November 30, 2022

GOP and Gays

At GOP Progress today, Nate Nelson had this to say about Republicans and gays:

Without exception, the anti-gay sentiment within the Republican Party comes from those who cannot accept that people will believe and behave differently than they do. These are the people who believe that consensual sex between gay and lesbian adults should still be criminalized, simply because their interpretation of Christian scriptures tells them that it is wrong. In this, they are no different than the Islamic extremists who would impose shari’a upon the world.

This is complete garbage, of course, and the fact that this diary entry was promoted to the primary RSS feed is a sure sign that this site is going down the tubes.

I could flatter myself by saying that I’m utterly unique in America – the only Republican who opposes expansion of gay rights and yet doesn’t want to criminalize their sexual choices – but it’s more likely that Nate’s ramblings are wrong. Bummer, I was ready to go on a star trip there for a minute.

While the Bible does not condemn homosexuality beyond a shadow of a doubt, it is fairly clear on the point that homosexual behavior is not the natural way for men to conduct themselves.

Consider Romans 1:26-27:

For this cause God gave them up unto vile affections: for even their women did change the natural use into that which is against nature: And likewise also the men, leaving the natural use of the woman, burned in their lust one toward another; men with men working that which is unseemly, and receiving in themselves that recompence of their error which was meet.

Pretty obvious that means gay sex was considered abnormal and undesirable, no?

But it does not follow from this passage that homosexuals should be considered criminals or that American Christians’ have any desire for this outcome. Nelson’s making a mountain out of a mole hill, I suspect, for reasons of his own whereas most Christians would probably be happy to simply be able to turn on the television without having to see the obligatory “smart cool gay guy/gal vs. the stupid hetero loser” show on every channel.

As for Mr. Nelson’s assertion that American Christianity is akin to sharia, I’m nearly stupified to silence.  But not quite.  So I’d like to encourage Nate to spend some time practicing his way of life in Saudi Arabia or Iran before writing further on that topic.  I’ll pay for the ticket myself so long as the return date is two years in the future.

Nelson goes on to say this:

…they are the ones who destroy families, by encouraging men like Gene Robinson and Jim McGreevey to live a lie, a lie that they will inevitably fail to live with eventually. They share in the responsibility for the destruction of families that results when gays and lesbians are forced to admit their sexual orientation to heterosexual spouses and to their children.

This is another foolish extrapolation. After all, one must strongly suspect that the wife of a man who has suddenly announced his gayness after a decade of marriage will immediately blame the wayward husband for destroying her family, the Republican party being rather far down the list of causes (unless she is a knee-jerk liberal). In such a case it is, after all, the man himself who has chosen to betray her and in perhaps the most cutting way of all – my choosing to reject her gender entirely.

Consider the unfortunate wife’s position. Can the poor woman really be expected to equate the act of sex as she and her husband performed it to that which he does with another man and grant the other the same value as that which she gives?

Clearly not.

Nate is quite correct in saying that gay acts should not be criminalized. But neither should society be forced to grant them the same acceptance as normal human sexuality. We need only consider the design of the human body to understand that it was meant for one use and not the other.

That fact has nothing to do with Republicans or the Bible. It simply is.

marc

Marc is a software developer, writer, and part-time political know-it-all who currently resides in Texas in the good ol' U.S.A.

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12 thoughts on “GOP and Gays

  1. “Linguist, with regard to “our society is based on notions of fairness and inclusion. For all.”, what makes you think that?”

    The history of our nation is the story of our society’s struggle to achieve its ideals as set forth in our nation’s founding documents. Even the Declaration of Independence declares that “all men are created equal” –and we have constantly struggled to enlarge the definition to include ALL citizens (even if they aren’t men, for instance, or white men). “Fair outcomes” are not the issue; I am talking about placing obstacles in front of some members of society by passing laws that, by intent, treat them differently. “Fairness” means that everyone is subject to the same rules, not that everyone is guaranteed the same outcome. A couple who the state obliges to pay thousands of dollars to a lawyer or in additional state taxes to achieve the same outcome that the state allows others to can get with a $25 marriage license is not being subjected to the same rules.

    “…gay marriage is viewed by some as devaluing traditional marriage just as counterfeit money devalues the greenback…”

    I am certainly aware of that opinion, but, respectfully, I’ve never followed the logic of it or seen any evidence of it. Providing education in ASL (sign language) to Deaf kids doesn’t “devalue” the education of hearing kids, or of English. The fact that Black/Irish/Jewish, etc. people can now stay in luxury hotels doesn’t “devalue” luxury hotels.

    I can only understand the notion of “devaluing” an institution by denying entrance to some if those being denied entrance are less “valuable”.

    What makes marriage special is NOT that you don’t let other people have it.

