A while back over at Catholic Answers Forum the question came up – what are the best arguments against homogenital sexual relations between the consenting that is not taken from a purely religious stand point.
If I had to say, in a single word, why homosexuality should be avoided, and if that is one’s primary orientation, celibacy should be adhered to it would be this: health.
Well before the dawn of HIV/AIDS, this sort of sexual expression has lent itself to a myriad of problematic health and wellness issues. I will look to see if I can’t find the study that discusses the average lifespan of an active homosexual. As I recall, it is around the age of 38, with a scant 2% of self-identified “gay men” who are homo-genitially sexually active living past age 65. There is mention of this study on the http://www.catholic.com (CAF’s parent website) in an article opposing gay marriage.
Hepatitis B, HPV (warts), HIV, and Syphallis are all hitting the community of men who have sex with men hard. Suicide, alcoholism and drug use is far more problematic there too. In my city – with numerous “gayborhoods” gay bars, and a couple of bathhouses – meth use is outrageous. 2200 new cases of HIV per year are reported (22,000 a decade!) and lately that is on the rise.
(This is, I grant, significantly higher than in most cities that are not seeing this many new cases. This city is known for being the “San Francisco of the Midwest” with numerous distinctive neighborhoods.)
A considerable number of my co-workers at a night job I have are active in their homosexuality. Nice enough fellows some of them… but over the years I have watched them move from relationship to relationship, struggle with alcoholism (buried a 28 year old from liver failure this year) and drug addiction (a 27 year old OD’d on pain meds last year). A 38 year old I know who is two years HIV positive is already taking meds he can’t afford. A 21 year old co-worker I had who is attempting recovery from meth went to the free clinic to get tested for HIV and found out that not only was he positive, but he had a syphalis infection so bad he was running the risk of penis amputation.
The oft-propogated myth that everyone will be healthy if they wear condoms and have a chance to get married is really doing no one any favors. Many well intentioned people thinking themselves compassionate are only enabling this sad situation.
I am not inclined to spend days debating the merits of my anecdotal evidence – it is what it is: that which I have seen first hand and lived through. I am not prepared to debate for days the veracity of the studies cited in the Catholic Answers literature. No amount of debating will change the health situation. If any are inclined to believe I am wrong, that there are not health crises or that just wearing condoms keeps everyone in great shape mentally and physically, good luck with that.
I am not interested in going rounds on debating wether the rampant promiscuity and problems with drug and alcohol abuse are related to “homophobia” which seems to be the great scapegoat for these problems in a lot of debates. Living in a city with a huge gay population, after a decade of “Will & Grace”, “Brokeback Mountain”, “Queer Eye for the Straight Guy”, and noticing that pretty much every other television show has a gay character (even if minor) that 9 out of 10 times portrays them as very positive… Acceptance is at an all time high, but these supposed external influences that lead to so much unhealthiness declining, has not, by and large, made the gay community noticecably healthier.
I am also not prepared to debate for days (out of total lack of interest, this isn’t a sport for me) the possibility of healthy life-long (“ltr” – long term relationships) in the context of a same-sex, homogenital relationship. As one co-worker (now of blessed memory) shared with a group of us co-workers over a few pitchers of beer one night with no small hint of melancholy “Guys say or think they are looking for long term relationships, but if we are all saying we are looking for that, why aren’t we acheiving it! I just gave up on it and have fun now, what happens happens!”
If I saw health there, it might be a possibility for me to totally ignore the nature of the homogenital expression – an act I don’t need to be graphic about to underline the non-complimentary nature of such sex.