COMMENTARY | Washington State legalized same-sex marriage in February while Gov. Chris Christie of New Jersey vetoed a similar measure. On March 1, Maryland’s governor signed a bill legalizing same-sex marriage. Vermont-based Ben & Jerry’s just launched a new flavor to promote gay marriage in the UK.
With all the hype surrounding the issue of same-sex marriage, it’s important to note that there is no consensus in the LGBT community on the issue. Not all gay men and women support gay marriage, just as not all women support contraception and abortion rights and not all minorities support affirmative action. Tammy Bruce, the openly gay nationally-syndicated radio talk show host put it this way: “Despite what you hear from the Gay Elite, there is not a consensus in the gay community about gay marriage. We do not all operate in the cultural or political equivalent of a Vulcan mind-meld.”
You’d be hard pressed to find an African-American against equal civil rights for blacks, but finding a gay man or woman against gay marriage is not uncommon. Many homosexuals that aren’t publicly “out” or are more conservative in their perspective oppose gay marriage. While these individuals may not be the most vocal; they argue that their viewpoints are equally valid.
Al Rantel, the openly gay radio talk show host and media pundit formerly with KABC Los Angeles, blasted “political correctness run amok” from the “cultural liberals in America [that] want to force others to accept their social view.” He contends that individuals against the gay “social agenda” are labeled “bigots” and “homophobes” and are “scorned and forced into silence,” while those participating in gay pride parades are hypocritical because the same individuals flouting their sexual preference also demand to be “left alone.”
The reasons for gay objections to same-sex marriage are varied. Some are moral, some political, some religious. Some gay individuals believe that marriage should not be state-sanctioned at all; that it should be a purely civil matter. Others believe that if the government subsidizes marriage with financial benefits, it should subsidize marriages that promote the traditional nuclear family with a mother and father. Still others take a more stereotypical view, and claim that homosexual relationships are more about sex and lust than love.
Whatever the rationale, it’s important to note that homosexuality is a sexual orientation, not a social or political group – opinions among LGBT individuals are as varied as LGBT individuals themselves. As same-sex marriage becomes more commonplace across the U.S., don’t automatically rely on gay men and women to support it.