Dohiyi Mir
    In Which NTodd Says His Peace

Tuesday, March 02, 2004
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Word For The Day: Pederasty


Today Salon had a really good article on how Bush's FMA gambit could backfire on him, and Atrios posted a little about a particular anti-gay bigot, Paul Cameron. I'd been planning yet another post that touches on a lot of the same stuff, and here it goes...

First, a snippet from the Family Research Report, published by the aforementioned Paul Cameron. Apparently the recent MA court decision really got him all hot and bothered, which might explain this inanity:

The Massachusetts Court...wrote that we "construe civil marriage to mean the voluntary union of two persons as spouses, to the exclusion of all others."

Reality in the gay subculture is very different. Most homosexuals have multiple partners — often serial 'pick ups,' sometimes many partners in a single night [20 to 30 are possible at bathhouses], sometimes serial partners with whom they live. How can the Court demand that two individuals commit to one another "to the exclusion of all others?" Perhaps the Court believes there are two kinds of homosexuals: those who want and will stay with one other person of the same sex, and those who want many sexual partners?

It is left as an exercise for the reader to decide what exactly is wrong with what Paul has written. You might also consider trying to read the entire newsletter, which is filled with other such logical and lovely gems. There's a lot more interesting information available at Cameron's Family Research Institute website, including a "special study" by Dr. Kirk Cameron (this guy?).

One of the most enlightening tidbits in Kirk's study on homosexuality (about which you can learn in only six lessons!) is found in Lesson 1, "Homosexuality: A Biblical Response to Misguided Compassion". Slide 15 warns us of the dangers of compassion, telling us that "personal contact with homosexuals can be costly" because of the "risks of molestation [and] conversion to homosexuality". After all, "would you invite known drug abusers into your home?" Well, would you?!

If you're looking for more reasoned support of denying gays basic civil rights, you won't find any. Fortunately there are a lot of reasonable people on the right side of the issue, including John Corvino who wrote a great series of articles on Homosexuality and Morality in late 2002. Corvino does a wonderful job puncturing holes in the Big Three arguments against homosexuality: "(1) the Bible condemns it; (2) it's harmful; and (3) it's unnatural." I won't bother to excerpt here--go read.

One interesting historical quote that Corvino digs up, however, I thought I would highlight. He cites Offences Against One's Self, an essay arguing for reforming English laws regarding homosexuality, written by Jeremy Bentham (one of my faves) back in 1785. 1785! Anyway, Bentham tackles a lot of anti-gay positions, including the idea that it somehow harms the population because gay sex isn't tied to procreation. To that, Bentham retorts:

If then merely out of regard to population it were right that paederasts should be burnt alive monks ought to be roasted alive by a slow fire. If a paederast, according to the monkish canonist Bermondus, destroys the whole human race Bermondus destroyed it I don't know how many thousand times over. The crime of Bermondus is I don't know how many times worse than paederasty.

And here we are over 200 years later having the same arguments.

Of course lots of people refer axiomatically to the Bible when arguing about gay sex and marriage, as Corvino correctly observed. I was curious about Biblical restrictions so did a little digging, pointed in the right direction by Corvino's essays. I found one site in particular that has some interesting deconstruction of the most oft-quoted "anti-gay" sections of the Bible. Not being a scholar myself, I can't vouch for the quality of the work, but I found it thought-provoking all the same.

Bottom-line for me: the objection to gay marriage seems to stem solely from an objection to gay sex, based on myriad faulty arguments and unadulterated bigotry. Once you get that homosexuality isn't wrong, the marriage thing naturally follows, just as Sully said. So come on, Paul and Kirk and Dubya all you other gay haters, get on the clue train and join the rest of us in the 21st century...

ntodd 
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A non-violent, counter-dominant, left-liberal, possibly charismatic, quasi anarcho-libertarian Quaker's take on politics, volleyball, and other esoterica.

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