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Foley and the Homophobic Mind:

Here's my take on one aspect of the scandal involving former Rep. Mark Foley. It's an excerpt from a somewhat longer column:

The Foley mess reaffirms some things we have long known about the nature and characteristics of anti-gay prejudice.

William Eskridge, a Yale law professor, has written that anti-gay prejudice has been marked historically by three characteristics. These are: (1) "hysterical demonization of gay people as dirty sexualized subhumans"; (2) "obsessional fears of gay people as conspiratorial and sexually predatory"; and (3) "narcissistic desires to reinforce stable heterosexual identity . . . by bashing gay people." The primary historical traits of homophobia are thus hysteria, obsession, and narcissism.

We can see the first of these characteristics, hysteria, in some of the reactions to the Foley scandal. "While pro-homosexual activists like to claim that pedophilia is a completely distinct orientation from homosexuality, evidence shows a disproportionate overlap between the two," declared Tony Perkins of the Family Research Council.

There is no good evidence of a link between homosexual orientation and pedophilia. Professional anti-homosexuals, like Perkins, often cite junk science to support their hysterical views of dangerous and hypersexualized homosexuals.

Ken Lucas, a Democrat running for Congress from Kentucky, said that Republican leaders should have closely monitored Foley simply because he's gay. There was no more reason to watch over Foley because he's gay than there was to supervise the other 530 or so members of Congress because they're straight, but hysteria sees no inconsistency.

The second characteristic of anti-gay prejudice, obsession, has been on full display. Some Republicans in Congress and religious conservatives told reporters that they suspect a "gay subculture" has infiltrated the party. This "Velvet Mafia"—as some have called it—allegedly consists of a number of gay Republican congressional staffers and other personnel. A conservative website asserted that the gay conspiracy includes nine chiefs of staff, two press secretaries, and two directors of communications for prominent congressional Republicans.

The conspirators, the story went, included several gay Republican staff members who personally handled the Foley case. An especially irresponsible report by CBS News's Gloria Borger recounted how the scandal had "caused a firestorm among GOP conservatives." Without any rebuttal or fact-checking, Borger reported that conservatives "charge that a group of high-level gay Republican staffers were protecting a gay Republican congressman." There is no evidence for this charge, and some pretty good evidence against it, but anti-gay websites quickly praised Borger for breaking the "PC barrier."

This baseless fear of a gay mafia wielding enormous power undetected has a certain obsessional quality. It is deeply conspiratorial, fed by fantasies of gays as sexual predators.

Others—including Perkins, Newt Gingrich, Patrick Buchanan, and even the Wall Street Journal editorial page—suggested that Republican leaders were paralyzed from acting against Foley early on by fear of a pro-gay backlash. To believe this of GOP leaders—who have opposed every measure for gay equality—requires obsessional and conspiratorial delusion about the power and influence of the gay civil rights movement in America.

Finally, the Foley mess has demonstrated the third characteristic of anti-gay prejudice, narcissism. If the GOP loses one or both houses of Congress in November, one supposed lesson will be that the party was too lenient on homosexuals—turning off the party's base of religious conservatives. Some thus see the scandal as a chance to cleanse the GOP of the impurity of homosexuality, to reassert the party's stable, pro-family heterosexual identity.

Chances are that most Americans, including most Republicans, will reject the hysteria, obsession, and narcissism of anti-gay prejudice this mess has loosed upon us. Most GOP leaders have been careful to avoid drawing any of the "larger lessons" about gay people that professional anti-homosexuals would like us to learn.

The Foley scandal doesn't say anything very important about America's gays. But it says a lot about America's anti-gays.

UPDATE: I had hoped it would go without saying that I do not believe that opposition to any gay-rights proposal is necessarily "homophobic," just as I do not believe that opposition to affirmative action is necessarily racist. Some opponents of gay marriage, for example, do so for essentially homophobic reasons (e.g., because of irrational fears and deep loathing of homosexuals), but many oppose it for non-homophobic reasons (e.g., because they presume strongly against all important change in an essential social institution). I have serious reservations about hate-crimes laws, for example, but not for homophobic reasons. Others oppose employment non-discrimination laws for libertarian reasons, which are not homophobic.

I agree with the commenters that "pedophilia" is not even an issue in the Foley case. That Perkins and others have used the Foley episode to resuscitate this old canard is another manifestation of homophobic hysteria in the reaction. If you're interested in further reading about the junk-science claims of the Family Research Council and others about a link between homosexual orientation and pedophilia, see Mark Pietrzyk's fine essay, "Homosexuality and Child Sexual Abuse: Science, Religion, and the Slippery Slope." See especially the section entitled, "Scientific Research on Pedophilia."

JB:
The problem is compounded by the fact that "gay" is often used as a distraction. Witness Jim McGreevey--more people, I'd wager, know that he's gay and had an affair than know about the scandals in his administration. The wikipedia article on him doesn't even mention the corruption in the first paragraph.

"I'm gay, look at me, if you attack me you're homophobic! Don't look at my record, the problem is I like men! I like men, dammit! Pay attention to that!"

That, coupled with the opposite,

"He's gay, that means he's evil! What? He didn't do anything yet? Well, he will, because he's GAY! Stop him at once!"

makes "gay" into the quickest way to turn a substantive scandal into partisan bashing. Either side can play the gay card to rally their troops to ignore their weaknesses, and the other side often takes the bait and attacks/defends the gay aspect to the exclusion of other issues. Since other issues are often either damaging or hard for people at large to understand, partisan fighters have a strong incentive to make the fight be about something simpler and more certain to energize the base.

Foley's misconduct is hypocrisy and abuse of power. The scandal is about pedophilia and homosexuality. I think both sides are happier that way.
10.15.2006 11:34am
DavidBernstein (mail):
How is being interested in 17 year olds "pedophilia"?
10.15.2006 11:35am
Joel B. (mail):
Dale-

This seems like such a strained column, it's barely plausable. First, you pull a qoute from Eskridge about the "Homophobic mind" which suggests you fall in to the same trap that you try to put those who are "homophobic" in, that some how all people who are homosexual or homophobic are some monolithic group that share the same charateristics. Ironically, both groups in the forumalation share 3 charateristics.

However to get to this point, you point to Tony Perkins and Ken Lucas of the research council as committing one, various parts of the GOP committing the second, and another amorphous part of the GOP committing the third. And somehow we put this together to say, see uh there's some homophobic mind out there? Okay then.
10.15.2006 11:41am
Cornellian (mail):
How is being interested in 17 year olds "pedophilia"?

If finding a 17 year old attractive is pedophilia, virtually every straight guy in the history of civilization is a pedophile. Not so long ago 17 would have been considered a suitable age to get married.
10.15.2006 11:55am
Thomas J. Webb (mail) (www):
I think when talking about paedophilia, a distinction must be drawn between attraction to sexually-developed adolescents and that to children. Not saying that either is right, but even if it were shown that many gay men preferred 16-year old boys, it wouldn't exactly put them in the same category as child-rapists.
10.15.2006 12:01pm
thedaddy (mail):
Dale what is it about So called "homosexuals" that is deserving of aprobation by the 99+% of humans that have not deluded themselves into thinking that "homosexuals" are somehow a beneficial subset of humanity?

I am not speaking of individuals here but of the groups of self described "homosexuals" or the laughingly inappropriate term "gay".

Now speaking of individuals:
How can one individual tell if another individual is "homosexual"? What external characteristics are visible or discernable that would allow one to make a correct conclusion?

It can't be because "homosexual" individuals have different sex organs than those of the same gender who are not "homosexual" because they have "regular" sex organs.

I am not sure if you are a self-professed "homosexual"? If you are do you have a easily identifiable set of different sexual organs that proclaim your "homosexualness"? I think not.

You have to "proclaim" your "homosexuality" to get anyone to notice. To be honest with you the vast majority of fully functional human beings don't give a rats a** what you think you are.

"Homosexuality' is a narcisistic disfunctional way of being a human being and it would be better for all for it to go back in the closet where it belongs.

Proud to be a compleate procreating human being.

thedaddy
10.15.2006 12:37pm
Jay Myers:
I think the Foley mess says a lot more about the double-standard of leftist partisans than it does about either gays or "anti-gays" (Aren't those just gays with the same mass but opposite electric charges?)

Foley sent some e-mails to a minor which crossed the line to being creepy. The parents complained and so Speaker Hastert told Foley to end contact. There was nothing sexual or overtly inappropriate there as far as I've read. Then some former pages went to the media with IMs between Foley and a third former page. Those did have sexual content but the former page was a grown and consenting adult. Plus there is some indication that the three young men were baiting Foley for their own enjoyment. Somehow this set of facts has already forced Foley to resign and now Democrats are screaming bloody murder that Hastert should resign too. Why? Isn't this "just sex" as we we were told about President Clinton's misbehavior? When a Democratic Congressman had sex with a 17 year-old male page, he stayed in Congress and was re-elected for six more terms. Perhaps Foley could end this circus by switching parties and moving to Gerry Studds' old district?

And now Mr. Carpenter has morphed this "scandal" into an excuse to slam Republicans for being against gays. Unfortunately, it isn't the Republicans who are creating a media firestorm over Foley's actions. If Foley is indeed being victimized for being gay then it is the Democrats and their henchmen in the media who are doing it. Surely nobody is cynical enough to believe that all this moral outrage on the left side of the aisle has anything to do with the midterm elections just a few weeks away.
10.15.2006 12:59pm
Not This Time:
There was no more reason to watch over Foley because he’s gay than there was to supervise the other 530 or so members of Congress because they’re straight, but hysteria sees no inconsistency.

Not quite right, from a behavioral economics perspective. If by “watch over” you mean “tell him to avoid public signals of his sexual preferences”, you may be wrong -- at least as far as GOP strategy is concerned.

The GOP is a diverse party. But it has a large constituency that believes homosexuality is a sin and ought not be sanctioned in the public realm.

Given its constituency, the GOP probably has more votes to lose than Democrats if it’s seen as tolerating (or being indifferent to) homosexual congressmen who signal their sexual preferences in public. One way to decrease problems (in offending a large constituency) is to put in place disincentives to reduce behavior that could lead to electoral losses. “Watching over” people who have preferences that offend a party’s constituency, and telling such people “to cut it out” if they signal their preferences in public represents one way of addressing the problem: Such techniques enforce implicit social norms (here, against homosexuality) that allow minorities to participate in a political party while not offending a large constituency of the party.
10.15.2006 1:00pm
Mahan Atma (mail):
"How is being interested in 17 year olds "pedophilia"?"

When the adult stands in loco parentis, e.g. a teacher or employer. I think in most states, that raises the age of consent to 18.
10.15.2006 1:19pm
Mahan Atma (mail):
"If finding a 17 year old attractive is pedophilia, virtually every straight guy in the history of civilization is a pedophile."

Well OK, but we're not talking about mere interest -- we're talking about acting on it.
10.15.2006 1:20pm
donaldk:
One characterization of "gayness" that the professor omits is compassion for this unfortunate condition. Of course there are those (of whom I suspect Prof. Ethridge is one) who claim that the "gay" life is just as good as a normal one. I wonder if you would get this answer if you asked a homosexual parent whether he would prefer a son to follow his course.

As to Foley, the one response that I have not seen represents my own: pity for his affliction. Seeking photographs and typing imagined seductions is very likely accompanied by a performance of solitary sex. Imagine please how it is to live this way.
10.15.2006 1:25pm
Mike Williams (mail):
You post: “The Foley scandal doesn’t say anything very important about America’s gays. But it says a lot about America’s anti-gays.”

When the Foley thing broke, the first thing that came into my mind was the sex scandal that is still ripping and tearing at the Catholic Church. As you know, it is costing the Church billions, continues to drive parishes into bankruptcy, and has brought down cardinals and bishops in addition to the individual priests involved.

And although the MSM tends to ignore it, the great majority of the epicentral priests were abusing post-pubescent males. They weren’t pedophiles: They were homosexuals who broke their vows of chastity.

Economists talk about opportunity costs. For the billions that are now going into legal fees and settlements, the opportunity costs for the Catholic Church may be in souls saved and human suffering alleviated.

In Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet, the Prince says something like this to Capulet and Montague: “And I, for winking at your discords too, have lost a brace of kinsman. All are punished.”

So, respectfully, I disagree with your conclusion. The unacceptable behavior of a homosexual congressman – and the apparent winking at it by his Congressional cohorts – are likely to have an opportunity cost on November 7th that, in my view, will make the world even more dysfunctional than it already is.
10.15.2006 1:46pm
Tony2 (mail):
Is there anyone else who doesn't think that the Foley scandal means anything at all? It's nothing than a dirty old man who can't keep his hands to himself. What else is new. These multiple layers of interpretation - positions about opinions about reactions to the scandal - seem to get more tortured by the day.

To "thedaddy": If you're so anxious to present yourself as "a compleate [sic] procreating human being", perhaps you should find a handle that doesn't sound like something you'd use on Bear411? Because guys who call themselves "daddy" online while aggressively asserting their heterosexuality are, you know, kinda hot.
10.15.2006 1:49pm
michael (mail) (www):
I agree with the previous commenter, donaldk. It seems that Foley spent a lot of time using his position essentially to confess his feelings to an audience that would not attack him but also characterized by being young men who were not homosexual. He seemed to be looking for a 'normal' mirror that would acquit him, was seeking a corrective emotional experience, as Franz Alexander used to characterize psychotherapy.
10.15.2006 2:03pm
Tom Collins (mail):
This may be a bit of a non sequiter. I remember reading once that the FBI and CIA used to ask applicants if they were gay. For all I know, they still do. The rationale given was not that they didn't want homosexuals working for them, but because a secretly homosexual person is more readily blackmailed.

I think this is relevant to the Foley scandal. Certainly being gay, in my opinion, does not make it any more likely that you will be a pedophile (though I agree that being attracted to a 17 year-old is hardly pedophelia). However, making your sexuality secret WOULD seem more likely to lead to relationships with those who are younger. In my experience, as people get older, they are going to be less likely to accept a clandestine relationship. Further, once you are keeping one secret, what's another? And if you are keeping your sexuality a secret because you fear the approbation of the masses, why not just say fuck it, and head full bore into activities that are perhaps rightly worthy of approbation.

If indeed there is a problem, in my opinion, it arises not from homosexuality, but from the way those in politics, even if openly gay, are forced to hide their sexuality. Secrets breed secrets.
10.15.2006 2:05pm
Bottomfish (mail):
The Foley case seems to me to suggest that a change in emphasis has recently occurred in sexual morality. It's become very wrong to initiate, or even try to initiate, a sexual relationship with someone who is either much younger than you are or less powerful. This is true whether the relation is hetero or homo. The difference in power and sophistication makes it unlikely for consent in such cases to be genuine. Of course this supposition has always been true, but it seems to be much more important now. The rise of feminism is almost certanly responsible for this change. Traditionally the powerful have always had their catamites and mistresses but from now on they will have to stay on a short leash.
10.15.2006 2:18pm
Truth Seeker:
How can one individual tell if another individual is "homosexual"?

Well, it must be the lisp, the sashaying walk and the limp wrist. How else would employers and their customers know that they had a diverse mix of sexual orientations among their workers?
10.15.2006 2:21pm
JB:
It's pedophilia to be attracted to people deemed societally too young BECAUSE they're deemed too young. If the age of consent was 24, people who liked to screw 22-year-olds would be pedophiles (similarly, when women were regularly married off at 12, people who liked to screw 13-year-olds weren't pedophiles).

That attraction to the forbidden is what makes the pathology.

Of course, this is separate from the general desire for prepubescents, so maybe I'm describing a different disorder. Nevertheless, if Mark Foley wouldn't touch a 10-year-old (too young), or a 19-year-old (too legal), but was hot for 16-year-olds (sexually mature and forbidden), then he's got something wrong with him that probably has a name.
10.15.2006 2:23pm
U.Va. 2L (mail):
JB:

Ephebephilia is the term used to refer to the attraction to postpubescent adolescents.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ephebophilia
10.15.2006 2:29pm
thedaddy (mail):
"Because guys who call themselves "daddy" online while aggressively asserting their heterosexuality are, you know, kinda hot."

