Conor Friedersdorf posts this video of radical conservative Bryan Fischer:
In the clip above, Bryan Fisher of the American Family Association reminds us that until very recently, many U.S. jurisdictions imposed unconscionable restrictions on the liberty of gay people.
“Every state in the union criminalized sodomy until 1962, and 49 states until 1972,” he said on his talk radio show. “From the time of the founding until late in the 20th Century, homosexual activity was a felony offense in the United States of America. There’s no reason why it cannot be a criminal offense once again.”
Of course, he’s wrong about that last part: Beyond judicial constraints on lawmakers, the reason sodomy won’t again be illegal in the United States is that bigotry against homosexuals has declined tremendously, and — especially among younger Americans — there is a recognition that they are as deserving of personal liberty and equal treatment under the law as anyone.
Born in 1951, Fischer was born into a country where being gay or lesbian carried a deep stigma. He’ll die in a country where the bigger stigma is attached to folks who are bigoted against gays and lesbians.
Forgive me for a moment, but I want to toss a bucket of water on the notion that America is somehow in decline. Our economy is strong in spite of the recession. Our moral fabric is not coming asunder. Film and literature and music are all as good – if not better – than ever. We have problems to face, such as climate change and poverty and the burden of so many foreign wars and the war on drugs, but I have no doubt we’ll face them. I see progress, not decline, when I look at this country.
Perhaps I am an American exceptionalist after all.