No apologies necessary from Pennsylvania’s junior senator

As a dabbler in opinion-writing, I frequently read the work of other, more famous and better-paid columnists, often wishing that I could write as well as they do, and hoping that some of their talent will seep through. Among the most memorable commentary I have read comes from Fairfax County-resident Mona Charen, who once observed that ?What was once the love that dare not speak its name is now the love that will not shut its mouth.?

She referred, of course, to homosexuality, and the gay ?rights? lobby.

And oh my, they have a new target. Sen. Rick Santorum, Pennsylvania?s junior Republican senator, has been savaged as ?bigoted,? ?hateful? and ?intolerant? for daring to speak out about the law and logic of the positions being argued before the Supreme Court, which is considering a challenge to a Texas law outlawing homosexual sodomy.

In an interview with the Associated Press, Santorum made comments well within the mainstream of America?s tradition of ordered liberty, warning against the consequences of the lavender lobby?s victory in the pending Supreme Court case: ?if the Supreme Court says that you have the right to consensual sex within your home, then you have the right to bigamy, you have the right to polygamy, you have the right to incest, you have the right to adultery. You have the right to anything. Does that undermine the fabric of our society? I would argue yes, it does.?

It was in the best tradition of ?gotcha? journalism.? The reporterette at issue was Lara Jakes Jordan. Her husband?s name is ?Jim,? who just happens to be the campaign manager for Democrat presidential aspirant Senator John Kerry (Mass.). Kerry was among the first to denounce Santorum for his comments.

Of course, you won?t read those facts in most stories.

I?m always entertained when these challenges come up, mostly because they provide such wonderful opportunity for demonstrating the moral and intellectual dishonesty of the far left, advocates nihilistically attacking everything that smacks of traditional law and morality.

My first opportunity to examine this dishonesty arose during one of my first law school classes, in 1986, when I took criminal law. Earlier that summer, the Supreme Court had issued its decision in Bowers v. Hardwick, which arose out of Georgia. In it, a homosexual named Hardwick (truth is stranger than fiction; I?m not making this up) was caught in flagrante delicto. It seems that the police appeared at his door during a party, to serve an outstanding warrant. Other party-goers told the police officers that Hardwick was in a back room. There for the lawful purpose (never challenged) of serving a warrant, the officers were surprised to discover Mr. Hardwick and another man violating the laws of man and God when they entered the room.

As it turns out, Atlanta prosecutors were not eager to prosecute Mr. Hardwick and his companion. But Hardwick wanted a day in court, whether prosecuted or not, so he sued for a declaratory judgment, seeking to have Georgia?s sodomy law struck down.

And once again, in this Term, homosexuals are knocking on the Supreme Court door, asking Justices in Lawrence v. Texas to create … er, find, some broad right of privacy which protects homosexual sodomy.

Once again, police entered a home after receiving a (what turned out to be false) report of a gunman, and found two men engaged in what Texas law redundantly calls ?deviate sexual intercourse with another individual of the same sex.?

But to hear the lavender lobby tell it, you?d think that police were conducting raids on a daily basis to root out homosexual conduct near and far.

Actually, the only people conducting raids are the homosexual thought police, attempting to marginalize all who hold to traditional values. In a debate on C-SPAN?s Saturday Washington Journal, a representative from the ?Log Cabin? Republicans ? a homosexual Republican group ? debated Peter LaBarbera, a Prince William County resident (at least, in the past) who is with one of the many traditional conservative Republican research groups and has specialized in issues advocated by the gay lobby for years. I suppose it was unsurprising that the gay Republican was from Massachusetts, given what passes for ?Republican? in New England.

What is so shocking about the position of the lavender lobby ? independent of contemplating the manner in which its members derive erotic pleasure ? is that it is so nakedly devoid of reason or principle. To be sure, its strong advocacy of ?privacy? has some attraction, particularly when unreasonably reduced to slogans about ?police in the bedroom.?

But when confronted with the logical consequences of the ?principle? they advance, and not even the reductio ad absurdum that is comedic fodder, there really is no principled way in which Santorum?s argument can be challenged.

The ?principle? governing those suggesting that laws outlawing homosexual sodomy should be unconstitutional is the notion that there is some generalized ?right of privacy? which protects private consensual sex. Where, then, is the principle that allows advocates of this position to suggest that bigamy, polygamy, incest, and adultery can be held out as illegal conduct? All are, or can be, private consensual sex. If ?privacy? and ?consent? are the only standards for determining whether a law violates the judicially-created ?right of privacy,? then there is no reason why any principled distinction can be made between Adam and Eve, or Adam and Steve, or between Bob, Carol, Ted and Alice.

Santorum?s mistake was believing that an intellectual discussion of ?ordered liberty? and the limitation on passions in the framework of the American regime would have any place in what passes for political discourse in the media. For while his discussion is rife with oblique references to the serious political thinkers and concepts ? concepts which, in a more literate society, would be common currency ? it is a discussion probably over the head of the reporterette covering the story, and certainly well over the head of the average reader.

As such, it has become easy fodder for the demagogues of the lavender lobby. But no apology whatsoever is necessary.

An attorney, Young lives with his wife and their two sons in Montclair.