I don't think that stating that you are a normal person who has fulfilled the Biblical call to "be fruitful and multiply" is being "aggressive" it's just a fact that is germane to this discussion.

I do not call myself "daddy" My children call me "thedaddy" and yes I am "hot"

BTW what is BEAR411?
10.15.2006 2:29pm
liberty (mail) (www):
To continue the thinking of Tom Collins, its also true that the shame, as opposed to just secrecy, of closeted homosexuality I think also tends to lead to morally repugnant behavior. If someone already thinks that what they are thinking and secretly doing is wrong, it will seem like a small step to do it with younger partners, for example. In addition, the built up sexual urges when one actually abstains for extended periods due to shame and secrecy, combined with massive feelings of guilt, can lead to nasty incidents when its finally released.
10.15.2006 2:30pm
Rich Rostrom (mail):
Sexual attraction to pre-pubescent children is clearly pedophilia. Attraction to pubescent children is often called pedophilia, and shares some of the same characteristics (the desire for an easily controlled partner). However, the technical term for such attraction is "ephebophilia" - attraction to youths.

It is improper, but is it perverse? I have a 14-year-old neighbor who is 5' 7", 110 lbs, 34-23-34. It would be grotesquely inappropriate for me to chase after her, but is it perverse for me to find her attractive?

It gets weirder as the adult is older or the child is less physically mature. Some adults are specifically attracted to children who are just barely pubescent. Was Humbert Humbert a "pedophile"?

It gets un-weirder as the adult gets younger and the child gets older or maturer: my young neighbor has an 18-year-old boyfriend, which is problematic, but not grossly offensive.

So drawing bright lines gets difficult. It's legally and psychologically easier to slap on the "pedophilia" label where the offense is greatest. Homosexuality adds offense, most minds. That may be why men who pursue 16-year-old boys get the label, while those who chase girls usually don't.
10.15.2006 2:33pm
thedaddy (mail):
Truthseeker:
"Well, it must be the lisp, the sashaying walk and the limp wrist. How else would employers and their customers know that they had a diverse mix of sexual orientations among their workers?"

I thought the above was discrimination. Who knew that this is the accepted way to pick out the "homosexuals" from the rest of us.

thedaddy
10.15.2006 2:39pm
Fub:
Tom Collins wrote:
And if you are keeping your sexuality a secret because you fear the approbation of the masses, why not just say fuck it, and head full bore into activities that are perhaps rightly worthy of approbation.
I think you mipsspeled opprobrium.

Either that, or what you think you wrote is not the same as what I think I read.
10.15.2006 2:40pm
thedaddy (mail):
FUB is correct:

from:
Merriam-Webster Online Dictionary
One entry found for approbation.
Main Entry: ap·pro·ba·tion
Pronunciation: "a-pr&-'bA-sh&n
Function: noun
1 obsolete : PROOF
2 a : an act of approving formally or officially b : COMMENDATION, PRAISE
- ap·pro·ba·to·ry /'a-pr&-b&-"tor-E, &-'prO-b&-/ adjective
10.15.2006 2:45pm
Pantapon Rose (mail):
This is just payback from the Dems for Rove getting all those gay-marriage amendments on ballots in the last election.
10.15.2006 2:50pm
Fran (mail) (www):
thedaddy said:
"Dale what is it about So called "homosexuals" that is deserving of aprobation by the 99+% of humans that have not deluded themselves into thinking that "homosexuals" are somehow a beneficial subset of humanity?"

I must be part of the 'self deluded' -1% of humans who think that homosexuality is neither an automatic benefit, nor is it an automatic negative. Plus the percentage does seem rather self-serving.

I wonder if thedaddy can name any other subsets of humanity that might not be beneficial? Maybe there is an old eugenic study laying around somewhere that we could use.
10.15.2006 2:56pm
JonC:
A conservative website asserted that the gay conspiracy includes nine chiefs of staff, two press secretaries, and two directors of communications for prominent congressional Republicans.

I'm not sure what website is being referred to here, but this set of talking points on the so-called "gay conspiracy" can actually be traced back to David Corn of The Nation, who in turn claims that it was originally drawn up by "gay politicos."
10.15.2006 3:02pm
Tom952 (mail):
"Homophobic" is a term loaded with implications of irrationality. It makes an analogy between critics of homosexuals (for any reason) and other irrational phobias. The term is used to dismiss anyone critical of homosexuals or pro-homosexual agendas, and to avoid serious inquiry and debate of the issues surrounding homosexuality. If those opposed to expanded homosexual rights are irrational, that can be demonstrated by facts and reason during honest debate. Those who deny that any problems exist, demonized the opposition, and otherwise avoid debate tacitly admit a lack of facts to support their position.
10.15.2006 3:02pm
JB:
U.Va. 2L: I'm aware of that. I'm talking about attraction to the forbidden, of any age.
10.15.2006 3:09pm
Tom952 (mail):
Lost in the uproar regarding Foley is the fact that while his communication with pages was inappropriate, he didn't actually do anything illegal. Although he engaged in titillating communications with pages for years there is no evidence that his behavior was escalating toward an illegal act with a young man.

That makes the story mostly election year politics.

The responses from both sides have been ludicrous at times. Imagine the FBI monitoring Barney Frank's communications because he is gay.

The Republicans would have been smarter to remain calm, let the facts come in and the hysteria die down a little before taking action to oust Foley. Perhaps he could have gone to rehab, pulled a Jimmy Swaggert, and become a Gay Republican Against Child Abuse or something.
10.15.2006 3:14pm
s806:
The only place where homophobia would be rational is prison. Environmentalists are rampantly SUV-phobic.
10.15.2006 3:19pm
Cornellian (mail):
"Well, it must be the lisp, the sashaying walk and the limp wrist. How else would employers and their customers know that they had a diverse mix of sexual orientations among their workers?"

I thought the above was discrimination. Who knew that this is the accepted way to pick out the "homosexuals" from the rest of us.


Anyone else find it hilarious that "theDaddy" apparently took the quoted comment literally? That he believes that having children "because the Bible commands it" makes him "normal"? That he's trying a bit too hard to let everyone know how heterosexual he is?
10.15.2006 3:24pm
Ricardo (mail):
"theDaddy",

For anyone with an active social life, your argument that gays should just stay in the closet is silly. Straight people -- including you -- waste no time in talking about your sexuality in public. This includes talking about the wife or girlfriend, the kids, how you are fulfilling the biblical commandment to be fruitful and multiply, how hot some woman is, etc. For a gay person around straight people, the choices are to remain awkwardly silent, to lie and pretend to be straight, or to "come out of the closet."

Remaining silent is not a viable long-run strategy because eventually people will start asking what is up with the thirty year-old guy who is unmarried, never mentions his dating life to anyone and refuses to be set up with anyone's female friends. You would probably prefer that gay people just pretend they are straight so they don't go around shoving their homosexuality down others' throats. But isn't there a biblical commandment along the lines of "thou shalt not lie"?
10.15.2006 4:27pm
jinnmabe (mail):
JB, you're assuming the major reason said people are attracted to 17 year olds is because of the thrill of the forbidden, and the thrill would be there if the girl were 11, 17 or 22, as long as the law forbade it. I think you're overlooking a large reason (two large reasons, actually) that an adult male might find a 17 year old girl attractive. It ain't just that she's forbidden fruit. and it does have a non-arbitrary connection to age.
10.15.2006 4:31pm
Steve:
Lost in the uproar regarding Foley is the fact that while his communication with pages was inappropriate, he didn't actually do anything illegal.

That's interesting. You should call the FBI and let them know to wrap up their investigation, since you've apparently wrapped up yours.
10.15.2006 4:53pm
Cornellian (mail):
"Homophobic" is a term loaded with implications of irrationality. It makes an analogy between critics of homosexuals (for any reason) and other irrational phobias. The term is used to dismiss anyone critical of homosexuals or pro-homosexual agendas, and to avoid serious inquiry and debate of the issues surrounding homosexuality. If those opposed to expanded homosexual rights are irrational, that can be demonstrated by facts and reason during honest debate. Those who deny that any problems exist, demonized the opposition, and otherwise avoid debate tacitly admit a lack of facts to support their position.

"Racist" is a term loaded with implications of irrationality. It makes an analogy between critics of African-Americans (for any reason) and other irrational phobias. The term is used to dismiss anyone critical of African-Americans or pro-African-American agendas, and to avoid serious inquiry and debate of the issues surrounding being African-American. If those opposed to expanded African-American rights are irrational, that can be demonstrated by facts and reason during honest debate. Those who deny that any problems exist, demonized the opposition, and otherwise avoid debate tacitly admit a lack of facts to support their position.

See how easy that is? Just insert the name of whatever group is getting demonized these days in order to fire up the base just before an election.
10.15.2006 4:58pm
logicnazi (mail) (www):
First of all I have to agree with all the other commenters who noted that being attracted to 16 year olds is simply not pedophillia. In fact merely being attracted to them is totally normal. I doubt there is a single individual on this board with healthy sexual desires (not asexual) who hasn't passed at least one scantily dressed 16 year old and felt sexual attraction. Quite simply we are evolved to respond to the external signs of puberty and that doesn't change just because modern nutrition and health has moved puberty earlier in life or because our society (correctly) views them as too vulnerable to engage in sexual contact with adults.

As for homosexuality and inclination to sleep with young boys I know of no statistical link that has been proven. However, I would not be surprised if they were more likely to do so for the simple reason that so many people are taught that homosexuality is already a perversion and so much of society regards it as such. Most hetero men feel attracted to young girls at some time or another but instead seek sexual gratification with more age appropriate individuals. However, if you already feel guilty for any homosexual act and know you will be derided by large segments of your community no matter who you sleep with you are going to be less motivated not to sleep with the young boy.

In other words the (still existing) social disapproval of any homosexual conduct is going to make homosexuals less respectful of other social expectations about sex. It is the same reason that unreasonably demanding rules regarding grad student TA sexual contact (can't sleep with anyone who *might* sometime enroll in a class you *might* teech) actually encourage the problematic situations or unreasonabl y high standards for public officials (can't ever talk to lobbyists in private even if they are old friends) would lead to more corruption.

Moreover, it would not surprise me if the forbidden nature of homosexual contact in highschool, as opposed to the open hetero dating scene, fetishizes high school age boys for homosexuals. In either case I would expect these differences to disappear if homosexuality was treated the same as heterosexuality.
10.15.2006 4:59pm
Elliot Reed:
You have to "proclaim" your "homosexuality" to get anyone to notice. To be honest with you the vast majority of fully functional human beings don't give a rats a** what you think you are.
If only it were so. In reality, the vast majority of human beings are homophobic, and they care a lot.

It doesn't take any "proclaiming" to get people to notice. Try it sometime. Hold hands with another guy in public, and people will notice. Bring another guy to a party as your date, and people will notice. Mention "my husband" and people will notice. "Homosexual," "gay," and the various synonyms and euphamisms therefore never need pass your lips.
10.15.2006 5:00pm
logicnazi (mail) (www):
Also I think there is an additional homophobic factor in the Foley scandal not mentioned above.

I suspect if most people discvered overly friendly but not quite improper emails from a male co-worker/friend to a 16 year old girl vaguely in their power they would simply confront the individual and demand he not do so again. I mean I know this is what I would do if I discovered a fellow TA sending students overly friendly emails, though since these are college students and TAs grad students the infraction is far less severe. In this circumstance I think most people would believe that the emails might not point t anything more serious than a lapse in judgement without any deep underlying perversion or problem.

However I think the fact that these were emails that were overly friendly in a homosexual manner made a huge difference in how many people perceive the scandal. Even if they don't think so explicitly many people at least implicitly think of homosexuality as a perversion or sexual deviancy. Thus many members of the public are much more inclined to regard these emails as obvious warning signs of sexual predation because they indicate a homosexual interest in the boy.

But I kinda think it serves the republicans right to be hoisted on their own petard. If you are going to court homophobic voters by playing up their disgust with homosexuality you deserve to suffer the consequences of their backlash.

--

Also I should remark on my above point that it is really irrelevant if homosexuals are slightly more or less likely to pursue relationships with underage girls.

I have no doubt that if you looked at blacks and whites one of the two groups would (for social/cultural reasons) be more likely to engage in statutory rape. However, it would be wrong to take this minor statistical fact and hold it against individual blacks/whites or use it as an excuse to demonize the group.
10.15.2006 5:10pm
Apollo (mail) (www):
Since a lot of this post attacks the conspiratorial fears of the anti-gays, I think JonC's point is quite important. A conservative website may have referenced the document about the gay Republican staffers, but the list itself was drawn up by gay leftists and then ciruculated to social conservative groups. Over at National Review, John Podhoretz compared Corn's waving of the list to Joe McCarthy. Implying that the list originated with conservatives is a factual error of the sort that Prof. Carpenter does not frequently make.

But about the conspiracy theories, is it not at least strange that the first congressman to find out about Foley making pages "uncomfortable" was the only openly gay Republican, who then did nothing about it? If the concern is that gay staffers might have known about this and then proceeded to protect Foley, aren't those concerns at least a smidgeon justified by the revelation that a gay congressman did know about it and protected Foley (by saying nothing)? Of the 232 House Republicans, it's a remarkable coincidence that the first one to learn of this was the only openly gay one.
10.15.2006 6:23pm
Tom952 (mail):
Steve - That's interesting. You should call the FBI and let them know to wrap up their investigation, since you've apparently wrapped up yours.

I decline your suggestion because 1) I think the investigation should be completed, and 2) the FBI never takes my advice. In case you actually missed my meaning, I'll try to be more precise with:

"Lost in the uproar regarding Foley is the fact that while his alledged communication with pages would be inappropriate if true, it hasn't been proven that he committed illegal acts with any underage pages."
10.15.2006 6:24pm
jrose:
I am persuaded that gay GOP staffers protected Foley. But it's not because of any Velvet Mafia conspiracy, which is a creation of the homophobic right who want to purge the party of gays. It's because their judgment is clouded by being in the closet while working for a party which is hostile to gays.
10.15.2006 6:42pm
Steve:
Over at National Review, John Podhoretz compared Corn's waving of the list to Joe McCarthy.

Perhaps he meant it as a compliment.
10.15.2006 6:58pm
Caliban Darklock (www):
I think the important thing to take away from this is that while individual homophobia is sharply lower than it was just a few years ago - the vast majority of Americans don't really care one way or the other whether a man on the street is gay - institutional homophobia is alive and well and nobody really seems to care.

This is a massive problem, and it needs to be addressed somehow. If it really isn't important whether your neighbor is gay, then it really *shouldn't* be important whether your senator or even the President is gay. But as the Foley scandal reminds us, it *is* important, just like the stark contrast in the media's treatment of Gerry Studds reminds us that whether you have an (R) or a (D) next to your name is important.

Essentially, no matter what we may say in public about gays, so long as our collective attitudes continue to push for discrimination and double-standards in higher offices - we are still a homophobic nation.

And there is something very seriously wrong with a culture that won't let me tell fag jokes, but quietly ignores the rampant red-scare behavior of a Congress that wants gays placed under more surveillance.

Hey, you know what makes people gay? Homones!

Screw you, that's funny. It's not one bit dehumanising or derogatory. It doesn't accuse gays of any misbehavior. It doesn't even imply by its content that I'm heterosexual. But when I tell this joke, people start pointing fingers and saying I'm homophobic.

What we need is for people to get off my case about the occaisonal joke, and start responding with some outrage when Congressional leaders seriously propose that gays in Congress should be subjected to more scrutiny of their personal lives. What we have now is just lip service; we oppose homophobia when it scores us brownie points with the gay community, and when it doesn't, we don't really care.

