Sunday, January 25, 2015

On a grandfather moving to be close to his grandchildren

            This is my response to an opinion column by Mark Ballard, “Political Horizons: As Louisiana bashes gays, North Carolina moves on,” The Advocate, January 25, 2015.

Facts: Joe Traigle, 71, is doing what many people do: move to the state where his grandchildren live. He claims it’s because after 43 years in Baton Rouge he doesn’t really feel welcome here; he is a gay partner. I could feel unwelcome anywhere but am convinced I am in charge of my feelings and (I think as a consequence) find goodwill everywhere.
Ballard offers supporting arguments for Traigle’s angst, which seem to disregard what is actually happening in Baton Rouge. I paraphrase, even interpret my way some of Ballard’s points. Sometimes I comment in brackets.
·         - Large corporations typically avoid locating in places where their employees are not comfortable. [Yet IBM is locating here.]
·         - One religious group contends sexual orientation is not a basis for civic classification, as though human physics allows for “orientation.” [Religious or not, the group has a valid argument. The “right” to claim you are a man in a woman’s body is not uncontroversial. How permanent is orientation? Accommodation of a man’s body in the woman’s bathroom is not a civic proposal. Civic issues should not be debated in religious terms, even in opposition.]
·         - In 2004, 78% of inhabitants voted to ban same-sex marriages and civil unions. [That was a good vote then and would be now, even if some people have become sympathetic with same-sex empowerment over children through technology and over single people for tax purposes. Louisiana is fighting for the right of a people to have a voice when they disagree with the administration, the Congress, and the Supreme Court.]
·        -  Louisiana claims its legislative right to protect children from the practice of sodomy. [It is right to protect children, and children need protection from sodomy predators. The legislature needs to make solicitation of sodomy in certain venues illegal, so that the law could be enforced.]
·         - Hate towards gays is acceptable in Baton Rouge. [No one objects to a gay’s private life. Typically a person wants his/her sexual practices to remain private.]
o   Can’t marry. [Marriage is more than a contract between two people: It also obligates a couple to love and care for their posterity for life. Gay monogamists cannot procreate, so marriage is not appropriate for them.]
o   May be fired from their jobs.
o   Pay a higher rate of taxes. [Gay partners and couples without a child should not pay lower taxes than single people. Marriage tax benefits should be reformed to clarify this unfairness to singles.]
o   Cannot cover partners on health insurance plans.
o   Partners can be barred from holding hands at death. [Exaggeration. Personal legal contracts can change that.]
o   A parade of people in their 20s request relief or they’ll have to move.
§  The threat is not effective. [Threats should not be effective.]
·         - The governor defends
o   The physics of human reproduction. [He’s more of a biologist than he admits.]
o   Phil Roberson’s opinion “same-sex unions [likened to] to bestiality”. He also addressed race. [Ballard’s reference quotes Robertson as saying, “Start with homosexual behavior and just morph out from there. Bestiality, sleeping around with this woman and that woman and that woman and those men.” I disagree with Ballard’s opinion about Roberson’s opinion. Roberts has valid advice.]
o   The need to pray.
§  With the AFA, whose Bryan Fischer says homosexuality should be criminalized. And also addressed race. [I don’t care to research this.]
o   Promotes fear of gays among some Protestants.
·         - Leaders in Charlotte, NC won’t openly scorn Traigle.
o   It’s progressive, growing, open.
o   Home to 11 Fortune 500 companies.
o   Fairness to LGBTs, quality schools, safe neighborhoods.
·         - People of Louisiana are more loving than their leaders.

       I have had many rejections in life but feel no bitterness to anyone or any organization. I cannot help but feel bitterness toward my home town. With so much favoritism by Ballard I wonder what Traigle’s outcome would have been with Ballard as his agent. I certainly don’t want Ballard, who takes the shady side of so many controversies, as a spokesman for Baton Rouge.
My reaction to Joe Traigle’s departure from Louisiana is complex, but it begins with:  Lot’s of grandfather’s move to be near their grandchildren, and you’d be welcome back. The complexity follows.

Are love affairs private or public? When I started dating my bride, my bride resisted holding my hand in public. Eventually I realized she would not tolerate a popular practice, a peer-pressure, I had accepted: Lovers make a public statement. But my bride wants privacy. With appreciation of her view, her photo in my desk was taped to the slide-out writing surface.

In his 1949 book, The Mature Mind, H.A.Overstreet[1] discussed psychological maturity including discovering, accepting, and becoming comfortable with your own sexuality. Monogamy can be platonic and may remain private, until the first child is conceived. The child may have characteristics of one or both of its parents that become more apparent as the child grows: There’s a human-physics connection of the child to its couple. The connection is also psychological. According to Overstreet, homosexual sex is, like adolescent sex, an experiment for most adolescents. Most adults settle on heterosexual monogamy. With the advent of the surrogacy industry, monogamy in procreation may be broken by contracts written by adults, subjugating the child to be born.

