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“Same-Sex Marriage” and “What Does the Acronym

‘LGBTTTIQ’ Represent?”

The same-sex marriage debate continues to broil. As with many other


broiling debates (like abortion on demand) the same-sex marriage debate
also centers upon the definition of words. Remember, ours is a society that
has recently decided to define a corporation to mean that it is a person (in
order to allow them to contribute, financially, to political campaigns) but has
also decided to define a little baby in its mother’s womb to mean that it IS NOT
a person. (Question: What does the word person mean?)
I was very familiar with the acronym LGBT over the years, because I’m
just about the most tolerant and likeable guy you’d ever want to meet, but
the whole LGBTTTIQ thing really took me by surprise. The incredible
lengthening of this once familiar acronym seems to stem from the fact that
some people think that gender is a social construct. Some things may, in fact,
BE social constructs; but, in my opinion, gender is certainly not one of those
things.
So what, exactly, does the acronym LGBTTTIQ stand for? LGBTTTIQ
stands for: Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transsexual, Transgender, Two-Spirited,
Inter-Sexed, Queer (and “Questioning” one’s sexual orientation).
The definitions of these words, which follow, have been taken from the
OK2BME website:

“Lesbian”: “A lesbian is a woman whose primary sexual and romantic


attraction is to other women.”
“Gay”: “A gay man is a man whose primary sexual and romantic attraction
is to other men. ‘Gay’ is also used as an inclusive term encompassing gay
men, lesbians, and bisexual people. In the last 20 years, this has become less
and less common and ‘gay’ is usually used currently to refer only to gay men.
The term is still often used in the broader sense in spoken shorthand, as in
‘The Gay Pride Parade is at the end of June’.”
“Bisexual”: “Bisexual men and women have sexual and romantic
attractions to both men and women. Depending upon the person, his or her
attraction may be stronger to women or to men, or they may be
approximately equal. Bisexuals are also referred to as ‘bi’.”
“Transgender”: 1) “Transgender (sometimes shortened to TRANS or TG)
people are those whose psychological self (‘gender identity’) differs from the
social expectations for the physical sex they were born with. To understand
this, one must understand the difference between biological sex, which is
one’s body (genitals, chromosomes, etc.), and social gender, which refers to
levels of masculinity and femininity. Often, society conflates sex and gender,
viewing them as the same thing. But, gender and sex are not the same thing.
Transgender people are those whose psychological self (‘gender identity’)
differs from the social expectations for the physical sex they were born with.
For example, a female with a masculine gender identity or who identifies as a
man. 2) An umbrella term for transsexuals, cross-dressers (transvestites),
transgenderists, gender queers, and people who identify as neither female
nor male and/or as neither a man or as a woman. Transgender is not a sexual
orientation; transgender people may have any sexual orientation. It is
important to acknowledge that while some people may fit under this
definition of transgender, they may not identify as such.”
“Two-spirited”: “Two-spirited is a term adopted by some contemporary
North American Aboriginal peoples to refer those who embody both the male
and female spirit. The term is inclusive and can refer to both sexual
orientation and/or gender identity or expression. Therefore, lesbians, gay
men, bisexuals, and heterosexual trans-people may all refer to themselves as
two-spirited. Terms such as ‘berdache’ have a colonial origin; and ‘gay’ and
‘lesbian’ are, to many people, Eurocentric and culturally irrelevant to
Aboriginal two-spirited people.”
“Inter-sexed”: “A medical diagnosis that describes a person who is born
with physical and/or chromosomal features in which sex characteristics
usually considered to belong to distinctly male or female bodies are
combined in a single body. Inter-sexed persons are often subjected to
surgical intervention at birth (with or without parental knowledge or
consent). The term inter-sexed is often encompassed under ‘transgendered’.
However, while there are some areas of overlap with inter-sexed and
transgendered issues, there are also many areas of distinction.”
“Queer”:
“1. A political statement, as well as a sexual orientation, which advocates
breaking binary thinking and seeing both sexual orientation and gender
identity as potentially fluid. Many of those who use the term feel it is more
inclusive, allowing for the diversity of race, class, ability and gender that is
represented by the LGBTTIQ communities.
2. A simple label to explain a complex set of sexual behaviors and desires.
For example, a person who is attracted to multiple genders may identify as
queer.
3. Used by some to refer to themselves, the LGBTTTIQ community, a
person who is LGBTTTIQ, or even someone who is supportive of the
LGBTTTIQ communities.
4. Often viewed as a political statement as well as an identity or label.
Many older LGBTTTIQ people feel the word has been hatefully used
against them for too long and are reluctant to embrace it. In addition,
because it was used to demean LGFBTTTIQ people, those who do not identify
as queer are urged to use the term with caution, or not at all.”

