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Do Gay Marriage Advocates Understand the Insitution They’re Promoting?

Posted by GayPatriotWest at 7:18 pm - July 2, 2008.
Filed under: Civil Discourse,Gay Marriage,Gay Politics

Reading my letter to the editor (full text included below) of the San Francisco Chronicle correcting an misrepresentation of my research on monogamy and gay groups which appeared in an Op-ed that paper published last Thursday reminded me yet again how few gay advocates of gay marriage understand the institution they’re advocating.

They not only repeatedly misrepresent the meaning of marriage, but they also fail to represent the expectations of nearly all lesbians pursuing marriage — and those of a great majority of gay men. They really don’t get the social meaning of the institution. They just see marriage as just another in the panoply of “rights” they believe the government should provide.

To be sure, this has been a theme of many of my posts on marriage, particularly this one. Yes, I understand their goal is getting state recognition. But, if they really want that recognition, shouldn’t they make clear what it is they want recognized?

Indeed, their reluctance to discuss the meaning of marriage makes it more difficult for them to convince skeptical citizens of the social benefits of extending the government protections of this ancient institution to same-sex couples.

At the same time, they offer treacly definitions of marriage and refuse to promote monogamy (as a defining aspect of marriage as it has been for at least the last twenty-five centuries), many gay people, who seek the benefits of state-recognized marriage, do recognize its obligations. When he studied a group of gay and lesbian couples for his book, Together Forever: Gay and Lesbian Marriage, Eric Marcus found the overwhelming majority elected monogamy.

As I wrote, in reviewing his book:

He was struck at the “seemingly one-sided numbers,” that most of the couples had chosen monogamous relationships. All twenty female couples were in monogamous relationships and only three (out of twenty) of the male couples were nonmonogamous. (Three of the other male couples had, at one point, been nonmonogamous.)

In an e-mail exchange following about my monogamy post, a reader (in a monogamous same-sex relationship himself) wrote of an “advanced search” he and his partner did on meetgaycouples.com. He found that 55% of nearly 1,600 couples identified as monogamous. (The number may actually be higher as over 10% declined to state.) And as this site may attract gay couples looking to play, the real world percentage of monogamous gay couples could be higher still.

And we haven’t even discussed lesbians who account for over 60% of same-sex couples applying for marriage licenses in one California county.

Why is it, I wonder, when it appears a majority of same-sex couples choose monogamy that our gay leaders are so unwilling to even discuss the issue? Is it that they don’t seem the benefits of sexual exclusivity? Or that they want to rip marriage away from all of its religious moorings?

The leading advocates of gay marriage may seek to do that, but it does seem that a great majority of gay people only want to change the gender-difference aspect of marriage, but otherwise want keep the institution as it is–and has long been defined.  They understand the meaning of marriage.

While gay people understand its meaning, those who claim to represent us in public seem more afraid of offending the sexual liberationists who once dominated the gay movement than in convincing mainstream Americans who will, in the end, decide this issue.

My Letter appears below the jump: (more…)

Real Gay Self-Hatred

I don’t remember when I first heard a gay leftist dismiss gay Republicans as self-loathing. It must have been about the time I first became active in Log Cabin when I lived in the Washington, D.C.-area in the mid-1990s. I do recall some activist badmouthing me for my allegedly hypocritical and closeted life about the same time I would be addressing a large public gathering of Northern Virginia Republicans as an openly gay man.

These angry critics don’t even consider the facts before leveling their accusations. When Bruce broke the news of Log Cabin President Patrick Sammon’s meeting with presumptive Republican presidential nominee John McCain, we were subject yet again to the charge, with no less than a Professor of Psychology calling “self-loathing” any gay person who votes Republican. Seems like someone needs his head — and prejudices — examined.

I wonder if that professor ever met a gay Republican or even bothered to consider why someone might cast a ballot for a candidate (or party) he doesn’t support. He never explained why he finds us “self-loathing.” None of them do, but they hurl the insult so readily as if by rote. But, I digress.

Recently, on a date gone awry, I was exposed to real gay self-hatred. We had met for lunch at a public place, a more relaxed setting, I thought. A mid-day meeting would make clear this was about getting acquainted and not about getting laid.

While he was a nice enough guy, we really didn’t connect on a deep level and he kept insisting we return to my car so we could drive to some secluded place and “get it on.” I refused to even tell him where I parked. As we concluded our time together, I moved to give him a hug good-bye. He pushed me away, whispering “not in a public place.”

As i drove away, it struck me that there was an example of real gay self-hatred, someone eager to fill the gaps in a first meeting with sex, yet unwilling to acknowledge publicly the nature of his feelings for men.

Sometimes, I wonder if it’s more than that, that self-hatred is not just limited to people who would publicly deny their feelings. It also includes those who see their sex partners as nothing more that objects to help them fulfill their desires, refusing to look beyond the surface attraction to discover the human being beneath.

Real gay self-hatred is thus not being able to connect one’s deeper feelings to one’s identity as a human being.

Why Didn’t Jimmy Carter Monitor Zimbabwe Election?

At the recent African Union summit in Egypt, member nations failed to condemn Robert Mugabe, Zimbabwe’s President-for-Life, for stealing the election from opposition candidate Morgan Tsvangirai. The union did pass a resolution “calling for him to negotiate with” the man who bested him in the initial balloting on March 29.

Some say Tsvangirai would have won that election outright, thus not requiring a subsequent runoff; a delay in releasing the final results (showing him winning a plurality, but not with the necessary majority) led many to believe that Mugabe’s government tinkered with the returns.

Because “of violence against his supporters,” Tsvangirai withdrew from the June 27 run-off, allowing Mugabe to win reelection unopposed. Reading that “monitors and much of world opinion” condemned that election “as violent and unfair,” I wondered if Jimmy Carter were one of their number as ever since the American people voted him out of office, he has made it his business to supervise elections around the world. Carter always seems to find them fair even when others find fraud, particularly in elections which keep anti-American leaders as happened in Venezuela four year ago.

The Carter Center did issue a release on May 23 faulting Zimbabwean authorities for preventing the “Zimbabwe Election Support Network (ZESN), a legally established and widely respected citizen rights group” to observe the elections and make sure they comply with the “country’s electoral laws, code of conduct, and international principles for election observation.”

But, Jimmy didn’t make much of an effort to send a team down there. Nor did the former Democratic president raise much of a ruckus when the Zimbabwean government refused to accept observers from his center, the European Union (EU) or from the Southern African Development Community (SADC) Parliamentary Forum.

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