In April, I wrote an opinion piece for The Federalist explaining why I, as a gay man, opposed same-sex marriage. After last week’s Supreme Court ruling, I find myself on the “wrong side of history,” but the right side of the facts—an incredibly frustrating place to be.
I write now, not to defend the traditional institution of marriage, but to encourage my brothers and sisters in the LGBT community to step up to the great responsibility that is now before them.
The beloved Uncle Ben from Marvel’s “Spider Man” put it nicely when he said, “With great power comes great responsibility.” The Supreme Court handed the gay community a tremendous power when it decreed same-sex couples have the legal right to form families. Now comes the responsibility.
Unfortunately, I fear that the gay community at large is not ready to handle this responsibility. Contrary to what is often portrayed in the media and on television shows like “Modern Family,” LGBT culture is far from “family friendly.”
Gay Culture Is Not Family-Friendly
Of course, there are some exceptions to every rule. While I will always maintain that a child should be raised by both his mother and his father, I do concede that there are loving, stable same-sex partnerships that do the best they can to raise their children. My uncle and his husband, married for nearly ten years now, are two examples of this. Their son wants for nothing (except, perhaps, a mother).
So, yes, some exceptions may exist. But by and large, gay culture as it currently exists is an injurious environment to raise a family. If gay and lesbian Americans hope to engage in the institution of marriage in a responsible way, they must drastically reform LGBT culture, or do as I have, and abandon it altogether.
The first challenge that needs to be tackled is the rejection of monogamy by the vast majority of gay men. This assertion isn’t merely some talking point from a Christian conservative outlet. The non-monogamy of gay men is a well-documented trend, and it’s no way to raise a family.
Research published in the groundbreaking book “The Male Couple” (1984) found that only 5 percent of the gay couples studied were monogamous. More recently, a Dutch study found that the average gay man in a committed relationship had roughly eight sexual partners per year beyond his boyfriend or husband. Additionally, a study by the National Institutes of Health published just a few years ago found that about half of all gay men in a stable relationship admit to sleeping with a partner outside of their relationship—with their boyfriend or husband’s approval.
The Gay Community Openly Rejects Monogamy
Indeed, the gay community has become quite vocal about rejecting monogamous relationships. Gay-rights activist and anti-bullying bully Dan Savage has coined the term “monogamish” to describe his arrangement with his husband, whereby cheating is allowed under certain circumstances. I wonder if this is what Justice Kennedy meant in his majority opinion when he said marriage represents the “highest ideals of…fidelity.”
This rejection of monogamy in the gay male community shouldn’t surprise anyone with a basic understanding of human nature. In my opinion, gay men aren’t promiscuous because they are gay. They are promiscuous because they are men. Women temper the baser instincts of men. Without the moderating effects of womanhood, or an overwhelming moral code, men give in to primal urges. Perhaps that is why lesbians are twice as likely to get married as gay men, according to a study by researchers at the University of California-Los Angeles.
Gay culture—in particular, gay male culture—needs to embrace spousal fidelity to join the institution of marriage in a responsible way. But this is just the beginning. Aside from adopting monogamy, the LGBT community must also abandon the hypersexualized displays of hedonism that have become a staple of gay-pride events.
Hedonism Is No Environment for a Child
Take San Francisco, for example. In 2012, city officials decided to join the rest of the civilized world by banning public nudity. After pressure from gay-rights activists, however, the city added an exception for the gay-pride parade. Dallas officials faced similar blow-back a number of years ago when they warned organizers of gay-pride events that public displays of nudity would not be tolerated. Gay-rights activists protested, arguing that the nudity ban was unfair, and was only meant to accommodate the growing number of straight people attending the pride parade.
It’s not that gay-community leaders are merely tolerating public nudity by a few bad apples. They are actively protesting any attempt to cover up displays of debauchery at pride events. (For an extremely NSFW but hilarious take on this problem, check out this satirical article from The Onion.)
Perhaps this is what happens when your primary self-identifying trait happens to be your sexual orientation. Even though I am gay, my sexual orientation is not the most important part of who I am. I am a Christian, an American, a conservative. My sexual orientation is important, but it’s not the most important characteristic that defines me.
But for many gay people, their sexual orientation occupies so much of their identity. They define themselves first and foremost by who they are attracted to. It’s no wonder that, when they come together to celebrate their identity, these events take on an overt sexual tone.
If gay men want to join the sacred and storied institution of marriage, they need to start acting as husbands and fathers should act. This means rejecting the self-indulgent hedonism that has tragically come to define the gay community. Embrace fidelity. Embrace modesty. Embrace your responsibilities as you take part in the most important institution in our society.
If not for yourselves, do it for your children.