Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Why Not Gay Marriage? Sexual Complementarity

Many who oppose same-sex marriage are afraid to engage in a frank discussion of homosexuality due to a fear of being labeled as “homophobic”. Homophobia is an irrational fear of homosexuality. I reject the label “homophobic” simply because I believe that homosexual behavior is unnatural and immoral.

In some countries, questioning the morality of homosexual behavior can lead to being charged with a hate crime. But freedom of speech can be lost not only by laws against it, but also when people are intimidated enough so that they don’t say what they really think. In this way, people who speak up and say controversial things, even at the risk of being the subject to false accusations, help to defend true freedom of speech.

Everyone, no matter what their sexual orientation, deserves to be treated with dignity and respect. People of homosexual orientation should be protected against unjust discrimination. In my opinion, sexual orientation develops in early childhood, so it’s true when people say that they didn’t choose to be a homosexual. Although when vulnerable young people, especially in early adolescence, are subjected to homosexual propaganda they can be influenced to experiment with homosexuality when they otherwise wouldn’t. But I reject the idea that sexual orientation should be treated the same as race.

I respect the fact that most people don’t share my religious beliefs, but I think there are good, secular reasons to reject “gay marriage”. (I put this in quotes since marriage, by definition, is a relationship between man and woman.) In this article, I don’t intend to cite all the arguments against “gay marriage”. A complete treatment of the subject of “gay marriage” is found on the website of Catholic Answers. I will address what I think is the crux of the argument which is the idea of sexual complementarity.
Sexual complementarity is the common sense view that there are fundamental biological, emotional and psychological differences between the sexes, and that males and females complement one another. Members of the opposite sex lack the perfections and the capabilities of the other.
Time Magazine reported that scientists have found that there are subtle neurological differences between men and women in brain structure and functioning in a cover story entitled "Sizing Up the Sexes" on January 20, 1992.

The idea that the sexes are different and complement one another, and a special recognition of the relationship between a man and woman committed to one another in marriage, spans different religions and cultures throughout the centuries. One does not even have to believe in God to see that there is a natural design in the bodies of man and woman.
The male and female reproductive systems are fully complementary. This is so recognized in our culture that even certain pipe fittings are called male and female, because of the way they are designed to fit together. Male and female body parts are naturally designed for the continuation of the human race. Without getting into all the gory details a man’s body is not designed by nature for the reception of another man. Certain body parts were designed not for sex, but for the elimination of waste.
Unnatural acts result in trauma and a variety of sexually transmitted diseases. Among the diseases commonly transmitted through homosexual sex are: gonorhea, syphilis, herpes simplex infections, genital warts, pubic lice, hepatitis B, hepatitis non-A, non-B, and acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS). For more information see the article The Pathophysiology of Male Homosexuality .

Sadly we know that many marriages between heterosexuals fail, but this is not a reason to change the nature of marriage. Mothers and fathers provide complementary gifts to their children. No matter how good a father is, he can never give the same type of love that a mother can, and vice-versa. The best environment for children to be raised is with a mother and father who love one another and are committed for life. We need to work together to help strengthen marriage, not weaken it by giving other relationships status and benefits.

It is my hope to enter into a rational and respectful dialogue with those who disagree with me. Although in the past, I have been very disappointed by people who claim to be “tolerant” who are anything but tolerant for people who have a different view than theirs.