Ronald Dworkin,[2] citing John Rawls’s theory of justice, opines, “This most fundamental of rights is a distinct conception of the right to equality, which I call the right to equal concern and respect.” I very appreciate Dworkin’s view. It reflects my high-school class’s treatment of that lone, pallid guy in our class most kids referred to as “a queer.” No one shunned him or bothered him. I did not question his comfort level and he did not discuss it with me. Yet I knew I did not want what he had: attraction to same-sex sex.

Homosexuality, perhaps a 1% statistical variation in animal sexual-gratification, is increased to perhaps 3% among humans. Humans are aware that homosexual sex does not cause pregnancy, that heterosexual monogamy has the complication of the Venus and Mars contributions to the couple, and that homosexual partnering is more psychologically satisfying for some people.[3] Without the influence of religious absolutes, society may come to peace with these issues, especially the equality and dignity of each child respecting his/her couple.

In Louisiana, there are 16,000 gay partners, or 0.3%, among 4.9 million people. That’s a low percentage, because it excludes single LGBTs. However, it is an indication of the percentage who want same-sex monogamy—much lower than some 3% who practice same-sex sex.

The ethics of physics[4] empowers this chemical engineer[5] to identify a serious flaw in the current sympathies for same-sex partnering. If there is a statistical animal practice at 1%, enhanced by human awareness to 3%, then 97% of people are prone to either heterosexual monogamy or being single for life. Sexual promiscuity is another issue that must be considered, because it is counter to fidelity, or psychological maturity according to the above arguments. However, it does not seem civic for 0.3% of the population to be given civil license to inculcate a lifestyle that 97% of the population does not want.

Given that a people owes to itself three levels of governance by individuals--self control, candid civic governance among a people, and civil governance of all inhabitants, equal concern and respect must, according to the ethics of physics, begin with the fertilized ovum: that single cell that contains the genes and DNA to produce a person who is unique yet has characteristics of its chain of reproduction. The conception of that person is from the woman who produced the ovum and the man who produced the sperm. The conceived person is entitled to its heritage. In my opinion, he or she should not be conceived without the love and dedication of the conceivers to remain true to their conception and posterity for life. So far, a people is overlooking the equality and dignity of children.

Some thinkers gave me the impression that self-discovery (psychological maturity) is perhaps the meaning of life and that the most noble realization is fidelity in all relationships and commitments.[6]  People who would indoctrinate a child into an ideology, must accomplish the inculcation by the child’s age 7 or so. The body completes the parts of the brain needed for wisdom by age 25. Fortunate is the adolescent who discovers personal autonomy by age 15-30. Fortunate is the adult who discovers cooperative autonomy by age 25-45, and rare is the person who achieves psychological maturity, perhaps beyond age 65. A people cannot guarantee outcomes. However, a people should not take lightly the indoctrination of children into homosexuality when 97% would, without indoctrination, grow to be heterosexual.

I am not a fan of Edmund Burke's defense of conservatism in opposition to Thomas Paine's desire for radical liberalism[7], however their debate gave me an insight about polls. Polls reflect the above expression of Overstreet’s idea that psychological maturity is more important than chronological maturity. The age factor in public opinion polls should not be interpreted to exclude elders with knee-jerks, like: “Just wait. Before long, Phil will be dead.”

I wish Mr. Traigle the best in life and hope one day he returns to Louisiana, but not because he has seen the-privacy-of-his-lifestyle-made-public terminate consideration of children. That tension must be worked out and so far neither the administrative, nor legislative, nor judicial, nor press branches are addressing it. But a people are. I suggest civil monogamy licensing that adequately considers equality and dignity of children and their heritage. Religious prejudice and its opposition have no place in the civic debate and a people should not brook it.

Copyright©2015 by Phillip R. Beaver. All rights reserved. Permission is hereby granted for the publication of all or portions of this paper as long as this complete copyright notice is included. Original, 1/25/2015 on 18 views before 03/04/16.

[1] H.A.Overstreet, The Mature Mind, 1949. Reprinted 17 times, and taken over, I speculate, by incorporation into the Adult Education movement more than The Kinsey Reports, 1950.
[2] Thanks to Mark Ballard’s recent essay on Jindal’s dissertation, I read Ronald Dworkin’s book, Taking Rights Seriously, 1978. The idea discussed above is on page xii.
[3] See Plato’s Symposium, ~500 BC, where intellectual compatibility is debated.
[4] A similar concept is being taught in England, The Physics & Ethics Education Project, by University of Bristol. See . So far it seems to me they have not addressed procreation and equal consideration of the child.
[5] Not psychologist or other social expert.
[6] Perhaps H. A. Overstreet, James Q. Wilson, Michael Polanyi, E. O. Wilson, Anton Chekhov Marshall Berman, The Politics of Authenticity, 1970 plus my experiences with my families and friends are responsible for those notions.
[7] Yuval Levin, The Great Debate, 2014.