It reminds me of what a gay black friend of mine once explained to me about "the N-word": his position was "just say nigger". If you say "the N-word" instead, you still thought it. You still meant it. Everybody around you still heard it. But then you expect to score points because you were sensitive to the black community? Nope. Just say "nigger". You're not fooling anybody anyway.

Which is precisely what we have here; we're going around being against homophobia in all the ways that don't matter, and none of the ways that do. But the gay community isn't fooled, and won't be fooled. They see with perfect clarity that your opposition to homophobes isn't real, but an act you're putting on so gays don't get mad at you. And on some level, that's even more offensive than just being a homophobe in the first place... just like the fake tolerance and diversity of saying "the N-word" is worse than just flat out being a racist.

After all, there shouldn't be any shame in honestly saying what you believe. The shame should be in believing something stupid, which should not be done willingly... but often is.
10.15.2006 7:02pm
Dan from Chicago:
Others—including Perkins, Newt Gingrich, Patrick Buchanan, and even the Wall Street Journal editorial page—suggested that Republican leaders were paralyzed from acting against Foley early on by fear of a pro-gay backlash. To believe this of GOP leaders—who have opposed every measure for gay equality—requires obsessional and conspiratorial delusion about the power and influence of the gay civil rights movement in America.

I disagree with this. Does really anybody think that severe media criticism was impossible had the Republican leadership starting monitoring Foley solely based on the email and the rumor/open secret that he was gay?

Drawing unnecessary criticism onto yourself in politics is frequently referred to as an unforced error.
10.15.2006 7:14pm
Hans Gruber:
Dale's column summarized: The anti-gays can't make generalizations about the gays based off of anecdotal observations (that would be unscientific) but the gays can make generalizations about the anti-gays based off of anecdotal observations (which is, apparently, totally scientific).

Further, I don't know why Dale wishes to indulge in the fantasy that gay men are no more sexually promiscious and deviant than their heterosexual counterparts (Dale says it's a anti-gay paranoid "fantasy' that gay men are hypersexualized). They are, as a group, much more sexually promiscious and deviant than heterosexual men. That's not a fiction created by the anti-gays; that's the simple truth. Why is that an unfair generalization but this silly three-pronged characterization of the "anti-gays" not? It seems to me if Professor Carpenter wants to judge the middle by the extremes that he better be prepared for what that means for gays as well as the "anti-gays."
10.15.2006 7:44pm
Cornellian (mail):
Further, I don't know why Dale wishes to indulge in the fantasy that gay men are no more sexually promiscious and deviant than their heterosexual counterparts (Dale says it's a anti-gay paranoid "fantasy' that gay men are hypersexualized). They are, as a group, much more sexually promiscious and deviant than heterosexual men. That's not a fiction created by the anti-gays; that's the simple truth.

Gee, I guess if you say so, then it must be true, no need for evidence at all.....
10.15.2006 7:55pm
plunge (mail):
thedaddy, if you want to cite the Bible for anything, first demonstrate that you have learned from it humility and compassion. You sound sociopathologicaly devoid of both.
10.15.2006 8:00pm
liberty (mail) (www):
They are, as a group, much more sexually promiscious and deviant than heterosexual men.

I call bull. The flamboyant gays make it known that they are sexually active, and proud. There is an accepted subculture of gay communities where there are a lot of one night stands, dance club sex and prostitution. But there are also plenty of gays that are not part of this subculture. And ... guess what? The heterosexual community has a vast, billions of dollar per year industry (and thats just porn). Heterosexual men buy sex when they can't find willing partners - prostitutes, strip clubs, what have you. Homosexual men do this too, but often don't have to — they're men.

Men are men. Its just that straight men have to find willing women, gay men don't.
10.15.2006 8:01pm
jrose:
Does really anybody think that severe media criticism was impossible had the Republican leadership starting monitoring Foley solely based on the email and the rumor/open secret that he was gay?

I think the media would react just as it would have had the emails been sent to female pages by a straight Congressman, i.e., no criticism. Concluding the reaction to an investigation would have been accusations of gay bashing requires an assumption that gays and their supporters can't recognize the difference between being gay and being a sexual predator. That assumption is gay bashing itself.
10.15.2006 8:15pm
Apollo (mail) (www):
Men are men. Its just that straight men have to find willing women, gay men don't.

This statement does not at all agree with your "calling bull" about the assertion gay men are "as a group, much more sexually promiscious and deviant than heterosexual men."
10.15.2006 8:37pm
jrose:
Apollo,

The connotation of the argument that gay men are "as a group, much more sexually promiscious and deviant than heterosexual men" is that gay men are inherently more promiscuous than straight men. This implied claim is BS.
10.15.2006 8:42pm
crane (mail):
RE: gay men being "more promiscuous" than straight men

Even if it's true that gay men engage in more promiscuous sex than straight men*, this can be easily explained by the fact that men tend to be more promiscuous than women. If a man propositions 10 different women one month, and 10 different gay men the next month, he's probably going to get laid more often in the second month. Not because he's being any more promiscuous, but because the men are more likely to be willing to sleep with him than the women are.

*I don't know if this is true or not, given liberty's comment.
10.15.2006 9:04pm
Ken Arromdee:
"Racist" is a term loaded with implications of irrationality. It makes an analogy between critics of African-Americans (for any reason) and other irrational phobias. The term is used to dismiss anyone critical of African-Americans or pro-African-American agendas, and to avoid serious inquiry and debate of the issues surrounding being African-American.

This analogy would have more bite if it wasn't for the fact that accusations of racism *are* routinely misused in exactly this manner.
10.15.2006 9:04pm
Roger Schlafly (www):
"If finding a 17 year old attractive is pedophilia, virtually every straight guy in the history of civilization is a pedophile."

Well OK, but we're not talking about mere interest -- we're talking about acting on it.
No, we are not. Foley did not have sex with any 17-year-old, as far as we know. Foley is not a pedophile.
10.15.2006 9:09pm
Apollo (mail) (www):
You say that they're not "inherently" more promiscous, but that many are more promiscious because men are more promiscuous. But having sex with men and not women is inherent in being a gay man.

If I say that Hawaiians, as a group, eat a lot of Spam and then you say, "They don't inherently eat more Spam than other people, but Spam is, compared to fresh meat, relatively cheap in Hawaii, so a lot of people there eat a lot of Spam," you acknowledge the point in trying to refute it. Living in a place where Spam is cheap relative to fresh meat is part of being an Hawaiian. And desiring sex with people more likely to agree to have sex with you is part of being a gay man. Drawing a line here between what is "inherent" and what is not "inherent" is angels-on-a-pinhead time.
10.15.2006 9:10pm
AntonK (mail):
...and hopefully, one day, people like Dale Carpenter will reject the hysteria, obsession, and narcissism of anti-Christian prejudice this mess has loosed upon us.

Amen.
10.15.2006 9:26pm
thedaddy (mail):
Cornellian you are as dumb as a post -you couldn't recognize sarcasm if it fell on you -- which it did.

Plunge
"thedaddy, if you want to cite the Bible for anything, first demonstrate that you have learned from it humility and compassion. You sound sociopathologicaly devoid of both."

Why do I need compassion for people who, because they desire to live an affected life, want everyone else to give them approbation( there is that word again)? I don't have any compassion for self proclaimed red sox fans, for example, why should I have a need for compassion for self proclaimed "homosexuals"?
In addition where in my comment did I show a lack of compassion?

BTW being Black or Chinese is not a choice, it is a fact just as being male or female is not a choice. You holier than thou homo-phillic(sp?) people are just too precious for words. Equating "homophobia" with racism is sophistry.

thedaddy
10.15.2006 9:39pm
jrose:
Drawing a line here between what is "inherent" and what is not "inherent" is angels-on-a-pinhead time.

I'd buy your argument if you were merely making a neutral observation about gay men. But when you accuse someone of being deviant and immoral (be it gays for promiscuity or Hawaiians for eating Spam), the inherency distinction is not only not angels on a pinhead, it is central to the argument.

The inherent part of promsicuity is a male thing, not a gay thing.
10.15.2006 9:41pm
Apollo (mail) (www):
But when you accuse someone of being deviant and immoral (be it gays for promiscuity or Hawaiians for eating Spam)

Why is it immoral for gay men to be promiscuous? If we're to make homosexuality an accepted part of society, then we should come to terms with homosexuality. When there is zero possibility of conception, then sex really is simply between two people. I cannot think of a moral rule that does not condemn homosexuality but condemns gay men being promiscious. Some might find it distasteful, but if that's our standard...

And isn't "wanting to have sex with people more likely to agree (i.e. men)" inherent to being a gay man? I'll agree that gay men who have sex with women probably aren't more promiscious than straight men, but perhaps the silliness of that phrase will persuade you that wanting to have sex with men is inherent to being a gay man.
10.15.2006 10:21pm
whit:
I have to agree with the poster about the term "homophobic" being an irrational term. It is. Disclaimer: I don't think homosexual orientation or acts are morally wrong.

But I also think it is absurd and PURE politics steeped in penny psychology to attribute "phobia" (a specific psychological diagnosis - see: DSM etc.) to a person because they believe an act (homosexual) is morally wrong, medically dangerous (I know more than one atheist who is opposed to homosexual sex on pure biological grounds), socially unacceptable, etc.

It is the kind of orwellian thought-control that we just accept. I am sure that SOME people who believe homosexual sex is morally wrong, or who believe that gay marriage is bad policy (heck, the democratic party has been officially against gay marriage and for civil unions for some time), etc. is PHOBIC. It eliminates the possibility of rational discussion by characterizing a policy stance, or moral stance as merely a result of mental disorder... shades of Michael Savage... how ironic.

And yes, the analogy to racist is apt. I recall that when advocates of initiatives to ban racial preferences in California were heckled by crowds of "privileged white college students" for their PRO-equality position, that many students claimed that being against racial preferences was the result of "racism." The idea of a rich white UCLA student from Beverly Hills accusing Ward Connerly (a black man who has experienced plenty of racism firsthand) of being a 'racist' because, as a matter of policy, he finds racial preferences to be, well... racist, is absurd.

Being against homosexual acts, homosexual marriage, etc. (and again, *I* do not take these positions) does not mean one is PHOBIC. One *may* be phobic, in the same way that some people who are very against gun rights are in fact "hoplophobic", but merely being for a policy of strict gun control does not EQUAL being "hoplophobic".

As for the inherent thing ... liberals TEND to want to think ALL human behavioral traits are purely "socially constructed" (see: gender for example, and of course with some exceptions) whereas conservatives tend to think most behavioral things are choices - good or bad.

Homosexuality turns this tendency on its head with pro-gay advocates jumping on even the flimsiest of data to proclaim it is 100% NOT a choice, and conservatives also reversing roles to try to find any study that shows people can 'change'.

Like most aspects of human behavior and desire, it is partly genetic (no choice) and partly environment/choice.

But neither side will broach any ground... kind of like evolutionists vs. ID people.

(hoplophobia - n. - an irrational and morbid fear of guns, a term coined
by Jeff Cooper, from Greek "hoplites," weapon. Symptoms may include
discomfort, disorientation, rapid pulse, sweating, faintness and more,
at the mere sight or even thought of guns. Hoplophobes are common and
should never be involved in setting gun policies, though many are hard
at work in the rights-denial movement, and are arguably the greatest
threat in the debate. Point out hoplophobic behavior when you see it, it
is dangerous, and sufferers deserve pity. A hoplophobe (HOP-li-fobe) can
often be cured by training, or by a day at the range.)
10.15.2006 10:25pm
Cornellian (mail):
You holier than thou homo-phillic(sp?) people are just too precious for words.

Hmm, calls himself "theDaddy", refers to things as "precious", loudly proclaims how heterosexual he is, not like those icky gay people. Hmm, where have we seen this pattern before?
10.15.2006 10:38pm
randal (mail):
Apollo -

You are incorrect. "Promiscious," unlike "eat more Spam," can be used in two ways. It can describe "having a lot of sex" or it can describe "willing to have a lot of sex".

If Hawaiians "eat a lot of Spam," that does not mean Hawaiians are "more willing to eat a lot of Spam" than anyone else. Non-Hawaiians may be just as willing or more to "eat a lot of Spam," but they can't because Spam isn't as available.

Coulter tried this same trick. She stated that gay men are inherently more promiscious than straight men, because gay men have more sex. (Then she went on to suggest that Bill Clinton was gay because he's promiscious. Brilliant!)
10.15.2006 10:41pm
JB:
jinnmabe, I'm not assuming anything. I'm suggesting the possibility that this is the case, and saying that being attracted to people who are societally considered to be "too young" -because- they are considered "too young" is a type of pedophilia.
10.15.2006 10:51pm
jrose:
Why is it immoral for gay men to be promiscuous?

If we all felt promsicuity was moral, we wouldn't be having this debate. But, so long as people argue that gay men are more promiscuous in order to denigrate them as out-of-control immoral sex pigs, we must fairly assess whether they have made their case assuming it is proper to denigrate piggishness.

A fair assessment must conclude the argument against gay men being pigs is fallacious, unless straight men are equally labeled as pigs. The only thing that distinguishes the two cases is opportunity.

For example, a gay man who lives in a place with all women and one straight man will be far less promiscuous than his male counterpart. Yet, no fair person would argue that the straight man is more of a sex pig because he is straight.
10.15.2006 10:53pm
Richard Aubrey (mail):
It's been asserted that gay men are not more likely to want sex with kids than straight men, with a nod to the gender of the kids in question.

Point is, Foley is gay and Foley was chasing pages both sides of the age of consent. Foley showed up drunk at the pages' dormitory trying to get in. Foley is gay.

So Foley is an exception and does anybody have any info about straight guys acting the inebriated fool in front of the pages' dorm?

There are certain things we are supposed to believe, and even wondering if they're true is mean.

If the lefties succeed in outing a bunch of gay republicans in Congress, elected members and staff, and if some of them seem to have been involved in keeping Foley's antics quieter than should have been the case, do we have a lavendar mafia? Or is that, too, the sort of thing we're supposed to believe can't exist and not even to wonder about it?
10.15.2006 10:56pm
whit:
Gay men are more promiscuous because it's a male/male relationship. Similarly, gay women are LESS promiscuous because it's a woman/woman relationship.

Ceteris paribus, women are the gatekeepers. They civilize men, and reign them in.

This says little about gays specifically, and everything about men. The classic first (and second ) wave feminist theory is that marriage is a construct designed to subjugate women as property of men, etc.

Realistically speaking, marriage is also about getting men to stop schtupping everything with a pulse and commit to monogamy, which is undoubtedly easier for women, on average, than men to do. So, it's about subjugating men, too. It's really about getting men and women to behave so they can have a stable structure to raise their little kidlets. That's who the institution evolved to protect. After all, they are the future.

The whole point of civilization and societies is that structures evolve to help us reign in our baser instincts.

This is probably a good argument FOR gay marriage.
10.15.2006 11:03pm
Truth Seeker:
Gay men are more promiscuous because it's a male/male relationship. Similarly, gay women are LESS promiscuous because it's a woman/woman relationship.
If a man propositions 10 different women one month, and 10 different gay men the next month, he's probably going to get laid more often in the second month
That's something I never thought about. With women being e.g. 1/10 as horny as men it's a wonder lesbians ever get laid. How many dates, flowers, candy, dinners, romantic notes, affectionate phione calls before both are in the mood on the same night???
10.15.2006 11:34pm
Apollo (mail) (www):
For example, a gay man who lives in a place with all women and one straight man will be far less promiscuous than his male counterpart.

Here you are making presumptions about the promiscuity of the women as well. Actually if the straight guy were promiscuous in this situation, we would blame the women.

If we all felt promsicuity was moral, we wouldn't be having this debate.

The number of people who believe that homosexuality is okay but homosexual promiscuity is wrong could probably fit into a small conference room. By and large, the people "denigrtating" gay men by pointing out their promiscuity believe that homosexuality itself is wrong. I probably shouldn't ask an Amish person which car I should buy, and we probably shouln't ask those who believe homosexual sex is immoral whether it's double extra super immoral for gay men to have promiscuous sex.

