It’s been out in print for about a week now, but the year’s first issue of The Torch is now also available online. Both editions have been given new layouts, and they look great!
More significantly, this is the first issue published under my successor, the more conservative Dave Maynard. There’s still a good mix of conservative and libertarian content, but Devious Dave did switch the order of the words in the masthead (it’s now The Conservative and Libertarian…, instead of The Libertarian and Conservative…). An important symbolic change, but I’ll still write for ’em.
My own editorial covers the gay rights issues that arose over the summer; Taylor Ford wrote a companion piece taking an opposite view. One nice thing about not being editor in chief anymore? For the first time ever, I get to appear on the front page of my own paper.
The response to my editorial has been good so far: one Vandy grad student wrote to say it was good to be reminded to that progressives and libertarians are sometimes working for the same goals, while another friend informed me that copies were handed out at the closing night of “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell,” a play running in Nashville. No hate mail so far (I’ve always wanted hate mail…)
Some links of interest: here is the complete decision from the Lawrence case. If you read just one part of it, read Justice Thomas’s extremely brief dissent.
This is an article by Cato’s Executive V. P. (and Vandy grad) David Boaz that makes a good case for the privatization of marriage as a solution to the same-sex marriage issue. His conclusion puts it very well:
“Marriage is an important institution. The modern mistake is to think that important things must be planned, sponsored, reviewed, or licensed by the government. The two sides in the debate over gay marriage share an assumption that is essentially collectivist. Instead of accepting either view, let’s get the government out of marriage and allow individuals to make their own marriage contracts, as befits a secular, individualist republic at the dawn of the information age.”
The Jonah Goldberg piece I referenced is here; here is a fairly moderately worded example of the anti-gay articles now being written by some on the right opposed to gay marriage; lastly, this is the story of Michael Savage’s last night on MSNBC.
This summer provided more material than I could cover in one article, but there is one more point I really would have liked to have raised. That is to question the idea that forbidding same-sex marriage would actually have the intended effect of protecting traditional marriage. Homosexuals are already having their own informal, extralegal marriages; as I noted, The New York Times covers them in their wedding section. The more these extralegal marriages come to be socially recognized, the less necessity heterosexuals may feel to obtain a marriage license from the state.
Could a Defense of Marriage Amendment thus have the unintended consequence of discouraging marriage? I don’t know, but its supporters should consider the possibility.
One final note: I had never seen photos of the Lawrence appelants prior to seeing the proofs of the new issue. On the computer screen, they looked a lot like Pat Buchanan and the black pitchman from the 7-Up commercials. I had to check that the photo was in fact the real couple and not an off-the-wall joke undertaken by the layout staff late at night. Fortunately, it was not!