I am finding myself to be in a place to “defend’ something said by anti-gay radio host Linda Harvey. I am not a fan of Linda Harvey’s, nor am I in agreement with her point in her latest hysterical rant. I am also not a fan of what I see as misrepresentation from the pro-gay reaction to her, especially when it is done in a way that leaves a derogatory implication about gay lives in the effort to portray us as her victims.
Here is what happened. Today the Pink News, a top gay newspaper in Europe, ran an article with the titie: “US Radio host: ‘Same-sex marriage encourages children to have gay sex’ “ . Yikes, really? She did that? Well, no, she actually didn’t. It is believable that the woman who says pretty whacked out stuff like, “Let’s take the example of a twelve year-old boy who was once molested…, gay agenda activists want to add harmful ideas in this boy’s life at just the wrong moment… This boy will think he himself is one of these ‘born this way’ homosexual,” would say something like that, but, it was not what she said.
What she DID say is, “Here’s how it works with homosexuality: since no pregnancy threat exists, some people think there’s no reason to prohibit behavior in the young, even the very young. And that’s one of the big reasons by homosexual marriage is wrong: because the young are raised on the mores and traditions of the adults and if same sex marriage is accepted, then children will begin to consider dating and forming relationship in these very different ways; ways that will be very destabilizing to many of them and to our society.” She was discussing “no reason to prohibit (homosexual) behavior”. Pink News felt they needed to re-write this to “encourages sex”. To me, “homosexual behavior” can include hand holding, school age crushes, love notes and valentines.
While Harvey’s choice of language may have intentionally hinted at children having sex at an inappropriate age, who knows—it IS Linda Harvey after all– she was making a valid observation worthy of conversation. Where she was completely wrong in her commentary was in her conclusion around that observation. It is a point that the Pink News does not address however, and that is the biggest problem with exaggerated reactions to people who are not our friends – we don’t get to bridge the gap on discussable points.
Here is the part of Harvey’s observation that is NOT wrong. As kids in unbiased environments start investigating dating and romance, some will entertain same gender situations. Notations in the American Sociological Review made by researchers, Judith Stacey and Timothy Biblar showed that that kids in gay parented households ARE more likely to be open to this kind of experimentation. It has also been studied and reported that such experimentation does not change the young person’s orientation. These experiments do not imply sexual intercourse, they are likely to be at the hand-holding and kissing level.
This should not be news to any gay person. So many of us experimented with, or more specifically earnestly tried to make work, heterosexual endeavors. They did not lead us to a different orientation, nor will the open minded straight teen be lead there who tries a same sex kiss.
As a dad, if my young son decides that he has a crush on his same sex friend – do the pro-gay people who get riled by Harvey’s comment think that I should discourage the age-appropriate interaction and expression? I am not talking about encouraging a trip to Motel 6, and I hope that Harvey was not saying that either, but I would let him talk through his feelings and the best way to express them, and the physical and emotional limits. It is THAT which Harvey fears. She thinks it will destabilize society, (because the millions of same sex crushes that have already occurred have curbed population rates….. not).
My suggestion here is not to over-react to these people, but to address some of the things they observe. For some moderate heterosexuals, there will be an adjustment in their notions and may need some discussion to get them on board.
Kids in the world to come will have more freedom to discover who they are, and try things that tell them who they are not. It will not, as Harvey suggests, be harmful, but will make them confident and secure in the healthiest of ways.
As far as Pink News, of which I am a fan, if it were me, and I were going to sensationalize Harvey’s rant… I would have gone this direction instead:
“Linda Harvey implies gay sex is immensely more satisfying than straight sex: those who try it won’t go back.”
But, that’s just me…
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