An Argument For Gay Marriage And Against Traditionalism

I am puzzled by appeals to history to oppose gay marriage because history is only the story of what people have done and never of itself directly tells us anything about right or wrong.  Results of history can serve as warnings about effective and uneffective approaches to goal x or goal y but what people thought in the past means very little to me unless there are still good reasons to think it.  Historically speaking, as far as I can tell without a history specialization, most civilizations have been undemocratic, racist, xenophobic, “tribalistic” (in more or less civilized forms), superstitious and vastly ignorant about all sorts of scientifically knowable realities, biased towards males against females, etc.  Of course there are exceptions to these rules but without centuries’ worth of struggles to break with core human instincts towards traditionalism, tribalism, autocratic rulership, the kind of contemporary world in which we live would have been impossible.

You must forgive a philosopher here for musing about history a bit (and I welcome any corrections from historians and anthropologists whether or not they have any consequences for the overall plausibility of my philosophical case in this essay).  But to give a crude story (which I welcome those better informed than I to correct) when I look at human history, what I see is a long struggle to overcome primeval ways of thinking that were evolutionarily useful for overcoming in the harsh struggle for scarce resources against ever-present natural threats.  In such a context, it makes sense to me that human beings needed to develop “fictive kinship” relationships in which they associated others in their tribe as though they were family members in order to foster their willingness to cooperate with them.

It makes sense also why they had to develop a profound mistrust of outsiders and what was unfamiliar in order to protect themselves from competitiors for resources and the violent possibilities of other humans.  It makes sense that they developed taboos to avoid poorly understood threats and why they often enforced their codes through measures so violent as to be barbaric by our lights.  The tribe suffers harm in connection with a certain action and so prohibits anyone else from risking that harm again.  And the penalties are harsh because there is serious concern for survival at stake.

So, yeah, someone got sick eating mixing meat and cheese or off of eating shellfish and so there must be prohibitions.  If someone contributes to such dangerous behavior, then the strongest lesson is the most severe.  You rule by fear and the strongest fear is the fear of death, so you rule by the fear of death.  So, you stone people for violations of health codes, for disobeying their parents, for disobeying pretty much any authority, because tribe cohesiveness is most essential to ordering yourselves for survival and untamed humans are violent, dangerously curious, and not to be trusted to freely do the right thing.

And we’re extremely hierarchical, rank-conscious creatures that function through such disciplinary strictures quite well.  We need those sorts of boundaries psychologically.  So historically reinforcing them in brutal fashions was better than the other option—humans left to their own devices ignoring the accumulated wisdom of the tradition, tradition which embodied the conclusions of the tribe’s experience.  In this context, the most important thing to survival of the tribe is not only conformity but whatever conduces to creating humans more prone towards conformity itself (which is John Richardson’s brilliant exposition of what Nietzsche means by “the herd instinct”).  The more we adopt not only traditions but the propensity to obey traditions because they are traditions (which I will call traditionalism), the more we become able to internalize received cultural wisdom and the survival benefits that such inherited techniques bring with it. This also reinforces our general attachment to the tribe and our mutually beneficial cooperation.

In this context, conformity is a highest good and individuality is a serious threat.  There is little “existential” anxiety, no wondering “who am I?” or “what if our gods are not the ‘true’ ones?” or “how should I live?”  There’s a healthy dose of racism too because the tribe’s rule is enforced as absolute and felt in one’s bones (so bred to be conformist) to be absolute that the outsider represents something incomprehensible.  They’re not even human they’re so outside of the cultural categories by which you understand human life.  Their codes are evil, their language is jibberish, etc.

This is a crude sketch, subject to many particular corrections by anthropologists, historians, and sociobiologists, of course.  The gist of it though is that human traditionalism has origins in harsh conditions in which reinforcing social instincts was paramount to respecting things like liberty and individuality for particular members of the herd.  Inculcating codes based on experience was more important than allowing individuals to develop their own sensibilities.  Traditionalism, an ingrained inherent respect for tradition qua tradition, was far more vital to survival than free thought and forms of questioning that demanded every tradition give account of itself.

It has taken free thought centuries to overcome traditionalism and get us this far to the crucial point at which citing tradition is no longer an acceptable reason for a belief or for continuing a particular practice.  And for a long time challenging prevailing tradition or pointing out its inconsistencies made you not only “wrong” but godless.  Not only Socrates but Jesus was accused of atheism, that’s how tightly bound tradition, morality, and religion were in the ancient mind.

Now in all things, a first instinct towards respecting established conventions and traditions is still advisable for the some of the same reasons as it was back in ancient times:  what is known is usually immediately less risky than what is unknown.  And even where you might be choosing between evils, “better the devil you know” is sensibly the first inclination.

So, now, gay marriage.  Thousands of years of human tradition are against it (or, more accurately, didn’t even contemplate it) and so we need to ask what implicit reasons did they have to oppose or restrict homosexuality or to not institutionalize it in marriage, and are they reasons that matter today?  If they don’t matter today, then we should abandon them.  We do not need to be slaves to tradition and reinforce traditionalism for its own sake.  You would have to make a really sophisticated case to me to accept that we must do something like that.  I think civilized 21st Century human beings can handle the nuance of balancing respect for tradition’s accumulated wisdom with an ability to reinvestigate and revise its contestable or outdated claims and practices and to correct for its omissions.

So, when looking at marriage, what are reasons that it was never between gays?  This is a historical question, again about which others likely know a great deal more than I.  But taking a stab at it, there are a number of factors that go into rejection of gay marriage historically.  We can start with irrational disgust.  It’s part of an animal’s sexual orientation to be inclined towards certain animals as sexually attractive and others as sexually repulsive and certain sexual acts as attractive and others as repulsive.  In other words, as a heterosexual human male you are overall inclined towards being sexually attracted to human females but not human males, baboons of either sex, peacocks of either sex, etc.  This orientation of course need not be absolute as a given person might have a wider range of sexual attraction than another.  All that is important to establish is that there are sexual attractions, indifferences, and repulsions, be they biologically or socially created, encouraged, or discouraged.

