After my last column, I got an e-mail from retired FBI agent Bob Hamer. Bob’s the author of a riveting new book that takes you undercover with him into the world of drug bosses, hit men, and his last assignment, the North American Man Boy Love Association (NAMBLA). After I sent him a copy of my new book on same-sex marriage, he wrote back:
“Thanks so much for sharing your book. It was powerful and I need to re-read it because it said so much. It actually brought back memories of the NAMBLA conferences I attended. I listened to men justify oral sex on 18 month olds. How often I listened to men claim their pedophilia was an inborn trait; it was natural, ‘this is the way God made me.’”
This “born that way” argument is fueling the case for same-sex marriage in California. Is it a good argument?
I know this is a difficult and emotional issue for many people, but I think the reasonable answer is no. Not only is the evidence for being “born that way” questionable, even if it were true, it should have no impact on our marriage laws.
First, after many years of intense research, a genetic component to homosexual desires has not been discovered. Twin studies show that identical twins do not consistently have the same sexual orientation. In fact, genetics probably explains very little about homosexual desires. How would a homosexual “gene” be passed on? Homosexuals don’t pass on anything because they don’t reproduce.
Second, the “born-that-way” claim is an argument from design— “since God designed me with these desires, I ought to act on them.” But the people who say this overlook something more obvious— they were also born with a specific gender. This raises the question: Why are you following your desires but not your gender? After all, we’re not sure if your desires were designed or the result of your upbringing, but we are certain that your anatomy is designed. So why not follow your anatomy rather than your desires? Ignoring your desires may be uncomfortable, but ignoring the natural design of your body is often fatal.
Third, even if desires are not a choice, sexual behavior always is. So even if a person honestly believes that he’s been born with homosexual desires, he is certainly capable of controlling his sexual behavior. If you claim that he is not—that sexual behavior is somehow uncontrollable—then you have made the absurd contention that no one can be morally responsible for any sexual crime, including rape, incest, and child molestation.
Fourth, being born a certain way is irrelevant to what the law should be. Laws are concerned with behaviors not desires, and we all have desires we ought not act on. In fact, all of us were born with an “orientation” to bad behavior, but those desires don’t justify the behaviors. For example, if you are born with a genetic predisposition to alcohol, does that mean God wants you to be an alcoholic? If someone has a genetic attraction to children, does that mean God wants you to be a pedophile? (According to pedophiles it does!) What homosexual activist would say that a genetic predisposition to anger justifies gay-bashing? (Born gay? What if the gay basher was born mean?)
Some will say, “But homosexual sex is about love.” One can say that, but what’s loving about sexual activity that creates numerous health problems, increases medical costs to everyone, and reduces the lifespan of homosexuals by 8-20 years? (A homosexual friend of mine fared even worse—he died at age 36 from AIDS.) Yes, I know—people of the same sex love one another. But if the sex act is medically dangerous, the best way to love the other person is not to have sex with him. In fact, most of our loving relationships are non-sexual.
Finally, even if we someday discover a genetic contribution to homosexual desires, that would not mean that the behavior is something the government should endorse. Yet that’s exactly what government-backed same-sex marriage would do--- it would endorse and thus promote the false idea that marriage between a man and a woman is no better for children or society than marriage between same-sex partners.
As I’ve shown in “Gay Marriage: Even Liberals Know it’s Bad,” legally equating the two types of relationships breaks the link between marriage and childbearing which leads to higher illegitimacy and a chain of negative effects that fall like dominoes—illegitimacy leads to poverty, crime, and higher welfare costs which lead to bigger government, higher taxes, and a slower economy. It also will result in homosexuality being imposed against the will of the people in our schools, businesses, and charities as it has in Massachusetts (click on that link if you doubt me). So even if you think there is nothing morally wrong with homosexual behavior, there is every reason to oppose same-sex marriage.
The bottom line is that desires, whatever their source, do not justify behaviors. In fact, there’s a word we use to describe the disciplined restraint of destructive behaviors– it’s called civilization. For any civilization to survive, quite a lot of restraint is going to be necessary.
The push for same-sex marriage does the opposite. Instead of restraining negative behaviors, homosexual activists are asking us not just to tolerate, but to endorse them. For the sake of civilization, we all need to restrain our destructive behaviors. At the very least we should not be demanding that the government endorse them—even if we think we were “born that way.” (Adapted from the new book Correct, Not Politically Correct: How Same-Sex Marriage Hurts Everyone.)