Homosexuality: An attempt at clarity

Dennis Prager

4/29/2003 12:00:00 AM - Dennis Prager

The homosexual is equal in God's eyes to the heterosexual.

Parents must love their children, including the child who is homosexual. At the same time, a homosexual child must understand a loving parent's sadness over his or her inability to sexually love a person of the opposite sex.

Society has the right and obligation to prefer heterosexuality to homosexuality. It is better for children -- they need a mother and a father. And it is better for the individual -- a woman makes a man a better person; and a man does the same for a woman. Advocating heterosexuality as society's ideal no more implies bigotry or "homophobia" than advocating marriage implies bigotry against singles or "single-phobia."

Societies that regard homosexual sex as the equivalent of heterosexual sex have far more homosexual sex. Ancient Greece esteemed man-boy sex, and consequently had far more of it than modern society.

Men who are not sexually attracted to women have no choice about being homosexual. Proponents of heterosexuality should, therefore, use the word "choose" sparingly when referring to homosexual men.

We do not know why people are homosexual. The cause may be genetic, or it may be neonatal, but we have nothing approaching proof for either explanation. It may also be psychologically induced, and in some cases this can be shown (e.g., gay men who were subjected to sexual contact with a male when they were boys). In none of these cases can a homosexual be said to have chosen to be one.

Many women in lesbian relationships, however, can find some men sexually desirable. Such homosexuals can be said to exercise some degree of choice.

A significant percentage of women in lesbian relationships have come to those relationships primarily as a result of sexual abuse by a man.

Bisexuals, by definition, exercise choice. They can be asked (though not legally coerced) to limit their sexual behavior to heterosexual relationships.

It is unfair to a child who can be adopted by a married couple to be adopted by a same-sex couple. Children have a basic human right to a mother and a father.

The Boy Scouts have the right and the duty not to place gay men in situations where they are alone with boys -- just as the Girl Scouts should not place heterosexual men in positions where they are alone with girls. Yes, most gay men control themselves around boys; but the disproportionate sexual abuse of boys by homosexual priests suggests that some proportion of gays will not be able to control this desire.

Jewish and Christian denominations are right to refuse to ordain avowed practicing homosexuals. At the same time they are not required to ask prospective clergy what their sexual orientation is. Sexual orientation is the individual's business; publicly proclaimed sexual behavior is the denomination's business.

Consensual, private sex between adults is not always acceptable. Even most gays judge consensual adult incest such as father-daughter or brother-sister (or brother-brother) sex wrong. Many gays even believe it should be illegal. Therefore, heterosexuals who draw their line of acceptance at homosexual sex are not necessarily any more bigoted than gays who draw their line at consensual incest.

The gay movement's constant linking of gay equality with equality for the trans-gendered (someone who acts like the opposite sex) undermines its moral credibility and feeds the belief that the movement seeks to undermine Judeo-Christian and Western liberal society. It is one thing to demand that gays not be fired for their private behavior or sexual orientation. But it is quite another to demand that men who wear women's clothing in public must be allowed to keep their jobs.

"Homophobic" is an epithet; often as ugly as "fag." Activists for homosexuality-heterosexuality equivalence should make arguments, not smear all those who believe in the heterosexual ideal. Likewise activists for the heterosexual ideal must never deny the humanity or dignity of the homosexual human being.

Anyone, including homosexuals, should have the right to name beneficiaries in case of death, to name the visitors they wish in case of illness, etc. That is elementary decency.

Marriage is the bedrock institution of society, and must not be redefined. If it is, there are no moral or logical grounds to prevent redefining marriage to include more than two people.

Gay activist groups are radical organizations. Opposing them no more renders a person anti-gay than having opposed communist parties rendered one anti-worker.

None of these propositions in any way contradicts the opening statement: The homosexual is equal in God's eyes to the heterosexual.