Now, there is some really interesting neuropsychology from people like Haidt and Greene I have recently been reading and writing about that links our feelings of disgust with our inclination to call things immoral or wrong.  Like, for example, they put test subjects at a disgusting desk filled with used tissues and other garbage, a sticky table, etc. and found their moral judgments were harsher.  They hypnotized suggestible patients to find an innocuous word like “raises” to be disgusting and then after awaking the patients asked them to evaluate the morality of a city planner who frequently raises issues to the city council and the patients suspected he was immoral, they rationalized the response by saying they thought something was “fishy” about someone who does that.  They interpret their disgust with a word into a moral judgment.

But these experiments are not needed to make the point more simply—the ugly, the odorous, the misshapen, the deformed have long been more suspected of evil.  In art if one wants to evoke the sense of evil, repulsive physical traits are the trick because our minds tend towards indiscriminately lumping together aversions.  There are not adequate psychological boundary lines separating morally neutral deformity and immorality by morally defensible criteria.

On the flip side no scientific proof is needed to establish our tendency to believe the best about the moral virtues of those who look good, smell good, feel good.  While we are able to override these aversions and attractions based on reason when it comes to individuals, these are our natural tendencies.

And when it comes to dealing with those who look different or whose practices are different from ours, there are aversions that we are prone to rationalize in moral terms.  We’re more likely to believe that foreigner is up to no good than someone who looks familiar to us and often it’s a race based aversion that we’re rationalizing into a moral distrust.  Of course it’s not always that way.  Some people of other races and nationalities are bad and some practices not only do repulse us but should repulse us.

Nonetheless, I suspect most moral aversion to homosexuality is a rationalized form of physical aversion to it by heterosexuals.  It’s as natural to a heterosexual to be repulsed by the sight of two men engaging in sex as it is for him or her to be attracted to the sight of a heterosexual couple having sex (at least when in the right frame of mind).  That’s because of the particularity of heterosexual sexual orientation, it is towards one thing and (at least sometimes) strongly averse to the opposite.  And there’s nothing intrinsically right or wrong with those aversions and attractions as they occur to us psychologically.  But they are themselves proof of nothing but how our minds work and, possibly, what kinds of aversions and attractions aided us in survival in our more nakedly animal stages of species development.

But then the gay marriage question becomes a more specific one.  We can (theoretically at least) posit that we can end adverse treatment of gays based on aversion without outright reconceiving of marriage.  Can our society “accept” gays while still nonetheless not changing the definition of marriage.

The question though that arises here is what is wrong with changing a definition?  We do so in science all the time when we have a new account of a thing which more adequately describes it and accounts for its relationships to other things.  The word “mass” doesn’t mean the same thing in Einstein’s physics as it does in Newton’, for example.  The definition changed to get a better handle on a phenomenon.

Marriage is an institution, not a natural property of course, so changing this definition is not about more accurate description in the same way that changing the word “mass” is.  Marriage is a normative concept, one undertakes a set of cultural norms when one participates in the institution.  But this norm cannot be laid down willy-nilly either.  It would be silly to say I’m married to my computer (in anything but an analogical sense.)  It would also be silly (or just a banal metaphor) to say that the peanut butter marries jelly when you make a peanut butter and jelly sandwich or that when I throw my book against the wall the book and the wall “marry each other.”  We cannot just define the word to mean anything, it has to have something to do with a relationship of commitment and  institutional support.  But does it have to be between one man and one woman?  Can it be between multiple people?  Can it between more than one species?  Can it be between people of widely varying ages?  Can it be between people under 18 years old?

Historically, we see some options.  We see marriage largely as a tool for merging families.  This makes sense in terms both of economics and primal tribal unity concerns.  Marrying between families tightens their bonds to each other, reinforces the fiction that they are kin to each other by creating kin that actually do belong to both families.  So procreation is a high value served by heterosexual marriage.  Another prima facie reason for homosexuality to be discouraged is that it produces no kin (at least not directly or inherently).

Economic gains from marriage are to be had both on the local and the broad cultural levels too.  There is a partnership with another family with economic gains and the more children you have means the more hands you have for the farm.  And in primal times and throughout most of human history (when life is nastier, more brutish, and shorter) the tribe needs as many children as it can get because so many die through miscarriages, during childbirth, etc. and only live to 35 even if they do survive longer.  We’re animals, we need to reproduce ourselves and this is a high priority no one needs to explain or seriously defend.  So, our social norms still wind up privileging heterosexual sexual unions for this purpose, even in cultures where homosexual sex is understood to happen in other contexts with varying degrees of social approval.

There are even less seemly aspects to historical definitions of marriage.  They often denigrated women to the status of property and reflected chauvinistic virtues.  Even where sex between men has been approved, there have been misogynistic attitudes towards not being the “receiving” partner because it would make you like a woman.    Similarly, numbers of wives have varied in different cultures.  The Bible is littered with people with approved polygamous marriages—they are treated as an unquestioned norm.  One of the ten commandments is not “There shall only be one man to one woman.”

King David wasn’t even rebuked for having sex with someone other than his wife.  Nathan attacked him for being someone so wealthy in wives who nonetheless stole the only wife of a guy with just one.  We’re told God loved polygamous old David otherwise, with not a hint of criticism of his lifestyle—when he’s not stealing the “property” of a poorer man and murdering him.  In fact, in Deuteronomy we learn that you HAVE to take on an extra wife if it’s your brother who has died and his wife is going to be a widow.  Why?  Because the number of people in a marriage wasn’t important.  Economic and social wellbeing, looking out for family, THAT’S what mattered, pragmatically enough.

Finally, another reason there was never “gay marriage” before is that the whole idea of homosexuality as a defining characteristic of someone is a very recent invention, historically speaking, as Michel Foucault argues.  Classifying someone on the basis of such a thing was not the way the ancients or even the medievals or early moderns thought.  We are in a new time in whichviews on sexuality have been drastically influenced by culture and science in a number of ways.

In all of these circumstances there are a lot of economic and social reasons for heterosexual marriage that are all open to reassessment unless we are to genuflect before tradition as blind traditionalists who assume it is always wise and never in need of revision.

