(A response to a comment I recently received regarding the "equal rights" of homosexual couples)
I recently forwarded an email sent to me by Family Research Counsel regarding the appointment of Kevin Jennings, founder of the Gay, Lesbian, and Straight Education Network (GLSEN), by Secretary of Education Arne Duncan to be Assistant Deputy Secretary for the Office of Safe and Drug-Free Schools. The opposition of this appointment stems around his extreme homosexual activist positions. GLSEN is the chief national group promoting policies to force affirmation of homosexuality in schools, beginning in kindergarten. Our opposition to Jennings is not based on the fact that he acknowledges that homosexuality exists, but that he wants to teach our young children that homosexuality is a normal and widespread condition, and that homosexual activity is acceptable. Of course we know as Christians that homosexual activity is sinful because it is a deformation of our sexuality. Homosexual acts are intrinsically disordered. They are contrary to the natural law. They close the sexual act to the gift of life. Under no circumstances can they be approved. The Family Research Counsel and I believe it is wrong and extremely harmful to teach young students about gay sex practices. This kind of teaching is corrupting our young people and poisoning their minds, deforming the meaning and purpose of sex, confusing the meaning of marriage, and destroying the family. There is a very clear and real distinction between accepting and respecting a person and accepting and respecting a person's actions. I recently received the following comment from someone close to me regarding this issue.
"Sorry dude, can't forward this one on. I think that homosexuals are the next group of people who will be given equal rights. It took us a long time to give women and blacks rights that everyone is privilege to. I think that the next step will be giving gay couples the right to have insurance and tax benefits. There will always be a portion of the population that is gay, and I don't think those people should be discriminated against."
I was very saddened to read these words. I know that this person's intentions are in the right place, but his thinking is based on a misunderstanding of equality and human rights. I wouldn't expect someone to forward a message he or she does not agree with. It takes courage to speak up when you disagree with someone especially if they are someone you know. I appreciate his honesty. I don't think we can change the hearts and minds of people if we can not get them to express openly and freely about what their positions truly are. Once we understand the thinking behind some of these thing of which we disagree, only then can we go about proper methods of conversion.
His central argument is that "gay couples" should receive insurance and tax benefits equal to those granted to married couples and on this point he and I fundamentally disagree. He is comparing and trying to relate three completely different groups of people. Blacks were slaves and women did not have the right to vote. What equal rights are homosexuals denied? There is a difference between a right and a privilege. In fact, he used the word "right" and "privilege" in the same sentence. Each of us are deserving of certain basic human rights. The first and most basic fundamental right that all should be guaranteed is the right to life. Ironically, not even this first most basic right is protected in our country or around the world because abortion is legalized and we are seeing states start to legalize euthanasia. In fact, supporters of abortion deny the right to life in order to assure that women have "sexual reproductive rights," which is just another way to say the right to kill their own child. Homosexuals are not denied their right to life anymore so than a heterosexual. Today's culture is very confused about human sexuality and what it truly means to be equal and free. Freedom and equality is not about doing whatever we want and treating all lifestyles and actions the same, but to be truly free is to be able to choose to do what is right. That is freedom and in that freedom we find equality.
In addition to a right to life, every person has a right to those things required for human decency. The question then becomes whether or not insurance and tax benefits are a basic human right? Not at all! These are benefits or a privilege. You may argue that our health care system needs reform, but the answer is not to give "gay couples" the same benefits as married couples. Is marriage a right or a privilege? I believe that marriage is neither a right nor a privilege, but a calling. Why should "gay couples" be required to receive the same insurance and tax benefits that married couples enjoy? Marriage is not a right and "gay couples" are not and can not be married. If "gay couples" were given the same benefits as married couples, should non-married heterosexual couples also receive the same benefit? It seems to me they would in that case, and what is required to be a couple? Does it simply mean you live under the same roof? Do you think there would not be any abuses to this new "right" for gay and unmarried couples? Oh, I think there would be major scandals. The fact of the matter is that "gay couples" are not denied rights, but denied certain benefits because they are not in fact married. You may argue whether or not married couples deserve these benefits, but you can not argue that "gay couples" are denied rights. The acceptance and promotion of homosexual acts and "gay couple" benefits by our society will destroy the family. Marriage and the family are the central social institutions that must be supported and strengthened, not undermined.
The opposition to Arne Duncan's appointment of Ken Jennings had nothing to do with "gay couple" rights, even though I've explained why I don't believe gay couples deserve the same benefits as married couples and families, but it had to do with teaching children about gay sex acts and the acceptance of these acts. We may always have homosexuality in our world, but that does not mean that we should accept and encourage homosexual acts. In fact, we are required as good Christians to prevent such teaching to our children. It is our responsibility as parents to protect our children from such teachings that contradict the teachings of Jesus and His Church. Rejection of homosexual acts is not denying homosexuals the basic rights guaranteed to all humans, but a rejection of the sinful act. Same sex attraction is not a sin in and of itself, but acting on that attraction is sinful. It is no different than the sin heterosexual couples commit when they have sex before marriage. Both actions are equally wrong. The conjugal act is reserved for married couples. Those who are unable to marry, for whatever reason, are called to live a life of celibacy. We must not confuse basic human rights with societal benefits and the benefits that can only come from marriage such as the conjugal act and the family. We must protect marriage and the family against the attacks in the name of "equality" our culture is constantly throwing at us. I pray for the strengthening of marriages and families, and I pray for the children of the world. May God bless us and give us strength to promote the culture of life and love. God bless!