Eve Tushnet, the celibate lesbian Roman Catholic, makes for an interesting person to talk about, because she is A Gay who advocates against same-sex marriage, and likes the idea of homosexuals keeping their fly zipped up for eternity. But just because she’s one of us doesn’t make her viewpoints any more valid.
Tushnet’s website receives “hundreds” of visits per day — hardly enough to call her an influential blogger. But that reach comes through her scribblings for magazines like the National Review, titles that are apt to give space to people “on the inside” of gays advocating against them. Her writings are interesting, we’ll give her that; ex-gays! sublimation vs. repression! And so is her story: A D.C. resident now, she joined the Roman Catholicism while studying at Yale, and she earns her living writing and speaking about gays and religion and heaven and sex.
But even for her own community, she recommends gays lay off the sex. And the marriage. In today’s Times profile of Tushnet:
Marriage should be reserved for heterosexuals, whose “relationships can be either uniquely dangerous or uniquely fruitful,” she explained in an e-mail message. “Thus it makes sense to have an institution dedicated to structuring and channeling them.”
But same-sex marriage, she wrote in The New York Post in 2007, “can bring one of three outcomes: A two-tiered marriage culture, where heterosexual couples are asked to do the hard things (sex only within marriage, marriage for life in most circumstances) and homosexual couples work out their own marriage norms; reshape marriage into an optional, individualized institution, ignoring the creative and destructive potentials of ‘straight’ sex; or encourage all couples to restrict sex to marriage and marry for life, and hope that gay couples accept norms designed to meet heterosexual needs.”
It’s hard to argue that someone so well learned could be, very bluntly, “confused,” but that is exactly what Tushnet is. Not because she doesn’t agree with the editorial team behind this website, or most of our readers. But because she confuses legalizing gay marriage with some affront to heterosexual marriage. Her conclusions, of course, operate within the context of her Roman Catholic teachings, and if that isn’t enough to discount them, then her conspiracy theories about the snowball effect gay marriage will have should be.
I’m sure Tushnet is a lovely person, and I would even think of inviting her to dinner sometime. But she is a person with a platform who is out harming human beings with her instruction, and that’s simply unacceptable.