Homosexuality: Is it good for society? For the individual?

This essay is borrowed from multiple sources and is dated as well. . . the stats may have changed.

I want to preface this paper with the challenge from one of the board members to “prove” that homosexuality is immoral. In today’s pluralistic society, controversial public policy questions, such as homosexuality, must be decided on evidence rather than on sectarian religious belief. For what one person may find sinful according to his or her religious perspective, others may find perfectly appropriate according to theirs. However, our common morality – The Moral Law/Natural Law – tells us not to harm others or ourselves. Therefore, the best way of finding common ground and a sensible policy is to investigate the objective data (of which I will only briefly touch on. If you want a good chapter on the subject, I suggest the book Legislating Morality: Is it Wise? Is It Legal? Is It Possible?) on the healthfulness of the homosexual lifestyle. Just what does the evidence show? Is it really harmless, or is it actually harmful? [Take note that although I deal with the 1972 homosexual platform, I will show, as well, briefly the 1993 march on Washington’s demands.]

The 1972 gay rights platform contained the following:

  • Amend all federal Civil Rights Acts, other legislation and government controls to prohibit discrimination in employment, housing, public accommodations and public services.
  • A presidential order prohibiting the military from excluding for reasons of their sexual orientation, persons who of their own volition desire entrance into Armed Services; and from issuing less than fully-honorable discharges for homosexuality; and the upgrading of fully honorable all such discharges previously issued, with retroactive benefits.
  • A presidential order prohibiting discrimination in the federal civil service because of sexual orientation, in hiring and promoting; and prohibiting discrimination against homosexuals in security clearances.
  • Elimination of tax inadequacies [favoring traditional families].
  • Elimination of bars to the entry, immigration and naturalization of homosexual aliens.
  • Federal encouragement and support for sex education courses, prepared and taught by [homosexuals], presenting homosexuality as valid, healthy preference and… a viable alternative to heterosexuality.
  • Federal funding of aid programs of [homosexual] organizations designed to alleviate the problems encountered by [homosexuals].

The document made similar demands of states, including:

  • Repeal of all state laws prohibiting solicitation for private voluntary sexual liaisons; and laws prohibiting prostitution, both male and female.
  • Legislation prohibiting insurance companies and any other state-regulated enterprises from discrimination because of sexual orientation, in insurance and in bonding or any other prerequisite to employment or control of one’s personal demesne.
  • Legislation so that child adoption, visitation rights, foster parenting, and the like shall not be denied because of sexual orientation or marital status.
  • Repeal of all laws prohibiting transvestitism and cross dressing.
  • Repeal of all laws governing the age of sexual consent.
  • Repeal of all legislative provisions that restrict the sex of the number of persons entering into a marriage unit; and the extension of legal benefits to all persons who cohabit regardless of sex.

Now the 1993 platform:

  • The implications of homosexual, bisexual, and transgendered curriculum at all levels of education.
  • The lowering of the age [12 years old to be exact] of consent for homosexual and heterosexual sex.
  • The legalization of homosexual marriages.
  • Custody, adoption, and foster-care rights for homosexuals, lesbians, and transgendered people.
  • the redefinition of the family to include the full diversity of all family structures.
  • The access to all programs of the Boy Scouts of America.
  • Affirmative action for homosexuals.
  • The inclusion of sex-change operations under a universal health-care plan.

As of today, most of these demands have been met. Nor do signs look good for a quick reversal of this trend: The descriptive word “homosexual” has been replaced by the perfectly nondescriptive word “gay.” Opponents of homosexuality are said to be afflicted with “homophobia.” “ The love that dare not speak its name” is fast becoming “the love that no one dare question.”

Homosexuality and the Public Health

While AIDS has destroyed the lives of non-homosexuals through intravenous drug use, blood transfusions, or promiscuity, until recently the disease has been primarily spread among homosexuals. The U.S. Department of Health of Health and Human Services Centers for Disease Control Reports that 65 percent of all adult/adolescent AIDS cases and 79 percent of AIDS cases among Caucasians in the U.S. were acquired through homosexual contact. Ninety-one percent of American AIDS cases have been traced to homosexual sex, intravenous drug use, or some combination of the two (Centers for Disease Control report, “HIV/AIDS Surveillance”; Also, “Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome – 1991,” Journal of the American Medical Association; and the book, The Myth of Heterosexual AIDS).

