I have much enjoyed watching the latest eruption over gay marriage in the Calgary Herald’s letterbox. Like abortion, gun control, and bicycle lanes, it is a perennial issue on which one’s opinion is dictated by his position on the political or religious spectrum, over which we will all be arguing until well after the heat death of the universe. This latest flare-up was spurred by the esteemed Bishop Fred Henry, the bishop for the Diocese of Calgary, who offered the following on July 3rd:
Same-sex unions, whatever legal form they take, cannot create new life. They cannot duplicate the love of a man and woman. But they do copy marriage and family, and in the process, they compete with and diminish the uniquely important status of both.
Naturally, this pushed a great many on both the pro- and anti- sides of the debate to offer their own screeds. My position is quite simple: I have little interest in what an adult does with his or her genitals, so long as any other parties affected have granted consent. This makes it all the more delightful, then, to see the arguments forwarded by homophobes. Though this debate has been raging for several days in the Herald’s exalted pages, let me focus on two letters published today, July 8th.
Our first writer, Ms. Walter, states that same-sex unions are “unnatural and something that strays from the will of God,” and that He “does not change his [sic] values based on the changing winds of human opinion.” One can hardly argue with this logic—clearly, God hated gay people yesterday, He hates gay people today, and by golly, He will hate gay people tomorrow!
Our second contribution comes from Mr. Sattler, who gives us this:
Gay people live together, but such a relationship does not constitute a marriage in the eyes of God, especially as they cannot increase and multiply. Marriage and adoption by gays is simply another ruse to encourage people to think this is all so cosy and normal.
Sattler closes his letter by stating “as all God’s children, we are supposed to love one another.” Evidently, he fell victim to the Herald’s letter length constraints, for he meant to state that we are supposed to love one another, so long as the other undertakes sexual activities only in conjunction with an equally devout member of the opposite sex, no more than once a week, with the express purpose of procreation, never straying from missionary position at any point from the act’s blessed beginning until its holy end, such that both partners are equal in their ardor for serving God through coitus.
Incidentally, one can find much sport in replacing every instance of “gay people” or “gays” in these letters with “blacks” or “Jews.” Doing so should make apparent to even the most fervent homophobe how absurd his opinion is. I can hope only that the social progress of the past century continues, so that just as one who today denies human equality on the basis of skin colour or ethnoreligious association makes himself socially repugnant, one who denies it based on sexual orientation will become the same.