Andrew Sullivan has attacked Mitt Romney for his views, and changes in his views, on gay rights issues. For example, Sullivan takes Romney to task for telling Kathryn Lopez that he opposes “unjust discrimination against anyone, for racial or religious reasons, or for sexual preference,” but favors allowing gay people to be fired from their jobs for being gay without any sanction. Sullivan is referring to the fact that Romney doesn’t favor laws that would hand gays a legal cause of action with which to file lawsuits when they experience employment decisions (including termination) that they don’t like.
However, it’s a respectable position to be against a type of employment decision (such as not hiring someone because he is obese) without wanting to open the gates to litigation over such decisions. So respectable that, as David Frum notes, Sullivan himself once took that position. According to Frum, here’s what a wiser or less addled Sullivan wrote on the subject of gay employment rights in 1998:
Are gay people generally victims in employment? Have we historically been systematically barred from jobs in the same way that, say, women, blacks, and the disabled have? And is a remedy therefore necessary? My own view is that, while there are some particular cases of discrimination against homosexuals, for the most part getting and keeping jobs is hardly the most pressing issue we face….