Tuesday, February 23, 2010
* That's gay! Pejorative or Abhorative?
Professor George Chauncey , Yale University: "Gay has become the primary term of derision among the youth culture today . . ."
Interview with Judy Woodruff on PBS's The New Hour in a 2/23/10 segment on
Gay rights and the abolition of the military's "Don't ask/Don't tell"policy.
Prurience at the Bar and on the Bench
"Primary term of derision"?
However kids equate it ("gay") with "lame" not with "sexually deviant".
And even when they use that very term they equate it with ("lame") nobody claims that "lame" derides the handicapped (or physically challenged, if you will).
In fact, by lame or gay what they mean (I hypothesize) is "not fully participatory," "not mainstream" which is an actual description -- and an accurate one -- of the status of both groups.
So, why is Professor Chauncey hooked on "gay" as a pejorative which somehow diminishes the dignity of homosexuals?
One forgets that until 2003 when sodomy laws were ruled unconstitutional, it was against the law to engage in homosexual sexual intercourse. It is worth pointing out that even Professor Chauncey and his three other panelists on The News Hour segment had no trouble forgetting it themselves at all: they mentioned every other form of discrimination against homosexuals, except the sodomy laws.
That is analagous to a panel on racial discrimination mentioning every form of discrimination against blacks except slavery!
Even the forces of racial hatred didn't go so far as to outlaw Negro sexuality. It was never illegal to engage in "Negro sexual intercourse" although it was illegal to intermarry (miscegenation laws were similarly on the books up to 1967.) And in the long history of anti-semitism in the world it was never against the law in any country to engage in "semitic sexual intercourse". (I know, I know, the big book comes in to play here: the Bible. But even still, using the law of the land to invade the genital privacy of grown adults is beyond busybodyish, beyond voyeurism, it is prurient.)
It is almost unbelievable that in the country of "all men are created equal" sodomy and miscegenation laws were ever on the books at all , let alone until 1967 and 2003 respectively, TWO CENTURIES after the Constitution was written.
What kind of a Constitutional deviance is 200 years of THAT?
Let's call a spade a spade.
It's more than lame or gay.
It's more than deviance.
Sodomy Laws in the United States
The U.S. Supreme Court ruled 6-3 that sodomy laws are unconstitutional on June 26, 2003.
The majority opinion is based on privacy rights and is written by Kennedy, joined by Breyer, Souter, Ginsburg, and Stephens. O'Connor concurred on equal protection grounds.
The sodomy law map above is prior to Lawrence v. Texas. All states are now white, ie the sodomy laws are unconstitutional and unenforceable. However, some states still attempt to enforce their laws. See Virginia, Oklahoma, and North Carolina. The U.S. Military enforces its sodomy regulation without regard to Lawrence.
Posted by Paul D. Keane, The Anti-Yale at 7:41 PM