Tuesday, July 20, 2004

God, Love, and Fags

From the gay spiritual magazine, White Crane, an exerpt from an article by Timothy Leary on same-sex love:

So, if God did not approve of homosexuality, God would not allow homosexuals to actually love one another. Homosexual people would only be able to experience the physical sensations of sex, but not know the rich life-giving experience of shared ecstasy. We would not know that sensation of being lost in ecstasy with another human being. The idea that same-sex love creates ecstasy and direct experiences of the Divine is frightening to people who want (or need) these cultural myths about heterosexual-only romantic love to be true. They do not want to face the idea that God may not care who makes love with whom. From their perspective it's OK if what queer people experience is furtive and hollow, but they dare not assume that we can actually experience real ecstasy. That would mean that God approves of our love because God is involved in it. Perhaps that is why the idea of same-sex marriage is so threatening. It shakes many ideas of love and sex to the core.

As long as same-sex couples can be seen as people who do not, or cannot, love in the same way as heterosexual people, we can be discriminated against. If our experiences of love are incomplete we do not need to be treated as fully human. If our relationships were accepted as loving and life affirming, the entire tenor of the debate over same-sex marriage, and queer civil rights in general, would have to change. If the layer of sentimentalism about heterosexual-only romantic love were lifted, it would blow the "God Hates Fags" arguments right out of the water.

The idea that heterosexual-only romantic love comes from God is a key factor in the mind-set of the religious right and those who oppose our right to live our lives freely and openly. This idea makes it possible to objectify us, demonize us and discount our loving relationships. Our love is thought to be of less value because it is thought to be for only furtive pleasure. Opponents of queer rights and same-sex marriage ignore us when we say that our relationships are life-affirming because it is important for them to believe that the Divine is not involved in our relationships. They are wrong about this.

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