May 2009

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by Peter Bearse

The issue of gay marriage is not a civil rights issue. The civil rights movement arose because of racial discrimination that blatantly foreclosed or limited black opportunities to obtain the basics of human sustenance, including education, housing, financing, employment, and fair pay for equal work. There is no comparison between the gay minority and the black minority communities in these and other aspects of “civil rights.” As the work of Richard Florida on the “creative economy” has made clear, the gay community is advantaged, not disadvantaged. That is one reason why gays are seen as an asset to cities. They help, for example, to gentrify black and other lower income neighborhoods. They typically have higher incomes and greater wealth than most Americans. 

So, if gay marriage is not a “civil rights” issue, what sort of issue is it? It is a matter of public vs. private. The gay marriage movement is a noisy minority insisting that public law should assign public value to private behavior. Unlike the (at first) “noisy minority” pressing for civil rights, it is not a movement to change public law to honor our most cherished public values, constitutional or otherwise. Gay sex has nothing to do with the public purposes of either sex or marriage. Heterosexual sex is the greatest gift of evolution. It arose over millennia for a fundamental reason: so that species could survive and further evolve through the generation of difference and variety. So, gay marriage is contrary to evolution and the progress of human life. The issue is just that fundamental.

So, fellow citizens who are homosexual: We recognize your right to live your private lives in ways that you choose. Most of us don’t give a damn about what you do in your bedrooms. We support your efforts to remove any vestiges of sexual discrimination in employment, insurance, contracts and other aspects of civil law. BUT we will not agree to relabel the public institution of marriage to suit your private preferences – that gay marriage be recognized as having public value equivalent to that of heterosexual marriage. At issue, fundamentally, is the nature of the human family – how children are procreated and raised to be fully human – of how the human species advances in a world of differences. Homosexual couples cannot conceive a child. It takes a man and a woman to make a baby and, even more important, to properly raise a child to assume a fully mature role in human society. Values inconsistent with the creation, maintenance and advance of human life are not maintainable as public values.       

Other than politics, there is no reason to assign public value to private behavior in this matter. What kind of “politics” are at work here? – nothing more than conventional interest group politics, where money talks. Gay activists are indulging in a politics as American as apple pie, but we have finally come to see just how sour that pie is. It is the politics that have soured our nation’s finances and overall economy and corrupted our Congress – the politics that uses public power for private gain. Why should politics, with its typical orientation to short-term, self-serving advantage, be allowed to carry the day on the redefinition of marriage, that which has provided the fundamental foundation for human society over millennia? How would you label efforts to effect such a redefinition? Presumptuous? How vain can some politicians be, to think that they can play with the fundamentals of human life? How about destructive, too, in the careless exercise of political powers?    

The objections raised by gay activists to the protests of the great American majority would be recognized as little more than hearsay in any court. They would therefore be dismissed as evidence. Gay claims in the small minority of states where it has been allowed are that gay marriage has not been destructive or disruptive, had a bad influence on children being raised in gay “families,” undermined basic American values, etc. Yet, studies to back up these  claims have not been done, especially regarding the most important influence of all – on the multigenerational effects of gays raising children without any significant influences of other sexes during the most critical years of their upbringing. Until such studies have been completed, subjected to scientific peer review and found to support gay claims, such claims must be dismissed as little more than self-serving gay-activist propaganda.  

Politicians, especially NH state rep’s: For a real change, listen to the great American majority, deliberate carefully, take the long view, and then dismiss pressures to honor gay marriage.

            4/20/09 PETER BEARSE, Ph.D., was a candidate for Congress in 2008.