Homosexuals also continue to contract and spread other diseases at rates significantly higher that the community at large. These include syphilis, gonorrhea, herpes, hepatitis A and B, a variety of intestinal parasites including amebiases and giardiasis, and even typhoid fever (David G. Ostrow, Terry Alan Sandholzer, and Yehudi M. Felman, eds., Sexually Transmitted Diseases in Homosexual Men; see also, Sevgi O. Aral and King K. Holmes, “Sexually Transmitted Diseases in the AIDS Era,” Scientific American). This is because rectal intercourse or sodomy, typically practiced by homosexuals, is one of the most efficient methods of transmitting disease. Why? Because nature designed the human rectum for a single purpose: expelling waste from the body. It is built of a thin layer of columnar cells, different in structure than the plate cells that line the female reproductive tract. Because the wall of the rectum is so thin, it is easily ruptured during intercourse, allowing semen, blood, feces, and saliva to directly enter the bloodstream. The chances for infection increases further when multiple partners are involved, as is frequently the case: Surveys indicate that American male homosexuals average between 10 and 110 sex partners per year (L. Corey and K. K. Holmes, “Sexual Transmission of Hepatitis A in Homosexual Men,” New England Journal of Medicine; and, Paul Cameron et al., “Sexual Orientation and Sexually Transmitted Disease,” Nebraska Medical Journal).

Not surprisingly, these diseases shorten life expectancy (http://tinyurl.com/px9wpcd). Social psychologist Paul Cameron compared over 6,200 obituaries from homosexual magazines and tabloids to a comparable number of obituaries from major American Newspapers. He found that while the median age of death of married American males was 75, for sexually active homosexual American males it is 42. For homosexual males infected with the AIDS virus, it was 39. While 80 percent of married American men lived to 65 or older, less than two percent of the homosexual men covered in the survey lived as long (Omega Study and Social Origins of Sexuality Study). To add to this problem of health, monogamous homosexual men tend to die earlier. Why? They feel that the exchange of fluids is the most compassionate act in the relationship. Ironically, this is the same act – (unprotected sex) – that infects their partner at a higher rate than “single” counterpart. The exact opposite is true for heterosexual men who are single. They tend to average 57 years old. But the monogamous American male, as stated above, lives a much healthier life.

In the face of these facts, it is reprehensible that Americans, and especially American schoolchildren are being told today that homosexual behavior can be safe (as a parent, I am furious!). Because smokers don’t live as long as nonsmokers, society considers smoking harmful and discourages the use of tabacco. By the same logic, aren’t homosexual practices deserving of social disapproval (considering that tax payers are footing the health bill that is considerably higher than that 75 year old American male getting ill and passing on?).

Civil Rights and Special Rights

The gay rights movement’s main rhetorical ploy is to liken itself to the civil rights movement of the 1950s and ‘60s. the extent to which is successful reflects a confusion about the meaning of “rights” in the public mind.

The charter of the American liberty, the Declaration of Independence, explains that human beings are born with “certain unalienable rights, that among these are life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness” (not the pursuit of hedonism mind you). These rights belong to people equally. No human being is so superior to another that he may treat the other as he would treat an irrational beast. This is the argument that Abraham Lincoln hearkened back to during the Civil War, and Martin Luther King, Jr. during the 1960s. Unlike people in most countries, Americans have been able to enjoy these rights, because the American Constitution sets up a government that is limited in what it can do (this is itself a subject of controversy, and demands attention elsewhere).

Consider the claimed comparison between the gay rights movement and the civil rights movement in light of this. An obvious difference is that the former is centered around type of behaviors, namely sodomy. Is there a constitutional right to sodomy such as there is, say, to practice our religion or speak our mind? No.

