The Corner

Re: Speaking of The Times

I’m getting lots of email like this regarding the editorial from the Times:

How is this scaremongering? For those of us who have to deal with some of these issues, it seems like a very real threat. Gay men have been thrown in jail before for having sex in their own homes; you don’t think it could happen again? You don’t believe there is the very real possibility that there could be more and more legislation against homosexual activity and that that legislation wouldn’t be upheld by a Supreme Court filled with Scalias and Thomases? I’m sure there are conservatives out there who would like nothing more than to see homosexuals legislated right out of existance.

ME: I’m sorry but so much of this is nonsense. No I don’t think there’s anything like a real possibility there will be stricter laws against homosexual activity. The fallback position of countless conservative and Republican politicians today is to permit civil unions. According to this paranoid imagining the political climate would have to switch to the point where consensual gay acts in the privacy of your own home would be outlawed. As amusing as I would fine a spoof where the guys from NYPD Blue bust down the doors of Will and Grace and arrest Will and his cop boyfriend, I don’t think that passes the smell test of plausibility.

Most of the commentary among conservatives who opposed the Supreme Court ruling on sodomy — and that hardly represented a huge majority of conservative commentary — was that sodomy laws were constitutional but that they were also bad policy. Even Clarence Thomas said he would vote against such laws if he were a legislator. Most states had long since dropped their sodomy laws and no states were considering new ones. Any new sodomy laws would A) be very hard to pass and B) would probably receive stricter scrutiny from the courts than old laws which had the advantage of already being on the books.