Monday, June 30, 2003

On June 30, Andrew Sullivan wrote:

What troubles me about Antonin Scalia is not so much the substance of his views (although I share very few of them) but the angry, sarcastic, bitter tone of his judgments. David Broder had a similar take last week. Part of what it takes to be a judge, in my mind, is a certain indifference to passionate advocacy, a sense of moderation, and prudence. If someone cares as passionately as Scalia does about the moral issues in what he has called the "culture war," and if he isn't even interested in moderating these passions in his judicial rulings, then it strikes me that he is not acting as a justice should act: with dignity, care, distance, and respect for alternative arguments. It's the tone that's off. It can be amusing, bracing, shocking, interesting; but it certainly isn't a judicial tone.

Where's the evidence, Sullivan? What paragraph, what sentence is it that Scalia wrote that has the wrong tone? What sentence shows Scalia taking a side in these "culture wars"? You didn't quote any in your post. You don't dislike Scalia's tone. You dislike Scalia's arguments. Was he taking a side when he wrote, "I would no more require a State to criminalize homosexual acts or, for that matter, display any moral disapprobation of them than I would forbid it to do so." Why don't you quote that for your readers? Because it doesn't fit your lying stereotype of what Scalia is. The dissent stayed neutral in on the cultural issue of homosexuality.

And, oh, Justice Thomas signed onto Scalia's dissent. Remember him? The man you respect and admire. He must not have thought Scalia was out-of-bounds. Are you now going to disavow your previous comments praising him?

On June 30, Andrew Sullivan wrote:

Of course it was dismaying to hear Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist casually declare he favors writing permanent discrimination against gays and lesbians into the U.S. Constitution. Tampering with the Constitution as a way to prevent states deciding, as they always have, what constitutes a legal marriage would be an assault on federalism, an assault on gay citizens, and the equation of the meaning of the United States with active discrimination against minorities.

This is surreal. An assault on federalism? In order to amend the Constitution, 2/3 of both chambers of the U.S. Congress and 3/4 of the states would have to accept it. That isn't an assault on federalism. That is federalism. Lawrence v. Texas was an assault on federalism. In order for the Marriage Amendment to pass, citizens in all fifty states will have to consider the issue when they vote for members of their state legislatures. In order for the "rights" Andrew Sullivan holds dear to somehow magically appear in the Constitution, five lawyers in D.C. have to agree with him. Which is the assault on federalism?

Sullivan continues:

But what was remarkable was Frist's reasoning: "I very much feel that marriage is a sacrament, and that sacrament should extend and can extend to that legal entity of a union between - what is traditionally in our Western values has been defined - as between a man and a woman. So I would support the amendment.".... I think Frist is also implying that only churches grant true marriage and that the state subsequently merely ratifies or acknowledges that sacred institution.... Does Frist even acknowledge the full civic rights of non-believers at all, I wonder? The fact that the good doctor cannot apparently see a deep distinction between a religious marriage and a civil one shows, I guess, how close to theocracy today's Republicans have become.

There is no need to defend Frist from Sullivan's idiotic charges. This quote is provided as an example of Sullivan's inability to reason when the issue involves homosexuality and/or relgious conservatives. From Frist's quote that he believes marriage is a sacrament and that Western values define marriage as between a man and a woman, Sullivan concludes that today's Republicans favor a theocracy. Why is Andrew Sullivan considered smart? By anyone?

Friday, June 27, 2003

On June 27, Andrew Sullivan wrote:

SODOMY LEGAL IN SOUTH CAROLINA: Strom Thurmond dead. On the same day. It's a funny old world, isn't it?

Disgusting. The man takes delight in the death of a fellow human being. What more do you need to know about Andrew Sullivan?
On June 26, Andrew Sullivan wrote:

Antonin Scalia's dissent in Lawrence vs Texas is, as usual, interesting and not quite as chock-full of animus toward homosexual dignity as in the past. It comes down to two arguments: that an assertion of "morality" is justification enough for any law anywhere, regardless of its rationality;

This is a lie. Scalia's dissent applied what is called the "rational basis" test to this case because homosexuals are not considered a protected class. In other words, the law only need have a rational basis in order to be constitutional. It need not be subjected to strict scrutiny. It is almost impossible to fail the rational basis test. As long as the legislature didn't draw straws, a rational basis will almost always be found. And, in fact, the Court has always found the enforcement of sexual morality as a rational basis. The point of the rational basis test isn't to find a law good or right, but to ensure that the Court doesn't do what it did yesterday, which is legislate. Justice Thomas, whom Sullivan "admires," joined Scalia's dissent. He found that the law has a rational basis on the same grounds as Scalia, but he said in a separate dissent that he would vote to repeal the law if anyone elected him to the Texas legislature. But, in Sullivan's warped mind, Thomas is to be "admired" while Scalia is "upholding prejudice." Although they agree that the law is rational.

