Homo-Americans deserve the same civil rights

Our country has deep divides in opinion about sexual orientation and same-sex relationships.
Are gays born that way, and if so, is being gay a counter-evolutionary mutation? Is it a lifestyle choice to have same-sex relationships and are those relationships legitimate enough for marriage? Can one’s attraction to the same sex be changed or eliminated?
This national squabble over the legitimacy of a preference for same-sex relationships is reflected in our government’s hesitance and often fierce resistance toward changing public policy to honor the civil rights of gays, lesbians and bisexuals.
Homosexuality is not the problem in this debate, but heterosexism is. Heterosexism is the idea that heterosexual people are normal and good while any sexual identity outside of straightness is wrong and strange.
According to a Washington Post-ABC News poll last month, 53 percent of Americans now support gay marriage. This number shows an improvement in public opinion since the same poll conducted five years showed just 36 percent support. However, that means almost half of the nation still finds gays fundamentally different from straight people.
Those who oppose gay marriage or even gay rights are really in opposition to gay people. This pro-hetero prejudice is just as problematic as white supremacy was during the civil rights movement and is no different from efforts to keep Euro-Americans more politically and economically powerful than Americans of color.
The Obama administration has taken steps toward progress by publicly denouncing discriminatory federal policies like the military’s “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy and the Defense of Marriage Act, a 1996 bill that bans federal recognition of same-sex marriages.
However, one president’s call for national toleration of non-hetero people is not enough. Some of our nation’s most influential people, such as politicians, religious leaders and business leaders are in opposition to letting gays, lesbians and bisexuals have access to the kinds of power that straight people have.
The Washington Post reported, “Republicans, conservatives and white evangelical Christians remain the groups most opposed to legalizing gay marriage.” Groups such as Focus on the Family and the National Organization for Marriage spend time and money to prevent gays, lesbians and bisexuals from the right to marriage.
The National Organization for Marriage argues they are not against gayness, but just want to protect traditional marriage. “Gays and lesbians have a right to live as they choose,? they don’t have the right to redefine marriage for all of us,” according to their website.
This might be a plausible argument if being gay was truly a lifestyle choice, such as choosing where to live, what to eat, or what kind of career to pursue. Straight people had the privilege of having marriage defined to fit their needs and the opportunity to make the lifestyle decision to get married, whereas gays and lesbians do not in most states.
Their argument also wrongly assumes that gays, lesbians and bisexuals choose their sexual orientation.
But sexual orientation, defined by the American Psychological Association as “an enduring emotional, romantic, or sexual attraction that one feels toward men, toward women, or toward both,” is not a choice.
The APA and 12 other nationally recognized mental health and education organizations published a study in 2006 in opposition to religious and conservative groups’ efforts to change sexual orientation through sexual orientation conversion therapy. Groups such as Exodus International claim that same-sex desire is similar to addictions like alcoholism and can be controlled with the love of God.
But the APA study reported, “the potential risks of reparative therapy are great, including depression, anxiety and self-destructive behavior, since therapist alignment with societal prejudices against homosexuality may reinforce self-hatred already experienced by the patient.”
The study also stated, “the idea that homosexuality is a mental disorder or that the emergence of same-sex attraction…is in any way abnormal or mentally unhealthy has no support among any mainstream health and mental health professional organizations.”
Though our nation no longer upholds laws that punish people for not being born white, removing heterosexism from law is especially difficult today because of our national rejection of the legitimacy of being gay.
We should not merely tolerate non-hetero people as one would an unpleasant odor. Individuals who identify as gay, lesbian, bisexual or queer are just as normal and socially legitimate as those who identify as straight, and should meet nothing other than complete acceptance.

  • Vlad

    “Homosexuality is not the problem in this debate, but heterosexism is. Heterosexism is the idea that heterosexual people are normal and good while any sexual identity outside of straightness is wrong and strange.”
    Heterosex produces life. This is as close as we (as humans) can/will get to God.

    While I have no opinion on the normality of the identities of hetero’s or homo’s, heterosex is normal.

  • David the small-L libertarian

    Ms. Oh (May I call you Ms. or is that sexist?):

    May I remind you that your beloved President Obama has stated many times that he’s opposed to gay marriage. Is he “in opposition to gay people”? Your comparison of those opposed to gay marriage–an eon’s-long religious tradition–to white supremacy and racism is insulting to say the least. So Obama’s just as bad as racist whites? Really? Think about what you write Ms. Oh because your emotions are getting in the way of clear thinking.

