A Liberal Case Against Gay & Lesbian Rights

December 1994By John C. Cahalan

John C. Cahalan is a writer in Massachusetts who specializes in philosophical topics. He is the author of Causal Realism: An Essay on Philosophical Method and the Foundations of Knowledge.

Opposition to gay rights legislation often comes from those who appear to believe that government should be more concerned with order than justice, or who appear to define justice, not in terms of the common good, but in terms of indi­viduals keeping as much of their wealth as possible for their private enjoyment. Nevertheless, most, though not necessarily all, gay rights legislation should be op­posed by those of us who believe in a government proactive for the common good, and especially in the obligation of government to secure justice for those unable to secure it for themselves.

Many of those who support gay rights legislation do so for an excellent reason. They want to end the outrageous physical and psychological abuse gays often suffer. Certainly we should all combat gay-bash­ing and gay-baiting by every acceptable means. For example, hate-crime laws against anti-gay violence may be justified, whether or not laws against other hate crimes are justified. Some people legitimately concerned about the First Amendment believe hate-crime laws entail an unacceptable risk to freedom of speech, because the actions they cover are already ad­equately prohibited by laws against violent acts in general. But in some, perhaps many, places, existing laws against violence may not be enforced when the victims are gay; if existing laws do not adequately pro­tect gays, the criticism of hate-crime laws is not valid for gay-bashing.

The laudable motive of preventing abuse of gays, however, does not justify laws that would make homo­sexual behavior socially acceptable, just another "lifestyle." There is no justification for laws that would permit a gay partner to receive the kind of benefits a spouse receives. Several studies indicate that gays' in­comes are well above average, and gays do not have to support families. But more importantly, it is socially harmful for gays to come out of the closet, and any law is harmful that encourages them to do so by treating homosexual behavior as socially acceptable. The reason is that open homosexuality violates the rights of those least able to defend their own rights, our children.

In Wisconsin v. Yoder, Justice Douglas's dissent argued that exempting the Amish from sending their children to high school might severely limit the children's career choices. By making homosexual be­havior acceptable, gay rights legislation will prevent many adolescents -- eventually millions -- from suc­cessfully making a choice even more important, for the large majority of people, than the choice of career: the choice of being a parent. As I will explain, making homosexuality acceptable would encourage many adolescents, who need not become habituated to ho­mosexual behavior, to become so. Consequently, many adolescents who would have been able, later, to choose successfully to be parents will not have that ability. Since the parental relationship is one of the two most important human relationships, depriving adolescents of that choice would be a grave injustice, a violation of a fundamental human right. And since the only relationship of comparable importance to the parental is the spousal, we can even say that we would be preventing them from choosing the most important human relationship, the spousal relation­ship with the other parent of one's children.

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As the saying goes, "whatever works". It is very difficult to take Gay Activists seriously because they go too far. As a result, one can only assume that they will only be satisfied when homosexuality is exclaimed "normal" or worse when heterosexuality is not normal. They wanted to be treated as any other human being and citizen of this country - a reasonable request and a moral responsibility on the part of those who are not homosexual. But they pushed further for equal rights to that of a married couple but rejected the concept of domestic partners or some equivalent term. They insisted on "gay marriage" which has nothing to do with "equality" and only to do with the tearing down of marriage. They already have the right to get married. The fact that they want to have gay marriage is a ridiculous request and is counterproductive to society. Hate crimes, from what I have observed, is a silly concept that seems only to be useful to further progress toward the use of thought police as in Canada - an idea we should all be hostile toward in this country. If the law isn't being enforced, why will it be enforced if you give it a new name or additional attribute? Stupid!!! The Catholic approach of treating the homosexual as a child of God and therefore with respect but condemming the homosexual act is the only sensible and logical way to go. The rationale given in this article, the risk of disease are also reasonable arguements to persuade one from this life style but the activists are not interested in logic. The PC idea that being against homosexuality (really the homosexual act) is discrimination and a violation of human rights is a canard being successfully used on the PC educated ignorant in this and other countres. Another notch down on the slide toward the gutter of the moral fabric of today's society. Posted by: wunsch
June 03, 2007 03:47 PM EDT
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