December 7, 2005

Protesting military recruiters on campus.

Lawprof Dan Pinello gave me permission to quote this email he just sent to our list of conlawprofs:
In today's New York Times, Linda Greenhouse reports that the Supreme Court is likely to uphold the Solomon Amendment. However, she relates an interesting exchange from oral argument:
"Asked by Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg what a ... school 'could do concretely while the [military] recruiter is in the room,' [Solicitor General Paul D.] Clement replied that as long as the school granted equal access, 'They could put signs on the bulletin board next to the door. They could engage in speech. They could help organize student protests.'"
I plan to rely on this representation to the Supreme Court by the chief legal advocate for the Solomon Amendment. As a member of my school's Committee on Cultural Pluralism and Diversity, I will help organize protests every time military recruiters set foot on campus.

I urge all of you also to follow the Solicitor General's lead.
I note Dahlia Litwick's report on this part of the argument:
Clement, flashing his counterculture creds, suggests they could "put up signs on bulletin boards, give speeches, organize a student protest."

He briefly loses Kennedy. "The school can organize a protest where everyone jeers at the recruiters and the applicant? That's equal access?" the justice fumes. Clement stands firm. Yes. Cue Scalia the wiseacre: "You are not going to be a military recruiter are you?" Scalia and Kennedy don't want to allow student jeering. But Clement would permit it. "This statute gives a right to equal access," he says. After that, recruiters are on their own.
I suppose that at some point a protest would interfere with the recruiting and violate the law, but the "more speech" remedy should be available to the law schools. I'd like to see those who object to the "don't ask, don't tell policy" be respectful to the students who are seeking out this public service job and to the military recruiters who did not make what is a statutory policy. Hostility aimed at these persons is wrong and should backfire. The important thing is to present the civil, reasoned argument for allowing gay persons to serve in the military. This is an appealing and sound argument, and it is most persuasive when it is presented in a calm, articulate way. I'd like to see the law schools hold symposia where the issue can be discussed in an intellectual environment, with good advocates from the military to explain the policy and debate with their opponents.

144 comments:

showhank said...

If you are looking for an interesting arugment on gays in the military here is one:

http://www.blackfive.net/main/2005/11/lively_discussi.html

-Peder said...

Ann, I think you're right about this. Certainly the campus should be able to present their views. But if they act like asses, they'll ruin their own arguments. Strange that protesters don't realize the fine line that they tread.

downtownlad said...

The smart form of protest would be for every gay person on campus to sign up for an interview with the military - talk to them for an hour - then mention at the end that they are gay.

Eat up all of the recruiters time. I have a gay friend at a top law school and he says that's what they do. He said the military recruiters are always very nice and say that the gay candidates are highly qualified but that the recruiters don't make the rules.

I think that's fair.

Dave Schuler said...

Could someone clarify something for me? Would I be correct in concluding that creating a hostile environment through jeering and other forms of harassment may be prohibited through legislation since race and sex are protected classes while the same thing can't be extended to military recruiters because they're not?

downtownlad said...

Hostility aimed at these persons is wrong and should backfire.

I agree with your approach ann, but I'm wondering how it would backfire if students did take this approach? Do you think States would start passing laws that make gay people second class citizens. Woops they're already doing that? Do you think they would kick gay people out of the military? Woops - they already do that. Do you think they would pass laws that would stop gay people from adopting and passing laws that ban any benefits whatsoever for gay people? Woops - they're already doing that. Do you think some people would start gay bashing and inflicting violence against gay people? Woops - they're already doing that.

What exactly would "backlash" involve? It can't get much worse.

gj said...

downtownlad, you took the words right out of my mouth.

Al Maviva said...

Hey, that's a great idea. Pretty ethical too, screwing your classmates like that by denying them the opportunity to interview. Yeah, that'll teach the military. Kind of like pulling resumes out of the envelopes for law firms where you'd like to be hired, except for a good cause.

It makes me glad that although my school administration and maybe 30% of the students were vociferously in favor of a total military ban, that we still had an oft-enforced and strict honor code that would ban that kind of behavior.

ShadyCharacter said...

I think by "backfire" Ann means that the bulk of moderate people who could easily be convinced that allowing gay people to serve honorably in the military will instead turn away in disgust when they see images of ridiculous pampered college students (and worse radical professors in their earnest tweeds and John Lennon glasses)engaging in street theater, holding signs asking soldiers to frag their officers.

Is that really so hard to understand?

Mark the Pundit said...

I, for one, would not want to be taking a class from professor Pinello at a time when the military recruiters were on campus.

Just knowing he is organizing these protests would lead me to think that if I were to stop by and get information from a military recruiter, my passing Pinello's class would be in serious jeopardy.

Initimidation by a professor can be a powerful thing, and even the thought one's grade can be influenced by doing something a professor disapproves of is definitely enough to keep students away.

Did Pinello indicate he would be fair to the students who may want to pursue a military career, or does he plan on steamrolling them for daring to want to serve their country?

APF said...

Allegedly you’re protesting not just to badger these recruiters (who may well agree with you), but rather to put forth your message and convert others into voices for change. Backlash means it would cause people otherwise sympathetic to your cause to turn their backs on you. You're not protesting at the White House, or at the Capital, you're protesting in the student union, hollering at people who have nothing to do with the policy you're against. If your protest is obnoxious and hostile, then your cause is one I’m unlikely to put my voice, time, energy behind, even if I'd be sympathetic to what you're supposedly fighting for.

downtownlad said...

Hey, that's a great idea. Pretty ethical too, screwing your classmates like that by denying them the opportunity to interview.

And how exactly are the "classmates" screwed? They are perfectly free to sign up as well. Seems like the only people who are screwed are the recruiters.

Or are you saying that law schools should not gays interview with the military? That seems to be exactly what you're saying. Which means the law school would have to implement a bigoted policy as well. Now why should they do that?

Palladian said...

I've always had a feeling that this whole issue is just a proxy which allows college professors and university administrations to cloak their more general anti-military feelings and hostilities in the guise of concern for equal rights for gay people.

I personally think that advocating the end of official discrimination against gays serving in the military is a profoundly pro-military position; it seeks to make the path to serving one's country free of obstacles for a significant segment of the population, thereby making the military even more representative of the civilians that it protects (and is comprised of). Having personally known a number of gay soldiers in several branches of the military both honorably and, to their fellow soldiers, fairly openly makes the "don't ask, don't tell" policy all the more hypocritical. Israel has suffered no unit cohesion or other problems since they lifted all official barriers to gay people serving openly in the Israeli army (which I admit is a slightly different issue given that service is compulsory in that country), and I have enjoyed, on a number of occasions, watching the rhetorical convolutions that result from asking anti-Israel, pro-gays in the military friends if they would hold the Israeli military up as a good example of successful integration. "Don't ask, don't tell" is a nonsensical policy, and an outright ban is both insulting to the professionalism of our soldiers and to those gay people who want to serve without fear of damaging official reprisal.

But, as I said, I feel that in some cases the "don't ask, don't tell" policy is not really what these universities are protesting against.

Thanks for the link to that blackfive thread, showhank. Interesting reading.

downtownlad said...

I think by "backfire" Ann means that the bulk of moderate people who could easily be convinced that allowing gay people to serve honorably in the military will instead turn away in disgust when they see images of ridiculous pampered college students (and worse radical professors in their earnest tweeds and John Lennon glasses)engaging in street theater, holding signs asking soldiers to frag their officers.

Would you have advised Rosa Parks to just go to the back of the bus, because otherwise she would create a "backlash".

She did create a backlash by the way. But I still think black people are better off because of what she did.

Shadycharacter - What you're basically arguing is that gay people accept that they are second class citizens and just shut the hell up.

No thanks.

downtownlad said...

Palladian - These law schools do not have any policy in place that bans the military. They only require that recruiters have a non-discrimination clause in place for sexual-orientation. Those rules came about in reaction to "Don't Ask - Don't Tell"

Tristram said...

As has been pointed out (on volohk.com, I think), the ban on gays in the military is in fact a LAW, not a policy of the the military or the Bush administration. The recruiters CANNOT legally pursue gay candidates for the JAG. Nor can they change the policy.

The people who should be pressured / protested are the ones that can change the law, aka Congress and the President.

Palladian said...

And I have to add that I wish people who want to protest would drop the Act-Up street theater crap and actually try to think of their protest as a way to convince people of their point, not to mock our military recruiters and obstruct and belittle those who want to learn about careers in military law.

Ann Althouse said...

