Tolerance is for others

Discussion in 'Politics' started by AAAintheBeltway, Apr 22, 2003.

  1. Today's Washington post reported that homosexual groups are trying to create another Trent Lott situation over Sen. Santorum's analysis of a pending Supreme Court case:

    The Associated Press
    Tuesday, April 22, 2003; 10:45 AM

    WASHINGTON - Gay-rights groups, fuming over Sen. Rick Santorum's comparison of homosexuality to bigamy, polygamy, incest and adultery, urged Republican leaders Monday to consider removing the Pennsylvania lawmaker from the GOP Senate leadership.

    A coalition of groups in Washington and Pennsylvania compared Santorum's remarks to those by those last December by former Senate Majority Leader Trent Lott about Strom Thurmond's 1948 segregationist campaign for the presidency. Shortly afterward, Lott was forced to resign as Republican Senate leader.

    Santorum is chairman of the GOP conference in the Senate, third in his party's leadership, behind Majority Leader Bill Frist of Tennessee and Assistant Majority Leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky.

    "We're urging the Republican leadership to condemn the remarks. They were stunning in their insensitivity, and they're the same types of remarks that sparked outrage toward Sen. Lott," said David Smith, a spokesman for the Human Rights Campaign, the nation's largest gay advocacy organization. "We would ask that the leadership reconsider his standing within the conference leadership."

    In an interview with The Associated Press, Santorum criticized homosexuality while discussing a pending Supreme Court case over a Texas sodomy law.

    "If the Supreme Court says that you have the right to consensual (gay) sex within your home, then you have the right to bigamy, you have the right to polygamy, you have the right to incest, you have the right to adultery. You have the right to anything," Santorum, R-Pa., said in the interview, published Monday.

    No one lectures us more often or loudly about the need for "tolerance" than these homosexual groups. Apparently that tolerance is a one-way street however. Where's the tolerance for Sen. Santorum's viewpoint? He didn't even criticize them or make the comparison they accuse him of making, he merely said if the Supreme Court says you can't prohibit one, then it stands to reason you can't prohibit other private, consensual conduct. No matter. The leftwing groups have made an artform outof screaming "racist, hate-filled, homophobic, mean-spirited, fascist, nazi, right wing, KKK, gunowning warmonger." at anyone who voices the mildest intellectual difference with them.

    What makes this really fascinating to me is the temper tantrum leftwing actor Tim Robbins has staged over the reaction to his perceived unpatriotic stance. He views the First Amendment as somehow in grave danger if the whole country doesn't applaud when he or Susan Sarandon voice their half-baked, offensive opinions. In his view, he is entitled to use his celebrity status to broadcast offensive tripe, but it is an infringement for the public to react negatively and attempt to remove his platform. He even thinks the Hall of Fame is obliged to give him a platform. Otherwise, we are intolerant.

    So I am waiting for him to come to Sen. Santorum's defense.
  2. robbins won't come to his defense, just like santorum didn't come to lott's defense. robbins doesn't care about speech that's not his own, and for politicians, when someone's stuck in the media crosshairs, best to stay away - to defend thoughtcrime is to commit thoughtcrime. maybe the bush aura and war pep rally can distract enough attention to avoid what happened to lott.

    lott had a better case than this guy, though - santorum's comment is pretty bad, if he was implying that the supreme court allows gays to do what should otherwise be illegal, or worse, that the government (he) should be peeping in people's windows to make sure their consensual behavior meets his approval.

    nonetheless, it's for the voters to decide if he keeps his office, not the advocacy groups and talking heads.
  3. It's a dubious comparison, gay consensual sex with bigamy and polygamy.

    Adultery on the other hand may carry some civil penalties - it might hurt one in a divorce proceeding - but it is not illegal (not where I stand at least).

    Now a polygamous Homosexual - that would make Santorum's blood boil.

    Anyway - Santorum is so far off the mark. This case I belive stems from two guys having sex, and were spied upon by a police officer, who then entered their house and arrested the couple.

    It was Georgia's sodomy law that is under scrutiny. And i belive that includes oral and anal sex.

    Can you imagine getting a blow job from your wife or girlfriend and getting arrested for it?

  4. The issue is not whether or not the law is a good idea. That is a question for the state legislature. The Supreme Court can invalidate a state law only if it somehow violates the Constitution, at least that's the theory although plenty of cases leave you wondering if the Justices still believe that.

