Under the Black Flag

The Last Thing on Anyone's Mind

In a tiny hamlet next to where I live, high up in the Swiss Alps, two gay friends of mine have set up house, and a beautiful old chalet it is.  One, a German, is straight out of central casting of a Panzer commander; the other, an Englishman, more P.G. Wodehouse than John Bull.  Both are very nice, very good looking, generous, and amusing.  I recently asked them if they planned to marry.  They looked at me as if I had proposed Russian roulette.  Here in Switzerland, a tolerant place as long as one has money, gay marriage does not the headlines make.  After all, the right of women to vote was imposed from above on one of its cantons, Appenzell, as late as 1971.  American feminists missed the occasion, but Bill Buckley and I did not, writing about how the end was nigh.

Recently, the New York Times ran a long and boring article by Bill Keller, a very upright boring man who used to edit the rag.  His dateline was South Africa, and the spiel was how the Constitutional Court of South Africa had established the right of South African gays and lesbians to marry.  He then went on to bash Uncle Sam’s intolerance, blah-blah-blah, and to remind us that Thomas Jefferson favored castration (ouch) for homosexuals.  (Bad old Tom, and in the 18th century to boot.)  What I find so ludicrous are the realities.  Unless Keller is a complete and...

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