Downtownlad: "I'm wondering how it would backfire if students did take this approach?"

I think it would create some sympathy for the students who are being harassed and would make some people think the gay rights movement is radical and marginal. It's offputting to moderates. The appeal to justice and equality here is so strong that, I think, angry political protests are counterproductive. Also angry protests might just read as anti-military and anti-war, which alienates a lot of people who should agree with you.

Ann Althouse said...

Downtownlad: Rosa Parks represents the style of protest that is very persuasive to moderates, that appeals to the sense of justice and creates great sympathy. I said hostility aimed at students and recruiters was wrong. If Rosa Parks had yelled in the face of the bus driver, maybe you'd have a parallel. See why that wouldn't have been as good of a protest as what she actually did?

downtownlad said...

The appeal to justice and equality here is so strong.

Unfortunately, most Americans don't agree. And it's doubtful they will anytime in the next 25 years. Great - I'll be in my 60's then . . . .

I'm not advocating the yelling and harassing approach. And as I understand it, no such harrassment has taken place at the schools in question, such as Yale. I think the debate has all been very civil. And if anyone has any counter-examples, I'd like to hear them.

And has that civility helped gay people one bit. Nope. We're still second-class citizens in the eyes of the law. And that won't be changing soon. If anything, it's getting worse.

Palladian said...

"It's offputting to moderates. The appeal to justice and equality here is so strong that, I think, angry political protests are counterproductive. Also angry protests might just read as anti-military and anti-war, which alienates a lot of people who should agree with you."

Exactly right, Ann, and I say that as a gay person who basically supports the cause in this case. I just wish protesters could drop the theatrics and hysterics and approach this as adults, but the absurdist, emotionalist, 68er, Brechtian, puppet-head approach seems to have overtaken all moderate forms of protest in the world.

downtownlad said...

Just to clarify - I agree with you about hostility. That would be unlawful. I just actually don't think it would get that much worse for gay people even if they engaged in violence. When 75% of Texans vote against your rights, how much worse can it get??? Again - not justifying violence in any way.

But I do think gay people signing up to talk to the military recruiters is a good form of peaceful protest. Recruiters should get a chance to meet potential lawyers that they somehow deem unfit to serve.

downtownlad said...

I just wish protesters could drop the theatrics and hysterics and approach this as adults.

Palladian - Can you provide me one example theatrics and hysterics? Or are you stereotyping what you "think" is happening?

Ann Althouse said...

Downtownlad: The gay rights movement has made amazing progress over the years. Don't be so pessimistic. Time is on our side. So are the enlightened arguments. Show some faith in people's good judgment, powers of reasoning, and empathy.

downtownlad said...

The gay rights movement has made amazing progress over the years. Don't be so pessimistic. Time is on our side. So are the enlightened arguments. Show some faith in people's good judgment, powers of reasoning, and empathy.

I'd like to be optimistic. But I'm 37 years old. As I said, I'll probably be 65 before I get equality in this country. And when you're that old, what's the point? It just gets frustrating. It's 2005. The whole world is starting to get it, and this country is going backwards.

Gays were on the verge of getting into the military in 1992. It's 13 years later - and we're not even close.

Simon said...

Ann,
"with good advocates from the military to explain the policy and debate with their opponents."

Why from the military? could the military arbitrarily and unilaterally abrogate 10 U.S.C. §654? If so, what other statutory provisions can, or should, the military choose to ignore? If not, why have the military explain the policy - why not have someone from Congress - which passed this policy, which is the body responsible for repealing it or not, and from which these Universities are happy to take cash?

Characterizing DADT as a "military policy" is, it seems to me, an attempt to alleviate one's conscience, to facilitate taking the money from Congress but not acknowledging that it is the same Congress that gives this money as which is responsible for the hated discrimination.

Jacques Cuze said...

Law schools are part of a larger university. What was bizarre, sleazy, and contrary to the public interest in this case was that the Law Schools apparently didn't pursue kicking the recruiters off of the entire campus, just out of the Law Schools.

What representation of the university is that?

What message does that send to law students and to the community.

Is this what we need? Official school cover for law student chickenhawks?

The law schools should have sought to kick the recruiters out of the entire university, or just STFU.

Typical lawyer bizarro world notions of advocacy and privilege.

Simon said...

I entirely agree with DTL's first post in this thread. I think that's entirely appropriate, and a much better way to accomplish one's goals.

Ann Althouse said...

Simon: "Why from the military?" Congress needs to change the law, but the opinion from the military is key to their retaining it. They relied on arguments from inside the military. I'd prefer to hear the argument made by someone inside the military who supports it than just some political hack who will provide the inside view second hand.

John Jenkins said...

Someone explain to me how protesting the recruiters themseleves has a damn thing to do with the statutory prohibition on allowing open homosexuals in the military. Shouldn't the target of any protests and ire be the U.S. Congress who, you know, passes the laws, rather than the poor guy with a terrible job (because recruiting is a terrible job) just doing what he's legally obligated to do and who has no power to change the policy.

Downtownlad, do you know of any reason why things have changed in 13 years? Because it seems to me that things are much better now than then (see Texas v. Lawrence (2001) ; Romer v. Evans (1996)). However, that might be part of the problem. There's a large part of the population that resents the courts forcing them to do things that they might otherwise not be opposed to. I think at least part of what you see is people wary of those who impose their will through the courts. Remember that, as you say, gays were close to getting into the military 13 years ago through the political process. I think allowing gays in the military is a good idea, but I think that the current policies of elite law schools (which are very anti-military) HURT more than they help because people know, or at least suspect, that the faculties in those places are anti-military and so conflate the two issues.

I agree with Eugene Volokh that you should instead be advocating free and unfettered access to campus for those recruiters so that the culture of the military can be changed. If you can'd get gays in *right now* you can get people in who have gay friends and classmates, and who know how misguided the policy is. If you can change the climate inside the military, and do it in such a way as not to alienate people, suddenly you find opposition at the statehouse is nonexistant.

downtownlad said...

Downtownlad, do you know of any reason why things have changed in 13 years? Because it seems to me that things are much better now than then (see Texas v. Lawrence (2001) ; Romer v. Evans (1996)).

Romer v. Evans HAD to go through the courts, because the Colorodo law essentially excluded gay people from the legislative process. Try to pass a law that gives gays incremental rights? Woops - that's unconstitutional according to Colorodo law.

There's nothing wrong with gays going through the courts when they have no other choice.

But I don't expect Romer and Lawrence to stand for long. Not with this court. They'll likely be overturned within five years, and gays will soon be imprisoned again.

As for Eugene Volokh - I think he's hypocritical - considering that he has a well-known policy of banning gay commenters from his blog.

Joe Baby said...

Agree with Ann. Law profs should do what they do best -- writing articles and holding symposiums. Persuasion.

"Organizing protests" seems to be of a different caliber of reaction, and not one where the activist profs are likely to come across as completely lucid.

Palladian said...

"As for Eugene Volokh - I think he's hypocritical - considering that he has a well-known policy of banning gay commenters from his blog."

Okay, that's the kind of spurrious assertion that demands evidence. I comment over there occasionally and I've not been banned. Please explain yourself, because unless you produce some solid evidence, you shouldn't be forgiven for making such a vile accusation.

downtownlad said...

Vile accusation? I for one can longer post.

I was banned after noting that one poster's comments about gays "recruiting" children and then molesting them was a bigoted attitude.

It's funny, because the guy who said gays are pedophiles is still posting.

I know two other gay people who were banned as well for making similar comments.

That marks a trend in my book.

PatCA said...

Downtownlad,
Of course it could be much worse. It has been much worse in this country, and it still is much worse in many other countries across the globe.

Stop shouting about this monolithic 'gay people.' Start making reasoned arguments as a human being and a citizen. What is it that this movement wants? Five minutes ago 'they' wanted to march down the street in bondage; now 'they' want to settle down in suburbia. Go through the legislature and not through the back door of the courts for your goals (and gay marriage is fine with me)--the legislature is our proxy and you're going to have to live with us eventually anyway, so convince us.

As for campus recruiting, how are you going to protect the rights of the people who actually sign up, in spite of their professor's call to the barricades, or don't their rights count as much as yours?

John Jenkins said...

downtownlad, I'm sorry: I thought you were serious. First, I didn't say those two cases didn't or shouldn't have gone through the courts. I said that people are wary of it.