So, to me, the relevant questions are, what do we want marriage to mean to us?  What roles do we want it to serve?  What virtues do we want it to teach people and reinforce in the culture?  What are its best social contributions worth promoting and what harmful effects should we teach people to reject from our historical (or present) versions of it?  And then when it comes to gays specifically, the questions are manifold:  Would these full and equal citizens of the country be helped or harmed or unaffected by inclusion in this institution?  How would they affect marriage’s ability to promote the virtues we want it to promote?  How would their marriages affect the social order?

In 21st Century America, we reject arranged marriages for the most part and on principles that I think are rationally defensible for the most part.  The reason is that we believe that love relationships are so important to human emotional, psychological, and ethical health that the economic and social benefits of marriage should not be sought where this is not present—at least at the start.  We may value staying in marriages which have lost their love for the sake of the benefits to children of having two parents and we may promote endurance for the sake of virtues related to commitment more generally.

But we are also a no-fault divorce culture that thinks that the less people who are harmed by one’s divorce (and the more people made happier by it), the more acceptable (and even preferable) a divorce becomes.  And in our present day culture, many are persuaded that “staying together for the sake of the kids” only harms the kids more anyway by role-modeling unloving dysfunctional marriages and by making them live with unhappy, unfulfilled parents.  And there is recent evidence for this view, but that’s a digression.

What is important to establish is that our contemporary view of marriage understands it as part of the pursuit of personal happiness and not as subject to socio-economic concerns.  Your own interests are paramount in your choice of a partner.  We could go back to the historical model and marry for socio-economic stability of the larger people or for the sake of our families but what ethical reason is there to do that when in our scenario we can both have love, with the happiness and virtues associated with it, and by default create socio-economic stability just the same through being married?

While we’re at it, we can end this nonsense where people like me are unmarried at 30 and get on with possibly more socio-biologically efficient practices of marrying and procreating as soon as we can to replenish the species as much as we can.  We can go back to the days of forming families in our teen years.  Why not do this?  Because, again, in our culture we believe that happier people make for a better society.  We also believe that nearly all people should be educated at least 4 years into their mentally and physically mature (childbearing) years and a good number should be educated even as long as 8 years in order better to fully maximize their mental powers as human beings and to advance our civilization technologically and culturally.

For a significant of number of us who want to be professionals, schooling is to take even longer into our adulthood, usually as many as 12-17 years past the onset of puberty.  During periods of schooling and other forms of career grounding, it is harder to be economically stable enough to provide a secure foundation for children.  But we put these other goods, the advancement of our collective learning and innovation ahead of having kids at 14-15 and going to work on the farm.

So, our definition of marriage is changed.  It’s not to be entered into just to make babies or primarily to provide socio-economic stability.  My personal socio-economic stability can now be delayed as long as I like as long as I am not endangering any dependents by doing so.  I may marry as late as I like or not at all, I shouldn’t marry someone I do not love, if I marry I have no obligation to produce children and I certainly should not have them with the primary intention of producing laborers.  If I marry, my partner is not to be treated like property but like an equal and is not to be forced into the arrangement but to participate willingly.

Marriage is supposed to make people stable, provide a healthy environment for children, to encourage virtues related to commitment, love, responsibility, mutual support, kindness, generosity, and self-sacrifice, and to contribute directly to the individual happiness of those in the marriage and everyone directly affected by the marriage.  Indirectly, it is encouraged because it tends to create people who are more grounded, who are less flighty due to their increased responsibilities, and who have a greater personal investment in the well being of the community now that they have more people in their lives who belong to the community—a partner, children, etc.

Now, if I’m right in my encapsulation of the nature, benefits, and virtues of marriage I have here listed, my question is what does any of it have to do with heterosexuality or homosexuality?  Homosexuals can love, can commit, can be responsible and stable (on average they make more money than straights at present), can self-sacrifice, can have a mutually recognizing relationship (assuming they’re both of age) that doesn’t treat the other merely like property.  And, contra-anti-gay-propaganda, gays are no worse with children than anyone else.

Gays can a far better shot at happiness if they can marry who they like than if they are socially coerced into sexual relationships that go against their inclinations and which would be unfair to their spouses and children.  But homosexual marriages don’t create children!  But unless you force gays to procreate with people they’re not inclined towards (a rather cruel demand no heterosexual would ever accept herself as it is a form of social rape!) they’re not having children anyway.  Within gay marriages, homosexuals can more stably raise children or opt not to, just like any heterosexual couple, and through the advances of modern technology (and even through old school “biblical” means of creating surrogates) can even have children of their own.

And gays are not going to vanish by pretending they don’t exist.  They’re here, they’re queer, we need to get used to it!  But they can adopt and give children two loving parents where there might otherwise have been none or only one or even two unloving heterosexual parents.  And even where all things are equal, if there is love and wisdom in parents, what difference is it to their parenting skills the sex of the person they sleep with?  What matters to good parenting is not whether you’re gay or straight but your emotional intelligence, your character, and your love.

How does opening marriage to gays affect the larger society?  Well, at present we are under no threat of extinction and, so, the option of forcing gays into heterosexual sex is not a fire extinguisher we have to seriously consider employing.  There can be, as there always have been, non-procreating homosexuals with or without gay marriage.  This does, however, increase the number of possible homes for children however which is a key social benefit (especially for those of us concerned with providing alternatives to abortion through increasing the number of potential adopting parents).  And it does make gays more likely to both procreate (through modern technological means or by holding their noses) and also to have marriages to which they can commit more completely body and soul.  Sounds win/win to me.

More importantly, gay marriage reverses the prejudicial and demeaning messages that (a) homosexuals’ inclinations are only about sex when they are just as much a combination of lust and love as any heterosexual attraction is.  When gay relationships are associated with an institution of love and commitment and are not merely relegated to infamous bathhouses, then the truth about gay LOVE will be taught to the larger culture.  It is a truth that prejudicial institutions have long suppressed.

When we use an institution to treat people like slaves, it is a lot easier to call them subhuman.  As long as we exclude gays from what our culture treats as one of its absolutely most central and “holiest” institutions, we send the message that they are second class citizens and that their love is illegitimate to the culture—that it neither stems from nor creates virtue and that it does not serve the public good.  Those are falsehoods.

