A thoughtful email–I’ve altered the quotation marks as usual but not the typos: “As most people can see, outing is a mean and nasty thing to do to someone—an invasion of their privacy. It’s uncvil. But the ideology underneath it is also uncivil. People like Signorile are in the grip of a powerful ideology that they do not recognize as such. You could be an advocate of gay marriage, and even think that supporting gay marriage flows naturally from accepting the equality and worth of gay people—that’s not the ideology I’m talking about. What I mena is when people assume that opponetns of gay marriage have to be against (or ‘hate’) gay people. That is, you don’t just think that accpeting the dignity of gay people means gay marriage; you think that the fact is so obvious that no person in good faith can think otherwise. There’s no humane argument on the other side that people can sincerely (though perhaps mistakenly) believe.
“Remember, the whole argument for outing is that gay people shouldn’t be making ‘anti-gay’ votes. So it depends on the identification of positions as simply, necessarily ‘anti-gay’: an ideological move that we’re all so used to that we hardly think to challenge it.
“Maybe the response should just be to out everyone whether or not it’s true. Say Stanley Kurtz likes guys and Maggie Gallagher likes women and Orrin Hatch goes to gay bars. Fine. Stipulated. Now can we talk about whether gay marriage is a good idea–or, to make the point you always make, whether it’s an idea that judges should embrace for hte rest of us?”