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The State of Our Unions (Cancel My Subscription To the Wall Street Journal)
Wall Street Journal ^ | Wednesday, October 8, 2003 | ANDREW SULLIVAN

Posted on 10/08/2003 6:26:08 AM PDT by presidio9

Edited on 04/22/2004 11:50:04 PM PDT by Jim Robinson. [history]

It didn't take long for many social conservatives to ponder the long-term implications of the Supreme Court's recent decision to strike down all antisodomy laws in the U.S. Moves are afoot to advance a constitutional amendment that would bar any state's legalization of same-sex marriage; next week is "Marriage Protection Week," in which the alleged danger of Lawrence v. Texas will be highlighted across the country. This push toward blanket prohibition, however, sidesteps a basic point about the post-Lawrence world. Whatever you feel about the reasoning of the decision, its result is clear: Gay Americans are no longer criminals. And very few conservatives want to keep them that way. The term "gay citizen" is now simply a fact of life.


(Excerpt) Read more at online.wsj.com ...


TOPICS: Constitution/Conservatism; Crime/Corruption; Culture/Society; Editorial; Government; Philosophy
KEYWORDS: andrewsullivan; culturallibertarian; gaypromiscuity; homosexualagenda; immaturelibertarians; lawrencevtexas; libertarianutopia
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The philosophical point that Mr. Sullivan refuses to address is that we Conservatives do not view the institution of marriage as merely another government sponsored entitlement program. If I am heterosexual and I share a NYC apartment with another man might it not behoove me to enter into a civil union with this man? Is sodomy a prerequisite for same-sex marriage?
1 posted on 10/08/2003 6:26:08 AM PDT by presidio9
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2 posted on 10/08/2003 6:27:34 AM PDT by Support Free Republic (Your support keeps Free Republic going strong!)
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To: presidio9
Are you a subscriber currently?
3 posted on 10/08/2003 6:30:28 AM PDT by Texas_Dawg (GrayDavis/McClintock for 2004 Democratic Presidential ticket.)
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To: presidio9
"A poll this week for USA Today found that 67% of the 18-29 age group believe that gay marriage would benefit society."

67% of the 18-29 age group couldn't find their home state on a highway map!
Is THAT the best argument this bozo can come up with?

4 posted on 10/08/2003 6:42:57 AM PDT by Redbob
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To: Redbob
As you may be aware, Mr. Sullivan is Senior Editor of The New Republic. I am not sure why The Wall Street Journal thinks its subscribers would be interested in anything he has to say. I read the editorial page of the Journal specifically because I know I will avoid these lunatics.
5 posted on 10/08/2003 6:52:06 AM PDT by presidio9 (Countdown to 27 World Championships...)
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To: presidio9
Is sodomy a prerequisite for same-sex marriage?

Yes.

6 posted on 10/08/2003 7:03:30 AM PDT by Blood of Tyrants (Even if the government took all your earnings, you wouldn’t be, in its eyes, a slave.)
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To: presidio9
Andrew Sullivan has a point, but misses the larger point.

The government has no business promoting marriage for some and restricting it for others. Marriage between individuals is simply none of the government's business.

Where possible, government should be neutral on this issue of marriage. There should be no tax implications, for instance. Where neutrality is not socially beneficial, such as for the assignment of child custody, shared property, power-of-attorney, and the like, there should be a standard partnership regulation that is open to any two people who want it. This partnership would confer a series of rights and responsibilities on the people who enter into it, but it would not be a marriage.

Marriage would then be a matter for the individuals to decide. Many people would choose to get married in a church, as always. And churches would be free to restrict or permit access to their rites however they wish. The "rites" would not be a "right", since government would not be involved. Some people might choose to be "married" by their automobile mechanic on the beach, but people are going to do all sorts of wacky things, and there is no way the government is going to stop them.

It could be argued that by going to this type of arrangement, government would be abandoning any role in the promotion of marriage. But I would counter that the destructive power of government is far in excess of any capability for positive promotion. Government will not be able to avoid an ever expanding definition of marriage and will thus destroy the very institution it intends to promote.