Put another way: was it more harmful or helpful to the cause of gay marriage to have the Mass. Sup. Jud. Ct pass on the issue? The answer is: it was harmful (witness several states adopting amendments to their constitutions forbidding the recognition of same sex marriages by courts). But, there was no such response to civil union statutes though some did oppose them. Do you simply want your ideas adopted without opposition at all? That's unrealistic, to say the least (just look the existance at this late date of racial prejudice and antisemitism).

Your assertion stands without proof re: Prof. Volokh. Given some of the people he has NOT banned, I find it hard to believe that he has banned anyone for being homosexual (and would wonder how he would know in any event). THAT'S the kind of histrionics that Palladian was referring to earlier, I'd wager. Even IF your accusation were true, BTW, it would say nothing to the merits of the position, but I assume you knew that.

Finally, I assume you're not law-trained, or you wouldn't have made that assertion about "this court." I doubt you could even get cert granted on a case challenging Romer or Lawrence for the next 20 years on stare decisis grounds alone

downtownlad said...

Go through the legislature and not through the back door of the courts for your goals.

So should we overturn Loving V. Virginia and tell interracial couples that they should go through the legislature if they want to get married? It sounds like that's what you're saying.

As for campus recruiting, how are you going to protect the rights of the people who actually sign up.

And exactly what "right" would that be? Are law students so unintelligent that they don't know how to go down to the military recruiting center themselves? It's 1-800-army if they don't want to pay a visit. And I never advocated blocking other students. I just said that gay students should interview with military recruiters and then mention that they are gay at the end.

downtownlad said...

Finally, I assume you're not law-trained, or you wouldn't have made that assertion about "this court." I doubt you could even get cert granted on a case challenging Romer or Lawrence for the next 20 years on stare decisis grounds alone.

No, I'm not a lawyer. But I am aware that Justices such as Clarence Thomas have said that they don't give much credence to stare decisis. Scalia pretty much feels the same way. And likely Roberts and Alito as well.

How many challenges have we heard to Roe V. Wade since 1973? Lots. There's an abortion case every few years. If they can get Roe V. Wade overturned, I expect they'll go for Lawrence and Romer while they can. Besides abortion, the number one goal of the religious right is to make homosexuality illegal again. They only need one more justice, which will probably happen when Stevens dies.

I stand by my charge about Volokh. But this is Ann's blog, so I don't want to get into details here.

Simon said...

"Go through the legislature and not through the back door of the courts for your goals"

Perhaps they have an inbuilt predisposition towards taking the "back door" route? ;)

The comment about Volokh seems laughable. It seems to me that what you mean is, Volokh banned YOU and thus, you assume he banned you because you're gay.

Pooh said...

downtownlad - you need to back up you accusation against professor Volokh, else every point you make henceforth is suspect. I say this as someone sympathetic (while not always agreeing) with your views on this issue.

Interesting, BTW, that you are demonstrating Ann's 'backlash' point quite well all on your own.

Simon - boo, I heckle thee for your first paragaph. Your second paragraph is right on though.

jeff said...

If the students (and staff) get hostile in some fashion, and the school supports them in this...

I hope the alumni practice their own form of free speech... and quit writing checks.

downtownlad said...

Pooh - Contrary to what you think, gay people have a right to their own "individual" opinion.

If you want to make blanket opinions about ALL gay people based on one gay person's thoughts (mine), that says a lot more about you than it does about me.

downtownlad said...

Simon - Like I said, I'm not going to comment further about Volokh on Ann's blog. If you want further examples - please e-mail me. Let's just say that I have lost all respect for him.

Pooh said...

In the interest of not feeding trolls- subject change...

I find it interesting that the effectiveness of the "more speech" position is being demonstrated by the comments to Prof. A's earlier post on the 'Roberts style': "hearing the audio of the SCOTUS sessions has been interesting and informative. The Court has become such a favorite object of scorn in our society. But it's possible that this slight lifting of the veil will make their rulings more understandable to the public, humanize the institution, and maybe reduce some of the nastiness that often fills people's condemnations of SCOTUS rulings."

As a response to the "all judging is political" meme, demonstrate that this is how we make our decisions. More speech = better understanding from those who care to listen.

Simon said...

Simon - boo, I heckle thee for your first paragaph.I know, it's terrible; I was being fascetious. :p

downtownlad said...

Troll? I love it how "conservatives" always roll out the "troll" word when somebody says something they disagree with.

Typical. Stifle dissent at all costs. It also shows how narrow-minded conservatives can be. The same as the extreme liberal left. The only place you can actually find people willing to discuss an issue honestly is in the middle (i.e. a blog like Althouse).

Which is exactly what the military is doing here. Gays want to protest about "don't ask, don't tell"? Well - we'll use the power of the federal purse to shut the gays up.

And it's working pretty well.

Unfortunately - we lose our freedom too. Very sad.

ShadyCharacter said...

Um, Lad?

Are you self-identifying as the troll? :)

That's rich!

downtownlad said...

Well Shadycharacter - When people tell you on a daily basis that you're a threat to civilization (because I'm gay), you learn to very quickly pinpoint who's insulting you.

Elizabeth said...

Go through the legislature and not through the back door of the courts for your goals (and gay marriage is fine with me)--the legislature is our proxy and you're going to have to live with us eventually anyway, so convince us.

That pretty much ignores the history of discrimination through state laws in this country. Jim Crow was enacted through the legislature, in proxy for the will of hateful, bigoted white people. Blacks would STILL be trying to "convince" whites of what it means to have inalienable rights.

And we don't have to live with you--but we're STILL entitled to our rights as American citizens. As long as state legislators make election-year rituals out demonizing gay people, and as long as yahoos keep turning out in droves to pass anti-gay amendments to their states' constitutions, don't lecture gay people on trusting the will of the people, which if too often expressed as tyranny.

Gay people must pursue both options: make our arguments to sway moderates to pro-gay positions (geez, it'd be nice if those moderates would not be so damn coy, and have to be courted to do the right thing>, and use the courts to protect us from vile, unconstitutional attacks on our basic rights.

ShadyCharacter said...

Lad writes:
"When people tell you on a daily basis that you're a threat to civilization (because I'm gay), you learn to very quickly pinpoint who's insulting you." When someone in a crowded room shouts "Jerk" are you that guy who says "What?"

I'm no psychologist, but wouldn't this be a classic case of persecution complex?

If you have people calling you a "threat to civilization" EVERY DAY, I've got some news for you it's not because you're gay, it's because you are a _____(fill in the blank as you choose - I'm guessing that you'll fill it in with "gay" :))

Maybe you should re-evaluate your interpersonal skills?

ShadyCharacter said...

elizabeth writes:

"That pretty much ignores the history of discrimination through state laws in this country. Jim Crow was enacted through the legislature, in proxy for the will of hateful, bigoted white people. Blacks would STILL be trying to "convince" whites of what it means to have inalienable rights."

It must have been those all those black congressmen who passed the civil rights amendments. I can only guess you are being intentionally historically naive.

downtownlad said...

Actually Shadycharacter - it's George W. Bush who's making those slanderous charges against gay people.

History will judge him harshly.

downtownlad said...

I'm no psychologist, but wouldn't this be a classic case of persecution complex?

"The Vatican newspaper said on Tuesday that homosexuality risked "destabilizing people and society," had no social or moral value and could never match the importance of the relationship between a man and a woman."

"Good morning. The United States Senate this past week began an important discussion about the meaning of marriage. Senators are considering a constitutional amendment to protect the most fundamental institution of civilization." - President Bush

Oh yes - silly me for thinking that all of this talk about threats to civilization was targeted at gay people . . .

Pooh said...

DTL,

You are clearly not even reading what you are responding to.

I say this :"downtownlad - you need to back up you accusation against professor Volokh, else every point you make henceforth is suspect. I say this as someone sympathetic (while not always agreeing) with your views on this issue."

Yet you later assume I am a closed minded conservative (or a closed-minded liberal, whichever) attempting to stifle dissent. I'm not saying don't dissent, I'm saying you are doing it wrong in that instead of convincing, all you are doing is pissing people off. People who might just agree with you. (For the record, I do, in that DADT is stupid.)

I apologize for the troll remark, it was ill-considered on my part. However, when you make extreme accusations and then refuse to back them up with any evidence, well that's trollish behavior.

You are also missing the point in that this debate is about whether the Salomon Amendment is constitutional (it is.) Not about whether it is good policy (In my opinion, it isn't.) The Court is equipped to decide the former question, and should have no influence on the latter.

downtownlad said...

