by Maxime Michelet
translation Louise Thunin
Even if, in our societies, there has been indisputable progress concerning the rights of sexual minorities, homosexuality—the first of these minorities—remains dissident. It stands apart from the heterosexual norm, reduced to an obscure socio-cultural dysfunction, indeed sometimes relegated, by the most extreme defenders of this norm, to the fearful margins of mental illness. This latter position, while not inconsiderable, is less prevalent today, but a range of similar attitudes is still relatively common, comminglingly extensively with a will to tolerate, without which recent advances would have been impossible.
However, this tolerance boils down to accepting everything, all the while recognizing a step aside from the norm, an anomaly, for our societies are still directed by an authority patterned on the ˝normality˝ of heterosexuality. Yet homosexuals do not aspire to being tolerated, but to equality, in rights and in dignity, refusing a social authority that accepts them, while setting them apart : for example the idea of a civil union, lexical substitute for marriage, or a similar right under a name that confirms the irregularity of the tolerated behavior.
Nothing is more upsetting to this system of relegation than is homosexuals’ desire to be parents. If homosexual desire is, in itself, dissident, it is never as strong as is the desire for a child. A fully human aspiration, no doubt linked as much to our animal nature as to our social culture. A desire too often subjected to caricature by the opponents of Lesbian Gay Bi Trans (LGT) rights, and referred to as ˝the right to a child˝, which only a militant minority, so they say, demands illegitimately. They present this supposed faction as a minority even among homosexuals themselves, as if those who reject them were in a better position to know them, whereas they do not even seek to understand them.
The refusal to understand others is the hidden essence that fuels this everlasting accusation of demanding ˝the right to a child˝; it is an imposture invented and utilized by those who can neither accept nor conceive of a desire for parenthood on the part of homosexuals, who ask nothing more than for the dignity and legitimacy of their desire to be recognized. To recognize this desire would be to destroy the last—and main—motive of domination claimed by heterosexuality: a monopoly on the biological reproduction of the human race. Homosexual parenting erases the traditional separation line and integrates homosexuality as a normal expression of human sexuality, not a departure from humanity’s sexual norms. Here lie the foundations of equality. Moreover, the desire for homosexual parenthood leads to an in-depth reflection on our human identity by questioning its perpetuation. Are we speaking only of genetic stakes ? Is our species’ ultimate goal the transmission of hair or skin color, facial morphology or voice modulations ? Or is it a question, in fact, of perpetuating a culture and principles that allow us to live fraternally, therefore perpetuating a civilization rather than a race ?
Among the first words of the Bible, we find these: So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him ; male and female he created them (Genesis 1, 27).
If the image of God in Man is a physical and biological one, the immense diversity of images in this realm invites innumerable questions on the unity of the Divine. And what if this image is not one that our sense of sight can perceive? The image of God on whose foundation we were forged cannot be seen by eyes but by the heart, and it’s not our genes—which have never ceased evolving and mutating—that we must perpetuate, but brotherly love, basis of the unity indspensable to our progress.
In this great undertaking, is homosexual parenthood less legitimate than heterosexual ? By envisioning reproduction on the biological level alone, are we not reducing the human being to an abstract genetic chain, a chemical experience ? Recognizing the legitimacy and the dignity of of homosexuals’ desire for parenthood is the foundation of all peaceful, constructive debate on surrogacy and medically assisted procreation. And only a debate which takes into account, all taboos barred, the full and profoundly humane dimension of this question can lead to the real integration of homosexuals into human society, equal at last !
Those who declare that a minority must not impose its law get lost in the meanders of intolerance and hatred, by refusing equality to whatever does not fit a norm founded on nothing other than the domination it permits. And those who, among Protestants, relay such arguments, must remember that it’s exactly the same logic that justified decades of oppression and the rejection of a minority: their own.
As for those who, finally, think that homosexuality defiles God’s plan, what can we say to them if not that God is neither a chemist nor a genetician? By preaching rejection and sometimes hatred, homophobes, and they alone, defile the image of God placed in each and every one of us.