In a dizzyingly short period of time, homosexuality has gone from being the love that dare not speak its name to the one that shouts it. Refreshingly, in this wide-ranging discussion of the moral and political status of homosexuals, Sullivan, the gay former whizbang New Republic
editor, prefers the middle register. On the one hand, he shuns the liberal tendency to give gays victim status but, on the other, advocates the legalization of gay marriage because he views it as the public recognition of a gay's basic human right to fully love another member of his/her group -- a right that, Sullivan notes, even bigots generally grant those they hate.
From Publishers Weekly
In this lucid polemic, New Republic editor Sullivan, who is gay, defines four major sets of attitudes toward homosexuality. Prohibitionists regard same-sex physical love as a sickness or a crime against nature, requiring cure or punishment. Liberationists, exemplified by historian Michel Foucault and ACT UP, regard homosexuality as a social construct defined variously by individual cultures. Conservatives combine private tolerance of homosexuality with public disapproval or discretion, believing that public acceptance could undermine the family. Liberals enmesh homosexuals in a web of rights and protections, yet their own arguments for free expression, association and contract have been turned against them. Advocating a synthesis of the best arguments of liberals and conservatives, Sullivan calls for an end to all public discrimination against homosexuals, for equal opportunity and inclusion in the military, for unbiased teaching about homosexuality in public schools and for legalized gay and lesbian marriage. 50,000 first printing.
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