    Santorum was making what I think was a valid analogy. If the state cannot outlaw one form of consensual sexual activity, then why should it be able to outlaw other forms of consensual sexual activity. The watershed case in this area was Connecticut v. Griswold, which overturned a state law prohibiting the use of contraceptives. That case later formed part of the basis for Roe v. Wade. Griswold played a significant role in the confirmation hearings for Robert Bork, a superbly qualified judge and law professor who had written critically of it. It produced the odd spectacle of Ted Kennedy, who was kicked out of college for cheating, lecturing Bork, a fervent conservative but one of the true giants of legal scholarship.

    Griswold was controversial because everyone could see it was a silly law but there was no specific constitutional prohibition on the state having such a law. So the Court came up with this notion that the constitution ensured some zone of privacy, particularly in sexual matters, that was off limits to the state. No doubt Bill Clinton paid rapt attention to this principle when it was discussed in his Constitutional Law class. But the question remains, if the state is not allowed to prohibit some sexual conduct, why can it prohibit others, such as prostitution, bigamy, etc?

    Bottom line, you may disagree with Santorum, but he was raising a valid constitutional issue that has had a long and contentious history. To call it gratuitous gay-bashing shows me just how intolerant and abusive these groups are.
  5. I may be at fault for injecting my own interpretation into American dogma, but yes - homosexuality, bigamy, polygamy, incest (so long as it is among consenting adults), and adultery (save it's impact on the marital contract) should be legal. Tim Robbins is an ass - not because of his beliefs but because of his contradictions. He and Susan can say what they want, but are foolish to protest the consequences, which are of public opinion and not legality.

    If it has no impact on the life, or the liberty, or the pursuit of happiness (this last one is a bit tricky due to happinesses fluid nature) then it "should" be legal. The one issue that comes to mind in regards to incest is that the life of any child born by this relationship is affected - eg the high rate of retardation. However, this too is a difficult line to draw due to the developements in genetic knowledge. Let's say two unrelated people wish to have children, but their combined genetic make-up precludes a high rate of retardation in the creation of life (something similar to what a brother and sister would procreate), what then? Are their rights to procreation limited?

    It would be nice to see the law stay out of the whole issue, but I doubt it will happen - there's too much money in making and enforcing laws not to continue.

  7. My 2 cents: The laws against bigamy & polygamy have nothing at all to do with consentual sex rights. You're free to nail 20 chicks at once, you just can't get a marrige liscence for more than one.

    ....And gay sex is absolutely none of the government's business. The police/courts have enough real work to do- they don't need to go around prying dicks out of cornholes, and confiscating gerbils.
  8. Let me get the immaterial out of the way first. Why compromise an intelligent post with a sophomoric stab at Clinton?

    I think this gets down to certain social values and clear notions about where we establish our zones of privacy.

    If certain personal conduct promote a clear harm to public welfare, then it is constitutionally permissible to legislate the parameters of that conduct, or disallow it altogether.

    Is prostitution clearly against the public interest? No. By all measures it is not. Its prevalence shows it is an integral thread to the fabric of society. Are there certain harmful ramifications? Yes.

    Does gay consensual sex bear a harm against the public welfare?

    Is it the job of legislatures to impose moral codes upon the public?

    Many immoral actions are illegal, but their illegality almost always stems from the harm they pose to individual and public welfare, not the revulsion it may cause in some of us.

    A gay man porking his boyfriend in the privacy of his home seems to involve nobody else (except that overly interested cop). They could have been naked, interlaced, and rubbing each other and not have broken that 19th century statute. Is santorum is really against the act of penetration, or against the sentiment behind it? Is Santorum cloaking an anti gay agenda in a constitutional issue, or is he (and you) asking us to release all consensual private conduct from governmental interference? And why is the law selectively applied? When was the last male-female couple arrested for anal sex?
  9. Pabst


    I would consider myself a conservative, but I'd rather err on the side of libertarianism. While I'm pro-life and was never thrilled that Roe vs. Wade took the merits of the abortion battle out of the statehouse and mandated it into Federal law, on balance, I would still prefer a high court that strikes down laws than one that upholds them.

  10. I think you'd find many liberals would argue that homosexuality isn't a "choice"; that it's genetic, it's an inherent part of you, that you can no more choose to be homosexual than choose to be Chinese. I'm not sure that this is actually the case, and from what I've read, it certainly hasn't proven (scientifically), but it is the position of many liberals.If it was true, that would obviously make it different to polygamy etc.

    In any case, you might be careful of what you wish AAA, it just might come true; maybe the other forms of sexual activity (which I'm sure that you, a Republican, disapprove of) might become legal fare.
    #10     Apr 23, 2003