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Fear Of A Gay Planet

We're in the second decade of the 21st century, and we're STILL having this debate???

All this homophobia that still has the social conservatives raising a ruckus seems way overblown to me. First off, I am indeed NOT gay. (And to quote Jerry Seinfeld, "Not that there's anything WRONG with that"... and NO, there's not.) But I have no problem with two guys getting it on. And I know injustice when I see it. Why would this concern me as a heterosexual? Because I truly believe Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. when he says "injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere". If the nanny-state conservatives* can successfully write anti-gay discrimination into American law - at the federal, state or local level - who's to stop them from seeking to ban certain movies, video games or websites from the general public? Remember, their faith is what drive them, First Amendment be damned.

And that’s what it always comes down to, doesn’t it? The Founding Fathers’ view of religion, spirituality and Christianity, and how much all that should have influence on the law of the land. The debates usually end up sounding like this:

Joe Biblethumper: You two men can’t marry each other!
Jack & Gil Gaycouple: Why not?
Joe Biblethumper: It’s against the will of God!
Jack & Gil Gaycouple: Hey, it’s a free country!
Joe Biblethumper: But America is a Christian nation!
Jack & Gil Gaycouple: Um, what was that in the Constitution? Oh yeah, freedom of religion!
Joe Biblethumper: Well, the Founding Fathers meant for American citizens to live according to Christian values, blah blah blah…
Jack & Gil Gaycouple: The Founding Fathers were overall Deists, and they didn’t want state control of religion or vice versa, blah blah blah…

And repeat ad nauseum.

Look, I don't have a problem with religions having strict moral codes, as long as you're not infringing on anyone's life or liberty. (That means you can't kill anyone for having premarital sex or lock someone in a basement for showing too much skin in public... capiche, Taliban?) That's the beauty of religious freedom in America... if you don't like the restrictions on one faith, you can find another faith more compatible with your beliefs, or you can even start your own! There's plenty of gay-friendly religions out there, and they have just as much right to exist in America as the "gays-are-bad-mmmkay" denominations. If we could just butt out of each other's lives and let everyone live peacefully according to their own beliefs, this world would be a much better place, right?

Unfortunately, we're still stuck in our politically divisive environment, dominated by two political parties that both have each something desirable and something deplorable in their platforms. I like the Republicans' financial game-plan, but I hate the stranglehold the religious nuts have on their social doctrine. The Democrats are more open to marriage equality and legalized cannabis, but they also want to tax the hell out of us and overspend the government into junk-bond status and hyperinflation. Also, they've got way too many regulations and fees choking the life out of small business. The Libertarian Party seems to have the best of both worlds, but as long as we have all those political gatekeepers in place (such as popularity qualifiers for debates - I don't see Gary Johnson in the fray with Obama and Romney), the donkey-and-elephant duopoly is going to be well-entrenched in American society.

Anyway, back to the homosexual folks. I had my reservations about the gay community in my childhood, just like any white-bread kid who would be grossed out at the sight of black leather straps canvassing hairy chests. The usual stereotypes bestowed upon gays by the media contributed to that. But as I matured, I found out that the vast majority of homosexuals are civilized folks, who do all their same-sex business in private and just want to live free of discrimination and fear of getting murdered for kicks. Having a gay co-worker, and an activist one at that, in a cubicle next to mine didn't hurt either. (Jack Valinski, I hope you're doing well.)

So now that the Defense Of Marriage Act is about to have its moment in the Supreme Court spotlight, let's take a look at all the common excuses that the evangelical elitists throw at us:

The Bible clearly states homosexuality is wrong, an abomination, etc.

Brushing aside the religious freedom stuff that I mentioned earlier, yes, there ARE some mentions of gay condemnation. Leviticus 18:22 is a popular one among the right-wingers: "You shall not lie with a male as with a woman; such a thing is an abomination." Here's one in Deuteronomy, 22:5, against transvestites: "A woman shall not wear an article proper to a man, nor shall a man put on a woman's dress; for anyone who does such things is an abomination (there's that word again) to the Lord your God."

These two examples were decrees of Moses, as laws for behavior among the Jewish people. These weren't on the original Ten Commandments. The only references to sex in God's Top Ten List are "Thou shalt not commit adultery" and "Thou shalt not covet thy neighbor's wife". And what is defined as "adultery"? "Unfaithfulness to one's spouse." (Courtesy of Webster's Dictionary) Nothing about premarital sex or homosexuals.

Elsewhere, in the New Testament, the fervent apostle named Paul warns against the "pleasures of the flesh" and tells us to "shun lewd conduct". He makes observations of the "ungodly" acts of some of the regional folk, in Romans 1:26-27... "Their women exchanged natural intercourse for unnatural, and the men gave up natural intercourse with women and burned with lust for one another. Men did shameful things with men, and thus received in their own persons the penalty for their perversity."

So we should follow EVERYTHING in the Bible, right? Even THESE passages?...

Leviticus 18:19..."You shall not approach a woman to have intercourse with her while she is unclean from menstruation." So we should arrest men for "crime-scene sex"?

