12 Jan Is the “Gay Rights” Movement a Civil Rights Movement?
You’ve heard the arguments. “Homosexuals are an oppressed minority just like racial minorities or women.” “The gay rights movement is the new civil rights movement.” “Homophobia isequivalent to racism and sexism.”
Renditions of this argument are everywhere, particularly in the debate over same-sex marriage. The Washington, D. C. city council passed legislation last month that legalizes same-sex marriage. Traditional marriage supporters began paying for ads on the side of city buses. The ads were very simple: the image of two wedding bands overlaid with the words, “Let the People Vote on Marriage.” That’s it. Two non-descript wedding bands and the statement, “Let the People Vote on Marriage.”
The Washington LGBT community went into an uproar. Bloggers and same-sex marriage advocacy groups have condemned the ads ashate speech and some have even demanded that the ads be removed.
Why are they so upset?
The ads are discriminatory, they claim. They attempt to deny an underprivileged minority a basic civil right. From their perspective, it is the same as denying racial minorities or women the right to vote. They claim the whole debate is a pure and simple civil rights matter. Those who oppose same-sex marriage might as well be opposing the abolition of slavery.
This argument, however, is not only intellectually dishonest, but part of a long term strategy to normalize homosexual behavior.
Discrimination vs. distinction
To reduce all forms of discrimination-racism, sexism, classism, heterosexism, or any other -ism-into one group is grossly dishonest and creates serious problems. Discrimination (in the classical sense means to distinguish and judge) plays a necessary and central role in any society. Problems arise only when those judgments are based on faulty, incorrect, or non-existent distinctions. In the case of racism, for example, past discrimination was based on the non-existent distinction between people of different skin color, wherein most people today readily accept that color truly is only skin deep.
To say that homosexuality is equivalent to race is to likewise assert that there is no true distinction between heterosexuals and homosexuals. This is patently false. As Shelby Steele of the Wall Street Journal eloquently explains, “[T]here is a profound difference between homosexuality and heterosexuality. In the former, sexual and romantic desire is focused on the same sex, in the latter on the opposite sex. Natural procreation is possible only for heterosexuals, a fact of nature that obligates their sexuality to no less a responsibility than the perpetuation of the species. Unlike racial difference, these two sexual orientations are profoundly-not innocuously-different. Racism projects a false difference in order to exploit. Homophobia is a reactive prejudice against a true and firm difference that already exists.”
Arguments demanding that the LGBT rights movement be treated as the new civil rights movement seek to erase this profound and necessary distinction. However, discrimination against homosexuality is not faulty or incorrect, but rather based on a notable distinction necessary for the perpetuation of a healthy society.
Homosexuality is not a civil right
Homosexuality, as a behavior, is not a civil right, as it does not fulfill the criteria required to establish homosexuals as a protected group under civil rights legislation. In order to achieve such protection, the trait that distinguishes a group as a minority must be inherited, innate, or immutable. Social science research indicates homosexuality does not meet any of these criteria.
Below is a brief overview of this research. For a more in-depth review of the essential arguments and research for engaging in a dialogue on homosexual behavior, you can view UFI’s Guide to Family Issues: Sexual Orientation.
Homosexuality is not genetic
There is no conclusive or compelling empirical evidence showing any absolute biological, genetic, or hormonal causation for homosexuality. A small percentage of the population may have a predisposition toward homosexual feelings, but this does not mean such people engage in homosexual behavior as a result of genetic causation. Predisposition toward something does not mean that it is inevitable or that such a predisposition cannot or should not be resisted and overcome.
Homosexuality is not innate
What a person does (behavior) should never be equated with who a person is. No human being can or should be reduced to his or her sexual impulses. Impulses cannot compel behavior or identities without a person’s consent.
Additionally, current evidence suggests that environmental, familial, and personal external influences contribute significantly to the development of homosexual tendencies. Seventy years of therapeutic counseling and case studies show a remarkable consistency concerning the origins of the homosexual impulse as an uncompleted gender identity seeking after its own sex to replace what was not fully developed in childhood.
Homosexuality is changeable
Reputable studies and decades of successful treatment show that homosexual behavior can be changed. Thousands of former homosexuals testify to this possibility. According to Positive Alternatives to Homosexuality (PATH), a coalition of organizations committed to helping those wanting to change same-sex attraction, “In more than 50 years of research, including 48 studies . . . there are data and published accounts documenting easily more than 3,000 cases of change from homosexual to heterosexual attraction, identity and functioning.” You can view an overview of those studies here.
Many LGBT advocates cite the decision made by the American Psychiatric Association (APA) in 1973 to remove homosexuality from its list of disorders as proof that homosexuality is natural and unchangeable. However, the decision to remove homosexuality from the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual (DSM) was made only after APA leaders and members had endured several years of intense political pressure and disruptive lobbying efforts by militant homosexual activist groups. Even pro-homosexual psychiatric professionals will admit that the APA’s decision was purely political, not scientific.
Homosexuality is defined by behaviors that are destructive to individuals and to society
Homosexuality is defined and distinguished by risky behaviors that are proven to be destructive to individuals and to society. The most serious consequence of the homosexual lifestyle is exposure to HIV/AIDS and other STDs. Evidence indicates that 50 percent of men who have sex with men will eventually become HIV positive or infected with another potentially fatal sexually transmitted disease.
Research also indicates that homosexuality is tied to significant increases in drug and alcohol abuse and mental or emotional health disorders. One study found that men with same-sex partners were6.5 times as likely as heterosexual men to have attempted suicide, and a separate study demonstrated that homosexuals are almost three times more likely to suffer major depression and generalized anxiety disorder.
Rates of domestic violence are also dramatically higher among same-sex couples, particularly lesbian couples. One survey of over a thousand lesbians found that more than half reported being verbally, emotionally, psychologically, or physically abused by their female partner.
Research shows that there is no reduction in the rate of suicide, mental illness, substance abuse, alcoholism, and domestic violence in areas where homosexuality is more widely accepted, proving that the high rate of emotional trauma in homosexuals is not induced by society, but rather, is the result of asexual behavior that negatively impacts emotional and physical health. The same list of negative consequences attached to any other behavior would inspire broad societal efforts to prevent and discourage that behavior.
Homosexuality is not a civil right. Social science is still on the side of the family. Our goal at UFI is to make this research and these facts available to you. A great place to access this information is through our Guides to Family Issues. The guides help you break down the arguments and provide all of the evidence necessary to help you share this powerful truth: traditional marriage and strong families promise the best future for individuals, communities, and nations.
Those of us who support traditional marriage and family cannot afford to let this and similar misconceptions take further root in our culture.
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