EXPLODING THE MYTHS ABOUT SAME-SEX MARRIAGE
In the interests of provoking genuine informed debate on the same-sex marriage issue, IAN WISHART examines some of the popular myths about being gay and the ‘right’ to marry
#1 – THE STATE HAS THE RIGHT TO CHANGE THE DEFINITION OF MARRIAGE
Central to the same-sex marriage debate is the definition of marriage. Throughout the past eight thousand years of recorded human history, marriage has been exclusively defined as a relationship between men and women, not same-sex partners. Whilst it is true that many cultures have recognised polygamy, (and in some cases still do), where one man has several wives, there is no historical precedent for same sex marriage.
The issue has an even more fundamental problem however: the question of where the powers of the State begin and end.
For centuries, governments in Western civilisation have codified laws reflective of and based in religious law to a large extent. Much of the legal systems of Britain, the US, NZ and Australia hinges on principles first raised in Mosaic law found in the Old Testament. To this degree, the State has reflected the beliefs of the wider community.
In the past thirty years, however, the State – at the urging of powerful and wealthy gay lobbyists – has moved from reflecting society to attempting to shape it using the coercive power of the Law. There is a danger in allowing this, because it sets the State adrift from ordinary constitutional checks and balances.
A Government that can force its citizens to believe something new, and punish them if they refuse to accept or believe the new teachings, is little more than a dictatorship within a velvet glove. The “great revolutions” of the Soviet communists in Russia and Hitler’s Nazis in Germany were achieved when the citizens allowed the State to assume power and control over what they were allowed to think.
By changing the law to say that two men are “married”, the State then carries that decree throughout everything it touches, including the education system and free speech laws. Your five year old children in school will soon be reading school books featuring same sex parenting relationships as normative, because it will be illegal for schools to refuse to use such literature:
Section 56 of the Marriage Act states:
56 Offence to deny or impugn validity of lawful marriage
- (1) Every person commits an offence against this Act, and shall be liable on summary conviction to a fine not exceeding $200, who—
- (a) alleges, expressly or by implication, that any persons lawfully married are not truly and sufficiently married; or
- (b) alleges, expressly or by implication, that the issue of any lawful marriage is illegitimate or born out of true wedlock.
(2) For the purposes of this section the term alleges means making any verbal statement, or publishing or issuing any printed or written statement, or in any manner authorising the making of any verbal statement, or in any manner authorising or being party to the publication or issue of any printed or written statement.
Think about that for a moment. Under “the law”, you will no longer be allowed to express an opinion about same sex marriage. The very debate we are having today will become illegal. If you wish to complain when activists within the Ministry of Education use it as a springboard for indoctrination of your children, you could face legal action yourself. All debate about the morality or legitimacy of same sex relationships will become illegal. Your right to hold an opinion and discuss it in terms of free speech will have been stripped from you.
When Parliament votes to redefine marriage, this is an automatic flow-on effect of the law change. Yet it is one that has not been covered by the news media, and not been debated by the New Zealand public.
When the New Zealand Parliament – without the constitutional backing of a public referendum – legislates to change 8,000 years of collective wisdom of humanity on the basis of a “conscience” vote by 121 politicians (arguably a contradiction in terms), it assumes to wield a power it does not inherently have under law: the power to control what you should believe, and what your children should believe.
Marriage existed before States ever existed. The State therefore does not “own” marriage, any more than it owns you. It is merely given a sub-licence, if you like, to administer marriage. To the extent that States have exercised control over marriage, that control is only recent and only to the extent expressly delegated by citizens in order to give legal recognition to a relationship where that relationship intersects with the State (benefits, healthcare, next-of-kin, taxation etc).
As long as two people have met the commonly recognised requirements for marriage – one man, one woman, not from immediate family – the State is required to issue a marriage license and cannot lawfully withhold one. The issuing of a licence, therefore, is not a “permission” from the State to marry, but merely a recognition that the union meets society’s standards and can therefore be recognised by the State for the purposes of State business.
Proof of this argument can be found in New Zealand today. It is illegal for the purposes of New Zealand law for a man to have two lawfully-wedded wives simultaneously. It is not illegal for a man to be lawfully wedded to one wife, however, and have one or more other women living with him as if married.
For all intents and purposes, polygamy already exists in some New Zealand households for all practical purposes except gaining extra benefits or recognition from the State. Such marriages exist independent of and untouched by the State because the State has no power to touch them. By the same token, people having affairs outside of wedlock are also taking on multiple partners. Again, the State does not interfere.
If the State doesn’t own marriage, then, and only uses the term under licence, what gives the State the right to re-define the word?
The simple answer is “Nothing”. Without a public referendum, the 121 MPs of the New Zealand Parliament have no constitutional legitimacy or mandate to redefine marriage, no matter how hard they try and argue differently.
#2 – THE DEFINITION OF MARRIAGE NEEDS TO BE CHANGED
The claim from the pro-lobby is that “equality” will only be achieved with legal recognition of same-sex marriage. The claim is untrue.
Before the Civil Union Act was passed in 2004, the man behind both it and the legalisation of prostitution (now rife in suburban streets), gay Labour MP Tim Barnett, argued that civil unions would give proper legal recognition to same sex relationships:
“In New Zealand, same-sex couples cannot legally get married, or access the rights that come with marriage. When a couple get married, they automatically receive over 100 different statutory entitlements. Because same-sex couples cannot get married, they cannot access these entitlements. This is discrimination.”
“Generally, New Zealand’s laws do not recognize the existence of same-sex couples. Same-sex partners are not ‘next of kin’ or ‘family’, according to most of our laws. This can have a devastating impact on people’s lives.”
