Why “gay marriage” isn’t

One keeps seeing such stories: Syphilis spikes among New York gay men. Officials suggest that the situation “‘reflects increased sexual risk-taking behavior … possibly due to factors including the availability of effective treatment, prevention burnout, misperceptions of risk and the impact of other health problems such as depression and substance abuse.'” Such things are no doubt present. “Prevention burnout,” for example, means that homosexuals get tired of being goody-goodies, which sounds about right. It seems to me though that what’s behind the factors officially recognized is that homosexuality, despite recent efforts like the decision of the Boston Glob to publish homosexual unions, stubbornly resists normalization. It’s intrinsically anarchic and transgressive.

To be normal, after all, is to be part of a stable pattern of productive human life. Sexual impulses are deeply rooted, powerful and protean. Bringing them into stable relation with normal human functioning has its difficulties, but it’s necessary if a way of life is to be tolerable. Within the bonds of marriage normal sexual relations between a man and a woman become part of an integrated biological, interpersonal, social and legal scheme of things that deprives sex of its radically self-seeking quality and gives it a settled function and significance at the basis of human life in all its aspects. Homosexuality, in contrast, has no biological function, and any interpersonal significance it may have is a matter of personal interpretation. The attempt to stabilize it through recognition of homosexual couplings as marriages is an attempt to bring about the triumph of social artifice over overwhelming impulse with no aid from instinct, biology, the social necessity of stable home life for the rearing of children, or even social attitudes that give social artifice any particular authority. The attempt is bound to flop. Its main effect will be to disorder social understandings of marriage yet further, and it is important to resist it for that reason.

10 thoughts on “Why “gay marriage” isn’t”

  1. We’re raising a generation
    We’re raising a generation that will no doubt be remembered for the total confusion and perversion of their sexual proclivities. Because of hedonistic left-wingers, chief among them the angry militant sodomites, our children don’t know what to resist, what to pursue and what to embrace.

    The sodomite movement is the single biggest threat to traditional Americana. If we could cut the head off this serpent, we would inevitably crush every other alternative, green, anti-capitalist, antiChrist, anti-marriage, feminazi pocket existing today.

    These sick, twisted perverts are destroying what took centuries to build. When we wake up and realize that, we’ll be the better for it.

  2. While one sympathizes with
    While one sympathizes with Mr. Brewer’s feelings in this matter, it seems that the ultimate cause of the problem is not “hedonistic leftwingers” and “militant sodomites,” but, rather, liberalism itself. If the liberal belief in the equal freedom of all persons is the ruling idea of society, and if that idea is applied CONSISTENTLY, then the demand for gay marriage is inevitable. There is no reason, within the logic of liberalism itself, to say that gay marriage is wrong. The only reason that some liberals (which includes conservatives, since all Americans are basically liberals) have not yet accepted the idea of gay marriage is that they are still holding to religious and culturally inherited non-liberal notions that no longer have any public legitimacy.

    See my post “The demand for homosexual marriage is a logical and necessary outcome of liberalism,”


  3. To Jeff Brewer: I didn’t
    To Jeff Brewer: I didn’t mean to downplay the evil of the militant sodomites. What I mean is that the militant sodomites could not exist without liberalism. They are simply the active, cutting edge of liberalism. They demand, angrily, the consistent application of the same principles that ordinary mainstream liberals also endorse, though less aggressively and less consistently. Without the mainstream liberalism that discounts all values except the liberal values of equality, freedom, tolerance, and diversity, the militant sodomites would never have been given a hearing. They would be non-persons in American society.

    To believe that the militant sodomites are the problem is like believing that Al Sharpton is the problem. Without the white liberalism that legitimizes him, an Al Sharpton would never have been heard from, or he would quickly have become persona non grata.

    To Mr. Sleighback: I may post an exchange I had with a proponent of large-scale U.S. intrusion in the Mideast (not a neocon) who advocates, in its most extreme form, the scenario you fear: deliberately exporting our decadent culture to the Mideast as a means of destroying those societies and lowering their birthrates, and thus removing the danger the Muslims pose to the rest of the world.

  4. Mr. Auster: By all means
    Mr. Auster: By all means post the exchange about exporting our decadent culture to the mideast. It will be a very interesting read, if nothing else!

  5. Lawrence Auster makes a good
    Lawrence Auster makes a good point that it was likely that homosexuality would become normative as liberal principles unfolded in society.

    For instance, homosexuality is unlikely to be accepted easily in a society in which masculinity in men and femininity in women are valued and promoted. However, liberalism can’t easily accept the idea of an inborn manhood and womanhood, as these qualities are inherited rather than being rationally chosen by the individual.

    Therefore, for much of the mid-twentieth century, the emphasis was on the idea that gender identity was merely socialised, and could theoretically be re-socialised. Once liberalism had reached this point, homosexuals could be viewed not as offending against gender norms but as being liberated from them and leading the way forward.

  6. Please, please send
    Please, please send missionaries to the Middle East, not decadence. Sick people need physicians, not poisoners!

    BTW, do you guys notice the Freudian slip above: “Boston Glob?”

  7. A question for Mark
    A question for Mark Richardson, would you say that the ancient Greeks had a society where masculinity in men and femininity in women was suppressed? It is also curious that one would consider homosexuality “nominative” even in liberal America. Clearly homosexuality is not practiced by a large majority of Americans so in that sense homosexuality is not “nominative”. Wouldn’t it be more accurate to say that homosexuality in America in not universally condemned?


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