As my point at the top of this post hopefully illustrates, the fact that men want sex comes as a surprise to exactly no one. That one group of people has more opportunity to do something is not insignificant, and downplaying reality in the name of gay rights serves no one.

Along a similar line, regarding the question of whether gay men are more likely to try to have sex with teenagers, I can think of no group of people less likely to turn down sex than teenage guys. Historically the stigma on homosexuality has kept down the number of teenage guys having homosexual sex, but as that stigma decreases a lot of teenage guys will probably realize that it's easier to get guys to say yes than to get girls to do so.
10.15.2006 11:37pm
jrose:
The number of people who believe that homosexuality is okay but homosexual promiscuity is wrong could probably fit into a small conference room.

I don't agree at all. There are plenty of people who are tolerant - if not accepting - of gays, but can be convinced to not support gay rights by slanderous crap about gays and promiscuity or preying on kids. I am hopeful these folks can be persuaded that promsicuity and predatory behavior is a male thing, not a gay thing.
10.15.2006 11:49pm
Dave Hardy (mail) (www):
ost in the uproar regarding Foley is the fact that while his communication with pages was inappropriate, he didn't actually do anything illegal. Although he engaged in titillating communications with pages for years there is no evidence that his behavior was escalating toward an illegal act with a young man.

That's the boring part. Ah, for the days when a sex scandal at least involved sex. Come back, Bill Clinton, all is forgiven.
10.16.2006 12:02am
Dave Hardy (mail) (www):
Given its constituency, the GOP probably has more votes to lose than Democrats if it’s seen as tolerating (or being indifferent to) homosexual congressmen who signal their sexual preferences in public.

I dunno. When Rep. Kolbe, here in AZ, came out of the closet, the reaction was a collective yawn. Most of the GOP had known it for years, anyway. He won his next election quite handily.

I do find it a bit strange that reports of conservative reaction never name names, and reports of Demo reaction seem to be along the lines of "Gay conspiracy to take over the country." OK, it IS an election year, but still...
10.16.2006 12:09am
Apollo (mail) (www):
I am hopeful these folks can be persuaded that promsicuity and predatory behavior is a male thing, not a gay thing.

So if it's a male thing, then that cuts both ways. If your argument is "The only reason straight men don't engage in this immoral behaviour is because they have women to tame them," isn't the logical response, "Well then gay men should get women, homosexuality be damned"? If you give into the temptation to do wrong, telling people the reason you gave into it (especially when the reason is as pathetic as "I wanted to and no one stopped me") is not an effective way of convincing them that what you did was acceptable.
10.16.2006 12:09am
Randy R. (mail):
Mike Williams: And although the MSM tends to ignore it, the great majority of the epicentral priests were abusing post-pubescent males. They weren’t pedophiles: They were homosexuals who broke their vows of chastity.

Not quite true. Many of the priests were hetersexuals who also broke their vows of chastity. In fact, a majority of the members of SNAP, the survivor's network of people abused by priests, is women.
10.16.2006 12:36am
Randy R. (mail):
Rose: This is just payback from the Dems for Rove getting all those gay-marriage amendments on ballots in the last election.

How so? The dems had no control over this. Not one Dem was implicated in the whole Foley mess -- in fact, they were kept deliberately out of the loop. The people who made the IMs public were Republican pages.
10.16.2006 12:40am
Randy R. (mail):
Rose: This is just payback from the Dems for Rove getting all those gay-marriage amendments on ballots in the last election.

How so? The dems had no control over this. Not one Dem was implicated in the whole Foley mess -- in fact, they were kept deliberately out of the loop. The people who made the IMs public were Republican pages.
10.16.2006 12:40am
Randy R. (mail):
Jrose: I am persuaded that gay GOP staffers protected Foley

Dennis Hastert and Tom Reynolds are gay? I had no idea....
10.16.2006 12:45am
Apollo (mail) (www):
Randy R.

Jim Kolbe is gay, though, and he knew something was up as far back as 2000. According to the story in the Post, he may have even seen sexually explicity emails (which is more than Hastert and Reynolds saw until this story broke open). And he did nothing.
10.16.2006 12:52am
ReaderY:
Hysterical. Demonization. Obsession. Narcissitic.

When one uses language this strong and repeats and repeats and repeats it this much in order to make a point, one is using rhetoric rather than reason; one is offering a diatribe rather than a characterization. Why not use reason?
10.16.2006 12:53am
Randy R. (mail):
Aubrey: So Foley is an exception and does anybody have any info about straight guys acting the inebriated fool in front of the pages' dorm?

Isn't that how the Kennedy clan acts on a regular basis? (Or at least used to...?)

"If the lefties succeed in outing a bunch of gay republicans in Congress, elected members and staff, and if some of them seem to have been involved in keeping Foley's antics quieter than should have been the case, do we have a lavendar mafia? Or is that, too, the sort of thing we're supposed to believe can't exist and not even to wonder about it?"

Well, wonder all you like. However, I like to speculate based on facts, not wonderment. Actually, it was Kirk Fordham, the openly gay staffer to Tom Reynolds, who has repeatedly stated, and has the emails to prove it, that he brought Foley's actions to Hastert immediately. it was Hastert and Reynolds who sat on the information for at least a year. So the fact is that at least one gay member of this Lavender Mafia acted exactly as you would have wished him to, and it is the Macho Mafia of straight men who hide the information from the FBI.

As for the Lavender Mafia, it's pretty funny to think that the gay republicans wield every sort of power that you ascribe to them, but don't have the power to enact any gay rights at all. Pretty strange -- most mafias I've heard of actually act in their own self-interest, not against it.
10.16.2006 12:54am
Marcus1 (mail) (www):
Whit,

I think at this point, the word "homophobic" has been redefined to include any bigotry against gays, similar to "Islamophobia."

Certainly you can object to the redefinition, and I'd probably also prefer a clearer word, but I'm not sure you it's a misuse at this point either.


My bigger question, though (not re: Whit): Why are people so obsessed with showing a correlation between homosexuality and pedophilia? Is it evidence that these are all evil people? Evidence that some gays are evil people? Evidence that God hates gays in general? The sole reason I can find for people to focus on this is just to insist that gays as a group and as individuals aren't normal people. But how is that even a legitimate point to make, whether true or not? I think that justifies denigrating the views as hysterical, etc., as Dale does.

Basically, if you're going to say that a group of people has a disproportionate number of something bad, you should at least be extremely clear about why you think this is necessary to point out. The fact that people so often insist on making these assertions about gays without any apparent reason has to make you wonder.
10.16.2006 12:56am
Kovarsky (mail):
I do find it a bit strange that reports of conservative reaction never name names...

Ok, how about Pat Buchannan's bizarre rant repeatedly calling Foley a "flamer" on Fox News the other night. I'm obviously not defending Foley, but it was a strange monological focus.

Unfortunately, this is going to set same-sex adoption and marriage efforts back years. And because of the statistical bias involved with self-reporting one's status as a sexually menacing creep show, we're nobody is ever going to be able to prove or disprove (I certainly hope it's the latter) any affinity between homosexuality and sexually deviant behavior.
10.16.2006 1:00am
Randy R. (mail):
"Jim Kolbe is gay, though, and he knew something was up as far back as 2000"

True. But Kolbe is not a hill staffer. He is a congressman. Big difference.
Putting the blame on gay hill staffers requires proof that a gay hill staffer knew about this at some point in the past and did nothing about it. We have no such evidence, and in fact the opposite, despite GOP spinning out distractions.

Proof, please, that any gay hill staffer did anything wrong in this whole mess.
10.16.2006 1:00am
Kovarsky (mail):
Yeah, using strong language like "homophobic" lets the homophobes focus on the descriptive accuracy of the term rather than explaining their homophobia.
10.16.2006 1:02am
Randy R. (mail):
But back to the main point. Being gay and living in Washington for many years, I've learned that there are indeed quite a few gay people working for congressmen and women. The joke is that half the staffers are gay, and that truly isn't too far off. The difference is that the Democratic staffers tend to be openly gay, whereas the Republicans tend to be more closeted. Or worse, in denial.
Most congressmen on both sides of the aisle acknowledge and understand this. Even the congressmen who rail the most against homosexuality as a sin and so on, usually have at least a few staffers who are gay, and openly so. And most of those congressmen are GOP.

So the GOP is in a quandry: They have demonized gays for many years, and have done so to court the religious right. Now they have to admit that they have gay men in their ranks, and that they not only know about it, but approve of it. Remember, Foley was going to retire, but Hastert and Reynolds convinced him to run for reelection.

So the GOP is on a collision course with itself. At some point, it has to reconcile itself -- either gays are bad, in which case they must purge the party of all open or suspected gays, just like the 1950s, or they must accept gays and treat them as human beings, as they do on the Hill today. As the country is moving away from the 50s, it would probably be in their best interest to move with the country and enter the 21st century, and accept the fact that gay people can be valuable workers and terrific people. "TheDaddy" will no doubt blow a gasket at that, but he is free to form his own party that tries to push gays back into the closet for his own convenience. (Maybe them there negros should learn their place, too).
10.16.2006 1:10am
Randy R. (mail):
What IS interesting about this thread is how few people are actually taking issue with Dale Carpenter's assertions about homophobia, that is has three compenents, and all three are on display in this Foley mess. In fact, some people are asserting that there really is a gay conspiracy in the gov't, that gay men really are dirty and promiscuous, and so on.

I await Clayton Cramer to enlighten us with his stories of observing disgusting gay sex in SF, and how gay men are mostly pedophiles. I'm surprised he hasn't popped up here yet. Clayton, what's taking you so long!?
10.16.2006 1:16am
Randy R. (mail):
K: Unfortunately, this is going to set same-sex adoption and marriage efforts back years.

Oh, I don't know. Frankly, EVERYTHING sets back gay efforts by years!

We mustn't be afraid of the truth, and there IS a lot of truth out there to be discovered. Sure, some gay people act badly. So do straight people. Some politicians are craven, other's honest.

What the religious right and those who hate gay people fail to appreciate is that the more there is talk about gay people, the more we come out. Doesn't matter whether the talk is good or bad, it always has a positive effect. Why? Because when you are young and gay, you think you are a freak, and that no one else is like you. Often, you hate yourself. You feel lonely. So when the Boy Scouts start their rant against gays, the religious right says gay people go to hell and so on, asserts the fact that gay people exist and you are not alone! The more they fight the HRC and other gay rights organizations gives them publicity, and so the lonely gay teenager looks up their website, and finds that there are people just like himself! And they look and act like anyone else!

So I am happy to have this debate. Spew what ever hatred you want, call us whatever names you like, link us with whatever unpleasantness you can think of. Our biggest fear is silence, because that leads to death -- emotional, spiritual, and sometimes even physical. The more we talk about it, the the truth will eventually come out. And the truth is that gay people are deserving of the same love, the same opportunities, and the same RIGHTS as everyone else -- no more, no less.
10.16.2006 1:26am
Apollo (mail) (www):
True. But Kolbe is not a hill staffer. He is a congressman. Big difference.

Yes, it is a big difference. There is exactly one gay Republican in Congress, and he knew. That may be just a coincidence (the Post story says that Kolbe has always taken an interest in the page program, so it may very well be a coincidence), but you at least must agree that it is a rather remarkable coincidence.

Putting the blame on gay hill staffers requires proof that a gay hill staffer knew about this at some point in the past and did nothing about it.

1. There is exactly one gay Republican congressman, and he knew. And he effectively covered for Foley by not saying anything.
2. A lot of this controversy has revolved around when various staffers told other staffers. Foley's chief of staff has one story, Hastert's staff has another. Whatever the truth, it's obvious that congressional staffers are doing a lot of talking that their bosses don't know about.
3. David Corn's list (which Prof. Carpenter erroneously attributes to "a conservative website") allegedely includes nine chiefs of staff.

There's no proof that gay staffers covered this up, but there's at least enough there to raise some sort of suspsicion. There wouldn't be without Kolbe's involvement (or perhaps his uninvolvement), but that is at least enough to raise an eyebrow or two.

What's sorta interesting to me here, and it runs counter to Prof. Carpenter's entire argument, is that David Corn's list, despite having been circulated to some social conservative groups, has not actually been published. Nor have I anywhere read calls to fire gay staffers. Rick Santorum, of all people, came out in defense of his gay staffer. The conspiracy talk of which Prof. Carpenter writes has largely been some under-the-radar murmuring. Given the three points I raised above, frankly there should be a little bit of murmuring. I don't buy into any of the conspiracy talk, and if you're to look at the lack of any actual action regarding the matter, neither does anyone with power.
10.16.2006 1:31am
Kovarsky (mail):
Randy R.,

I hope it's clear that I don't think my personal experience (which would suggest no correlation between homosexuality and sexual creepshow-ness) is necessarily a statistically reliable sample. I am just skeptical that anybody could collect enough reliable data to disprove the conjectural link that exists, unfortunately, in many people's minds.

And I think that your heart is in the right place, but your assessment of this event's political fallout is overly optimistic. The whole incident affirms, in many people's minds, that there is some latent connection between homosexuality and troublesome sexual deviance. In fact, it is precisely this connection that allows people to dispute the term homophobia, because it is not the actual homosexual act that forms the basis of their concern. it is the "other stuff" that goes with it. while you might be correct in that any discussion will encourage closeted teenagers to come out, i don't think it plays quite the same way for the median constituencies that will determine how quickly we shed manifestations of our less-becoming stereotypes.
10.16.2006 1:33am
logicnazi (mail) (www):
First of all on this gay cover up point. Let us suppose that gay staffers/congresmen really did learn about the Foley scandal early and were reluctant to report it because it would reflect badly on gays (instead of being motivated by party loyalty). If so they did nothing worse than the republicans did. Obviously many republicans like Hastert were reluctant to make this thing public because it would reflect badly on the party and at worst some gay individuals did nothing different. In fact IF it happened at all I think withholding the information because of fear of homophobia is more reasonable as the personal harm/discrimination that might result to gays from a homophobic backlash is more real than any anti-republican backlash. No one is going to stop republicans from getting married because one republican in congress acted badly.

I mean suppose (falsely) that right before the civil rights bill was passed a black congressman found out some dirty secret about MLK (say he tried to molest a white girl). It would have actually been wrong for him to report this and jeapordize equality for millions based on the danger to one.

Hell, as a moral matter I'm not even sure it was wrong to hide the Foley situation, whether it was done by republicans for political reasons (strongly supported) or by gays to protect themselves from homophobic backlash (unsubstantiated allegations). In either case the effects on policy of the political fall out will affect far more people far more seriously than a couple of pages. If you really believe republicans are the better party than surely you believe getting them elected again will save at least one life or give other benefits of even greater worth.

Of course ultimately it was bad to cover up because it didn't work.

I'm just enjoying the fact that the republicans are now suffering the effects of their own appeal to homophobia. As far as the Foley situation itself apparently all that covering it up did was make a couple kids feel uncomfortable and let another kid have illicit sex with an older power figure (apparently not feeling coerced). Surely this pales in comparison to the weighty matters congress actually decides on frequently.
10.16.2006 1:37am
whit:
"I think at this point, the word "homophobic" has been redefined to include any bigotry against gays, similar to "Islamophobia.""

Marcus, again there is a problem with redefining words and making stuff up to suit an agenda.

First of all, it is arguable (at best) that being against gay marriage, as a matter of policy, is "bigotry" against gays, any more than being against polygamy (polyandry or polygyny for that matter) is "bigotry".

I detest when people (and I am sorry but it is usually the left) tries to hijack the language to eliminate rational debate.

They do that on campuses by defining all ideas they disagree with as "hate speech".

I know far too many people who are against gay marriage, as a matter of policy, and who are the LEAST bigoted people I have ever met in my life, to accept such rhetoric lying down (no entendre intended).

