DUNN LORING, VA — In an age that prides itself on “candor” about
sex, we have seen the emergence of new forms of hypocrisy, as well
as new taboos on frank discussion. Liberals sneer at the phrase “the
homosexual agenda,” as if there were no such thing — even
as that agenda extends to demands for “same-sex marriage”!
I’m a little puzzled by the passion this issue excites, since “same-sex
marriage” is literally nonsense. Lincoln is said to have asked, “How
many legs does a dog have if you count the tail as a leg?” Answer: “Four.
Calling a tail a leg doesn’t make it a leg.” In the same
way, calling a homosexual union a marriage doesn’t make it a
Even societies that tolerate sodomy have seldom if ever seen any reason
to treat such unions as marriages. The practical reason for marriage
has always been the breeding and upbringing of children. Even most
homosexuals have always understood that. Homosexuals, especially males,
are notoriously promiscuous, so even if the law recognizes such unions
as marriages, I doubt that many of them will choose monogamy.
Tolerance of sodomy is by no means a regular feature even of pagan
societies. The ancient Greeks, contrary to what we are told, generally
regarded it with disgust and punished it as a crime. Every society
has some sort of sexual morality, which inevitably favors marriage
and usually excludes sodomy; and even where sodomy is allowed, it’s
usually between men and boys. The Roman poet Juvenal, who had seen
just about everything in that swinging city, describes homosexuals
in the most scathing terms.
The propaganda of perversion is forever reminding us that homosexual
acts occur even in the animal kingdom. It neglects to mention, however,
that these are very rare, and even then they are performed for simple
relief or to assert dominance. Monogamy also occurs among many higher
species of animals, but they never mate permanently with their own
sex. Nature is trying to tell us something.
Obviously the call for same-sex marriage could occur only in a society
that already takes marriage very lightly. Homosexuals demand it in
the secure knowledge that it won’t necessarily be till death
do you part. The vow isn’t really a sacred promise anymore; it’s
viewed as the expression of a romantic impulse, made, so to speak,
with fingers crossed.
Thanks to new adoption laws and artificial insemination, same-sex
couples, homosexual and lesbian, are now having children. Again we
are assured that there’s nothing to worry about. The kids will
be fine, raised by two loving “parents.” Sexual child abuse
will be rare.
Again a bit of skepticism is in order. At a time when the traditional
family is under relentless attack and its failures are publicized and
dramatized, only the hypothetical homosexual family is idealized and
sentimentalized, even before the results are in.
We are told that homosexuals are as normal as you and I, though we’re
also told that you and I are in pretty sad shape. It’s easy to
get the impression that homosexuality is a positive qualification for
marriage and parenthood.
We’ll see about that. When the children of these brave new families
grow up, they’ll have some stories to tell, and the results may
not quite match the rosy picture painted by the propagandists. It can
be hard enough for a child to grow up in a broken home, especially
when his friends and classmates all have normal families (though this
is rarer and rarer); imagine growing up with two “parents” of
the same sex, when the other children all have real parents.
Remind you of anything? Well, it reminds me of the early years of
the “sexual revolution,” when all the propaganda heralded
a new era of carefree, antiseptic sexual indulgence. That revolution
has reached its dreadful fulfillment in our inner cities, where uninhibited
behavior has resulted in bastardy, crime, poverty, disease, and general
Not quite the glossy ads for easy sex we were shown; now we have to
talk about “safe sex,” a phrase that didn’t occur
to us when sex was really safe because it was confined to marriage.
Opposite-sex marriage, that is.
A version of this article originally appeared in Joe Sobran's Washington
Watch column in The Wanderer newspaper on September 4, 2003.
Copyright © 2010 by Joe Sobran and the
Fitzgerald Griffin Foundation. All rights reserved.
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