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The Social Conservatism Of The Damned

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"The Social Conservatism Of The Damned"

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This is apropos of not much more than reader mail, but when examining social conservative hostility to gay and lesbian equality I think it’s critical to highlight how lazy it is. Social conservatism places a number of stringent demands on people’s sexual behavior. It tells them to avoid premarital sex, it tells them to avoid infidelity to their spouse, it tells them to avoid divorce. This is hard stuff. Some people live up to it. But most don’t. It’s a rigorous moral code by whose light many people are failing, and the vast majority of non-failures will nonetheless struggle mightily with it.

By contrast, “don’t make out with another dude” is really easy for most dudes. It’s very hard for some, of course, but most people aren’t gay and thus have absolutely no difficulty adhering to moral injunctions against gayness. A political movement that ran around talking about the sanctity of marriage and how divorce should be illegal and divorced people should be disgraced and run out of public life would have trouble catching fire. But almost everyone can stand up for “traditional morality” on the cheap by heaping scorn on a relatively small minority.

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