Kovarsky nails the ad hominem and orwellian doublespeak (unintentionally) to a "t".

There are people who believe that being against gay marriage makes one a "homophobe", which essentially means that the policy disagreement CANNOT be based on reason, but is based on psychological disorder.

It is SO typical of the thought police to label people they disagree with as evil (their favorite) or suffering from ignorance (see: elitism).

Another great ploy is that they are mentally ill. It's a phobia.

FWIW, and I have seen articles like this many years ago in the GAY PRESS (the advocate comes to mind), there are GAY MEN (and women) who are (and were) against Gay Marriage. Are they self-phobic homophobes?

Many gays have historically seen marriage as a square and 'straight institution' that they want(ed) no part of.

The irony is so thick I could cut it with a ladle. Are they "homophobes?"

"marriage-phobes" (heck, many bachelors arguably suffer from this)

"heterophobes?"

spare me

As for randy, I have not heard the boy scouts "rant against gays".

The boy scouts find homosexuality to be inconsistent with THEIR membership criteria, and I see nothing wrong with this. They aren't ranting agaisnt gays, and they aren't trying to eliminate gay rights. Nobody has a 'right' to be a boy scout. I guess you are boyscoutaphobic (rolls eyes)
10.16.2006 1:42am
Richard Aubrey (mail):
Randy R.

Yeah, that's the way the Kennedys act, and they haven't either resigned or lost elections, except for Teddy not getting the presidential nomination about a hundred years ago. And, in fact, they don't get much ink.

Unlike Foley who, as far as we now know, did nothing illegal.

The mafia looks out for its own interests, not the interests of the Italian people as a whole. A putative lavendar mafia on the Hill would not be pushing the gay agenda at the cost of their own careers. That would be some other group (Act-Up, maybe). The lavendar mafia would be covering for and enabling each other.

Anyway, the things We Must Believe, about gays or any other identifiable group, frequently run into trouble.

Like the professor who told his grad student, "The experimental results are interesting, but, unfortunately, they conflict with the theory."

The difference being that the grad student isn't reproached for being theoryphobic and a meanie. He just ends his career. But he's not condemned on moral grounds. Presuming he's in the hard sciences.
10.16.2006 1:42am
Randy R. (mail):
Kovarsky: I agree with you. However, the minds of the median constituencies are not changed by media scandals, or news reports. It is changed because you know someone who is gay. There is a high correlation between people who know someone who is gay, and people who think gays are deserving of rights, respect, etc. Therefore, a key aspect of changing the culture is for a) more gay people to realize they are gay, b) become comfortable with their sexual orientation and c) come out of the closet.

How to do that? Sometimes it's not easy. Often, it's painful, in a way that heterosexuals can never understand.

But here's how I think the average gay teenager will see this whole embroglio. He is taught that gays die early, are sickos, are hated by everyone, and can never amount to anything. Then he sees in the news that Foley was gay, a respected congressman, supported at the highest levels of gov't, doesn't have AIDS, has a partner, and so on. Foley is in many ways the exact opposite of all the garbage he has been taught. So now he can realize that 'thedaddys' around him are full of baloney (I would, of course, use a stronger word, but I like to be polite around idiots.) and in fact are lying to him. He also realizes that if Foley can rise to the highest levels of gov't while gay, then he can too. Or at least be a part of the Velvet Mafia.

This gives him hope, and perhaps he will feel better about being gay, and can one day come out to his homophobic pastor and others. He may be shunned, but others will change their minds about gays.

Our progress is based on such acts, and they happen every single day across America.
10.16.2006 1:45am
Kovarsky (mail):
Kovarsky nails the ad hominem and orwellian doublespeak (unintentionally) to a "t".

Actually it was intentional, and its point was that your time disputing the the term's etymology and descriptive accuracy might be better spent refuting the attributes that Dale painstakingly describes. Whether the term homophobic applies or not is largely besides the point; the point is that the reaction is largely heavy-handed, sexually self-congratulatory, and hateful. so everyone should focus on whether those attributes apply without going william safire every time they hear the term "homophobic."
10.16.2006 1:53am
Elais:

I know far too many people who are against gay marriage, as a matter of policy, and who are the LEAST bigoted people I have ever met in my life, to accept such rhetoric lying down (no entendre intended).



If they aren't bigoted, why do they oppose gay marriage? There has to be bigotry SOMEWHERE to deny people marriage rights because of their sexual orientation?
10.16.2006 1:56am
Randy R. (mail):
Sorry for the many posts, but I AM in a certain mood today!

There are those who are worried that this will set gay rights back several years. Nonsense.

Do we advance gay rights by holding ourselves out to be paragons of virtue? I hope not! And I don't think we do. Then why think that when a bad apple appears, we retreat? Those who were in favor of gay rights, or looked favorably upon gays, but then see Foley and then do a 180 are idiots. Frankly, I don't think there are that many who do.

Intelligent, thoughtful people know that one man's actions can't be ascribed to an entire population. Bigots, however, do so routinely. Jack Abromoff's corruptions are well known -- so does that mean Jews should be worried about him setting back Semitic rights by years? Of course not, because anti-semitism isn't really very strong in America. And anyone who becomes anti-semitic because of Abromoff isn't a person I care to waste time upon, and neither do most people.

Are we going to win over the bigots? Nope. The only way they get won over is when their son or daughter, or brother, or mother, comes out as gay, and asks for acceptance, and it is given. Media circuses will not do it. And just as there will always be racists and anti-semitics, so too will we always have thedaddys. We should not concern ourselves with them -- we should ignore them, as everyone else does.
10.16.2006 2:01am
logicnazi (mail) (www):
Also I don't think anyone alleged a republican conspiracy against gays. Rather they just alleged the (pretty clearly true) fact that republicans have capitalized on anti-homosexual sentiment to gain elections. Additionally Dale claimed that some republicans have been trying to blame gay staffers (he didn't accuse Santorum).

At this point I suspect republicans would accuse giant lizard men of being behind the cover up if it would make this scandal go away. Their hardly needs to be a conspiracy or even much homophobia amoung republican congresmen for them to grasp at some other group to cast blame and increase their support amoung the homophobic parts of the population.

--

Also there is nothing at all wrong with the word homophobia. Nor has it been redefined. It means something like an irrational hatred/fear/prejudice against homosexuals. Everyone who uses the word homophobia means exactly this.

Now you can disagree whether their use of the word is valid but this is just a dispute about the facts not a problem with the word. It makes no more sense to say that homophobia has been redefined because it is frequently used to describe things you don't think are homophobic than it does to say that 'better' has been redefined because the opposing party says their plan for the country is better than your parties.

I agree that some people have been overzealous in their use of the word (the joke above was funny and not indicitive of homophobia) but that doesn't mean that it isn't still a huge problem (just look at anti-gay marriage constitutional ammendments). However, it is unjustified to take any general stance toward the application of the term. Each situation deserves to be judged on its own merits.

Unfortunatly this seems to be an inescapable aspect of the way people respond to fights over inequitable treatment of a group. At first the oppressed group is universally derided then they gain recognition and people start to believe it is wrong to treat the oppressed group badly. At this point allegations of discrimination/prejudice begin to carry weight. Primed to react to prejudice and enjoying the feeling of righteousness some members of the group start seeing homophobia/racism/sexism everywhere. Likely these accuasations are mostly made with honest intent (always a few bad apples) but because crying prejudice brings power/influence and other rewards the practice is encouraged even when inappropriate.

Unfortunately the exact opposite occurs on the other side. Those individuals who are originally rightly skeptical of some claims of prejudice harden their opinions against nearly all claims of prejudice. Then the same factors kick in to encourage people to dismiss almost all claims of racism/sexism/homophobia as some kind of hysteria or hidden agenda. Then back and forth it goes each side using the other to further bolster and harden their own position.

It really sucks since we then end up with a situation where prejudice still persists. One large chunk of the population sees it everywhere and becomes convinced massive prejudice is what is keeping it from being recognized. Another large chunk of the population refuses to recognize that prejudice still is a serious problem and give it the concern it deserves.
10.16.2006 2:04am
Kovarsky (mail):
whit,

Dale is not about whether you have a right to be a boy scout. It is about whether a state violates rights of expressive association by imposing the state public accommodations law. Based on prior precedent, it was a pretty dramatic expansion of what constituted "expressive association" within the Court's jurisprudence. In fact, the unanimity in last term's Sol. Amendment case is largely read as a severe limitation on Dale, which is hardly as simple as you're making it sound.
10.16.2006 2:04am
whit:
"largely heavy-handed, sexually self-congratulatory, and hateful"

again, the meme. It is often not "hateful".

Ideologues constantly see hate where none exists. Again, I know plenty of people steadfastly opposed to legalization of gay marriage. With NO hate whatsoever, period.

But again, you cannot accept that people can have policy disagreements without ascribing evil motives, feelings, intentions, etc. That is not rational discussion.

"If they aren't bigoted, why do they oppose gay marriage? There has to be bigotry SOMEWHERE to deny people marriage rights because of their sexual orientation?"

Simply put... false.

This begs more questions than I can count. It assumes that opposing gay marriage, as a policy issue = bigotry against gays. I see this as no more valid than opposing polygamous marriage as a policy issue = bigotry against polygamy.

Many see gay marriage as oxymoronic. If it is not marriage in the first place, how can marriage rights be 'extended' to gays, when the very idea is nonsensical.

Contrary to laws against (for example) interracial marriage (which were invented out of racial seperatism and/or bigotry), gay marriage has never existed in the history of mankind. It is a new INVENTION. The idea that some believe that this invention is not a good policy decision does not = bigotry.

Maybe I am one of those people who can see other points of view (that I often disagree with) without ascribing evil motives, hatred, bigotry, etc. to those that hold them.

Y'know, I used to be pro-life. I am now pro-choice. it was reasoned discussion that changed my mind. I was never "anti-woman" when I was pro-life. I was never bigoted. I thought it was bad policy. Now, i disagree.

Similarly, all you are doing is name calling. I realize that it is inconceivalbe to you, that non-bigoted, loving, intelligent, freedom loving individuals can be against gay marriage, but like it or not - it's true.

Including, as a I mentioned - many gays - who have been against gay marriage. Are they "bigoted?"
10.16.2006 2:08am
whit:
Kavarsky,

Read what he wrote. He accused the boy scouts of rants against gays. His words. Not mine. I corrected him.
"Boy Scouts start their rant against gays"

Having a policy (the boy scouts) that excludes gays is fine for the boyscouts, just like a democratic group excluding republicans, a christian group excluding atheists, etc.

I was not addressing the public accomodations LEGAL issue, nor did he. so, while your explanation of the issue, which I was already aware of, is really nifty... it's not the point.
10.16.2006 2:13am
Randy R. (mail):
There are indeed gay people who hate gays, gay rights, and other gay people, in varying degrees. Foley himself says that his relationship with his partner could not compare with that of his parents. This is a perfect manisfestation of the self-loathing homosexual. There are many around, believe me. usually they are closeted, or in denial about their own sexuality.

Yes, there are even gay men who oppose gay marriage for personal reasons. But they invariably it's not because they don't believe in gay marriage, it's because they don't believe in marriage period. That's a big difference.

As for the rest, I know that some people oppose gay marriage on principle, but approve of civil unions. At least there is some thought and logic to that. EVeryone I've seen who opposes both invariably, however, has a big problem with gays in general.

As for the term homophobia, it's true that it's the fear of gays. But it's also the hatred of gays as well. We hate the things that we fear, and the two are often intertwined to such a degree as to be impossible to separate. Once people realize there is nothing to fear from gay people, any more than this is anything to fear from Jews, blacks, Quakers, or Republicans, then the hatred vanishes, and they are ready to give us our rights. They won't give an inch,though, so long as they have any sort of fear, however irrational or unsubstantiated.
10.16.2006 2:14am
whit:
"Also there is nothing at all wrong with the word homophobia. Nor has it been redefined. It means something like an irrational hatred/fear/prejudice against homosexuals. Everyone who uses the word homophobia means exactly this. "

False. They do not mean exactly this, cause they haven't proven (facts not in evidence) that somebody who is against gay marriage as a policy change has an "irrational hatred/fear/prejudice against homosexuals"

in many cases, they have no hatred, fear, or prejudice against homosexuals at all, let alone an irrational one. And of course, the IRRATIONAL issue is the point. It begs the question. It says, if you don't agree with ME, you are irrational.

Is somebody against POLYGAMY, a "polygamophobe?"
10.16.2006 2:15am
Kovarsky (mail):
whit,

i think if you take the time to read my comment, you'll notice that i'm merely identifying the attribute attributed to the reaction (hateful). i'm not saying it is or is not hateful. in fact, if you are as interested in platonic discussion as you appear to be, you might notice that i took the time to say that the focus of the debate should be whether those attributes - for which "homophobia" is perhaps an overbroad shorthand - are accurate. enough with the linguistic sanctimony.

that is not a "meme," by the way. while we're on the subject of precise argumentation.
10.16.2006 2:18am
whit:
"Yes, there are even gay men who oppose gay marriage for personal reasons"

riggggght. Because, if they disagree with you about POLICY, it is because of "personal reasons".

It's the same meme. Over and over. You need to deal with the fact that some people (even some gay people) think that gay marriage is BAD POLICY. And that this is not necessarily at all related to any phobia, hatred, etc. but to an honest disagreement about what policies are best.


"As for the term homophobia, it's true that it's the fear of gays. But it's also the hatred of gays as well."

Rubbish. I repeat. I know plenty who are against gay marriage who have exactly ZERO hatred of gays.

You cannot differentiate policy from your emotional arguments. Yup, they disagree with me, it must be gay hatred.

utter rubbish

" We hate the things that we fear, and the two are often intertwined to such a degree as to be impossible to separate. Once people realize there is nothing to fear from gay people, any more than this is anything to fear from Jews, blacks, Quakers, or Republicans, then the hatred vanishes, and they are ready to give us our rights. They won't give an inch,though, so long as they have any sort of fear, however irrational or unsubstantiated."

again, utter rubbish. In my humble opinion. You don't understand that it is entirely possible (and quite common) for people who know JUST AS MUCH ABOUT GAYS as you do, and in some cases - who ARE gay - to be against gay marriage.

But you will not engage in discussion. You just want to demonize and assume that it is fear and hatred.

That is irrational. But I won't go as far as calling it hateful. (rolls eyes)
10.16.2006 2:20am
logicnazi (mail) (www):
Randy R,

If one doesn't convince the idiots you couldn't even collect enough signaturs to get a gay-marriage bill on the ballot. 99% of people are idiots, or at least are on areas they only think about tangentially.

Most people don't reason out whether discrimination is right or wrong or if gays are bad. They form their opinion based on their gut feelings as well as what the authorities their gut tells them to trust say.

I agree the Foley case won't have much of a fall out about perceptions of gays but I think that's because we already have openly gay congressmen and gays in other leadership positions. If this had happened 15 years ago it would have been terrible.

--

As far as gays being more inclined to sexual 'deviancy' I find the very concept suspect. Are we asking about molesting young boys or playing with ropes in the bedroom? I feel the concet of deviancy somehow assumes that their is 'normal' sexual behavior that is morally right and 'abnormal' sexual behavior which is not only morally suspect but is a sorta gateway sex act leading people to molest children or other extreme acts.

If the question is whether gay people are more likely to engage in kinky sex acts or sexual acts that are disapproved of by the population at large the answer is of course gays are more likely to be into socially disapproved of sex.

Alot of of sexual norms are arbitrary and unmotivated. Many normal heterosexual couples don't try bondage, anal sex or whatever simply because the blindly accept these social norms and fear criticism. Of course if you are already violating some of these social norms you will feel less compunction about violating others.

In other words gay sex is going to be a gateway sex act the same way pot is a gateway drug. If society tells you it is horrible and bad you do it anyway and realize they were full of shit you're more likely to ignore similar social rules. Of course this has nothing to do with the percent of gays who are true pedophiles.

