Originally Posted by HopeHacker
Why is my lifestyle not as offensive to the Religious Right [as] the Homosexual lifestyle? Could it be the Yuck factor? Could it be that there is MORE to it than the Religious factor? Why won't ANYONE give me direct and honest answer to this question?
I think it's because we don't have an answer. First of all, people are against homosexual marriage because they think homosexuality is wrong. People who think that homosexuality is good have no problems with gay marriage.*
People have problems with homosexuality because they think sex should be about reproduction and creating a happy family, not about personal pleasure. It's all about the sexual revolution. If you think that healthy people and societies use sex only to create and hold together the nuclear family unit, and not for personal indulgence, then you have a problem with homosexuality, because it is definitionally not about a nuclear family creating and raising its own new babies with heterosexual intercourse.
So, the question becomes; why do people value sex as a family creating activity and reject it for personal pleasure? In the US, people who have this conservative view of sex are overwhelmingly religious and quote religious justification for it. But I'm not convinced that there is a good reason that the moral of sex for reproduction should be only religious. In the future people who are not religious might also embrace these values, but I have no idea if this will be true.
One reason to restrict sex to a reproductive and family creating activity is that sex is an inherently risky activity. 1. Sex can spread disease. Now, there are ways to mitigate this risk, but one can be against partnered sex for personal pleasure on purely epidemiological grounds. 2. Heterosexual sex can also create children. Again, this risk can be mitigated, but I have known people who thought that it was horrendously irresponsible to have sex with a (fertile) person (of the opposite sex) you would not be willing to raise a child with. 3. It is also possible to think that people are simply psychologically not suited for promiscuous sex. Sex carries emotional risks, and it is possible that sex outside of a long-term emotional bond makes people unhappy.
Although #2 doesn't apply to homosexual sex, the other two do. There could also be other non-religious objections to the sexual revolution as a whole, and specific non-religious objections to homosexual sex, but I can't think of any others at the moment.
When we get back to marriage, though, this becomes really ironic. Marriage is a signal of conservative, family-based sex. Now, not all marriages are about building families or being conservative, but it is the institutional expression of conservative, family-based ideals of sex. Gay marriage is a sexual revolution, sex-as-pleasure group insisting on being equal by gaining access to an inherently conservative institution. None of the listed risks of promiscuity apply to monogamous gay marriage, but people who object to homosexuality still object to it probably because it normalizes homosexuality of all kinds, including the promiscuous kind.
And, to finally get the question, I think that people are more against homosexual marriage than marriage after a divorce because they see more of and are more familiar with re-marriage after divorces. (They have been legal for a long time, after all.) To a heterosexual fundamentalist, marriage after a divorce is at least fathomable (and sometimes already done themselves), if not morally right. And it looks more similar to "holy" marriage; the "sin" part is invisible in marriages between non-virgins and between divorcees.
I, too, had serious problems with the content on that page. When I first looked over it, though, it made me so angry I just ignored it. I simply don't have the time and energy to go point-by-point and refute every single statement there. First of all, since it's out of Colorodo Springs, it's extremely likely that the Family Research Institution is related to James Dobson's Christian group "Focus on the Family" (although there is a "Family Research Council that is tied to "Focus on the Family"). There is no religious reasoning on the page, but it is misinterpreting data to support a pre-arranged thesis. For example
|In the early 1980s, a large non-random sample (5) of almost 8,000 heterosexual and homosexual couples responded to advertisements in alternative newspapers. The average number of years together was 9.8 for the married, 1.7, for cohabiting heterosexuals, 3.5 for the gay couples, and 2.2 for the lesbian couples.
This is listed under "Homosexual marriages are short lived" when it actually says that cohabiting gay and lesbian couples stay together longer than cohabiting heterosexual couples. The listed facts do not support the claims!
The document also claims that long-term homosexual relationships are unhealthy because monogamous gays and lesbians are less likely to use condoms and other protection. Um, yeah. So are straights. That's because there is no risk of disease transmission from sex between two disease free people. Yeah, a cheating partner can transmit disease during unprotected sex with a person who thinks they are in a monogamous relationship, but that's true of heterosexual marriage and other monogamous relationships, too. Other sections are similarly irrelevant or wrong.
*Except for things like "why can't my sister and I living together share each other's health insurance if two lesbians living together can" and "insurance contracts that include spousal coverage will be changed by increasing the number of people who are married". However, these types of objections are very easy to understand, and often easy to mitigate. These types of objections are not, I suspect, what HopeHacker is asking questions about.