Pooh - I was responding to your "backlash" comment. The implication was that my comments would have a backlash on all gay people.

I still think that says more about the people doing the backlash in the first place. It's the equivalent of hating the Jews because you don't like what Albert Einstein says.

Again - I'll take the Volokh thing offline. I'd discuss it on Volokh's blog, but I'm banned from there for standing up to anti-gay bigots.

I still think Solomon is unconstitutional. The aim is not to recruit people into the military. The aim is to take a sledgehammer to those institutions that raise a mild protest to the "don't ask, don't tell policy." In other words - to silence dissent. Just like Volokh.

ShadyCharacter said...

DTL, in the immortal words of Abe Simpson, "Go sell crazy somewhere else, we're all full up here."

Note, I AM INDEED trying to stifle your dissent! Stifle! Stifle! Stifle!

Are you stifled? What's that, there's no actual way for me to stifle your dissent? All I can do is make fun of your crazy-aunt-in-the-attic "everyone in the world is out to get me" conspiracy mongering?

BTW, I don't doubt for a minute that Volokh banned you from his message boards. I remember your behaviour in the comments on his site back in Volokh's "gay days". You were unhinged and uncivil and uncouth. If you were banned it was after about 50 incredibly nasty comments.

If anyone is interested, search on Volokh for "downtownlad" and you'll see what I mean.

If you can get a pro-gay marriage libertarian (not conservative) law professor to ban you from such a free-wheeling blog, the problem lies with your manner, not your orientation.

Aaron said...

Downtownlad,

I think that your stridency and ad homonem attacks of folks who are obviously persuadable or even in agreement with you re: DADL - if not as doctrinally pure as you wish undermines many of your arguments.

Volokh has established his reputation by maintaining his blog over years. You will need to provide some strong evidence of homophobic censorship. I find it more likely that he banned you for being obnoxious, annoying, and metaphorically shouting during a discussion. You come off as a bore while adding little of substance to the conversation.

You do evince some Trollish behavior by posting manically, with many non-sequitors and Ad Hominem assertions. You level poisonous charges against mildly differing voices with evidence that only some sort of true believer could accept. You make sweeping generalizations about your foes (who largely aren't your foes) while becoming self-righteous if anyone else uses generalizations. And you are dull. That is the main problem. You are uninteresting and I largely agree with you. Your paranoid style of discourse creates paranoia in return. Reading your multiple posts I am left believing you are pursuing the same strategy as your friend at the law school. You are purposefully wasting our time. If you are going to waste my time (something I am not necessarily against) do it interestingly.

John Jenkins said...

DTL, you may think that Solomon is unconstitutional all day, but you'd be wrong. It's settled that Congress can attach strings to money (highway funds and the 55MPH limit (now obviated) and the 21-year old drinking age come to mind immediately).

What you actually think is unconstitutional is the dont ask don't tell policy (presumably as violative of gay citizens' right to serve in the military). Then the question becomes, in part, is there any such right? Without doing the analysis, I'd think there might be, but I don't know how I'd argue for it. I might also argue it on straight anti-discrimination grounds , but I think those statutes exempt the military.

In any event, you misread Justice Scalia, at the very least, becuse he is VERY MUCH attached to stare decisis. You are correct that Justice Thomas is not, but I doubt he would care to revisit either Romer or Lawrence, though he might.

As to Roe, that's another issue entirely and is pretty much a red herring, since the issue in Roe has never come before the court since Roe was decided (whether a ban on abortions was permissible) but rather the subsequent cases have been exploring the contours of the right to an abortion.

Your assertion re: Prof. Volokh is still unsubstantiated: "I was banned because I am gay," doesn't work because that's just not the way I've observed him to operate (and I've had comments deleted there). In any event, it remains irrelevant to the substance of the argument.

Those who are comparing the current "plight" of homosexuals to the historical treatment of black Americans in this country are either self-delusional or utterly ignorant (or dishonest), take your pick.

downtownlad said...

Aaron/Shadycharacter - It's quite obvious that both of you have a problem with a gay person who can think for himself and refuses to be put in his place. That's nice. Please ignore me then.

I'm enjoying discussing the issues with others without resorting to your name calling("troll", "jerk", "poisonous", etc).

Pooh - You should read up on the "unconstitutional conditions cluase" as I discussed in yesterday's post. Funding is irrelevant in this case. The question is whether or not the law school's actions are properly defined as "speech".

As for comparing gays to the plight of blacks, you are right. Gays have had it much harder than black people (at least since slavery ended). Blacks always had their friends and families to turn to when society rejected them. Gays have the double whammy of not only being rejected by society, but by being rejected from their families as well. That is why the gay suicide rate is so high. Perhaps you should research it.

PatCA said...

Elizabeth,
You do have to live with heterosexuals, unless you are going to go off and start your own country somehwere.

I think D.lad and you are so angry, and you probably have plenty of wounds to nurse, that you basically want to tell heterosexuals to go to hell. That's your right, it's a free country, but it won't help your cause.
At least E will address issues, but Lad chooses his tangients carefully.

So, see you.

Pooh said...

DTL, you may think that Solomon is unconstitutional all day, but you'd be wrong. It's settled that Congress can attach strings to money (highway funds and the 55MPH limit (now obviated) and the 21-year old drinking age come to mind immediately).

Yup. Though I think this is a closer case than those two in that there is at least a whiff of viewpoint suppression here. (Though not that strong, as there are plenty of other avenues for a law school to question the wisdom of DADT.) At a certain point, the spending power would irreconcilably conflict with 1st Amendment protections, I would think, this is not yet that case.

As to the rest of your post. -Nods- Well said.

downtownlad said...

Patca - How nice of you to decide when Elizabeth and I are angry.

Unfortunately - you are wrong. A vigorous defense of our rights, does not make one angry. It makes one passionate. Please don't mistake the two.

And yes - we do have to live with heterosexuals. Someone should remind straight people that they have to live with gay people as well, and perhaps it would be better to treat us with common decency.

ShadyCharacter said...

DTL rants:

"Aaron/Shadycharacter - It's quite obvious that both of you have a problem with a gay person who can think for himself and refuses to be put in his place."

To which I'll respond, go ahead and pat yourself on the back for one of the most un-self-aware comments of the day. Do we taunt you because you "refuse to be put in your place" (which would be what, exactly, a middle-class white collar professional who happens to be gay, not that there's anything wrong with that, who compares his plight unfavorably with that of black sharecroppers in the Jim Crow south?) or because you go out of your way to attact the mocking?

You're like that poor kid in elementary school everyone gangs up on, with the diffence that you are presumably an adult and aware of the reactions you bring out of others as you try, in your own inept way, to browbeat others. In the spirit of Christian charity, I pray that this is only your blog persona, because otherwise what a sad and lonely person you must be...)

DTL further writes:
"I'm enjoying discussing the issues with others without resorting to your name calling("troll", "jerk", "poisonous", etc)."

Is it possible, DTL, that you do not realize that calling someone a "bigot" is also name-calling? Not to mention the religous slurs that pepper your postings from Volokh and even here on Althouse. If you claim truth as a justification to YOUR name-calling, why could you possibly object to being called a "Troll" (which you self-identified as) or a "jerk" (as even those who agree with you on all points appear willing to attest).

I'm not sure this exchange is in keeping with Ann's civility request, so I will stop responding. Unless...

downtownlad said...

Though I think this is a closer case than those two in that there is at least a whiff of viewpoint suppression here. (Though not that strong, as there are plenty of other avenues for a law school to question the wisdom of DADT.) At a certain point, the spending power would irreconcilably conflict with 1st Amendment protections, I would think, this is not yet that case.

Then how was the Boy Scouts any different? Why did they have to fire Dale just for being gay? Couldn't they just put out a press release, saying that they disapprove of homosexuality and the only reason they can't fire a gay Boy Scouts leader is because of New Jersey anti-discrimination laws?

Seems like the exact same thing to me. A government trying to dictate who an institution has to associate with, and the courts finding it unconstitutional.

Pooh said...

DTL,

I just went through yesterday's post and the comments, where do you 'discuss' unconstitutional conditions? If homosexuality were a protected class, you might have a leg to stand on. At this point, it isn't, at least not under my reading of Lawrence. Whether it should be or not is another debate, not neccesarily on point.

As the good professor said, Salomon is heavy-handed and stupid. That is NOT unconsitutional, else the Court would in effect be a Super-Legislature, and I don't think anyboy wants that. (Wait, according to you it already is. I'm suprised you haven't Godwin-ed this thread already).