Homosexual love is just as capable of virtue and vice as heterosexual love.  Excluding that love from institutional recognition is prejudicial and deceptive.  It reinforces irrational, biological disgusts of some heterosexuals that reflect more their own sexuality and social conditioning than any moral truth, and reinforces a crude fear of otherness barely any different than the primal fears of foreigners, other races, or menstrual blood.

We are no longer living in barbaric cultures.  It is time to let go of our evolutionary distrust of the Other.  Xenophobia, racism, homophobia—-these are all socio-biological responses to primal triggers.  In centuries BC, it is more understandable that people lept straight from their disgusts to moral claims.  But this it the 21st Century, you need to correlate a trait with its demonstrable causal connection to vice or great social ill before you can say that it is a cause for denigrating or downgrading the rights of someone who has it.  People’s crooked noses only reveal them as villains in cartoons, not in the real world.

(b) Gays should have the right to marry and not merely have civil unions (or, better, we should all simply have civil unions and make marriage entirely personal) because the government should not be in the “separate but equal” business.  It’s unconstitutional and with good reason.  Separate is not equal.  Marriage is a social institution and a whole class of people from it is not acceptable, even if a consolation prize is offered.  Such practices send the message that some people are second class citizens worthy of only second-rate recognition of their relationships.

The government cannot tell you what church to get baptized in.  It can’t tell you who you can or cannot marry.  Both certificates are filed with the government.  How would the religious feel if the government rejected their baptisms because it decided Presbyterian baptisms don’t count—only Lutheran ones or Catholic ones?  It’s a matter of conscience where you are baptized or if you are at all.  And it should be a matter of conscience who you marry or if you do at all.   The government should not be in the business of judging validities and invalidities here unless there are issues of harm to parties—coerced spouses, underaged spouses, animals and others unable to consent as spouses, spouses who resulted from sale.

Ironically, throughout history being sold into marriage was often the norm.  Now it’s an abhorrence.  I think such changes in conception of marriage were for the better.  And, remember, the idea of separating church and state—given the enormous equation of people with their culture’s religion was once an anomaly in human history.  Every modern advance away from racism, monarchism, theocracy is a pull away from primitive human inclinations and the practices of most centuries of human societies.  It takes a training in suspicion of traditionalism to pull against all that socio-biological force of traditionalism to get away from these tendencies.

The net sum gains of gay marriage:  More marriages, more commitment, fidelity, love, self-sacrifice, responsibility among homosexuals.  More stable homes for children.  Less gays in sexually doomed marriages to straights with the concomitant divorces.  No exclusion of citizens based on morally irrelevant factors from participating in cultural institutions.  No “separate but equal” standards that make for second class citizens.  Love and commitment are more clearly defined as the core of marriage rather than degrading economics or social transaction concerns that disregard individual happiness.

All of this is increase in freedom for all to pursue their own happiness.  It’s a further strike against slavery to our overly-ingrained tendencies of our species to be traditionalistic and fearful of Otherness.  It’s a teaching instrument for us to overcome our irrational disgusts and learn to separate knee jerk aversions from moral repulsion, which is an increase in our abilities to assess issues fairly, rationally, and only according to relevant distinctions.  It means less promiscuity (if decreasing promiscuity is a good you want), decreasing the chances of sexual diseases and emotional and relational instability.  Mainstreaming gays, makes them happier, cuts down on their suicides, gives young people who are gay more confidence that they can be accepted for who they are in the larger culture and that they can pursue their dreams and consummate their loves just as well as it they were straight.

If you care about the alarmingly high rate of suicides by gay teens, if you care about the disproportionate bullying gay kids suffer, I don’t see how you could oppose using our institutions to send the message that no class of people in the culture is made up of second class citizens or will be shut out from institutional support for their pursuit of happiness of full human fulfillment.  And I care far, far more about those kids and the adults they grow into being than about being consistent with the long series of brutalities and irrationalities that make up the human history of fearing and suppressing otherness within societies and just across their borders.

Your Thoughts?

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About Daniel Fincke

Dr. Daniel Fincke  has his PhD in philosophy from Fordham University and spent 11 years teaching in college classrooms. He wrote his dissertation on Ethics and the philosophy of Friedrich Nietzsche. On Camels With Hammers, the careful philosophy blog he writes for a popular audience, Dan argues for atheism and develops a humanistic ethical theory he calls “Empowerment Ethics”. Dan also teaches affordable, non-matriculated, video-conferencing philosophy classes on ethics, Nietzsche, historical philosophy, and philosophy for atheists that anyone around the world can sign up for. (You can learn more about Dan’s online classes here.) Dan is an APPA  (American Philosophical Practitioners Association) certified philosophical counselor who offers philosophical advice services to help people work through the philosophical aspects of their practical problems or to work out their views on philosophical issues. (You can read examples of Dan’s advice here.) Through his blogging, his online teaching, and his philosophical advice services each, Dan specializes in helping people who have recently left a religious tradition work out their constructive answers to questions of ethics, metaphysics, the meaning of life, etc. as part of their process of radical worldview change.

  • Clergy Guy

    Daniel, Interesting paper. I personally do not see homosexuality as a threat to society, and I think the Christian community needs to quit acting so fearful/hateful.

    You referred to something I have noticed in my work, which is that a large factor in teen suicide is often over sexual orientation. Regardless of religious opinions, I’d rather someone be gay and ALIVE. We can work out the details later.

  • Daniel Fincke

    Agreed (of course). Thanks for reading through this long article. I always worry people won’t make it all the way through (it’s up there with my post to you as one of the two longest posts on the blog).

    The question I do have for moderate religious people such as yourself, though, is how far are you willing to go in integrating homosexuality into the accepted mainstream of society? I find that many sensitive Christians are happy not to fear and hate gays, but fully accommodating such a pervasive part of someone’s life goes beyond merely refraining from such negativity and requires making constructive space for gays by actually treating homosexuality as a positive not just to be tolerated but to be entirely destigmatized, legitimized, and celebrated like all other healthy and committed human loves.

    I’m curious, do you see yourself as willing to go this far and if not, will half-measures be enough to treat gays in a way that means the happiest possible lives for them?

