Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Agendas: queer and otherwise

This extends a comment I made here.

Regarding "the GLBT movement", it is always dubious to wander into talking of “the homosexual agenda". The phrase has two meanings:
(1) A desire by GLBTI (Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, Transgender, Intersex) people not to be treated like crap, or otherwise as some failed version of "real" people.
(2) The queer-hating version of that old chestnut "the Jewish agenda" (see also "Jewish world conspiracy").
The second is an expression of how equality is an insult to bigots (that such patent "moral inferiors" could dare to claim to be the same as "real people") such that even perfectly ordinary claims become a manifestation of how sinister "these people" are.

All movements aspiring to equal treatment have two wings, with the credos of:
(1) Please can we treated be treated as legal equals, not some inferior form of the human.
(2) Any society that treats X group so badly is so corrupt that only root-and-branch transformation will suffice.
Group (2) make great scare targets (and carrying on about them a basis for continuing to justify exclusion), but it is group (1) which end up carrying the day. And when they do, it turns out that institutions that "needed" to be "defended" just adapt and life goes on.


  1. To be honest, I've never understood how gay and lesbian marriage would undermine heterosexual marriage. Wouldn't it just confirm the importance of heterosexual marriage as a legitimate practice?

    That being said, I look at marriage as a contract between two people rather than anything else (sacrament or whatever). (So shoot me, I'm a contract lawyer.)

  2. Contractural conception of marriage is the way to go: and the way it is in all the "feeder" traditions for Western civilisation except Christianity.

    The claim is regarding same-sex marriage that it undermines the reproductive purpose of marriage and (rather more sotto voice nowadays) the underlying conception of human genders. Now, it is nonsense, as is clear from the anthropological data. It is not terribly sensible in logic either: if you acknowledge X function in something then it will do less of Y function when X function can be done independently of Y function is not a very sensible claim.

  3. Did you see this piece in the Herald Sun yesterday claiming that male homosexual couples should not be allowed to be parents? The reason for this is said to be that every child deserves a mother.

    I couldn't help thinking of single fathers and fathers whose female partners had died. Was the author suggesting that these men could not be fathers either? And, as someone sardonically noted in comments, by this analysis, two lesbian parents ought to be twice as good.

  4. No I hadn't seen it: but it is classic argument-by-assertion.

    As it happens, the evidence from studies of same-sex couples is that they are at least as good (even mildly better than) as parents as opposite sex couples (though there is probably a selection effect in the slightly better outcomes).

    Indeed, if you control for socio-economic status, the problems of single parenting essentially go away. (In other words, it is a bad idea for low income people to be single parents.) So, if you want to produce "bad" results, just ensure your "bad" category includes low income single parents.