Let me start off by stating that I am indeed NOT gay. And to quote Jerry Seinfeld, "Not that there's anything WRONG with that." My hormones steer me toward just females, that's all. I have no problem with two guys getting it on. I just could never picture me myself getting intimate with another man. It just doesn't turn me on at all. So no, I'm not gay, nor do I have any gayish curiosities. But I know injustice when I see it. And right now, those with same-sex attractions are getting the shaft, no pun intended.
By a freak occurrence of being in the right job at the right time, I was able to actually attend the 1992 Republican National Convention in Houston. I always wanted to see a political convention in person, and I was politically skewed towards the GOP (just on the financial platforms, mind you). This was, of course, the convention that gained notoriety as a showcase for the religious right's influence on the party platform. The anti-abortion stance, I could stomach. At least most of the speakers were calling for exceptions in the usual rape/incest/threat-to-mom's-life cases. The call for abstinence-only sexual curriculum in schools didn't bother me much. Hell, I was two years out of high school, and a lot can happen between now and the time my future kids hit puberty.
Then they started railing against homosexuality. Calling it a direct threat to family values. Calling it a demonic lifestyle contrary to the good values of our nation. Calling for action against gay-rights laws, even those that would worsen the penalties for hate crimes committed against them. Needless to say, I was shocked. That's when I lost faith in the Republicans and voted for Clinton. To this day, I wonder if the GOP will ever gain their common sense back and stop chasing after the votes of such backwards people.
What drives some people to promote ostracism of a certain harmless group of people is beyond me. Actually, it ISN'T beyond me. It's no secret that the religious fundamentalists rattle off verbal bombs like "THE WILL OF GOD" and "YOU ARE A SINNER" and "BURN IN HELL" to name a few. Gay pride festivals have their share of counter-protesters with signs like "God Hates Fags" and "Repent Your Satanic Lifestyle" and the usual Bible-verse advertisements. People can get pretty dangerous when they invoke their deity as motivation for their actions. Ayatollah Khomeini, Bin Laden and David Koresh come to mind.
I had my reservations about the gay community in my childhood, just like any white-bread kid who would be grossed out at the sight of black leather straps canvassing hairy chests. The usual stereotypes bestowed upon gays by the media contributed to that. But as I matured, I found out that the vast majority of homosexuals are civilized folks, who do all their same-sex business in private and just want to live free of discrimination and fear of getting murdered for kicks. Having a gay co-worker, and an activist one at that, in a cubicle next to mine didn't hurt either.
So what DO these Bible-thumping blowhards have against what was known as the Love That Dare Not Speak Its Name (now the Love That Can Speak Its Name Whenever It Damn Well Feels Like It)? Well, let's look in the Holy Bible and see the verses they always point to, shall we?
Leviticus 18:22 is a popular one among the right-wingers: "You shall not lie with a male as with a woman; such a thing is an abomination." Here's one in Deuteronomy, 22:5, against transvestites: "A woman shall not wear an article proper to a man, nor shall a man put on a woman's dress; for anyone who does such things is an abomination (there's that word again) to the Lord your God."
These two examples were decrees of Moses, as laws for behavior among the Jewish people. These weren't on the original Ten Commandments. The only references to sex in God's Top Ten List are "Thou shalt not commit adultery" and "Thou shalt not covet thy neighbor's wife". And what is defined as "adultery"? "Unfaithfulness to one's spouse." Nothing about premarital sex, no homosexual detail, nothing about fucking someone in the Alyssa Jones sense. (See "Chasing Amy" and you'll understand that last part.) I believe that God didn't need any amendments or additions to what he commanded, and so, I use those 10 basic laws to base my life on. (And notice that i said "MY". I'm not one to force my religion on others.)
Elsewhere, in the New Testament, the fervent apostle named Paul warns against the "pleasures of the flesh" and tells us to "shun lewd conduct". He makes observations of the "ungodly" acts of some of the regional folk, in Romans 1:26-27... "Their women exchanged natural intercourse for unnatural, and the men gave up natural intercourse with women and burned with lust for one another. Men did shameful things with men, and thus received in their own persons the penalty for their perversity."
Heavy stuff. And it's right there, in any Christian-approved Bible you pick up. And these fundamentalists insist you obey everything the Bible tells you to do. Not EVERY Christian is like that... millions of Christians out there are quite receptive of (or at the very least tolerate) the gay community. There are indeed some individual churches of various denominations that welcome gays and lesbians and some that do perform marriage-type union ceremonies.
It's just the purists and the literalists that get me all riled up. Once again into the Webster's Dictionary: the definition of "fundamentalist" is "One who believes in the literal interpretation and the infallibility of the Bible." So, in other words, the fundamentalists say we are supposed to follow all the laws the various books of the Bible set out for us, word for word, verbatim. But have you seen some of the OTHER laws written down there? Lets go back and browse the statutes once again.
Leviticus 18:19..."You shall not approach a woman to have intercourse with her while she is unclean from menstruation." Well, I can agree with that. Let her douche herself good first, and then get it on. I don't need an official law for that.
