Richard Ammon,
New York City

I am continually saddened by how far and deep irrational thought (myth) can infuse a society, especially regarding a political or religious issue.

Gay marriage is one issue that arouses irrational political and religious discomfort. It’s an issue that burns because it involves or implies human sexual behavior, which is an irrational force that urges many people into irrational behavior, usually surrounded by silence, rejection or advocacy—anything but indifference. Sex makes people squirm either in pleasure or in dismay. The myth of sex.

Marriage (hetero) on the other hand evokes a kind of charming myth, as some kind of ritual that bestows blessing, legitimacy and social approval on people. It’s associated with family, home, children, security—normalcy and stability in a world of flux and uncertainty. The ‘family unit’ is seen as the unquestioned bedrock of a culture despite its stressed and fraught reality and high divorce rate. The myth of family.

Add in the myth of ‘gay’ to the combination of sex and marriage and this creates another kind of myth that unsettles nearly every major society today.

Myths are countless, from Disney fairies to the magical figures who started world religions to alleged saints slaying dragons. Many are harmless and stimulate artistic imagination or are useful to perpetuate certain social ideals like ‘equality’. But other myths are dangerous and deadly such as the anti-gay myths that emerge from religious sources like the Bible and the Koranor the Talmud. The impact of these ancient books–all with mythological foundations–on the lives of modern LGBT people is staggering and forceful since out of myth comes very real behavior. And a belief in the rightness of one’s religious or political myths can lead to violence and repression and even warfare, or it can also lead to a Mother Theresa with boundless compassion.

Anti-gay mythologies certainly have led to a disproportionate tsunami against homosexually-natured people across the planet, from a mild silence among rural Thai farmers to Mormon excommunication to outright murder within the American (mostly Christian) military or to public execution in Muslim quarters, and even pervades wealthy corporate structures (where the myth of wealth reigns).

In the matter of gay marriage, myth has served as a lethal weapon against the current push for human rights equality. Something blinds the common mind from seeing the reality before them: human sexuality exists on a broad spectrum of behaviors, from monk-like celibacy to Copenhagen’s sex clubs to monogamous/polygamous marriage to secret transvestism, as well as transsexuality, open marriage liaisons and gay marriage. Human behavior is unquestionably the most diverse of any creature on earth.

But this is a reality that myth wants to deny, control, and constrain. A logical brain that deals with a thousands of ‘real’ decisions every week (driving, shopping, Twittering) suddenly becomes blind and irrational when sexuality or same-gender love and marriage come into view.

And people make big business off of this irrationality: churches evoke millions of dollars to defeat the ‘gay agenda’; bogus reparative ‘therapists’ charge big fees to ‘cure’ vulnerable homosexuals; marketing companies hire out their services to defeat gay marriage legislation and newspapers increase sales by covering ‘scandalous’ LGBT activity.

How deep these irrational myths go is seen daily in the reports from large and small countries, wealthy or poor: Americans defeat proposed gay marriage legislation; Ugandan and Rwandan politicians want to throw gay advocates in jail; Singapore will not consider disturbing the hetero-ist status quo. Jamaicans would be happy to kill you.
(Photo left: murdered African lesbian activist Fanny Ann Eddy)

The ‘real’ world of humans is surprisingly shaped by myths we do not see or recognize but urge us to act in inhumane ways.

PS: Another gay/human rights activist, Walter Trochez of Honduras, (photo right) was murdered on December 13, 2009. The madness continues. See story here.