It is beyond me why gay marriage is the subject of serious national debate. It is controversy over a group right. There would be no reason for government to be involved in this debate if we understood individual rights. Leave people alone and let them do what they want to do. In the last twenty years there has been a 1000 percent growth in the number of cohabiting heterosexual couples who have chosen not to seek state recognition of their relationship. They see no particular benefit to involving the government in their bedroom. Of those others who did get married, almost half of them seek ways to get out of it. Every benefit the state can provide by licensing marriage can also be achieved through contract. I think the worst thing that can happen to the gay community is to get what they are pushing for—greater involvement of the state in their private affairs! Sometimes group thinking leads us to places we regret when we get there.
If the gays are looking for enhanced legitimacy through state recognition, the results will be threefold: 1) a group that approves of them, with or without the state; 2) a group that disapproves of them, with or without the state; and 3) those that have no opinion about other people’s sex lives because they are too busy living their own. I don’t think you have to solve everyone else’s problem in order to solve your own. But then I think slavery would have eventually disappeared without sacrificing 700,000 soldiers in the Civil War.
At one point in my life I had occasion to ask a therapist friend of mine if she had an opinion about what determines the sexual orientation of a male. She told me all boys in a normal upbringing are in love with their mothers. Unlike girls, however, boys have to separate from their mothers. At about ten or twelve years of age boys begin to compete with their fathers for the affections of their mother. This is a competition the boy needs to lose, because when he does, he will begin to imitate his father (or male figure in the household) and this is when he begins to develop his male gender behaviors.
I do not know if this is still considered clinically correct. I gave it no further thought until my son got to that age, and his class at school began to discuss homosexuality. Over the next few months my son peppered me with questions about how he could tell if he was gay or not, and I didn’t really know what to tell him. I tried out several theories on him, but they didn’t satisfy him because he kept asking. One day we were in a tearing hurry running through a major airport because we were late to meet someone at Baggage Claim, and my son asked me for the umpteenth time how he could tell if he was gay. In total exasperation, I stopped dead in my tracks, looked at him, and said “Jonathan, I don’t know, okay? Maybe if you see some guy and you get this overwhelming urge to f_ _ k him in the a _ _, you know you’re gay.” No offense is intended to my gay readers, but that is what I said. And for whatever reason, it was the answer that satisfied my son. He busted out laughing (maybe at his dad rather than the answer) and that was the end of it.
During that period of time when the issue was not resolved, I spent some time pondering my son’s question. I really didn’t know how to answer him. And I probably still don’t. But I do believe that gender identity is also on a continuum, and that everyone, both male and female, is somewhere on that continuum between very heterosexual and very homosexual at the extremes. It’s not a black or white issue for many men and women. My son’s question was an honest one, and he didn’t need to be bludgeoned with an answer. With no preconceived notions about gender identity, his question was a totally innocent one, having no cause to find himself at either extreme end of a gender continuum of say, 1 to 10. This particular journey of self-discovery was just beginning for him. There was no need to urge him to engage in stereotypical macho behaviors to convince himself or some audience of his masculinity or to make him feel guilty about honest inquiry. I saw my son as an individual, not a potential member of some class of society.