Continuing: Leviticus 19:19..."Do not breed any of your domestic animals with others of a different species; do not sow a field of yours with two different kinds of seed; and do not put on a garment woven with two different kinds of thread." Whoa. Why are we butting into the farming and fashion industries?
Leviticus 19:28..."Do not lacerate your bodies for the dead, and do not tattoo yourselves." There goes a good majority of Generation X, headbangers, and bikers.
And here's where it gets good... who deserves to DIE.
Leviticus 20:9..."Anyone who curses his mother or father shall be put to death; since he has cursed his father or mother, he has forfeited his life."
Leviticus 20:13..."If a man lies with a male as with a woman, both of them shall be put to death for their abominable deed; they have forfeited their lives."
Leviticus 20:27..."A man or woman who acts as a medium or fortune-teller shall be put to death by stoning; they have no one but themselves to blame for their death."
Deuteronomy 21:18..."If a man has a stubborn and unruly son who will not listen to his father or mother, and will not obey them even though they chastise him, his father and mother shall have him apprehended and brought out to the elders at the gate of his home city, where they shall say to those city elders, 'This son of ours is a stubborn and unruly fellow who will not listen to us; he is a glutton and a drunkard.' Then all his fellow citizens shall stone him to death."
Deuteronomy 22:22..."If a man is discovered having relations with a woman who is married to another, both the man and woman with whom he has had relations shall die. Thus shall you purge the evil from your midst."
So... that's the death penalty for adulterers, homosexuals, rebellious children, and the entire Psychic Friends Network. Even if you only said "Fuck you" to Mom, you've committed a capital offense punishable by death. It says so in the Holy Bible, I'm not kidding. Buy stock in the lethal-injection chemical-making companies and prison-building contractors right away.
Unless these people WANT to see a good portion of the world's population executed or on death row, nobody should be calling for total obedience to the Bible's laws. Now, every civilized human being can agree that killing, stealing, rape and incest have no place in our society. So the republic will still stand even if we don't follow the Good Book word for word.
Personally, I only heed the Ten Commandments and the teachings of Jesus. Everything else in the Bible I take with a grain of salt. And that's what we should be doing: keeping everything open to interpretation. Our Constitution expressly guarantees this. "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, nor prohibit the free exercise thereof," begins the First Amendment. And the Christian Coalition among others conveniently seem to forget this.
Many states still have laws on the books making it a crime to commit homosexual acts... even between consenting adults in the privacy of their home. Texas' infamous "Anti-Sodomy Law", entered in the mid-1800s, can be found in Title V of the Texas Penal Code, Section 21.06, Homosexual Conduct: "A person commits an offense if he engages in deviate sexual intercourse with another individual of the same sex. An offense under this section is a Class C misdemeanor."
Now here is the very embodiment of "victimless crime". You can't get more victimless than this. The worst that could happen in a homosexual act is hemhorroids. (And AIDS doesn't count, smartass.) If the issue was exposing our young children to these things, then they could have just added "...in a public place" to the wording. So, sure, two naked guys 69-ing in the middle of Main Street should be arrested. But if Scottie wants to butt-fuck Christopher in the comfort and privacy of his apartment, and Christopher has no objection to getting a humongous human suppository, then it shouldn't be even a misdemeanor.
But the ultraconservatives want to keep the laws in place, "as a statement of moral values" or "to protect the integrity of the family." Now THIS is the most ridiculous argument. "Homosexuals are destroying our families." Gee, my wife and I would love to start a family, but my next-door neighbor is gay. Just by being there, he's the cause of my wife's low egg count.
Look, there is nothing that gays and lesbians do to destroy families. A gay person will not, by homosexual nature, kidnap your son or daughter. No gay or lesbian will march into your house and go "Okay, this family is finished. Louis, Julie, Thomas, hit the road. You'll get the truck and enough cash for a decent house of your own. Linda, Larry, you get to keep your house and half the pictures and slides. Visitation rights will be worked out later in court." As long as two people love each other, and want to raise kids, there will be families. So chill the fuck out.
This madness has gone on far enough. If we have to drag you homophobes kicking and screaming into the 21st century, we will. Quit the gay-bashing, quit the anti-gay legislation, quit looking the other way or making up excuses when someone is beat up or killed because of their sexual orientation. Basically, get off their ...uh... backs, and tend to real emergencies like drug abuse or gang violence.
You don't have to be a homosexual yourself to stand up for gay rights. You may be a supporter of the homosexual lifestyle whether you know it or not. Gentlemen... ever have one of those fantasies where two women would be getting it on with each other? Bingo - you're supporting a homosexual lifestyle. Seriously, though, if you want to join in the battle for this worthy cause, P-FLAG (Parents and Friends of Lesbians and Gays) would love to have you.
Homosexuals are law-abiding citizens, just like you and me. The gay community has made many positive contributions to our society, from fashion to films to music. And gay people, when it comes down to it, know how to have fun. So let them have their fun. Homosexuality itself never killed anybody.
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originally posted: 07/18/99 09:46:01
last updated: 07/20/99 04:30:27