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Gay Marriage: Why the Hate?

Updated on June 3, 2012

Homosexuality: A Genetic Predisposition

The entire issue of "yes/no gay marriage" is very strange to me. Perhaps it's my upbringing (daughter of a lawyer), but more likely it has something to do with my tendency to separate issues and look at them as parts of a whole, rather than the whole.

What I see going on here is that we are denying full citizens in our country, who happen to have a genetic difference dictating their sexuality, their full federal and legal rights.

I know there are some who still hold that homosexuality is a choice. I hold that if you apply logical thinking, you would easily come to the conclusion even without scientific evidence, that it is not a choice.

Given that homosexuality has been frowned upon for most of the history of the western civilization as we know it, the current existence of homosexuality - despite a history of social repression and persecution - speaks highly to the genetic nature of it. If it was a choice, who would choose it in the face of such overwhelming negativity?

The scientific viewpoint currently is undecided one way or the other, although there is evidence of a gay gene.

And regardless of whether or not it is a choice, this country was founded on ideals and freedoms that should apply to and protect everyone -- as long as they are not actually harming their fellow man. This should include homosexuals.

Church Vows Vs. Legal Contract

When I got married in the church I grew up in, the bishop performed the ceremony. That was a "church" marriage. After the ceremonial vows were over, he and several other witnesses signed a legal document provided by the state. A legal document that, without which, our vows would be null and void in the eyes of the law.

Sure, maybe we would be married in God's eyes (not so much, according to the beliefs of the church I was raised in -- that wouldn't come until the temple ceremony a year later) but in the eyes of the land we would not be married.

Interestingly, many homosexuals already participate in commitment ceremonies, some even presided over by ministers and priests. Does this mean that they are married in the eyes of God, just not in the eyes of the law? Or since it's from a different religion than whatever you may suscribe to, is it null and void regardless? Does that make any marriage, straight or gay, presided over by that religion null and void?

What we are denying them are their legal and federal rights -- rights that are accorded to every other man and woman in the United States, but denied them. The argument is that we're upholding morality and procreation - so should we do psychological and physical testing prior to straight marriage? After all, we wouldn't want atheists marrying and polluting the moral values of our society by passing on their beliefs to their children.

Or what about couples who can't have children, due to illness or other issues? Should we bar them from marrying? They aren't, after all, procreating - and that is what we're protecting. It's easy enough to test them before marriage, isn't it? We could make it a legal prerequisite to the legal binding.

Common sense, people. It's a good thing.

A Religious Look

So far as I'm aware, many of the major religions have even acknowledged the probability that homosexuality is not a choice, but a biological disposition. This being the case, they are knowingly and intentionally discriminating against something that it's highly likely homosexuals can't help or control.

The official Catholic attitude towards gays and lesbians has changed since Pope John Paul II left us. Pope John Paul II felt that homosexuality was a sin and not to be condoned, but he also counseled showing respect and love to those homosexual brethren (and sisters. Sisteren?). This seems to be a contradictory statement, since he's condemning and loving them in the same breath - but hey. Let's just skip past that.

Pope Benedict XVI, however, is staunchly anti-homosexual, and actively persecutes homosexuals within the church system, even going so far as to inhibit them from the celibate life of a priest.

The LDS stance on it is that the cause, while not absolutely proven, looks to be something determined prior to birth. Simply never act on these immoral (inborn) urges, and you can still participate in the church.

In either case, the only recommended way of dealing with homosexuality within the religion of your choice is celibacy. Maybe there are some who would welcome a life of celibacy when presented to them as a choice, or a means of deepening their spiritual connection should they so desire -- but to be told, "It's us or sex," is a little dictatorial, to my view.

It would take quite a bit of time to list every religion and their current stance, but more religious stances are listed on Religious Tolerance and here, where four common religious attitudes towards homosexuality are listed. There is also a chart that outlines most of the traditional church stances, if you trust Wiki as a starting point to further research - I looked around and couldn't find such a clearly delineated chart elsewhere.

A gay pride parade.
A gay pride parade.
A suffrage parade.
A suffrage parade.

Breaking it down

What this all breaks down to is that something that is widely accepted as a quirk of nature is being discriminated against for no logical reason.

