Recently Volokh Conspirator Jacob Levy argued that the Lawrence decision overturning Texas’s sodomy law would be a boon for the Republicans, if they have the sense not to appear sympathetic to such laws by overheated criticism of the Court’s opinion. Now fellow conspirator Juan Non-Volokh makes the complementary point that Lawrence could prove harmful to Democrats “should they seek to stigmatize any aversion to homosexuality as an immoral, extreme, or otherwise illegitimate public position.”
As luck would have it my wife and I were in San Francisco during Gay Pride Week (we still are), and thus we had the opportunity to observe at close hand the celebrations of Lawrence that erupted across the city and in its media.. From what we’ve seen I think Juan Non- has a good point, but I’d like to make a different one.
The lead article taking up a good portion of the front page of Monday’s San Francisco Chronicle was taken up by an article that ran under the headline, “S.F. gay pride mixes zaniness, seriousness.” Although the large color picture of “Molly Mckay and Davina Kotulski, who are from Marriage Equality California, kiss[ing] during the pride parade” was sedate enough (different pictures accompany the online article), I can assure you that much of what is regarded as “zany” in San Francisco would not be so regarded elsewhere. But that is not my point.
The second paragraph of the article is what caught my attention:
While conceding nothing to the zany nature of past pride parades, this 33rd version carried an unusual sense of the serious issues that accompany being gay. For every chaps-clad rodeo queen came a sign-toting advocate for same-sex marriages. For every dyke on a bike, an activist demanding gay civil rights.
Although I have not studied the issue (and welcome comments from those who have), I have long thought it evident that much of the opposition to gay civil rights stems from a fear that equal rights for gays really means, as it is usually stated, “special rights.” Since so many opponents say this, I see little reason to doubt it. (That’s not to say such opposition is the only reason people oppose gay rights.) It’s easy to say that such fears reflect bias, but I’ve always thought it harder to demonstrate that they are false. Those people have seen women and blacks campaign for decades and longer for “equal rights” only to demand preferences as soon as equal rights were legislated. Is it so unreasonable to suspect that the campaign for gay rights might follow the same course?
And why shouldn’t it? As I’ve asked before, insofar as the proponents of “diversity” mean what they say, won’t they be compelled by their new principle to insure that entering classes contain a “critical mass” not only of gays and lesbians, who may be prevalent enough (but, of course, may not) to appear without preferences, but also of transgendered males and females, who may not so readily appear without investigation and recruitment? Of course, in order for any of them to contribute to “diversity” they would have to be open in their sexual expression, not in the closet, and this need might also have to be reflected in new admissions methods and procedures that in an earlier day might have been seen to infringe upon a privacy interest.