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Maine-ly No To Gay Marriage

Maine-ly No To Gay Marriage

Maine-ly No To Gay Marriage

The closer it got to Election Day in the state of Maine this past week, the more uneasy I got.  Before this past Tuesday, 30 consecutive states had voted against marriage between persons of the same sex.

In the states where it had been allowed—Massachusetts, Vermont, Connecticut, Iowa, New Hampshire—it had been through acts of the Legislature or court rulings.  Every time gay marriage has been put to a popular vote in the United States, it has failed.

At issue this time around was a law passed by Maine’s Legislature in the spring that would have allowed gays to wed.  But after a petition drive by opponents of the law, the issue was put on the ballot so residents could decide their future.

Proponents of the law had the governor, the Legislature that passed the law, and major newspapers on their side.  And Maine being a New England state, was reputable for its libertarian and independent leaning.  And to even top that, opponents of the law were outspent by a 2-1 margin by gay rights advocates.

If you are fundamentally opposed to gay marriage, it seemed the streak of 30 states and counting was coming to a screeching halt.

But today, the state of Maine has outrightly voted against gay marriage.

The lesson we learn from this cannot be that of exclusion or intolerance.  Every civilization has dealt with this at one point or the other.

And to those who think opposition to gay marriage is mainly a byproduct of religious beliefs partly miss the point, if not altogether.  Opposition to homosexuality predates even Christianity.

Ancient civilizations have had to grapple with this issue, and their ordeals should be lessons from which we can learn.  In Ancient Greece, for example, where homosexuality at some point became rampant and uncensored, it was noted to have caused disorder.  Even the esteemed Greek philosopher, Plato, whose work has laid the framework for modern writings, eventually called for the prohibition of homosexuality after fervently supporting it.

I believe the mistake we’ve made as a society is to ostracize gay people.

It is not a matter up for debate that the family is the basis of any society or community.  Without technological advances, we know a man and a man, a woman and a woman, left alone unassisted cannot procreate and in such sense do foil the foundation of a sustainable community.

It is a phenomenon we see every day all across Nature in her many species.

One cannot say our gay brothers and sisters are inhuman or less human because of their orientation.  My assertion is this; whether such orientation is by choice or innate (as some believe), it’s unsustainable and problematic to the bedrock of any community on earth.

Being gay does not rob one of intelligence, talent, or basic human functions and attributes.  No one should ever subconsciously think that.  Matter-of-factly, one of my favorite daytime talk hosts is Ellen DeGeneres.  Wanda Sykes, a comedian who happens to be lesbian, is one of the funniest people I know.  I watch these people with excitement given the chance.

I say this because opposition to gay marriage should not be viewed as considering gay individuals second-class citizens, but as a sustained effort to protect natural order in which societies function best.

Human beings are blessed with the ability to love, and that goes for everyone across the spectrum, gay or straight.  So if the argument then becomes: “Love is a basic human function, why can’t homosexuals be afforded the same legalized right to acknowledge their relationships?”

The answer should be – anyone is free to love whomever.  But recognition of such love is not always in the best interest of the community.  There is a norm to a healthy society, a constraint in which it must function, otherwise everything falls apart.

And in this society, homosexual relationships which are in the minority (according to exit polls in the 2008 Presidential elections, only 4% of voters self-identified as gay, lesbian, or bisexual) are an abnormality to that norm.

If we could say because love is a valid human emotion, where do we draw the line?  Do we then say the polygamist who professes his undying and unconditional love for his 10 wives is within total range of normality?  In some society, maybe, but in ours, we know it leads to disorder.

So if we cannot openly espouse such a belief regarding the polygamist who would like his love legalized, why should we that of a homosexual couple?  They are all human and endowed with certain inalienable rights by their creator after all.

Which is why need to have stronger anti-discrimination laws and enforce more aggressively the hate-crime laws we do have.  To oppose gay marriage is not to be intolerant and bigoted.  We must rather welcome our gay brothers and sisters with love; thereby showing them that our opposition to such lifestyle and situations where it is impractical is not a symbol of disgust or hatred toward their humanity, but that of love for a sustainable one.

5 Responses to “Maine-ly No To Gay Marriage”

  1. blue

    The argument that gays bring the ruin of community, society, even civilization is absurd! Not being gay, I support gay rights because laws against formally acknowledging gay unions are done, not out of some logical thought process, but of fear and the inability to think more broadly. Human beings are not just one thing or another, they are a myrid of different things at once. A society that is balanced, nuanced, and educated recognizes all these different parts of us and works together to find common ground, not denying a group one thing after another.

