Tuesday, April 22, 2003

Legally Wrong but Morally Right?-The libertine lobby would like to make Rick Santorum's latest rant into Trent Lott 2.0.
If the Supreme Court says that you have the right to consensual (gay) sex within your home, then you have the right to bigamy, you have the right to polygamy, you have the right to incest, you have the right to adultery. You have the right to anything,"
Not quite true. Bigamy and polygamy would assume that the state would recognize plural marriage, which doesn't seem to be on the table. Having the right to have sex with someone doesn't assume that you have the right to have that relationship be given special benefits by the state. Likewise, legalizing same-sex sodomy (I think the issue here is that sodomy laws in Texas only apply to same-sex couples while in other states the laws came be applied to heterosexual couples as well) doesn't change the laws on incest or adultery. It might well be true that a legal system that is willing to grant the legal right to homosexual activity will be willing to do away with other taboos that are written into the legal code, but different logic would be required to do away with these laws. However, I don't think you can link this legally flawed expression to Lott's support of the 1948 Dixicrat ticket. Only a single-digit minority would be willing to support Jim Crow today, while a plurality of people would support a heterosexist world view. It may seem as bad as Jim Crow to the gay lobby (you didn't get arrested on a charge of Living While Black, although they could trump-up other charges to the same effect) but the merits of a homosexual lifestyle are still an issue actively at play, while segregation is a known evil that nearly everyone agrees is wrong. The libertine left would like to equate heterosexism (or the less accurate but more popularly-used "homophobia") to racism in order to have the good will of the Civil Rights Movement to rub off on them, but such rhetoric only plays with people open to the idea of homosexuality being an OK thing. [Update 1:45PM-Ben tacked this at the same time this morning and knocked one into the cheap seats, including showing South Park laying a can-o'-whuppin' on N@MBLA and this keeper "When I watch Ken Burns, I don't see too many people picking cotton because of their private, consensual sexual activity."]

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