Australia’s decision-makers, meanwhile, continue to fawn over a small minority of electors … who see gay relationships as somehow inferior to their own and unworthy of legal or social recognition. Every so often, we hear them in the media calling homosexuals promiscuous or sick (empahsis added).
- Tim Wright in The Age, 31 July 2009.
Some conservatives have odd ideas about gays, but they are right about promiscuity. This annual survey of gay men in Melbourne consistently finds more than half have casual partners.
Nor is this subject obviously irrelevant to the issue of gay relationships. Conservatives could argue that it suggests a weak commitment to the monogamy that goes with marriage.
Andrew Sullivan, by contrast, argues that the conservative position contains a contradiction. If you deny people the possibility of ‘normal’ stable, monogamous relationships, can it be that surprising if they go for promiscuity instead? This is what the evolutionary psychologists say men are hardwired to do, and it needs strong social institutions to stop them in the interests of something more profound and long-lasting.
I’m not sure what Wright is implying here. Maybe he is just listing resentments against conservatives. But it looks like a double standard, in which approved-victim groups are exempted from any form of negative comment, even if true, while deemed-oppressor groups can be subject to any kind of criticism, however personal or unfair.
There is a line between the virtues of tact and civility and the vices of spin and falsehood. If something is true and relevant to the case for or against an argument, then there should be no taboo on mentioning it.