Gay friends

Just heard "conservative commentator" Andrew Sullivan (who apparently also has a blog of some sort) on NPR's "Talk of the Nation" discussing the topic of gay marriage and the likelihood that a constitutional amendment banning such unions might become an issue in this year's election.

After one 26-year-old caller argued for a live-and-let-live perspective — "who would it hurt?" he asked — Sullivan noted that this was a fairly typical view for people "under 40." Younger people, Sullivan said, are more likely to have gay friends, and their views are more likely to be influenced by those friendships.

Most of what Andy had to say today was pretty good, but I want to quibble on this point. The difference between people "under 40" and older generations is not that they may have more "gay friends," but that they have more openly gay friends.

It's not like there's been a sudden explosion in the gay population during the past 40 years — just more openness and less denial. (By denial I don't mean on the part of closeted gay people, but on the part of a culture that was somehow unable to decipher the puzzle of Paul Lynde's sexuality.) That 26-year-old caller probably didn't know any more gay people than his parents did — it's just that he knows he knows them.

All of which somehow reminds me of how Mike Mussina, the Yankees pitcher, answered when a reporter asked him if he would accept a gay teammate. Mussina pointed out that he'd been pitching in the big leagues for ten years, with scores of different teammates, so therefore he assumed, "I already have."

  • derek g

    Surely you know about Andy’s petty, evil, hateful blog?

  • Jeff S.

    “It’s not like there’s been a sudden explosion in the gay population during the past 40 years — just more openness and less denial.”
    On what basis do you make this declaration? I would agree that there is more “openness”, but it seems pure speculation to state that the absolute numbers of the “gay” population have not increased significantly as well.

  • Graydon

    Of course the absolute numbers of the gay population have increased in the last forty years; the absolute numbers of the overall population have increased in the last forty years.
    If you’re worried about the proportion increasing, there isn’t an accepted definition of ‘gay’, plus no demographic data, so who knows?
    Can’t see why it would be a matter of concern even if the proportion was increasing, you understand, but it’d be a very hard argument to make.

  • Jeff S.

    “Can’t see why it would be a matter of concern even if the proportion was increasing, you understand, but it’d be a very hard argument to make.”
    Which is why it is presumptuous to state that they are not increasing in proportion.
    …And of course it should be a matter of concern, as would a per captita increase in adultery, illegitimate births, abortion, theft, etc.

  • JRoth

    Anyone else interested in addressing Jeff S’s homophobia? I thought not.
    Anyway, the evidence indicates that homosexuality is inherited, not chosen, so the rate of inheritance should be fairly constant, with maybe some drift across (many) multiple generations, but certainly not from those above 40 to those under.
    I always knew Mussina was a smart guy, but that’s a pretty damn enlightened answer for a ballplayer.

  • Ab_Normal

    Begging your pardon Jeff S: Did you really just equate homosexuality with theft? I know I’m running a temperature (darn office-mate gave me the flu) but my mind just boggles…

  • Jeff S.

    Ab Normal,
    It depends on what you mean by “equate”.
    I consider homosexual acts as sin just as I consider theft, murder, adultery, bearing false witness, etc. sinful acts.
    Hope that helps.

  • Ab_Normal

    Thanks. As an atheist, I don’t think of things as sinful, so it’s a conceptual leap for me.

  • Jesurgislac

    I consider homosexual acts as sin just as I consider theft, murder, adultery, bearing false witness, etc. sinful acts.
    Ah, but theft, murder, adultery, and bearing false witness are all explicitly forbidden in the Old Testament.
    Only one homosexual act (sodomy) is explicitly forbidden in the Old Testament, and none in the New Testament.
    I can appreciate that an Orthodox Jew is entitled to say that sodomy, and by extrapolation, all other homosexual acts, are forbidden to Jews: the verses in the Talmud explicitly forbidding sodomy are plainly in the “forbidden to Jews” section, which also covers not eating pork or shellfish and not working on the Sabbath. But unless you believe that pork, shellfish, and doing any kind of work on the Sabbath are sins, you cannot argue that it is a sin for two men to commit sodomy: and as the Talmud does not reference any other homosexual acts, it’s a mere invention by modern Christians to claim that all are sins.

  • raj

    honestly and hunble i need a gay friend with whom i want to settle my life pl help me and find for me

  • HELGA

    my best friend was gay and i had a hard time dealing with the shock that he had died but i still feel a dear connection to you guys. i would love a chance to be friends with any of you here in Reykjavík, and i hope 2 hear from u soon. hko4cats@isl.is (i love u guys!!!)


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