The only way to save the institution of marriage is to separate it as much as possible from the government. This strikes me as being the proper conservative position. If this allows some homosexuals to gain the benefits of domestic partnership, I fail to see the harm in that.
7 posted on 10/08/2003 7:07:59 AM PDT by gridlock (Remember: PC Kills!)
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To: Blood of Tyrants
So, in other words, Mr. Sullivan questions the cultural morality of those who would oppose government-subsidized buttsex?
8 posted on 10/08/2003 7:09:55 AM PDT by presidio9 (Countdown to 27 World Championships...)
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To: presidio9
Everything Sullivan writes has to be viewed through a homo filter!
9 posted on 10/08/2003 7:13:10 AM PDT by LarryM
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Comment #10 Removed by Moderator

To: Elisha_Ben_Abuya
Very sensible! A commendible response amid the reflexive gay-bashing.

Opposition to same-sex marriage and revulsion for the homosexual sex act are not "reflexive gay-bashing."

11 posted on 10/08/2003 7:21:11 AM PDT by presidio9 (Countdown to 27 World Championships...)
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To: presidio9
Yes, but what does this have to do with cancelling the subscription?
12 posted on 10/08/2003 7:32:21 AM PDT by TopQuark
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To: TopQuark
See post 5:

http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-news/997338/posts?page=5#5
13 posted on 10/08/2003 7:37:17 AM PDT by presidio9 (Countdown to 27 World Championships...)
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To: presidio9
"Can you think of any other legal, noncriminal minority in society toward which social conservatives have nothing but a negative social policy?"

Here we go again -- if it's legal it should be socially accepted.

Which is why people like Andrew Sullivan (a self-proclaimed conservative who acts like a cultural libertarian) want the additional legalization of other immoral activities like drugs, prostitution, gambling, pornography, etc.

Once legal, he and others can then ask the same question.

There are many legal, noncriminal minorities in society toward which social conservatives have a "negative social policy". Welfare recipients, alcoholics, smokers ... basically directed at those engaged in non-desirous, socially destructive behavoir.

Now, change that to "negative social reaction" and you can include things like single mothers, gluttons, cheating spouses, heterosexuals who go to straight bath houses to have sex with 8-10 strangers per month, etc.

You know you're having a "conservative negative social reaction" if someone calls you "judgmental" or "intolerant".

14 posted on 10/08/2003 7:56:13 AM PDT by robertpaulsen
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To: robertpaulsen
a self-proclaimed conservative who acts like a cultural libertarian

They have infected FR just as surely as they have infected the Journal.

15 posted on 10/08/2003 7:58:39 AM PDT by presidio9 (Countdown to 27 World Championships...)
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To: scripter; EdReform
ping
16 posted on 10/08/2003 8:09:22 AM PDT by xzins
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To: Elisha_Ben_Abuya
Gay bashing is a good thing, as it discourages gayness. Homosexuality is a detrimental to our society and our species, just as a virus is to the body at large.

It's nothing more than a inherent self defense mechanizism.
17 posted on 10/08/2003 8:15:57 AM PDT by AAABEST (http://www.floridasoundoff.com)
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To: presidio9
if they are no longer criminals

Sullivan refuses to address the difference between judicial activism and the legislature debating these points in a free society.

His "non-criminal" status was forced upon everyone by judicial fiat. That is, no one believes it.

Secondly, despite the "legal" status, gays are still "moral criminals" according to the moral codes of the vast number of americans. Everyone knows there is no such thing as a monogamous gay relationship. There is only promiscuity and that from study after study.

Finally, despite the "legal" status, gays are still "medical criminals," according to the health statistics of the CDC and everyone who begins to deal with the totally destructive medical consequences of homosexual behavior.

All that said, anyone can be made clean and be healed by the Son. Love the sinner, hate the sin. This also applies to adultery, alcohol, etc.

