I am neither a homophobe nor anti-homosexual. The gay men and women I know are decent, wonderful people. But that does not mean that I embrace homosexual sex as something good for people or good for society. There is no scientific consensus yet, to my knowledge, that explains why men are sexually attracted to men or women to women. Is it genetic? Is it socialization? Is it psychological? Is it a combination?

Regardless of the “cause” there is no denying that homosexuality as been around for most of human history. Of course, as I noted in a previous post, without heterosexual dominance homosexuals would become extinct. The fact that most human communities throughout history have not accepted or embraced homosexuality has more to do with Darwin than with petty discrimination.

Let’s have a frank, candid discussion–female homosexuality is a different animal than male homosexuality. The act of cunnilingus, for example, is not inherently violent nor invasive. While there are many cultures that still discourage men from performing this act on their spouse, you can certainly understand sexually frustrated women finding a “source” for providing this pleasure.

Not so with anal intercourse. The Hershey Highway ain’t a freeway. It’s a tollway.

The properly functioning rectum and anus are the exit for feces and flatulence. Very simple. Prior to the advent of indoor plumbing, man’s ability to keep his ass “minty fresh” was impossible. Guys still joke about “skid” marks on their underwear. Please give me the argument for why it is healthy or wise to have a penis inserted thru a shit encrusted anus and up into the rectum? Shoving dried flakes of excrement back up the poop chute may not be a problem for the “catcher” but the potential of a urethral infection for the “pitcher” is significant.

And prolonged, frequent anal intercourse does not build up a strong, elastic anus. I am very good friends with a nurse who worked with the very first AIDS patients at NIH in 1980. The young men dying of the “gay cancer” at the time were sexually very active. Most claimed to have more than 50 sex partners a week. And, not surprisingly, most had fecal incontinence–they did not have the muscle tone in the anus to prevent excrement from sliding out.

Not trying to gross you out or go for the shock effect. Trying for some honesty. And let’s be clear. Anal intercourse, regardless of it being heterosexual or homosexual, is not a healthy practice. Anyone care to make the opposite case?

Modern sanitation and indoor plumbing have made anal intercourse and cunnilingus more “accessible.” I realize that people had sex when they were only bathing once a week, but we should not kid ourselves and pretend that it was a pleasant olfactory experience. It was not.

While some folks will argue that there is no reason to restrain or channel sexual urges, most folks, regardless of culture or race, recognize a variety of common sensical limits. Children and teenagers, for example, should be strongly discouraged from engaging in sexual activity. While teenagers are quick to discover some of the pleasures, they are left with the problem of pregnancy and sexually transmitted diseases. And, while some what to pretend that there is the bullshit of “equality” in the sex arena, the reality is different for boys and girls or men and women.

What do you call a woman with multiple sexual partners? Whore? Prostitute? Slut? Virtuous? And how is the self-esteem of a woman with a long string of one night stands?

And what do you a guy with an equal string of multiple sex partners? Stud? Lucky? I guarantee you that the average guy does not suffer the same kind of emotional insecurity that normally attaches to a girl or woman who is known as “Backseat Sally,” when the conquests are women.

However, the same cannot be said for those homosexual men who are the targets of the male homosexual predators. Those men who adopt the female role in the homosexual relationship can end up with the same kinds of feelings of rejection, insecurity and inadequacy.

The Supreme Court decision, like any other decision by an Government entity, cannot change human nature nor alter biology. You can declare men and women as equals but men are generally physically stronger. They are put together differently.

Can we find a balance between treating homosexuals respectfully while maintaining religious proscriptions against such behavior? Are there any major religions that encourage or celebrate pre-marital sex? Are there any that encourage or promote adultery? I am not aware of any. For us to pretend that these religious prohibitions are capricious and have nothing to do with social order is a dangerous form of self-delusion.

Once the elation over the approval of same-sex marriage subsides, I anticipate that reality will start to set in and it will not be wine and roses for society. Anyone care to argue the opposite?

UPDATE–I realize that trying to have this kind of candid, frank discussion can both irritate and alienate. Let me tell you about my old friend, (I suspect he is now deceased), Ira Maddox. Ira was your quintessential queen with a terrible toupee. I met Ira when I was 18 years old and had just started working as a Respiratory Therapy tech. Ira was my mentor.

At the time (February 1973), Ira was a Nathan Lane type man in his mid-50s. He had eyes like a Pug dog. The bugged out a bit. And the gayest laugh you could imagine–gay in every sense of the word.

Within a few weeks we discovered we had a much closer, prior personal connection. Turns out that Ira grew up as a neighbor of my Mom and her family in Sugar Creek, Missouri. He actually attend high school with my Aunt Betty and worshipped with them at the local Methodist Church. Sometime in the 1943-44 time frame, my Grandfather, Ernest Lyons, contracted Tuberculosis while wiring the house of a friend with electricity. Turns out that homeowner had active TB, did not realize it, and infected my Grandfather.

Grandpa subsequently became very sick and, sometime in 1944, infected two of his five daughters–my Aunt Betty (age 20) and my Aunt Joan (age 14)–with TB. My Aunt Betty had just given birth to a baby boy (John Kemper). Her husband, Howard, was a instructor pilot in the US Army Air Corp. Betty, with baby in tow, went to live with her folks. She got the disease and her baby did not. She was diagnosed in June 1945 and was dead by November 1945. Just shy of her 22nd birthday. That left Aunt Joan and Grandpa Ernie in the hospital. My Grandmother, now the sole bread winner for the family had no car. She relied on public transportation to get to work and to get to the hospital to see her husband and daughter.

Enter Ira. Ira had served in World War II with the Marines. He was known in high school for his tap dancing prowess. And he had a roommate, Bill Allison. You knew what that meant, but you didn’t talk about it.

The tuberculosis outbreak in the 1940s was a cross between Ebola and AIDS. People who had TB were shunned. Family, friends and neighbors would distance themselves.  My Grandmother needed someone to watch over my Mom and my Aunt Janie. The only one she could find who had the courage to help was Ira Maddox.

Ira Maddux Gravestone

When Ira and I worked together AIDS was still on the distant horizon. I look back now at the irony of a gay man who fearlessly and selflessly confronted the disease like AIDS in the 1940s and, in the process, helped my mother and her family survive.

So what does this have to do with what I have written above? I acknowledge that there is an important human dimension with respect to the issue of homosexuality. While I do not embrace nor celebrate the gay life as “normal,” I also fervently believe that homosexuals should be allowed to live without being subjected to persecution or abuse or prejudice.

I recognize that in my candor I have probably offended many in the gay community. That was not my intent. I do believe that the future of society depends on healthy, stable heterosexual marriage. I believe it is in the interest of the state to promote that as a goal.

But, I also realize that there are men and women who are attracted to and in love with members of their own sex. That such feelings are not a mere social contrivance. I want to honor and respect people like Ira. He may have been a queer personality in the total sense of the word, but he brought something to the world that made it a better place for all.

Have I now completely confused you?


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Larry C. Johnson is a former analyst at the U.S. Central Intelligence Agency, who moved subsequently in 1989 to the U.S. Department of State, where he served four years as the deputy director for transportation security, antiterrorism assistance training, and special operations in the State Department's Office of Counterterrorism. He left government service in October 1993 and set up a consulting business. He currently is the co-owner and CEO of BERG Associates, LLC (Business Exposure Reduction Group) and is an expert in the fields of terrorism, aviation security, and crisis and risk management, and money laundering investigations. Johnson is the founder and main author of No Quarter, a weblog that addresses issues of terrorism and intelligence and politics. NoQuarterUSA was nominated as Best Political Blog of 2008.