Roger L. Simon

Sullivan and Derbyshire

I don’t intend to read Andrew Sullivan’s new book. I have too much on my end table at the moment. But I must say that I found myself sympathizing with Sullivan when I read John Derbyshire’s opinion of his work on The Corner this morning. In his remarks on homosexuality, Derbyshire reflects a religious orthodoxy which I find painfully close to bigotry. It also shows someone whose knowledge of gay people seems, to put it mildly, proscribed. His assertion that gays are hedonistic and have no interest in the future (“The perennial present-centeredness of those who don’t intend to reproduce…”) does not square with my experience at all. Derbyshire ought to get out a bit. Gay parents are everywhere in our big cities and, knowing several of them, they have, more or less, the same pros and cons as other parents with many of the same nesting instincts. Derbyshire’s vision of homosexuality ignores advances in modern science (fetal baths) etc. and comes from the era most people thought the world was flat.