    What kind of “power” are you referring to that gays don’t have? Gay and lesbian couples have generally higher incomes than non-gay couples, so I assume you’re not talking about economic power. Homosexuals are represented at all levels of our society, in fact, I’d argue that a large number of people think that homosexuality is somewhat fashionable these days.

    And you seem to equate people’s lack of endorsement of gay marriage is somehow related to prejudice or hate. May I suggest that some folks simply don’t want a redefinition of marriage as anything other than what it’s always been? Gays invented the nonsensical word “homophobic” (literally meaning the fear of gays) so come up with something meaningful to define your relationship.

    And one more thing: Is this column in any way related to your soul-bearing piece last month about your confused sexuality that my tax dollars helped you resolve? link: http://sundial.csun.edu/2011/03/cuts-to-californias-education-stunt-students-personal-growth/

    • David, as every buffoon knows, Obama is FOR gay rights, but cant come out in total favor of gay marriage until its politically OK to do so-duh!
      Gays are denied 1,138 rights afforded straights when getting married.
      Gays cannot adopt in most states as a couple.
      Gays can be fired for being gay in dozens of states.
      Need I go on?
      Please educate yourself about facts before writing such ignorant rants
      And lastly, anyone against gay equality is a bigot-you and they look at gays as less than straights-you look at gay couples as less than a straight couple-that is the definition of bigotry!-you dont want to redefine marriage? Marriage predates religion, fool! Marriage is not owned by straights-we will have it and there isnt anything you can do about it!

      • David the small-L libertarian

        So, according to you, Obama’s a liar. I’m pleased that you and I can agree on that since there are plenty of other examples of his questionable veracity.

        Do you have any opinions on anything other than than gay rights? I checked your profile and every post of yours I found is about gay issues. (Huffington Post; Boston Globe; The Telegraph; The Salt Lake Tribune; Michigan Messenger; Los Angeles Times and more) And nearly everyone who has an opposing view you call one or more of the following: dummy; bigot; moron; hateful; witless; silly; fool. Norman, you’re obviously angry. May I suggest that people are going to be much more receptive to you if you don’t call them bigots and insult their intelligence. Smart, reasonable, compassionate people can disagree with your change-society, shove-it-down-our-throats, pro-gay agenda and not be bigots.

        You know, most people think that mothers and fathers have different, important roles to play as parents. I’m going to be so bold as to suggest that it’s better for a child to be raised by a mother and father than by a single mom, single dad or two or more persons of the same sex. The Left’s contention that everyone is the same is just simply in furtherance of its selfish war on American values.

        • Tom C

          Frankly, the vast majority of politicians are liars. The sad part about it is so many citizens in the USA seem to find that acceptable!

          I agree that name calling is counter productive but so are insulting statements like ‘shove-it-down-our-throats’. I guess when women were wanting their federally guaranteed rights they were “shoving it down American’s throats” as well. And of course, when the African American community wanted their federally guaranteed rights and the right to marry whom they loved, regardless of race, they were doing the same.

          Just for clarity a person who focuses most of their energy on a single issue is called an activist or lobbyist.

          How nice of you to be so bold. Unfortunately recent studies have shown the children of Lesbian parents are doing far better then any other ‘family unit’ (including heterosexuals).

          Regarding your last sentence I refer you to Declaration of Independence:

          We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness.

          • David the small-L libertarian

            Thanks for your intelligent and reasoned response. My “shove-it-down-our-throats” comment was partly in response to Mr. Dostal’s resolute statement: “Marriage is not owned by straights-we will have it and there isnt anything you can do about it!”

            While I have broad knowledge on a number of issues I’ll admit that I’m not familiar with the studies you refer to. However, my experience with most studies that are counter to common sense is that they are agenda-driven in that they use only data that are favorable to the reasearchers’ point of view.

            Any objective person has to admit that men and women are different and differ in their roles as parents. I have no idea what children on lesbians “doing far better” means. By what measurement? And what might they be leaving out?

          • Vlad

            The Declaration of Independence does not provide us with our Rights. The Constitution, and subsequent Bill of Rights are what grant us Rights, as citizens.

            Women and African Americans are a Sex, and a Race. These rights are inherent.

            Homosexuality is a behavior. There are no laws inhibiting one from participating in homosexual sex.

