Saturday, October 28, 2006

The Radical Homosexual Agenda

Some of the GOP's favorite fighting phrases this election are "the homosexual agenda", and the "San Francisco liberal" attitude. If the Democrats win, Nancy Pelosi will likely be speaker of the House and all these awful things will come to pass. As a heterosexual resident of the San Francisco Bay Area, with homosexual friends and neighbors, I thought I'd try to give a general idea of what these things might be.

All the homosexuals I know are fully employed, middle-aged, middle-class people: a dentist, an insurance agent, a computer systems manager, a computer technician. Their hobbies as best I can observe them are gardening, singing (one of them sings in the choir of a landmark church), and camping. My neighbors across the street are quiet and reserved, but come over to chat with me, my husband, or the neighboring family with two small children. The computer technician does have a tendency toward unfortunate romantic entanglements, but no worse than some of my college roommates. If any of these people have an agenda, it's to pay the mortgage and retire in comfort. Some of them would certainly be married if it were legal; some of them have been together longer than some married couples I know.

I am completely baffled by the argument that extending the tax and legal benefits of marriage (which is what we're discussing here - the less formal benefits of marriage are already available to homosexuals) to people who are sexually attracted to their own gender, will contribute to the Downfall of the Institution of Marriage. With a 35-50% divorce rate in heterosexual marriages for the last several decades, how much worse can it get? And how does the idea of devoted, committed homosexual couples legally joined in marriage threaten it?

I refuse to discuss the Biblical pronouncements on the subject. Unless the U.S. actually does become a theocracy (I'm cautiously more optimistic that will not happen than I was a couple of years ago), the moral opinions of one or other religious group are their own business and should not be imposed on society at large. I include here Islamic puritans like the Wahhabists as well as Christian evangelists. If you, dear reader, are one of the people who responds with visceral disgust at the idea of gay sex, we'll just have to agree to disagree.

So what about the "liberal San Francisco agenda"? Oooo, terrifying. But it fascinates me that the GOP never actually says what the "liberal San Francisco agenda" is - it's a boogeyman, a frightening shadow in the corner. Shine a light on it, and it turns into:
  • opposition to the Iraq war
  • dismay at a foreign policy reminiscent of Kaiser Wilhelm in 1918 (read The Guns of August if you think I'm kidding)
  • opposition to a skyrocketing budget deficit
  • disgust at a level of corruption that reminds me of the Democrats just before they lost power the last time
  • distress that half the population is without health insurance, coupled with fear that they could lose theirs next
  • shame that people with full-time jobs are unable to afford a home and have to get groceries from the food bank
Maybe I am a San Francisco liberal but none of this sounds especially terrifying to me. The general burden seems to be: Democrats Will Raise Taxes and Spend The People's Money On The Poor. As opposed, I gather, to Republicans, who cut taxes, but spend the people's money anyhow, largely on the rich. If you don't think that thee and me is going to have to pay back that national debt, think again.

I just read an interview with Ben Cohen, formerly of Ben & Jerry's, who now spends his time arguing that we should quit building weapons that were useful against the Soviet Union and devote the money to:
education, health care, world hunger, energy independence and even a little debt reduction
instead of building Cold War holdovers like the F/A-22 fighter jet - really useful against the Taliban, I'm sure you'll all agree. Of course, the real reason we're still building the F/A-22 is all the jobs in all the districts of all the congressmen who vote to keep it going, not to mention all the campaign contributions they get from Lockheed Martin and Boeing.


  1. Anonymous7:01 PM

    It has always puzzled me, this emphasis on someone's romantic outlook. Most of us simply don't introduce ourselves, " Hi, I'm whoever, and I'm hertosexual/homosexual/asexual/bisexual." Sex is fun (personal opinion), but it isn't how I define myself. It is only one fact of my being, and with some folks neither my sexual outlook nor theirs ever comes into play in our relationship. Perhaps I live in a strange corner of the world, but letting someone know you aren't interested in that person's sexual overtures does happen. In my experience, it is far more likely to happen between oneself and someone with a similar outlook. Many of us are picky. If we weren't all office parties would be one long orgy.

  2. I don't think the issue is romantic outlook at all. The segment of the population that gets all hot and bothered about gay marriage (and used to get all hot and bothered about sodomy before the privacy decisions) is not interested in gay romance. They have a prurient fascination with what they consider unnatural or deviant sexual practices, and the idea that people who do these things should not only be allowed to, as opposed to being jailed the way they used to be, but should be rewarded with the tax breaks accorded to married couples, is what infuriates them.

    This all goes back to the idea that a Puritan is someone who is deathly afraid that someone somewhere is having fun.

    And, like you, I consider my sexuality merely one part of me, and one that never comes up with a lot of the people I deal with.

  3. Anonymous6:27 AM

    Sad to say, I have entirely too many relatives, some very dear to me, who buy into this Biblical animosity toward our natural makeup as found in segment of the human population. It's a conditioned response embedded in them in a way that can only be driven out by sustained positive interaction with gays, much like the key to overcoming racism.

    Sadly, too many children continue to be "carefully taught."

    Anonymous David