  • Parri Davis

    Thank you for writing this. A solid argument. I argue for Same Sex Marriage often and there are 2 points I could add:

    1) Many heterosexual marriages are stressed economically. Marriage would make their gay siblings more financially secure and alleviate a potential source of worry, perhaps even create greater security for the
    extented family.

    2) One can always belong to an intolerant church that will not perform gay weddings. And all of us are stuck paying for their tax free status.

    Closing arguments for Perry V Schwarteneggar, June 15, 2010.

  • USB to Serial :

    i’m not totally against gay marriage, coz gay persons need to be happy to “

  • Luis T. Puig

    Equality among people does not mean ignoring or excusing disease and/or misbehavior among people. The easiest way to determine is something is right or wrong is to look at the consequences of the action(s) by a person or groups of people.

    In the case of Homosexuals, they do have the same rights as everyone else does… to marry people of the opposite sex… what they are asking for is special rights due to their unique sexual actions.

    Now, beware if we start going down “that” road of giving special groups extra rights for their choice of actions (yes their choice)… because then who is next demanding special rights? Pedophiles, bigamists… who is next?

    Where do we separate what is correct and not, what is healthy and what is not, what is psychological sound and what is not… specially now that the political machinery of these Gender Identity Disorder pathological people have lied and B.S. their way into conning many of you into seeing them as a benign life style, or “that they have no choices”… (Gender Identity Disorder the genesis of homosexuality in children, looking up)

    You see, the more we get away from what is normal and start embracing abnormality, the more society will be twisted and abnormal, plus you have just opened a can of worms…

    By the way, homosexuality and (for example) other things like race are not the same… there are plenty of ex-homosexuals, yes gays do go back and become straight… but we ALL have yet to see a single African American being an ex-African American…
    It is an insult to black people when their struggle for equality due to their race is compared with the gays push for extra rights due to their twisted sexual practices.

    Homosexuals are not born that way… proof? Read on…

    One Example of the psychology studies proving the genesis of homosexuality not being genetic is what is known in the psychological world as the recent large “Twin Studies” in Sweden and the Netherlands.

    The studies found that in identical twins, when one brother or sister is homosexual, only about 10% of the other identical twin brother or sister is homosexual as well, which proves homosexuality not to be genetic, that homosexuals/gender identity disorder individuals are not born that way.

    If homosexuality had been genetic then in identical twins (who are 100% genetically identical) if one is a homosexual then logic dictate that both should have been 100% homosexual as well! But that is not the case… ONLY 10% of the time both are homosexuals! In the rest of the other 90% left, one is homosexual and the other one is NOT, and this shows that something AFTER their birth causes homosexuality to happen to one but not the other.

    And what is left after birth…? Their experiences during upbringing!

    Simple facts, how many people remember in detail what a typical day was for them at one and a half year old, or what life was like for them for example at two or three years old? Do you? Not most people!

    In addition to this, childhood memories are retained or not depending on how good or not life is for the child especially early childhood memories, which are linked to how a child is being treated. Memory studies have found that children with good upbringing are more likely to have more memories of their childhood than children that were mistreated and/or abused. But overall, most people do not remember early childhood well, a critical time in their lives when the foundations of who they will be as adults are being laid down and cemented in their minds.

    And so you do have most homosexuals saying “I have been/felt homosexual as far as I can remember…”, well the answer to that is clear given the information on memory retention from the previous paragraph.

    Homosexuals are victims of dysfunctional families, and in many cases horrible things done to them, and in the end it is all psychological, as proven in the book “What Nature Intended, Six Factors Demonstration Homosexuality to be a Dysfunction”.

    Several distinct types of abuses and/or family dysfunctions result in homosexuality, including the saddest cases involving abuses and/or mistreatments by caretakers from about less than a year old to up to early childhood that the mind of the homosexual have chosen to forget and/or bury deep inside of them.

    Remember a child at birth is a “clean slate” only wired with very basic circuitry (cry when hungry, poop, sleep, etc), even the vision and the eyes are still forming, cycles are being established… the caregiver have a HUGE responsibility perhaps the biggest responsibility ANY person has on the planet: to take care PROPERLY of that new born and to raise her/him properly and without abuse!

    Many people sadly fail miserably in this task, hence all the misadjusted adult individuals (in reality victims) in society today, and all of those adults/victims are paying the consequences with their own misadjusted lives the wrongs done to them as children, and even as early as babies.

    Like the saying goes: “You need a license to drive, you need a license to fish… but any A-hole can be a parent”!

    As for homosexuality not being in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual today, well the answer is simple. In 1973 Homosexuality was removed from the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual after immense POLITICAL pressure by the liberals on the timid scientists and doctors, who were unprepared for fighting the liberal political machinery of the liberal 1970′s and even today. Many scientists and psychologists complained, including Ronald Bayer, PhD, who taught 14 years as Professor at the Center for the History and Ethics of Public Health in the Department of Sociomedical Sciences at the Columbia University and wrote about this removal in his book “Homosexuality and American Psychiatry”:

    “Instead of being engaged in a sober consideration of
    data, psychiatrists were swept up in a political controversy. The
    American Psychiatric Association had fallen victim to the
    disorder of a tumultuous era, when disruptive conflicts
    threatened to politicize every aspect of American social life. A
    furious egalitarianism that challenged every instance of
    authority had compelled psychiatric experts to negotiate the
    pathological status of homosexuality with homosexuals
    themselves. The result was not a conclusion based on an
    approximation of the scientific truth as dictated by reason, but
    was instead an action demanded by the ideological temper of
    the times…”

    And like we say in the beginning of this article, as for the question of is homosexuality detrimental or not to the individuals and society, well a simple search into the consequences of the homosexual act and practices give very clear answer. Here are but just a few of the results:

    - Correlates of homosexual behavior and the incidence of Anal Cancer.
    * Reference:

    - Dr. Selma Dritz in the New England Journal of Medicine: “Oral and anal intercourse present physicians with surgical as well as medical problems, ranging from anal fissures and impaction of foreign bodies in the rectum to major diagnostic dilemmas.”
    * Reference: Dritz SK. “Medical Aspects of Homosexuality.” The New England Journal of Medicine, 1980; Vol. 302 No. 8 (463-464).

