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Conservative Catholic professor: Gay activists like segregationists in 'single-minded heedlessness'

by Jeremy Hooper

Esolen-1In a far-less-intellectual-than-he-thinks-it-is essay for the very anti-gay Public Discourse (edited by the very anti-gay Ryan Anderson), Providence College professor Anthony Esolen (a Catholic conservative, of course) makes a long-winded case that arguments in favor of slavery and segregation do not apply to opponents of marriage equality but do "characterize some of our opponents in the debate." While he does allow that there is difference in terms of odium, he insists that those of us who believe our tax-paying dollars entitle us to equal marriage rights under civil law are just like those who sought separate water foundations in terms of our single-minded heedlessness." Here's a pertintent snippet:

The segregationist wanted his separate water fountain because he wanted his separate water fountain. He wanted segregation for the sake of segregation. Unless he was a deranged ideologue, he did not think any farther than that. The proponents of homosexual pseudo gamy are like him not in odium but in single-minded heedlessness. They want their relationships to be recognized as marriages, and that is that. Unless they are deranged ideologues who say openly that they seek to destroy marriage, they do not think any farther.
FULL: Marriage Is Not a Water Fountain [First Things]

This is the kind of argument where I just want to step out of the frame and let the opposition talk until they can't talk any more. I know people like Mr. Esolen think they are making strong points when they directly compare the "heedlessness" of a minority population of people who are fighting for certain rights under civil law to those who cruelly denied another minority population in a long fight for certain civil rights (including marriage) under civil law, but I'm actually quite confident in the ability of the American public—including many within the not-yet-fully-gay-accepting portions of the public, in fact—to take exception with his crude, ahistorical, just a little too convenient analogies regarding persecution and the casting of related roles.

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