  2. 'Pelumi Olatinpo

    “A society that is balanced, nuanced, and educated recognizes all these different parts of us.” That is very interesting because it seems you think it is only now in the history of the world that we have such a society that you speak of. Unfortunately, if that’s what you think, you are very wrong. Every great society at some point in time has embodied the attributes you mentioned, but still found homosexuality not expedient.

    Plato, as I mentioned in the piece, is greatly respected by scholars in the modern world. Are you saying he was not educated, nuanced, or balanced enough? What about the famous painter Rembrandt who in his paintings opposed homosexuality, was he close-minded as well?

    The issues surrounding homosexuality have been tested and tested. There was a time homosexuality became so widespread in Ancient Rome that young men forgot the use of women. They had to be reoriented to women and dare I not mention what massive chaos that was. So for you to say it’s a simple matter of being broad-minded, shows refusal to learn from precedent and shows eagerness to foolishly charge into the same quagmire our ancestors found themselves. And if you wish every group be given what they want, would society be livable. Please take the time to look up the meaning of “anarchy” at your local library.

  3. Pojo

    This issue of gay is a sign that the world is coming to an end soon, homosexuality was rampant in sodom & gomorah & that is why the supreme being had to destroy the city. We are in the end time, everybody should be at alert, we need to get close to God now because our closeness to the creator would determine our stay in this period.
    Whatz the president say on homosexuality?

  4. David


    There are multiple glaring flaws in you piece. Your assertions and name-dropping of two reputable philosopher and artist lack depth and substance. There are many-a-great philosophers who are a least occasionally wrong; and a prominent philosopher’s opposition to something should not be mistakenly equated to mean that the thing is intrinsically wrong. If you search hard enough you will find other philosophers that may disagree.

    One of your glaring oversights is that you fail to acknowledge the vastly different expressions of homosexual behaviors. A consensual exclusive relationship between two adults is vastly different from the decadence and pederasty that Plato may have opposed in ancient Greece. It is like equating a traditional marriage to orgies, brothels and child sexual abuse.

    Also, definitions of “normative” are many times at the root of much of the historical discrimination that we talk about. “Normal” is not thrust upon us from the cosmos nor is it divinely set. The majority and those in power in a society explicitly or most times implicitly set the standards for what is normal. Remember, blacks were once considered substandard, different, a step above monkeys and not completely human. Interracial marriages were illegal; mixing the races was considered abominable. The status quo since the start of time was to separate the races; many great thinkers and philosophers made arguments for why this discrimination was justified. So, my point is that wrongs can persists for eons, but that does not make a wrong transform into a right.

    Finally, it will is also naive not to realize that marriage as it is today is a social construct based on religious vestiges and civil values. In a society that prides itself in the separation of church and state, the religious aspect should technically not be factored into the calculation. The questions to you are, “What is in meaning of marriage in a modern secular American context?” “What are the valid arguments to justify the exclusivity of the secular modern marriage to only opposite sex couples?” You will only be scratching the surface of a serious discussion when you address those two questions.

  5. 'Pelumi Olatinpo

    Hello David,

    Thanks for rendering your views. My mentioning of an eminent philosopher like Plato is to showcase the timelessness of the issue, as well as to demonstrate a conversion of a scholar who once advocated homosexuality. As a matter of fact, Aristotle disagreed with him and believes homosexuality is just fine.

    Contrary to what you might think, my failure to acknowledge whatever expressions of homosexuality that might exist was not an oversight. I simply find all expressions deviant.

    And while you may argue that “normal” is not divinely set, the fact of the matter is as humans, we take our cues from nature. You are right, the majority in any place defines “normal” and rightly so. You cannot equate homosexuality with racism in respect to blacks. Being black did not become a stigma until modern times — meaning at no point in history have black people been considered inferior until colonial times. Racism in ancient times was more of a nationalistic enterprise, as you were likely to see between Greeks and Britons. But homosexuality on the other hand, was always an abnormality.

    And once again you’re right, religious vestiges and civil values wholly constitute the institution of marriage. A society without these civil values and social constructs breaks down. At no point has any civilization been successful in disintegrating organized religion from affairs of the state, so good luck if you’re trying to achieve that now.

    The heart of the matter is that homosexuality is parasitic in nature, it wholly depends on heterosexual behavior to flourish. Look at it this way, heterosexual couples subsidize the indulgence and pleasures of homosexuality. For without heterosexuals, there can be no homosexuals. Homosexuality has no social redeeming value whatsoever, unless your aim is population control. And how do I know this, because the kingdom of Persia for example used it strictly for such purpose.

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