As of June 1, marriage equality became a reality in Illinois. I wanted to take a moment to address two issues: traditional marriage and homophobia. In antiquity a man could marry as many women as he could afford to support. According to 1 Kings 11:3, Solomon had 700 wives and 300 concubines. In the beginning, traditional marriage was about a transfer of property. Over centuries, as women gained more political/social power, it evolved into an institution of love.
I was extremely lucky that I learned about homosexuality on the heels of learning about where babies came from. I was so horrified at the concept of heterosexual sex that homosexual sex did not seem any more alien.
At 16 I began my summer career as a lifeguard on Chicago's Oak Street Beach. I was put at the most demanding post, Division Street, which was the Mecca for the Gold Coast gays back in the '70s. Division Street became my post for the next six summers. I was surrounded by gay men and inundated with gay culture day after day. I made friends with the patrons at Division Street, but never once did I waiver in my interest in the beautiful girls at the beach.
I was born straight, and being immersed in gay culture summer after summer could not change who I was born to be. Sexuality is not a choice. So if you fear that marriage equality will influence young straight people to become gay, I am living proof that it is an impossibility. The more people who get married, the stronger the institution of marriage will become. Marriage equality is just another evolution in the long history of marriage. In a culture that values liberty, people should be free to marry the person they love.
John D. Morgan