I won’t give the Independent the satisfaction of traffic so below is Kevin Myers’ inflammatory anti-gay rant from yesterday. An affront to the LGBT community, truly at-risk children and rape victims (yes, he uses rape as a segue to LGBT rights). My response is below it, a letter I sent to the Independent earlier – if you wish to write as well their address is firstname.lastname@example.org.
On the day that the Olympics begin, let me say a couple of words about the Games, rape, the Afghan war and homosexual marriage. Where do I begin? Rape is as good a place as any.
This is not something you have heard before, so here goes. Allied soldiers in Afghanistan are warned that if captured, they will almost certainly be gang-raped. Which means of course that Afghan men are sexually aroused in the presence of a captive male. And more extraordinarily, while being raped, the victim will always get an erection. It is almost as if the adult male body is physiologically designed to be sexually aroused by anal penetration.
Well now: why should this be? Could it be this? During the two million years and 130,000 or so generations of the palaeolithic, male hominids would go off in hunting parties, and, rather like a Fine Gael cumann, after a couple of days in the outback would probably turn on one another for sex.
Any male with a prostate gland that could be easily accessed and spontaneously aroused would be a popular member of the gang, and his genes would then be transmitted via a well-fed wife.
So we men are — with the possible exception of Enda Kenny and Vladimir Putin — all latent homosexuals. Thus Afghanistan today, and ancient Greece yesterday: the original Olympics were a public celebration of naked homosexuality.
But the paleochap who didn’t fancy munching the moss would soon find himself excluded from the hunting-party, and go meatless.
Worse still, when he got home, he would not be rewarded with sex from his now famished wife, so his genes died out. And of course, while he was away, she was enjoying herself with the other wives.
The clitoris wasn’t put where it was for men to disport with: this is primarily a girl’s plaything.
Have you noticed how lesbians NEVER complain to agony aunts about their sex lives? And “heterosexual” women who dabble in homosexual sex usually enjoy it. They remain men-oriented, not because of the pleasure we give them but because that’s their genetic inclination, that’s all.
So there’s nothing remotely “unnatural” about homosexuality. Doesn’t that mean homosexual couples should be allowed to get married? Well that all depends on what you mean by marriage, which, after all, was originally a religious matter. And really, asking the Catholic Church to accommodate homosexual marriage is the equivalent of expecting it to make the resurrection of Jesus Christ an optional extra, rather like air-conditioning.
The state only became involved in marriage when it was necessary to raise income taxes, and it had to make adjustments according to marital status. Now most people today approve of civil unions, as I do. But should these unions be called marriages? Well, you can call them whatever you like: the real question is should homosexual unions be the basis for adoption, entirely equal to that of heterosexual couples?
In Britain, Catholic adoption societies have been forced to close because they refused to give children to homosexual couples. That, now, is mad. They are Catholic. They have a non-negotiable belief system, about which my opinions are irrelevant. If a Catholic mother gives her child to a Catholic adoption society for it to find Catholic parents, why should that be illegal? Only a dogmatic secularism of the most intolerant kind would wish to impose its values on a moral order that has been around for 2,000 years.
To be sure, I don’t take the Catholic line on this. I take the position that any state-monitored adoption society must, based on its own expert opinion, only do what is best for the child, regardless of the “rights” and hopes of competing parents.
This could certainly mean giving the child to a homosexual couple of either gender, which I don’t object to in the slightest. But the moment that homosexual couples are given a legal status equal to that of heterosexual couples, an adoption agency cannot in law prefer a heterosexual couple over a lesbian couple (say) to provide a home for a boy. And it’s very simple: teenage boys who have been raised without a male figure in the household are many, many times more likely to get into serious trouble with the law.
Moreover, once you surrender the administration of family life to lawyers, in addition to lawyers’ fees, you get lawyers’ law and lawyers’ outcomes, spelt M-E-S-S.
Now I believe emphatically in the blessings of a permanent union for anyone, homo or hetero. But being “married” should not automatically give anyone an equal entitlement to adopt. Indeed, adoption agencies traditionally had the power to refuse to give children to any married couples that they found unsuitable: they didn’t have to disclose the reason.
But the very orientation of gay couples now serves as a legal protection against the exercise of those discretionary powers, which in essence existed to assert the welfare of the child over the putative “rights” of the adoptive parents.
There is a simple solution: in law, the child’s welfare, foremost from first to last. If gay marriage allows for that, then why not?
– Kevin Myers
And my response….
Is it still the Irish Independent’s editorial stance to allow lies to appear in its newspaper on a regular basis? Under the umbrella of “opinion”, Kevin Myers claims that same-sex couples being considered as adoptive parents by would be an affront to both the welfare of children and Catholic organisations involved in the adoption process.
He makes sweeping statements about how children would be harmed by such adoptions, yet if one person in the editorial process had bothered to check their facts they would have seen there are rigorous studies debunking such statements. The Avon Longitudinal Study Of Parents And Children and the Lesbian Longitudinal Family Study, to name two, as well as backing from child-focused organisations such as the American Paediatrics Association which “supports legislative and legal efforts to provide the possibility of adoption of the child by the second parent or coparent in [families with same-sex parents]”.
It is true, of course, that fact-checking doesn’t sell papers – but have we not reached a point where those who wish to deny rights to a minority should at least have to show some evidence to support same? Kevin Myers also asserts that children without a male role model are more at risk, but since he does not cite the study he is referring to I will assume he is referring to studies of single-parent families (which, it’s worth reminding him, are not illegal). This has nothing to do with the experience of a two-parent same-sex family. The socio-economic disadvantage experienced by single parent families, often reinforced by regressive government policy, is a significant contributory factor to the risk faced by these children. The gender of the parent/parents is not.
On the point of Catholic organizations’ right to only allow straight parents to adopt, he is correct in saying that such organisations have the right to those opinions – but that right should stop when it begins to affect children. The Catholic Church’s doctrines should not dictate what’s best for any child – are we to assume that Mr. Myers would support such organisations screening potential parents for other Catholic sins like using contraception or having pre-marital sex? Once we allow religious doctrine to inform a child’s welfare then we are putting such children at risk (not to mention the countless number of such children who will be homosexual and find this to be a sin in such organisations’ eyes).
On a final note on Mr. Myers’ tirade, it is utterly offensive to use rape as a segue into the topic of same-sex adoption. To claim the male response to being raped has anything to do with the topic of the gay community is gravely offensive, and would never have been printed if the author claimed that the clitoris is some handy tool to have around when a woman is suffering a sexual assault. It speaks to the Myers’ own warped view of sexuality, it is a cheap shot at the homosexual community and victims of rape, and it has no place in a national newspaper.