Women, too, (who are often viewed as a necessary quirk of nature, although from a scientific viewpoint, I think men are really the quirk) were once the victims of a social history of gender-specific repression; not being allowed the basic rights within a marriage that we take for granted today - such as the right to community property, full say over childrearing (or whether or not to have children), the right to keep and maintain income that they have earned, and the right to end an abusive marriage. All of them were prevented by the Marriage Act of 1753 and perpetuated as the norm throughout western civilization.

Now homosexuals are now the victims of a social bias relating to what should be their personal business: who they love and that which goes on behind closed doors.

Perhaps it's time to break out our history books and re-examine the effect repression and persecution has on our society.


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    • profile image

      Michael, not who is like God? 5 years ago

      I forgot. Sorry for inserting a religious name. I mean, I am not religious. I am just a ordinary guy like any other. I believe in friendship, love and unity, respect and harmony. Thanks for all.

    • profile image

      Who is like God? 5 years ago

      It affected me because of my race, I am Hispanic. But, now I learned a lesson, Anyway. It does not affect me anymore. I support gay marriage. Because I am gay. I support gays people because they are servants of the Lord, Jesus Christ.

    • Larry Fields profile image

      Larry Fields 6 years ago from Northern California

      that one girl, you've written a great hub, and have attracted some excellent comments. I'd like to make a guess about the original question: Why the hate?

      Homophobic males have two things in common. First, they're in social environments in which behaving like the late actor, John Wayne, is considered to be the norm. Second, they're 60-40 bisexuals, who use hate as a way to avoid coming to grips with who they are, and to avoid the possibility of disparagement by their peers.

      Caveats. I'm not saying that 60-40 bisexual males should choose to have homosexual sex in addition to straight sex. That's always an individual decision. And if one prefers casual sex, it's especially important to be upfront with one's current partner.

    • that one girl profile image

      that one girl 7 years ago from Washington state

      Girl21a: You're using the "think of the children" argument as an emotional fallacy.

      First off: If a straight man's wife died and he got a straight male roommate who helped out around the house, including childrearing, would those children suffer for having two male parent units? If a single mother invited her best friend or newly-widowed sister in law into her home to pool child-rearing, would that be bad for the children?

      No. So why is it different if their sexuality changes? What do you think is going to happen? Are gay parents somehow *more* likely than straight parents to sexually and physically abuse their children?

      It seems to me that gay parents, given all the hoops they have to jump through to get their children, are in fact less likely to harm their children -- after all, straight parents are the ones who can create a life completely by accident.

      Second off: The "nuclear family" popularized today (one mom, one dad, two children) is a fairly recent ideal. Previous to the 20th century, such a living arrangement was rare, to say the least.

    • profile image

      Alex 7 years ago

      I do not think that adoption should be based purely on fertility, and that infertile, past-reproductive-age and gay couples should be disallowed kids because they cannot reproduce naturally. Nature doesn't decide to turn off our reproductive system if it knows we can't reproduce, so it's a bit ridiculous to say we should default to nature to determine if people are suitable parents.

      If a couple is having a hard time conceiving, why are you saying that nature IS wrong and we should allow them to adopt?

      While kids can speak for what they want, they do need parents and should be placed with capable parents and not left in the foster system. We should not prevent gay people from being capable parents to a child in need because of what some people think of homosexuality.

    • profile image

      idahofarmgirl 7 years ago

      Girl21a, I see and understand what you are saying...except I disagree to parts of your comment. There are tons of children out there in the world that need families to adopt them. So, what would it matter if it was a mom/dad adopting per a mom/mom or dad/dad. I look at it this way...if a homosexual couple can provide a financially stable, loving home to children that need adopting...then they should be able to adopt. I am ALL for children's rights, but there are children all over the world that just want a family that will love them whether it be a heterosexual or homosexual couple.

    • profile image

      Girl21a 7 years ago

      If a girl can get another girl pregnant or a guy can get another guy pregnant then it is their right to have kids. Adopting should be prohibit for couples of same sex. Adopting is only for couples (man and woman) who are having a hard time conceiving. Nature is not wrong and it is not a bible thing. Kids can't speak for them selves, so thank you all of you who are fighting for the kid's rights. And yes there are many divorces and judges don't have the time each case deserves and that's why we don't need any more. Divorces affect the kids more so we can not let the gay couples take the little time the judges have for this kids. Thank you. I have nothing against gay people Some of my best friends are gay and they know what I think of homosexuality.

