January 14th 2012
[I sent the following to the Minneapolis Star Tribune in response to the opinion piece referenced.]
Here are civil answers to the questions Dan Nye asked about homosexuality (1-14-12: “Six Questions for supporters of same-sex marriage to ask—forthrightly”)
1. Our ancestors were wrong about many things, such as slavery and subjugation of women. We abandoned those ideas because they allowed the mistreatment of people for no worthwhile purpose. That change was innovative and progressive. We are now abandoning the mistreatment of homosexuals for the same reason.
2. Our sexual organs (the external ones we control) exist for several functions, only one of which is reproduction. They certainly exist for pleasure, and so are used primarily for that. The male penis has three functions—urination, pleasure and reproduction. The female clitoris has only one function—pleasure. Homosexuality squares with all of those functions (although reproduction is usually—but not necessarily—achieved indirectly through sperm donation).
3. The human sex drive, being stronger than needed for reproduction (thus suggesting its primary human purpose is pleasure), can indeed be misused. It is more extravagantly misused by heterosexuals, especially in sexual exploitation of women, but can be misused by homosexuals as well. Controlling one’s sex drive is a common issue for everyone, regardless of orientation.
4. Yes, adultery and pedophilia are morally wrong because they harm people. Bestiality? We’d have to check with the beast in question as to any harm done. It’s just disgusting (or possibly hilarious) to most of us. Yes, those behaviors are probably natural for those who engage in them, but we need to prohibit only those that are harmful. Adults can deal with adultery on their own. Pedophiles, however, have to find a way to control that tendency or we lock them up to ensure the safety of our children. But homosexuality? What is there about it that is harmful when it’s between consenting adults? All it really amounts to is scratching an itch. Heterosexual behavior offers a lot more opportunities for immoral (harmful) behavior.
5. When has homosexuality harmed society in any way? It has never been or ever will be prevalent because it involves only a small percentage of the population, is not catching and can’t be taught because it’s a natural orientation, just one of nature’s variations. Heterosexuality has caused far more harm by subjugating women and overpopulating the planet.
6. Some religious people may believe homosexuality leads to perdition, but that is no basis for discriminatory laws against homosexuals. All such laws would be a most egregious unconstitutional establishment of religion with no valid secular justification whatsoever. The Book of Leviticus may have a place in some churches, but there it should stay. It does not belong in our laws, and certainly not in our state Constitution.
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