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."