Gay marriage OK, gay sex not so much: U.S. study

(As posted to my Gazette blog)

“Lots of People Who Support Gay Marriage Think Gay Sex Is Immoral”

That headline, on The Atlantic site, caught my attention this morning as I scrolled through my google search queue. The article by Emma Green is a report on a study conducted by the Public Religion Research Institute in the United States on attitudes about LGBTQ issues. And it shows the United States is evolving: the majority of people there — about 53% — support gay marriage, with 41% percent against, according to the article.

But the majority — albeit a slim 51% — think gay sex is morally wrong, with 43% saying it is OK, according to the report.

Which leaves me with two thoughts on the study:

1. I wonder how many of those who disapprove of gay sex feel that sex is simply and only for making babies.

2. I am heartened to see that many who disapprove of gay sex still support same-sex marriage, expressing a “live and let live” attitude. As the article says: “They don’t think public policy should necessarily mirror their private beliefs.” Hallelujah for that! That’s all LGBTQ people could ever expect of them.

So it seems Americans are finally coming around to something that was expressed by one of Canada’s greatest prime ministers, Pierre Elliott Trudeau, in 1967: “There no place for the state in the bedrooms of the nation.”

Yes, the article reminded me of how enlightened Mr. Trudeau was, and of his great contribution with that famous quote, which he apparently paraphrased from a Globe and Mail article — see Wikiquotes article on Pierre Trudeau.

Writes Emma Green in The Atlantic piece: “Americans seem to have concluded that what happens in other people’s bedrooms is none of their business.”

Amen to that.

Have a read of The Atlantic report.

Jillian

4 thoughts on “Gay marriage OK, gay sex not so much: U.S. study

  1. In passing comment on this, did you ponder on where it was really worth it, because if you reflect for a moment, the findings aren’t that unexpected?

    As a raving heterosexual I might find homosexual sex to be distinctly weird, alien, but does that mean it is immoral to me? Definitely not. To me, it’s just different and has no moral value whatsoever, and definitely no more so than heterosexual sex. I mean how would you even begin to define heterosexual sex as a moral phenomenon? What about it could define it as being a moral act? It doesn’t even make fundamental philosophical sense to me. The same with homosexual sex; morality or immorality is an irrelevance.

    The problem with the 51% is that they are moral absolutists. Their take on morality is just short-hand for the expression of their knee-jerk disgust, repugnance, for something that they instinctively do not like or understand. They quite literally might as well be saying “I don’t like that. I don’t have any rationale for that, but that is what it is”. They could if they so chose, say “That isn’t for me, I personally do not find that attractive or enticing but okay, for you other people that is okay, that is acceptable”. But they don’t, they justify their emotional, instinctive, responses by claiming, totally arbitrarily, that it is ‘immoral’. And that is just it, no real discussion and especially no real consideration of any different point of view. To accept another point of view, even on a tentative basis, would be to risk undermining your own absolutist, fragile, moralistic, stand-point.

    What is interesting to me is not that 51% feel that way or that 49% feel differently in some way or another but WHY do those 51% feel that way? Is it something in their genes, is it something in their upbringing or is to some combination of the two? Maybe more importantly, if it is something that is a component of their upbringing, will they always be the 51%?

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  2. Surely folk know that couples get up to all kinds of weird stuff when engaging in sex. The actual make up of any couple is fairly irrelevant, icky stuff gets done…

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  3. I agree with Pacnatman: who defines what is moral/immoral? Do these folk in the USA think that there is no sex within marriage, whether straight or gay? I know the inhabitants of the USA are probably the most crazy mixed up folk on the planet but you would have thought even they could manage the equation “marriage == sex”?

    To me the marriage part is “a piece of paper” / “legal recognition” within society. Usually the main concern is whether or not the “spouse” can claim pension and other inheritance rights. It is (sadly) all to do with money.

    Without the “piece of paper” (if you will pardon the Anglo-Saxon) who fucks who is no-one else’s business. The same goes for LDS polygamy as it does for LGBT couples: it is only when you get the legal system involved that anyone gives a damn, and the “anyone” is often lawyers wanting to make money out of the situation.

    You may call me a cynic… and you’d be right

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