The Corner

Sullivan’s Anger

I’m getting lots of email from people saying I should address Andrew Sullivan’s cri de coeur in response to Bush’s speech (which I haven’t read yet). Unfortunately, I’m crashing on a deadline. But I thought the following email might offer some interesting insight. I wouldn’t phrase it this way (“hysterical screed” and all that), but, well, read it yourself. I’m sure there will be lots of time for me to collect my own thoughts about all of this:

Dear Jonah,

If you haven’t already, you should take a look at Andrew’s hysterical screed about the President’s support for a Federal Marriage Amendment. Lots of what Andrew says is sheer nonsense. How can this be a war on my and my partner’s civil rights when, even if the amendment succeeds, it would leave the two of us exactly where we are right now? And if the various Democrats who say they oppose gay marriage are sincere, they should support the amendment too, because it’s quite clear that we’re going to have same-sex marriage by way of judicial imposition unless the Constitution is amended to stop it.

On the other hand, someone like you (and who is more like you than you?) should offer words of reassurance to gay people like me who are Republicans and generally support — indeed, admire — the President, but can’t help feeling he’s just announced that we’re not fully welcome to our place at the table. It’s not that I think support for gay marriage is a no-brainer. Andrew’s just deluded in thinking that way. But he’s right that the FMA singles out one group of Americans for permanent exclusion from an important civil institution, as if we were the lepers of the American polity.


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