Sunday, June 19, 2005

NY Times article on gay marriage

There's a long article on gay marriage and the Christian moralists that oppose it in today's NY Times. It's long, but I recommend reading it.

This paragraph toward the end I think sums it up best:

But, of course, the Christian activists aren't vague in their opposition [to gay marriage]. For them, the issue isn't one of civil rights, because the term implies something inherent in the individual -- being black, say, or a woman -- and they deny that homosexuality is inherent. It can't be, because that would mean God had created some people who are damned from birth, morally blackened. This really is the inescapable root of the whole issue...

The author is right, of course. It seems to all come down to whether being gay is inborn or a developed characteristic. If it's developed, it can't really be immoral, can it? And that's why all these "ex-gay" programs exist, even in contradition to all the science that says they don't work. As far as I know, there are no studies supporting the contention that these programs work. Attraction (which is what we're really talking here, not behavior) is too innate, too intwined in our personalities to be changed by a force of will. But they don't care about fact, about science, all they care about is their own little hateful interpretation of the Bible, which just can't be wrong, can it?

One great bit is how these "pro-family" actvists keep claiming that marriage is as it always has been for thousands of years, since the dawn of time. As one woman put it, "The gay activists are trying to redefine what marriage has been basically since the beginning of time and on every continent. My concern is for the children -- for the future." Honey, from the beginning of time and on every contenent, marriage has been between one man and a handful of women who were essentially his property. Marriage as an emotional bond between two people is a recent development that isn't even two centuries old.

But then again, this fight isn't about facts. Facts are inconvenient. It's about perception. And the perception on the anti-family side is that they are fighting for a virtue that goes back to the dawn of creation (6000 years ago). That's a hard notion to defeat, whether or not it is true.

(Via Americablog.)

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