If Scalia were faced with a law that affected a protected class (e.g. racial minorities), he would have applied the strict scrutiny test. In other words, if a law disproportionately applies to minorities, the State must bring forth not a rational basis, but more. The State must show a compelling State interest to discriminate.

Sullivan continues:

As to his notion that the law doesn't single out gays because two straight guys getting it on would be criminalized as well, that's like saying that a law banning Jewish religious services is not anti-Jewish since goyim could not conduct such services either. It's the kind of sophistry you need to deny the obvious, hostile intent of the Texas law.

The Jewish example doesn't work for one obvious reason. The United States Constitution actually includes the protection of the right to exercise one's religion. There is no protection to practice sodomy, heterosexual sodomy or homosexual sodomy. The majority did not cite the right as found in the Constitution, because it isn't there; they made it up.

Scalia's point was that the law prohobits a certain action, in this case man-on-man or woman-on-woman genital contact with the anus or mouth. The law applies to everyone in Texas, not just a group of people. But, of course, the persons who want to engage in the action are the ones who will be convicted. That's the point of the law. Scalia wrote, "Of course the same could be said of any law. A law against public nudity targets 'the conduct that is closely correlated with being a nudist,' and hence 'is targeted at more than conduct'; it is 'directed toward nudists as a class.' But be that as it may. Even if the Texas law does deny equal protection to 'homosexuals as a class,' that denial still does not need to be justified by anything more than a rational basis, which our cases show is satisfied by the enforcement of traditional notions of sexual morality." Nudity laws apply to everyone. But, of course, those who like to go around nude in public are the ones who will be arrested. Under Sullivan's reasoning, the nudity laws are clearly unconsitutional because they discriminate against nudists. That makes no sense.

Thursday, June 26, 2003

On June 26, Andrew Sullivan wrote:

Again, it's fascinating to see Clarence Thomas, a man I admire, take the trouble to point out that even though he voted with the minority on constitutional grounds, he is personally opposed to the law on political grounds:
"If I were a member of the Texas Legislature, I would vote to repeal. Punishing someone for expressing his sexual preference through noncommercial consensual conduct with another adult does not appear to be a worthy way to expend valuable law enforcement resources."
This is the point Senator Santorum still won't address. The reason for his silence is that he actually believes that the government's policing of private sexual behavior is a good and important thing. Now we know how far out there he really is.

Senator Santorum has never advocated a ban of sodomy either as a member of the U.S. Congress or as a citizen of Pennsylvania.

Sullivan fails to mention that Justice Thomas agreed with Santorum's reasoning that a right to privacy for homosexual anal sex also leads to a right to privacy for incest and beastiality. Justice Thomas joined in Justice Scalia's dissent, which reads in part: "State laws against bigamy,same-sex marriage,adult incest,prostitution,masturbation,adultery,fornication, bestiality,and obscenity are likewise sustainable only in light of Bowers ’ validation of laws based on moral choices.. Every single one of these laws is called into question by today ’s decision;the Court makes no effort to cabin the scope of its decision to exclude them from its holding."

On June 26, Andrew Sullivan wrote:

So the Supreme Court uses specifically the privacy argument to over-turn Bowers v Hardwick in a larger than expected 6 - 3 decision. It would be hard to find a more emphatic statement that gay men and women are a) human beings whose private lives deserve privacy and b) citizens who deserve the same treatment as everyone else under the law. A Reagan appointee, Anthony Kennedy, wrote the decision. I haven't read it all yet so this is a preliminary take. But each day now, I can feel freedom dawning in this land again. The struggle of so many for so long is beginning to come true. What a privilege, what a joy, to be alive to witness it.

Please. The one thing Andrew does not do is point out where the Constitution contains this so-called "right to privacy." He also does not address how this right-to-privacy does not apply to the situations presented by Senator Santorum. The majority wrote, "We conclude the case should be resolved by determining whether the petitioners were free as adults to engage in the private conduct in the exercise of their liberty under the Due Process Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment to
the Constitution." Of course, this is the famous practice of the court asking the right question to get the right answer under "right to privacy" jurisprudence. In Bowers, the question was more specific, e.g. is there a privacy right surrounding anal sex?

