Is Opposition to Gay Marriage “Natural”? By Gregory Allen
2013 could be one of the most progressive years for LGBT rights in American history. With many states and the Supreme Court considering creating greater equality for Americans, this year will be one of the most decisive and historical in decades, regardless of what decisions are reached.
Confronted with change, sometimes desperate resistance is a natural reaction when one’s inherited values seem threatened. Homophobia, however, is not a natural or logical reply.
Prejudice is not natural, because it is not based on fact but on stereotypes, and stereotypes are not based on genuine understanding but a misunderstanding often produced by a lack of interaction or an abundance of seclusion. These beliefs are also spread by a national media with an affinity for the dramatic.
In response to the coming changes in many countries, not just the United States, Pope Joseph Ratzinger, the leading voice of the Catholic Church, lashed out frantically at the LGBT community and their allies in his Christmas address in December 2012.
The Global Post and Associated Press provided a translation of Joseph Ratzinger’s announcement, in which he slandered homosexuality as “a ‘manipulation of nature’ that will destroy the ‘essence of the human creature.’” Ratzinger felt challenged, and fled to a misguided argument claiming one’s sexual orientation was not natural. He is not alone in this method.
Cardinal Francis George penned a letter recently calling on Chicago natives to stand against a proposed gay marriage bill in Illinois and to contact their representatives to help intimidate the process of creating equality. According to the Chicago Sun-Times, Francis George called laws permitting gay marriage “legal fiction” and also added “Does this mean nature is cruel or that God is unfair? No, but it does mean that marriage is what nature tells us it is and that the state cannot change natural marriage.”
Opposition to gay marriage and an intimate concern with the privacy of others, a privacy no different than that shared by their heterosexual counterparts, is not emotionally healthy.
These fragile responses to laws that will affect only others, is not sufficient to warrant a public address from either of the previously mentioned parties; they should have kept their obsolete impressions private as they do not share anything but divisive bigotry, a hate intended not to motivate open-minded thinking, but to suppress compassionate consideration.
Legalizing gay marriage will not criminalize heterosexual marriage, and should therefore not be viewed as a personal assault. Heterosexuals will not be denied marriage for a time period equal to the period in which it was denied the LGBT community.
Relying on a belief that laws should only reflect that which occurs in nature is illogical, because marriage does not exist in nature; it only ever appears as an intellectual concept within the cultures of humans. As a cultural practice, and not a natural trait, marriage should be available and recognized by society by the members that participate within it, and not only reserved for those who hide behind and isolate themselves defensively with traditional values.
All of legislation is fictitious, laws themselves are not real or tangible artifacts; and while we try to write and honor laws that reflect truths we recognize in others and ourselves, laws are not always honest about the equitable nature of all people and some truths we hold to be self-evident are unfortunately ignored.
Religious persons who worship a deity should not be concerned with the politics of humans; those who choose to ignore our equal creation should be consistent and ignore much of this world if they are merely passing on to another eternal realm with only subjective and self-serving hopes of bettering this world before they depart.
The hard truth for traditionalists is that denying the rights of the LGBT community is not natural and must and will end sooner or later. This evolution and change is natural, as our culture grows more tolerant, and we should welcome rather than hinder this progression toward a more genuine state of freedom.