Tuesday, March 24, 2009

On "homophobia"

Earlier today, Ed Whelan, in the Corner, took note of Congressman Barney Frank's casual slander of Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia:
Massachusetts Rep. Barney Frank...was discussing gay marriage and his expectation that the high court would some day be called upon to decide whether the Constitution allows the federal government to deny recognition to same-sex marriages.

"I wouldn't want it to go to the United States Supreme Court now because that homophobe Antonin Scalia has too many votes on this current court," said Frank.

Whelan later followed up:
In response to my criticism of the term “homophobe,” Andrew Sullivan asks: “[D]oes Ed Whelan believe that anti-gay animus doesn't exist? If so, what would he call it, if not homophobia? Seriously: is there a better term?”

For Frank and Sullivan, obviously not. It's the perfect term. It allows them to accuse anyone who disagrees with them on any aspect of the political "homosexual agenda" (whatever that might be) of a mental disorder. A "phobia" is a fear, not a normal fear, but a mental disorder. Allowing them to use "homophobe" or "homophobia" is allowing them to accuse their political opponents of a mental disorder. Of course Sullivan and Frank want to use "homophobe."

The rest of us ought not let them.

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