The Politics of Homosexuality

Yesterday I went to another Border’s with Robyn (so much better than Chapter’s) and picked up Virtually normal: An argument about homosexuality by Andrew Sullivan. This is a book I’ve been interested in reading for about a year but could never find anywhere. Of course, Border’s had it in stock. Border’s has everything in stock. I even found an old copy of Barry Goldwater’s The conscience of a conservative.

Through Dan, I started reading Andrew Sullivan’s blog a couple of years ago. He’s a fascinating read. He’s gay, but conservative. His politics can’t be pigeonholed into traditional categories. Heavily influenced by Michael Oakeshott, Sullivan did a Ph.D at Harvard on his thought. He likes Reagan and Thatcher. ‘Nuff said.

Of course, as a gay man, there is nothing Sullivan would like to see more than the right for homosexuals to marry one another. But, the interesting thing about Sullivan is that’s where he stops. He is adamantly opposed to the modern liberal impetus to protect homosexuals via human rights tribunals and anti-discrimmination laws.

On my old blog, I posted the following quote from an old Sullivan post:

I argued specifically against the liberal recipes for gay equality: against hate crime laws and even against employment discrimination laws. I argued that a conservative position on gay rights would leave private discrimination and prejudice alone and change only the government’s stance so that all citizens are treated equally by the state, even if they are subject to discrimination by private entities. Virtually Normal did contribute, I think, to a deeper understand that marriage rights and military service were central to the gay rights movement. In that, it helped revolutionize the gay rights movement – against the wishes of many of its leftist leaders. But I had no luck trying to shift the liberal nannying and tolerance-mongering of the gay establishment.

Still, we’re not all liberals. For the record. But it’s a quixotic position, I will sadly concede. Freedom is not as popular as it once was. And liberals have helped whittle it away.

In the comments for that post I was taken to task for seeming to tacitly accept things like ‘Whites only’ washrooms and the like. I didn’t really know how to respond to that. But, Sullivan’s work in Virtually normal is much more developed than the blog quote I referenced. I look forward to getting into it.

I’m planning on doing a three part series (or more) on Sullivan’s thought regarding how liberalism has lost its way in dealing with homosexual rights.

Sullivan is a great resource for pragmatic Christians who are able to get past his lifestyle and who want to negotiate today’s heated political climate.