Just to be clear, I don't hate gay people. I'm beginning very much to dislike you on your own merits. And I doubt I'm the only one.

Why am I letting myself get sucked in?

ShadyCharacter said...

Because it's fun, Pooh.

That's why must simply resist. See, I'm trying to white-knuckle it, but I'm still refreshing the page to see what DTL comes up with next.

Must. Move. On. To. Instapundit.

Pooh said...

DTL, as to Dale, huh? The boyscouts are manifestly not the U.S. Government. The cases are different because the situations are drastically different.

Seriously, and I'm not trying to be rude here, but if you want to discuss big-L Legal Issues, especially on the blog of a Constitutional Law professor, it helps to know something about how law and jurisprudence works. You are taking case results out of context and ignoring processes by which decisions are reached. It just doesn't work that way. Dale does not exist in a vacuum and neither does FAIR, and the context of the two cases vary greatly.

downtownlad said...

Shadycharcter,

If people don't want to be called a bigot, they should stop passing bigoted Constitutional amendments.

If people don't want to have their religion criticized, they should stop discriminating against people in the name of religion.

According to shadycharacter's rules, Gays should just stay silent when they're attacked. Not me. And if that annoys people, then so be it.

downtownlad said...

Seriously, and I'm not trying to be rude here, but if you want to discuss big-L Legal Issues, especially on the blog of a Constitutional Law professor, it helps to know something about how law and jurisprudence works.

You obviously haven't read the Appeals court decision then which made the exact same argument. Unless you're saying that appeals court judges don't know the law.

Just to be clear, I don't hate gay people. I'm beginning very much to dislike you on your own merits.

Because I'm a gay person who thinks for himself. Yup - makes a lot of sense.

downtownlad said...

The Third Circuit reversed, finding that the “expressive association” and “compelled speech” doctrines were more appropriate. Boy Scouts of America v. Dale (the Supreme Court’s 2000 case overturning a state law forbidding the boy scouts to exclude homosexuals from their ranks) compelled the conclusion that the Solomon Amendment, by forcing law schools to accommodate and actively help military recruiters, would curtail a school’s ability to express its antidiscrimination viewpoint.

http://www.scotusblog.com/movabletype/archives/2005/12/tomorrows_argum_23.html

Looks like I'm not the only one comparing this to Dale.

Bruce Hayden said...

I spend almost as much time at Volokh.com as I do here, and Eugene is not homophobic. What he does do is try to maintain a relatively high level of discourse, and that is where I think downtownlad faltered.

I first started following blogs after Eugene called me on some intemperate remarks in a listserve group. I followed a link back to his blog, and the rest was history. And he was right. All that does is alienate people, without making a reasoned argument. (Admittedly we all are intemperate at time - but it is important to making your points to minimize that).

As to his views on homosexuality, he has come out in favor of civil unions (and persuaded me to do so too), but last I knew, he was still on the fence with gay marriage.

37383938393839383938383 said...

Would you have advised Rosa Parks to just go to the back of the bus, because otherwise she would create a "backlash".

Whoa, stop slandering the dead. Rosa Parks was heterosexual.

37383938393839383938383 said...

Unless you're saying that appeals court judges don't know the law.

Well, given that the Supreme Court of the United States seemed overwhelmingly displeased with the 3rd Circuit's misstatement of the law and overwhelmingly displeased with Rosenkranz's oral argument and brief, it does appear that the 3rd Circuit panel you are relying on for your likewise shoddy argument in fact did not know the law.

37383938393839383938383 said...

If people don't want to have their religion criticized, they should stop discriminating against people in the name of religion.

So, unless you agree with downtownlad, he will slander you.

37383938393839383938383 said...

Eat up all of the recruiters time. I have a gay friend at a top law school and he says that's what they do.

That is unethical. There is competition for those reviewing slots. Authentic interviewees are being pushed out because of sham interviewees. That is unfair to authentic interviewees. It is fair for authentic interviewees to compete with each other -- i.e., to race to sign-up -- but it is not fair for them to be pushed out because a sham interviewee has stolen a slot. You should be ashamed at yourself for suggesting that such tactics represent American ideals of fair play. It is not civil disobedience, it's just incivil.

37383938393839383938383 said...

Why did they have to fire Dale just for being gay?

The "just for being" part is the spin. They fired him because his lifestyle and values were inconsistent with the lifestyle and values promoted by the Boy Scouts. They did not perform a genetic analysis and determine that he was biologically unfit to work there. They did not analyze his porn collection or invade his dreams with a dream-scanning machine. If he had been gay, but never disclosed that fact to anyone, and simply refused to talk about personal matters if someone asked, he would not have been fired. "Being gay" was not the problem; it was his acknowledgment that his values and lifestyle did not fit with those of the group which employed him; and that acknowledgment was a part of the inconsistency between his and their values and lifestyle.

37383938393839383938383 said...

Someone should remind straight people that they have to live with gay people as well

Actually, they don't. Gay people are at best around 8% of the population, and most of it is concentrated in big cities, which are more tolerant than other areas of diverse customs and behavior.

37383938393839383938383 said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
37383938393839383938383 said...

Gays have had it much harder than black people (at least since slavery ended).

That is so ridiculous I do not know where to start. In general most black people are recognizably black and so cannot opt-out of discrimination directed toward them, even if that discrimination is not actual slavery. As a historical matter the 13th, 14th, and 15th amendments did not instantly freeze any and all racism toward Americans of African descent. Congress passed little implementing legislation under the 13th Amendment and the 14th Amendment was not properly applied until Brown overruled Plessy in 1954.

Have you graduated from an accredited 4-year college?

Legal Quandary said...

Here's a thought.

Instead of wasting the recruiter's time with bogus interviewees - raise hell with your representative in Congress.

The military is obligated to follow the ridiculous "don't ask, don't tell" policy because it is the law. If you have a problem with the policy, address it to the folks who have the ability to change it.

JAG recruiters are lawyers too. They are busy people. For most of them, recruiting is an additional duty, albeit a rewarding one, which takes them away from their primary duties. They didn't make the law, but are bound by it.

Also, the way I understand Don't Ask, Don't Tell - and this may admittedly be a distinction without a difference - is that you can be gay and be in the military. You just can't participate in homosexual acts.

brylin said...

Downtownlad, Your post seems to indicate that you consider Volokh anti-gay because he is critical of the North American Man Boy Love Association (NAMBLA).

Ann Althouse said...

"'Someone should remind straight people that they have to live with gay people as well.' Actually, they don't. Gay people are at best around 8% of the population, and most of it is concentrated in big cities."

You've got a blindspot: a member of your own family might be gay.

And I don't accept the idea that gay people can just hide what they are. This is a special demand, a special burden. It's true gay persons COULD carry it, but why are you saying they SHOULD? Would you require a black person who would pass as white to do it? It's harder for some than for others. Why don't you care?

brylin said...

Ann, your position on gays assumes consenting adults, right? Or do you think NAMBLA is OK?

downtownlad said...

It's usually when people start bringing out the NAMBLA comparison when talking about gay people that I bring out the bigot charge.

But it's Ann blog - and I'll refrain.

I think the comments above by brylin and criticalobserver speak for themselves.

brylin said...

Downtownlad, Wasn't it your post on NAMBLA that I linked to above? Didn't you call Volokh anti-gay because of his criticism of NAMBLA? Am I a bigot for citing your post on Volokh and NAMBLA? Or is there another Downtownlad on blogspot.com?

Pooh said...

DTL, the post from volokh you cite is not written by Eugene Volokh. It's by Clayton Cramer. And it's from more than two years ago...Brylin's analysis appears on point: the author was recounting a story about getting flamed for being critical of NAMBLA. Whether or not his account is true, and whether that author is in fact a homophobe is not clear from the article.

You've been tossing the bigot charge around all day, why stop now?

And, so no one else has to, this is DTL's latest post on his own blog:

"Mayor Jim West was recalled by a large margin today, 65% - 35%.

Good. This self-loathing, anti-gay pedophile deserves to die.

And he is. Of liver cancer. Good riddance."

Does saying that the above represents an odious statement make me a bigot too? Where do I sign up?

brylin said...

Just to clarify matters, Professor Eugene Volokh has a post explaining his position on whether his writings are motivated by anti-gay animus and it contains many links to his prior posts.

chuck b. said...

Palladian said, "I've always had a feeling that this whole issue is just a proxy which allows college professors and university administrations to cloak their more general anti-military feelings and hostilities in the guise of concern for equal rights for gay people."

