Sunday, August 29, 2004

The Gay Rights Issue

I am not gay, nor do I know personally any gay people. Therefore, I am writing this from a position of relative ignorance, but with a desire to understand things. I will be looking at both sides of the issue, and probably coming to no definitive conclusion.
The issue of gay rights, especially the right to marry, has been in the news quite a bit over the past year. Some states, cities and counties have passed laws to legalize gay marriage. Some ministers and others have gone ahead and performed such marriages even without legalization. Some churches even have gay minsters. Meanwhile, a constitutional amendment banning gay marriage was voted down. It is also becoming an election issue as President Bush opposes it while Senator Kerry seems more open to it. Most of those who oppose gay marriage or any kind of gay rights do so on moral or religious grounds. These people feel that it is morally wrong, even a sin, to be gay, and that legalizing gay marriage would further enable the sinners. According to some Christian beliefs, enabling or allowing a sin is itself a sin, so that by legalizing gay marriage or giving other rights to homosexuals, the rest of us also become sinners (accomplices, if you will…like buying a gun and giving it to a murderer.) Interestingly, there is nothing in the Ten Commandments about homosexuality, just “ Thou shalt not commit adultery”. Of course, without the benefit of marriage, homosexuals have no choice but to commit adultery. In this case, legalizing marriage would actually help them to avoid a sin.
Let us leave behind the religious and moral aspect of this for a moment and turn to the “natural” aspect. Even ignoring religion, church and scripture of any kind, homosexuality seems “unnatural”. The main purpose of sex, whether in humans or in other species, is to create more of that species. Without this, the species would die out. Homosexual sex cannot result in pregnancy, therefore it can be viewed as being against the natural scheme of things, whether it is a sin or not.
Now let us return to the “sin” aspect of this matter. Committing a sin involves being able to make a choice between right and wrong…knowing that something is wrong and choosing to do it anyway. Gay people claim that they cannot make such a choice…that they are “born gay”. Of course, I could say that I was “born angry’, because I have a predisposition to having a bad temper and flying off the handle with little provocation. But that doesn’t make it right or OK. That doesn’t give me the right to force my anger and bad temper upon others. It is a personal problem or fault that I have been struggling all of my life to overcome and correct. Some people would say that it is a chemical imbalance in my brain or perhaps my environment or life experience that makes me the way I am, and so it is not my fault that I am an angry person. This may to some extent be true, but that still does not make my occasional intense outbursts of anger acceptable to other people. In the same manner, is it OK to be gay because of a chemical imbalance or one’s life experiences or environment? Or is something that has to be lived with and maybe overcome eventually (like my bad temper). Or, is it, as some say, a genetic variation and impossible to control, no matter what. (Like one’s nationality, skin color or gender). If it is really the case that people are “born gay”, that they have absoloutely no control over the matter, then being gay cannot be a sin, and we should go ahead and grant them equal rights in all things, including marriage. I do not believe that this premise has been scientifically proven or disproved yet, however, and, until it is, perhaps we should not be so hasty in passing legislation or constitutional amendments in either direction. We should instead be trying to find out whether or not people are “born gay”; whether or not being gay is something completely and totally out of their control. Once we have the answer, then we should act accordingly. In the meantime, we should be treating homosexuals just like other human beings…they way we all deserve to be treated…with respect, courtesy, love and compassion, and without judgment.
Comments as always are welcome, either here or by e-mail

--So Sayeth The Shack

1 comment:

Tyrone Vitoff said...

I don't know man. I kinda like gay people. They increase my chances of getting laid by eliminating the competition. It's those damn bisexuals that piss me off. They want it all! They are complete omni-whores!When it comes to dick and pussy, bisexuals need to learn that they can't have their cock and eat it too. So gay people good. Bisexual (men, not women) bad.