Archive for November, 2008


This blog entry will make some people mad, I think, but please bear with me.  It’s about homosexuality, and specifically about how it’s possible for someone to think that homosexuality is a disorder and still to approach homosexuals with love.

Here’s the part that will make some people mad: I think of homosexuality in the same way that I think of brother-sister incest.  Does that seem wrong?  Maybe your knee-jerk reaction is, “That’s disgusting that you could even think that.”  But why?  What is the problem with incest?

You could say that incest leads to children with a higher chance of deformity.  But does that mean that there’s no problem with incest where one partner is infertile?  Of course not.  You could protest that brother-sister incest between consenting adults is very rare – but compared to heterosexuality, homosexuality is rare too.  You could say that it’s just obviously wrong – that there is natural biological and social resistance to it – but you could say exactly the same thing about homosexuality.

Obviously, many incestuous relationships involve coercion.  But what about incest between consenting adults?  This does happen. In a quote from a Guardian article (that I found through Wikipedia), someone involved with his sister says, “You can’t help who you fall in love with, it just happens. I fell in love with my sister and I’m not ashamed … I only feel sorry for my mom and dad, I wish they could be happy for us.” (You can read the whole article here.)

So say you have a friend who is involved in an incestuous relationship.  He says, “We’re perfectly happy together.”  How do you feel toward him?  If I were in that situation, I would feel nothing but love for my friend – but there is no way I would believe that the relationship was healthy.  I’d believe he loved his sister, yes, but that he was profoundly confused.

Now someone could easily say, “You’re just prejudiced against brother-sister relationships because of your religion.”  Well, it’s true that my religion says it’s wrong.  In fact, it has a lot more to say about incest than it does about homosexuality.   But I hope it’s pretty clear that in that case it wouldn’t be a blind adherence to a hateful religious dogma that made me see a problem in my friend’s relationship.

The reaction that you might have to that brother-sister relationship, or at least the reaction that I would have, is almost identical to my reaction to people involved in homosexual relationships.  I do not love them any less.  I do not deny that they really do feel love for each other.  I just think they are profoundly confused.  Does this make me a hateful bigot?  And if so, then does it make me a hateful bigot to feel that way about incest? I’d love to hear and respond to any thoughts people have on this.


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