Gay is Not the New Black

by Voddie Baucham

It’s hard to deny that homosexual marriage appears to be a foregone conclusion in America. This is a frightening prospect not only for those of us who understand marriage to be a testimony of the relationship between Christ and his bride, the church, but also for all who value the family and its contribution to the well-being of society and human thriving. And while it’s difficult to watch a coordinated, well-funded, well-connected propaganda strategy undermine thousands of years of human history, it’s especially disconcerting to witness the use of the civil rights struggle as the vehicle for the strategy.

The idea that same-sex “marriage” is the next leg in the civil rights race is ubiquitous. One of the clearest examples of the conflation of homosexual “marriage” and civil rights is Michael Gross’s article in The Advocate, in which he coins the now-popular phrase “Gay is the new black.”1 Gross is not alone in his conflation of the two issues, however. At a 2005 banquet, Julian Bond, former head of the NAACP, said, “Sexual disposition parallels race. I was born this way. I have no choice. I wouldn’t change it if I could. Sexuality is unchangeable.”2

Nor is this kind of thinking exclusive to the political left. When asked by GQ magazine if he thought homosexuality was a choice, Michael Steele, former chairman of the Republican National Committee, replied:

Oh, no. I don’t think I’ve ever really subscribed to that view, that you can turn it on and off like a water tap. Um, you know, I think that there’s a whole lot that goes into the makeup of an individual that, uh, you just can’t simply say, oh, like, “Tomorrow morning I’m gonna stop being gay.” It’s like saying, “Tomorrow morning I’m gonna stop being black.”3

Even the California Supreme Court bought in to this line of reasoning. In a February 2008 decision they reasoned:

Furthermore, in contrast to earlier times, our state now recognizes that an individual’s capacity to establish a loving and long-term committed relationship with another person and responsibly to care for and raise children does not depend upon the individual’s sexual orientation, and, more generally, that an individual’s sexual orientation—like a person’s race or gender—does not constitute a legitimate basis upon which to deny or withhold legal rights.4 (emphasis added)

The California Supreme Court, like Gross, would have us believe that the homosexual struggle for a redefinition of marriage puts them in the same category as my ancestors. However, they would rather you didn’t take a closer look, lest you see how flimsy the comparison turns out to be.

Unidentifiable Minority

The first problem with the idea of conflating “sexual orientation” and race is the fact that homosexuality is undetectable apart from self-identification. Determining whether or not a person is black, Native American, or female usually involves no more than visual verification. However, should doubt remain, blood tests, genetics, or a quick trip up the family tree would suffice. Not so with homosexuality. There is no evidence that can confirm or deny a person’s claims regarding sexual orientation.5

Moreover, the homosexual community itself has made this identification even more complicated in an effort to distance itself from those whose same-sex behavior they find undesirable. The Jerry Sandusky case is a prime example. Sandusky is accused of molesting numerous young boys during and after his tenure at Penn State. However, try placing the label “homosexual” on his activities and the backlash will be swift and unequivocal. “Pedophiles are not homosexuals!” is the consistent refrain coming from the homosexual community, media, academia, and the psychological/medical establishment.6

Hence, it seems same-sex attraction alone isn’t enough to identify a person as a homosexual. And what about LUGSin college, or same-sex relationships in prison? Are these people homosexual? How about men who are extremely effeminate but prefer women, or those who once were practicing homosexuals but have since come out of the lifestyle (i.e., 1 Cor. 6:9-11)? In short, it’s impossible to identify who is or is not a homosexual. As a result, how do we know to whom the civil rights in question should be attributed? Should a man who isn’t a homosexual (assuming we could determine such a thing) but tries to enter a same-sex union be treated the same as a woman who isn’t Native American but tries to claim it to win sympathy, or casino rights, or votes?

But this isn’t the only problem with the civil rights angle.

Unalterable Definition

An additional problem with the “gay is the new black” argument is the complete disconnect between same-sex “marriage” and anti-miscegenation laws. First, there is a categorical disconnect. Miscegenation literally means “the interbreeding of people considered to be of different racial types.” Ironically, the fact that homosexuals cannot “interbreed” shines a spotlight on the problem inherent in their logic. How can forbidding people who actually have the ability to interbreed be the same thing as acknowledging the fact that two people categorically lack that ability?8

Second, there is a definitional disconnect. The very definition of marriage eliminates the possibility of including same-sex couples. The word marriage has a long and well-recorded history; it means “the union of a man and a woman.” Even in cultures that practice polygamy, the definition involves a man and several women. Therefore, while anti-miscegenation laws denied people a legitimate right, the same cannot be said concerning the denial of marriage to same-sex couples; one cannot be denied a right to something that doesn’t exist.