  2. I understand your position and I can see how a person could hold it.

    “What makes marriage special is NOT that you don’t let other people have it.”

    This is a great point. I’d suggest that inter-racial marriage is another good analogy, one that’s close to being as controversial and deeply held by some, myself NOT included. I’m glad that issue has more or less been settled correctly.

    Still, there is something different, something more repellent, about granting same-sex unions the same status as marriage. To me it’s a combination of the sex acts themselves, the historical stigma, the religious contra-indications, and the need to set apart traditional marriage as the ideal.

    I also understand what you’re saying about fairness, too. In terms of our inalienable rights you are certainly correct.

    But our entire system of governance is based on the idea that certain groups are favored over others, usually in the form of “forced charity”, wealth redistribution, or whatever term one prefers. In other cases more noble ends are pursued via systematic discrimination.

    Traditional marriage, the cornerstone of American society, deserves no less support.

  3. One other topic I’d meant to address is that of health benefits and how our current system denies them to gay partners.

    This is a bit of unfairness that I do not agree with. The institution of marriage would be diminished by publicly asserting gay relationships as its equal. Private health benefits earned by an employee, however, should be dispensed according to the employee’s wishes.

    It seems to me the inequity could easily be cured by modifying the existing family and employe+spouse/child coverage categories to something like “employee + N others”. Seems simple enough. And fair.

  4. “Still, there is something different, something more repellent, about granting same-sex unions the same status as marriage. To me it’s a combination of the sex acts themselves, the historical stigma, the religious contra-indications, and the need to set apart traditional marriage as the ideal.”

    It was certainly “repellent” to many, particularly in the South, to hear of interracial marriages, and there was historical stigma, and a very strong, visceral reaction, reflected in both lynchings and in law. And preachers railed against interracial marriages on religious grounds, citing specific Biblical passages. Like you, I am glad that our society has progressed beyond that particular “repulsion”.

    I don’t mean to be dismissive of your feelings that, unlike interracial unions, same-sex unions really are “repellent” in a different way. You are certainly not alone in your repulsion, but then, people who felt just as strongly that interracial marriages were “repellent” had the numbers on their side as well for quite some time.

    There is, or certainly has long been, great stigma associated with homosexuality. Our language is filled with terms of abuse to hurl at people who are gay or to accuse others of being gay. That speaks to a fairly strong animus in our society against gay people.

    But tradition, including religious tradition, is not enough to JUSTIFY the animus, of course.

    While I try to understand the “repulsion” you feel, I must confess that I don’t understand why it’s any different from “repulsion” at, say, imagining one’s grandparents in intimate situations– I don’t see the attraction Granny sees in Grampa, but then, it’s not really relevant that I do, is it? I find I am better off just not imagining what they do in private, and focusing on their love and commitment in their more ‘public’ moments. 😉

    And, frankly, I can’t really decide the quality or worthiness of love and commitment based on what’s between the legs of an elderly couple. I can’t judge ANYone else’s love and commitment on that basis, either, including committed same-sex couples.

    “…But our entire system of governance is based on the idea that certain groups are favored over others, usually in the form of “forced charity”, wealth redistribution, or whatever term one prefers. In other cases more noble ends are pursued via systematic discrimination…”

    I am enjoying our discussion, so perhaps you’ll indulge me on this one. I don’t understand the above paragraph. Could you paraphrase, or give an example?

  5. You put together a convincing logical argument about why gay marriage should be accepted. I mean that. And yet there’s something fundamentally wrong with male-on-male sex that a mere contrast in skin color doesn’t approach.

    I guess you could say that my opposition to gay marriage is based on part physical repulsion, part the Bible, part inertia, and mostly the complete conviction that the nuclear family should be favored as a societal institution.

    Re “…But our entire system of governance is based on the idea that certain groups are favored over others, usually in the form of “forced charity”, wealth redistribution, or whatever term one prefers. In other cases more noble ends are pursued via systematic discrimination…”, consider the welfare state and affirmative action as examples of wealth redistribution and systematic discrimination, respectively.

    The money spent on public housing, food subsidies, unemployment, etc., comes from one group of people and goes to another, essentially along race lines.

    The seats in “inclusive, well-integrated” universities are taken from one group who, based on academic credentials, deserve them and are given to another, again along race lines.

    This is active, systematic discrimination by the state for the purpose of enhancing the long-term economic status of minorities.

    Why? Because it is believed that these policies will achieve that goal and it is further believed that the goal is good for the country.

    Without debating these points (for the moment), I submit that maintaining the existing incentives that bolster the nuclear family – and creating new ones – is far more important.

    Why? Because it goes to the very heart of the problem with minority groups – single mothers and deadbeat fathers.

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