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12.5.03

(Part 2, Part 1 directly below)

The left's version of the anti-American regime elected in Iraq could be sodomy laws (and similar sexual morality statutes). While there has been a trend toward repealing anti-sodomy laws in the nation, there's no guarantee that they may never be removed in certain more conservative areas. And the backlash against the loosening of sexual mores in the latter half of last century led to the successful passage of numerous "defense of marriage" acts and amendments at the state level. This fact -- that in many places the will of the voters is to deny homosexual relationships the same status as heterosexual ones -- has been a boon to social conservatives. They can point to liberal social/cultural policies as unpopular and hence anti-democratic. It plays nicely into the criticism of liberal judges "legislating from the bench," and allows such social conservatives to position themselves as the real guardians of democracy. Indeed, conservative doves may have the best position here, as they can side with democracy on both Iraq's leadership and sodomy laws.

I don't mean to claim any ideological purity on this issue. As a classical conservative with a liberal morality, I tend to err on the side of respecting the will of the people while endeavoring to change that will. Yet I also recognize that liberal democracy is a two-word term for a reason, and democracy can't be allowed to radically undermine certain liberal principles such as freedom of speech. I don't have any clear rule to follow for balancing the two, but I realize that without one I risk committing, or being accused of, hypocrisy.

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