I’ve been repeating this for decades like it was a mantra, because it is: Homosexuals don’t love, they just have sex.  This is how anti-gay bigots think.  This is what I’ve seen from my one small spot on the front line of the culture war.  It was what the gym teachers taught us in the sex ed class I sat in at 14 in junior high school.  In one grotesque homosexual villain/pansy/psychopathic killer after another Hollywood brought it to life for me on the silver screen.  And for just over a decade after getting my first Internet account I was lectured day after day on this fact by one half-witted bigot after another on alt.politics.homosexuality.  It is preached from the pulpits.  It is sung in the right wing echo chamber.  It is a taken for granted everyday fact in the anti-gay industrial complex.  Homosexuals don’t love, they just have sex.

The public faces of the anti-gay industrial complex will seldom say so outright, but just below the surface it is open and pervasive.  Orson Scott Card, a member of the NOM board of directors, in his essay “Homosexual “Marriage” and Civilization” wrote:

“However emotionally bonded a pair of homosexual lovers may feel themselves to be, what they are doing is not marriage. Nor does society benefit in any way from treating it as if it were.”

Now look at that for a moment. “However emotionally bonded a pair of homosexual lovers may feel themselves to be…”  Here is the bedrock, the foundational doctrine of the absolute unhumanity of gay people that will not suffer examination or question.  Card isn’t even willing to grant that that there is actually Any emotional bond at all between same sex couples, let alone bonds of romantic love but only, and grudgingly, that they might Think there are.  At least pope Ratzinger was willing to grant homosexual love exists, even if “weak“.

In the late 90s while on alt.politics.homosexuality I found myself running into this brick wall constantly.  Once a poster there wrote back at me slightly astonished that anyone might even mildly question the idea, that it was simply not possible that same sex couples could experience the depth of romantic feeling toward each other that male and female feel.  The public faces of the anti-gay industrial complex will seldom say it out loud, usually choosing instead to argue that while gay couples may love each other their unions don’t deserve equal recognition in the law for…various reasons, none of which hold up to scrutiny (see Perry v. Schwarzenegger).  But you hardly need scratch the surface to hear the common refrain, Homosexuals don’t love, they just have sex.

And never mind the facts…

How to Know You’re in Love? Brain Scans Tell All

Study Shows Certain Brain Regions Are Activated by Thoughts of Love

Romantic love lights up the same brain regions of lovers, whether they’re heterosexual or homosexual or male or female, a new study indicates.

Pictures from functional magnetic resonance imaging scans (fMRIs) show similar activity in cortical and sub-cortical brain regions when lovers, regardless of gender or sexual orientation, see images of their romantic partners, according to researchers at University College London.

Semir Zeki, a professor in the University College London’s Wellcome Trust Center for Neuroimaging, and John Romaya, a senior programmer, scanned the brains of 24 volunteers as they viewed pictures of their romantic partners.

The participants also looked at pictures of friends of the same sex as their lovers, but to whom they were not attracted.

While some brain regions showed increased activity when lovers viewed images of romantic partners, others shut down, such as parts of the temporal, parietal, and frontal cortex, which are thought to be important in judgment.

That finding lends credence to the adage that “love is blind,” says Zeki.

Half of the volunteers were males, half females, and six of each sex were homosexual and the other six heterosexual. And all told the researchers they were passionately in love with their partners.

The participants ranged in age from 19 to 47, and relationship lengths ranged from four months to 23 years.

All were asked to rate their feelings toward their romantic partners before and again after scanning, and to declare their sexual orientation in groups ranging from exclusively heterosexual to exclusively homosexual.

No.  Love is not blind.  It is that ever-fixed mark that looks on tempests and is never shaken.  Prejudice is blind.  Your gay and lesbian neighbors have been living their lives more and more openly now ever since Stonewall and all it takes to see that familiar bond of love and devotion between a same sex couple is to just look.

I appreciate that it’s easy for heterosexuals to mistake that complementary nature of lovers for gender.  They mate to the opposite sex after all…it just all seems so utterly natural to them.  But the complement in one another that makes two separate and distinct individuals into a couple isn’t gender, it’s the Person.  Same sex couples experience this in exactly the way opposite sex couples do.  It’s really not that hard to see.

But to see it you have to want to look.  You have to be willing to see the people for the homosexuals.  You have to be willing to let go of that comfortable conceit of heterosexual superiority when the plain and simple evidence that we are all more alike then different stares you in the face.  You have to see your neighbor for the person they are, not the scarecrow your prejudices keep insisting they have to be.

Zeki says the study was influenced by a reading of world literature about love, including works by Shakespeare, Plato, and Dante. Their writings describe similar sentiments whether in the context of opposite sex or same sex relationships.

Yes.  Of course.  The MRI machine, looking dispassionately into the inner workings of our brains, showed what we humans had already known for ages.  Prejudice divides us.  Love makes us one.

For it was not into my ear you whispered, but into my heart.  It was not my lips you kissed, but my soul. -Judy Garland