“There are countless stories from all around New Zealand, of people experiencing horrific situations and hardship because of the current relationship laws and their effects. For example, there are many distressing stories of people not being able to see their partner in hospital, because they are not considered to be ‘family’. Because of these effects, it is important that New Zealand’s laws are changed, so that they do recognize the existence of same-sex couples.”
“Because same-sex couples cannot legally get married, they do not have the choice of publicly expressing their commitment. The legal effect of this is that same-sex couples are considered ‘legal strangers’, even if they have lived together for twenty or more years. The social effect is that bisexual, lesbian and gay people are treated like second-class citizens, and their relationships are denied the dignity of being socially recognized. This has negative effects upon individuals’ health, self-esteem and relationship stability.
“But unlike marriage, civil unions will be available for all couples. Civil unions won’t be based on religion, or other traditional ideas about ‘couples’.”
“Civil unions will be a modern relationship model for the 21st century, with a secular (non-religious) basis. What they will mean socially will depend on us – society. We have the challenge of being pioneers and developing social meanings and status around ‘civil unions’.”
The Civil Union Act gave Barnett everything he wanted. In all major areas, a civil union was legally deemed to be the same as a marriage.
“What we propose in the Civil Union Bill is to change all the statute books in one go, by saying that every time the words ‘spouse’, ‘wife’, ‘husband’, or ‘de facto couple’ appear, they should be read to include same-sex couples. This will make sure that all the laws comply with the Bill of Rights Act, and the Government isn’t in breach of our human rights in terms of equal treatment. This is an efficient one-step law change that means we won’t have to argue for same-sex inclusion, every time a law is debated in Parliament.”
This was done. So why are gay activists back bullying parliament again? The answer can be found in the response to Myth #1: this is really about shutting down your right to have an opinion on homosexuality forever. Once this law passes, people who challenge it – even in churches – could be prosecuted, and homosexual lifestyles will be taught alongside heterosexual ones from pre-school upwards, because a failure to do so could open an educational institution up to prosecution.
This is being portrayed in the media as a debate simply about gay marriage. In reality, it’s a Trojan horse that changes the balance between politicians and the public. Whether it is same sex marriage now or something else five years from now, the precedent in allowing politicians to dictate what you are allowed to believe and teach your children oversteps the separation of “church and state” – I use the phrase to mean anything that goes to the private beliefs of free citizens.
Is the role of Government to represent the people, or to mould the people according to the views of whoever holds power at a given moment in time? The Soviet Union created a very effective homogeneity of thought by ‘brainwashing’ generations of Russians to believe State doctrines. The presumption of NZ MPs to think that they can arbitrate such a major moral issue is similar in nature – even if not in scope – to the communist approach. Both are anchored in the idea that the State is supreme, and that the State can overrule its citizens.
US president Thomas Jefferson, who helped draft the US Constitution, once wrote “The opinions of men are not the object of civil government, nor under its jurisdiction…legitimate powers of government reach actions only and not opinions.”
Yet 200 years later, New Zealand politicians now presume to outlaw opinions they don’t agree with. That’s a very, very dangerous precedent.
The Herald’s Jonathan Milne identified this fundamental point in his interview with gay marriage architect Louisa Wall, MP, and Conservative Party leader Colin Craig:
“Louisa believes we elect MPs because we trust their values and their judgment; we trust them to invest time in informing themselves and making a hundred decisions every day, based on the values they espoused in their election campaign,” writes Milne. “We charge them with making balanced decisions for the good of everyone in society, rich or poor, weak or strong. And if they breach the trust, we’ll boot ’em out in three years’ time.
“Colin doesn’t trust politicians. He makes no bones about it. Time after time, he says, we voters have told them do one thing – and they’ve done the opposite. He wants binding citizens initiated referenda on the big social and moral questions, acting as a check on unaccountable politicians. The people, he says, always get it right. The MMP electoral system. Maintaining firefighter numbers. Cutting MP numbers. Hard labour for violent criminals. Keeping superannuation saving voluntary. Smacking kids. He rolls through the list. Voters have got it right every time, he says. And most of the time, politicians have gone ahead regardless and done the opposite.
“That’s why he believes gay marriage should be put to a national vote,” concludes Milne.
Once again, this is the real issue: a growing number of MPs believe they have the right to absolute power for the three years they are in parliament, and that they know best. Your right to hold an opinion on a moral issue is now at grave risk of being taken away from you by the State. And if they can do it on this without a public mandate, they can do it to you on everything else. It’s called divide and conquer.
Thomas Jefferson warned the public not to easily surrender their rights to the State, because given an inch the State will proceed to take a mile:
“The purposes of society do not require a surrender of all our rights….and which experience has nevertheless proved [the Government] will be constantly encroaching on if submitted to them.”
#3 – GAY MEN ARE NOT PROMISCUOUS, THAT’S JUST HATEFUL TALK
Er, wake up and smell the coffee. Enter the words “gay”, “NZ” and “orgy” into Google and see what you find.
You could be randomly strolling the beach at Rabbit Island near Nelson and stumble across this, for example:
“Man Orgy,18-50yrs, tops/versatile, no bottoms only! Cum use my man’s ass**** for your f*** toy…Rabbit Island, this Friday 19th 1pm, City End of Beach, first beach shelter. BYO everything.”
“Tops” is a reference to the dominant male in anal sex. “Bottoms” refers to men in receptive positions.
One Auckland club advertises its services on the GayNZ website: “Every Sunday is a Naked Orgy or Underwear Orgy at Basement.”
