posted on: Wednesday March 24, 2010
Mark Scirocco ’10 / Commentary Staff
My colleague Jayo Miko Macasaquit ’11 wrote a commentary in last week’s Cowl on the subject of homosexuality. Macasaquit gave a sarcastic and humorous appraisal of what he perceives to be the injustices suffered by the gay community in America.Firstly, I challenge Macasaquit to point to a culture which treats gays with more respect than America does. Perhaps Macasaquit would prefer it is the United States began to exile or kill homosexuals as people do in most of the Muslim world. Saudi Arabia had made a practice of amputating limbs as a means of punishing homosexuality for violating Islamic law. When Iranian despot Mahmoud Ahmadinejad was asked at Columbia University how Iran handles its gay population, Ahmadinejad responded, “We don’t have that problem here.” The Iranian tyrant was not trying to convey how accepting his country is of homosexuals, but rather how gays are systematically executed. The West is perhaps the only cultural tradition that treats gays with the dignity accorded to them as persons.In last week’s article, Macasaquit points to the fact that five states have legalized gay marriage. While he might take this as an indication of progress for gay “rights,” evidence in recent elections points to the contrary. In fact, citizens of such liberal states as California and Maine have declared that marriage should be kept between one man and one woman. All 31 states that have voted on homosexual unions have denied gays the ability to marry. It looks, by all accounts, as if these numbers in opposition to gay marriage are set to increase. The gay marriage results in recent elections might indicate the American public’s recognition of the fact that marriage is not a right, but rather a privilege given by society for the purposes of procreation and communal life. Macasaquit’s own implicit comparison of gay marriage to the American Civil Rights Movement is evidence of this point. The objection is often made by homosexual advocates that preventing gays from marrying is akin to denying civil rights to African Americans. In reality, the two examples could not be more dramatically opposed. While African Americans were unjustly deprived of rights on the arbitrary basis of skin color, homosexuals are prevented from marrying due to a particular lifestyle. Indeed, our code of law provides for the denial of marriage privileges to groups other than homosexuals. It is interesting to note that the gay movement is not distraught at marriage “rights” being denied to polygamists. Macasaquit is right to point out the shambles in which we find the institution of marriage, with its high divorce rates and out-of-wedlock births. Permitting the legal union of homosexual couples, however, would send marriage and family life into a tail-spin from which it would never recover. As the United Nations’ Universal Declaration of Human Rights boldly states, “The family is the natural and fundamental group unit of society…” By family, the U.N. means the lifelong union of one man and one woman who procreate. Whatever homosexuals might say about same-sex attraction being provable by biology, the fact remains that gay couples seek to imitate the relationships that we find in the life of the nuclear family. Homosexuals would be ignorant of what a family looks like if not for the natural and prior relationship of one man uniting with one woman.Finally, there is the issue of the military’s “don’t ask don’t tell” policy toward homosexuals. The fact that more than 30 countries have enacted such a practice ought to tell us something of its effectiveness. Despite the drawbacks that Macasaquit and others might see to gays being “forced” into silence, the premise that a soldier’s private life need not be shared with the military at large is clear. Ultimately, the policy provides a means for those of different lifestyles to function coherently despite the whims of personal prejudice.