18 posted on 10/08/2003 8:16:37 AM PDT by xzins
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To: presidio9
we conservatives do not view the institution of marriage as merely another government sponsored entitlement program

Fine. Separate marriage and state -- problem solved.

19 posted on 10/08/2003 8:17:42 AM PDT by steve-b
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To: presidio9
What's worse, cultural libertarianism is closer to liberalism than conservatism, which explains why most of their issues (drugs, gambling, porn, etc.) are embraced by the Left.

The major difference between the two is that cultural libertarians embrace all ideologies equally, none better, none worse. Liberals embrace only non-traditional orthodoxies. Satan worship? Cool. Baptist? Go away.

Plus, liberals are fond of using the government, or the courts, to force our acceptance of the bizarre under penalty of law.

If you have a minute, you'll like this article.

20 posted on 10/08/2003 8:19:39 AM PDT by robertpaulsen
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To: gridlock
The government has no business promoting marriage for some and restricting it for others. Marriage between individuals is simply none of the government's business.

Couldn't have said it better myself. Thanks.

21 posted on 10/08/2003 8:33:28 AM PDT by conserv13
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To: robertpaulsen
Wonderful article. The fact that you have not yet quipped me on your homepage makes me think I haven't been doing my part to combat cultural libertarianism.
22 posted on 10/08/2003 8:34:54 AM PDT by presidio9 (Countdown to 27 World Championships...)
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To: Elisha_Ben_Abuya; gridlock
Do you then oppose getting licenses to marry?

Marriage is a part of our social construct. It has been for centuries. What Sullivan suggests is that we change that construct to include a behavior that is abberant and destructive to the human race. Are you for that?

23 posted on 10/08/2003 8:36:42 AM PDT by raybbr
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To: AAABEST
Gay bashing is a good thing, as it discourages gayness.

We don't agree, but that's OK. You can go bash gays all you want. It's a free country.

Just don't use the power of the state to do it.

24 posted on 10/08/2003 8:39:43 AM PDT by gridlock (Remember: PC Kills!)
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To: gridlock
We don't agree, but that's OK. You can go bash gays all you want. It's a free country.

Just don't use the power of the state to do it.

Protecting the sanctity of marriage is not "gay bashing."

25 posted on 10/08/2003 8:42:09 AM PDT by presidio9 (Countdown to 27 World Championships...)
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To: raybbr
Do you then oppose getting licenses to marry?

If people want to accept the legal rights and responsibilities that go along with committing themselves to another person, I think it should be a simple thing to get a "standard package" domestic partnership.

But that should have nothing to do with marriage. Marriage is a social and religious institution, and should have nothing to do with the government. The words "And now, by the power granted to me by (Blankety-blank) State, I now pronounce you...) should never escape a religious officiant's lips.

If two people want to marry without a domestic partnership, they should be allowed to do so, but I don't think you will find a lot of established churches willing to bless such a union.

If two people want a domestic partnership without marriage, that should be none of the state's business.

26 posted on 10/08/2003 8:47:29 AM PDT by gridlock (Remember: PC Kills!)
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To: gridlock
Actually I don't bash gays at all, I'm a live and let live type unless provoked. I've known some very nice gay people. I do bash and will continue the bash their ill-intended political operatives and their filthy perverted agenda.

I just see what's happening for what it is. The society is trying to keep the gay "virus" from it's destructive ends.
27 posted on 10/08/2003 8:48:07 AM PDT by AAABEST (http://www.floridasoundoff.com)
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To: presidio9
Protecting the sanctity of marriage is not "gay bashing."

I could not agree with you more. But the sanctity of marriage should be protected by social institutions that are at least geared toward protecting sancitity, like churches.

The government does a terrible job of protecting the sanctity of anything. In fact, government involvement will pretty much guarantee the de-sanctification of just about anything.

28 posted on 10/08/2003 8:50:46 AM PDT by gridlock (Remember: PC Kills!)
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To: Elisha_Ben_Abuya
"Very sensible! A commendible response amid the reflexive gay-bashing."