“FACILITIES : Cruise Club, Cruising Dark Hallway, Complementary Condoms and Lube, Large Screen Porno Lounge playing hot up to date latest release dvd’s, Douche Facility, Private Rooms with beds, Dungeon playroom with sling, cross, tv, mirror, Clean showers, toilet, stainless steel urinal, Themed areas – bath with shower – Slinghall, Raised glory hole area, Glory Holes.”
Wikipedia helpfully describes a “glory hole” as “A ‘glory hole’ is usually a hip-high hole drilled, punched or filed in a wall between stalls in a public restroom or adult bookstore peepshow; through this hole one man will insert his penis for sexual contact with another person. Usually it is the centralized location which facilitates impersonal, anonymous sex, rather than the structural feature of the setting itself.
“To use a glory hole a man puts his finger through the hole to indicate interest in sexual activity. Offering a condom indicates interest in protected sex. If the other party is also interested, he will accept the offer and put his penis through the hole to be serviced. The most common activity is oral sex, and to a lesser extent anal intercourse…Glory holes are today most commonly found in established adult video/bookstore arcades, sex clubs, gay bathhouses, and adult theaters.”
Every weekend, gay clubs around New Zealand are rocking to the beat of anonymous gay sex through holes in cubicles with random strangers.
A survey of men who have sex with men in New Zealand[i] reveals 57% of them take drugs, “The most commonly reported drugs were amyl, cannabis, ecstasy and amphetamines”.
There was also clear evidence that most “gay” men had been preyed on as children by older homosexual men. The survey found, for instance, that even when homosexuality was still illegal (up to 1986), some 56% of surveyed men at that time had been physically penetrated whilst aged 15 or younger, leading researchers to conclude that the illegality of gay sex had little impact on the gay community: “This indicates that even the possibility of imprisonment did not deter a majority of homosexual men from engaging in sex with men [boys] at the time,” says the study. Even with numbers smoothed out in the ensuing decades, fully 25% of men surveyed reported their first anal sexual experiences were between the ages of 12 and 16.
The study authors noted that “A small number of individuals reported first anal sex before age 12 but are not reported here. The questionnaire did not ask respondents whether experiences of first sex were coerced or not, yet this may have been true for an unknown number of individuals who reported first anal sexual contact at a young age, as well as for others in the sample.”
And what of promiscuity? It is often portrayed in TV programmes that gay men are monogamous couples, just like everyone else. The New Zealand survey shows the TV and popular media image is as far from the truth as it always has been.
Only 23% of the 1,200 men surveyed had managed to remain monogamous over the previous six months. Two thirds of the men reported multiple partners over that time. Many of them – more than a quarter – not only had multiple regular sex partners, they also had multiple casual sex partners as well. Nearly ten percent of those surveyed reported having between 20 and 50 sexual partners in the previous six months. A further 24% had between six and 20 partners in just six months. This wasn’t a survey about how many times these men were having sex, it was a survey to find out how many different men they were having sex with.
A 2008 version of the same study notes that actual rates of “concurrent sexual partners” will be “higher than those reported here” because of methodology issues with the survey.
When confronted with these figures, supporters of gay marriage retort like a commenter named “Cat” on the NZ Herald website:
“Most heterosexual males, despite the rhetoric of love and commitment, are not committed to a genuinely monogamous relationship either.”
Cat grossly exaggerates to make her point. In reality, if one in every four married heterosexual men were sleeping with up to forty different women a year, society as a whole would not merely know about it, the entire country would be reeling.
According to gay scientists and social researchers, monogamy just is not in the blood for gay men. Marriage, in the true sense of the word, would be tarnished by redefining it to include relationships that allowed for and even encouraged such widespread promiscuity.
Conservative groups question what stability the average gay male couple could genuinely offer an adopted child, when most of them (nearly two thirds) are frequent drug users and most (77%) have multiple sexual partners within just six months despite being in “committed” relationships.
“The result is high levels of sexually transmitted infections amongst gay men,” notes researcher Laurie Guy in the Herald. “Over 60 per cent of new infectious syphilis cases are gay men. This category also has high rates of gonorrhoea and hepatitis. And 76 per cent of all new HIV diagnoses in 2000-2009 were gay men.
“Can we affirm male gay relationships to the level of “marriage”, given the data on faithfulness and health? One can argue change on the basis of “me”, “my rights” and “choice”. But the debate is also about the good of society.
“What society needs are stable, faithful, healthy relationships. Stable marriage has gravely weakened in the last generation. There is deep hurt and scarring of many, especially children, as a consequence.”
#4 – IT’S UNFAIR TO DISCRIMINATE AGAINST GAYS, THEY’RE BORN THIS WAY!
Yeah right. Popster Lady GaGa channels this liberal angst in the words of her recent hit song, Born This Way:
“A different lover is not a sin/ Believe capital H-I-M/ I love my life, I love this record/ and Mi amore vole fe yah
“I’m beautiful in my way,/ ‘Cause God makes no mistakes/ I’m on the right track,/ baby I was born this way.”
You can see from her lyrics that GaGa is pushing the idea that God made people gay, from birth. It’s a crock and has been proven so, but it’s the elephant in the room that no one likes to talk about. There was disbelief from one Herald subeditor and journalist that Conservative Party leader Colin Craig could dare to suggest the homosexuals were gay by choice, rather than “born this way”, when he spoke on TV3’s The Nation recently.
“Conservative Party leader Colin Craig has sparked outrage by saying homosexuality is a choice and gay people are more likely to have been abused as children,” the Herald reported.
