Tuesday, August 10, 2010

The Case Against Gay Marriage

A reminder of why I find Andrew Sullivan generally despicable, no matter how enthusiastically he voted for Obama last year. In the course of making his typically-conservative argument in favor of gay marriage:
If you have total gay freedom and no gay institutions that can channel love and desire into commitment and support, you end up in San Francisco in the 1970s. That way of life - however benignly expressed, however defensible as the pent-up unleashed liberation of a finally free people - helped kill 300,000 young human beings in this country in our lifetime.
Actually, Andrew, the absence of gay marriage in this country did not cause the AIDS crisis. Nor did "total gay freedom." It was caused by a virus, as you well know. And its effects were magnified thanks to the fine public health efforts of a Republican government you strongly supported. Well, that and Sullivan's own "consummate hypocrisy," as Richard Kim once put it. As Kim pointed out back then, Sullivan is despicable not so much for the obvious hypocrisy--read Kim's piece for the overview of Sullivan's own sex life--but because his politics are devoted to keeping power in the hands of the already-powerful. Just because he favors allowing the powerful to be gay doesn't alter the fundamental equation he promotes.

Civil marriage is nothing more than a series of benefits, mostly financial, that the government affords certain citizens. Should those benefits not be given to those who live in non-traditional family arrangements that still won't be covered by "gay marriage"? To those who simply choose to be single? To those who don't choose to be single, but are nevertheless? What exactly is the reasoning behind these policies? My ideal government would not expand the financial benefits of marriage to a slightly larger group of people, it would do away with them all together. If we want to provide financial assistance for child rearing, shouldn't that assistance be more directly linked to the having of children? I'm a pragmatist so I'm strongly in favor of legalizing gay marriage today, but I'm not going to pretend that it's going to solve many social ills, and in the hands of Andrew Sullivan I worry that it will actually create more.

Now, you might ask yourself, aren't you married yourself, Professor Gentry? Why yes, I am. I think there is a lot of good to be found in the ritualized union of individuals.* I think well enough of that concept to even consider it something of a sacrament, went so far as to have celebrated my own in a church. And that's exactly why I think the state has no place inregulating consensual relationships at all; render under Ceaser and all that.

And it's before my time, but I hear that San Francisco in the 1970s could be a pretty wonderful place.


sociosound said...

Great post. Much like Obama's win won't solve all of the racism issues we've got in the country, the legality of gay marriage won't fix the other societal problems.. it is, however, a helluva great step.

Anonymous said...

Part 1: The Abbreviated Version of The Public Health Case Against Gay Marriage

Gay marriage is bad public policy based on the assertion of proponents that sexuality is either heterosexual or homosexual. This assertion is untrue and discounts environmental factors such as societal norms completely.

Yes, some people are born genetically 100% homosexual and some are born genetically 100% heterosexual, but it is natural to understand that few people are genetically 100% anything. If true, that people do NOT in part or in whole choose to be homosexual, but rather are born that way, then there would be no bisexuality, nor would there be any pedophilia, necrophilia, or bestiality.

Promiscuity is the bane of society. Over the millennia promiscuity has lead to death and disease beyond measure and this outcome has been exemplified most by homosexual and bisexual males. Male homosexual sex is mechanically conducive to the spread of disease more so than heterosexual sex. Furthermore, the promiscuous nature of male sexuality is amplified when both participants in the sex act are male. The male sex-drive, either as a function of genes or of societal norms, is greater than that of females. Women seem to have a natural understanding that they are more at a health risk when engaging in promiscuous sex themselves or engaging with a promiscuous partner. Women, more so than men, have tended to favor fidelity and as that value changes as a matter of choice, for either men and/or women, then death and disease in the population will increase.

Society approving of gay marriage will lead to more boys and men who ordinarily would never have experimented sexually with other men to do so because gay sex will be considered an acceptable act that does no extraordinary harm. Some of the experimenters have been and will be the children of gay male couples who have modeled same sex sexual intimacy. Children watch their parents and generally do as they see them do; or at least try out the behavior.

The current medical statistics prove that the harm is in fact extraordinary and that it centers on the gay male community. Gay marriage will at best be a zero sum game and at worst be a promulgator of death and disease reaching well into the heterosexual community in the form of increased incidences of new sexually transmitted diseases with greater resistance to modern medicine.

Part 2 is The Fiscal Case Against Gay Marriage