The Texas law was stupid. But not unconstitutional. It is not freedom to take away the rights of Texans to pass the laws they deem appropriate, and this is not something we should celebrate. Today, the citizens of Texas lost more of their right to vote. Currently, we aren't allowed to vote for candidates based on their views on abortion, whether homosexuals should be included in anit-discrimination statutes, and now, anal sex. Great day, Andrew. Sullivan's claim that this decision affirms that homosexuals are human beings is patently stupid. No one denies that. His definition of "human being" seems weird as it apparently includes the need to practice anal sex.
On June 26, Andrew Sullivan wrote:

You know opponents of equal marriage rights are in trouble when an editorial against them is followed by ads touting "Casual Civil Unions in Vermont" and "In Depth: Homophobia." And in the Washington Times no less! The market trumps ideology every time.

The article he references is an editorial in the Washington Times entitled "Don't Legalize Gay Marriage." At the bottom of the article on the webpage are two paid advertisements. Both are apparently from gay-marriage advocates.

What does this prove? Mainly, one thing. Those who argue against state-sanctioned homosexual marriage are open-minded and support free speech. As documented on this blog, in Canada, Sweden, and the United Kingdom (all countries that allow homosexual marriage or are about to), speech against homosexual marriages has been criminalized. In fact, despite being challenged to do so, Sullivan has been unable to provide the name of one country where homosexual marriage is state-sanctioned or about to be where free speech against homosexual marriage still exists. We're waiting, Andrew.

Wednesday, June 25, 2003

On June 25, Andrew Sullivan wrote:

I loved this email posted by Jonah G. at NRO.

The e-mail in question was from a self-described conservative Catholic. His main point seems to be that pro-abortion is worse than pro-gay marriage. Okay, who disagrees? No one that I know. One can be pro-life and pro-family, can't one?

There were other obvious logical difficulties with his e-mail. The e-mailer wrote, "You don't see Catholics actively seeking the criminalization of divorce, and so should it be with gay marriage." Catholics don't actively seek the criminalization of homosexual marriage. There are more than one homosexual couple in the United States that have been "married" by their churches or other organizations. No one is advocating that they be thrown in jail. The issue currently before the American people is not the criminalization of homosexual marriage, it is whether the state should sanction homosexual marriage. There is a big difference.

One type of marriage that actually is criminalized in the U.S. is polygamy. Just last year, a polygamous Utah man was placed in jail for practicing bigamy, despite that fact that all of his wives welcomed the other wives. What is Sullivan's opinion about this? He's for the criminalization of polygamy. Myself, I don't think polygamy is moral. I don't think the state should sanction it. But I don't see great benefits from throwing polygamists in jail.

Tuesday, June 24, 2003

On June 24, Andrew Sullivan wrote:

Two right-of-center columnists, Stephen Chapman and Cathy Young, both back marriage for all. I have to say that the best discussion right now is being held in conservative venues - where real diversity of opinion is actually present.

Sullivan is right when he says that Chapman backs marriage for all. Not only is Chapman a supporter of homosexual marriage, he is a supporter of state-sanctioned polygamy, something Sullivan is against. I guess that makes Sullivan an extremist anti-polygamist bigot. Sullivan doesn't mention that the so-called "right-of-center" Chapman is pro-polygamy. Another example of Sullivan omitting important facts.

Sullivan continues:

Many simply do not acknowledge a need to make anything but religious arguments on this matter - or any other. They pick pieces of the Bible with which they agree (you won't find many members of the religious right decrying usury or personal wealth) and then insist that they be reflected in the civil law. They see zero distinction between religion and politics. Zero.

Another classic Sullivan attack. Instead of actually engaging the arguments of intellectuals like Stanley Kurtz, he beats up a boogy man. That's right, the ol' religious right. Sullivan never addresses the polygamy argument. He never addresses the distinction between heterosexual sex, which produces children, and homosexual sex, which produces, well, nothing.

Thursday, June 19, 2003

On June 18, Andrew Sullivan wrote:

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.

David Frum is the far right? Here, Sullivan argues that you can live in a country where homosexual marriage is legal that protects freedom of speech against gay marriage. Does Sullivan tell us where this mythical country is? No, he doesn't. Why? Because it doesn't exist.

