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“Gay Marriage Is About Changing The Standard Of Human Behavior”

by David Badash on May 8, 2009

in Bigotry Watch,Discrimination

Post image for “Gay Marriage Is About Changing The Standard Of Human Behavior”

In Which I Respond To A Reader’s



Dear Tricia,

In your note, you write, “Gay marriage is NOT about hating gays.” I absolutely agree with you: gay marriage NOT about hating gays. Gay marriage is about love, and about respect, and about civil rights, and about giving, and about caring, and about loving someone more than you love yourself. Just like straight marriage.

You write, “Genes play a role, however, you are really talking about changing the standard of human behaviour.” I also absolutely agree: Genes play a role. In my opinon, and that of many scientists, gays are gay because we were born that way. So, yes, you’re right, there’s no choice involved.

And, to your point, I also absolutely agree that marriage is more than just an arrangement. It is a beautiful, special relationship, between two consenting adults who, hopefully, love each other very much.

By your writing, you suggest that your marriage, because it is heterosexual, has more value and is better than what will be mine. I’d like to understand how and why you think that? I’d like to understand how and why you think you are able to speak for all mankind about marriage? And I’d like to understand how and why you think it’s OK to hold your idea of marriage above mine, or anyone else’s? Is your heterosexual marriage better than the heterosexual marriage of a couple in England? In Egypt? In China? Does it have more value than a heterosexual marriage in India? In Russia? Canada? The Ukraine? Because every marriage is different. It’s what makes them the same that make them marriages. It’s what makes them the same that makes them special.

What troubles me is that, by your writing, you think that if gay marriage becomes legal, all men will choose other men instead of women. Trust me, that’s not the case. If it were, there are many gay and curious high school boys who might be thrilled, but, sorry to disappoint, it’s just not so. If gays are allowed (as much as I hate to use that term; who has the right to tell me whom I can and can not marry?) to marry, I promise you that straight men will not choose gay men over women. Not going to happen. I also promise you that gay, closeted men who feel forced to marry women will some day not feel that pressure, and not hurt those women some day by leaving them for another man, and will not surprise the children they had with those women. I’m not judging them, I’m simply stating fact.

You write, “The only reason men and women seek each other as mates is not because of sex,” implying that the only reason men seek other men as mates is because of sex. That is patently false, and exposes your idea that gay men have sex all the time, and are inherently non-monogamous. I can promise you, again, that gay men are as monogamus as straight men. Many gay men are more monogamous than many straight men. And vice versa. Sexuality does not define one’s desire to be in a committed relationship or not. If it did, certainly the 50% divorce rate in this country would not be. I know many, many gay couples who have been together for decades, far longer than many, many straight couples. And, honestly, you should know that this antiquated notion of what constitutes a gay man’s sex life is rather offensive.

You also write, “Now the new standard is why bother have sex with men.” Well, surely you cannot believe that, given the choice, a straight man will automatically opt to have sex with another man instead of a woman. Are you that insecure in your own self that you fear men will leave you because they can marry other men? A friend recently wrote,

“Gay marriage isn’t an idea or a movement, but a reality of the way a minority of Americans live their lives. The giant repercussions that opponents of gay marriage rave about seem preposterous when you consider that legalizing gay marriage doesn’t create something that wasn’t there before. Those couples are already here. They’re living together, sharing lives, buying homes, raising children, living exactly as they’d live if they were legally married.”

One other point I’ll agree with you on. Gay marriage is about changing the standard of human behavior. It’s about changing the standard of what stood as normal  human behavior from bigots and ignorant hate-mongers who think they’re better than we are, and who had the stamp of approval of society and government to support their selfish, small-minded mentality. Well, that day is over. Gay marriage is about changing the standard of human behavior, to one in which people are more equal than they were before,  to one in which people have the right to live their lives they way they choose, to love the person who loves them back, without fear of reprisal or derision. Yes, Tricia, gay marriage is changing the standard of human behavior. It is making us all a little more human.


(You can view Tricia’s original comment here.)

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Lisa May 8, 2009 at 12:59 pm

Well said, David. I would also ask your commenter how allowing gay couples to formalize their relationships hurts or indeed affects her marriage in any way?

David Badash May 8, 2009 at 3:24 pm

Thanks, Lisa!
And great point – I think the commenter feels threatened by things that aren't the way they've "always" been.

Clement Ng May 8, 2009 at 6:46 pm

If things were to remain the way they had "always" been, blacks would still be slaves, women would still be "property" of men, and interracial marriages would still be illegal. ;)

David Badash May 8, 2009 at 6:52 pm

Absolutely true! And don't forget, polygamy.

Nathan May 8, 2009 at 6:55 pm

Wonderful David. I couldn't have put it better myself.

David Badash May 8, 2009 at 9:46 pm

Thank you! Appreciate it!

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