Leviticus 19:19..."Do not breed any of your domestic animals with others of a different species; do not sow a field of yours with two different kinds of seed; and do not put on a garment woven with two different kinds of thread." Whoa. Why are we butting into the farming and fashion industries?

Leviticus 19:28..."Do not lacerate your bodies for the dead, and do not tattoo yourselves." There go all the tattoo parlors.

And here's where it gets good... who deserves to DIE.

Leviticus 20:9..."Anyone who curses his mother or father shall be put to death; since he has cursed his father or mother, he has forfeited his life."

Leviticus 20:13..."If a man lies with a male as with a woman, both of them shall be put to death for their abominable deed; they have forfeited their lives."

Leviticus 20:27..."A man or woman who acts as a medium or fortune-teller shall be put to death by stoning; they have no one but themselves to blame for their death."

Deuteronomy 21:18..."If a man has a stubborn and unruly son who will not listen to his father or mother, and will not obey them even though they chastise him, his father and mother shall have him apprehended and brought out to the elders at the gate of his home city, where they shall say to those city elders, 'This son of ours is a stubborn and unruly fellow who will not listen to us; he is a glutton and a drunkard.' Then all his fellow citizens shall stone him to death."

Deuteronomy 22:22..."If a man is discovered having relations with a woman who is married to another, both the man and woman with whom he has had relations shall die. Thus shall you purge the evil from your midst."

So... that's the death penalty for adulterers, homosexuals, rebellious children, and the entire Psychic Friends Network. Even if you only said "Fuck you" to Mom, you've committed a capital offense punishable by death. It says so in the Holy Bible, I'm not kidding. Is this what America should be like, according to the right-wingers? I didn't think so, either. Next...

If the entire world was homosexual, humanity would die off in a matter of decades.

Apparently you've never heard of adoption or artificial insemination. And nobody, except for a few deranged people, wants to turn the entire world gay. There's no "gay ray" that'll alter everyone's brains once switched on.

You can't change the definition of marriage. It's always been, and always will be, one man and one woman.

Unfortunately for you, it's possible in American law to change the definition of ANY word. That's what "legal definition" means. Besides, if we hold the definition of marriage so sacred, why is no one getting in trouble for saying "it's a great idea, but I'm not married to it" or "the perfect marriage of form and function"?

If one state wants to change "one man and one woman" to "two adults of legal age", they have that right. Which leads to the next excuse...

If we allow same-sex marriage now, that'll open the door to polygamous marriage, or incestuous marriage, or people legally marrying their houseplants, etc.

Okay, what is marriage in the legal sense? A contract of legally binding terms between adults. Who can legally enter into a contract? Only adults of legal age. So yes, there may still be debates over plural marriages or two adults marrying each other that are related to each other. But the slipperiness of the slope stops right at children, animals and inanimate objects.

This concerns only 2-5 percent of the American population, so it's not that important to our country.

Um, remember my MLK quote? A great many of us - over half polled at last count - care about fairness, accessability and the rule of law (not to mention equal protection under the law). And extending marriage, or at least all the benefits of marriage, to same-sex couples won't hurt the nation one bit.

If we allow gay marriage, the gay activists will continue to force the rest of their "gay agenda" on us.

That's like saying if we give blacks the right to vote, the New Black Panthers will take over our government. The vast majority of homosexuals just want to live quiet, productive lives... and while a good many of them don't want committed relationships, there's plenty of same-sex couples that only want the same marriage perks as the others.

Gay sex in the streets? Bondage gear/nudity in public? We already have laws on the books against lewd conduct. Indoctrination in public schools? There's an abundance of safeguards in place to prevent children from seeing stuff they shouldn't be seeing. If anything, the schools should be teaching that all people are deserving of respect no matter what their lifestyle, and that neither homosexuals nor children of homosexuals deserve to be ridiculed or bullied. Yes, do the sex education, but keep it age-appropriate and non-judgmental.

And finally, there's that universal vague excuse...
Homosexuality and/or gay marriage will destroy our families.

Gee, my wife and I would love to start a family, but my next-door neighbor is gay. Just by being there, he's the cause of my wife's low egg count.

Look, there is nothing that gays and lesbians do to directly destroy families. The destruction comes from unfaithfulness, lack of communication, lack of respect, abuse, and other "irreconciliable differences". Not the sudden announcement that one's daughter found out she's a lesbian. As long as two people love each other, and want to raise kids, there will be families. All kinds of families. Deal with it.

This madness has gone on far enough. Homosexuals are law-abiding citizens, just like you and me. The gay community has made many positive contributions to our society, from fashion to films to music. When it comes down to it, gay people know how to have fun. So let them have their fun. And let's get ourselves firmly into the 21st century already.

* Let the record show that I do make a distinction between "social conservatives" and what I call "nanny-state conservatives". I have no problem with social conservatives as I define them... as people who have high standards in their moral values, and practice them faithfully in their family, community and church, encouraging others to follow their example. However, when they seek to use the rule of law to force others to follow the moral guidelines they follow (outside of basic protections of life, liberty and property), that's when they become "nanny-state conservatives"... and as far as I'm concerned, enemies of individual liberty.

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October 2014

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