“A person’s sexuality is so much more than one word “gay.” No one refers to anyone as just “hetero” because that doesn’t say anything. Sexual identity is broader than a label.” — Gus Van Sant

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Recently the question has come to mind as to why so many religious folk and social conservatives have such a prurient fixation on what they imagine goes on in other people’s bedrooms. Sex is a part of every conjugal relationship: gay and straight. Sex is natural, a part of living and to be enjoyed. Sodomy laws, as they were called, were repealed in Canada in 1969. Then Minister of Justice Pierre Elliott Trudeau famously declaring in 1967, “there’s no place for the state in the bedrooms of the nation.” (CBC Digital Archives) Sodomy laws were repealed across the United States as of 2003 when U.S. Supreme Court in a 6-3 decision in Lawrence v. Texas Justice Anthony Kennedy, writing for the majority, ruled that the state could not single out gay people for harassment and discriminatory treatment simply “because of ‘moral disapproval’ of homosexuality. He wrote of ‘respect’ for same-sex couples and warned that ‘the state cannot demean their existence,’ describing same-sex relationships as a ‘personal bond’ involving much more than just sex. Kennedy also wrote that reducing same-sex couples to ‘sex partners,’ as anti-gay organizations often do, is offensive in the same way that describing a husband and wife as nothing more than sex partners would be offensive.” (National Gay and Lesbian Task Force)

While the issue of gay sex and sodomy laws has long since been laid to rest in Canadian society, despite the repeal of sodomy laws in the United States, there are elements of US society that insist on pressing for the reinstatement of such legislation. Rick Santorum, a former Republican Senator and presidential candidate, condemned the decision handed down in Lawrence v. Texas maintaining “he did not have a problem with homosexuals, but a problem with homosexual acts”, “the right to privacy doesn’t exist in my opinion in the United States Constitution”, and “sodomy laws properly exist to prevent acts which undermine the basic tenets of our society and the family.” (as cited in Wikipedia) Sodomy laws in the United States, prior to 2003, proscribed oral and anal sex and with some exceptions this proscription applied to homosexual couples, unmarried heterosexual couples and even married heterosexual couples. Presumably, the only legitimate form of sexual expression allowable under the law was coitus, that is, the sexual union between a male and a female involving insertion of the penis into the vagina. (American Heritage Dictionary) How these laws were ever to be enforced makes me think of the fable by Aesop where the mice decide to bell the cat.

A survey (National Survey of Sexual Health and Behavior) conducted by the Center for Sexual Health Promotion at Indiana University produced results which can be viewed in this graph. The results of the survey were published in 2010 and show that oral and anal sex is commonly practiced by heterosexuals and homosexuals alike. Is there any reason to believe people were not engaging in these kinds of sex acts long before the repeal of sodomy laws? So how do gay people have sex? Well, ask a silly question and usually you can expect a silly answer. In this case, however, we will give it to you straight: gay people have sex like everyone else. Sex is something that is learned. As an acquaintance who is a psychiatrist once said years ago about becoming sexually active “it is about teaching a new dog old tricks.” You learn through experience what pleases you and your partner and the limits of personal comfort in engaging in sex; it is as simple as that.

Why Rick Santorum and like minded people continue to fixate on the sex lives of gay couples is an interesting question. Santorum represents a religious and social conservative constituency in US society; one that neither accepts nor tolerates homosexuality. Santorum summed up this point of view in stating “if the Supreme Court says that you have the right to consensual sex within your home, then you have the right to bigamy, you have the right to polygamy, you have the right to incest, you have the right to adultery. You have the right to anything… whether it’s polygamy, whether it’s adultery, whether it’s sodomy, all of those things, are antithetical to a healthy, stable, traditional family.” (As cited in Wikipedia) One wonders what this constituency thinks of the reality that there are straight couples who engage in oral and anal sex. Honestly, have they nothing better to do? Whether you are a homosexual or heterosexual, sex is part of the bond between a loving couple. Gay couples, Mika and myself included, generally do not spend their time concerning themselves with the sex lives of Rick Santorum and his constituency, so frankly, they need not concern themselves with ours.

Posted by Geoffrey and Mika

5 thoughts on ““A person’s sexuality is so much more than one word “gay.” No one refers to anyone as just “hetero” because that doesn’t say anything. Sexual identity is broader than a label.” — Gus Van Sant

  1. Helena Fortissima

    The photo of Rick Santorum you’ve posted here pretty much sums it up. He definitely seems preoccupied with everyone’s private sexual business, probably because his own sex life is lackluster.

    Reply
  2. Joel Klebanoff

    I’m Canadian and I fully agree with the words of the late Pierre Elliot Trudeau. In 2011 I became a member of the Liberal Party of Canada, the party that Pierre Trudeau led, because I believe in liberal values and I see them as being under some threat here in Canada. (By the way, as of April 2013, the leader of the Liberal Party is now Pierre Trudeau’s son, Justin.

    Reply
    1. geoffreyandmika Post author

      Thank-you for leaving a comment. :) We are Canadian too, though Mika has dual citizenship: German and Canadian. I was six years old when Pierre Elliott Trudeau spoke those words. It is chilling to know that in my lifetime it was criminal to be gay.

      Reply
      1. Vance Austin Neely

        It’s ironic that you say that, because being a homosexual is still considered illegal in approximately 76+ countries and can even award you with the death penalty. :/ I also find it ironic that some American states still keep their “Anti-Sodomy” laws which criminalize anal and oral sex; even for heterosexual couples! We are moving away from sexism and genderism slowly, but surely.

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