PLAMEGATE

At this point, we should simply wait for the facts, no?

THE DEMS AND MIERS: It takes a conservative to give them an obviously shrewd, if cynical strategy.

EMAIL OF THE DAY: “Andrew, isn’t it obvious? The social right wants sodomy laws reinstated and homosexuality defined as a mental illness. Of course they’re not going to come out and say it (at least not most of them–some of them are quite upfront about it) but the bottom line is that gay people don’t deserve civil rights or protections of any kind because gay people shouldn’t exist in the first place. What part of that don’t you understand? You really need to get out in the trenches some more, on various websites and discussion lists where ordinary people are not only homophobic but open and unapologetic about it.”

I am aware of much of the homophobia in the trenches of the religious right and the GOP. But I’m referring to people who would publicly strongly deny such a thing, i.e. people like Bill Bennett or Stanley Kurtz or Maggie Gallagher. David Blankenhorn does not strike me in any way as homophobic, for example. In fact, he went out of his way in our debate to say he worries about associating with such bigots. So whence the silence about social policy toward gays? And when does complete indifference to gay lives become indistinguishable from bigotry? There are shades and nuances of prejudice here. There’s another explanation, of course. The people I have mentioned have as key allies those who believe that homosexuality is a moral blight that demands legal suppression or psychiatric or religious “cures.” Some are political operators as much as they are intellectuals, and so their silence is simple politics, nothing else. But at what point does allying with bigots and not calling them on it make you a bigot yourself?

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