It should be noted that the right to marry is one of the most frequently denied rights we have. People who are already married, 12-year-olds, and people who are too closely related are just a few categories of people routinely and/or categorically denied the right to marry. Hence, the charge that it is wrong to deny any person a “fundamental right” rings hollow. There has always been, and, by necessity, will always be discrimination in marriage laws.

Third, there is a historical disconnect. As early as the time of Moses, recorded history is replete with interracial marriages. In our own history, the marriage of John Rolfe and Pocahontas in the 17th century,9 along with the fact that anti-miscegenation laws were usually limited only to the intermarrying of certain “races” of people (i.e., black and white), stands as historical evidence of the legal and logical inconsistency of such laws. Thus, unlike same-sex “marriage” advocates, those fighting for the right to intermarry in the civil rights era had history on their side.

Fourth, there is a legal disconnect. One thing that seems to escape most people in this debate is the fact that homosexuals have never been denied the right to marry. They simply haven’t had the right to redefine marriage. But don’t take my word for it; listen to the Iowa Supreme Court in their decision in favor of same-sex “marriage”: “It is true the marriage statute does not expressly prohibit gay and lesbian persons from marrying; it does, however, require that if they marry, it must be to someone of the opposite sex.”

There it is: not only in black and white, but in a legal decision. Homosexuals haven’t been deprived of any right. How, then, do those on the side of same-sex marriage continue to make the claim that this is a civil rights issue? The key is in the next paragraph:

[The] right of a gay or lesbian person under the marriage statute to enter into a civil marriage only with a person of the opposite sex is no right at all. Under such a law, gay or lesbian individuals cannot simultaneously fulfill their deeply felt need for a committed personal relationship, as influenced by their sexual orientation, and gain the civil status and attendant benefits granted by the statute.

I feel the need to remind the reader that this is a legal decision, since phrases like “gay or lesbian individuals cannot simultaneously fulfill their deeply felt need for a committed personal relationship” tend to sound out of place in such a document. Further, this is asinine logic. For example, following this line of reasoning, one could argue, “I have the right to join the military, but I am a pacifist. Therefore, I don’t really have the right (since it would be repulsive to me). Therefore, we need to establish a pacifist branch of the military so that I can fulfill both my desire to join, and my desire not to fight.”

However, this reasoning is critically important in order to make the next leap in logic. “[A] gay or lesbian person can only gain the same rights under the statute as a heterosexual person by negating the very trait that defines gay and lesbian people as a class—their sexual orientation.”

Unsustainable Precedent

Perhaps the most damning aspect of the civil rights argument is logical unsustainability. If sexual orientation/identity is the basis for (1) classification as a minority group, and (2) legal grounds for the redefinition of marriage, then what’s to stop the “bisexual” from fighting for the ability to marry a man and a woman simultaneously since his “orientation” is, by definition, directed toward both sexes?10 What about the member of NAMBLA whose orientation is toward young boys?11 Where do we stop, and on what basis?

Homosexual advocates are loath to answer this question. In fact, they are adept at avoiding it (and are rarely pressed on the point). However, the further legal implications of court decisions about same-sex marriage are inevitable. Nowhere is this clearer than inLawrence v. Texas. In the majority decision, Justice Kennedy wrote:

These matters [of homosexual marriage], involving the most intimate and personal choices a person may make in a lifetime, choices central to personal dignity and autonomy, are central to the liberty protected by the Fourteenth Amendment. At the heart of liberty is the right to define one’s own concept of existence, of meaning, of the universe, and of the mystery of human life. Beliefs about these matters could not define the attributes of personhood were they formed under compulsion of the State.12

I have no legal training, and I recognize the limits of my ability to fully evaluate the implications of such a decision. However, I do take notice when Justice Scalia responds to this assertion by stating:

I have never heard of a law that attempted to restrict one’s “right to define” certain concepts; and if the passage calls into question the government’s power to regulate actions based on one’s self-defined “concept of existence, etc.,” it is the passage that ate the rule of law.13(emphasis added)

Inescapable Confrontation

It is very important for those of us who oppose the idea of same-sex “marriage” to do so not because we wish to preserve our version of the American Dream, but because we view marriage as a living, breathing picture of the relationship between Christ and his church (Eph. 5:22ff), and because we know that God has designed the family in a particular way. While the design of the family promotes human thriving (Gen 1:27-28), the testimony points people to their only hope in this life and the next. As a result, silence on this issue is not an option.

