Jonah Goldberg has a long, must-read post putting the Foley matter into perspective. The insight that Americans, gays included, have moved significantly to the right strikes me as especially important. I would take it further and say that shifting attitudes about homosexuality have civilized homosexuals. The prevailing attitude when Gerry Studds was elected was that, whether you thought homosexuals should be shunned or accepted, homosexuality was entirely different from heterosexuality and would naturally operated under a seperate set of rules. The acceptance in gay culture of “man-boy love” would seem to fit well into that paradigm, which helps explain the thinking of old-school gay activists like Harry Hay. These were the people who thought closing the bathhouses in response to the AIDS epidemic was somehow a step backward for gays. Since then the emphasis has shifted toward the insistence that, as Andrew Sullivan has put it, homosexuality is just like heterosexuality but with the genders changed. The corrolary to that is that homosexuals require the same restraints that civilization places on heterosexuals, and we should be encouraged at how easily this seems to have sunk in.
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