Gay Sex Isn’t Weird. Sex Is.

First published at on January 16, 2009 Why are our opponents so obsessed with butt sex? I’ve personally pondered this question more times than is probably healthy. It occurred to me a few weeks ago when a poster on a conservative blog complained that gays “expect us to approve of butt sex and call… Continue reading Gay Sex Isn’t Weird. Sex Is.

Compassion for Craig?

First published on September 4, 2007, at Jim West, Jim McGreevey, Ted Haggard, Mark Foley, Bob Allen, David Vitter. Now Larry Craig. Public figures’ getting caught with their pants down is nothing new. What is new is a high-tech culture that makes exposure likely, rapid, and widespread. Larry Craig pleaded guilty to “disorderly conduct”… Continue reading Compassion for Craig?

The Pedophilia Smear

First published in Between the Lines on October 19, 2006 The recent scandal involving Rep. Mark Foley sending sexually explicit text messages to sixteen- and seventeen-year-old former congressional pages has resurrected the ugly stereotype of gays as pedophiles. I am no longer surprised when I hear this sort of garbage from the Family Research Council… Continue reading The Pedophilia Smear

Foley’s Folly: A Lesson

First published in Between the Lines, October 5, 2006 It is early yet to talk about “the moral of the story” with respect to Mark Foley. Foley, a Republican congressman from Florida, resigned last week after it was revealed that he had been sending sexually explicit e-mails and instant messages to underage congressional pages. Here’s… Continue reading Foley’s Folly: A Lesson

Open Relationships and Double Standards

First published in Between the Lines on February 9, 2006 As I embark upon a week’s worth of same-sex marriage debates with Glenn Stanton of Focus on the Family, I am bracing myself for his arguments. (There’s a useful summary of his position here.) In every debate we’ve had, Stanton has brought up Jonathan Yarbrough… Continue reading Open Relationships and Double Standards

In Defense of Pleasure

First published September 15, 2005, in Between the Lines. One of the delights of being a philosophy professor is that I occasionally come across charming texts in the history of ethics. Here’s Mary Warnock in her 1960 classic Ethics Since 1900: Many people…feel strongly that some kinds of behavior, though utterly harmless to other people,… Continue reading In Defense of Pleasure

Luther Vandross’s Glass Closet

First published July 7, 2005, in Between the Lines. Luther Vandross was the avatar of romance. Other people’s. The famed R&B singer, who died last week at 54, zealously declined to discuss his personal life, telling reporters that it was “none of your damn business.” Indeed, when his biographer Craig Seymour tried repeatedly to broach… Continue reading Luther Vandross’s Glass Closet