Unfortunately (and quite ironically), many Christians have been bullied into silence by the mere threat of censure from the homosexual lobby. “Oppose us and you’re no better than Gov. Wallace, Hitler, and those homophobes who killed Matthew Shepard!” is their not-so-subtle refrain. Consequently, we spend so much time trying to prove we’re not hate-filled murderers that we fail to recognize that the Emperor has no clothes. There is no legal, logical, moral, biblical, or historical reason to support same-sex “marriage.” In fact, there are myriad reasons not to support it. I’ve only provided a few.

-Voddie Baucham,  http://thegospelcoalition.org/blogs/tgc/2012/07/19/gay-is-not-the-new-black/


1 Michael Joseph Gross, “Gay is the New Black,” The Advocate, November 16, 2008 (available online at http://www.advocate.com/exclusive_detail_ektid65744.asp).

2 Ertha Melzer, “NAACP chair says ‘gay rights are civil rights,'” Washington Blade, April 8, 2005. It should also be noted that the NAACP recently endorsed same-sex marriage (http://graftedthemovie.blogspot.com/p/watch-grafted.html)—significant since the organization exists for the “Advancement of ‘Colored’ People.”

3 Micheal Steele interview in “The Reconstructionist,” by Lisa Paulo, GQ (March 2009), available at http://www.gq.com/blogs/the-q/2009/03/-the-reconstructionist-michael-steele.html.

5 Even if brain studies, twin studies, etc., provided conclusive links (which they do not), one would still be left with the fact that while blackness and maleness are attributes one cannot deny, homosexual behavior is not. Thus, even if there were a genetic connection, it would be insufficient to propel sexual orientation into the same category as race or sex.

7 The term “Lesbian Until Graduation” refers to young women who participate in lesbian relationships only during the duration of their college life.

8 It is important to note that this is a categorical distinction, and not a determination based on fertility. Otherwise, the same could be said about men and women beyond child-bearing years, or those with defects preventing conception.

9 http://www.history.com/this-day-in-history/pocahontas-marries-john-rolfe. Though it is commonly thought that Pocahontas married John Smith, it was actually English tobacco farmer John Rolfe whom she married on April 5, 1614, in Jamestown, Virginia.

10 See Elizabeth Emens’s February 2003 Chicago Law School White paper,MONOGAMY’S LAW: COMPULSORY MONOGAMY AND POLYAMOROUS EXISTENCE,available at http://www.law.uchicago.edu/files/files/58-monogamy.pdf.

11 North American Man/Boy Love Association. Their motto is “Eight is Too Late.” http://www.nambla.org

12 Justice Kennedy Majority Opinion, “John Geddes Lawrence and Tyron Garner, Petitioners V. Texas ” in 539 U. S. (2003), ed. Supreme Court of the United States (2003).

13 Antonin Scalia Dissenting Opinion, “John Geddes Lawrence and Tyron Garner, Petitioners V. Texas ” in 539 U. S. (2003), ed. Supreme Court of the United States (2003).

6 thoughts on “Gay is Not the New Black

  1. You seem preoccupied with homosexuality. I wonder why that is. My sexuality is not a choice, and similarly, I cannot convince you to date a vacuum cleaner, so go figure. Find something more constructive as a focus for your considerable energies.

    And, incidentally, gay men’s brains exhibit pronounced activity under MRI scans, so you might like to include SCIENCE in your…research in the future. Sigh.

  2. Mark,
    Thanks for your post.

    The reason why I’ve re-posted articles on homosexuality, is that Christians are currently under attack for defending the Bible’s position. Christians are in the business of applying the Word of God to everyday life, and this is an area where our culture and the Bible clash.

    God created the world perfect, but after man sinned, all sin became natural for man. If a gay man desires another man, it may very well not feel like He is choosing to do so, Just like a pedophile doesn’t choose his attraction for children, or an adulterer didn’t choose to be attracted to his secretary. But in the end, we all have a choice to make. Will we act on our desires?

    God says that any sex outside heterosexual marriage is a sin. Which means that cheating on one’s wife is just as condemned as homosexual sex. In fact God goes so far as the say that even if we only break one of God’s Laws, we are still as guilty as if we broke them all. (James 2:10)

    The point is that we are all sinners; we all desire things that God condemns; we all need a Savior.

    That’s why Jesus came. Not to change gay people into straight people, but to redeem all who have fallen short. That’s why we need to repent. Repentance doesn’t mean that I’ll stop being attracted to sin, but it means that I will love Jesus more than my sin, and flee from all that He hates.