Now, if you’re still with me, what does the LGBTTTIQ community think
that gender is? Here are a couple of definitions of gender which, again, have
been taken from the OK2BME website:
“Gender” 1) “A socially constructed system of classification that ascribes
qualities of masculinity and femininity to people. Gender characteristics can
change over time and are different between cultures. Words that refer to
gender include: man, woman, transgender, masculine, feminine, and gender
queer. 2) One’s sense of self as masculine or feminine regardless of external
genitalia. Gender is often confused with sex. This is inaccurate because sex
refers to bodies and gender refers to personality characteristics.”
“Gender Identity”: “One’s initial and psychological sense of oneself as
female, male, both or neither. At birth, we are assigned one of two genders,
usually based on our visible genitals. For many people this gender
assignment fits and feels comfortable. Others do not feel as comfortable in
the assigned gender, either because they find the two-gender system too
limiting or because they feel more identification with the gender opposite
that to which they were assigned at birth. Gender identity does not cause
sexual orientation. For example, a masculine woman is not necessarily a
lesbian; a feminine man is not necessarily gay.”

Now, after reading all of that . . . it’s really hard for me to know exactly
what to say . . .

Is gender neutrality even possible? No, because neutrality itself is


impossible. We always have presuppositions which influence our thinking
about the world; therefore no one can approach the world from a completely
neutral perspective. The fact that, biologically, the higher living organisms
are of two, distinct kinds (i.e., female and male) renders impossible any
attempts on our part to attain neutrality regarding gender.
Certainly all rules have exceptions, even “the rule” of life. But just because
some people are born with a confusion of primary and secondary physical
sexual characteristics doesn’t mean that gender is a social construct. The
overwhelming majority of people are NOT born with a confusion of primary
and secondary physical sexual characteristics; therefore gender—as
determined (objectively) by the observation of primary and secondary
physical sexual characteristics as belonging to either the one or the other
grouping of a certain and distinct kind (i.e., male or female)—is, very simply,
an empirical fact (i.e., the rule) of life.
According to the American Heritage Dictionary (4th Edition), the word
gender means: “Sexual category; males or females as a group [> Lat. genus,
gener-, kind.]”
This is what I said above. Gender is a grouping of kinds, which are either
female or male. And these grouping are determined by observable physical
characteristics. There are only two kinds of people in the world: men and
women, boys and girls. And everyone knows that.
The definition of gender given above, which was taken from the OK2BME
website, states that gender is “[o]ne’s sense of self as masculine or feminine
regardless of external genitalia…[g]ender is often confused with sex. This is
inaccurate because sex refers to bodies and gender refers to personality
characteristics.” But again, according to the American Heritage Dictionary
(4th Edition), the word sex means: “The property or quality by which
organisms are classified on the basis of their reproductive organs.” I’m sorry,
but the only confusion here, regarding the word gender and the word sex, is
in the minds of the gender neutralists.”
If, according to a standard dictionary, the word gender refers to grouping
organisms into the sexual categories of female and male. And, since these
sexual categories are based upon the empirically observable physical
reproductive organs of the organisms, the word gender and the word sex
mean the same thing: organisms can be classified as either male or female.
The word gender does not and cannot mean “[o]ne’s sense of self as
masculine or feminine regardless of external genitalia” nor can it simply refer
“personality characteristics.”
Once we start changing the meanings and the definitions of the words we
are using to communicate with one other, we should be prepared for the
inevitable confusion that will arise whenever we attempt to communicate our
