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First of all I have to say, that the previous article from Judge Posner was very good, and I could not agree more with it. However the true reason because I'm writting here for the very first time, is that I can't handle those biased comments of these pro-homosexual users. Come on, Posner has wrote with a scrupolous respect towards the homosexual comunity,therefore stop these stupid and biased comments against the judge Posner.

I hope that the judge Posner will keep writting about homosexuals or whatever he wants despite all these non sense criticism.


I am twenty-seven years old and just graduated from law school (one where the environment is so politically correct, I was given a hard time by a fellow student for mistakenly using the term "black" instead of "African-American"). That being said, reading this post is the first time I have ever heard of the word "homosexual" being politically incorrect.

St. Darwin Assisi's cat

Judge Posner...admire your comment on airline behavior....got a great chuckle out of LUGS .... respected your stance on not changing your writing about homosexuality just to be politically correct ... you put Kierkagaard (spelling challenged), Camus, and all of the other medieval intellectuals to shame as you demonstrate human evolvement ... you are an intellectual with a gand sense of humor and joy!


While criticism for using the word "homosexual" is just plain silly, the only thing I take issue with in Judge Posne'is the word "normal". I won't debate its definition; I simply question its significance in a free democratic republic. It is "abnormal" in this country to be African-American, Jewish, Hispanic, Catholic, opposed to Bush's immigration reforms, in favor of keeping our troops in Iraq, pro-life, and the list goes on. The overriding question I have to all such observations is: so what?

A  law student

Yes, the word "homosexual" is not pejorative. However, I don't think that it captures the idea that Judge Posner is trying to express. I assume that Judge Posner defines a homosexual as one who prefers a same-sex partner when costs are equal. Doesn't this leave a lot of room for people who are actually homosexual to not pursue their natural inclinations because in today's society the costs are not equal? For that reason, it would make sense for him to use the non-scientific words "straight" and "gay," as they refer to being committed to a lifestyle (as opposed to being subject to sexual attraction).


I agree with your point, A law student, but the word "gay" implies a male norm -- do you not find that problematic? Of course people do say "gays and straights" but they also say "gays and lesbians" -- much like people say "men and animals" and "men and women." Just as the word "men" is tied to maleness even when it's meant to be universal, so is the word "gay." For that reason, I'm OK with homosexual (in fact, I'd love it if "homo" could lose it's negative playground-insult connotations and we could say "homos and heteros").

mark graham

Charles, I think Prof. Posner's point was that "in a heterogeneous society, practice tends to be normative." In other words, what is "normal" is very important, because one of the ways we decide what ought to be is by looking at what is. Like it or not, that has been a human tendency for as long as there has been recorded thought.

In fact, the confusion is probably based on the fact that the word "normal" has two senses - its "normative" sense, which I think is how Prof. Posner used it, and its "common" sense, which I think is how you are taking it.

In our society it is hard to think of things that fall in one category but not the other. Theft might be one, in some sense. We would not hear of a robbery and say "theft is normal", because we condemn it. But probably as many people as not have stolen something (pens from work, songs on the internet). In that sense theft is "normal" (common).


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