    - 70% of homosexual patients with Anal Gonococcal infections and 90% of those with Pharyngeal Gonococcal infections were asymptomatic.
    * Reference: Canadian Medical Association Journal, Paper: Sexually transmitted disease among homosexuals, 1984 February 15; 130(4): 370-372.

    - The incidence of oral gonorrhea is higher among homosexual men than among any other group in the population.
    * Reference: Canadian Medical Association Journal, Paper: Sexually transmitted disease among homosexuals, 1984 February 15; 130(4): 370-372.

    - Exposure to hepatitis B virus is 4 to 13 times more frequent among homosexual
    men than among heterosexuals.
    * Reference: Canadian Medical Association Journal, Paper: Sexually transmitted disease among homosexuals, 1984 February 15; 130(4): 370-372.

    -. After 10 years of homosexual activity about 65% of men have one or more hepatitis B markers.
    * Reference: Canadian Medical Association Journal, Paper: Sexually transmitted disease among homosexuals, 1984 February 15; 130(4): 370-372.

    -. Gay bowel syndrome: Gay bowel syndrome includes proctologic complications of anal intercourse as well as infectious and noninfectious diarrhea.
    * Reference: Canadian Medical Association Journal, Paper: Sexually transmitted disease among homosexuals, 1984 February 15; 130(4): 370-372.

    - Homosexual men have more than 5 TIMES the amount of anal infections than heterosexual men. (68%) of the 200 homosexual men, compared with 16 (16%) of the 100 heterosexual men, had intestinal parasitic infection. (E. Histolytica and G. Lamblia)
    * Reference: Canadian Medical Association Journal, Paper: Sexually transmitted disease among homosexuals, 1984 February 15; 130(4): 370-372.

    - 30% of all 20-year-old homosexual men will be HIV positive or dead by the age of thirty.
    * Reference: Health, wealth and homosexual activity, results of The World AIDS Conference of Vancouver @,+wealth+and+homosexual+activity.-a030534587

    - The cost of AIDS:
    Year – AIDS Cases – Direct Medical Cost – Total Capital Cost

    1995 – 16,000 – $2,000,000,000 – $8,000,000,000
    2000 – 30,000 – $3,000,000,000 – $15,000,000,000
    2010 – 60,000 – $6,000,000,000 – $30,000,000,000
    Source: Royal Bank of Canada

    We can go on and on and on… the medical data is very clear in the adverse consequences of homosexuality. And knowing that, then why are we accepting homosexuality, even excusing it? Why are we tolerating a set of sexual actions that is costing us all dearly, including the high incidences of disease and death?

    We shouldn’t. The answer is to help homosexuals to seek the psychological help they desperately need, in order to fix their lives and rejoin the rest of society in a more functional correct manner. They are victims of bad upbringing, people that need our collective help, not our excuses or a blind eye.

    Remember, always leave politics behind, seek the true answers yourself, and do your own research into matters, don’t be led by anyone, for the Truth is always not what it seems.

    p.s. And to homosexuals, you are no different than the rest of us. You just have a problem in a different area of your life, distinct from many other people, but a problem nevertheless. You are a victim of damage done to you; it was not your fault.

    But the answer rests with you, the answer is not to seek more rights or accommodation within society, but to confront head on your particular dysfunction and fight with all your might. That takes courage, but know that there are many organizations and people that will help you in that challenge, and that you are not alone!

    One more thing, the Human Will can conquer anything, and as long as you are willing any disadvantage and/or dysfunction in life can be conquered, it maybe a life-long struggle, but all you have to do is give it a go, and not to look back.

    Welcome to being human.

  • George W.

    Gosh Luis,
    Where to start?
    That was a monumental intellectual bowel movement, a technicolour yawn of assorted illogical tripe. It was, to be frank, the most idiotic comment I have read on a blog in ages. Most people are happy to limit their dissertation for a doctorate in fucknuttery to the length of an eighth grade essay, but not you! You really need to hammer home the point: Luis T. Puig is a world class, esteemed in his field, go-to expert in the subject of vocalizing abject stupidity.
    I’ll leave it at that. I’ll leave it to you to explain how anything you wrote is even remotely relevant to any discussion of homosexuality. Not even a paragraph of what you must have wasted several seconds contemplating and perhaps an hour typing is worthy of anything more than a lesson in spotting the non sequitur.
    -What on earth does genetics have to do with whether something is moral?
    -Why must all but one (and I believe, specious) piece of data be no more current than my senior year of high school (I’m 34), and more than half of it from before the fall of the Berlin Wall?

    Let’s start there. I’ve got plenty more problems with your sad little diatribe, but I’ll give you a chance to respond to these two issues first…..

  • George W.

    To pick up where my ad hominem left off (and really, that comment of mine had more substance than the entirety of your post, Luis), I have some important questions to ask you in order for you to have a chance to defend your PhD in fucknuttery:
    1. Did you read the post by Dan before you decided to comment? Either you did not (which I suspect) or you did but had no interest in addressing it (which is also a distinct possibility). Where in Dan’s post does he assert that homosexuality is necessarily biological? Where does he state that this fact is the lynchpin for his argument, or any argument for the morality of homosexuality or gay marriage? If you don’t find it (and you won’t) why did you waste 754 words (fully half of your dissertation, minus the unrelated reference dump)attempting unsuccessfully to disprove something unrelated and unasserted? Where in your whole post, other than a token opening paragraph, do you address the issue of gay marriage, or any of the points Dan set out to discuss in his post?
    2. Let’s grant you your entirely unrelated premise- that homosexuality is the result of childhood experience as opposed to genetic. So what? Does this make it immoral? Does unnatural equate to immoral? Do the things I learn as opposed to my genetic traits deserve less right to expression?
    3. If this is a question of what is “natural”, then ought we not prevent humans from flying? That is unnatural, and is the cause of numerous deaths and injuries every year. Should it follow then that flying in an airplane ought to be banned?
    4. Since Dan’s post is about marriage specifically, perhaps you might like to build a case against gay marriage. Try to do it without discussing STDs, because studies show strong correlation between sex outside of marriage and STD occurrence. Avoid any statistics about the increased frequency of sexual partners in the gay community, as this again is the purpose of promoting marriage in a society- to reduce the instance of promiscuity and promote monogamy.
    5. If your argument is that increased likelihood of harm is a solid grounds for preventing a behaviour, perhaps you might like to comment on the following statistics, complied by me:
    -Nearly 100% of Sexually transmitted diseases are transmitted by sexual activity
    -100% of reported cases of gestational diabetes were caused by pregnancy
    - nearly 100% of all maternal deaths during childbirth were the result of heterosexual sex, and >99.99% of stillborn children are the result of heterosexual sex.
    - >99.99% of all abortions in America were the result of a heterosexual sexual encounter
    -Better than 98% of cases of HPV, Chlamydia, Genital herpes, and HIV infection cases among females was the result of a heterosexual sexual encounter.

