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April 26, 2013

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Orin Kerr

Jeff, can you say more about why you think gay marriage and the Bradley Manning espionage prosecution are connected? Is the connection just that Manning is believed to be gay? Or is it that the Manning case has become a cause celebre on the political left?

Jeff Redding

Orin, thanks for your question. I'm sure others will have different takes on all this, but one thing that has bothered me about the argument for gay marriage is the sort of promise that gets continually held out to us disbelievers that "gays will change (patriarchal) marriage from the inside; don't worry." The same sort of argument often gets made to justify allowing gays to join the military. From what I've seen though in this Bradley Manning Grand Marshal affair thusfar, the falsity of that promise is revealing itself. For example, on numerous websites, I've seen (gay) people arguing that Manning is a 'traitor,' and thus should not be honored. (But... I thought it was good to let gays in the military because they would shake it up???) I think we will see - and are seeing, and have seen - the same set of moves happening with gay marriage: its patriarchical and monopolistic aspects are being reinforced as it becomes more... 'inclusive.'

Let me also note that Manning's identity is unclear; there are indications that Manning is not only gay, but also a trans woman. The code words for this all in media scuttlebutt is that he is "mentally unstable." The Obama Administration also used this equation of trans = mentally unstable = suicide threat as a justification to abuse Manning, as much previous discussion and this petition (http://balkin.blogspot.com/2011/03/statement-on-private-mannings-detention.html) has revealed.

Thanks again for the opportunity to clarify.

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