Newstalk ZB’s Susan Wood expressed similar outrage at any suggestion that gays were not “born this way”.
The idea is so entrenched in New Zealand thinking that it pops up everywhere:
“I am gay. It is the way I was born, not a disease I caught and most definitely it is not a choice I made,” an Ashburton man told his local newspaper last month.
A lesbian named Monique told the New Zealand Herald:
“I think all this [opposition] comes from this belief that people have that you choose to be gay and I think if people could understand it’s just the way you’re born, just the way you are, they wouldn’t have so much objection to it because they’d realise you just want to live your life like everyone else and you shouldn’t be excluded.”
Yet the evidence that people are not born gay is overwhelming.
For a start, genetics and the law of natural selection suggest “gayness” is not something you can inherit. Why? Because anything that reduces the likelihood of breeding reduces its own chances of being passed on through the generations. If homosexuality was truly genetic, it would have been bred out of humanity hundreds of thousands of years ago soon after it first appeared.
Additionally, the hunt for a so called “gay” gene has come up empty handed and the scientist who pushed the issue turned out to have falsified some of his data.
So if same-sex attraction is not genetic, and people are not actually “born this way” no matter how much the media keep repeating the incorrect information, then what does it stem from? This is where the story gets fascinating.
One avenue being explored is environmental. Chemicals being pumped into our modern supermarket foods include estradiol and other forms of estrogen, the female sex hormone. Human wastewater ending up in the environment, even after processing for other nasties, is found heavily laced with estrogen from birth control pills. Animals living in or drinking these polluted waters begin to display same-sex attraction behaviour.
Another impact of modern lifestyles has only recently emerged – a serotonin imbalance. Serotonin is the brain chemical that controls mood and for which millions of prescriptions for anti-depressants are issued each month. According to recent studies, however, an imbalance in serotonin may also have a big impact on sexual appetite:
“The brain chemical serotonin seems to truly have a direct affect on sexuality, at least in mice cages for now,” reported Medical News Today.
“More often than not, persons taking serotonin reuptake inhibitors for depression often link a decline in sexual prowess to these prescriptions. Now, it is found in mice that when you take this chemical away, they want to breed like bunnies or may even be bisexual. Their sex drives became so high that they would attempt intercourse with anything that moved within their cages.
“Researchers at Beijing’s National Institute of Biological Sciences worked with male mice that lack a gene which makes serotonin, they introduced mice of both genders into their cages and observed the actions. Simply put, giving the rodents too much serotonin and they were not able to obtain erections, but when taken away, their drives just wouldn’t stop no matter with fellow males or females.”
Could modern lifestyles that have caused a huge increase in depressive mental illness also be causing changes in sexual preferences? That’s the question posed by the Chinese study, originally reported in the journal Nature.[ii]
Homosexual behaviour has been with us for a long time, however.
California’s Young Americans For Freedom leader Ryan Sorba has researched and written extensively on homosexuality, and describes it as little more than a sexual fetish, similar to bondage and discipline or even a hobby like surfing!
“The other issue is, a lot of people lose their confidence when they talk about this issue, because the other side is so good at putting you into a corner with their terms, which is why this panel is so important, because he who defines the terms controls the debate,” Sorba told a recent conference discussion.
“Stop using the word gay, because implicit in the notion of a gay identity is the fact that they’re born gay and that it should be a fundamental human right, but fundamental human rights are based on human nature not on capricious desires. If fundamental human rights are based on capricious desires, guess what, we’d have every group on this planet with a different hobby arguing for fundamental rights and benefits based on the fact that they play hockey, based on the fact that they play basketball or surf, or anything that they’re interested in.”
While it might be easy to stereotype Sorba as a mouthy conservative, he has backing from impeccable sources: gay academia. He’s not saying anything that is not being discussed behind closed doors (and sometimes more publicly) by the leaders of America’s gay rights movement.
Perhaps the world’s leading expert on the history of homosexuality is Dr David Greenberg, a New York University sociologist. He’s gay, and the author of a 635 page academic study of homosexuality through the ages called “The Construction of Homosexuality”. It has been hailed within academic circles as the most “extensive and thorough” analysis of homosexuality ever published.
When he undertook the project, gay rights activists were hoping Greenberg would prove that people were “born gay”. Instead, he shocked them by reaching the overwhelming conclusion that homosexuality is a lifestyle choice. To those who were stunned at the finding, Greenberg responded that he had “an obligation to the truth”.
Greenberg looked at all recorded historical examples of homosexuality. Every single one, he wrote, could be traced back to a sexual behaviour practice rather than an innate sexual identity. Homosexual behaviour was rife in Greece and Rome, for example, because it was tolerated and even expected, and had much to do with male initiation ceremonies. Older men enjoyed the power of raping young boys. These men then went home to their wives and fathered children. In essence, human sexual behaviour in ancient times was bisexual.
“The Greeks assumed that ordinarily sexual choices were not mutually exclusive, but rather than people were generally capable of responding erotically to beauty in both sexes,” writes Greenberg. “Often they could and did.
“Sparta, too, institutionalised homosexual relations between mature men and adolescent boys.” He noted that homosexual behaviour was “universal among male citizens”.
Greenberg quoted one report from second century Rome where the writer stated the Romans “consider pederasty (man-boy sex) to be particularly privileged and try to round up herds of boys like herds of grazing mares.”
These men were not exclusively homosexual. They were multi-sexual. In a very real sense, they were addicted to sex, with anyone and – in many cases – anything. This concept of same-sex attraction as a sexual addiction rather than a set-in-concrete sexual identity goes a long way to explaining why gay men are so much more promiscuous and sexually active than heterosexual men – they are simply addicted to it.
