Response Concerning Same-Sex Marriage and Homosexuality

By By [email protected]

By [email protected]

Editor:

I am writing in response to Bill Blevin’s letter to the editor (“Legislators Validate Bigotry”) on Mon. Mar. 22, as well as to other letters in general related to the debate on same-sex marriage. I can relate to Blevin in some ways as I am also a man primarily attracted to men. However, I disagree with his opinion on the matter of marriage.

I believe that the reason that marriage was not mentioned in the constitution is because it has long been primarily a religious ceremony. The first recorded marriages in history are found in a religious record, the Bible. The Bible states within its first few pages, “Therefore shall a man leave his father and his mother, and shall cleave unto his wife: and they shall be one flesh” (Gen. 2:24).

According to the Bible, it is sinful for two people to have sexual contact with each other, except within the bonds of marriage, which God established between a man and a woman, in order that they could “multiply and replenish the earth.” The Bible was the first document in recorded history to define marriage. And nowhere in it does it even suggest that marriage is to be between two men or two women. In fact, it several times prohibits or even condemns homosexual relationships (just as it does heterosexual relationships outside of marriage).

Granted, since early recorded history, marriage has become much more of a civil ceremony than it once was. But this still does not change the fact that marriage began as a religious ceremony to legitimize sexual relationships between a man and a woman. And that is how the majority of religions continue to recognize marriage today.

As I mentioned earlier, I am a man primarily attracted to men. Yet because of my beliefs, I choose not to act on these attractions with other men. I suppose this makes me a minority within a minority. But I am not alone. I know a number of other people like myself that experience same-sex attraction, but because of our beliefs choose not to enter into homosexual relationships.

I do agree with Blevin to some extent about how homosexuality and same-sex attraction are perceived by society, and more specifically, here in Utah. Among the predominant local culture, these topics are almost taboo. Nobody wants to discuss these issues, few people really understand them, and those experiencing these feelings are left with nobody to talk to. For many, these feelings are contrary to their beliefs, yet they feel powerless to do anything about them. A number do get married, either because it is expected of them, or hoping that it will remove their feelings, yet still experience these powerful feelings. They are torn between their feelings and beliefs, but because of the culture, many feel that it is not acceptable to admit this struggle, and live double lives.

I do agree that there should be much more openness about the issues of homosexuality and same-sex attraction. However, it should also be recognized that not everyone who experiences same-sex attraction should be expected or pressured to accept a gay or lesbian identity. That is one option, but it is not the only one. Many people experiencing same-sex attraction choose to live according to their beliefs rather than their feelings. What right does anyone have to tell me or any other person that I have to give up my beliefs and live as a gay man?

I have heard many arguments saying that if I do not come out as gay, that I will not be “true to who I really am,” or that I am letting society instill me with “internalized homophobia,” or that I am not being open-minded or tolerant. To those I respond – I accept your decision to live your life as you best see fit. Why can you not accept my decision to live my life as I best see fit? It is how I am best being true to who I am and to my beliefs. I am not afraid of my same-sex attractions, nor do I hate them. It is my choice and my right to live my life this way. If you cannot accept that, then apparently you have more of a problem with being open-minded and tolerant than I do.

Mitch FreemanSocial and Behavioral [email protected]