Just the facts:
* Gays are ~ 2.6% of the population;
* The average lifespan of gays is ~ 40 years;
* Practicing Sodomy creates all sorts of medical problems;

So if one highlights these points and disagrees with queer-marriage, I guess it's called gay bashing!
29 posted on 10/08/2003 8:56:20 AM PDT by TRY ONE (NUKE the unborn gay whales!)
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To: AAABEST
The society is trying to keep the gay "virus" from it's destructive ends.

For somebody who doesn't bash gays, you seem to have a colorful choice of terms...

There are a whole lot of things society might like to do that are destructive of personal freedom and the notion that all men are created equal. Racial segregation was wildly popular in the South in 1950, but that didn't make it right.

The mechanism of having the state in the middle saying that certain people can be married and certain others can't is just corrosive. It does nothing for the sanctity of marriage and gives the people who want an expansive definition of marriage a mechanism to achieve their ends.

If you know you are destined to lose on a certain playing field, why play there? Why not get government out of the marriage business?

30 posted on 10/08/2003 8:56:58 AM PDT by gridlock (Remember: PC Kills!)
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To: gridlock
"This strikes me as being the proper conservative position."

Getting the government out of marriage strikes me as the proper libertarian position.

Over the millennia, promoting, encouraging, and rewarding the traditional marriage of one man and one woman have proven to be the best way to maintain the society. All of a sudden this is no good?

"If this allows some homosexuals to gain the benefits of domestic partnership, I fail to see the harm in that."

What you fail to see is that recognizing "domestic partners" or even "homosexual marriage" is not the goal. The goal is to add legitimacy to that lifestyle choice. It's saying that we, as a society, make no distinction between the two. And that's not correct.

31 posted on 10/08/2003 9:01:47 AM PDT by robertpaulsen
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To: presidio9
And his argument that this country is evenly split has been refuted many times over.

In addition, you can't take the poll that supports the Ten Commandments in public buildings by 70% and try to tease out support for homo marriage at the same time.

It doesn't wash.
32 posted on 10/08/2003 9:04:04 AM PDT by mabelkitty
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To: Redbob
Notice he chooses the age group least likely to pay for their own health insurance, taxes, mortgage, and have children?

Neat little trick.
33 posted on 10/08/2003 9:05:04 AM PDT by mabelkitty
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To: presidio9
the Journal's editorial page is perhaps the greates in the world ......

Shaped and molded and honed as such in my lifetime by Bob Bartley and now has Paul Gigot at the tiller

AL Hunt has a opinion weekly piece which is regularly far wackyer and more infurioating than anything written here by Andrew Sullivan ...... who unlike Hunt is a bright man

The Journal has oaways offered a forum to positions oposite to that of its editorials

That's what this OPINION piece is by Sullivan

This is not the opinion of the WSJ. -- it's an OP-ED

the Journal was fair and balanced long before it became fashonable

To Paraphrase Bob Bartley: ' It's the only Editorial page in the world which actually sells papers'

He's quite correct

Just read those two pages each day and you will be a better person .... IMHO

.

34 posted on 10/08/2003 9:07:39 AM PDT by Elle Bee
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To: robertpaulsen
Over the millennia, promoting, encouraging, and rewarding the traditional marriage of one man and one woman have proven to be the best way to maintain the society. All of a sudden this is no good?

I think promoting traditional marriage is great! We should all do it!

My point is that government involvement will, in the end, be destructive to traditional marriage. Our government is incapable of protecting an institution like marriage by saying it should be open to some and not to others. It will default to the inclusive position, time and time again.

So if one supports an inclusive definition of marriage, getting the government as intertwined as possible is the one sure way guarantee that the definition is expanded. Once the government hangs a whole lot of legal rights, responsibilities and goodies onto marriage, there is no way to restrict it to certain people.

The FMA will never happen. It is a losing rear-guard action based on the notion that government activism can have any result other than the opposite of what is intended.

Since government will inevitably destroy the institution of marriage, I propose keeping government and marriage as far as possible away from one another.