The level of drug use in the gay community is another clue – nearly two thirds are regular users, fuelling their sexual addiction by means of a chemical addiction as well. Nearly seven percent of gay NZ men reported having sex on ‘P’, and it may come as a surprise to find that nine percent of men in the GAPSS gay Auckland survey reported having sex with a woman during the previous six months as well.
This crossover – essentially proving that we are really debating bisexuality – happens far more often than is ever discussed in the mainstream media. The gay media, on the other hand, frequently has stories about homosexuals who fall in love with the opposite sex and happily begin grazing in the other paddock:
“Things are more three-dimensional and less compartmentalized than they once were,” lesbian activist Nan Golden wrote in The Advocate. “Maybe that has to do with getting older and understanding the ambivalence of things. At the moment I’m actually dating a man. And I’ve known people who were active in ACT UP and were very defined as lesbian or gay but who were secretly sleeping together. I think people are more complicated than those categories. Being gay to me isn’t just who I sleep with, it’s how I live my life.”
In other words, it’s a political statement, not a true sexual identity. International surveys of the gay community have shown that a staggering 91% of gay men have become aroused by and had sex with women. Ninety-six percent of lesbians have had sex with men. It’s the ‘dirty little secret’ that the gay community doesn’t discuss with outsiders, but gay media reports offer some insights:
“I must confess that I am both elated and terrified by the possibilities of ‘a bisexual moment’,” lesbian activist Dr Lillian Faderman told Advocate magazine. “I’m elated because I truly believe that bisexuality is the natural human condition. But I’m much less happy when I think of the possibility of huge numbers of homosexuals (two thirds of women who identify as lesbian, for example) running off to explore the heterosexual side of their bisexual potential and, as a result, decimating our political ranks.”
There it is again. The ‘born gay’ myth is a political tool.
“What becomes of our political movement,” Faderman wrote, “if we openly acknowledge that sexuality is flexible and fluid, that gay and lesbian does not signify ‘a people’ but rather ‘a sometime behaviour’?”
Faderman is an award-winning lesbian writer, but she’s only saying exactly what Conservative Party leader Colin Craig is also saying: people are not ‘born gay’, they choose to act gay.
“We continue to demand Rights,” argues Faderman, clearly on a roll, “ignoring the fact that human sexuality is fluid and flexible, acting as though we are all stuck in our category forever…the narrow categories of identity politics are obviously deceptive.”
Why then do New Zealanders in gay relationships continue to insist they were “born this way”? Probably because they genuinely believe it – they’re conditioned by society to believe in the either/or theory of sexuality. If you display the slightest whiff of attraction for members of the same sex, you are told through the media and through gay helplines that you are really a homosexual in denial and it’s time to “come out”.
In truth, you are merely bisexual and you can ultimately choose who you fall in love with. There is also probably an element of self-denial – it is easier in terms of friends, family and your own peace of mind to argue that you are “born this way”, than it is to admit there is any element of choice, because where there is choice, there is always the option to say ‘no’ to exploring same-sex relationships.
New Zealand’s gay community might not like it, but the book title “Queer by Choice” sums it up, and its author – American lesbian academic Dr Vera Whisman – explains the political ramifications for the “rights movement”:
“The political dangers of a choice discourse go beyond the simple (if controversial) notion that some people genuinely choose their homosexuality. Indeed, my conclusions question some of the fundamental basis upon which the gay and lesbian rights movement has been built. If we cannot make political claims based on an essential and shared nature, are we not left once again as individual deviants?
“Without an essentialist (born that way) foundation, do we [even] have a viable politics?”
In other words, the grouping around “born this way” is a protective tribal mechanism, it is not the truth when it comes to same-sex attraction.
The Bible, and other ancient writings, don’t talk of homosexuality as sexual identity, but as a sexual practice – sodomy. In the New Testament the apostle Paul talks of people “given over to their lusts”. The behaviour was far more widespread in ancient times than it is now, but it is making a comeback thanks to a new PR spin.
In the mid 1980s, advertising and PR whizz Hunter Madsen teamed up with psychologist Marshall Kirk to come up with a strategy to end homosexuality’s bad press. Both were gay, and both were skilled practitioners in the art and science of persuasion. The AIDS syndrome had only recently been discovered, and gays were feeling hunted by both the HIV virus and public opinion as it quickly became apparent that their sexual practices had unleashed a deadly plague.
Madsen and Kirk wrote a strategy later put into place throughout the western world as a blueprint for changing public attitudes to homosexuality. These are their words, published and intended for a gay audience to work with at grass roots level. The campaign began in the late 1980s.
“As cynical as it may seem,” wrote Kirk and Madsen, “AIDS gives us a chance, however brief, to establish ourselves as a victimized minority legitimately deserving of America’s special protection and care.”
But Kirk and Madsen had no intentions of playing fair: this was a fight to the death, about death, and they urged their colleagues in the gay community to use every dirty trick in the book.
“The campaign we outline in this book, though complex, depends centrally upon a programme of unabashed propaganda, firmly grounded in long-established principles of psychology and advertising.”
Propaganda can sometimes be true, but Kirk and Madsen weren’t keen on the facts getting in the way of a good story.
“Our effect is achieved without reference to facts, logic or proof,” they wrote, “the person’s beliefs can be altered whether he is conscious of the attack or not.”