Unlike Sullivan, Frum actually provided evidence for his claim. He provides three examples from Canada, which I will repeat here:

1. An Ontario business man was fined $5,000 for refusing to print letterhead for a homosexual charity. The man is a born-again Christian. He was more than willing to serve homosexual customers, he simply didn't want the government to force him to print letterhead for an organization that publically advocated things contrary to his religious beliefs. Too bad for him, I guess. His free speech rights aren't imporant.

2. A Saskatchewan man was punished under Canada's hate crime law. His crime? He had a bumper sticker. Here is a description of it from the court case: "The bumper sticker in the advertisement displayed references to four Bible passages: Romans 1, Leviticus 18:22, Leviticus 20:13 and 1 Corinthians 6:9-10, on the left side of the sticker. An equal sign (=) was situated in the middle of the sticker, with a symbol on the right side of the sticker. The symbol on the right side was comprised of two males holding hands with the universal symbol of a red circle with a diagonal bar superimposed over top." That's right. In Canada, it is illegal to advocate your religious beliefs on a bumper sticker, if those religious beliefs are against homosexual marriage. The Bible is hate speech.

3. Bill C-250. This is a House of Commons measure that would apparantly make what little anti-homosexual marriage speech that is today legal in Canada, illegal in the future.

John Derbyshire presented evidence from England. An English man was fined $1,000 for holding a sign that read: "STOP IMMORALITY. STOP HOMOSEXUALITY. STOP LESBIANISM." England is a country that Sullivan claims is on the verge of sanctioning homosexual marriages.

Stanley Kurtz presents evidence from Sweden. Sweden is close to adopting homosexual marriage. There, it is illegal to "express disdain" about homosexuality.

So the onus is on Andrew. If it is possible to have state-sanctioned marriage and free speech, name the place.

Tuesday, June 17, 2003

On June 17, Andrew Sullivan wrote:

Andrew Stuttaford has bravely roiled the waters at National Review and seesthe positive side of same-sex marriage. He takes on the Stanley Kurtz notion that gay men are incapable of monogamy and therefore should be barred from marrying (except marrying women, of course, where their ability to be monogamous would be even more sorely tested. Go figure.).... Imagine for a moment if heterosexual marriage didn't exist; if there were no legal commitments for a husband or a wife; no social cost to adultery; no enforceable legal responsibility for children; and so on. What do you think would happen to male heterosexual promiscuity? Of course it would soar. And if some heterosexual men, in that context, decided that they wanted to affirm monogamy, do you think conservatives would tell them to get lost? Or describe their aspirations as somehow socially destructive? Of course not. But some far-righters simply don't seem to think of gay people as human beings like everyone else, susceptible to social norms and pressures and incentives..... And most lesbians are more monogamous than most heterosexuals. So the institution of same-sex marriage could well increase the monogamous nature of marriage as an institution. Conservative critics never seem to consider the lesbian angle - and I guess you can see why.... But the far right still prefers to see nothing but catastrophe. That's their fear speaking, I think; not their rationality.

Where to begin? The easiest answer is link to Stanley Kurtz's response at The Corner on NRO. In the past, Andrew Sullivan has claimed that Kurtz and other "far-righters" ignore lesbian couples. This is a lie. Stanley Kurtz links to three previous articles of his that deal with the issue. Code of Honor from August 2001, Heather Has 3 Parents from just three months ago, and Seeing the Slip from just two months ago.

Is it really possible that Andrew Sullivan forgot that Stanley Kurtz has written full-length articles about the lesbian angle of homosexual marriage twice within the last three months? I doubt it. In which case, he is a liar. If he truly doesn't remember, then he either doesn't read Kurtz's columns before he criticizes him on his blog, (in which case Sullivan is unprofessional), or he is unable to be rational on the issue of homosexual marriage.

This post of Sullivan's raises another interesting issue. Notice that the "far-right wingers" at National Review Online don't suppress pro-homosexual marriage arguments, despite the fact that the vast majority of NRO writers and editors are not in favor of state-sanctioned homosexual marriage. Andrew Stuttaford is more than welcome to voice his opinion over at NRO. Go ahead and look for opposing arguments on The Daily Dish. Won't find them. Or, if you do they will be so distorted as to be unrecognizable. Not once has Sullivan gotten Stanley Kurtz's views on homosexuality right. Not once. In this post, he once again lies about Kurtz's views on lesbians. Will Sullivan post a follow up to correct this oversight? No.

He will continue to lie and demonize. Notice that he claims that "far righters" don't believe that homosexuals are human beings. This is ridiculous beyond words. Is this the best argument Sullivan can come up with?

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