Mansfield Calls Gay Love `Stunted And Frustrated'

Campus Groups Poster, Plan Response

Thomson Professor of Government Harvey C. Mansfield, Jr. '53 yesterday called the "kinky sexual practices" of homosexuals "shameful" and said their love is "imperfect and stunted and frustrated" because it "does not lead to procreation."

Elaborating on his testimony from trial in Denver on Monday, Mansfield said, "I think gays make a mistake when they try to pretend they're just like everyone else."

"They should say, `Yes, it's true we're unhappy and irresponsible and a little bit shameless. But we do it all with style and you envy us that style even if it's true that no heterosexual wants to be homosexual,"' he said in a telephone interview last night.

In response to charges that he is anti-gay, Mansfield said gay people "contribute to our national life in two ways: they excel in the arts, and secondly they undermine conventionality."

"In a democracy it's easy to be stifled in conformity, and gays remind us that conventionality is not everything," he said.


Mansfield also said that "gays eventually undermine civilization."

"The way in which men and women civilize each other is by living with each other," he said. "This cannot happen in same-sex relationships." In heterosexual relationships, Mansfield said, the partners "make each other aware of what a woman especially knows and what a man especially knows."

Mansfield was elaborating on his testimony at Monday's trial on the constitutionality of Colorado's Amendment Two, which prevents local civil rights statutes from including homosexuals as a protected minority.

His remarks on Monday drew a quick reaction oncampus as students postered yesterday to protestthe comments. The posters pictured prominentbisexual, gay or lesbian historical personalitiesin the middle of a quotation which said:"Professor Mansfield thinks [historicalpersonality] undermines civilization."

"We felt we had to respond immediately," saidRachel B. Tiven '96, who organized the posteringwith BGLSA Co-Chair Natasha E. Litt '95. "It's thekind of comment that really can't go unanswered."

Tiven said 160 of the posters went up in oneday.

Mansfield called the posters, which he saw lastnight in Quincy House, "a blatant attempt atintimidation for telling obvious, common sensetruths about gays."

He took two of the posters, he said, for"souvenirs."

Gay, bisexual and lesbian group leaders reactedstrongly to Mansfield's remarks in last night'sinterview.

Dennis K. Lin '93-'94, co-chair of theBisexual, Gay and Lesbian Student Association(BGLSA), said Mansfield's remarks last night were"stupid, if nothing else."

"I think it's definitely ignorant," he said.Once Mansfield's comments are publicized, "therewill be even more reaction." BGLSA representativesmight meet with Harvard administrators if there isno official response to the Mansfield comments,Lin said.