Make a note of that: the masters of gay persuasion boasting that they can re-programme you without you even realizing they’ve done it. One method was to “mainstream” gays into major media using gay or gay-friendly journalists and producers:
“The visual media, film and television, are plainly the most powerful image makers in Western civilization. The average American watches over seven hours of TV daily. Those hours open up a gateway into the private world of straights, through which a Trojan Horse might be passed,” wrote Kirk and Madsen in After the Ball. “As far as desensitization is concerned, the medium is the message—of normalcy. So far, gay Hollywood has provided our best covert weapon in the battle to desensitize the mainstream.”
The reason a large number of New Zealanders now see homosexuality as “normal” is because inoffensive gay relationships and characters have been portrayed over and over in your living rooms every night through TV.
Ever wondered why there are so many TV shows every day and movies with strong gay themes, when the biggest population studies ever undertaken have shown homosexuality running at less than one percent in the population?
When you turn on the TV this week, keep a mental note of every gay character you see on the screen, then measure it against the one percent yardstick.
Then ask yourself if homosexuality is over-represented in primetime, and then ask yourself, “Why?” The authors of After the Ball had a grand plan, summed up largely in a three-keyword pitch: “Desensitize, jam and convert”.
The “Desensitization” phase involved shoving homosexuality in the faces of the public, or in their words a “continuous flood of gay-related advertising, presented in the least offensive fashion possible. If straights can’t shut off the shower, they may at least eventually get used to being wet.”
By “advertising”, however, they weren’t talking about a 30 second spot in The Simpsons, they were talking about soaking Western culture in homosexuality and turning up the heat so slowly the public never even realized they were being cooked:
“The main thing is to talk about gayness until the issue becomes thoroughly tiresome. You can forget about trying right up front to persuade folks that homosexuality is a ‘good’ thing.
But if you can get straights to think homosexuality is just another thing – meriting no more than a shrug of the shoulders – then your battle for legal and social rights is virtually won.”
The public, they pitched, needs to: “…view homosexuality with indifference instead of keen emotion. Ideally we would have the ‘straight’ register differences in sexual preference the way they register different tastes for icecream…Talk about gays and gayness as loudly and as often as possible…almost any behaviour begins to look normal if you are exposed to enough of it at close quarters and among your acquaintances.”
And now we’ve had Hero parades, The Big Gay Out and numerous other PR events covered at length by the media and widely attended by politicians keen to be seen as “tolerant”. Madsen and Kirk must be laughing all the way to the bank.
“Each sign will tap patriotic sentiment; each message will drill a seemingly agreeable position into mainstream heads,” Kirk and Madsen wrote.
The “Jamming” phase follows desensitization. Recognising that conservatives would not fall for the spin (well, not all of them), Kirk and Madsen urged gay activists around the world to target their opponents with personal abuse and carefully chosen phrases to make conservatives look like bigots:
“Jam homohatred by linking it to Nazi horror…Most contemporary hate groups on the Religious Right will bitterly resent the implied connection between homohatred and Nazi fascism. But since they can’t defend the latter, they’ll end up having to distance themselves by insisting that they would never go to such extremes. Such declarations of civility toward gays, of course, set our worst detractors on the slippery slope toward recognition of fundamental gay rights.
“The public should be shown images of ranting homophobes whose secondary traits and beliefs disgust middle America…the Ku Klux Klan demanding that gays be burned alive or castrated; bigoted southern ministers drooling with hysterical hatred to a degree that looks both comical and deranged; menacing punks, thugs and convicts…”
Getting the feeling you’ve been played for suckers? It is a total campaign of behaviour modification. If police road safety campaigns were this effective, the roads would be free of drink-drivers.
“These images (of anyone opposed to homosexual behavior) should be combined with those of their gay victims by a method propagandists call the ‘bracket technique’. For example, for a few seconds an unctuous beady-eyed Southern preacher is seen pounding the pulpit in rage about ‘those sick, abominable creatures’. While his tirade continues over the soundtrack, the picture switches to pathetic photos of gays who look decent, harmless, and likable; and then we cut back to the poisonous face of the preacher, and so forth. The contrast speaks for itself. The effect is devastating.”
Ads like this did indeed run in the United States. But pause for a moment.
What effect would such ads have had if, instead of “decent, harmless and likable” gays, the shots used had been taken in the San Francisco bathhouse detailed here, (be warned, the following paragraph is explicit):
“[M]y eyes took a moment to adjust. I was in a large space filled with small wooden cubicles, like cupboards, in which men were apparently expected to kneel and give head. Glory holes were drilled into these closets, and other men came by, hoisted out their dicks, and inserted them into the holes in the cubicles. In another part of the room, men stepped up on a raised platform and other men stood below, eager to suck them off in a standing position…”
Imagine if those were the images portrayed in the plotlines of Shortland Street or Offspring – would the public be so tolerant? The contrast between a pastor talking about “sick” sexual behaviour, interposed with shots of the real gay lifestyle in all its trappings (rather than the Will & Grace version), would engender a very different response from the version of the ad that actually went to air in the US. And that, dear jury, shows you how TV can be and is used to manipulate the way you think.
The current media attack on people who dare to question the legitimacy of gay marriage is straight out of the gay propaganda playbook.
As part of “Jamming”, Kirk and Madsen’s blueprint recommended working with gay journalists in the news media to get slanted, gay-positive stories into the news as often as possible. Within a year of their book being published, the National Lesbian and Gay Journalists Association of America was formed. Kirk and Madsen urged gays to “not demand direct support for homosexual practices, but…instead take anti-discrimination as its theme.”