    Blessings,

    • Teaching ideology as fact is basically brainwashing. I’m glad I’m not guilty of that, and I prefer my clear conscience and the ability to make moral judgements without being patronised by some mouldy old pages.

      I think for myself.

      • Teaching that something is objectively true is not brainwashing.

        In America we follow the ideology that freedom of speech is morally right. If I teach my children that freedom of speech is important, that doesn’t mean that I’m brainwashing them.

  3. Baucham’s argument is chiefly on denying its similarity to the race struggle, not on its offense as a moral issue. His grounds for it being a moral abomination he takes directly from the Bible, not secular reasoning. Thus does it become an issue of whether or not the Bible can be considered infallible, and the question of same-sex marriage must come after. That’s a discussion for another day. That said, I have a few problems with this article’s claims.

    A point I do have to concede to him is the one stating that we seem to be perfectly fine denying the right to marry to others, such as people who are already married or too closely related. (I don’t include 12-year olds, as he does because it’s a flawed argument. A 12-year old lacks the cognitive capacity to foresee reasonable consequences for his or her actions and therefore should indeed not be allowed to make a binding agreement to someone else.) Multiple spouses is another grey area, I’m unsure of how I feel about it, but I feel like if all parties are in full consent it should be, in effect, legal. Those against it have more against these polygamous trios or larger groups using THEIR word, “marriage” to describe the union than the actual act itself.

    Incest is an entirely separate issue from children or multiple spouses, but definitely related to the question of same-sex marriage. I do believe that siblings, cousins, or parent-child relationships should be entirely without sexual contact but I really have no concrete reasoning behind that belief. My aversion to the commonly feared genetic mishaps from inbreeding has legitimacy but as married couples are by no means required to have their own biological children, that argument falls short of having total solid ground. A sibling couple could adopt a child and be perfectly happy, but I’d still be against them having sex and I don’t have a cause behind it other than “it gives me the willies,” certainly not a strong enough case to give me the right to deny rights to another person.

    His case for “gay people do have the right to marry, just not each other” is such an insult to homosexuals and those fighting for their cause that it hardly merits countering. Gay people aren’t fighting for the right to sign a paper with some person for whom they’re incapable of feeling romantic love, just to “be married,” they want the right to marry whom they choose, whatever their gender. Baucham is quibbling over wording, not debating the source issues.

    His argument on “where does it stop?” is riddled with holes by lumping same-sex marriage in with other thus-far unsupported forms of marriage. For the 10-year old boys I refer you to my prior argument, and for the bisexual case who desires to marry both a man and a woman, that has become a monogamy vs polygamy case, as well as one of same-sex marriage. The same-sex marriage people would argue that the bisexual person should be able to choose to marry either the man or the woman, but to marry both of them at once the person in question would have to look to a different support group.

    He closes his argument by emphasizing that it is the Bible, and not the objective moral compass of the individual that must serve as the backbone for his argument. (I use the word “objective” loosely, of course no one’s moral compass is objective because morals are developed through personal experience, an entirely subjective affair. My use of the word is to separate Biblical morals from secular, as the Bible can never be used as an irrefutable source in any legitimate contest as it is impossible to prove without the inherent correspondence of the individual’s own experiences to verify it. For instance, a strong Christian could use the Bible as a source for his own judgement, but could not fairly hold another person accountable by that same code if that other person had never felt any personal relationship or connection with God or Christ, thus giving that person no reason to himself be Christian.) It’s the age-old argument of the separation of church and state. Laws by which men and women are to govern themselves must be written without the influence of religion. If a concept in religion is so important and positive for the well-being and betterment of mankind, then men and women should be able to agree and decide that it’s so. The Bible says not to kill people. Most governments of the world have pretty much come to the same conclusion. The Bible says that to gain entrance into the Kingdom of God one must devote their life to following Christ’s example and teachings. Most governments of the world have pretty much come to the conclusion that that’s too oppressive and unverifiable a practice to require by law.

    America is not a Christian nation by anything other than simply having a higher number of Christians than any other following. This does not mean the majority should have the ability to govern the few on its own principals. The Bible, Quran, Torah or any other sacred text should never be forced upon a nation which includes non-consenting individuals. Voddie Baucham is a bigot who twists his data to fit his conclusions, and simply giving evidence that same-sex marriage has fundamental differences from the racial civil-rights movement does nothing to cheapen or invalidate the battle for the right for homosexuals to marry as its own, separate civil rights issue.

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