drug abuse. By the same reasoning, laws that try to discourage prostitution or anal sex would survive a legal challenge.
but we don't ban drugs because of their high risk of transferring HIV...drugs were banned way before we stopped calling it GRID and started calling it HIV. prostitution isn't outlawed because of its risk of transferring STDs either...its outlawed on entirely separate reasons. but still if you want to anal sex the exact same way as we treat IV drug use thats fine with me. to decrease the risk of HIV transmission through needle sharing society runs educational campaigns and hands out free sterile needles. the analogous thing with anal sex would be sex ed classes that discuss condoms and handing out free condoms...somehow i think you would be against both of these things. and no, anal sex bans did not survive legal challenges...that is why anti-sodomy laws are unconstitutional.

i really have to ask, are you living in some alternating universe? or you just a very lousy fact checker?
8.31.2007 12:57am
Clayton E. Cramer (mail) (www):
That's an understatement, he has estimated maybe 4% of people have a 'malleable sexual orientation' and might change. And the source of this malleability could very well be more biological in origin than 'sincere interest'.
I'm curious: where does he make the claim that 4% are malleable? Is that 4% of the entire population, or just of homosexuals.

So what medical treatment with significant risk of negative side effects that has a 4% success rate is considered something that should be encouraged for a not necessarily negative condition?
Which negative side effects might those be?

Whether homosexuality is a "not necessarily negative condition" depends rather much on whether you are comfortable being homosexual, doesn't it?
8.31.2007 1:05am
Clayton E. Cramer (mail) (www):

Of course, some people can change sexuality. But the fact we can dig very hard and come up with 200 people who changed sexuality, is not evidence for whether sexuality is primarily immutable.
If you read the paper you will see that:

1. The APA, among others, insists that it is immutable.

2. There are not a lot of people who have undergone such therapy, because most homosexuals are being told that it doesn't work.

3. The specific criteria for inclusion in the study included at least five years post therapy, and were not celibate. (There were three Catholic priests, for example, who had gone through the the treatment, but because of their vows of celibacy, would be hard to evaluate for heterosexual functioning.)

4. All those included were obtained by word of mouth.

5. They had to be willing to participate--which even those who have been successful at the change may not have wanted to do so.

I rather suspect the number who have successfully made the transition is a good bit higher than 200.
8.31.2007 1:08am
Clayton E. Cramer (mail) (www):
Clayton E. Cramer-



Don't assume that every heterosexual is a frat boy.


Ah yes, Clayton, every heterosexual male that has a healthy libido or who views pornography is a "frat boy". The world revolves around your baggage from college.
I was responding to the suggestion that lesbian sex videos aren't considered "icky." You are confusing "healthy libido" with viewing pornography. I don't have them confused at all. In fact, a lot of people watch porn specifically because they have a problem with an insufficiently healthy libido.

My baggage from college? Sorry, I was never a member of a frat.
8.31.2007 1:12am
Clayton E. Cramer (mail) (www):
Brian K writes:



Relative to the size of the populations involved, no there isn't.


so the (at most) 5% of the population that is homosexual has more sex than the 95% of the population that is heterosexual? you really need to brush up on your math skills.
Relative to the size of the populations means that the appropriate comparison of risk isn't the total number of sexual acts performed by homosexuals and heterosexuals, but the rate of them: the number of acts relative to the size of the population. The risk per homosexual per sexual act would therefore be higher than the risk per heterosexual per sexual act.

Obviously, unprotected anal sex is more dangerous than protected anal sex; unprotected vaginal sex is more dangerous than protected vaginal sex. I am pretty darn sure that protected anal sex is less dangerous than unprotected vaginal sex. But you have to make equivalent comparisons on this.
8.31.2007 1:17am