In other words, turn homosexuality into a “human rights” issue rather than a debate about homosexuality itself. The new buzzwords, said Kirk and Madsen, should be “homophobe… tolerance…diversity” and, they added, drop references to “homosexual” in favour of the word “gay”, which was seen as more “cheerful”. This was back in 1988. How many times a year do we now hear all these buzzwords?
“Portray gays as victims, not as aggressive challengers…make gays look good…make the victimizers look bad.”
The gay persuaders’ logic was that gays “be cast as victims in need of protection so that straights will be inclined by reflex to assume the role of protector. If gays are presented, instead, as a strong and prideful tribe promoting a rigidly non-conformist and deviant lifestyle, they are more likely to be seen as a public menace that justifies resistance and oppression.”
News stories, they suggested, should publicize “brutalized gays, dramatizations of job and housing insecurity” – cue the 1993 movie Philadelphia – or other issues like “loss of child custody”, all of this to portray gays as victims of heterosexual society.
“In order to make a gay victim sympathetic to straights, you have to portray him as Everyman… completely unexceptional in appearance…in a word they should be indistinguishable from the straights we would like to reach.
“The masses should not be shocked and repelled by premature exposure to homosexual behaviour itself…the imagery of sex should be downplayed…make use of symbols which reduce the mainstream’s sense of threat, [to] lower its guard…Replace the mainstream’s self-righteous pride about its homophobia with shame and guilt.”
“First you get your foot in the door, by being as similar as possible; then, and only then – when your one little difference [sexual orientation] is finally accepted – can you start dragging in your other peculiarities, one by one. You hammer in the wedge narrow end first. As the saying goes, allow the camel’s nose beneath your tent, and his whole body will soon follow.”
In case you are wondering, Kirk and Madsen’s reference to the gay community’s “peculiarities” was pedophilia. The paragraph you’ve just read was for the attention of the North American Man-Boy Love Association (NAMBLA), advising them to keep a low profile while the push for rights was taking place. “We’re not judging you, but others do, and very harshly, please keep a low profile,” wrote Kirk and Madsen. As representatives of the gay community, they should have been judging the pedophile organisation. But perhaps given the large number of New Zealand gay men whose first sexual experience was as a child at the hands of a much older man, maybe it is not a surprise after all.
#5 – I’M NOT STUPID ENOUGH TO BE FOOLED BY PROPAGANDA
Maybe you’re not, but a large number of your neighbours and friends evidently are. A Pew Research poll of Americans in 1996 found 65% of the US population actively opposed to gay marriage, and only 27% in favour. By 2006, opposition had dropped to only 51%. In the last six years, opposition has now dropped to only 44% – a minority. Support for gay marriage has leapt from 27% to 48%.
In New Zealand, touted overseas as the “most gay friendly nation” on the planet, a 63% majority favoured gay marriage in a One News/Colmar Brunton poll this year.
What’s changed? Nothing except the propaganda campaign through the news media and Hollywood. The mechanics of gay sex are the same today as they’ve always been. Gay males are as promiscuous today as they have always been. Drug use in the gay community is much higher than in the heterosexual community as it always has been. Nothing about the gay community has changed except the PR surrounding them.
#6 – SAME SEX MARRIAGE DOESN’T AFFECT ME
For the reasons just outlined, legalising same sex marriage affects you directly. It will become an offence under the law to debate the morality of same sex marriage. More to the point, it will quickly become a compulsory component of the education system.
Same sex marriage will automatically legitimise same-sex adoption and put same sex couples in direct competition with other married couples.
Most heterosexual New Zealanders who support the idea of gay marriage do so because of misplaced feelings of tolerance, based on the idea that homosexuals are “born this way” and therefore cannot change. As you’ve seen, this is a fabrication, but it also leads parents into the mistaken belief that “exposure to homosexuality can’t make my child gay”. This too is a myth.
The news media is rife with stories of people who’ve been heterosexual all their lives, only to suddenly “find myself” and “come out of the closet” as gay. There are well-known personalities in New Zealand who fit this plotline.
Unfortunately, they have misunderstood homosexuality because they’ve been lied to, and they continue to assume sexuality is either/or. It isn’t, it’s fluid. A person who has spent years married to and sexually performing with a person of the opposite sex is not homosexual, no matter which way you slice and dice it.
The fact that such a person later engages in a same sex relationship makes them bisexual. Their behaviour is ultimately a choice, not a straitjacket imposed by Nature.
Gay academics and researchers have long known that if society is soaked in acceptance of homosexuality, more people will experiment with it and more people will adopt homosexual behaviour as a result.
Dr Greenberg’s groundbreaking study acknowledged that teaching about homosexual relationships at school would result in more children losing their inhibitions against homosexual behaviour.
According to many New Zealand parents, this isn’t possible. “You can’t change your sexual preference!” they exclaim.
“Oh, yes you can,” responds Dr John De Cecco, a gay psychologist who headed the Center for Research and Education in Sexuality at San Francisco State University.
De Cecco made his mark in a study that proved he could turn straight men gay by subjecting them to increasing levels of gay pornography and company over time:
“One such man who was carefully studied, identified by the code name “D,” had heterosexual feelings, fantasies, dreams and sex until age 27 at which time he experimented sexually with a gay man. By four years later, his behavior, feelings, fantasies and dreams were almost exclusively homosexual.”