    • thegecko profile image

      Warren Samu 9 years ago from San Diego, CA

      I concur with you.

      My friends and I have had many weekend debates about the topic. Religious groups against homosexual unions can't have it both ways. As long as marriage is also a state institution with legal implications, it would be unjust to deny two people to unify as a family and be recognized by the government. I could understand if marriage was simply a religious ceremony without any state involvement. Its more difficult to change doctrine than laws :)

      I also see the gay marriage debate as political snake oil to distract the masses from more important issues:

      Not that the right for homosexuals to marry is not important, but just that so much time, effort, money, and focus on the issue - seems ridiculous. Let them marry and gain equal rights and penalties of all married couples. Not worth the chaos to continue to debate it :)

    • JamaGenee profile image

      Joanna McKenna 9 years ago from Central Oklahoma

      Maylinda, I would wonder how many kids at that school discussion were (are) gay and don't know yet, or do know and were too afraid to say so!

    • livelonger profile image

      Jason Menayan 9 years ago from San Francisco

      Excellent hub - I agree completely.

    • that one girl profile image

      that one girl 9 years ago from Washington state

      Thanks, How-to Hub.

      Maylinda~ what a sad and disturbing commentary on our times. I hope the people on the opposite side of the debate chose their arguments well and convinced at least a few of how wrong they were.

    • Maylinda Arons profile image

      Maylinda Arons 9 years ago

      We had an informal debate about gay adoption rights in our school, a while ago. People were allowed to choose their own sides, and I was shocked at the number of people - young, enlightened, smart kids - that chose the 'it shouldn't be allowed' side. What was even more scary, yet amusing, because of the RIDICULOUSNESS of it all, was that many of these kids thought that if gay people were allowed to adopt, the children would be brought up as gay, and that would increase the gay population, and this would go on for generations and generations until everybody in the world was gay and all procration would stop. Yeah, I know!!!! This was their theory! I'm not even going to comment on the bit where they IGNORED the heterosexuals and their children completely, since it's so SO idiotic, I don't know what to say. But I will comment on the idea that they thought homosexuality was a contageous condition, like a disease or something. Clearly awareness is not yet being spread. Then again, how can it, when the people running the country and its institutions are against it?

      Anyway, my point was: THIS is how stupid people are. To quote you, That One Girl, "Common sense, people. It's a good thing. "

    • The How To Hub profile image

      The How To Hub 9 years ago from Australia

      Alot of work and thought has gone into this hub - it shows. Well done.

    • that one girl profile image

      that one girl 9 years ago from Washington state

      But who would clean up the resultant mess? ;p

    • JamaGenee profile image

      Joanna McKenna 9 years ago from Central Oklahoma

      But sooo effective! LOL Maybe we should but our world leaders on a desert island for a month or two, or however long it takes for them to learn to get along. No assistants, no press, just them.

    • that one girl profile image

      that one girl 9 years ago from Washington state


      Yeah, the deserted island would be cool. It would be the most expensive and hilarious marriage counseling ever. :)

    • JamaGenee profile image

      Joanna McKenna 9 years ago from Central Oklahoma

      Spot on, that one girl! Why should non-heteros be barred from participating in the non-romantic arrangement budwood describes as "marriage"? IMHO it's the sexual aspect that gets straights' knickers in a knot over gays marrying, but many "traditional" married couples routinely indulge in "kinky" sex, so to quote tog "tell me another one".

      Many churches require engaged couples go through pre-marriage counseling before The Day, which isn't a bad idea for ALL couples. Would certainly cut the divorce rate by weeding out the totally incompatible before the knot is tied.

      As for marriage counseling, tog, it can only work if BOTH parties want to stay married. If not, I LOVE the idea of a year on a deserted island to learn to get along!

    • that one girl profile image

      that one girl 9 years ago from Washington state

      So if marriage is best arranged as a matter of money, power, and survival -- why can homosexuals not participate in this arrangement? Especially in todays society, where there are medical techniques to provide the children that "sealed the deal", so to speak?

