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November 10, 2004

Update on Let's Be Honest: You're All Vicious Gay-Haters

Ilyka, who's pretty reasonable, disagrees with my sarcastic point, and thinks there is an awful lot of homophobia on the right.

I don't know. On one hand, yes, what she's saying is undeniable: there is of course homophobia on the right. On the other hand, though, it's also undeniable that homosexuality is now much more accepted than it has ever been in history, both on the left and the right, and by both secularists and religious traditionalists (many of whom continue to believe that it is against God's wishes, and yet are perfectly willing to allow gays to make their own lives in a civil society).

I do think that to some extent Ilyka is making a mistake that many on the left do (and on this issue, she seems to be more on the left than the right): to conflate the opposition to a measure desired by a minority group with "hatred" or "intolerance" for tha minority group.

I don't support racial quotas; I don't hate minorities, though. If you want to ascribe to me a negative motive, try simple selfishness: Why would I support a measure that hurts my own chances of getting a job, or of my children getting into the college of their choice, simply because it is asserted that I "owe" that to a perfect stranger do to injustices perpetrated on that stranger's ancestors by some other perfect strangers?

There is in fact a "gay agenda," or, perhaps, there are two gay agendas. One is the agenda of increased tolerance and acceptance; the other is quite a bit more ambitious than that, and seeks, for example, to mainstream outre notions about sexuality like the acceptance of "open relationships" (Andrew Sullivan occasionally makes noises about this, when he forgets he's supposed to be pretending he's a passionate supporter of the monogamy-model of human relationships).

And then of course there's gay marriage, which by its very terms, seeks to change the accepted definition of marriage as primarily an institution for the creation of families -- and when I say "families," I mean "children" -- to an institution based purely on romantic love. Romantic love ought to be a part of any marriage, to be sure, but we haven't previously confused being "in love" with taking the solemn step of marrying another.

In arguing for gay marriage, its supporters are consciously and unavoidably seeking to change the very nature of the institution, from something quasi-sacred and chiefly about children and family to what is basically a government certificate of Goin' Steady.

Well, that's where you guys lose me. I've gone steady before, and I really didn't think I needed a county, municipal, state or federal acknowledgment of that status.

Those who support gay marriage say it won't have any effect on traditional marriage. Well, maybe so, or maybe not. I can't help but think that diminishing the institution to what is basically a state-sanctioned pinning will have any sanguine effects on traditional marriage, either.

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posted by Ace at 02:17 PM

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