Of course I think it's a positive things that gays are more willing to go tie each other up or have other kinds of kinky sex. They may be less fastidious about the age 18 line as well but I don't have good reason to believe this. However, to the extent gays are more likely to engage in illicit sex it is an argument for gay rights. If being gay was treated just like being straight then being gay wouldn't incline one to ignore other social norms.
10.16.2006 2:24am
Rob Johnson (mail):
Dale says:

There is no good evidence of a link between homosexual orientation and pedophilia.


What, then, is this?

Comparative Data of Childhood and Adolescence Molestation in Heterosexual and Homosexual Persons

Abstract: In research with 942 nonclinical adult participants, gay men and lesbian women reported a significantly higher rate of childhood molestation than did heterosexual men and women. Forty-six percent of the homosexual men in contrast to 7% of the heterosexual men reported homosexual molestation. Twenty-two percent of lesbian women in contrast to 1% of heterosexual women reported homosexual molestation. This research is apparently the first survey that has reported substantial homosexual molestation of girls. Suggestions for future research were offered.


Are you calling this junk science Dale?
If so, please provide references to peer reviewed articles countering/debunking this article.

Whether there is a link between pedophilia and homosexuality--as this article suggests--is a scientific question. Either there is a link, or there isn't. Tossing out perjorative labels like "homophobic" does not strike me as a productive way to go about trying to answer the scientific question.
10.16.2006 2:26am
Kovarsky (mail):
whit,

what, exactly, is your point? that opposition to same sex marriage isn't homophobic? fine.

how does that relate to this post, which argues that much of the reaction to foley-gate is homophobic. you've transformed what is supposed to be a fairly narrow discussion about whether some of the reaction conforms to rigorous definitions of homophobia into a forum to discuss whether that definition applies to behavior well beyond the scope of the post.

i don't care whether the term "homophobic" applies or not, and i'm not polluting your otherwise reasoned discussion. you haven't discussed anything other than your favored method of discourse.
10.16.2006 2:27am
Kovarsky (mail):
"As far as gays being more inclined to sexual 'deviancy' I find the very concept suspect."

Point of clarification. By "sexual deviance" I mean the sort of sexual behavior that violates norms of consent, not "deviance" in the unconventional sex act sense.
10.16.2006 2:31am
Kovarsky (mail):
rob, i hope you realize that you posted a study saying that homosexuals were more likely to have sustained sexual abuse, not that they're more likely to inflict it.

am i missing something?
10.16.2006 2:33am
Ken Arromdee:
What IS interesting about this thread is how few people are actually taking issue with Dale Carpenter's assertions about homophobia, that is has three compenents, and all three are on display in this Foley mess.

I'll bet that if I argued that blacks are racially inferior, only a small percentage of respondents will bother trying to explain how the evidence for black racial inferiority is wrong. That's because it's an attack, not an argument, even though it's phrased as an argument and in theory could be disputed like one. Calling people hysterical, obsessional, delusional, and narcissistic is inherently unlikely to lead to rational argument.

If you actually want an argument against it, consider these:
-- the three components are being attributed to *separate groups*.
-- Yale law professors are not generally authorities in the area of diagnosing mental instability. (And I would think that gays, of all people, should know the folly of diagnosing mental illness like this, considering that gays were once inappropriately considered mentally ill themselves.)
-- A claim that something fits into one of those categories is so ill-defined as to be unfalsifiable. What does it mean to say that someone has "obsessional fears of gay people as conspiratorial and sexually predatory"? Is that intended to automatically define all fears of gay people as obsessional? If not, how does one distinguish between obsessional and non-obsessional fears? And how could one prove one's innocence when accused of obsessional fears?
-- The article is about 90% about Republicans, and tries to imply that it discusses a phenomenon common among Republicans, but actually only claims that the phenomenon occurs a couple of times, then insinuates that the examples are typical of an ill-defined larger group. Warning signs of this are phrases like "some Republicans" and "some of the reactions" which don't try to quantify how much "some" is, and reference to "a conservative website" (I can find *a* conservative--or liberal, for that matter--website which says just about anything).
-- The article seems to consider mental instability the first-resort explanation rather than the last resort. "Others... suggested that Republican leaders were paralyzed from acting against Foley early on by fear of a pro-gay backlash. To believe this of GOP leaders—who have opposed every measure for gay equality—requires obsessional and conspiratorial delusion about the power and influence of the gay civil rights movement." Really? You can't think of *any other possibility* for why someone might believe one anti-gay action won't provoke a backlash yet another will, except for mental illness?
10.16.2006 2:36am
Rob Johnson (mail):
Kovarsky,

You right about the study; it says pedophilia causes homosexuality, not homosexuality causes pedophilia.

Dale's claim was that there was no link between pedophilia and homosexuality. So . . . if the study is right, he is wrong, and vice-versa.
10.16.2006 2:40am
Kovarsky (mail):
rob,

the post reads:

There is no good evidence of a link between homosexual orientation and pedophilia. Professional anti-homosexuals, like Perkins, often cite junk science to support their hysterical views of dangerous and hypersexualized homosexuals.

i think it's pretty clear that Dale is talking about the absence of a scientific link between a person's sexual orientation and the likelihood that they will inflict sexual abuse.

i have no problem with the idea that those who were victims of crimes that were also violations of sexual norms as children are less likely to grow up to be adults that put as much stock in sexual norms. but i have a big problem with the idea that they're more likely to be criminals. furthermore, the statistically rigorous question that is relevant to this discussion would be take the set of sexually abused children - both now gay and straight - and determine whether the gay ones are any more prone to sexual abuse. in other words, does "homosexuality" have anything to do with it at all, or are those who are abused more likely to be abusers, no matter what their orientation.
10.16.2006 2:49am
randal (mail):
whit -

You're the only one talking about gay marriage. I think you misread a lot of the other comments by reading "gay marriage" into them where it wasn't.
10.16.2006 2:53am
Randy R. (mail):
Uh, Whit. Please read what I said. I said that I understand that there are principled reasons for opposing gay marriage and that it doesn't arise from homophobia, BUT that when people oppose gay marriage AND civil unions, they are probably homophobic. So I am actually agreeing with you, at least in part. My experience is that any debate with a person who opposes gay marriage, civil unions, or any form of recogniztion of gay couples has a big problem with gays. Whether THAT rises to the level of homophobia, I won't say. Got that?

Rob: I think when Dale means to say that there is no evidence that gay men are more likely to BE pedophiles than hetero men.

Logicnazi: Well, you DO have a good point about idiots. I can't argue against it. I only wish I were a true idiot so that I could understand them better(!)
10.16.2006 2:59am
Randy R. (mail):
Again, back to the article. I think it is very insightful what Prof. Eskridge wrote. If you read anything at all on the websites such as those of Focus on the Family, or the Family Research Council, you will find all three of Eskridge's points in abundance. Being a gay man, I read what they have to say, and listen to their spokespeople on tv far too often, and they are certainly hysterical, obsessed, and continually bash gay people. And lying isn't beyond the pale for them either.
10.16.2006 3:04am
Randy R. (mail):
And, the GOP has courted the FRC and FotF, relies upon them for getting votes, accepts their endorsements, welcomes them to the White House and other official events. Therefore, the GOP has tied itself very tightly with these groups and these people. There is no way they can plausibly distant themselves from them now.

"When you play with pigs, you're gonna get dirty." And the GOP has plenty of dirt on themselves at this point with regards to how it treats gay people.
10.16.2006 3:07am
Rob Johnson (mail):
Kovarsky,

First, I take it you agree with me, then, that either Dale's sentence (There is no good evidence of a link between homosexual orientation and pedophilia) is wrong or the study I cited is wrong. The two cannot simultaneously be true.

Second, I find it interesting that you think Dale misspoke when he asserted that there is "no link" between pedophilia and homosexuality. You suggest that what he really meant to say that there is no evidence that homosexuals are more likely than heterosexuals to be pedophiles. I will be interested to see if Dale agrees with your rewrite construction of his sentence. There are obvious problems with it. For starters, child victims of sexual molestation are more likely than non-victims to molest other children when they are adults. So, it seems to me that once you concede that childhood molestation causes people to become homosexual, you simultaneously concede that homosexuals are more likely than heterosexuals to molest children. Am I missing something?
10.16.2006 3:11am
Rob Johnson (mail):
Dale said:
There is no good evidence of a link between homosexual orientation and pedophilia.


I cited an article that seems to flatly contradict what Dale said.

Randy R. said:
I think when Dale means to say that there is no evidence that gay men are more likely to BE pedophiles than hetero men.


My response:
I will be interested to see if Dale agrees with your rewrite construction of his sentence. There are obvious problems with it. For starters, child victims of sexual molestation are more likely than non-victims to molest other children when they are adults. So, it seems to me that once you concede that childhood molestation causes people to become homosexual, you simultaneously concede that homosexuals are more likely than heterosexuals to molest children.
10.16.2006 3:18am
Kovarsky (mail):
Rob,

actually, my position is that if you read the sentence in context, it's pretty frigg'n clear what he meant. frankly i don't actually understand why you're making such a big deal about this. if it's absolutely clear what he means from the next sentence, i don't know why you seem to be dancing on the ceiling over this one.

it's as if someone says, "there's no link between pizza consumption and the greatful dead." then you show me a study that says a lot of stoners order pizza. great. that's obviously not the causal link i'm talking about.

but hey man, when you're right you're right.
10.16.2006 3:22am
Kovarsky (mail):
p.s. that's actually a crappy analogy on my part.

but this argument is silly. you knew exactly what he meant and the article you cited is utterly irrelevant to what was the clear point the passage was making - that homosexuals are not more likely to BE abusers.
10.16.2006 3:27am
Cornellian (mail):
Abstract: In research with 942 nonclinical adult participants, gay men and lesbian women reported a significantly higher rate of childhood molestation than did heterosexual men and women. Forty-six percent of the homosexual men in contrast to 7% of the heterosexual men reported homosexual molestation. Twenty-two percent of lesbian women in contrast to 1% of heterosexual women reported homosexual molestation. This research is apparently the first survey that has reported substantial homosexual molestation of girls. Suggestions for future research were offered.

Are you calling this junk science Dale?


I'm not going to spend money getting the whole article, but it was pretty easy to Google some pretty good critiques of their methodology. Right from the start the abstract is misleading in that it leads you to think the 942 were selected randomly from a population. In fact only 675 of that group were from local colleges. Incredibly, the researchers apparently thought it wouldn't be a methodological problem if they then set up a booth at a local gay pride event, asked passers-by to participate and that's where the other 267 came from. Just for starters, one might think people who attend gay pride events might be less inclined to conceal childhood abuse than people who lead more mundane lives (to say nothing of people who may still be dependant on their parents for college tuition and living expenses).

And here's their test for "childhood molestation" : "Before you were 16 years old, did you ever have sexual contact with a woman[/man] or girl[/boy] 5 or more years older than yourself and at least 16 years of age?” Note it doesn't ask whether the contact was consensual.

Gee, guess that kid in "Summer of '42" who eventually scored with the hot 20 something widow is really the victim of child molestation. Who knew?
10.16.2006 3:32am
Cornellian (mail):
And, the GOP has courted the FRC and FotF, relies upon them for getting votes, accepts their endorsements, welcomes them to the White House and other official events.

And yet, once the Dobson types are out of the room, the GOP elite apparently laughs at them, calls them "nuts" and any number of other amusing names. I suppose one has to give them credit for seeing that crowd for what they are, even if the cynicism is breathtaking.
10.16.2006 3:37am
Jiffy:
Rob,

Sometimes it's good to read a sentence in context. Here is the context of Dale's sentence that you want to quarrel with:


We can see the first of these characteristics, hysteria, in some of the reactions to the Foley scandal. “While pro-homosexual activists like to claim that pedophilia is a completely distinct orientation from homosexuality, evidence shows a disproportionate overlap between the two,” declared Tony Perkins of the Family Research Council.

There is no good evidence of a link between homosexual orientation and pedophilia. Professional anti-homosexuals, like Perkins, often cite junk science to support their hysterical views of dangerous and hypersexualized homosexuals.


Now, isn't it perfectly obvious that Dale was responding to the notion that gays are more likely to be pedophiles?
10.16.2006 3:52am
jrose:
isn't the logical response, "Well then gay men should get women, homosexuality be damned"?

No. A sham relationship with a woman isn't healthy for either party.
10.16.2006 9:41am
jrose:
Many see gay marriage as oxymoronic. If it is not marriage in the first place, how can marriage rights be 'extended' to gays, when the very idea is nonsensical.

A tautology doesn't strike me as rational.

I know plenty who are against gay marriage who have exactly ZERO hatred of gays.

Me too, and yet when I ask them to give their reasons, I get a lot of emotion and very little reasoning. Is it possible that these are liberal folks who find bigotry an anathema and so don't wish to admit they hold bigoted feelings?
10.16.2006 10:25am
Jon Rowe (mail) (www):

Abstract: In research with 942 nonclinical adult participants, gay men and lesbian women reported a significantly higher rate of childhood molestation than did heterosexual men and women. Forty-six percent of the homosexual men in contrast to 7% of the heterosexual men reported homosexual molestation. Twenty-two percent of lesbian women in contrast to 1% of heterosexual women reported homosexual molestation. This research is apparently the first survey that has reported substantial homosexual molestation of girls. Suggestions for future research were offered.


As a professor, I actually got the study for free (I have it on PDF; I wouldn't want to violate copyright laws, but *hint,* if you email me I can show you the details). I can pretty safely say it's junk science. The authors don't appear to have an agenda; but even they admit the sample is not representative.

Also, keep in mind -- and this just goes to show how the FRC blatantly distorts data -- the 7% and 1% are talking about heterosexuals who report HOMOSEXUAL molestation, not heterosexuals who report MOLESTATION in general. The study actually shows rates of overall molestation and rates of heterosexual molestation for heterosexuals. And the results are that 1 out of 4 males (around 25%) have been molested generally; 1 out of 5 (around 20%) molestated heterosexually. So, accordingly, a self identified heterosexual male is far more likely to be molested by a woman than a man. Again, I don't buy these results because the study appears to be junk. But that's roughly what it says.
10.16.2006 10:27am
Jon Rowe (mail) (www):
Let me rewrite this sentence:

And the results are that 1 out of 4 HETEROSEXUAL males (around 25%) have been molested generally; 1 out of 5 (around 20%) molestated heterosexually.

The study also shows that 1/3 of homosexual males self-identified as homosexual BEFORE their molestation and 2/3 of homosexual women self-identifed as homosexual before the molestation. The term "molestation" also includes any sexual conduct between an adult and someone under the age of 16 even if consensual.

Finally, if interested, check out this post which provides links to a paper which debunks the FRC's methods in trying to connect adult homosexuality and pedophilia.
10.16.2006 10:34am
Randy R. (mail):
And why does the FRC go through such gyrations to 'prove' how dangerous gays are to everyone? They are lying and they know it. They have deliberately distorted the views of many social scientists, and many of these scientists have fought back. Why?

Because they need to have everyone hate gay people as much as possible, plain and simple. And it keeps money flowing into their coffers.
10.16.2006 10:55am
commenter:
You right about the study; it says pedophilia causes homosexuality, not homosexuality causes pedophilia.


No, it says being a victim of pedophilia is corellated with homosexuality. I haven't read the paper, but I'd be shocked if it could establish a causal link. It could just be that abusers deliberately go after the gay kids, or that the same factors that predispose you to be gay also make you a target for abuse.
10.16.2006 11:25am
PeterH:
Kovarsky: And I think that your heart is in the right place, but your assessment of this event's political fallout is overly optimistic. The whole incident affirms, in many people's minds, that there is some latent connection between homosexuality and troublesome sexual deviance.