      On the other hand, if they marry for love and end up divorcing, so what? Everyone else does it. Honestly, we straight people are a horribly hypocritical argument for the sanctity of marriage. We keep preaching that marriage is a sacred convenant between a man and a woman, while divorce papers nullifying that sacred covenant are signed left and right. Interestingly, it's not always the longstanding marriages that bleat on about the sacredness of marriage, either. I've met many a twice and thrice divorced person who is horrified and shocked that gays want to take part of this "special and sacred rite".

      Yes. Because divorce or suffering through an unhappy marriage for the sake of God's will is so respecting of this special and sacred ritual. Please. Tell me another one.

      As far as the blistering divorce rate -- well, personally (and apart from the gay question), I think it's ridiculous. In my opinion, if you throw two strangers on a deserted island for a year, with no other contact -- they would either learn to get along or kill each other. Since only a relatively small minority of people, despite what the sensationalism of the media would have us think, are actually willing to commit murder -- I'm banking on learning to get along.

      Granted, those are extreme conditions. But given that we have the capacity to learn to get along, and the capacity to learn fondness and even love -- we have the capacity, should we be so willing, to make a marriage work. I'll accept that some divorces, where one or the other of the partners in a marriage feels in danger, are necessary. Most, however, could be resolved if the couple committed to marriage counseling and made an effort to see where their partner was coming from.

      I speak as an almost-divorced woman here, whose marriage has much improved since we sought an outside viewpoint, translator, and mediator. In other words, a marriage counselor.

    • budwood profile image

      budwood 9 years ago from Southern Nevada

      A pertinent comment from Psychology Today:

      "Through most of Western civilization, marriage has been more a matter of money, power and survival than of delicate sentiments. In medieval Europe, everyone from the lord of the manor to the village locals had a say in deciding who should wed. Love was considered an absurdly flimsy reason for a match. Even during the Enlightenment and Victorian eras, adultery and friendship were often more passionate than marriage. These days, we marry for love—and are rewarded with a blistering divorce rate".

    • Lady Luthi profile image

      Lady Luthi 9 years ago from San Francisco

      Well said. I'm bi-sexual woman who's been married nearly two years now to a wonderful man. I would agree with that one girl. No matter the genders of a couple it's difficult no matter what sometimes I think that it can be hard for couples of the same gender. My ex-girlfriend drove me up the wall sometimes. Great hub!

    • JamaGenee profile image

      Joanna McKenna 9 years ago from Central Oklahoma

      Well said, that one girl!

    • that one girl profile image

      that one girl 9 years ago from Washington state


      Honestly, I'm absolutely shocked at the lack of human interaction you must have had to come to the conclusion that it's "easier" to form a relationship with your own gender. Any human relationship, be it male/male, male/female, or female/female is hard work. Gender has little to do with being able to form bonds of trust, respect, and communication with your partner, which are all the building blocks of a relationship. This is difficult enough in everyday friendships. Add sex into the mix and it will get more difficult, no matter what the sexual orientation of the couples are. Sex complicates everything, no matter your orientation. That certainly doesn't mean anyone wants to give it up, because besides being fun, the lack of it tends to complicate things, too.

      I also couldn't help but laugh at the notion that being homosexual is taking the easy way out. How do you figure that centuries of persecution, the possibility of alienation from their families, and the general negative reaction of society equate to "easier"? Please explain.

      Furthermore, people seem to be forgetting that there are such things as sperm banks, surrogate mothers, and (lest we forget), adoption. All of which take care of the "children" criteria that so many tout as the all-important reason that homosexuals have no reason to marry.

      So if the children criteria is taken care of, and you honestly don't mind them living their own lives -- than what's wrong with them being able to get married?

    • JamaGenee profile image

      Joanna McKenna 9 years ago from Central Oklahoma

      budwood, with all due respect, marriage is NOT an institution primarily for the benefit of raising children. If that's your philosphy, then I'd have to wonder if you were ever madly and passionately IN LOVE with your spouse. Or with anyone else for that matter. What you describe sounds more like a business arrangement, which is perhaps why you feel like you've been married "for about 200 years" and why you find it so "challenging". I hear no JOY in what you say.