    We can go on and on and on….. the medical data is very clear in the adverse consequences of heterosexuality. And knowing that, then why are we accepting heterosexuality, even excusing it? Why are we tolerating a set of sexual actions that is costing us all dearly, including the high incidences of disease and death?

    We shouldn’t. The answer is to help straight people to seek the psychological help they desperately need, in order to fix their lives and rejoin the rest of society in a more functional correct manner.

    Your thoughts?

    • DavidM

      What a dumb argument! More precisely, your reductio ad absurdum is a moronic fail.

  • Crewman

    I commend this author for proposing an argument for the enshrining of gay marriage in society. All too often, I have encountered people who are satisfied to simply reduce the issue to a shouting match. However, I still think that this author misses the essential question raised by the issue. The essential question involves what IS marriage? Not who is allowed to be married. Once we have established this question making relevant distinctions about who is allowed and who is not allowed to be married will make more sense. For example, if blind people suddenly demanded equality in being allowed to obtain drivers licenses, the discussion would NOT center around who is allowed to get a drivers license, it would focus on what driving is, and the essential qualities that a driver must have to participate in the activity. In this light, refusing blind people a drivers license is not social bigotry, but an important distinction that serves the common good. In other words, all distinctions are not prejudice.

    Returning to the question at hand, what is marriage? According to the author, and most people who reject the “traditional” notion of marraige, marriage is about the “personal pursuit of happiness”, and a sharing of lives, love, etc. Using this definition, however, virtually ANY form of sexual union(s) could make viable marriages. What about polyamorous relationships? Am I not free to marry 3, 4, 500 people if this is part of my (our) “pursuit of happiness”? Any appeal to “traditional” notions of marriage being between two people would be hypocrisy on the part of the author or any revisionist. What about incestual relationships? Bestial? After all, a person can be experiencing a variety of sexual impulses. Are they not free to act on these?

    We must also,according to the revisionist, be careful to control any emotional repulsion we might have toward these impulses, especially bestiality. After all, homosexuality itself was viewed with an emotional repulsion for many years, and that is an insufficient and often bigoted way to determine what is right or wrong.

    Last of all, the revisionist cannot appeal to “natural law” to prevent “alternative” sexual unions from being recognized. As any biology textbook will indicate (look for the chapter on “Reproductive System”, not “Pleasure System”), from a raw, evolutionary perspective, the human sexual organs natural function is reproduction. Any use of them outside of coitus is not a “natural” use of these organs (Note that I am using natural in the literal sense, NOT in the sense of what “comes naturally” to a person. Only a literal use of what is natural can be used to determine appropriate behavior. After all, bestiality may “come naturally” to many people, but presumably this is an “unatural” use of our sexual organs and one is not free to pursue such relations).

    With these considerations, the revisionist is left with two options: 1) Marriage has no concrete defition, and anyone may define marriage as anything they want. Under this defition, it is impossible for the State to get marriage wrong, becuase marriage itself has no defining characteristics. 2) Marriage has defining characteristics that exclude some people.

    Only conjugal marriage provides marriage with discernable characterics and a tangible common good (reproduction–aka new people). Reproduction is the only biological activity that we, as humans, are not self sufficient in. Thus, marriage provides the structure with which this cooperation of humans toward a beautiful good takes place. Even in its physical act, conjugal love is not merely a “rubbing together” of sexual organs, as is homosexuality, it is a physical activity whereby two individuals freely cooperate to potentially create a completely new human. An incredible act! Even adoption presupposes that, someone along the line, a conjugal act took place. By redifining marriage as simply a “pursuit of happiness”, we jeopardize this structure and essentially make it meaningless.

    By defining marriage as between a man and a woman we are not excluding homosexuals in a spirit of bigotry anymore than when we prevent blind people from obtaining drivers licenses. Rather, we are saying that marriage has certain, discernable goods associated with it, just as driving does. Namely, those goods involve in providing a social structure that promotes monogamous and committed sexual unions for the purpose of creating a healthy family. If marriage was nothing more than a public recognition of a romantic relationship, the State would have nothing to do with it. Why would it? Why should the State care if you are “in love”? Does anyone doubt that a married couple is “not married” when they don’t “feel” in love anymore? No, conjugal love implies more than a romantic relationship. It implies responsibility. It implies the single most important act for any civilization: new citizens. And the State has a DEFINITE interest in creating healthy environments for these new citizens. One has only to look at the statistics (or just look around in society today) to see how much better children fare inside of a married household with their biological parents than otherwise. Be redifining it, we are essentially saying that marriage is whatever we want it to be. Just as allowing blind people to obtain drivers licenses would make the license meaningless, and people would stop bothering to get them (why should they bother?), so redifining marriage makes it equally meaningless.

    As the author has made clear, however, we have lost all sense of the responsibilty implied in marriage. Children are a “burden” and marriage is quickly becoming an archiac and nostalgic pratice for a few “old-fashioned” people. However, let us at least not fool ourselves into thinking that once we have allowed gay marrige, we haven’t also opened the door to any and all forms of sexual union. Let us also not blind ourselves to the current damage our sexual license is having on children today. Look around. Is this how the world should look? Have we got it right? We “won” the sexual revolution. We’ve thrown off the “chains” of years of oppressive sexual stigma and we have no-fault divorce, and soon we shall have gay marriage, and then, who knows what. Anything is possible. After all, marriage is about what makes ME happy, not about responsibility. And while it may be fun for us, walk around a school and talk to the real victims. Not homosexuals, but children.

