Bookworm: adultery rate is a valid reason to deny gays equality but straight adultery is fine because they vowed to ‘forsake all others’

by CynthiaYockey on July 18, 2010

First of all, let me be clear, Bookworm: there is NO SUCH THING as a good reason to deny lesbians and gays equality, including the right to choose a same-sex spouse in a federally-recognized marriage. The General Accountability Office in a report to Congress on the Defense of Marriage Act of 1996 identified 1,138 federal rights allowed to couples whose marriage the federal government recognizes. There are hundreds more rights at the state level that attend the right to marry. The purpose of DOMA was not to defend marriage, it was to disadvantage a group of people that a coalition of religions — Mormon, Catholic and Evangelical Protestant — wish to destroy or bully into making babies to increase their power and wealth.

The issue is equality for lesbians and gays. Start from the concept of equality, rather than piecemeal rights. Then remember that lesbians and gays are NOT first-class citizens in the United States. And think about how much you are asking of lesbians and gays regarding marriage when our ability to commit and marry is under attack at all times. For example, gays and lesbians do not get to date in high school the same way straight kids do. They may not get to date until their late teens or early 20’s. This causes a developmental delay — you really do have to go through those stages and it is a terrible loss not to have the same support, guidance and approbation that your straight peers do as they practice the skills of finding an appropriate spouse and staying together.

On top of that, straight children grow up with the dream of marriage. They don’t just fantasize about what their spouse and wedding will be like. From an early age, they plan their education and careers with marriage in mind and the prospect of creating a family. This target is a huge blessing because it motivates and socializes the people who have it — straight people.

It is crippling to lesbians and gays NOT to have equality and the dream of marriage. Why make sacrifices for something you can’t have? In addition, why learn the skills of building a life together when so much is stacked against you? In fact, it’s hardly possible to learn the social skills required for marriage under those circumstances.

Social conservatives may believe they are well-intentioned, but the reality is that they destroy the lives of lesbians and gays via deaths of a thousand cuts, then gloat and preen themselves that the ones who are permanently damaged or killed at their hands are proof of the natural inferiority of lesbians and gays, which proves they should never have equality. It’s quite the sweet little self-fulfilling prophecy.

How about this? Why not give lesbians and gays the same equality and support for marriage that straight people have, for at least as much time as y’all have had, and then let’s see if we really come out all that differently with regard to our ability to build lasting marriages?

And here are three closing thoughts: first, why did you not notice that the story you linked discussed only men, yet you applied it to dismiss marriage equality for lesbians, too?

Second, the idea that same-sex marriage equality “redefines” marriage comes from religious propaganda aimed at giving people a rationale — any rationale — for denying lesbians and gays equality. Most religions have their own definition of marriage. A Catholic marriage is not the same as a Methodist marriage, which is not the same as either of the two Mormon definitions of marriage (not including the “plural” marriage used to create the largest number of members in the shortest possible time, which the church did not renounce until 1904). You do know the Mormon church has re-defined marriage so that the only truly spiritually superior marriage is between Mormons and consecrated in a Mormon temple, right? Well, the Metropolitan Community Church is just as entitled as any other religion to define marriage and lo! it approves of same-sex marriage!

Finally, what we seek is equality, so all we want changed regarding marriage laws is simple inclusion, including in the laws regarding monogamy.

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C July 18, 2010 at 1:59 pm

Well, I have to say that I’m in favor of a one hundred percent, strictly enforced ban on gay marriage for Andrew Sullivan. Not for all gays, just Andy. Congratulations jerk, you’re now in a persecuted minority of one.

Sorry about that. On a more serious note, I am one of those who simply has trouble believing anyone has the time to fight _against_ gay marriage. Don’t these people have better things to do? How about, oh I don’t know, organizing some solidarity with the persecuted infidels of the African continent?

There are only two arguments I’ve ever seen against gay marriage that aren’t obviously ludicrous. I’m not sure quite how to evaluate them, so I pass them on for your consideraton. The one is that the next step after gay marriage will be a push for polygamy and the people pushing for polygamy have no interest whatsoever in gay rights or many other rights, for that matter. The other is – well, it’s made at length by Lee Harris, who is gay and living in a decade long partnership, in “The Future of Tradition”. I respect Harris a great deal, so he’s worth reading, just to evaluate the argument.