35 posted on 10/08/2003 9:23:13 AM PDT by gridlock (Remember: PC Kills!)
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To: gridlock
I wasn't arguing about the rightness of the government involving itself in marraige, I would agree that it needs to be completely out of the marriage business.

You're missing my point, which is a simple point of fact. Homosexuality is bad for the species and society, always has been. We know this inherently and it's been proven over and over throughout history.

While PC and modern thought (which tells us we're smarter than our ancestors and history) takes pause at "gay bashing", I'm simply pointing out that it's a collective self defense mechanism against an unnatural and destructive element. Like white blood cells try to eliminate a virus for lack of a better term.

The more bashing the better. That sounds cold to you because you're immersed in PC-think more that you realize.

Did you know that in many cultures there is no such thing as gay?
36 posted on 10/08/2003 9:31:41 AM PDT by AAABEST (http://www.floridasoundoff.com)
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To: Elle Bee
Just read those two pages each day and you will be a better person

Agreed, and I realize that from time to time the Journal has been known to run op-ed pieces from the likes of Al Gore and Martha Stewart. And I'm sure that most intelligent readers understand that Hunt lost his sanity and any pretext of camoflaging his liberalism the day his son was paralyzed. But Sullivan is something different. He masquarades as a Conservative, and I find that dishonest. At the very least, if the WSJ is going run an op-ed piece by Sullivan defending gay marriage from a so-called "Conservative" standpoint, the author needs to acknowledge his own homosexuality within the article.

37 posted on 10/08/2003 9:42:15 AM PDT by presidio9 (Countdown to 27 World Championships...)
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To: AAABEST
I don't see where we have such a problem. Society properly seeks to promote some behavior and discourage other behavior.

However, I don't think I would use the virus terminology. That's kind of loaded, don't you think?

I would also take issue with the notion that gay bashing discourages gayness. If one accepts the notion that homosexuality is a choice rather than a condition, is it not inevitable that a certain proportion of the society (say, oh, 2.6%) will make the counter-cultural choice just out of sheer bloody-mindedness?

I guess it would be possible to reduce that percentage through massive repression and Taliban-like levels of legal and physical intimidation, but that hardly seems worth it.
38 posted on 10/08/2003 9:42:25 AM PDT by gridlock (Remember: PC Kills!)
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To: gridlock
Bump your worthy #7.
39 posted on 10/08/2003 9:47:22 AM PDT by headsonpikes (Spirit of '76 bttt!)
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To: presidio9
Sullavan is Gay

he is also consevative

It's rare but quite possible

Sullivan is usually quite honest in his opinions .... as is conservativism

.

40 posted on 10/08/2003 9:51:57 AM PDT by Elle Bee
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To: gridlock
I guess it would be possible to reduce that percentage through massive repression and Taliban-like levels of legal and physical intimidation, but that hardly seems worth it.

Not true at all. You should think things through more thorougly if your intention is to get at the truth. I've noticed the latest pop_new-think item is to throw "Taliban" at those who desire a higher standard.

For the record I don't support legal or physical intimidation against gay people. Now that you've forced me to take time to undistort my argument, back to the subject at hand.

Gayness really wasn't much of an issue until very recently in Western culture. It's not an issue at all in many cultures that don't have a Taliban. These cultures have a collective ethos (as ours did until very recently) that determines what's healthy and unhealthy in society. This by it's nature protects and keeps the integrity of the collective which is why it's compassionate.

Yes there's a very good reason why they used to not let pregnant teens on the cheerleading squads and there's a very good reason why homosexuals that couldn't repress their urges kept to themselves, as opposed to frolicking in bathhouses and giving seminars to school children.

I hope you don't take this the wrong way, but you really do think that you're a forward thinker and that the pain and mistakes made by our ancestors is irrelevant. Such a philosophy dictates that we're much smarter and more evolved than they were and now we have figured out a way to codify abberative (is that a word?) and destructive behavior and not suffer their consequences. Even though they scream at us through the ages to look to their example, we arrogantly ignore them and their gift to us.

