Jonah Goldberg

Homosexuals can't have it both ways, and I don't mean because it would technically make them bisexual.

The Sunday New York Times ran a startling front-page story over Labor Day weekend. It was startling as much for its content as for its location. The New York Times, which has been one of the English-speaking world's most adamant advocates of gay marriage, ran a story incontrovertibly hostile to the idea. The story made all of the points that conservative opponents of gay marriage have been making for years.

The Times' story noted an interesting development north of the border: Now that gays are free to marry, not many of them want to.

Between June 10, when a Canadian court legalized gay marriage, and Aug. 25, only 590 gay and lesbian couples had applied for gay marriage licenses in Toronto. And, reports the Times, more than a hundred of those were Americans who crossed the border. Toronto, by the way, is the home of Canada's largest homosexual population - I'm talking numerically, I don't mean that only gay dudes who shop at "Big and Tall" stores live in Toronto.

The reason for this surprising reluctance on the part of gay men to marry is that, well, many gay men don't want to get married.

The Times reporter, Clifford Krauss, finds all sorts of homosexual men who are perfectly willing to denigrate the institution of marriage. Most of the men simply "don't believe" in monogamy.

The editor of Fab magazine, a leading Canadian gay publication, tells Krauss, "I'd be for marriage if I thought gay people would challenge and change the institution and not buy into the traditional meaning of 'till death do us part' and monogamy forever. We should be Oscar Wildes and not like everyone else watching the play."

A special issue of Fab dedicated to the gay marriage scene in Toronto also included a cautionary essay by sociologist Rinaldo Walcott. He complained that marriage might just be too boring for homosexuals. "I can already hear folks saying things like: 'Why are bathhouses needed? Straights don't have them,'" he wrote. "Will queers now have to live with the heterosexual forms of guilt associated with something called cheating?"

"Something called cheating"?

What such cutely ironic post-modern quips reveal is that many in the gay community don't really mean it when they say they want access to the institution of marriage.

First of all, it's not "something called cheating," it's cheating, pure and simple. I have no doubt that most homosexuals understand perfectly well what cheating is and understand that the concept applies to all sorts of relationships. Pretending otherwise may seem clever or enlightened, but such word games are astoundingly stupid.

Jonah Goldberg

Jonah Goldberg is editor-at-large of National Review Online,and the author of the book The Tyranny of Clichés. You can reach him via Twitter @JonahNRO.
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