At the time of the American founding, and following the tradition of English common law, sodomy was a criminal or common law offense in each of the 13 states. Until 1961, all 50 states considered sodomy a punishable offense. It remains illegal today in 23 states and the District of Columbia, and in many of these stands as a felony offense. At the federal level, the question was dealt with in the Supreme Court’s 1986 decision, Bowers v. Hardwick. The defendants in the case had asked the Court to proclaim, in effect, “a fundamental right to engage in homosexual sodomy.” “This,” wrote Justice Byron White in developing the Court’s decision, “we are quite unwilling to do.”

More deeply, sodomy is unnatural and, as such, incompatible with any notion of natural rights. We know that human beings are entitled to their liberty because they are, by nature, capable of reasoning and choosing. This is precisely the faculty that identifies a human being, among all other beings in nature. We are entitled to civil rights, because we are the one creature equipped by nature to exercise them.

Human beings also have other aspects to their nature, aspects that are not such noble features of their makeup. One is their method of sexual reproduction. And make no mistake: despite astonishing denials of organized homosexuality, human beings, as surely as deer or elephants, come equipped with a natural method of reproduction. Unlike in other species, however, these lower aspects in man share in man’s higher aspect, reason. The result is the virtue of temperance or self-control. The Founders of America understood that our rights stem from this capacity, the capacity for moral virtue.

Homosexuals like to argue that, since people are by nature free to choose, the choice of sodomy should be protected, at least as much as any other choice. However, the fact that people are free by nature to make choices does not mean that any choice they make is good or that all choices should be equal before the law. Some people choose to steal and lie. Some abandon their children or their wives or husbands. Some sink into the grip of drugs. Some evade the draft at their country’s need, or abandon their duty in the face of battle. These are bad choices, and when they are made, the rest of us must bear part of the cost. These things are wrong in a constitutional democracy, as much as they are wrong anywhere else.

On the other hand, liberal societies recognize that all sins cannot be, and must not be, punished under the law. A state powerful enough to do that is too powerful to control. That is why we are cautious in a free country, about telling others what to do. That is why Presidents often appeal to us to be upright, moral citizens, but they do not bring charges against us unless we break the law.

Still, we must not forget that democracies have the greatest in the practice of virtue by citizens, because in democracy the citizens themselves are the rulers. So it is that George Washington, one of the greatest moral examples in history, said in his First Inaugural Address: “There is no truth more thoroughly established than that there exists an indissoluble union between virtue and happiness…”

A liberal society might, then, find it prudent to ignore homosexuality. It might well deem it unwise to peer into private bedrooms. However, this is not the issue before us. Today the demand is that homosexuality be endorsed and promoted with the full power of the law. This would require us to abandon the standard of nature, the one standard that can teach us the difference between freedom and slavery, between right and wrong.

Once we abandon the standard of nature, what is to forbid us from resorting to any violation of nature that we please? Why should we not return to slavery, if we find it convenient? Or the practice of incest or adultery or cannibalism? Without an understanding that there is a higher law that limits human will – whether divine law or the “law of Nature or Nature’s God” which we can grasp through our reason – there is no basis to prohibit any activity. Anything becomes possible (which is why some [me included] refer to murder and homosexuality in the same stroke of the pen/keyboard, this analogy is now detailed in a more exhaustive manner above).

In fact, the rights sought by homosexual activists are not natural or constitutional rights (for the best chapter on this subject – why homosexuals should be fighting to keep the traditional definition of family – I suggest the book Relativism: Feet Planted Firmly in Mid-Air). They are the special rights granted ethnic minorities by affirmative action policies. These special rights would force businesses, schools, and virtually every institution in the land, public and private, to open their doors to homosexuals, and allow lawsuits to be brought against those that refuse.

