Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Culture news: When homosexuality = race, the world says faith = hate

The state in which I live, Illinois, will soon give full legal status to homosexual marriage.  Governor Quinn is simply looking for the proper spectacle in which he can sign the law.  Last month, Rod Dreher wrote an excellent piece in which he lays out the threat that our culture's new view towards homosexuality poses to religious freedom.  The homosexual movement has used the model of the civil rights movement and identified homosexuals in the same terms as race.  Yet inherent in this approach is the eventual elimination of any position that considers homosexuality to be morally wrong.  He writes:

Until now, the debate has focused on the question, “What is marriage?” But henceforth it is coalescing around the question, “What is homosexuality?” Or, to be more specific: is homosexuality the same thing as race? The future of religious freedom depends on how the courts, and the country, answer that question.

To gay marriage supporters, homosexuality is, like race, a morally neutral condition. Opponents disagree, believing that because homosexuality, like heterosexuality, has to do with behavior, it cannot be separated from moral reflection. As Gallagher put it in a 2010 paper in Northwestern University’s law journal, “Skin color does not give rise to a morality.”

The problem for traditionalists is that the sexual revolution taught Americans to think of sexual desire as fundamental to one’s identity. If this is true, then aside from extreme exceptions (e.g., pedophilia), stigmatizing desire, like stigmatizing race, denies a person’s full humanity. To do so would be an act of blind animosity.

Though she appealed in that same law journal paper to the magnanimity of gay rights supporters, Gallagher acknowledged that their confidence that homosexuality is no different from race would make compromise morally indecent. Americans, she wrote, “do not draft legislative accommodations for irrational hatred.”

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