04 Sep 2007

If Larry Craig Really is Gay, is He a Hypocrite?

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Jonah Goldberg doesn’t think so, and debunks the arguments of James Kirchuk who does.

Kirchik writes: “…Craig isn’t a hypocrite for seeking anonymous sex in an airport bathroom. He’s a hypocrite for (insert obligatory “allegedly”) being gay and opposing gay civil rights. The airport arrest was just confirmation—albeit, pathetic and unfortunate confirmation—of the Senator’s sexual orientation.”

James should look up the word “hypocrite.” It means to betray a belief you actually hold, not to betray a belief some New Republic staffer says you should hold. Craig is surely a hypocrite for violating his wedding vows and his “family values” talking points. He is not a hypocrite for being gay and opposing gay marriage or “gay rights” — nor, necessarily, is any other gay man who strays off the reservation. They may be wrong, corrupt or some other bad thing, but hypocrisy isn’t the issue when it comes to Craig’s positions on gay marriage etc.

By Kirchik’s bullying logic, gays must all think alike about homosexuality (at least in terms of public policy). If they don’t, they’re hypocrites. But there are gay people who oppose gay marriage. There are gay people who oppose hate crimes laws. And so on. Even if Craig came out of the closet tomorrow, that would hardly mean he couldn’t still think gay marriage is bad public policy.

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