If homosexuality is inborn, what should society’s position toward it be?

Agreeing with the current view that homosexuality is primarily inborn or acquired very early in life, John Derbyshire, an outspoken critic of homosexual liberation, comes to the following thoughts on what society’s attitude toward homosexuality ought to be. Since it’s inborn, we should be tolerant toward it, not outlawing it or demanding that homosexuals practice chastity. At the same time, since homosexuality is, as he puts it, a “social negative,” and since homosexuals constitute a tiny minority, their defect should not be used to challenge the moral views of the majority. The upshot is that homosexuals need to be discrete about themselves and their lives, not pushing their homosexuality into our faces, and not demanding that society overturn its basic customs in order to accommodate their wishes.

There are several useful elements in this analysis, one of them being the idea that if there are minorities with legitimate concerns, there is also a majority with legitimate concerns. This represents a radical departure from the liberal thought of today (and a lot of “conservative” thought as well), which makes minorities the chief focus of society while dismissing the majority as either a nullity or a negative. But if the majority is seen, first, as something, and, second, as something positive, that opens up the possibility of a reasonable social contract that properly balances the concerns of the majority with those of the minorities. We must remember, further, that in such a reasonable arrangement, the respective claims of the majority and of the minorities would not be of equal weight. The majority is, after all, the majority, and the minorities are minorities.

Posted by Lawrence Auster at February 16, 2005 10:39 AM | Send

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