The NY Times writes on Obama's pending flip-flops evolution on gay issues and leaves us pining for a series of stylistic and usage rulings from William Safire.
First, this, with my emphasis:
"Gay men and lesbians"? Shouldn't that (or at least, couldn't that) be "Gay men and women"? When people talk about "gay marriage", "gay" means "homosexual", not "male homosexual".
As we press on, the Times tries again:
As the Times will eventually explain (or see The Politico), the two "openly gay" candidates are women. Shouldn't they be described as "lesbian", to be consistent with the citations which make a distinction between gay men and lesbians? Why, in this sentence, has "gay" flipped back to meaning "homosexual" with no connotation of maleness?
A bit later:
Hmm - the gay group cited by The Politico is the Gay and Lesbian Victory Fund, which is part of the Lesbian Gay Bisexual Transgender Alliance. Presumably, the gay/lesbian distinction means something to someone there. Is the Times being insensitive by ignoring that? Hard to believe.
In the balance of the story the Times uses "gay" as a synonym for "homsexual", with no maleness. We even get this:
If the Times usage rule the rule is that "gay" means either homosexual or homosexual male depending on context but "lesbian" refers exclusively to homosexual women, fine. If the day comes when the interests of the groups divide, I suppose the Times will be there to restore the distinction. If I were a lesbian feminist (or capable of channeling one) I would be irked by the male takeover, but I leave it to the Times to deal with that.
Somewhat more substantively, this is a laugher:
He is "open to the possibility" that when the poll numbers in support of gay marriage improve he will abandon his current position of political convenience in favor of a new position of political convenience. Call it "fierce" advocacy!
Oh, that is so unfair, and what am I saying - Obama will admit that his thinking has evolved and he willl be hailed for his open-mindedness and personal growth.