2008-12-20

18000 marriages need to end to protect marriage

Yes On 8 wants to annul all the same-sex marriages performed in the state to date. I am completely unsurprised.

I just don't get it, friends. I don't understand how other people living their lives can be so offensive to anyone that they're willing to put their time and money into tearing us down. The nearest I can figure is that there's some severe difference in word definitions between us and them.

My hypothesis is that it comes down to the definition of homosexuality. From the point of view of a GLBA person, homosexuality is the state of being attracted to/falling in love exclusively or almost exclusively with people of the same sex/gender as oneself. It's innate, it's immutable -- who chooses who they love? -- and it's a part of who you are regardless of what you do.

The thing about this understanding of sexual orientation -- supported by science and backed by the APA -- is that it makes "homosexuality is a sin" gibberish. It's a trait. Redheadedness isn't a sin, or autism, or being black, or being left-handed. And therefore we don't push redheads to dye their hair, mandate drugging of autistic people, force black people to bleach their skin and straighten their hair, or prohibit the use of the left hand for writing. In the present, I mean. So it's illogical to discriminate against people on the basis of sexual orientation, just as laws against left-handedness would be illogical.

Therefore, I don't think that our opponents can possibly define homosexuality this way. The party line for a lot of conservatives is that it's a "lifestyle choice," right? So what I eventually realized is that homosexuality to them means gay sex. A gay person is someone who has sex with people of the same sex -- bisexuals I think must be seen as incredibly promiscuous, because otherwise there would be no way of giving meaning to the term -- and therefore, logically, if they stop having sex with people of the same sex, they are no longer gay.

Now, there are a few flaws with this, and the first is that it's completely and demonstrably false. Well, that can be dodged by simply not believing the overwhelming scientific evidence or any individual gay person who has relevant personal experience. The second is that only a total idiot with a persecution complex would ever choose to be a member of an unpopular minority group. The counter to this that I've seen is the suggestion that gay sex is addictive, sort of like tobacco I suppose, and to try it once is to risk getting hooked for life. Alternately, there's the Freudian idea that gay people have some childhood trauma that makes us afraid of relationships with people of the opposite sex, so that same-sex relationships seem better somehow even with every disadvantage that goes with them.

So assuming that the addiction view is accepted, the logic runs the opposite way. You want to make it harder for people to become addicted to harmful things, so you pass laws to discourage use and encourage rehabilitation. Therefore, banning same-sex marriage (and ideally civil unions) is a way of discouraging gay people from committing to relationships, making stable commitment harder and forcing us to see opposite-sex relationships as preferable alternatives. Similarly, with the Freudian model, the idea is that making same-sex relationships less appealing will lead people back to heterosexuality.

The problem, of course, is that they're so completely wrong about every aspect of this that it's absurd. And here we get to the part I don't understand, and will never be able to understand: why don't they figure this out? Why is it so hard to realize that the sex-addiction model of homosexuality completely fails to account for monogamous same-sex couples, gay virgins/happily single gay people like yours truly, heterosexually monogamous bisexual-identified people, and indeed most of the gay/bi community because most people aren't awfully promiscuous actually? Or that the Freudian model, besides being rejected by the psychiatric community, fails to explain any variety of bisexual? It doesn't compute, for me.

3 comments:

turelietelconta said...

I have an answer to why the religious people do this - it is not particularly logical, but then, no one ever said humans were logical.

Very religious people are usually taught that sex is a sin. Following your bodies urges is bad, and ideally you never ever have sex. The only way sex is not a sin is if it is in a traditional marriage, with the aim of making children. In traditional Christian churches that is the only way sex is "acceptable". Gay sex can never lead to children, and so people following their libido is sinful and bad - like it is with heterosexual people who aren't married / have sex without wanting to have children.
So it does not matter where your desire to have same-sex relations comes from, to be a good Christian (their definition) you can't follow it.
Also the idea that ignoring evil done by others is as bad as doing something evil yourself is often interpreted as ignoring evil done by others is even worse than doing something similar yourself. (Perhaps because it is easier to tell others to change than to change yourself.)
So basically they are expecting everyone else to behave the way their god tells them to behave (according to their scriptures).

Phoenix said...

The thing about that is -- that's not in the Bible. "Be fruitful and multiply" was to repopulate the Earth. Thereafter -- nothing. It's a ridiculously narrow view, borrowing a bit from St. Paul's endorsement of celibacy as the ideal maybe, but not really supported by the body of the text they use.

I mean, here's Jesus himself: "anyone who looks at a woman lustfully has already committed adultery with her in his heart." The attraction, or at least the "impure" kind implied by the mention of adultery, is no nobler for being repressed in Christ's view. In short, what I'm saying is that the whole view any way you look at it is illogical.

*looks at clock* 3:30, yeah, going to bed while I can still find it....

turelietelconta said...

I believe you expect too much logic/thinking from people. I think hardly any one of these people has actually read the Bible. They go by what they are told by their priests, and those have their own agenda, lots of canon around the Bible, and an absolute inability to admit how much things change. Also, they go by what they were told as children by their parents, which may have been the official church position 60 years ago...

And I agree that it is illogical. When I talk with my relatives (especially my grandmother), I'm usually totally awed by how illogical and contradictory her thoughts, opinions and beliefs are.
But when I try to point this out, she just smiles at me with that smile that means she thinks I'm strange for thinking about things, and will say the same thing again. They just don't care that they are being illogical.