MARRIAGE DIGEST: New study: Homosexual men prone to promiscuity
NASHVILLE, Tenn. (BP)--A new study by a group of University of Chicago researchers reveals a high level of promiscuity and unhealthy behavior among that city's homosexual male population.
According to the researchers, 42.9 percent of homosexual men in Chicago's Shoreland area have had more than 60 sexual partners, while an additional 18.4 percent have had between 31 and 60 partners. All total, 61.3 percent of the area's homosexual men have had more than 30 partners, and 87.8 percent have had more than 15, the research found.
As a result, 55.1 percent of homosexual males in Shoreland -- known as Chicago's "gay center" -- have at least one sexually transmitted disease, researchers said.
The three-year study on the sexual habits of Chicago's citizens will appear in the upcoming book, "The Sexual Organization of The City" (University of Chicago Press), due out this spring.
The researchers interviewed 2,114 people from throughout the city and its suburbs, asking them detailed questions about their sexual behavior and beliefs.
While the research dealt with the behavior of all people -- heterosexuals included -- its findings on homosexual men are sure to raise eyebrows.
"Informants from several institutional spheres noted the common expectation among white gay men of having multiple sex partners," researchers wrote. "Ads for gay bars and clubs convey the message that being gay is about having sexual encounters, not relationships.... The majority of personal ads in city papers under the headline 'men seeking men' identify casual sex rather than long-term relationships as their goal."
The sexual partners of homosexual men are likely to be someone they previously did not know, researchers found. Nearly 60 percent of respondents said their circle of friends did not know their most recent sex partner.
The most likely meeting place was a bar or dance club, where 50 percent of homosexual men said they met their most recent partner.
Researchers said that homosexual men tended to be primarily "transactional" -- a term used for seeking short-term sexual encounters -- while homosexual women tended to be more relational by seeking "enduring sexual relationships."
Researchers concluded that a number of factors encourage homosexual male promiscuity, including the presence of popular meeting places and the "absence of cultural forces that encourage monogamy."
The research team was led by Edward O. Laumann, professor of sociology at the University of Chicago and the co-author of several other books on sexuality.
Traditionalists say that the lack of monogamy among homosexual men underscores the notion that homosexuality is not natural. They also say that such unhealthy behavior should play a larger role in the national debate over same-sex "marriage," because its legalization would radically undermine the traditional belief in monogamy.
The New York Times ran a story in August showing that homosexuals in Canada, where same-sex "marriage" is legal in two provinces, are not rushing to tie the knot. The story followed two men in their 40s, David Andrew and David Warren, who have lived together for seven years.
Although the men promise to protect one another, the story said "they stop short of monogamy, which is something Mr. Andrew also says he does not believe in."
UNIONS NOT SO BAD? -- USA Today published a poll Jan. 14 showing Americans opposed to same-sex "marriage" but warmer to Vermont-type civil unions.
The USA Today/CNN/Gallup poll found 53 percent of Americans opposed to legalizing same-sex "marriage," 24 percent supportive and 23 percent with no opinion.
In recent weeks most polls have had opposition above 60 percent. The wording of the question may have influenced the outcome. For this poll Gallup asked, "Would you favor or oppose a law that would allow homosexual couples to legally get married, or do you not have an opinion either way?"
In December, though, Gallup asked, "Do you think marriages between homosexuals should or should not be recognized by the law as valid, with the same rights as traditional marriages?" To that question, 65 percent said they were against legalization. The addition of the word "traditional" may have had an influence.
In the latest poll, 41 percent of Americans said they were opposed to the legalization of civil unions while 34 percent supported them and 25 percent had no opinion.
But the poll continued to show a backlash against recent court rulings favorable to homosexuality. By a 49-46 percent margin, Americans said homosexual relationships should be illegal. Not since 1988 have so many people opposed legalizing same-sex relations. It is also the first time since 1996 that the percentage of "illegal" respondents was higher than "legal" respondents.
The poll of 1,003 adults was conducted Jan. 9-11.
MASS. VOTE DELAY - Robert E. Travaglini, president of the Massachusetts state senate, says he will delay a scheduled vote on a constitutional amendment if the state's high court has not ruled by then on the question of civil unions, according to the Associated Press.
A vote on a state constitutional amendment banning same-sex "marriage" is scheduled for Feb. 11, but the Senate is waiting on a ruling from the court to see if civil unions would appease the justices.
Senators hope that the legalization of Vermont-type civil unions will avoid a battle over same-sex "marriage."
Meanwhile, some 90 law professors, including the law school deans from Yale and Stanford, filed a brief with the court Jan. 12 arguing that the state constitution requires the legalization of same-sex "marriage." Their brief came in response to the request by the state senate.
LEGAL IN CALIFORNIA? -- Mark Leno, an openly homosexual member of the California state assembly, announced Jan. 12 he would introduce a bill to legalize same-sex "marriage" in California.
"This bill will ensure that our state treats our loving, committed relationships with the respect they deserve," Leno, a Democrat, said in a statement.
California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger, a Republican, said during his campaign that he is opposed to same-sex "marriage."
HEARING IN INDIANA -- The Indiana Court of Appeals heard arguments Jan. 12 in a case over the legalization of same-sex "marriage."
Three homosexual couples are suing for marriage licenses in the Hoosier State. They are being represented by the Indiana Civil Liberties Union, the Indiana branch of the ACLU.
The homosexual couples lost the case in a lower court.
Similar cases are pending in Arizona and New Jersey.
COLEMAN ON BOARD? -- U.S. Sen. Norm Coleman, R-Minn., says he expects to support a constitutional marriage amendment, although he opposes the one in its current language, according to the Associated Press.
He said the Federal Marriage Amendment in Congress will have unintended consequences by barring same-sex couples from receiving various benefits --- such as insurance -- that are legal in some states.
"I know that there will be other amendments offered and I expect to support the one that is narrowly tailored to protect marriage because that is what the real issue is," he said.