Tuesday, September 18, 2007


This is why I love the ACLU. They stand on their principles, even for the assholes who openly contemn them.

Exoneration will obviously not salvage Craig's political career. After all, he pleaded guilty to the minor charge of "disorderly conduct." The calls for resignation are not because he's a criminal, they're because he's gay. The scandal isn't that he tried to have sex with a policeman, it's that he tried to have sex with a man.

Nonetheless, the ACLU is exactly right: in the same way that I can walk up to a woman at a bar and proposition her, a man may do the same to another man. And the same speech that's constitutionally protected in bars is constitutionally protected in bathrooms. They are also correct in pointing out that it would be quite easy to stop people from having sex in an airport bathroom, especially since airports are already crawling with uniformed officers. So this sting operation is, in effect, an extortion scheme that fails to accomplish its ostensible goal of keeping guys from getting busy on their layovers.

On a tangent, Daniel Gilbert's blog contains an excellent remark that embodies the cause celebre of the ACLU:

We live in a world in which people are beheaded, imprisoned, demoted, and censured simply because they have opened their mouths, flapped their lips, and vibrated some air. Yes, those vibrations can make us feel sad or stupid or alienated. Tough shit. That’s the price of admission to the marketplace of ideas. Hateful, blasphemous, prejudiced, vulgar, rude, or ignorant remarks are the music of a free society, and the relentless patter of idiots is how we know we’re in one. When all the words in our public conversation are fair, good, and true, it’s time to make a run for the fence.