      Applying your criteria, hetero couples who are childless, by fate OR choice, have no right to "marriage benefits", is that correct? Does that mean a marriage isn't "valid" until the birth of the first child? What happens if that child dies? Would the marriage be declared "invalid"?

      Marriage is supposed to be a commitment between two people who WANT to spend the rest of their lives together. Period.

    • budwood profile image

      budwood 9 years ago from Southern Nevada

      Seems to me that marriage is an institution that is primarly for the benefit of raising children.  Tax breaks and other beneifts provide for helping society to reproduce itself.  Thus, marriage benefits tend to, in my opinion, fade from meaning for same-sex couples.

      Also, I don't agree that homosexuality is genetic.  Seems to me that a lot of homosexuality is just laziness to escape from the very formidale challege of cultivating male-female relationships.  --As one who has been married for about 200 years, I know that such relationships are indeed challenging.

      That said, I don't hate homos (or gays as is currently PC).  But I do resent the "muddying effects" which same-sex marriages in the eyes of the state do to traditional matrimonial benefits.

    • JamaGenee profile image

      Joanna McKenna 9 years ago from Central Oklahoma

      You're most welcome. Sooner or later...hopefully sooner...the issue of gay marriage will be a NON-issue, just as interracial marriage was THE issue not very many years ago, and now nobody gives a flying fig if a couple are different colors.

      There are too many REAL issues, like poverty and the sad state of the American health "care" system...what a joke!...that could use the energy and attention being wasted on whether or not gays should be allowed to marry.

      Down with tiny minds!

    • that one girl profile image

      that one girl 9 years ago from Washington state

      Hey, awesome. Thanks for the link and the info.

    • JamaGenee profile image

      Joanna McKenna 9 years ago from Central Oklahoma

      King James only authorized and funded the revision of the Bible, but never actually read it to find out what had been added or taken out.

      I learned the tidbit about his sexual preferences...he was actually some history of English royalty. Don't recall the name of the book, but here's a link to a site that says much the same thing, with an added "bonus":

      "...up until the fourteenth century, the [Catholic] church was routinely performing wedding ceremonies for same-sex couples."

    • that one girl profile image

      that one girl 9 years ago from Washington state

      Thanks for the comment, you make some interesting points.

      Interesting about King James. Where did you learn that? It would have been nice if he'd, I don't know, maybe nixed the version of the bible that's all, "Yay, repress and marginalize women -- and persecute those gay guys while you're at it!"

      I realize that, given the era, it would have been almost entirely impossible to pull this off. Still.

    • JamaGenee profile image

      Joanna McKenna 9 years ago from Central Oklahoma

      I too have never understood why some people feel the need to impose their beliefs on others. Judging by the number of divorces and domestic abuse, heterosexual marriage certainly isn't perfect.

      "Down with homosexuality" can backfire big time, as the Phelps family of Topeka KS is reminded regularly. (This is the family that pickets funerals all over the U.S.) Thanks to them and the disgusting placards they parade around with at certain intersections, Topekans have become very tolerant of homosexuals, and think the Phelpses are the ones committing "unnatural acts"!

      As for the Church insisting homosexuality is a sin, the King James whose name is on the cover of many Bibles was gay. After siring the requisite heir & spare (and a few more children) with his wife, he openly squired several boy toys. (He had great respect for women, btw, and considered them superior to men, a fact ignored by the lackeys who actually penned the revisions.)

      Far as I'm concerned, two people of any gender who want to "love, honor and respect" one another "until death do us part" should be accorded the same legal and federal rights as man-woman couples.

      Those who think allowing gays to marry will "promote" homosexuality should stop and think about the two "nice" ladies who've shared the house next door for years who appear "perfectly normal". Or the two men living in the apartment upstairs who are always willing to fix a leaky faucet or carry in your groceries. Do you KNOW that they aren't gay? Is it REALLY any of your business if they ARE?

    • CJStone profile image

      CJStone 9 years ago from Whitstable, UK

      I agree with this hub. It's always puzzled me why some people want to impose their views on the rest of us. If you're not harming anyone what difference does it make?