YES! I feel the same way. I'm always very skeptical about college professors lobbying for gays in the military! It just does not compute. (Unless the professor's gay...and even then it *barely* computes.)

downtownlad said...

Fine Pooh - since you're absolutely insistent. Here is the story.

Clayton Cramer, a former guest blogger of Volokh, is a noted homophobe. He constantly makes the association that gays are linked to NAMBLA, that gays are pedophiles, etc. Which is patently untrue. Just read his blog.

Clayton made the same comments in Volokh's comments section. I said that Cramer is an anti-gay bigot. Which he is. I was banned. Clayton still comments.

Enough said.

Then Pooh - you have the audacity to slam me for wishing Mayor West a speedy death. Mayor West, a noted pedophile, is also one of the most vehmently anti-gay mayors in America. He sleeps with little boys, but then says that gay people are evil, and then votes to take away our rights.

So yes - I think Mayor West is a disgusting vile creature and I will not miss him when he dies.

So you're implying that I both support NAMBLA (since of course all gays are pedophiles - NOT!) and then you're implying that I want pedophiles to die. Which is completely contradictory isn't it. It's either one or the other.

I've made it clear on my blog which one it is - I want pedophiles to die. I don't apologize for that.

37383938393839383938383 said...

Ann: "'"Someone should remind straight people that they have to live with gay people as well." Actually, they don't. Gay people are at best around 8% of the population, and most of it is concentrated in big cities.'

You've got a blindspot: a member of your own family might be gay."

Ann, above, clearly takes my response out of context by slicing off the modifying clause. Here is what I actually said:

Actually, they don't. Gay people are at best around 8% of the population, and most of it is concentrated in big cities, which are more tolerant than other areas of diverse customs and behavior.

There is no blind spot. Any member of my family who is gay would likely be living in a big city, which is more tolerant of diverse custsoms and behavior, where I would note that I live also. It is a fact, however, that all the heterosexuals who live outside of that city do not have to live with my (hypothetical) gay relative. Nor do I. Frankly, I'm not sure why Ann seeks to impose her gay activism on everyone else. If I disagree with the lifestyle or values of my family members, I can disown them. If they gamble, or cheat, or engage in sodomy, or engage in fornication, or drink excessively, or eat red meat.

Ann: And I don't accept the idea that gay people can just hide what they are.

You've got a blind spot, Ann. Not every gay person likes to be flamboyant about it. I'm not a flamboyant heterosexual. I don't pound my chest everywhere I go, or walk into a room and announce, "By the way, I love to put my dangler in woman parts!" There is no burden on me for simply being neutral about my sexuality in public. To the extent that there is, the same rules of etiquette apply to everyone -- keep your weekend avocations to yourself.

Ann: Would you require a black person who would pass as white to do it?

This is an inaccurate comparison. Announcing one is gay communicates more than some portion of one's genetic code; that one would do the announcing is a performative act communicating one's attitude toward it; that one is active in the lifestyle, i.e., that one is a happy go-lucky sodomite. Sodomy offends some people's moral codes, whether engaged in by gays or straights. Publicly confessing to loving sodomy strikes some people as bad taste. I would note that people often ask, "What nationality are you?" as a part of small talk, if you answer incorrectly, you may be on the recieving end of explicit discrimination; by contrast, in small talk people rarely ask, "Do you like to proudly engage in sodomy?" Blacks who passed were exploiting the confusion of others to avoid explicit discrimination; gays who do not announce that they are gay every chance they get have good manners. To the extent people recoil when gays suddenly blurt out that they are actively homosexual, it probably has to do with the fact that they just publicly confessed to proudly engaging in sodomy. I don't think fetishists bear a special burden because it is in bad taste for them to announce they like sniffing used panties when they meet someone for the first time.

Ann: It's harder for some than for others. Why don't you care?

I also don't care about ethanol subsidies, but I don't see you calling me anti-Iowa bigot.

downtownlad said...

Well I'm glad to see that criticalobserver is encouraging every gay person in America to lie. How else are supposed to answer the question "Why aren't you married?", "What did you do this weekend?" etc. I mean, I obviously couldn't say "I went to the movies with my boyfriend" now could I?

Sorry, I don't lie. That would be immoral.

downtownlad said...

By the way - this thread is getting ugly - so I will refrain from commenting anymore, lest I lose my temper.

37383938393839383938383 said...

DTL: Well I'm glad to see that criticalobserver is encouraging every gay person in America to lie. How else are supposed to answer the question "Why aren't you married?", "What did you do this weekend?"

How is this a different position that EVERY OTHER PERSON who engages in freaky sex? I'm heterosexual, but if someone at the office asks me what I did last weekend, I can't say, "I hit up the bars and fucked two hot Swedish chicks! At the same time!" or "Man, I drank from 8 am to 8 pm and watched hardcore lesbian porn while masturbating." or "I maxed out my credit card on phone sex!" Or what about the marriage issue? Why aren't you married? Because I don't want kids (what? you're a cold-hearted selfish jerk); because I like sleeping around (what? how did I raise such a whore?); because I'm afraid of divorce (what? you're a misogynist?); because I'm a independent woman (ugh! what a feminazi!).

Those problems aren't proof of gay discrimination, and they aren't a SPECIAL burden. They're the same burdens that other people who engage in unconventional sex or who aren't married with children by a certain age have to bear. Everyone else bears those burdens, why not gay people?

downtownlad said...

If I go to the movies with my boyfriend, I'm going to tell people I went to the movies with my boyfriend.

It's no different than saying you went to the movies with your wife.

How that explains the intricate details of my sex life is beyond me.

chuck b. said...

I've said it before and I'll say it again: I love sodomy. Sodomy rocks.

37383938393839383938383 said...

DTL: If I go to the movies with my boyfriend, I'm going to tell people I went to the movies with my boyfriend.

It's no different than saying you went to the movies with your wife.


Actually, it is different. A boyfriend is "equivalent" to a girlfriend. A girlfriend is not equivalent to a wife. I do not have a wife. You and I are in the same situation in that neither one of us has a girlfriend. The question puts us in the same situation: feeling conflicted about explaining why you don't have a girlfriend. Revealing that your partner is of the same sex necessarily communicates that you engage in sodomy. It is true that your relationship might be chaste; but if I said I had no girlfriend because I enjoyed being single, people would not presume that I was living a chaste lifestyle, either. This is precisely why it is in bad taste to mention. The point is: it is not only gay people who are in this position; it is everyone who is single at a certain age or who has an unconventional sex life.

downtownlad said...

You want me to remain silent, because it makes YOU uncomfortable.

That's your problem to deal with criticalobserver. Not mine.

However much you may wish it, gay people are not going back in the closet anytime soon.

John Jenkins said...

Critical Observer, I think you've probably crossed a line here into farcical territory.

It's plainly silly to say that there are no additional burdens associated with being gay in just about *any* society. It's looked on as variously wrong, degenerate, or even worthy of punishment by death. That sort of behavior is irrational, to say the least, but that doesn't make it any less true.

The ultimate question presented here is what to do about it. My belief is that society is becoming steadily more acceping of homosexuals and that is good. I see it as problematic to pursue changes through the courts rather than the legislature because of the resentment that will ensue. When the public does not support discrimination against homosexuals, the statehouse won't either. Others, obviously, disagree, and I can live with that (without getting angry no less).

While I disagree with DTL (as I've noted above), and think his criticism of Prof. Volokh is misguided and unsubstantiated [it seems to me there is more to it], somehow this has become a personal attack on him from a bunch of people who don't know him. I wonder if anyone can come back from the rabid edge here...

I *still* don't know what the hell NAMBLA has to do with anything, though.

37383938393839383938383 said...

You want me to remain silent, because it makes YOU uncomfortable.

No. My point is that people who don't want to hear about your lifestyle don't necessarily hate you because you are gay. They might simply not want to hear about anyone's lifestyle -- gay, straight, or bi -- if it is unconventional. That isn't anti-gay bigotry, it's an across-the-board standard of etiquette that applies regardless of viewpoint, like a G-rating on a movie. Why do you want to make other people uncomfortable? That sounds like, well, sexual harassment. Why do you think you have the right to sexually harass others?

ShadyCharacter said...

CO, I understand your point about there generally being no reason to bring up one's sex life in normal conversation.

However, I do not think it's reasonable to require gay people to pussyfoot around the fact that they have a significant other.

I mean, I might think it odd if my son's kindergarten teacher brought his boyfriend to class for a show and tell, but in normal life and normal adult interactions, it's natural that relationships are going to be discussed.

