January 10, 1998

Please accept my apologies for sending an old message!  The risks of doing thing things on Saturday morning, I suppose.  At the time I was mailing the news, I was also writing web pages about set theory (http://www.math.hawaii.edu/~ramsey/).  Scattered attention!

                        With apologies,
                        Tom Ramsey

Intended message:

Andrew Sullivan Takes On Bill Bennett
In The New Republic

Web version: http://magazines.enews.com/magazines/tnr/archive/0198/010598/sullivan010598.html

False Bennett, Gay-bashing By The Numbers
New Republic, Jan. 5 and 12, pages 15 and 16

From the second and third paragraphs from the end:

    He [Bennett' believes, as he wrote in the STANDARD, that gay men and lesbians are entitled to rights 'owed all Americans as Americans.'

    But that does not, apparently, include the right to serve one's country [in the military] ... And it does not include the right not to be fired from one's job merely because one is gay ... And it does not include the right  not to be imprisoned  because of private, consensual sex.  And it does not include the right of mothers to custody of their own children.  And it does not include the right to visit a spouse of many years who is dying in an intensive care room.  And it does not, critically, include the right to marry, a right declared by our Supreme Court to be one of the 'basic civil rights of man' ...[which is denied] to gay and lesbian Americans for something that even Bennett concedes is 'hard-wired' into their identity.... 

Bennett is testing what is, as far as I can tell, new anti-gay rhetoric.

A.    Concede that, yes, it is probably genetic ("hard-wired") for some percent of the population (my own guess is that this is about 3 per cent of males and 1.5 percent of females, but that is a GUESS!)
B.    Some people are more "educable" in sexual behavior, and need to be encouraged to choose to be straight.  So, to protect these borderline people we must deny civil rights to all gays and lesbians.  We must send a clear societal message that society prefers people to be straight.
Bennett, to his eternal shame, leads with sound-bites created from the flawed statistics of Paul Cameron.  Of course, the sound-bites are what get quoted and headlined.  New rhetoric, same challenge:  gay-bashing as a way to build a certain
kind of Republican party.

                        Tom Ramsey
                        Ex-Officio, Board of Directors
                        Marriage Project - Hawaii
                        PO Box 11690
                        Honolulu, HI 96828
                        (808) 942-3737

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