The last two arguments against homosexual “marriage”:
9. In one crucial respect the social acceptance of homosexuality makes matters worse, not better, for the homosexual himself.
If my body needs protein, it will not do to try to fool it with starches. If the male homosexual needs a true male friendship, and affirmation as a man, he will not attain it by adopting the pose of a woman. That stands to reason.
But there are additional psychological reasons why the best society for a homosexual is not one that simply condones his behavior. I am not talking about cruel severity. If people understand that some folks are unfortunately attracted to members of their own sex, and if, while they neither seek to reveal it nor feel compelled to punish it, they make it known as a matter of cultural custom that they do not approve of it, then the homosexual is provided with a sane and merciful curb on his behavior. That explains why homosexuals seem to plunge further and further into the bizarre and self-destructive, precisely in those places where bigotry against them is slight or nonexistent. Or put it this way: homosexuals themselves admit that they delight in being what they have called “transgressive,” that is, literally, crossing the boundaries of what is decent or even speakable. It follows that the nature of the transgressing behavior will depend upon where the society draws the line. Even if it draws the line rather close, the homosexual will likely stay content with merely crossing that line. If, to be specific, it is unspeakable to suggest that a man will engage in a particular form of sexual release with another man, then the transgressor can do that, and let there be an end of it.
But if the line is drawn farther off, or not drawn at all, then the homosexual must go ever farther for the same thrill of transgression; must, as we have seen in such cities as San Francisco and Seatte, invent methods and combinations that are too saddening to enumerate, and that cannot be described in a public forum such as this. That such things are common in the homosexual community should be revealing; and it is a poor charity that shrugs and pretends that all is well. AIDS is only one disease in a panoply of ailments that the male homosexual suffers, through abuse of his body. Perhaps the reader should pause to consider why hepatitis is so common a killer of homosexual men.
10. It spells disaster for children.
Our society has been corrupting childhood for a long time now, all under the pretense of good hygiene.
Why have we forgotten that it is crucial to our emotional and intellectual development that sexual feelings be latent while we are children? It frees the time for what is then more important: learning. In the first instance, the boy learns to be a boy and then a man, so that afterwards he can marry; and the girl learns to be a girl and then a woman. But also the boys and girls are learning about the world around them -- a world of duties and responsibilities. This social learning is short-circuited by a forced precocity in matters of sex. Other forms of learning are short-circuited too. The boy who at age fifteen is not interested in girls may well be forging his way through calculus, or learning to take cars apart and rebuild them from scratch. The girl who at age fifteen is not interested in boys may be devouring the novels of Charles Dickens. Since, given the many years we expect our children to be in school and then college, most will not marry until long after puberty, why on earth would we want to hurry the onset of the troubles? Would we of all people not want instead that our children should not even think seriously about the opposite sex until well into their teenage years, at the earliest?
But if homosexual “marriage” is accepted, there can be no such wise deferral. We will be visiting a crisis of identity upon every child in our society. That in fact is the intention of many homosexual activists, whose revenge upon the children who were once cruel or indifferent to them is to afflict other children with doubts, to make them endure the questions that they themselves endured. All this is done under the guise of charity for the homosexual teenager; but the true charity would refrain from plunging children into the trouble in the first place, and would instead offer what another commentator has called an “unambiguous expectation of heterosexuality.” That would give many pubescent teens the wherewithal to shrug off the random doubt, rather than causing it to grow into a dreadful prognosis. But given the latency of sexual feelings during childhood, no child will be able to say, with confidence, “I am a heterosexual” -- how could the child really even know what that means? In the meantime, what for boys and girls are wholly natural attraction to members of the same sex, in the years when they are forging their identities as boys and girls, will now be shaded with the suspicion of homosexuality -- as if the boys and girls could really know what that meant, either!
There is no gainsaying it. If homosexual “marriage” is condoned, then of course kissing, holding hands, celebrating anniversaries, talking about your first date, and all the rest must be condoned. If a teacher can casually mention where he met his wife, then the homosexual teacher can casually mention where he met his husband. Need I mention that logic compels us to travel to the end of this mistaken road? Why should not the bisexual mention to his third graders where he met his wife and husband?
Not surprisingly, those who will suffer worst from the confusion will be those who run the gravest risks in the formation of their sexual identity: boys. How many of them will now “know,” to their dismay, that they are homosexual, when all they are is lonely or just at the stupid dizzy age of thirteen, when every naked body draws their attention? How many will now avoid the very friendships they long for, in the mistaken fear that their longing for friendship marks them out as homosexual? What guidelines can we provide for children who are trying to establish themselves as boys and girls, when we have effectively told them that there are no guidelines at all?
