Bryan Fischer of the American Family Association is calling for its recriminalization. And he'll never get his way.



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. It is difficult, at a time of unprecedented government surveillance and executive overreach, to be entirely optimistic about the advance of liberty in America. In certain tremendously important areas, however, it is certainly advancing in ways that are to be celebrated.  


We want to hear what you think about this article. Submit a letter to the editor or write to letters@theatlantic.com.