A recent Meridian Magazine article discusses gay marriage. While the article has been praised elsewhere in the blogosphere, I thought the article as a whole was unconvincing, and there was one sentence in particular that I found disturbing. Ms. Barlow states that:
“There is no societal benefit to homosexual unions which are based primarily on genital stimulation and the perception of love.”
Quite frankly, anyone who thinks that gay relationships are based primarily on “genital stimulation” (wow – she can’t even bring herself to say “sex”!) should actually meet a few gays. Or even crack open a newspaper once in a while and read about committed, long-term gay relationships. Many Mormons seem to have the idea that all gays are wild partiers running naked around Greenwich Village. (And if that were true, then gay marriage might be a bad idea — but it’s not the case.)
Some of this perception of gays as excessively promiscuous or interested only in “genital stimulation” may be caused by disproportionate media attention on flamboyant gays. However, anyone presuming to discuss homosexuality (as Ms. Barlow does in her article) should recognize that most gays are much more sedate. Are all heterosexuals like Britney Spears?
It is doubtless true that some gays (like some straights) are interested mainly in sex. However, a large number of gays are stable, intelligent adults in monogamous, long-term relationships and who truly care for each other — not sex maniacs interested only in “genital stimulation.” And if we as church members want to discuss the politics of gay marriage, we should base the discussion on facts, not stereotyped images.
Finally, a quick note on the main reasons why I thought the article as a whole was unconvincing:
(1) It’s based on a non-sequitur (People say marriage is about love, but it isn’t, therefore no gay marriage), and
(2) It relies on a marriage-as-baby-factory idea which is difficult to reconcile with other marriage rules.