The scientific conclusion reached for such evidence, De Cecco said, “…shows that life-long, exclusive homosexuality, as articulated by gay rhetoric, is more a statement about the culture in which it occurs than the ‘essence’ of homosexuality.”[iii]
De Cecco, at the age of 82 five years ago, was still trawling San Francisco’s gay bars looking for rentboys, as the San Francisco Chronicle noted in an interview:
“Sex is more than an abstraction — it’s also an active pursuit. De Cecco doesn’t date, per se, but frequents Polk Street, where he cruises for male hustlers and goes to Kimo’s, a bar that caters to older men and rent boys. Most of the men he hires are in their 20s or early 30s, often homeless or living in fleabag hotels. Many of them use crystal meth or heroin.
“It’s the pursuit, the mystery of the man as yet unattained, unconquered, that motivates him. ‘It’s going out on the street and seeing who’s there, who’s available, and meeting someone about whom you know nothing. And just having this very intimate act with a stranger. … It’s partly the unpredictability of what’s going to happen’.”
De Cecco’s work proved, like Greenberg’s, that sexuality is a matter of choice, largely governed by what society regards as acceptable limits. In societies where sex with children is tolerated, like Papua New Guinea, pedophilia is rife. In societies where women are chattels, rape is widespread. In societies like ancient Greece and Rome where men were expected to take male lovers as well as wives, homosexual behaviour was nearly “universal”.
“I don’t think lesbians are born…I think they are made,” says lesbian writer Jennie Ruby in “Off Our Backs”. “The gay rights movement has (for many good practical reasons) adopted largely an identity politics.”
If gay academics are now conceding the people’s sexuality can change back and forth, and that children can adopt gay behaviour by being culturally exposed to it, then the logical extension of legalising gay marriage is that more children will end up identifying as bisexual or gay later in life.
Indeed, studies suggest children with gay parents are indeed more likely to try homosexuality themselves. A 1999 study found 15% of children raised by lesbians later had same-sex relationships, while none of those in the study raised by heterosexual parents did so.[iv]
The findings were even worse in a 2012 study:
“Children raised in a lesbian household are 50% more likely to later describe themselves as homosexual, bisexual or asexual, than children raised by heterosexual couples.
“In a stunning new study, reported in the Washington Post newspaper, long-accepted assumptions that there were no differences between gay and straight parenting have been overturned with long term data.
“Among the other revelations, children raised in lesbian homes are more than twice as likely to be contemplating suicide, at a rate of 12% against 5% for heterosexual families.
“On the issue of child sexual abuse, the differences are horrific. While two percent of children in heterosexual households report being touched sexually by a parent or other adult, a stunning 23% of children in lesbian family units report sexual abuse by a parent or other adult – almost 12 times higher than the rate of child abuse in heterosexual families.
“While fewer than one in ten children who grew up in married heterosexual families have been diagnosed with sexually transmitted infections by adulthood, more than double that number – 20% – of children raised in lesbian families end up with sexually transmitted infections.
“Children raised by lesbian families are overwhelmingly likely to end up on social welfare – at 69% – compared with only 17% of children brought up in heterosexual families.
“Overall, lesbian parenting had negative outcomes for children in 24 of 40 categories overall, while for gay men raising children there were negative outcomes in 19 out of 40 categories.
“On the strength of the results, study author Mark Regnerus, a sociology professor at the University of Texas at Austin said today: “The empirical claim that no notable differences exist must go.”
“The study is published in the journal Social Science Research.”[v]
The idea that no one is harmed by same sex relationships is quaint, but it is not legitimate.
The entire debate we have had around gay issues since the mid-1980s has been a carefully engineered propaganda campaign designed to desensitise the public to the idea of same sex relationships. They have used TV, movies, pop songs and gay or gay-friendly news journalists to spin positive stories, in much the same way that Big Tobacco used positive PR and product placement to lure millions into smoking over the decades. Tim Barnett’s Civil Union bill, Louisa Wall’s gay marriage bill – they all have their origin in the blueprint laid down by Kirk and Madsen in their book, After The Ball.
These then, are arguments exploding the myths surrounding the gay marriage debate. By all means let’s have a debate, but if you see newspaper stories suggesting homosexual people are born that way, those claims have no validity in science and no validity in the gay community either. They are a convenient untruth told to keep the wider public onside during the battle for “rights”.
Yet if, as gay academics now admit, same sex attraction is nothing more than a modern lifestyle choice, is it really appropriate to redefine thousands of years of marriage on a whim? The question becomes even more important when you realise how much it will affect children – not just children at risk of being adopted into a drug-addled, highly promiscuous household, but also children in schools who will have the State instructing them that same sex relationships are not only legal, but moral as well.
If you dare to “impugn the validity” of gay marriage, once it is legalised, you could be prosecuted.
Far bigger than all of this, however, is the issue of whether 121 MPs should be allowed to impose their own morality on the whole of New Zealand on an issue that the State does not own. Marriage transcends the power of Parliament. It existed before governments existed, and exists after governments collapse.
On such a fundamental matter, the only appropriate forum for debate is a public referendum. If we let politicians get away with this without one, we are giving MPs carte blanche to impose their morality on us forever more – something US founding father Thomas Jefferson warned we should never allow.
[i] http://www.nzaf.org.nz/files/2006_GAPSS_Report.pdf There is a follow-up study published in 2010 but the numbers are not significantly different for the purposes of this analysis. The researchers themselves note that the general pattern in the nature of sexual relationships has remained stable across all four surveys so far.
[iii] “If You Seduce A Straight Person Can You Make Them Gay?”, ed. By Dr John De Cecco, New York, Harrington Park Press, pages 129-130
[iv] “Do parents influence the sexual orientation of their children? Findings from a longitudinal study of lesbian families” by Susan Golombok PhD and Fiona Tasker PhD, Developmental Psychology, Vol 32, 1999, No 1, pp 3-11