To the editor ...

I don't know whether I agree with the article, but it was an interesting read. Two things, though:

1. Homosexuals are still discriminated against; and

2. It's "pro-choice," not "pro-abortion."

Adam Weissman
September 11, 2004


Ronn Neff replies

(1) Mr. Weissman is right: homosexuals are discriminated against. Lots of people discriminate against lots of other people. It is worth mentioning that there are also lots of people who discriminate in favor of homosexuals.

I think that social discrimination is a natural thing, a necessary component of all societies, and a good thing. It is the necessary consequence of the right of association. Would anyone like to make the argument that neighborhoods should not discriminate against local child molesters? Against backyard nudists? Against early-morning yodelers? Against people who smell bad?

If Mr. Weissman can produce an argument for not discriminating against some particular group, let him produce it. Perhaps by "discrimination" he means something different from what I mean.

(2) I have never met a person who claimed to be pro-choice who did not believe that abortion was a good thing under some circumstances. In fact, however, hardly anyone who claims to be pro-choice actually favors expanding the realm of choice.

If the term "pro-choice" is to be taken literally, we should expect pro-choicers to be opposed to the war on drugs, opposed to state education, opposed to the prohibition of gun ownership, opposed to compulsory participation in Social Security, and on and on.

It is clear that not one pro-choicer in 10,000 is pro-choice in this sense.

Pro-choicers should object to China's one-child policy, which controls Chinese women's "reproductive rights." Not one pro-choicer in 10,000 does. The official American organs of the so-called pro-choice movement, in fact, make excuses for China's policy.

Mr. Weissman may be pro-choice in the literal sense. But we are not talking about what he means by the word, but rather what it means in ordinary political discourse.

In ordinary political discourse, "pro-choice" is a euphemism. And the only thing I can find for it to be a euphemism for is "pro-abortion." If Mr. Weissman has an argument for preferring euphemism to plain speaking, let him produce it.

By the way, if "pro-choice" is to be taken literally, pro-choicers should not be opposed to discrimination, since discrimination is also an exercise of choice.


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