To be considered a specially protected minority under the law, a group must meet several tests, as determined by a series of Supreme Court decisions. Its members must be identifiable by an unchanging physical condition (I’ve known ex-gays, but I have never met an ex-black… well, maybe except for Michael Jackson) – e.g., skin color, gender, handicap. They must be able to demonstrate that they suffered discrimination to the extent that they are unable to earn an average income, receive an adequate education, or enjoy a fulfilling cultural life (see appendice). In addition, they must show that their members are politically powerless to change their predicament. [The gay lobby was one of the most powerful in Washington for the 1992 elections, giving multiple millions to the Democratic National Committee and having homosexual[s] put into key positions in the Clinton Cabinet.]

To date, the homosexual lobby has been unable to prove that its members meet these requirements. There is no evidence – statistical or otherwise – that homosexuals are suffering any practical or political disadvantages. They have never been denied the right to vote or other constitutional rights, nor have they suffered segregation under the law, nor have they been denied access to public facilities. Several U.S. Congressman, Senators, and prominent state legislators are openly homosexual, as are high-level members of recent presidential administrations. Statistically, homosexuals enjoy higher economic status than average Americans do. Any claim to political powerlessness is belied by how politicians today – especially Democratic politicians – court the “homosexual vote.”

It is easy to see the difference between civil and constitutional rights and the special rights sought by homosexuals by considering the controversy over “gays” in the military. People are refused entrance for numerous reasons, e.g., age, intelligence, physical handicap, criminal record [me! And broken bones in my past, broken neck and fractured back!]. Second: the racial integration of the armed forces (to which proponents of “sexual preference integration” like to point) was part of the proper expansion of constitutional rights because race was an irrational (hence unconstitutional) basis of discrimination. Those who thought blacks were different in behavior were simply prejudiced – they were wrong. Those who think homosexuals behave differently are self-evidently right. The word “homosexual,” unlike the words “black” or “brown” or “yellow,” denotes precisely a different behavior. In this case, those who deny a difference are being irrational.

As summed up by a veteran of the civil rights movement: “The road to Selma was not the road to Sodom.”

Conclusion

The case against organized homosexuality is twofold. First, nature rewards healthy living habits with good health. It is abundantly clear that homosexuals behavior is unnatural and unhealthy. Secondly, Americans are exceedingly tolerant. They are not as a rule inclined to dig around in each other’s private lives. Nevertheless, they reject the absurd claim that the Constitutional principle of equality before the law means that all behavior, no matter how heinous, is equally okay. And on no basis of this distinction [e.g., I could claim to be gay at my next job interview and they would have to accept my testimony, but a black person is evidently black], they can be mobilized against laws that give homosexuals special legal standing to bully the rest of us, thus forcing their moral position on us, which is the claim they make against us.

Appendix

Average Household Income:

Homosexuals – $55,430      /      African Americans – $12,166

Percentage of College Graduates:

Homosexuals – 60%      /      African Americans – 5%

Holding Professional Positions:

Homosexuals – 49%      /      African Americans – 1%

Taken Overseas Vacations:

Homosexuals – 66%      /      African Americans – 1%

Ever Denied the Right to Vote:

Homosexuals – No      /      African Americans – Yes

Ever Faced Legal Segregation:

Homosexuals – No      /      African Americans – Yes

Ever Denied Access to Public Restrooms:

Homosexuals – No      /      African Americans – Yes

Ever Denied Access to Businesses and Restaurants:

Homosexuals – No      /      African Americans – Yes

(Wall Street Journal, 7/18/91, B1)

Some recommended reading (* means source material for paper, you can find in-depth references in these two texts):

  1. *Legislating Morality: Is It Wise? Is It Legal? Is It Possible?, by Norman Geisler and Frank Turek.
  2. Are Gay Rights Right?: Making Sense of the Controversy, by Roger Magnuson.
  3. *Do the Right Thing: A Philosophical Dialogue on the Moral and Social Issues of Our Time, Francis Beckwith, editor.  (Part of this paper is from a chapter from this book, however, the entire chapter can be found on the Internet if you use a good search engine.)
  4. Gays in the Military: The Moral and Strategic Crisis, George Grant, editor.
  5. Homosexuality and the Politics of Truth, Jeffrey Satinover.
  6. Relativism: Feet Planted Firmly in Mid-Air, by Francis Beckwith.

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