CynthiaYockey July 18, 2010 at 4:09 pm


Thank you for calling my attention to Lee Harris’s essay, “The Future of Tradition.” I happen to be one of the “shining examples” he talks about and I find his reasoning is specious sophistry. Here is the most telling sentence (boldfacing mine): “But there can be no advantage to them if they insist on trying to co-opt the shining example of an ethical tradition that they themselves have abandoned in order to find their own way in the world.” Lesbians and gays did NOT abandon any ethical tradition: we were kicked out — and for corrupt reasons — religious leaders strive to control every detail of the reproductive lives of their followers in order to coerce them into producing wealth and power for their religion in the form of babies. This also drives religious leaders to come up with reasons to deny equality and control over their bodies and reproductive lives to women. It is the fact that we are kicked out of the socializing process, usually at an early age, that is at the root of many of the problems lesbians and gays have in the areas of emotional, psychological, moral and ethical development — that is, the incidence of problems beyond the baseline of those experienced by straight people. Giving lesbians and gays full equality under the law is going to make society more moral, upright and ethical by bringing us back into the socializing processes provided for straight people.

As for polygamy, there’s no such thing as a sequence in these matters. Polygamy IS a traditional form of marriage, polygamy is in the Bible, Islam supports/mandates polygamy, start-up Christian sects embrace polygamy and the Mormon church has a prophet who is likely to have a revelation any minute to ordain that “plural marriage” — which is one of the three definitions of marriage Mormons have — is the new hotness the instant he thinks it’s safe to do so. Mormons practiced polygamy until 1904 and only renounced it because Congress saw they were operating as a political organization determined to establish themselves as the government and forced them to drop the practice. Frankly, I think there are a LOT of religious groups that have a burning desire for polygamy — if they didn’t, they would be fighting THAT, because it is polygamy that is the clear and present danger to marriage.

By the way, it is the logic of the Left that creates the illusion of a sequence of groups that much be admitted to equality. It started with the arguments of the civil rights movement for blacks and states that exclusion and being forced into second-class citizenship is based on hatred, which is mean and wrong, so we must destroy hatred and never draw any boundaries in society on account of how hateful this is. I can’t imagine a more destructive and anti-Constitutional rationale for social change, which is one of the reasons that I NEVER use the language and concepts of the Left to argue for equality for lesbians and gays. Here’s the thing: you can’t destroy hatred and it is anti-liberty to try because people are entitled to liberty and freedom regarding their emotions. However, as we see from the NAACP and Obama, corrupt people can and will manipulate you forever concerning whether or not you are sufficiently hate-free according to their ever-changing and ever-receding standards. Hatred is the emotion that sociopaths gin up in their followers to get their obedience and hide their real objective, which always is to grab power. So the wise thing to do is to ignore hatefulness and look for the sociopaths and figure out their true motives. When you do that, you can get somewhere because you finally are engaged in the real issues.


Liz July 18, 2010 at 10:01 pm

Sheeesh, Cynthia, you need to stop bringing logic into this.

I agree with you on the whole “socializing process”, but I think things are getting better. Young people these days are looking at this and thinking “how exactly is *this* wrong?” I went to a staunchly Christian school where there were boys wearing makeup, open LGBT dating and no one really cared. (This amongst the students; it never occurred to anyone to ask the staff.)

CynthiaYockey July 18, 2010 at 11:21 pm


That’s good news!

I realized I was a lesbian when I was 13 and came out at 18 when I was a freshman in college, so I didn’t miss crucial stages of social development that quite a lot of lesbians and gays over 30 have. I still marvel at the memory of the women I saw in the mid 1970’s coming out in their forties, or older, after decades of posing as straight in heterosexual marriages. At last they could be themselves and act from authentic feelings, but emotionally they were in their teens and I was astonished to see how they had to undergo the maturation process they had never been allowed to experience at the age-appropriate time. The straight old fogies my age who do not realize how crucial this aspect of socialization is to developing as a moral person with the capacity to marry and stay married need to be told about it because they are completely unaware that they are committing a moral atrocity by denying lesbians and gays these opportunities that first-class citizens take for granted.


C August 4, 2010 at 5:55 am

Sorry about the long break. Just wanted to say that I completely accepted your case as a “shining example”, but I thought I’d indicate the arguments for completeness sake. However, I think you miss the point about polygamy: I was referring to the Islamic instance of it. Those who are pushing for Islamic polygamy don’t even want gays to _exist_, let alone marry. It’s a very sobering thought, but there it is.

Here’s a good case I’ve heard made for gay marriage, by Christopher Hitchens:

He’s a smart guy. And speaking of Guy, his memoir is well worth the read.

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