But that's not my question. My question is, for those of you supporting Sowell, whether you think that was a productive or reasonable way for him to phrase the issue, or if you really think that because he says after the fact that he was referring to some specific subset of the gay community, it's unreasonable for people to interpret his words as bashing anyone who is gay. To call something "the homosexual lifestyle" and then say that it doesn't actually apply to all or most homosexuals doesn't make much sense.
Well, I agree he could have worded his article a little more diplomatically. But at the same time, the point of his article was not to make diplomatic overtures towards homosexuals, but to argue against gay marriage by pointing out the fundamental flaws in the rhetoric used to advance that issue, and the promotion of homosexuality in public schools under the guise of AIDS education.
Anyways, I think the point he makes is significantly more important than the rhetoric he uses. Undiplomatic rhetoric has characterized political debate for centuries. Even today, people on opposite sides of the political spectrum regularly employ blunt language (I'm sure you can think of more than a few lefists who regularly demean people who follow an organized religion). Complaining about choice of rhetoric employed by a pundit doesn't take anything away from the argument s/he is making.
And there's a big assumption in there that gay bars = risky sex. People of all sexual orientations do meet people at bars just to hook up, but people also go to bars looking for people to actually date, or to just hang out and have some drinks. I think it's an unfair judgment, and seems based on the stereotype that homosexual = promiscuous, period. Are straight people who pick people up at bars for one-night stands engaging in a deathstyle?
I guess you do have a point. I thought it could be commonly assumed that such places are full of people looking for easy, promiscuous sex. Gay bathhouses, gay adult theaters, and gay saunas haven't historically been places to look for anything other than easy sex, so I assumed that gay bars would be much the same. After all, straight people also go to bars to look for easy sex (amongst other reasons). But I don't know enough about gay bars in order to say that all people who go to them are engaging in irresponsible sexual behavior, and Sowell probably doesn't, either.
Still, I do agree with Sowell's conclusion that passing out information about these places to public school students is completely inappropriate. Taxpayer-backed promotion or denigration of any lifestyle has no place in a public school, especially if such activity is under the guise of something else (For that matter, I'd feel uncomfortable if a religious group began to proselytize in a high school). That most public school students are under the drinking age makes such activity doubly inappropriate.
And yes, I think that straight people who engage in one-night-stands are engaging in risky behavior, as are people who have sex with prostitutes, take intravenous drugs, etc. etc. I don't know if I'd call such behavior as comprising a "deathstyle," but I do agree that making such choices is inherently riskier than alternative choices.