Thursday, July 31, 2003

"We are all sinners." President Bush tried to walk a moderate path in his news conference yesterday when he was asked about same-sex marriage. "I am mindful that we're all sinners," he said, sending a clear message that he sees hatemongering toward gays and lesbians to be as "sinful" as having non-biblical sex.

Thanks a lot, Mr. President.

The big issue on the table right now, other than same-sex marriage, is sodomy, a concept that has become nebulous and slippery as cultural mores have changed.

Recently, of course, the US Supreme Court threw out Texas's anti-sodomy law, which some predict will pave the way, eventually, for legal recognition of gay marriage. Bush opposes such evolution, much as Darwin's version continues to be opposed by many of Bush's supporters. In the end, opposition to either type of evolution is likely to be equally futile.

What's interesting here, though, is that Bush appears to regard sodomy as a sin, yet he does not explicitly define sodomy. He appears to define it as sex between two men or two women. But is that right?

Sodomy laws traditionally banned anal or oral sex between men and women, even if they were married. Over time, anti-sodomy laws came to be used almost exclusively as a way to persecute -- and occasionally prosecute -- gay men and lesbians for what they do in private.

A far better definition of sodomy was offered in March by Andrew Sullivan (sub. req.). Writing in the New Republic, he asserted:

It's worth noting, then, that from the very beginning sodomy and homosexuality were two categorically separate things. The correct definition of sodomy -- then and now -- is simply non-procreative sex, whether practiced by heterosexuals or homosexuals. It includes oral sex, masturbation, mutual masturbation, contraceptive sex, coitus interruptus, and anal sex -- any sex in which semen does not find its way into a uterus.

I realize this reads like a Ken Starr legal brief; my apologies for such dirty talk this early in the day. But this is important stuff, because Sullivan is absolutely right. If George and Laura get it on in ways guaranteed not to produce any more little Bushes -- and, given the First Couple's ages, it's safe to assume that they do take some precautions, or perhaps no longer need to -- then they are committing sodomy just as surely as those two guys rousted by the Texas cops.

Yes, indeed. We are all sinners. So, Mr. President, why won't you allow homosexual sinners the same rights that heterosexual sinners such as you and the First Lady presumably enjoy?

Note to the irony-impaired: Media Log does not actually consider any consensual, nonadulterous sex between two adults to be a sin.

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