37383938393839383938383 said...

It's plainly silly to say that there are no additional burdens associated with being gay in just about *any* society.

Says who? I have never seen any proof of this, other than the occassional gay bashing, which frankly, is practically nothing in comparison to all the ethnic strife and religious strife that goes on everywhere daily, except gay people comparing themselves with black slaves, which is an analogy, and a plainly false one.

ShadyCharacter said...

To put it another way, let's assume that you get a girlfriend at some point, bear with me, it's just a hypothetical :), is every person you introduce her to supposed to automatically assume that the two of you are "fornicating" every weekend?

Are you equally taken aback when acquaintences mention that they are co-habiting outside of marriage?

37383938393839383938383 said...

but in normal life and normal adult interactions, it's natural that relationships are going to be discussed.

Okay, with that I agree, but the point is that except for conversations with your friends, it is rare. I suspect DTL is one of those people who foists his sexuality on everyone, even if the context has not arisen for a relationship discussion.

37383938393839383938383 said...
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37383938393839383938383 said...

To put it another way, let's assume that you get a girlfriend at some point, bear with me, it's just a hypothetical :), is every person you introduce her to supposed to automatically assume that the two of you are "fornicating" every weekend?

This is part of why I don't introduce my girlfriends to everyone I know. Because then I am on record as having fornicated with this person (it's not a bad assumption, btw :) ). Perhaps I am just a private person, but the point is that I have had to deal with the prying and judgmental eyes of others, and I am heterosexual, so I just think it silly to say that only gay people experience this scrutiny.

John Jenkins said...
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37383938393839383938383 said...

CO, you're just being obtuse. I've watched people get stricken from a jury just for being gay (which was stupid in context because he would have been a great juror for the party that struck him). I know people who suffered unfair discrimination based on their sexual orientation.

I don't know the facts of those situations, but those are anecdotes, not statistical proof of some society-wide phenomenon, which is what people mean when they say there is discrimination. DTL claims he experiences anti-gay discrimination, but I get the same kind of scrutiny of my relationships, and I am straight.

John Jenkins said...

CO, you're just being obtuse. I've watched people get stricken from a jury just for being gay (which was stupid in context because he would have been a great juror for the party that struck him). I know people who suffered unfair discrimination based on their sexual orientation. While I think those who did it have the right to do it (freedom of association), I don't have to think that's *not* wrong. If you "have never seen any proof of this," your not looking or you don't care.

I am reminded of a man, last name Gay, who shot up a bar frequented by homosexuals in Roanoke, Va. because he was tired of people making fun of his last name, so clearly taking it out on homosexuals was the proper solution.

Also, referring to racial and religious strife is an obvious red herring with no bearing on any discussion here (it's like telling a kid to eat his vegetables because there are starving kids in China; eliminating racial or religious strife would do nothing to eliminate discrimination based on sexual orientation).

[edited]

John Jenkins said...

CO, so just to be clear, your position is that homosexuals are not discriminated against?

37383938393839383938383 said...

CO, so just to be clear, your position is that homosexuals are not discriminated against?

If you mean you have statistical proof of some society-wide phenomenon (disparity in wages, differential in degrees attained, etc.), I'd be happy to look at it.

chuck b. said...

Whenever someone tells me he's Mormon, I can't help think about the funny underwear he's wearing. I always thought this was just my problem...but it's the Mormon's fault, and he's actually being rude to tell me he's Mormon which forces me to think about his underwear. Hmm! I did not know that.

John Jenkins said...

CO, stop avoiding the question and answer it: Do you believe that homosexuals are discriminated against?

downtownlad said...

Thanks JJ.

I think you'll be surprised to know that I don't support laws against discrimination either.

As a libertarian, I strongly believe in the right to free speech and the right to free-association without government interference.

I'm plainly aware that people don't like gay people out there. Yet I fully support the Boy Scouts having the right to kick gay people out.

But that's also why I oppose the Solomon Amendment. The government is trying to force association here and I have a problem with this.

I see this as a free speech case and free association case, not a gay rights case.

On the same note - I see gay marriage as a contracts issue, a freedom of association issue, a liberty issue, and a freedom of religion issue. And I don't think the government has any business regulating who I marry, as long as that person is a consenting adult.

Unfortunatly, we don't have any real Libertarians on the Supreme Court.

37383938393839383938383 said...

but it's the Mormon's fault, and he's actually being rude to tell me he's Mormon which forces me to think about his underwear.

Hmm. No. If you're not discussing religion, and the Mormon brings up that he is a Mormon for no reason, and so you think "How rude for this person to introduce sectarian concerns in a non-religious conversation!"

John Jenkins said...

The problem with the freedom of expression angle in the Solomon case is that there are TWO countervailing congressional powers: the power of the purse and the power to raise and support armies. As I said, I think Solomon is slam-dunk constitutional and the better attack is against the policy itself.

ShadyCharacter said...

CO writes:
"I suspect DTL is one of those people who foists his sexuality on everyone, even if the context has not arisen for a relationship discussion."

I don't know that that's necessarily true, though if the real life DTL resembles the online DTL, I admit he'd be a pretty unpleasant fellow. I picture short, green, and living under a bridge and a mortal foe of the gnomish population :)

You also write:
"I have to deal with people who would disapprove of me cohabiting with a woman outside of marriage, and I'm not gay. But it's the same problem that DTL is complaining about. Gay people don't bear some special burden in that regard."

I simply do not believe it is the same. The norming of cohabitation has about a 25 year head start and also the benefit of a very, very large (and growing) percentage of the population having existed at least for a time in that state.

37383938393839383938383 said...

CO, stop avoiding the question and answer it: Do you believe that homosexuals are discriminated against?

If you mean a society-wide phenomenon that could be statsically measured by social sciences, I have no reason to believe it exists; to my knowledge no one who has claimed it exists has ever substantiated the claim. If you are making the positive claim that society-wide discrimination against gays exists, then prove it. I'll fairly look at your proof.

37383938393839383938383 said...
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37383938393839383938383 said...

I don't think the government has any business regulating who I marry, as long as that person is a consenting adult.

Then incest is OK!

37383938393839383938383 said...
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downtownlad said...

Then incest is OK!

It's already mandatory in the South. Go ask them. ;)

John Jenkins said...

Let's see, a large, in your face example of discriminating against homosexuals. That's tough to find. I mean, is there any HUGE organization that employs more than a million people that discriminates against homosexuals that you can think of, CO?

37383938393839383938383 said...
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37383938393839383938383 said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
37383938393839383938383 said...

I simply do not believe it is the same. The norming of cohabitation has about a 25 year head start

You'r wrong. Religious people who think sodomy is nasty have plenty of hatred for cohabitators and sodomites of all varieties. They seek to ban sex toys, put abstinence education in schools, etc. Besides, Stonewall was more than 25 years ago, and now there is Will & Grace and Queer Eye and metrosexuals and Russell Shorto in the New York Times magazine outright advocating for gay marriage.

37383938393839383938383 said...

I mean, is there any HUGE organization that employs more than a million people that discriminates against homosexuals that you can think of, CO?

No. I think the military discriminates against sodomites and adulterers and fornicators, though. I suppose a ban on sodomy might include gays, but only if you alerted someone to the fact that you engage in sodomy. So long as nobody asks and nobody tells, I don't see how it is discriminatory against homosexuals, i.e., in the sense that it treats them unequally.

ShadyCharacter said...

CO, I'm actually still working, so I can't give the board my full attention. If there's a delay, I apologize. However, not to be argumentative, but I did not take either of the quotes out of context. No moreso than you are doing when you snip the relevant text from another comment at the beginning of each of your posts.

Given that my point was made, however, how about responding to that point instead of critiquing my nettiquette?

Oh, that darn delay again, I see that you have. You write: "Religious people who think sodomy is nasty have plenty of hatred for cohabitators and sodomites of all varieties."

Well, no, not to the same degree.

I also see that you write: "I have it worse than gay people, because it's okay to treat like crap single guys who just like a different pussy in the bed every other weekend."

I thought I was discussing with an earnest, if strangely detached from objective reality, commentator. Now I see I may have interposed myself between a couple of jokers, one who argues that upper middle class gays have it worse than blacks under Jim Crow and another who I think is just pulling everyone's leg with his posting.

John Jenkins said...

You're wrong. Admitting that you are, in fact, homosexual is grounds for an immediate discharge from the military. Admitting that you're heterosexual is not. That is, by definition, discrimination based on sexual orientation.

