David Halperin in The New York Times on gay culture Halperin, a history professor, critiques the traditional argument he sees made every gay pride month that younger generations of gay people have assimilated with straight culture. "Gay men in particular, who used to frighten the horses with flamboyant displays of sexual outlawry, gender treason and fabulousness, have supposedly dropped their insignia of tribal belonging and joined the mainstream," he writes. "The problem with such a claim — besides its denial of the Lady Gaga phenomenon — is that we've heard it for so many decades now that it can't possibly be true." Halperin tries to define gay culture as expressed through gay style and argue for its importance. "[G]ay culture is not just a superficial affectation. It is an expression of difference through style — a way of carving out space for an alternate way of life."
Stephen L. Carter in Bloomberg View on the Supreme Court's legitimacy Carter asks those who warn that the Supreme Court risks its legitimacy by striking down the health care law to "lighten up." In cases that have infuriated one side or the other -- Bush v. Gore and Roe v. Wade for instance -- the court has survived with little permanent impact to its reputation, he says. Dred Scott and Brown v. Board are probably the only cases that have seriously weakened the court's standing, he says. Scott launched Abraham Lincoln, an obscure lawyer, to national fame by critiquing it. And Brown gave us "our silly modern circuses" the confirmation hearings. The health care ruling, he argues, stands little chance of hurting the court to a similar degree. "Delegitimizing the institutions that check and balance is a dangerous game. Those who engage in it should remember that once the game begins, everybody gets to play."