Let's follow up on Gary Bauer's argument -- noted below
-- that gay marriage shouldn't be allowed because "homosexual behavior is fraught with adverse health affects."
Now, clearly what Bauer is talking about is increased mortality due primarily to sexually transmitted diseases. And it's pretty transparent that he's appealing to fears that gays are scary leprous freaks. But let's examine the Bauer argument on the merits.
Given the fact (controversial, but generally considered to be true
) that lesbians have a lower incidence of sexually trasmitted diseases than either gay men or heterosexuals, by this logic, Bauer should be pushing to ban straight marriages too and only allow lesbian marriages. Perhaps he already is. He certainly wouldn't be the first straight-laced middle-aged man to have a thing for lesbians.
However that may be, this little reductio ad absurdum
leads to the big absurdum at the center of Bauer's silly argument: namely, that if you're really serious about reducing the incidence of sexually transmitted diseases among gay men -- rather than just bashing them -- presumeably you'd want to encourage
monogamy, and thus marriage, rather than fight against it.
In fact, when you try to wrestle Bauer's foolishness and sexual authoritarianism down to some measure of reality, you realize that what he should really be calling for is something like mandatory
gay marriage, ambivalence about straight marriage and more or less letting the lesbians just run wild.
Bauer should really stick to tried-and-true homophobia rather than trying to dress this one up with science, since it's clear he trips himself up pretty quickly.
And one more thing. This study
in the International Journal of Epidemiology
seems to the 'Oxford study' Bauer is referring to. And here's a follow-up
from the authors of the study lambasting homophobes for using the results of their data as a weapon to bash gays.