Recently, I was given the opportunity to respond to an 8th grade student who had written a paper for her American History class favoring same-sex “marriage.” Anya began her defense of same-sex “marriage” by praising Harvey Milk, “an openly gay politician in California who was only in office eleven months before he was assassinated. Harvey “opened the door for us to now be able to talk about gay rights issues.” Anya explained that “Mr. Milk started a revolution . . . If Harvey Milk wouldn’t have fought so hard, gay marriage may not be legal. It needs to be legal. It is a basic human right to love and marry who you love.”
In conclusion Anya wrote, “Love who you love, marry who you love, and love your life, because it is your Constitutional right. ‘We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty, and the pursuit of Happiness.’”
What follows is my response to Anya.
Thanks for letting me take this opportunity to respond to your paper on same-sex marriage. I’m a woman who is involved in our present-day culture as a national speaker, author, and advocate for human life. I respect people, no matter their differences of opinion. I care enough to ask questions, listen to the responses, and remain someone’s friend even when we don’t agree.
As you are learning in American History, men and women—human beings in general—will always have differing perspectives on what we should and should not do. Whatever the faith or worldview of a person might be, it should influence that person’s decision-making and actions. Perhaps one of the best things about a nation like the United States is that it allows for different faiths or worldviews to be expressed, lived, and judged as helpful in building up—or tearing down—society and the nation.
America is truly “exceptional” because it defends the “right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.” But what is the origin of those “rights”? Did we give them to ourselves? And from where does life come? Is it an accident, or by design? Who ultimately defines liberty and who grants it? Does the pursuit of happiness mean that every citizen gets to do anything we darn well please, or does it mean that we have the opportunity to pursue right things for the benefit of not just ourselves, but our family and neighbors, too?
Sexual Revolutionaries: Good for Society?
As you report, Harvey Milk was an openly gay politician. It is a crime against humanity that he was assassinated. Someone took it upon themselves to deny him the “right to life.” Murder—be it the murder of an adult man like Harvey Milk or a pre-born child residing in his or her mother’s womb—is never right. Harvey has been remembered by some as the man who opened the door for this country to talk about “gay rights.” But two questions should be asked by any critical thinker. 1) Is a human being defined by their sexual behavior, or something more? And, 2) If homosexuality is “normal” and “good,” why is sickness and a shorter life span associated with its practice? Harvey Milk may have had the freedom to express his thoughts and beliefs, but like all of us, he also bore the responsibility of proving why those beliefs would be helpful to himself, his neighbors, and the future of the country in which he lives.
No matter what one’s opinions or religion (i.e. secular humanism, atheism, Islam, New Age, Buddhism, or Christianity) might be, the holder of that belief bears the responsibility of allowing it to be put to the test. When a person like Harvey Milk proclaims his belief, he must be open to discussing the consequences of that belief. He must show why calling the union of two men or two women “marriage” when it was not instituted as that (nor ever could be that) is in the best interests of an entire society.
It is always appropriate for citizens to hear someone’s opinion or belief, discuss it, and choose to act or not act upon it. Whether we agree or disagree, we owe one another the honesty of facts rather than emotion, kindness rather than meanness, general welfare of neighbors rather than “me, myself, and I,” and long-range perspective rather than “all I care about is right here, right now.”
Alfred Kinsey is another person in our American history who started a revolution. It was the revolution, in fact, that opened the door for men like Harvey Milk. Alfred Kinsey was a practicing homosexual, pedophile, and perpetrator of hideous crimes against humanity. His theory was that “children are sexual from birth,” and to make that claim stick, he knowingly allowed convicted pedophiles to sexually abuse and experiment with children, ages six months to 14 years of age. He took the “statistics” gathered from those experiments, called them “science,” and used them to prove that children and adults alike should be permitted to participate in any kind of sex if it brought them pleasure. After 30 years of research and study of Kinsey, Dr. Judith Reisman and others proved that Kinsey had abused science in order to change public opinion on sex and the teaching of sex to children. But it was too late. Kinsey, a zoologist with absolutely no respect for women, had changed the way we view men, women, and children.
Yes, Kinsey had freedom to express his beliefs. But he did not have the freedom to abuse science, use deceit, or do harm. The duty of the American public was to question Kinsey. Not to call him names, or belittle him, or deny him the right to speak, but to ask him to show the source of his “science,” reveal the methods used for research, and verify his data.
The same is true with same-sex “marriage.” Anyone who demands that marriage become what it was never intended to be should be asked to give evidence of why non-traditional, two men or two women, and intentional non-procreative marriage is healthy, sustainable, and in the best interest of family, society and civilization. In Rome, it was common for a man to have a sexual relationship with a young boy, but even Rome never legalized same-sex “marriage.” Why? Because Romans knew that marriage, and the stability of the family, was foundational to Rome’s existence. For this reason, when a boy was old enough, he was expected to marry a woman and father children for whom he would be responsible.
Marriage: To Anyone I Love?
Marriage does not intrinsically mean uniting oneself to someone you love and who makes you “feel good.”
That brings us to the now popular thinking that “as long as you love someone, you should be able to marry them.” I love my dad. I love my brother. I love my son. I love my niece. I love my best friend, Jane. Can I love them so much that I want to marry them? Maybe. But is it in your best interest that my “right” to marry my son becomes the law of the land? Is something in jeopardy here? And what will be the cost?
Marriage is not founded on someone’s concept of love. Human concepts and ideas of love are changing all the time. Today, I love you. Tomorrow, I don’t. Or, I love you because you make me feel good about myself. But when you don’t make me feel good about myself, I won’t love you anymore. And so on and so on.
Here’s where love needs to be put to the test, too. Love is about more than feelings. It is about patience, kindness, selflessness, and perseverance in good and bad times. Marriage requires this kind of love. Marriage also requires one man and one woman, two different genders, because it makes biological sense! Not only do male and female fit together perfectly to create new little humans, but they also mentor male and female characteristics… both needed by a son or daughter. Even if two men or two women (who call themselves “married”) don’t have children of their own, but adopt or use a surrogate mother or in vitro fertilization, it is unfair and actually quite selfish to intentionally deny any child the right of both a mother (female) and a father (male).
For many years, I have kept a file of the testimonies and true stories of women who thought they were in love with another woman and so took up the lesbian lifestyle, or men who thought they were in love with another man so took up the gay lifestyle. The relationships did not last. Why? Because they were built on an idea of love, and not the truth and faithfulness of love.
Have you ever noticed that even in a same-sex relationship, one plays the role of “husband” (or the male) and one plays the role of the “wife” (or the female)? It’s true! A young friend of mine “married” a woman. Her partner took on the role of the “man” and she took on the role of the “woman.” My young friend became pregnant by way of in vitro fertilization and she stayed home to be the “mom.” Her partner went outside the home to play the “male” role of “provider.” Now, years later, my young friend is hurting. She is in conflict with herself, with nature, and with the God she says she believes in. She might be wondering: What am I teaching my little boy about the value of becoming a man? How can I help him learn about manhood when he’s being parented by two moms?
Alfred Kinsey and Harvey Milk may be commended for their courage in speaking up about things they believed to be true. But can we see the consequences of what happens when all ideas are considered “equal” and valid?
People are equal, yes!
People of different colors, nationalities, and cultures are equal, yes!
But not all ideas, desires, and practices (sexual or otherwise) are equal. They must be questioned and put to the test.
Anya, that is the responsibility of people like you and me. It is ok to differ in thought and behavior. But with concern for more than just ourselves, we must wisely consider the consequences of each thought and every behavior.
With sincere respect for you as a person,