Changing Hawaii

By Diane Yukihiro Chang

Monday, August 26, 1996

Why people oppose
same-sex marriage

THE pajama-clad little girl jumped under the covers but, instead of her usual bedtime story, she wanted to talk. "Mommy, why are so many people opposed to same-gender marriage?" she asked the smiling lady standing in the doorway.

"Well, sweetheart, they can't help but feel that way," answered her mother, sitting on the edge of the bed. "You see, it's all in their genes.

"Ever since the beginning of time, humans have perpetuated the species based on survival of the fittest. Therefore, individuals who had children were more likely to survive because there were more family members to gather food, fend off predators, and to nurse the aged and ailing.

"Therefore, the desire to be attractive to the opposite sex in order to possibly procreate continues to be one of mankind's strongest drives. Unfortunately, this need in modern-day society manifests itself in sometimes destructive ways.

"For example, this is why so many teen-aged girls inexplicably want to have children. When they get their menstrual periods, it is nature's sign that they are ready to become mothers. Thus they will get pregnant unless realistic alternatives - like effective birth control or the lure of good jobs or educational opportunities - present themselves.

"The importance of perpetuating the species is why certain traits are valued in men versus women. It has always been a cruel world out there, so males who were aggressive, strong and smart were more apt to have their genes passed along. Meanwhile, females who were good-looking and non-threatening were able to attract the best mating partners.

"Unfortunately, in their quest to be desirable potential or actual mates, women put up with a lot of, well, undesirable behavior on the part of men. So they hesitate about rejecting and/or reporting sexual harassment, date rape and domestic violence, because some inner part of them believes they must submit to such treatment. It's still very difficult to convince juries in these types of cases that the victims are telling the truth or that they somehow didn't 'ask' for it.

"The urge to have offspring is strong. This is why many older men divorce their longtime wives for younger women, who can bear them a whole new batch of babies. This is why society subtly frowns upon career-oriented, successful businesswomen, because how many kids can a female executive nurture compared to a full-time homemaker?

"And therein lies the true crux of opposing gay marriage. Although most people won't admit it - or even know why they strenuously object to it - the main reason gay marriage is so abhorrent is that according to our genetic bible, men are supposed to act like men and women must be women. Anything else is deviant and unacceptable, since it cannot ever help perpetuate propagation of the species."

BY now, the little girl was snoring softly, so her mother flicked off the light and went downstairs. She sighed heavily. It took a lot out of her to put such a complicated world into simple yet disheartening perspectives for her daughter.

"Is she asleep?" asked her husband, without turning his head from the TV. "Yes, finally," replied the woman, collapsing on the couch. Damn, so much to do! The laundry, the bills, and food-encrusted dishes were piled up high in the kitchen. Suddenly, the woman smiled. All this talk about evolution had given her an idea. "Honey, we're going to something wild and crazy, something that we've never done before," she said. "Tonight, you do the dishes."

Diane Yukihiro Chang's column runs Monday and Friday.
She can be reached by phone at 525-8607, via e-mail at, or by fax at 523-7863.

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