"You cannot qualify war in harsher terms than I will. War is cruelty, and you cannot refine it; and those who brought war into our country deserve all the curses and maledictions a people can pour out." - William Tecumseh Sherman

Name: The General
Location: Sacramento, California, United States


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Thursday, November 11, 2004
  My Thoughts on Gay Marriage
Many prominent Objectivists have come out against legalizing gay marriage. I've never heard the reasoning behind this opposition, so the best I can do is go on my understanding of the issue, and what I know from having talked with several homosexuals in my lifetime. Most of this post will deal with the moral aspects of homosexuality, not the legal.

I am mostly convinced that homosexuality is a mistaken part of one's personality. It is something that is usually acquired at such a young age that it seems as natural to the individual as walking or breathing. I've heard the arguments as to why masculinity and femininity both imply a certain sexual orientation, and I've found them pretty convincing. However, in my mind, that isn't the end of the story.

I don't think romantic love is the exclusive province of heterosexuals. Romantic love is the integration of one's sexual desire with the highest values one can find in another person. When you love someone, you share a private world, a "miniverse" that you and your lover inhabit. It involves admiration for your lover as a total, taking pleasure in some of the most minute things they do on a daily basis, enjoying stimulating conversations, partaking in sensuous bouts of lovemaking, experiencing pangs of loneliness when separated for long intervals, etc. Being in love inspires you to do better in all things in your life, and it makes all your pleasures that much more fulfilling. Your lover becomes an essential part of your happiness; if they are not happy (or no longer part of your life), to that extent your world is that much more gloomier.

None of those feelings or experiences requires heterosexuality or homosexuality. They are a response by one individual to another (in this case, the greatest other).

I don't think that two gay people, who experience those emotions and live them out day to day, are any different than two heterosexuals who experience them. I certainly wouldn't say, "Well, they'd be equally good, if they weren't gay." Instead, I feel respect and admiration for them (and a good degree of sympathy, for how much more difficult of a struggle they had to go through, to achieve it).

As for the legal aspects of homosexual marriage, I am not 100% certain. I definitely think that they should be able to benefit from the same type of protections that married heterosexuals do (hospital visitation, inheritance, children, etc.). If I had to make the decision today (whether to legalize homosexual marriage), then I would say, in my context, do it.

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