I happened to get cornered in an argument among friends about homosexuality and same sex marriage while I tried to defend what appeared to be a fundamental right. Charlie, a close friend, clearly dislikes the idea of letting same sex couples marry, and thinks the institution of matrimony is sacred. I am trying to find out if Charlie has a valid reason for his aversion. Laurie and Steven clearly support Charlie´s ideas, but are just listening attentively to the exchange.
Charlie: It is obvious that marriage was meant to be a union between a man and a woman. Gay people are being foolish when they pretend to have a right that is reserved only for natural unions.
Me: I wouldn´t be so sure about that. I would like to know more before we say something is obvious or natural.
Charlie: What do you mean? I don´t believe anyone would dare deny that heterosexual couples are the way nature intended unions to be. Humans, and every living species in the world, would have disappeared millions of years ago if they hadn´t followed the ways of nature. Unions between male and female are the only way we can produce offspring and preserve our civilization. That said, we should only allow behaviors that are natural.
Laurie and Steven gave approval glances to each other, while I remained silent for a moment, thinking about what Charlie had just said.
Me: I can´t disagree with you, Charlie, in that reproduction does indeed need of male and female unions. But, does it mean that we have to approve all things that are natural?
Charlie: Of course.
Me: So, we can assume that you approve murder or would like to let the physically and mentally challenged people die, just as the rest of the species do. That would be more natural than trying to save the lives of all individuals as we do now, for most species have killed or have let the weak die for millions of years to ensure the survival of the fittest and the wellbeing of the rest of the herd.
Charlie: You´re twisting my words. Nobody can approve of murder, and it would be cruel not to assist people who can be valuable members of our society but have special needs.
Me: I wouldn´t favor such thing, of course, but let us discover then what you meant when you used the word natural a while ago. It is true that we must help all those who are in need, but don´t buffalos and gazelles leave the old and sick to die in the wild?
Charlie: They do.
Me: And, don´t rats kill and eat each other when food is scarce? I asked.
Me: Is it not true that those species are part of nature and, as such, all their behavior is part of nature itself?
Charlie: Yes, but what does that have to do with our discussion?
Me: Well, I remember you saying that we can only allow behaviors that are natural.
Laurie and Steven nodded in agreement with me.
Me: So, according to your statement, we should also allow cruel behavior because it is nature´s way to ensure the survival of our species.
Charlie: But, we are not animals, we can choose not to behave like them.
Me: Then, we can agree that whether nature agrees or not with same sex couples is irrelevant, and humans are, and have always been, free to decide whether or not to follow what seems to be “natural” depending on what our individual or collective interests are. Am I correct?
Charlie: It seems to be the case. But tell me something, if gay couples are allowed to marry, then the human race is doomed. It would be stupid to let them have kids of their own, because they would become gay and then won´t be able to procreate.
Me: Let me see if I understand this new point. You´re saying that, if a gay couple raises kids, then those children would invariably become gay. Did I understand well?
Charlie: Basically, yes.
Me: Then, am I to assume that all homosexual people come from gay parents? That certainly seems almost impossible for they cannot bear offspring, if I heard you well.
Laurie: Yes Charlie! you did say that.