Ryan Chartrand

Yup, it’s been a while. Haven’t had too much to complain about this quarter, and when I have, other people have complained before I got a chance. But now I’ve got one that I doubt anyone will scoop me on. Just one little change; it’s about the liberal column.

I was reading the column “Denial of same-sex marriage is unconstitutional” (May 21), and I think Mr. McGowan went too far. Don’t get me wrong, I support gay marriage, but I don’t think he was fair to the people who made compromises such as “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” and the “Defense of Marriage Act” more than a decade ago.

It reminds me of a speech Bush gave during a tour of post-Soviet countries several months ago, when he excoriated FDR for “abandoning” Eastern Europe behind the iron curtain. What he failed to realize was that this compromise saved all of our NATO allies from the same fate.

So too, the liberals of the Clinton administration were facing a resurgent conservative movement, one which could have upheld the status quo on gays. Instead, they managed to finagle the “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” policy, which stopped the military from actively persecuting gays as it had before then, and the “Defense of Marriage Act,” which made it easier for conservative states to accept liberal states opening marriage to gays.

So before we criticize these compromises as setting the gay rights movement back, let’s remember that times haven’t always been this good, and that we too may have to consider our own compromises to advance the cause.

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