Bisexuals Don't Work for the Christian Right
GreenEyed Lilo printable version print page     Bookmark and Share
Wed Jan 10, 2007 at 10:39:08 AM EST
Yet another Christian Nationalist spokesperson thinks bisexual lives are the ultimate argument against gay (and bisexual) rights.

As a lifelong bisexual woman, I was very interested to see Concerned Women for America spokeswoman Jan LaRue express concern for the rights of bisexuals in a January 8 article at Townhall.com.  (Townhall.com being a one-stop shop for conservative thought ranging from libertarian to frothing-at-the mouth Christian Nationalist.)  The January 8 column seems to be part of a pattern.  She did the same thing on December 22 for Concerned Women for America's site.

What gives?  It seems that LaRue has recently discovered that we bisexuals exist and is eager to play with her new intellectual toy.  Unfortunately, her acknowledgement of our existence puts her ahead of many progressives, but that's another rant for another website. She believes she's struck gold as far as arguments against same-sex marriage are concerned.  She challenges Evan Wolfson of the Freedom to Marry Coalition, then Michaelangelo Signorile, with what she thinks is a clever argument. 

From the January 8 article:

1. You believe that homosexuals should be allowed to express their sexuality within marriage, right?

2. You claim to support full equality for bisexuals, right?

3. Then, why aren’t you supporting bisexuals’ right to express their sexuality within polygamous marriage?

4. How can you be consistent with your alleged support of equal rights for bisexuals and not support their right to marry both a man and a woman?

5. Why is it right for homosexuals to draw a moral line against polygamy, but it’s wrong for the rest of us to draw a moral line against “same-sex marriage”?

6. Did the Canadian court go too far in ruling that a boy can have two mommies and a daddy as legal parents?

7. So if the three Canadians were bisexuals, you wouldn’t support them if they wanted to get married?

8. Aren’t you the guy who said that homosexuals should seize marriage “not as a way of adhering to society’s moral codes but rather to debunk a myth and radically alter an archaic institution”?

9. So your “radical” alteration of marriage doesn’t triangulate for bisexuals?

10. So you really don’t support equal rights for bisexuals?

LaRue makes many errors.  The first is ignoring the fact that many bisexuals are, in fact, legally married to the person of their choice already, and those people are opposite-sex.  This can be attested to by compilations of first-person bisexual essays such as Bi Any Other Name, the existence of online and real-world support groups, and countless advice columns.  Some of us have married, civilly united with, or otherwise made commitments to members of the same sex.  I'm one of them.  All we want are equal rights and equal treatment, and to have the legal multiple personality disorder that is thrust on bisexuals by current marriage law removed.

LaRue takes the all-too-common stereotype of bisexuals as promiscuous and runs far with it.  She conflates bisexuality with polyamory, or relationships that involve more than two.  Bisexuals are attracted to members of both genders in varying degrees.  On a personal note, I'm 50/50 and find that people like me with equal degrees of attraction to both genders are comparatively rare even in groups of bisexuals.  Even for us, attraction doesn't necessarily translate to behavior.  Like heterosexuals, it usually begins and ends with a long look.  I've found that on racing forums, many married heterosexual women have a crush on short, dark-haired, aggressive race car driver Tony Stewart.  Their husbands may be red-haired or blond or tall or extremely cautious drivers, but their crush doesn't indicate that they need or want two spouses.  When I, a woman married to a woman, have a crush on Tony Stewart, I am not expressing a need or desire for two spouses, either.

LaRue hopes not only to literally demonize a segment of the LGBT community, but to sow divisions.  Her series of questions for Signorile ends, "So you really don't support equal rights for bisexuals?", as if he's a closet biphobe.  Her arguments are  intended to make all-the-way-gay people look ridiculous and hypocritical when asking for equality and tolerance.  They are also intended to discredit bisexuals both to gays whom we'd like to work with and straights who know little to nothing about us.  How can we make a good argument for SSM to someone who believes we "really" want something alien, complex, and scary?

Which brings me to LaRue's main error, and intent.  Her main use for bisexuals is to further the same old slippery slope argument.

It makes you wonder how long bisexuals will be content riding in the back of the homosexual marriage bus, and how long before another activist court pushes marriage down the slippery slope to ultimate destruction.

When society and its courts think “fairness” and “tolerance” trump morality, the laws of God and what’s best for children, what will stop polygamists from marrying? Why limit it to three, “loving and committed” people? Why not two adults and a consenting minor? Why not a dozen polyamorists?....

Who doesn’t know that you have to hide the playbook if your goal is to negate marriage by taking a duped and desensitized society down the slope slide by slide?

This isn't the first time bisexual lives have been appropriated as arguments against gay (and bisexual) rights by Christian Nationalists.   Nancy Heche, mother of Anne, has parlayed her daughter's romantic history into a career as an anti-gay speaker and author.  (Anne herself vocally opposes this.)  Anne was held up as "proof" that "lesbians" can and should change when she married; so was bisexually-identified singer Sinead O'Connor during her brief marriage to her second husband.  The Traditional Values Coalition used reports of openly bisexual teenage girls to argue that gay advocacy is warping teenagers' sexuality.  

Bisexuals have difficulty finding acceptance when we come out.  We experience flack from conservatives, liberals, straights, and gays.  However, when it comes to the culture wars, we know where our real allies are.  I expect to change no minds by writing this.  My intent is simply to serve notice that I refuse to let Christian Nationalists draft me, or a straw woman with my name on it, to their side.




Display:

No pun intended.

LaRue's argument, I think, comes from the deep-seated conviction of the religious right that gay marriage is just the first step, "the thin end of the wedge", as the Brits say. They fight it so hard because they think it will eventually lead to bisexual marriages, then group marriages, and finally - as the unlamented ex-Senator from PA, Rick Santorum, so famously said, to "man-on-dog" marriages. Such a fear is ludicrous, of course, akin to a fear that the moon is made of green cheese and as the sun shines on it, it will melt and cover the earth, ending all life as we know it.

But then, most right-wing fears are ludicrous and always have been.

- mick -


by mick arran on Wed Jan 10, 2007 at 09:00:49 PM EST
Please tell me you don't think there's actually such a thing as "bisexual marriage," aside from marriages that happen to contain one or two bisexual people.

If you mean something else, as in what Jan LaRue thinks a "bisexual marriage" would be, you need to re-read this.

by GreenEyed Lilo on Thu Jan 11, 2007 at 09:09:36 AM EST
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