And what about children as objects of sexual desire? In the few societies wherein homosexuality has enjoyed some measure of acceptance, it has not been homosexual relations between adults, but homosexual relations between a man and a boy, or, more rarely, adolescent girls. This marked preference for girlish looking youths is seen in ancient Greece, afterwards adopted in Rome; it is also to be found in the decadent years of the Ottoman Empire, and in samurai Japan. Again, it is not a corruption of the relations between husband and wife, but of the relation between teacher and disciple, mentor and protege. From Plato’s Symposium we can gather that relations between adult men, such as Pausanias and Agathon, were considered unseemly, effeminate, even ridiculous. Pausanias himsef does not try to justify those; but he does complain that ignorant fathers will try to protect their sons from the advances of their lovers (the older men). Evidently not everybody in Athens was pleased by the vice -- and, evidently, Plato himself had his doubts about it, as he casts Socrates as the great frustrator of the desires of the debauched Alcibiades.
If male homosexuality has its source in painful events in childhood, then it is to be expected that male homosexuals will be preoccupied with childhood; many of them will be attracted to boys, just as they were when they were boys and the natural attraction was frustrated or cruelly rejected. We hear often that a majority of child abusers are heterosexual; but that is a statistic manipulated for political purposes. Its effectiveness as rhetoric depends upon the fact that most people do not distinguish between absolute probability and conditional probability. The question is not, are most child abusers heterosexual -- since by far most men are heterosexual; almost 98%, to be precise. The question is, given a heterosexual, or a homosexual, what are the odds that that person will be a child abuser? Put it another way: if being homosexual were absolutely no indicator for an inclination towards viewing children as sexual objects, then homosexuals would be only as likely as heterosexuals to abuse children. Then 98% of abused children will be girls -- but this is certainly not the case. In fact, most children who are sexually abused outside the home are boys.
What the proponents of the homosexual agenda have done is to fold incest into the category of child abuse, further skewing the statistic and making it unusable for those who wish to understand what is going on. Now, short of banning families, there is no way for us to eliminate occasions of incest; we can at best be vigilant about it and punish it severely. But if a father and mother know perfectly well that they are not abusing their own children, then the only question of import becomes, “What sort of person, homosexual or heterosexual, is more likely to be trouble?” I am not implying here that most homosexuals are dangerous for children. Most are not. But a very small percentage of the male population is somehow responsible for the abuse of boys at ten times the rate that their numbers should predict. And the psychological causes of male homosexuality make it no surprise that it should be so.
The reader will have noticed that I have spoken mainly about male homosexuality, and have only lightly touched upon lesbianism. Indeed I think lesbianism is the more dangerous of the two, involving a far more radical rejection of the opposite sex, though it would take a long and very different essay to delve into its etiology and the prognosis for a society that accepts it. I will only say again that any wise statesman must look at us and see that we have gone badly astray; if nothing else, demographics will prove it. Crucial to our regaining health will be a restored love between man and woman. That will require the rejection of the sexual libertinism we have taken for granted. And that means that the very last thing we ought to do now is to give that libertinism a constitutional imprimatur. We have a long road to travel; we ought not, at its inception, cut off our own feet.
I have until now not spoken from a religious point of view; the truths I have cited can be seen by anyone, regardless of faith. But I wonder whether a wise ruler would care to sever his culture forever from the religion that gave birth to it and nurtured it to maturity. At the least he would thus alienate those for whom the religion is still the polestar of human existence; these would suddenly find themselves in a nation as hostile to them, though perhaps not yet so cruel about it, as ancient Rome was to the first Christians. But other consequences must follow. It is foolish and shortsighted to believe that all the moral and cultural victories won by one’s nation’s dominant religion will remain after that religion has been expressly rejected. It is one particular victory of Christianity -- and this is an historical fact, whatever one may believe about Christ -- to have preached to the world the dignity of all those whom the world had scorned: the dignity of women, and children, and the poor, and the weak, and the suffering. The first written tribute of a man to the virtue and intelligence of a woman -- not to her physical beauty -- was Augustine’s account of the life of his mother, Monica. No higher esteem was ever paid the child than when Christ said, “Except ye become as one of these little ones, ye shall not enter the Kingdom of Heaven." We take for granted that we will keep a few of the moral precepts of Christ even after we have marked his followers out for derision. That is an assumption no true statesman would make. He would know that no culture that denied its very roots -- the exhausted and agnostic Athens after the Peloponnesian War; the supine emperor-worshiping Rome, once built upon the sweat of its own aristocratic farmers, now buying time from the sweat of slaves -- has ever survived for long. We won’t, either.