(He also provides vital evidence that, liberation or no, the homosexual sensibility still lives: not a character is introduced without a detailed and knowing description of the cut, color, and quality of his costume; nor is a single indoors occasion, from the quietest to the most squalid, presented without a prior survey of the furnishings and color scheme.)-Neocon author Midge Decter, describing Edmund White's book, States of Desire, in her astonishingly spiteful 1980 Commentary article on how the gays forced her family to give up their summer place on Fire Island, "The Boys on the Beach." Antigay animus has been an animating principle of neoconservative thought every since, and her long, stereotyping screed is still cited with approval in the very best circles. As a polemic, it is remarkable for the way it packs a roundhouse punch without a single citation of the Bible.
Decter turned 88 yesterday.