Alfred Kinsey, the famous (or infamous) sexologist, estimated that 10% of the American population is homosexual. A 2011 Gallup poll found that Americans believe that as much as 25% of the population is homosexual. According to the findings (emphasis added):
There is little reliable evidence about what percentage of the U.S. population is in reality gay or lesbian, due to few representative surveys asking about sexual orientation, complexities surrounding the groups and definitions involved, and the probability that some gay and lesbian individuals may not choose to identify themselves as such. Demographer Gary Gates last month released a review of population-based surveys on the topic, estimating that 3.5% of adults in the United States identify as lesbian, gay, or bisexual, with bisexuals making up a slight majority of that figure. Gates also disputes the well-circulated statistic that “10% of the males are more or less exclusively homosexual.”
Americans’ current collective estimate — which is substantially higher than Gates suggests — is likely driven more by perceptions and exposure than by scientific measurement or reality.
In addition to the far lower demographic estimates of the homosexual population in America, the US Census Bureau data indicates that “same-sex partner households made up less than 1 percent of all households in both 2000 and 2010.”
Why does this matter?
Simply put, the fight over same sex marriage is about far more than just tax benefits or visitation rights. It’s about attaining societal legitimacy for behavior that was once considered deviant — and statistically, still is. Further, it’s about silencing those who oppose their agenda, the 1st Amendment be damned.
Advocates for same-sex marriage are often loathe to admit that their push for legitimacy would open the door for the State to sanction other forms of sexual behavior now considered deviant. Whether they don’t want to acknowledge this “slippery slope” in a way that would weaken their case or sincerely disbelieve it, the handwriting is already on the wall.
Today, I came across two stories that I believe are bellwethers of what is to come.
In California, there is a legislative push to federalize a state law that prohibits counseling someone in an attempt to change their sexual orientation. The kicker? In this law, pedophilia is classified as a “sexual orientation.” And sexual orientation is a protected category under anti-discrimination laws.
Under the bill’s language, a mental health counselor could be sanctioned if there was an attempt to get a pedophile or gay individual to change his behavior or speak negatively about their behavior as it relates to sexuality.
The bill calls on states to prohibit efforts to change a minor’s sexual orientation, even if the minor requests it, saying that doing so is “dangerous and harmful.”
The text of the legislation doesn’t specifically ban “gay” conversion therapy. Instead, it prohibits attempts to change a person’s sexual orientation.
“Sexual orientation change efforts’ means any practices by mental health providers that seek to change an individual’s sexual orientation,” the bill says.
Republicans attempted to add an amendment specifying that, “pedophilia is not covered as an orientation.” However, the Democrats defeated the amendment. Rep. Alcee Hastings (D-FL) stated that all alternative sexual lifestyles should be protected under the law, and accordingly decided that pedophilia is a sexual orientation that should be equally as embraced as homosexuality.
“This language is so broad and vague, it arguably could include all forms of sexual orientation, including pedophilia,” said Brad Dacus, president of the Pacific Justice Institute. “It’s not just the orientation that is protected—the conduct associated with the orientation is protected as well.”
Even as I write this, I see that another facet of this story is playing out in the Virginia Gubenatorial race. It’s hard to believe.
I also came across a story from 2010, in which a Columbia University professor was charged for having an incestuous relationship with his 24-year old daughter — a relationship that lasted 3 years. His attorney offered a predictable defense:
He told ABCNews.com: ‘Academically, we are obviously all morally opposed to incest and rightfully so.
‘At the same time, there is an argument to be made in the Swiss case to let go what goes on privately in bedrooms.
‘It’s ok for homosexuals to do whatever they want in their own home. How is this so different?
‘We have to figure out why some behaviour is tolerated and some is not.’
In an interview with the Huffington Post, Galluzzo questioned if prosecuting incest was “intellectually consistent” with the repeal of anti-sodomy laws that resulted from Lawrence v. Texas in 2003. “What goes on between consenting adults in private should not be legislated,” he said. “That is not the proper domain of our law.”
Galluzzo continued: “If we assume for a moment that both parties [involved in incest] are consenting, then why are we prosecuting this?”
These are the fruits of the push for homosexual legitimacy. This is the fallout of the ongoing same-sex marriage debate. Normal sexual relationships become one option in a panoply of accepted “lifestyles.” Normal, natural, traditional marriage becomes marginalized as other kinds of relationships are recognized by the state. Marriage, and the sexual intimacy that is truly proper only to marriage, get twisted into something unrecognizable.
I have written about this here before, but it bears repeating: there is no logical way, absolutely none, to divorce sex from procreation and preserve the integrity of marriage. Further, there is no way to divorce sex from procreation and keep deviant sexual behaviors classified as, well, deviant. Sex has two polar aspects that exist in balance as they relate to each other. These are the natural biological end of sex (namely, children) and the (sometimes, but not always) unifying love and pleasure that is shared by its participants. The Christian conception fuses both, making it both immanent and sublime, always balancing the raw, unimaginable power of creating life against the raw, incredible intimacy of true conjugal love.
Try to have one without the other and everything goes sideways. Sex, when it is about ONLY procreation, objectifies men and women and turns them into breeders. Sex, when it is only about pleasure and intimacy makes any form of sexual gratification between consenting individuals a legitimate means to that end. Same sex, multi-partner, non-procreative (ie., sodomy), self-gratification, etc. It’s all on the table if it’s just about how good it feels.
Contraception shattered sex into its component pieces. It was only a matter of time before sexually conservative people over-emphasized making babies, and sexually “liberated” people over-emphasized the pursuit of maximum gratification, in whatever sort of relationships they felt like engaging in.
We no longer can make a natural law argument (or a pragmatic one, for that matter) that sex belongs in marriage and marriage is about kids and family when so many married couples stopped having kids and building families. This door may only be cracked open now, but it’s going to get kicked open soon. And the consequences are not going to be pretty.
UPDATE: 4/4/2013 @ 4:46PM
In the interest of accuracy, when I wrote this post, I said that “In this law, pedophilia is classified as a “sexual orientation.” And sexual orientation is a protected category under anti-discrimination laws.” This was a misstatement of fact.
In actuality, the word “pedophilia” never appears in the bill, California SB 1172. Instead, it defines sexual change efforts as follows:
“(b) (1) “Sexual orientation change efforts” means any practices by mental health providers that seek to change an individual’s sexual orientation. This includes efforts to change behaviors or gender expressions, or to eliminate or reduce sexual or romantic attractions or feelings toward individuals of the same sex.”
The ambiguity of the definition would cover any inclination considered to be a sexual orientation. Concerned about the implications of such broad language in situations such as pedophiles going in for psychiatric counseling, it has been alleged, but I have been unable to verify, that an attempt to amend the bill and add specificity was attempted.
Considering that there have been recent attempts by some groups to push the American Psychological Association to de-stigmatize pedophilia and de-classify it as a disorder, a cause for concern in this legislation still exists.