Truthfully, this shouldn't even be necessary
The short of it is that the only ‘agenda’ the LGBT community has is to achieve social acceptance, and to gain the same civil rights that every American enjoys. This was the goal of the Suffragettes, and the goal of those who marched for civil rights in the sixties that culminated in the Civil Rights act of 1964. Roughly two generations, or three depending on how you count them, between women fighting for and then getting their rights (which still needs work), and the black community fighting for and then getting their rights (which also still needs work).
The arguments that have been used to discriminate against and call for further discrimination against the LGBT community, chiefly by religious groups (particularly right wing, Conservative Christians) are, for the lack of a better word, bollocks. The most ridiculous one that has made it’s rounds among the willfully ignorant are the statements that the only purpose of sex is procreation. This, in spite of the fact that a majority of sex being had by straight couples is not procreative, to say nothing of those who cannot have children for various reasons, as well as those who choose not to procreate. I guess their sex is invalid, too? Then, of course, are the utterly ridiculous arguments that homosexual sex will invariably lead to bestiality, pedophilia, dogs and cats living together, mass hysteria. It’s a joke, people, and a sad commentary on the religious right that uses these arguments.
What About The Kids?
Of course, one cannot discuss same-sex marriage without talking about the kids. Currently, gay couples can either adopt children, or opt to use a surrogate. Study after study has shown that as far as successful parenting goes, there is literally no difference in a child’s development between gay and straight parents. These are studies by reputable organizations, and not the one that is being dragged out that was published by the American College of Pediatricians that claims children raised by same-sex parents will likely engage in sexual experimentation, sexual confusion, and eventually lead to becoming homosexuals.
Why? Well, the American College of Pediatricians is a tiny consortium of people who’s views are heavily influenced by the religious right, and they are not supported by mainstream science. In fact, the group states that they have “Judeo-Christian traditional values. As well, their claims are not the result of scientific methodology. This leads to all kinds of misinformation being disseminated, such as homosexuality causes elevated instances of mental health problems, drug abuse, etc.
Then there’s the belief that a same-sex couple cannot properly teach their kids properly about heterosexuality, or how to interact with the opposite sex from a romantic point of view, which is just plain stupid. With that logic, women physicians shouldn’t treat erectile dysfunction, and there should be no male gynecologists.
Pray The Gay Away…
This one really sticks my craw. The belief by the religious right that one can pray away their sexual orientation. That’s like believing one can pray away the color of their skin. These people still believe, at best, that homosexuality is a mental disorder, and at worst, demon possession. Their beliefs fly in the face of the roughly half-million health and mental health professionals who support the fact that homosexuality is not a mental disorder and thus, there is no need for a cure. Furthermore, the American Psychiatric Association rejected reparative therapy as not only ineffective, but potentially destructive. The risks include depression, anxiety and self-destructive behavior.
These ‘pray the gay away’ reparative therapy ‘ministries’ prey on the spiritually and emotionally wounded. Many who turn to these conversion ministries end up with a life of continual guilt and despair. It is no wonder that 30% of homosexual teenagers attempt suicide over this kind of guilt ridden and self-loathing education that is the result of two-thousand years of church-inspired homophobia. Unfathomable is the number of homosexuals that have suffered rejection of their families, been driven to suicide due to depression, have been discriminated against by anti-gay laws and even condemned to death for sodomy.
Attempts to change sexual orientation are nothing more than religiously motivated behavior modification. Reparation therapy is relabeled snake oil and is being sold to our gay community for a disorder that does not exist. Those who profit from selling the snake oil for money, power or fame and those who support the idea that homosexuality is a disease should be ashamed of themselves.
Not In My Back Yard…
One of the most often trotted out arguments against same-sex marriage is the belief that pastors, preachers and priests will be forced to perform same-sex marriages within the confines of their houses of worship, even though it is against their personal beliefs. This, of course, is preposterous. Even the most liberal of legislators continue to support a religious exemption to same-sex marriage with respect to religious institutions. It’s part of the First Amendment, and is not likely to change any time soon.
Even in cases of free speech, where detractors of same-sex marriage and those generally holding an anti-gay religious point of view, state that the government wants to censor them, the argument falls apart. One does not have to look far to read or listen to the rhetoric coming from the religious right and the Conservative bloc. As long as their rhetoric, however negative it may be, does not incite violence, cannot be defined as hate speech in the United States.
Hatred, Plain and Simple…
Jerry Falwell said that homosexuals are brute beasts, part of a vile and satanic system that will be utterly annihilated, and there will be a celebration in heaven. Anita Bryant stated that, as a mother, she ‘knows’ that homosexuals cannot biologically reproduce children; therefore, they must recruit children. Pat Robertson compared homosexuality with Satanism and Nazism. The late Senator Jesse Helms said that homosexuals are weak, morally sick wretches. That lunatic, Michael Savage, said to a gay caller on his nationally syndicated radio show that he should get aids and die, then called him a pig.
The fact remains that the battle against marriage equality, even now that it is the law of the land, stems from religion. No other group argues against it, no other group lobbies against it, and no other group – even if they disagree with it – attempts to legislate their bigotry. The sheer numbers of those who remain bigoted against the LGBT community are terrifying to homosexuals, and horrifying to anyone who has an ounce of understanding about human biology, genetics and the animal kingdom in general.
Outside of being a sexual predator or a pedophile, a person’s sexuality is nobody’s business, and who one chooses to marry – being of consenting age – is also nobody’s business. Those ridiculous arguments that are continually being trotted out are lame, and have been thoroughly debunked over and over again. But yet, they persist.
Homophobia is a symptom of a much more sinister disease that gets an early start and given a lifetime to fester. It is a learned behavior, and that education is coming from our pulpits, Sunday school classrooms, and religious educational institutions. The mere fact that there are still valuable resources being used to combat a problem that should not even exist in this day and age is a travesty, and should be totally unnecessary.