            If we extend extra-constitutional rights to “behaviors”, where would those rights end?

            Peace, out!


    • Tom C

      Marriage has not ‘always been’ the way it is today. Marriage in the modern world is a contract/license provided by the government. It has not always been so!

      Thanks for the laugh regarding your take on the word homophobic.

    • DavidtheLesbianlibertarian

      Fuck off! Please just get a life and stop terrorizing students who write articles. Do you even go to this school? Of course this piece is personal, it’s an opinion you shit-dick! Gays and Lesbians are still heavily discriminated against and people like you get what they want because I’m assuming you are a white, heterosexual, and male. So SHUT THE FUCK UP ’cause you can’t think outside of your own experiences and have empathy for another person. It’s people like you who leach the most out of this system that sets so many up for failure and unhappiness. Just FUCK YOU.

      • Balance in all things

        To Davidthelesbianlibertarian: You are entitled to your opinion just as the other David is entitled to his- but your angry, profanity laden response is an example why there is so much difficulty bridging the gap between people and opposing ideas.

        I’ve heard it said people are what they believe in (interpreted as a person’s behavior represents their core values). Considering this idea and based on your rant above, what is it exacly YOU represent? Whatever it is, it is unlikely you will draw any thinking person into an intelligent discussion by name calling and using foul language.

        Change starts at home. Maybe it’s time you grow up and start realizing you’re not helping the cause you seem to be so passionate about- from what I can tell, you’re actually a detriment.

        Change starts at home.

      • David the small-L libertarian

        Here’s a classic example of Leftist tactics: Ad hominem attacks; hate of another (particularly white heterosexual males) because of a difference of opinion; an attempt to shut down dialogue; and a generous assemblage of four-letter words.

        So pointing out the flaws and nonsense in students’ writings is “terrorizing” them? My hope is to expose them to another point of view and to make them think and to occasionally have a little fun while doing so.

        Please do me a favor and explain the system I “leach” from–the one that “sets so many up for failure and unhappiness”; I’m unfamiliar with it.

        And yes, I’m here at CSUN almost daily. Maybe you’ll see me around: I’m the white, heterosexual male.

        • I<3Davidthesmall-L libertarian

          I am very sorry. I’ve seen that my rant doesn’t help anyone. I shouldn’t be saying profuse words and it doesn’t help bridge any gaps. I’ve decided to become more knowledgable and listen to other people’s opinions more.
          I’m starting anger management in the summer.
          I’m going to start reparative therapy for my homosexual urges.
          I’m going to join the young republicans club.
          I’m going to bleach my skin white, including my asshole.
          I’m going to start listening to the Beach Boys.

          Again I’m so sorry David and everyone else on earth. I love you so much. And I hope you can forgive me. I fantasize about the day we can meet and make love. Goodbye.

          • Mr.Clint

            I’m glad you’re now headed in the right direction. Now you need to just get rid of that Obama tee shirt i’m sure you wear every other day.

      • Arinclint

        I think your mad because your loosing. Also maybe because your name is “David the Lesbian Libertairan.” I’d hate to have a name like that.

  • Equality

    ^ yes, but it’s not a choice, so that’s not worth debating. Ask any gaycperson and they will tell you.

    • Theresa

      I am a woman married to a woman. I made my choice of mate, regardless of her gender, I chose my mate. We can’t choose who we are wired to be attracted to or who we fall in love with, but EVERYONE chooses whether or not they marry someone else. It’s debated in many forums whether or not it’s a choice to be gay, and I don’t get why they even talk about it. The choice that goes on isn’t whether or not to be gay, it’s whether or not to marry. That’s ALWAYS a choice unless you’re in a culture where others choose your spouse for you.

      • Mr.Clint

        Maybe you’re just confused… I think the bulk of gays are gay because they think its trendy and haven’t put enough effort into looking for the right person(the opposite sex).

  • Theresa

    The point that is often missed, is that if being gay IS a choice, it should still be a choice that any free American should be allowed to make. Adults have the right to choose their mate. Married couples can be a gay man and straight woman, two straights, two gays of opposite sex…and no one asks them why they made that CHOICE of mate. It’s not for the government to ask someone why they choose to marry another person. They don’t have to give their reasons. But if two gays who actually love each other want to marry, they don’t get to do so because ONLY in their case do they have to answer to government about their CHOICE of mate. I don’t understand that. If being gay is, or is not a choice, is immaterial. Adults get to choose their mate!