This is a quote from a while back in the thread. Randy R had stated, essentially, that any coverage of gay events in the media nets out as positive because isolated (often young) gay people see it and realize that they aren't alone, and are therefore more likely to come out. This was a part of Kovarsky's reply.

I'd like to add that there is an additional positive effect. Straight people who know openly gay people are more likely to go ask them about a gay scandal, and in a case like this, they will be pretty likely to get the answer that "gay or not, a 42 year-old hitting on 16 year olds is creepy." -- in other words, that their gay neighbors feel pretty much the same way they do, and maybe gay people really are just like other folks.

My partner and I had this effect happen not long ago at a wedding. Another guest quietly approached us and told us that he was getting hit on at the gym by a guy who wouldn't take no for an answer, even after he told him he was straight, and wondered what we though he should do. He seemed very taken aback when both of us immediately said that he shouldn't have to put up with unwanted advances and that he should report the guy to the gym management (or if he wanted to be a bit nicer - but didn't have to- he could tell the guy he would report him if he did it again.) He had apparently assumed that as gay men, we would automatically "side with" the other idiot.

We found out later that the guest who approached us was very homophobic, but that after our encounter with him, he had become much less so, and vocal about it, to the degree that his wife tracked down the mother of the bride to find out just what he had talked to us about.

Kovarsky, I think you are right that a gay scandal in the media won't have "positive" effects on the people who don't already know people, but Randy has a good point about coming out, and the more dialogue that happens, the more people will realize that they really have had misunderstanding and misconceptions about us (of course, we can't use that nasty word, "prejudice" can we?)
10.16.2006 11:26am
Rob Johnson (mail):
Jiffy,

The statement by Tony Perkins quoted by Dale (While pro-homosexual activists like to claim that pedophilia is a completely distinct orientation from homosexuality, evidence shows a disproportionate overlap between the two) says nothing more than that there is a link between pedophilia and homosexuality. His statement does not speak to the direction of causation. So, I don't think its fair to accuse me of reading Dale's sentence (There is no good evidence of a link between homosexual orientation and pedophilia.) out of context.

Moreover, if pedophilia causes homosexuality, you have a prima facie case that homosexuals are more prone to be pedophiles than heterosexuals. This is because victims of pedophilia are more likely to be pedophiles than non-victims. (Note how Folely announced that he was molested by a Catholic Priest as a child.)

Cornelian and Jon Rowe,

I have not read the study, so I am not defending it on the merits although I will say that the conclusion seems plausible to me: i.e. pedophilia is one among many causes of homosexuality. Just performing a "Google" search is not gonna cut it. This appears to be an article published in a peer-reviewed, reputable journal (Jon, can you confirm?). Some guy criticizing the results on his weblog aint science. Cornellian, if you have links to scientific articles that you think are comparably reputable please provide them. Jon, I'd like a copy of the article. I'll shoot you an email. Thanks.

My ultimate point, though, is that this is a legitimate scientific question. We ought to be able to discuss and debate whether there is a link between pedophilia and homosexuality without accusing each other of being apologists or homophobes.
10.16.2006 11:56am
Rob Johnson (mail):
Commenter says:

No, it says being a victim of pedophilia is corellated with homosexuality. I haven't read the paper, but I'd be shocked if it could establish a causal link. It could just be that abusers deliberately go after the gay kids, or that the same factors that predispose you to be gay also make you a target for abuse.


You are right that the article seems to establish correlation, and that correlation is not the same as causation. However, your alternative explanations for the correlation (i.e. that abusers somehow identify and go after the gay kids) are not plausible. Please identify the characteristics of a gay six-year old.
10.16.2006 12:02pm
commenter:
You are right that the article seems to establish correlation, and that correlation is not the same as causation. However, your alternative explanations for the correlation (i.e. that abusers somehow identify and go after the gay kids) are not plausible. Please identify the characteristics of a gay six-year old.
Wheras the "being abused makes you gay" hypothesis is plausible? What's the theory of causation there? Is the idea that gay abusees really like being abused? Get real.

As for the point about six-year-olds, note that the study participants had been abused as old as fifteen. Whatever you may say about six-year-olds, teenagers tend to have sexual identities.

As for the same factors predisposing you to homosexuality and being a target for abuse, this could work in any number of ways, and you haven't even attempted to show that every one of them is implausible. For just one example, suppose that kids who are predisposed to be gay are also predisposed to be less comfortable with socially-imposed gender norms. Such kids will tend to be teased and otherwise ostracized, and this could make them easier targets for pedophiles.
10.16.2006 12:17pm
Jon Rowe (mail) (www):

However, your alternative explanations for the correlation (i.e. that abusers somehow identify and go after the gay kids) are not plausible. Please identify the characteristics of a gay six-year old.


Yes it is published in a reputable journal.

Your comment illustrates a problem with conflating ephebophilia and pedophilia. The "study" most certainly does not deal exclusively or even primarily with molestation of six year olds. Rather, molestation is defined as any act occuring between someone under 16 and someone five years older (I mis-spoke when I said, between under 16 and an adult). And 1/3 of the males and 2/3 of the females ALREADY self-identified as gay before the molestation. The authors of the study in fact explicitly raised as plausible, the explanation which you dismiss, that the molestation could be the EFFECT not the cause of a pre-existing homosexual orientation.
10.16.2006 12:21pm
Rob Johnson (mail):
Commenter,

Fifteen does seem a little old. If the study was limited to children 12 and under, I would be more comfortable saying your alternative hypothesis are implausible.

You say:
Wheras the "being abused makes you gay" hypothesis is plausible? What's the theory of causation there? Is the idea that gay abusees really like being abused? Get real.


Oh, come on.
10.16.2006 12:32pm
Kovarsky (mail):
PeterH,

Kovarsky, I think you are right that a gay scandal in the media won't have "positive" effects on the people who don't already know people, but Randy has a good point about coming out, and the more dialogue that happens, the more people will realize that they really have had misunderstanding and misconceptions about us (of course, we can't use that nasty word, "prejudice" can we?)

I agree pretty strongly with the idea that the most effective way to combat stereotypes/prejudice/etc. about any set of people is increased contact with individuals belonging to that group (except for yankees fans).

But when I consider the timing of that phenomenon (diminished prejudice via contact), which occurs at a relatively early point in life, I just can't imagine that effect offsets the effect on the older, median voter now. The fact is that the fraction of people that oppose things like gay marriage below the age of 30 is incredibly small already. The shelf-life of this debate can't be much longer than another 20 years, when an overwhelming majority of this population will be politically active.

I'm just worreid that something like this pushes things back, within that range, another 5 or so years by allowing politicians to appeal to the more base instincts of the older, median voter. I can't imagine this negative effect does not outweigh the positive effect in the short term.
10.16.2006 1:40pm
fishbane (mail):
I love how this all has to be about Teh Gay. Not about a powerful man abusing his position of authority and the following cover-up. Nope. Just about Teh Gay, and how this really is all about those stinkin' liberals.

Clenis, we hardly knew ye.
10.16.2006 1:46pm
plunge (mail):
Don't forget that a molestation experience might well be an impetus to ultimately have to be more honest about your sexuality and thus more likely to self-report homosexuality if it already exists. People who are molested have to do a heck of a lot more self-examination and anxiety in later life to deal with all sorts of conflicted feelings. They are far more likely to see therapists.

Self-identified gay people might also be more willing to report childhood abuse in general: being honest about your sexuality and honest about your childhood experiences are very likely correlates.

In short, there are many many alternate explanations for the data: some even more plausbile, that this sort of study does not control for even if it had used a representative sample.
10.16.2006 2:19pm
randal (mail):
Rob Johnson says -

Oh, come on.

That's it? The idea that being abused makes you gay seems implausible to me as well. Much more implausible than the other theories of correlation that have been put forward (if there even is a correlation). I wish you would expand on why you think this idea is so easy to accept that it doesn't even require debate.
10.16.2006 4:27pm
randal (mail):
At the same time, it's hard to imagine that there isn't a correlation between being willing to admit that you're gay and being willing to admit that you were sexually abused.

Look at Foley - he admitted them simultaneously! Had he been straight, there would never have been a reason for him to admit the priest thing.
10.16.2006 4:36pm
randal (mail):
Furthermore, if being abused made people gay, the number of gay people would vary over time and place with the level of sexual abuse. All the data I've seen shows a remarkably constant level of homosexuality everywhere at every time. I doubt the same is true of rates of sexual abuse.
10.16.2006 4:39pm
Caliban Darklock (www):
jrose: I can explain my opposition to gay marriage.

The entire rationale for gay marriage is that married couples get access to specific benefits and privileges, and it is unfair to deny those same benefits and privileges to homosexual couples.

I believe we should remove those benefits and privileges from married couples. Then everything will be fair. Married couples don't need these benefits and privileges anymore; they are an artifact of a time when couples married in their teens, women did not work, and having two children in your early twenties was considered normal. Now that most couples (married or not) have two incomes and many remain childless well into their thirties, we don't need a government subsidy for the married - which I say even though my *own* marriage is a one-income family with two children and a stay-at-home mom.

So as long as the idea of gay marriage is attached to providing them these same government benefits and privileges, I'm against it, because I'm against those benefits and privileges. The gay marriage part doesn't really bother me.
10.16.2006 4:53pm
keypusher (mail):

All the data I've seen shows a remarkably constant level of homosexuality everywhere at every time.


What data have you seen?


I doubt the same is true of rates of sexual abuse.


Why?
10.16.2006 5:27pm
Rob Johnson (mail):
randal,

How was I supposed to respond to this?

Wheras the "being abused makes you gay" hypothesis is plausible? What's the theory of causation there? Is the idea that gay abusees really like being abused? Get real.


It's nonsensical.

you say:

The idea that being abused makes you gay seems implausible to me as well.


Why is it implausible to think that premature exposure to sex affects the orientation wiring and explains why some people become sexual minorities?
10.16.2006 6:29pm
jrose:
Caliban Darklock,

I agree the "get the government out of the marriage business altogether" is a rational argument against same-sex (and all) civil marriage.

But, what is the rational argument for keeping marriage law as it is - and do those who advocate this view honestly believe in the purported reason - or is it a pre text for bigotry (which might be a bigotry these people aren't aware they hold).
10.16.2006 6:36pm
CrosbyBird:
So as long as the idea of gay marriage is attached to providing them these same government benefits and privileges, I'm against it, because I'm against those benefits and privileges. The gay marriage part doesn't really bother me.

What about things such as medical proxy rights?

I can appreciate the idea that financial benefits of marriage could be a bad policy. I'd have to think about it more, but I might even be inclined to agree. A benefit to married couples is effectively a cost to the single.
10.16.2006 6:56pm
Jon Rowe (mail) (www):
The following is from an old post of mine where I try to figure out some reasonable way of understanding and categorizing the various kinds of "homosexualities" and "bisexualities" that we've seen cross-culturally and in the present day. This part of the post deals with whether pedophilia leads to adult homosexual orientation. The following suggests that it doesn't.


There have been times and places where significantly more that 4% of society has engaged in homosexual acts and in some places literally 100% of the population engages in such acts as rites of passages (like the citizen class in Ancient Greece, or the Sambians of New Guinea, where, according to Judge Posner in Sex &Reason, they have “made a form of pederasty mandatory. All adolescent boys are assigned adult male lovers whom the boys fellate; the ingestion of adult semen is believed to be necessary to male maturation.”). And here is the rub, in those times and places where huge majorities of certain populations participated in homosexual behavior at some point in their lives, there continued to exist the same consistent percentages of adult homosexuals (that is those who have an exclusive or overwhelmingly predominant homosexual orientation) as everywhere else: around 2-3%. In Ancient Greece, all members of the citizen class would participate in man/boy homosexual acts, (essentially rites of passage for the entire group). But just about all of these males went onto marry women and have families. In both Ancient Greece and in Sambia there is NO EVIDENCE that exclusive adult homosexuality was any more prevalent there than it is in this culture or anywhere else. So much for the idea that experimenting with the behavior around the early teen years will lead to more homosexuals in the population. Practically every male, in those 2 cultures, experimented with the behavior, with the result being no greater incidence of exclusive adult homosexuality than we have today.


Perhaps I should have said "no evidence" of greater incidence of exclusive adult homosexuality than we have today. Indeed, the Sambians argue that homosexuals -- that is men who practice lifelong exclusive homosexuality -- don't exist. And some scholars have noted that only the man-boy pederasty existed in Ancient Greece, with everyone going on to marry women and sire families. I would note that if real homosexuals constitute only about 3-4% of any given population, and if there is no visible sub-culture where gays congregate and make themselves visible, the 3-4% would thus be diffusely spread throughout the population and homosexuals could appear to be invisible.

Consider, even though real homosexuals were far rarer in Ancient Greece than the pederasts who went on to marry women and sire families, some notable evidence exists that some Ancient Greeks were aware of real homosexuals, as we today understand that term. Just read Plato's Symposium and the metaphor for erotic love.
10.16.2006 7:08pm
Rob Johnson (mail):
Dale,

I've now read the article I linked for you in this comment. It is a serious scientific paper, not without its methodological problems (it wouldn't be known as soft science otherwise), but a serious scientific paper nevertheless.

You assert in your post: There is no good evidence of a link between homosexual orientation and pedophilia.

Your assertion is flat wrong. The article I cited to you does a brief survey of the literature and cites at least six additional articles, that conclude that phenomenon of "childhood molestation is more common in homosexual men and women than in their heterosexual."

I've pointed you to what looks to be good evidence of a link, Dale, and I think you need to either retract your assertion or explain why you reject all of the studies cited in the article.
10.16.2006 7:19pm
Jon Rowe (mail) (www):

The article I cited to you does a brief survey of the literature and cites at least six additional articles


One of them I do believe was written by Paul Cameron, and thus deserves to be thrown out. I don't know of the other five. Another thing about the article that seems a little skewed...the heterosexual men in the study have quite a low rate of homosexual molestation, as compared with their heterosexual molestation. Could it be they are far more likely to admit to being "molested" by a woman?

It's not just this study. Much social science -- even that produced by researchers who have no axe to grind -- is junk because of the inability to get accurate samples, and other methodological issues that are sometimes very hard if not impossible to get around when we get into certain touchy subjects.
10.16.2006 7:28pm
Rob Johnson (mail):
Jon Rowe,

Much social science -- even that produced by researchers who have no axe to grind -- is junk because of the inability to get accurate samples, and other methodological issues that are sometimes very hard if not impossible to get around when we get into certain touchy subjects.


That's your definition of junk science?
10.16.2006 7:39pm
Dave Hardy (mail) (www):
Could it be they are far more likely to admit to being "molested" by a woman?

It's called getting lucky.
10.16.2006 8:43pm
Dave Hardy (mail) (www):
But here's how I think the average gay teenager will see this whole embroglio. He is taught that gays die early, are sickos, are hated by everyone, and can never amount to anything. Then he sees in the news that Foley was gay, a respected congressman, supported at the highest levels of gov't, doesn't have AIDS, has a partner, and so on. Foley is in many ways the exact opposite of all the garbage he has been taught.

Uh--I dunno if Foley is much of a role model just now.
10.16.2006 8:51pm
CLS (mail) (www):
It seems that some commentators here are woefully unaware of the facts of the Foley case. For instance the mention of loco parentis is clearly absurd. Now if Foley sent the sexual messages when the pages were employed by the House then perhaps, only perhaps, this might be pertinent. But all the evidence is that he sent these AFTER the pages were no longer employed by Congress.

Several people seem to think Foley was having sex with these pages or imply they think so. Didn’t happen. One former page says he had sex with Foley but he was 21 years old then. And all all pages are above the age of consent, all were ex pages when Foley got raunchy in his email and there was no sex either. That’s a relatively tame scandal by most counts.

JB has an absurd definition of pedophile. He tries to make it a legal state. It is not. Pedophilia is a clinical term and defined quite specifically. in the Diagnostical and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders and requires intense sexual interest or interaction with prepubescent children. JB tries to make a pedophile a legal state which it is not. And he seems to think this was pedophile which is absurd twice over. Not only were they not prepubescent they were above the age of consent and still there was no sex.

