The great big argument against homosexuality? Blue hair, leather and chains. It scared us, just like the lost souls of the Hell’s Angels scared us. Goths and motorcyclists didn’t look holy. Therefore, they were probably gay.
Now, obviously, there’s more to it than that. There were all the justifications, the lies that enabled us to pretend we weren’t just scared:
- Gay and lesbian people are sexual predators.
- They all have AIDS.
- They hate God and want to drag us down to hell.
- They have abortions for fun.
- They want to spread their “lifestyle.”
Did reproduction matter? Tangentially, yes. My church taught that living beings that can’t reproduce are “dead.” William Branham used this expression to talk about what was wrong with denominations: they mixed God’s word with human ideas and produced death, just like a horse and a donkey could produce a mule, but the mule would not be able to reproduce with another mule. Looking back, the emphasis on reproduction was pretty strange to find in a religion about transcendence and eternity. “Unnatural” entities that couldn’t reproduce were the target of so much derision that seemed to come from anywhere but the Bible. It came from disgust, rooted in the transgression of gender norms. It was a taught response (not a reflexive one) to deviations from the standard family we were being trained to reproduce.