The Imperative of Gay Marriage

17 Jan

I am in favor of legal recognition of gay marriages. I think that the arguments against it are largely hogwash, boiling down to “We don’t like these people, they’re icky!”

Unfortunately I also think that a number of arguments in favor of gay liberation and gay marriage are also hogwash.
First is the assertion that homosexuality is ‘natural’, and that this puts it beyond criticism. Ridiculous. ‘Natural’ is no excuse for anything. Arsenic is natural. Botulism is natural. Natural, for great apes such as humans, means crouching in trees and picking fleas off of our relatives. Worse; among social mammals ‘natural’ includes committing infanticide followed by forcible rape. ‘Natural’ is no justification for anything. We do not support seven billion people on this planet, with some hope of eventually feeding them all, by being ‘natural’.
Next is the belief that if they are born homosexual instead of choosing to be homosexual, this automatically makes homosexuality alright. It sounds superficially reasonable, but let’s look at it more closely. Set aside that the ‘gay gene’ has not yet been identified. It is fairly clear from the history of Native Americans and alcohol that there is a genetic predisposition for alcoholism. I don’t know that this has been identified in the course of DNA research, but it would surprise nobody. Yet, we do not accept that people are born drunks, and let them live their own lifestyle, based on drunkenness.
The issue with drunkenness, after one clears away the clutter of puritanism, is that a drunk does damage to society. Well, so does a homosexual. The incidence of sexually transmitted diseases among sexually active gay men is seven times that in the general population. And that, in turn, makes the gay subculture a well of secondary infections, such as tuberculosis, that can then spread into society as a whole.
But that isn’t an effect of homosexuality on its own. It is an effect of the ‘Gay Lifestyle’ as it came to be defined during the break-out period of the 1970’s. The ’70’s were the trailing end of the ‘Sexual Revolution’ that started with the widespread use of The Pill in the 1960’s, and saw an explosion in sexually transmitted disease (indeed, STDs were the only winners of that revolution). The heterosexual population took a step or two back, starting in the 1980’s. The Gay population didn’t. Even after the rise of AIDS, the Gay lifestyle is characterized by serial promiscuity, and that is what causes the extraordinary difference in the rate of infection.
It is too easy to say that the problem of promiscuity is rooted in homosexuality itself. Gays do not have the alternative that heterosexuals did when they wished to try more stable relationships; socially approved partnerships called marriages. Maybe if they had they would still have stuck with wretched excess as a lifestyle, but we can’t know that.
Dealing with homosexuality by denying legal recognition to Gay marriages is like dealing with drunkenness by banning alcohol; superficially satisfying a small group of self-righteous twits, but no real solution to anything.
Gay marriage should be recognized not because Homosexuality is ‘natural’, nor because Gays are born that way. It should be recognized because the status quo pushes Gays toward behavior that is a danger both to them and to society at large. They may then chose to take risks with their health; that is their business. It is society’s business to offer them an alternative.
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