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Andrew Sullivan Doesn't Like Dealing with Reality
06/18/2003

Well, just in passing, I broke my self-prohibition on reading Andrew Sullivan. It gets me every time: I expect to find a standard argument or something that I can just shake my head at. Instead I come across surreal points that spur me to comment such as this:

MARRIAGE CANARDS: The latest tactic from the far right in opposition to gay marriage is that it will somehow destroy free speech. Huh? This is now David Frum's gambit. All of these arguments rely upon the enforcement of oppressive hate crime laws. But the problem here is the hate crime law, not equal marriage rights! You should certainly be able to live in a country where marriage is available to gays and straights alike and in which some straights are perfectly free to express how repulsive they find the notion of homosexuals having legally protected relationships. I'm for equality and free speech. But the issues should not be conflated.

Did you just slap your head and declare, "Of course! It's so simple!"? I didn't think so. In response to the suggestion that the combination of gay marriage and hate-crime laws would be dangerous, Sullivan argues that the first is the problem and, therefore, the combined effect should be inadmissible to the discussion. To borrow a phrase: huh? Tell you what, Andrew, you pull back hate-crime laws and find a way to ensure that homosexual advocacy groups and their allies won't push for them once gay marriage is made official, and I'll reconsider my opposition on this basis. (It occurs to me to ponder whether this impossibility is one reason that gay marriage advocates are going through the courts: such legalistic, compartmentalized arguments work better in a court of law.)

Then there's this:

Let's say that the gay presence in the population is 3 percent. Let's say that marriage will be half as likely for gays as straights. Out of 1000 marriages, around 15 are therefore likely to be same-sex. Of those fifteen, ten will probably be lesbian. What Stanley Kurtz is trying to argue is that 5 gay male marriages are more likely to affect the 995 other marriages than the other way round.

As I said earlier today, this ignores the disproportionate influence that homosexuals have on our culture. It may seem silly, but consider the current season of the show The Amazing Race. One of the dozen teams is a homosexual couple that calls themselves married. As I recall, only one team of heterosexuals was married, and they were middle-aged and thus eliminated early in the show. Every season has had a gay couple. I'm not suggesting that there is anything wrong with that, but it does go to show that homosexuals are far from 0.5% as visible as heterosexuals in our society.

Once again, on both counts, I cannot conclude otherwise than that Andrew Sullivan is simply being disingenuous.

ADDENDUM:
John Derbyshire offers Exibit A. (And, no, it doesn't count as an argument against him that Sullivan mocks him with his "Derbyshire Award.")

Posted by Justin Katz @ 04:20 PM EST



1 Comment


When it comes to sex and/or religion (but especially when it comes to sex and religion), Sullivan does not think with his brains.

ELC @ 06/20/2003 07:28 AM EST