Whether it's a good idea is a different debate (I think it isn't; I don't know what you think), but that's like arguing that affirmative action isn't discrimination based on race when it clearly is.

"(b) Policy. - A member of the armed forces shall be separated from the armed forces under regulations prescribed by the Secretary of Defense if one or more of the following findings is made and approved in accordance with procedures set forth in such regulations: . . .

(2) That the member has stated that he or she is a homosexual or bisexual, or words to that effect, unless there is a further finding, made and approved in accordance with procedures set forth in the regulations, that the member has demonstrated that he or she is not a person who engages in, attempts to engage in, has a propensity to engage in, or intends to engage in homosexual acts." 10 U.S.C. § 654.

You'll note no automatic separation for the propensity to engage in heterosexual acts or "just lik[ing] a different pussy in the bed every other weekend."

THAT is discrimination. Saying it isn't doesn't make it so. Once again, adultery and fornication are red herrings: you seem to be unable to focus.

37383938393839383938383 said...

Actually, they aren't red herrings at all. The text you quoted only points out that they are precisely on point. What the military is concerned with is acts, not status. Engaging in homosexual acts. Acts. Acts. Adultery is likewise a prohibited act. Act. Act. It applies to all servicemembers for moral reasons, not for reasons of singling out any particular status of persons.

37383938393839383938383 said...

If you say you're a homosexual, people assume you engage in homosexual acts, which is exactly what I was saying earlier. Scroll up.

Elizabeth said...

shadycharacter writes: "It must have been those all those black congressmen who passed the civil rights amendments. I can only guess you are being intentionally historically naive."

Shady, what does naivete have to do with facts? Southern legislatures didn't just decide to overturn Jim Crow laws. The courts forced them to do it. The Feds used their powers of law enforcement to ensure access to civil rights. Desegregation didn't occur because of attacks of conscience by white lawmakers in Alabama, Texas, Mississippi, Louisiana, Georgia and so on. But there is a long list of white judges throughout the South who can take a lot of credit. In many cases, it took force of arms to make schools open their doors to black students. And public facilities were desegretated by the determination of citizens, black and white, refusing to leave the lunch counters, until they were dragged out by white police officers. The U.S. Congress, the Kennedys and Johnson are key players as well. But don't be so silly as to discount the role of the courts in ensuring the rights accorded to all U.S. citizens aren't subject to majority whim. What's naive about that?

37383938393839383938383 said...

I don't know who you are quoting about this "pussy" business, but I think you are quoting each other.

37383938393839383938383 said...

Me: "Religious people who think sodomy is nasty have plenty of hatred for cohabitators and sodomites of all varieties."

Shady: Well, no, not to the same degree.

Me: You obviously aren't living in the United States.

Elizabeth said...

shadycharacter writes: "It must have been those all those black congressmen who passed the civil rights amendments. I can only guess you are being intentionally historically naive."

Shady, what does naivete have to do with facts? Southern legislatures didn't just decide to overturn Jim Crow laws. The courts forced them to do it. The Feds used their powers of law enforcement to ensure access to civil rights. Desegregation didn't occur because of attacks of conscience by white lawmakers in Alabama, Texas, Mississippi, Louisiana, Georgia and so on. But there is a long list of white judges throughout the South who can take a lot of credit. In many cases, it took force of arms to make schools open their doors to black students. And public facilities were desegretated by the determination of citizens, black and white, refusing to leave the lunch counters, until they were dragged out by white police officers. The U.S. Congress, the Kennedys and Johnson are key players as well. But don't be so silly as to discount the role of the courts in ensuring the rights accorded to all U.S. citizens aren't subject to majority whim. What's naive about that?

PatCa, I responded to a point you made that I feel is erroneous and overlooks the effect of bigotry in trying to attain full civil rights for gay people. I have no clue why you want to go ad hominem and reduce my concerns to being angry. I find your remark shallow, and condescending, and sadly illustrative of exactly what gay people face in trying to make our case to the voting public. Yes, that makes me angry. Too bad.

37383938393839383938383 said...

I find your remark shallow, and condescending, and sadly illustrative of exactly what gay people face in trying to make our case to the voting public.

Maybe if you didn't call people names, they'd listen to you.

PatCA said...

"Yes, that makes me angry. Too bad."

Yes, it is.

And it's not ad hominem so much as a suggestion that your constant anger, now admitted, defeats your arguments. How satisfying it must be to blame what you perceive as the failure of your arguments on us.

And, yes, many courts have helped the civil rights movement. Many legislatures passed civil rights laws, too, and many heterosexual white people are responsble for that.

ShadyCharacter said...

I notice CriticalObserver has removed many of his posts. That seems to be a pattern with this guy.

CriticalObserver, having written something ridiculous that undermined his own argument and made him look like a bozo simply deleted his post and then denied he made the comment farther down the page. He initially wrote: "I have it worse than gay people, because it's okay to treat like crap single guys who just like a different pussy in the bed every other weekend."

Later, having removed said post, he writes, all agrieved:
"I don't know who you are quoting about this "pussy" business, but I think you are quoting each other."

Elizabeth said...

Pat-you're really stuck on that anger thing. I assure you I don't live daily in anger. But I am certainly angered by bigotry. You ought to be, too. As for white, heterosexuals acting for civil rights, I'll certainly agree that the majority in fact must act for minorities to enjoy civil rights. You seem to need that pat on the head, so, thank you, Great White Heterosexual.

Meanwhile, think about what "inalienable" means. It means you do not have the power to grant me rights. They are mine by virtue simply of being born.

PatCA said...

You are stuck on anger, Elizabeth, as reflected in every one of your insulting posts. But if that's all you want, to denounce white heterosexual 'bigots,' you got it. After all, it's a free country.

White heterosexuals have already stood for civil rights whether you admit it or not: Charlton Heston, who marched with King when it was dangerous, LBJ, who passed the Civil Rights Act, Abraham Lincoln, the two college guys who were murdered in Mississippi registering voters... I'll save you the effort by saying that even if they were all inherently totally evil and doing it for publicity or money, they still did it.

That's it for me, Elizabeth.

37383938393839383938383 said...

Fact is, I never wrote that. You just made it up, SHADY CHARACTER. Believe the SHADY CHARACTER if you like. But ever post I deleted was for reasons of typos, etc.

ShadyCharacter said...

I appeal to Ann, if she's interested in getting involved!


Ann, haven't you said you get an e-mail with the text of every post as it's posted? Do you still have a copy of what CriticalObserver posted with regard to getting different "pussy" every other weekend.

It's clear he's embarassed about what he wrote. Maybe his mother reads the blog and knows his tag. I don't know, but I also don't like being called a liar.

Critical, do you join my appeal to Ann to clear this up?

What's that? Silence? I'm shocked!

Ann Althouse said...

Shady: It was not Critical Observer who wrote the comment you remember. It was one of the other posters here. I checked.

Ann Althouse said...

But, let me add, what I found was inside a quote, as if someone else had said it first, yet there was no relevant earlier use of the word "pussy," which was easy to search for in gmail.

Mary said...

It's easy to search for pussy in g-mail... What?!?

(Heh. Just tryin' to end this thread on a light note. Who said angry people -- or better put, people who sometimes get angry -- have no humor? Right Elizabeth?...)

Elizabeth said...

Pat, you've lost the thread of this discussion. I have acknowledged white participation in civil rights actions--I don't know why it's so important to you, but read my posts, and you'll see me name names, including Johnson. By the way, the "two white guys" are Schwerner and Goodman.

The courts that stepped into the civil rights fray were helmed mostly by white judges, who took on the white, segregationist majorities of the south. It's the courts' role that I am lauding.

Where I disagreed with you was in fact specifically about the courts. You told Downtownlad that gay people ought to stop using the courts to get around the people, and instead rely on lawmakers and voters. My response is clear: the courts are a valid resource for anyone, any minority, seeking enforcement of their civil rights. The voting public can at times be tyrannical. Being a majority does not make them right. Bigotry sometimes wins the day. And there's nothing wrong, or unseemly, about being angry when bigotry prevails.

If you choose to continue interpreting that as an attack on "white heterosexual Christians," it's your issue. My perception is that you want gays to beseech, rather than demand, that you are somehow offended that we're not deferential enough. I'm stubborn, and I promise you, I'll never, ever kneel. If you can't bring yourself to support gay rights because gay people haven't asked you nicely enough, then I just have no idea what to say to you.