  • Luis

    The facts are the facts, homosexuality is very detrimental, denoting it to be a dysfunction… it is what it is, you people remind me of alcoholics in denial, sad to see. Here are just a few power facts of the bad consequences of homosexuality:

    - Dr. Selma Dritz in the New England Journal of Medicine: “Oral and anal intercourse present physicians with surgical as well as medical problems, ranging from anal fissures and impaction of foreign bodies in the rectum to major diagnostic dilemmas.”
    * Reference: Dritz SK. “Medical Aspects of Homosexuality.” The New England Journal of Medicine, 1980; Vol. 302 No. 8 (463-464).

    - “Study: Gay Men Are Twice as Likely to Have Cancer”, Yahoo story, By MEREDITH MELNICK Meredith Melnick– Tue May 10, 10:05 pm ET

    - Lesbian sex is linked to higher risks of bacterial vaginosis, HPV specifically genital warts—squamous intraepithelial lesions, trichomoniasis, syphilis, and Herpes simplex virus (HSV), and cervical cancer even among women who have had no prior sex with men. In addition, women who have sex with women have a higher risk of HIV/Aids due to the fact that many of identified lesbians have had sex with bisexual men much more so than a hetero woman has. Transmission also occurs through vaginal and cervical secretions between lesbian women.

    * Reference: Women Who Have Sex with Women (WSW), Centers for Disease Control, 2006 (MMWR August 4, 2006 / Vol. 55 / No. RR–11). Retrieved on January 9, 2009.
    - Frenkl, Tara Lee, Potts, Jeannette (February 2008). “Sexually Transmitted Infections”, Urologic Clinics of North America, 35 (1) p. 33–46.

    - In The Gay Report, by Jay and Young, homosexual researchers surveyed the sex habits of homosexuals, Traditional Values reported. The result shows that:

    · 99% had engaged in oral sex
    · 91% had engaged in anal intercourse
    · 83% engaged in rimming (mouth to anus contact)
    · 22% had fisted their sex partners
    · 23% admitted to golden showers (urinating on a sex partner)
    · 76% admitted to group or public sex
    · 4% admitted ingesting feces
    These behaviors are the seedbed for a whole variety of serious intestinal parasites, viruses, and bacteria known collectively as “Gay Bowel Syndrome.”

    -Dr. Stephen E. Goldstone, the medical director of Gay says that 68% of HIV-positive and 45% of HIV-negative homosexual men have abnormal or precancerous anal cells, noted Traditional Values.

    -Medical experts and scientists believe that the increased number of sexually transmitted diseases (STD) cases is the result of an increase in risky sexual practices by a growing number of gay men. One in five gay men were found to have HIV, according to a study released by the CDC in 2010.

    Latest… STDs continue on the increase in San Francisco for the 6th year in a row!
    Reference: Article “California: San Francisco sees Spike in STDs”, from HIV/AIDS Resource for Gay Men website, U.S. Center for Disease Control and Prevention, February 13, 2012.

    “MSM have higher HIV and other STI rates than do women and heterosexual men”, Reference: Article from HIV/AIDS Resource for Gay Men website, U.S. Center for Disease Control and Prevention, May 29, 2012.

    “Gay, bisexual, and other men who have sex with men (MSM)1represent approximately 2% of the US population, yet are the population most severely affected by HIV”, Reference, article “ HIV Among Gay and Bisexual Men”, from website HIV/AIDS Resource for Gay Men website, U.S. Center for Disease Control and Prevention, May 18, 2012.

    “Atlanta researchers found a high rate of HIV in gay male couples who thought both partners were HIV-negative”, Reference, article “Gay couples at Risk”, from website HIV/AIDS Resource for Gay Men website, U.S. Center for Disease Control and Prevention, November/December 2011.

    There is a lot, lot, and lot more, but as for the result of these previous studies, it is simple.

    Gay men for example, have anal sex as their main sex act, and the colon is NOT prepare to fight viruses as the vagina does with all its acidity. Furthermore, the colon is designed by nature to absorb as much material as it can, so when a penis is introduced in it with all its “wonderful” viruses and bacteria traveling on it, the colon simply does what it does best, it tries to adsorb all of it…. hence the person is more likely to get infections, viruses, cancer causing agents, etc.

    The same with Fellatio, the mouth is the beginning of the digestion process, and gay men and lesbians indulge heavily in it, so the introduction of viruses, germs and cancer causing agents into a person is more likely in these cases.

    Action and consequences… that is what the opposition against homosexuality has always been all about, the bad consequences to the individuals and society.. because yes YOU too are affected, that irresponsible reckless sexual behavior results in diseases being passes around/spread upon the population, increasing the Health Care cost for everyone! …so when your Health Coverage BILL increases come in the mail d-o n-o-t complain… with “acceptance” of homosexuality, you asked for it!

    Enough said!

  • DavidM

    Mr. Fincke, your case is well-intentioned, but based on pure conjecture with no evidence to support it. The experiment has been tried, so why don’t you go ahead and examine some actual data on the effects of changing the definition of marriage on the behaviour and mental health of same-sex attracted people? I know you’re just a philosopher, but that’s no reason to ignore reality and just make up all the data that are required to support your position. I’m curious: you jump to your conclusion about the virtues of gay marriage, but have you seriously considered the possibility that the objectively unhealthy behaviors typical for gays (which lead to their dramatically higher incidences of various diseases and to their dramatically lower life expectancy) has nothing to do with their exclusion from marriage? Have you seriously considered the possibility that you’ve got cause and effect reversed here?

    Clearly gays need love and acceptance, just like all of us. But your leap to the conclusion that they need gay marriage…? It seems you’re just spinning a tale (which happens to be rather tired and unconvincing).

  • DavidM

    “I don’t see how you could oppose using our institutions to send the message that no class of people in the culture is made up of second class citizens or will be shut out from institutional support for their pursuit of happiness of full human fulfillment.” – Therefore, gay marriage good, Daniel? That would be a false dichotomy you’re trying to insinuate here: “You either support gay marriage, or you don’t want gays to be happy.” I do appreciate your compassion and good will, but can you see how hopelessly simplistic that is?