Gifts, Sex, and the State Legislature

A Missouri state assembly bill sponsored by Representative Bart Korman (R-Montgomery County) would require lobbyists to disclose sexual relationships with legislators or legislative staffers. The bill does so through defining sex as a “gift.”

Is It Legal—or, Who’s the Victim?

One of the more intractable aspects of sexual politics today for traditionalists is the emergence of the courtroom as the arena for settling every debate. Even when they have a democratic majority, not to mention centuries of sexual-marital mores, on their side, the contrary will of one-to-five politically-appointed individuals can prevail. Of course, judicial activism is an old problem, undemocratic and arbitrary, placing monumental decisions in too few hands. But there is another problem, an indirect one that follows precisely from critics taking seriously the courtroom’s power. We could call this problem the “legalization” of debate, meaning not whether something is legal, but instead the conversion of moral, social, religious, and other dimensions of an issue into legal, or legalistic, terms, or at least the neglect of them because of a focus on what the judges will say.

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Woodstock Comes to Washington

If any further proof were needed that the Woodstock generation has taken over the federal government, President Clinton’s “AIDS Czar,” Kristine Gebbie, gave a speech a few months ago at a conference on teen pregnancy that should put the matter to rest. (Her office attempted to rewrite the . . . . Continue Reading »

Man, Woman, and Public Policy

Our topic is sexual identity and the meaning of gender in elite public discourse. Few topics are more important, for what is ultimately at stake is nothing less than how we raise our children and what kind of people we wish to be. Yet it is also a dangerous, almost forbidden, topic. To say anything . . . . Continue Reading »

Undertakings and Promises

For Christians, as for everyone else, the topic of sexual ethics is today one of widespread confusion, contention, and uncertainty. In this essay I propose to deal with the specific question of the kinds of promises and undertakings people ought to make when they engage in sexual relations. But I . . . . Continue Reading »