I won't mention biggest element of all.... God, as I gather you don't want to go there.

41 posted on 10/08/2003 10:13:11 AM PDT by AAABEST (http://www.floridasoundoff.com)
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To: Elle Bee
The op-ed is the first thing I read in the WSJ every morning. Not to be missed.
42 posted on 10/08/2003 10:14:33 AM PDT by ffusco (Maecilius Fuscus,Governor of Longovicium , Manchester, England. 238-244 AD)
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To: AAABEST
I'll go with God. Absolutely.

Didn't mean to call you a Talibani. I guess you're right, that's the reducto ad Naziim of the modern age.

I was just trying to suggest that there are a large number of people who will make counter-cultural choices simply because they are counter-cultural.

We have a very liberal society which accepts a lot of things that previous generations would have found unacceptable. This is a great strength to our culture, but also a vulnerability as you point out.

My point is that government intervention will only lead to the victory of those you oppose. Cultural and religious wisdom should be preserved by cultural and religious institutions. The Boy Scouts should hold the line. The Catholic Church should preach doctrine to the ends of the Earth. The Protestants should fight the tide.

But the government will never be their ally. The government will side with the modernists, every single time.

43 posted on 10/08/2003 10:28:59 AM PDT by gridlock (Remember: PC Kills!)
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To: Elle Bee
"Sullavan is Gay he is also consevative It's rare but quite possible Sullivan is usually quite honest in his opinions .... as is conservativism"

I prefer to think of Sullivan as a gay guy who has conservative tendencies.

44 posted on 10/08/2003 10:41:46 AM PDT by iranger
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To: iranger
LOL

.

45 posted on 10/08/2003 10:42:25 AM PDT by Elle Bee
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To: gridlock
"The only way to save the institution of marriage is to separate it as much as possible from the government."

Much as I hate to admit it, you're right. I believe that homosexuality is a sin, but it shouldn't be up to the government to bless or condemn it as long as individual rights are preserved.P>Carolyn

46 posted on 10/08/2003 10:45:14 AM PDT by CDHart
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To: AAABEST
"Did you know that in many cultures there is no such thing as gay?"

Source please. I've never heard of a culture that does not have homosexuals as a small minority.
47 posted on 10/08/2003 11:25:26 AM PDT by green iguana (I know he looks mean, but don't worry about my dog. He'll run away when I fire.)
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To: robertpaulsen
"There are many legal, noncriminal minorities in society toward which social conservatives have a "negative social policy"."

You don't have to bring social conservatives into this point. When I read this op-ed in the WSJ, the line "if homosexuals are no longer criminals for having consensual private relationships, then they cannot be dismissed as somehow alien or peripheral to our civil society" just leapt out at me. This is a specious argument that Sullivan bases his whole piece on.

There are many non-criminal behaviors which can be readily dismissed as "peripheral to our civil society." For example, the two ladies that I have known who each lived alone with over 30 cats (and I like cats) are both very peripheral to society.
48 posted on 10/08/2003 11:37:05 AM PDT by green iguana (I know he looks mean, but don't worry about my dog. He'll run away when I fire.)
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To: gridlock
My point is that government intervention will only lead to the victory of those you oppose.

I can't stress enough how much I agree with you on this. I wouldn't contend otherwise.

I'm glad we got a handle on each other's position. :)

49 posted on 10/08/2003 11:41:23 AM PDT by AAABEST (http://www.floridasoundoff.com)
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To: green iguana
"You don't have to bring social conservatives into this point."

I didn't -- Andrew Sullivan did when he asked the question, "Can you think of any other legal, noncriminal minority in society toward which social conservatives have nothing but a negative social policy?".

I just answered it.

"There are many non-criminal behaviors which can be readily dismissed as 'peripheral to our civil society'."

I agree. And homosexuality is one of them, legal or illegal, criminal or not. And that's where I like it -- on the periphery.

50 posted on 10/08/2003 11:50:35 AM PDT by robertpaulsen
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