Apollo says that Congressman Kolbe “did nothing about” his knowledge of the Foley emails. I understand from the press that Kolbe did pass on the information and confronted Foley. And then Apollo asks, conspiratorially, if its a “remarkable coincidence that the first one to learn of this was the only openly gay one.” The very article he linked to explained that this happened because pages wen to Kolbe and told him. He had been a page himself and the pages felt close to him and liked him and trusted him.

It is untrue that nothing was done. Kolbe was contacted by an expage who told him about Foley sending emails. Kolbe did NOT see the emails. He had it reported to the House Clerk. That is doing something. He says the former page never mentioned it again and he thought it had been resolved.


Hans Gruber, comes across the most bigoted of several none too well disguised bigots. He says gay men are more promiscuous and deviant than straight men and its the simple truth. Exactly how would he know this? That is do straight men live in a similar, albeit heterosexual world? Men in general are more interested in sex than women in general. Now if women were as willing to engage in sex with various men as men are willing to engage in sex with various women how would that change things? The greatest reason straight men don’t get as much as gay men is that straight men have to convince women to cooperate. It is not a lack of desire involved but a lack of opportunity and that hardly makes them much different. In the Evolution of Human Sexual the author notes that gay men are just like straight me but without having to compromises to keep women happy.

Richard Aubrey claims, falsely, that Foley “was chasing pages both sides of the age of consent.” That is just dumb. The age of consent in DC is 16. The minimum age for a page is 16. There are no pages below the age of consent. The statement is false.

I do agree the word “homophobic” shouldn’t be used. It is a purely coined word and implies that the person so labelled is mentally ill. That is letting them off the hook too easily. Nazis were not Judeaophobic, the Klan is not Blackophobic. The issue is not about phobia but bigotry. I never refer to bigots as homophobic.

Surely the award for lamest comment goes to Rob Johnson. Dale said there was no link good link between being gay and being a pedophile. Rob dismisses this with a report which asserts that gay people were more likely to have been molested as children and then crows this proves the link. This is along the lines of saying Jews are more likely to be Nazis because Nazis tended to attack Jews. How exactly does this report prove gays are more likely to molest? All it asserts is they were more likely to have been molested. Those are not the same thing. Even when this pointed out to him he even more lamely tries to cling to the idea he was right.

He asserts that he is still right because victims of molestation are more likely to be molesters themselves. In fact this is false. The studies that were done were on physical abuse not sexual abuse. Children who were beaten tend to batter children as adults. Sexual abuse patterns are not the same. The evidence for this is obvious. Most victims are young girls. Most molesters are men. For most the victims of sexual abuse to grow up to be abusers themselves then somewhere along the line all those girls had sex changes and became men. You are confusing studies down on physical abuse with sexual abuse. And since all studies continue to show that abusers tend to be men and victims tend to be females then we have decades of evidence proving Johnson’s claim is false. In addition the study he cited is suspect. But you have to give him credit for hold so strongly to such an absurd position.
10.16.2006 8:54pm
Fishbane (mail):
CLS will make a wonderful advocate some day.
10.16.2006 9:09pm
Richard Aubrey (mail):
My mistake. So Foley wasn't chasing pages both sides of the age of consent.

In that case, he's done nothing remotely illegal, or, considered in some circles, not remotely immoral.

What's the fuss? We have liberals implying Foley was a horrid threat, speaking around the fact that he pestered no pages with anything but excessive chumminess. With enough gasps of horror, the libs can make a tired old pervert into a threat to the youth of the nation.

Why do that? Isn't that anti-lib? Well, sure it is. But an election is coming up and the libs and dems are desperate to show that the republicans didn't care they had a gay, or more than one, in their ranks.

Tough for gays, but that's collateral damage. Take one, so to speak, for the team.
10.16.2006 9:19pm
Rob Johnson (mail):
CLS,

Definition of Link: something that connects one thing to another.

Fact: Pedophilia is more common among homosexuals than among heterosexuals.

Conclusion: There is a link between pedophilia and homosexuality. Correlation, standing alone, equals link.

You write:

The studies that were done were on physical abuse not sexual abuse. Children who were beaten tend to batter children as adults. Sexual abuse patterns are not the same. The evidence for this is obvious. Most victims are young girls. Most molesters are men. For most the victims of sexual abuse to grow up to be abusers themselves then somewhere along the line all those girls had sex changes and became men.


Are you serious? If so, let me spell it out for you . . . the question is whether little girls who are victims of sexual assault are more likely than little girls who are not victims of sexual assault to commit sexual assault themselves. Similarly, are little boys who are victims of sexual assault more likely than little boys who are not victims of sexual assault to commit sexual assault themselves?
10.16.2006 9:22pm
michael (mail) (www):
We've about digested this topic into 'Foley who?' it seems. The fact that the Republicans(R) are going to lose votes because some supported R in part because of their being opposed to homosexuality and have lost their enthusiasm is a pc definiton of homophobia. What ever happened to the sardonia, 'Who is going to love you when you are old and gay?' That would seem to bear somewhat on the ideal narcissistic choice implied in the young as a love object.
10.16.2006 10:51pm
Caliban Darklock (www):
@ jrose:

> what is the rational argument for keeping
> marriage law as it is

That is a good question. Let's imagine that the world consists of three groups: straight married, gay married, and unmarried. Let us further imagine that the straight married get special privilege.

If we take away the privilege of the straight married, this is unfair to the straight married, who are accustomed to this privilege.

If we extend the same privilege to the gay married, this is unfair to the unmarried, who are now subject to some discrimination.

Therefore, because both proposals are unfair, we can do neither. If we cannot justify extending this privilege to the unmarried, we simply have no other choices available.

This is not my personal belief, but it's the most rational argument I can see for maintaining the status quo. It's even reasonably reflective of reality.

The flaw, in my opinion, is that this argument fails to recognise that the status quo is unfair to both the unmarried and the gay married. I also believe that when things are already unfair, unfairness is justified to correct the problem going forward. As such, I consider unfairness to the privileged straight married to be LESS unfair than an unfairness to either or both of the unprivileged groups.
10.16.2006 10:54pm
randal (mail):
Rob Johnson -

I'm trying to figure out what you're talking about. CLS is right - you're so desperate for there to be a "link between pedophilia and homosexuality" that you don't even care who the pedophile and the homosexual are. Are they the same person? In the study you cite, they're not the same person, but then you go around saying things like

Fact: Pedophilia is more common among homosexuals than among heterosexuals.

Where did you get that? How is it related to homosexuals being victims of pedophilia? You need to develop your opinion and your supporting facts a little better before coming here with them (if you want to be taken seriously).

How about this: We can all agree that there's a "link between homosexuality and pedophilia," which is that homosexual pedophiles exist. Yay! Now you can pretend you convinced all the people here of your "link" theory.
10.16.2006 11:28pm
thedaddy (mail):
Hey Randy, (What a name-- Does it connote your libidinal state?)

What if I am a Queer, does make me "less than" in your eyes?
If it does, then does that make you a homophobe?

just askin' is all, you sanctimonious twit.

and it's not theDaddy
it's

thedaddy


BTW Caliban Darklock

'Gay' (euphemism for "homosexual") marriage is an oxymoron, two pegs cannot marry one another, nor can two holes, but a peg and a hole can.
理解しなさい

お父さん
10.16.2006 11:36pm
thedaddy (mail):
Fact: Pedophilia is more common among homosexuals than among heterosexuals.

True.
There is a North American Man Boy Love Association
but not a There is the North American Man Girl Love Association

howzat?

thedaddy
10.16.2006 11:40pm
thedaddy (mail):
sorry for the poor cut and paste.

Fact: Pedophilia is more common among homosexuals than among heterosexuals.

True.
There is a North American Man Boy Love Association
but not a North American Man Girl Love Association

howzat?

thedaddy
10.16.2006 11:42pm
Caliban Darklock (www):
@ Rob Johnson:

Your assertion is too vague. So, too, is the opposite side's assertion.

You say there's a "link" between homosexuality and pedophilia; well, there is. You can show a link from anything to anything else. Doesn't mean jack shit, but you can do it.

Meanwhile, the opposition is busily shouting that there's no "good" evidence. That's true, too; as we all know, good evidence proves YOUR point, not the other guy's.

So why don't both of you go off to your corners, and come back when you can say something of substance that DOESN'T come prepackaged with some weasel-word excuse why any response you might get doesn't actually count.
10.16.2006 11:43pm
Jon Rowe (mail) (www):

True.
There is a North American Man Boy Love Association
but not a North American Man Girl Love Association

howzat?


Maybe because there didn't need to be one since man-girl child marriages, up until recently, have been normalized by traditional Judeo-Christian Biblical values. See the article linked above. The stuff on the Talmud is particularly shocking. While these folks -- the Levitical Jews -- executed men for sleeping with men (but not boys), they allowed intercourse as part of a betrothal between adult males and girl children.
10.17.2006 12:32am
Randy R. (mail):
"Uh--I dunno if Foley is much of a role model just now."

I never said he was a role model. I said that he exists, and he exists as a person who is the opposite of all that is taught by the anti-gay crowd, and that gives hope to gay teenagers who have few other true role models in their lives.

thedaddy: Gay' (euphemism for "homosexual") marriage is an oxymoron, two pegs cannot marry one another, nor can two holes, but a peg and a hole can.

Wow! I never thought of that! Why, I bet daddy will next tell me that God created Adam and Eve, not Adam and STEVE!!!
10.17.2006 12:35am
Jon Rowe (mail) (www):


Much social science -- even that produced by researchers who have no axe to grind -- is junk because of the inability to get accurate samples, and other methodological issues that are sometimes very hard if not impossible to get around when we get into certain touchy subjects.



"That's your definition of junk science?"


I'd say that qualifies as junk science. The actual definition is much broader as problems much worse than "inability to get accurate samples, and other methodological issues" exist.
10.17.2006 12:36am
Randy R. (mail):
Actually, on a serious note, thedaddy should know that a gay men can be a 'peg and a hole.' Let me explain: there is no greater orgasm that when a man penetrates another man anally, hits the prostrate gland and thereby causes an orgasm in the penetrated man. If both can have an orgasm at the same time, it is an awesome moment, one that cannot happen between a man and a woman, at least not in the same way. Isn't it wonderful that God created a male body so that prostrate in just the *right* place to give such pleasure that can only be experienced in this manner?

I mean, since evolution can't really explain why this is so, that's the best argument I've ever heard for creationism, if you ask me.
10.17.2006 12:39am
Jon Black (mail):
Randy R,

Besides the fact that your post reads like a seventh-grader who is encouraging everyone to sniff his fingers after a night out, how could anyone on earth be so stupid as to assume that the feeling you describe "cannot happen between a man and a woman." Men and women frequently can acheive orgasm simltaneously, of course when they do, they typically have the further pleasure of not needing to engage in feces removal after the pleasure subsides.

All apologies to the host, if the above section need be removed, please do so.

Moreover, this entire episode regarding Foley is probably the all-time low point in American politics (no easy feat.) Where we stand now is in a place where the Dems are simply gay-baiting their way into a majority. Besides the obviously grotesque nature of that political approach, its made even more sad by the fact that just a few years ago this nation spent an entire year being lectured by "progressives" who furiously asserted that a politicians private life should remain private. I guess that only applies if the private life in question, suits ones political stripes.

Some day we will make it to a place where neither political party can point to a homosexual and say, "oh my gosh, look how awful." Unfortunately, neither of the current parties can resist a good 'ol fashion gay-bash when the opporuntiy is afforded them.
10.17.2006 1:52am
Cornellian (mail):
Where we stand now is in a place where the Dems are simply gay-baiting their way into a majority.

The Republicans would be a much tougher target in this regard if they hadn't spent the last few election cycles demonizing homosexuals, so they're hardly in a position to complain if the Foley issue hurts them more than they'd like.
10.17.2006 2:42am
Cornellian (mail):
How could anyone on earth be so stupid as to assume that the feeling you describe "cannot happen between a man and a woman."

Well strictly speaking, it can't happen since women don't have prostate glands. So one might say different feelings, though presumably of equivalent quality, to the extent that men can ever tell what women are feeling, and vice versa.

I'm not sure I really needed to see Randy's explanation, but assuming it to be accurate, it is rather ironic that that particular portion of the male anatomy can be reached by penetration alone, whereas penetration alone does not reach a certain part of the female anatomy. I think I'll avoid naming names, for the sake of keeping VC suitable for family viewing.
10.17.2006 2:49am
thedaddy (mail):
Randy
I don't see where giving your "lovee" the wonderful possibility of getting or giving aids is such a wonderful thing -- but that's just me.

As they used to say (insipidly) in the seventies "different strokes for different folks"

You really need to get a life. You have my pre-condolences if you don't/won't.

thedaddy


Jon Rowe
"The stuff on the Talmud is particularly shocking."

Citations please(from the Talmud)/I believe this is BS
10.17.2006 2:49am
Jon Black (mail):
How cute, the we're playing the gays are evil card but only because they played it first. How progressive.
10.17.2006 2:50am
Hans Gruber:
CLS,

I found myself nodding along, thinking what a sensible commenter you were, and then I noticed that you labeled me the most "bigoted" commenter of the thread! Wow. Listen, I agree with the explanation you provide (and I almost included it in my original comment) for the promiscuity and deviance of gay men. But, there you have it--they ARE more promiscuous and deviant, as a group, whatever the reason may be. It was the stubborn refusal of Dale to recognize this FACT, a fact on which you and I aggree, that I took aim at. It is not a fiction or fantasy of wild-eyed homophobes that homosexual men are "hypersexualized" comparatively speaking. Maybe it's just because men are pigs and heterosexuals are restrained by women, while homosexuals are not. That's a plausible explanation. But why is this nececessarily a great conclusion for homosexual rights? I don't see it that way at all; indeed, it may even be more dangerous to the advancement of gay rights and equality because it provides a non-bigoted, pragmatic reason to oppose gay equality. It provides respectable cover for the bigots.

Your argument amounts to saying that if gay men weren't gay then they'd be just as promiscuous as straight men. Brilliant. What's next? If gay marriages were heterosexual marriages then they'd be just the same? Your comment does illuminate something, however, but it doesn't quite mean what you think it does. The debate about homosexuality and gay marriage isn't necessarily a personal thing; it's not so much about the individuals involved, but the relationships among the individuals. Just because one doesn't celebrate homosexuality does not necessarily mean they dislike homosexuals as individual people. They may just conclude homosexuality often leads to some undesirable consequences (promiscuity, spread of disease, inferior rearing of children, etc), and therefore conclude it is not something which deserves state sanction and support.

Ok, now go back to calling me a bigot (notice I haven't even stated what my personal opinions are; maybe you would do well not to assume).
10.17.2006 4:00am
Hans Gruber:
"The Republicans would be a much tougher target in this regard if they hadn't spent the last few election cycles demonizing homosexuals, so they're hardly in a position to complain if the Foley issue hurts them more than they'd like."

So defining marriage as between one man and one woman is demonizing homosexuals? Really? Maybe I'm not paying attention, but I think I'm missing all this demonizing.
10.17.2006 4:04am
Richard Aubrey (mail):
If the repubs have all these gays among them, maybe they're not demonizing gays at all.

You'll note this issue won't hurt the republicans unless somebody demonizes Foley and the other gays. The dems are handling that for us.

This wouldn't be such a big deal if the liberals hadn't spent decades telling us that gays are just normal people, if not better, and are never any threat to anybody.

Now....horrors.
10.17.2006 9:38am
raj (mail):
There is a North American Man Boy Love Association but not a North American Man Girl Love Association

howzat?


Because the North American Man Girl Love Association goes by the name of the Rene Guyon Society. Whose motto is "sex before eight, or else it's too late", which is erroneously attributed to NAMBLA.
10.17.2006 10:59am