The CA Supreme Court voted on Friday, January 23 to prohibit state judges from being affiliated with the Boy Scouts on the grounds that the Boy Scouts discriminate against gays. Apparently the Court voted in 1996 to prohibit judges from participating in any organization that discriminated against someone because of their sexual orientation, but had an exception clause for youth organizations including the Boy Scouts. That exception has been rescinded. This brings CA in line with 21 other states that have the same prohibition.
This ruling strikes me as troubling for a number of reasons:
- I am troubled by the fact that the government thinks it has the authority to regulate what judges do and who they associate with in their private lives. While I understand that certain associations (such as an association with the KKK) would call the judge’s reputation and moral sanity into question, let the voters decide whether or not the judge’s private life is tolerable and consistent with his duty as a judge.
- I am troubled that such a hard line is being taken regarding an issue that our country is evenly divided on. The Boy Scouts, like the vast majority of human beings for millennia and roughly half of Americans today, think homosex is morally wrong. To prohibit judges from affiliating with an organization that has, as one of its values, a conviction against homosex is elitist at its core. It is to say by judicial fiat that half of Americans are wrong on the moral question, and are actually being immoral themselves when they affirm the immorality of homosex. Who are they to determine the proper answer to the moral question?
- Strictly speaking, the Boy Scouts do not discriminate against anyone’s sexual orientation. Rather, they discriminate based on one’s sexual behavior. They are not concerned with one’s sexual desires, but with how they respond to those sexual desires. Surely there are leaders in the Boy Scouts that have a polyandrous sexual orientation (the desire to have sex with women other than their spouse), but the Boy Scouts does not discriminate against such leaders unless they act on that orientation and engage in adulterous sexual activity. The same is true of those with a homosexual orientation.
- WARNING: EXPLICT MATERIAL TO FOLLOW: I am troubled by what I see as the demonization of those who have a principled moral objection to homosex. Why should it be thought strange to disapprove of homosex? What is truly strange is an approval of homosex. Humans are obviously designed to function sexually with the opposite sex, not the same sex. It is obvious on a biological level that the penis is naturally designed for use with the vagina, and vice-versa. It is just as obvious that the anus is not designed as a receptacle for the penis (unlike the vagina, the anus does not produce lubricant during sexual arousal to aid in its penetration by the penis, nor does the semen that is deposited in the anus perform any biological function). Homosex is unnatural in every way, and when one’s sexual desires do not allow them to use their sexual organ in the way it was designed to function, something is clearly amiss. One is free to think there is no moral significance to using one’s sexual organs in an unnatural way, but that does not change the fact that homosex is, at its heart, unnatural.Homosex is akin to using a cell phone as a hammer. Yes, it’s possible to use a cell phone in that way, but clearly it is not what the cell phone was intended for. Those who use it that way are using it the wrong way, and are causing damage to the phone. Those who want to claim that there is no difference between heterosex and homosex are akin to those who would say there is no difference between using your cell phone to talk and using it to hammer nails. This is irrational. So why demonize those who recognize and distinguish between the proper use and improper use of sexuality? Why demonize those that recognize there is something wrong when a man treats another man sexually as if he were a woman? Why demonize those who recognize something is amiss when a man or woman is psychologically incapable of using their sexual organ for its natural and biologically-intended use? This much seems obvious.
Does the fact that homosex is unnatural mean we should mistreat those who experience homosexual attractions or engage in homosex? Of course not. They need our love, support, and help. But neither does that mean that we must be accepting of their behavior or pretend that it is morally, socially, and biologically the same as heterosex. To say a judge cannot be affiliated with a group like the Boy Scouts is to do just that. It is to declare that if a judge thinks there is a difference between heterosex and homosex, he must hold this view privately and cannot affiliate himself with any organization that holds to the same view. That is wrong.