thoughts and ideas to people.
So, I’m sorry, but I just can’t jump on the whole LGBTTTIQ bandwagon,
because I’m not even sure what, exactly, is being said, or what, exactly, the
idea the LGBTTTIQ community is trying to communicate with this sort of
language (the words of which are not being used according to the standard
dictionary definitions).
Do I want people to be tolerant of one another, regardless of their sexual
preferences or orientations? Of course I do, but I cannot accept the misuse of
words and language in order to promote an agenda (i.e., gender neutrality)
that has no basis whatsoever in reality and is, in fact, flatly contradicted by an
abundance of evidence that is plain for all to see (i.e., that the overwhelming
majority of people are (objectively) either male or female).
And we wonder why the whole same-sex marriage issue has become so
controversial? The LGBTTTIQ community has been changing the meanings
and definitions of words, which denote ideas and concepts, for a very long time
now. What does the word marriage mean? And why does it mean either one
thing or another? The word marriage presupposes the fact that people are of
either the female or the male gender or sex, and the word marriage means
that two people—one of each sex—are joining together in a social contract,
the purpose of which is relational, sexual, and based upon the innate drive to
reproduce (marriage is, in fact, a social construct, which is based upon the
objective fact that there are only two kinds (male and female) of people in the
world. As a society, we may decide that the word marriage means the joining
together of two people—regardless of their sex—in a social contract, the
purpose of which is both relational and sexual, and the basis of which (even if
homosexual) is the innate human sexual drive to reproduce. But we haven’t
done so yet; not according to the dictionary anyway.
Marriage, unlike gender, IS a social construct, so we can define it in
whatever way we may wish to define it. Currently, the word marriage means:
“The legal union of man and woman as husband and wife” according to the
America Heritage Dictionary (4th Edition). This is what the word marriage
means, and when we attempt to communicate our ideas to one another using
words we had better be prepared for trouble whenever we change the
meanings of those words. The term “same-sex marriage” is, in fact, a
contradiction of terms, because the word marriage means: “The legal union
of a man and a woman [not a man and a man or a woman and a woman] as
husband and wife [not husband and husband or as wife and wife].”
It may be that the word marriage will take on this additional (i.e., same-
sex) meaning, but it hasn’t yet. And it may never take on this meaning,
because social constructs (e.g., marriage) are determined by society and our
society may not accept this change in the meaning of the word. The current
battle over same-sex marriage has more to do with whose definition of the
word marriage—society’s in general or a sub-culture’s in particular—is more
appropriate. It’s a battle of words, which is why I’m so nit-picky about words
and their meanings. Whoever controls the terms (i.e., the words and the
definitions thereof) controls the debate. And I, for one, don’t care for playing
fast and loose with the definitions of words. When the meanings of words
differ between individual peoples who are using the same language to
communicate their thoughts and ideas to one another, they are unable to
accurately express their thoughts and their ideas to one another (i.e., they
talk past each other). Our common language and our ability to communicate
our ideas to one another is one of the most important things we have as a
society. In fact, without a common language, we could not have a society at
all.
On religious grounds, as a Catholic, I would oppose same-sex marriage;
but politically—as a libertarian and as an American—I believe that as long as
people are consenting adults and they are not harming innocents by their
actions people should basically be allowed to do whatever they want to do. I
mean, who really cares what they do, as long as they’re not harming anyone?
It’s nobody’s business! I would certainly support civil unions (and the legal
protections thereof), but I cannot support changing the definition of the word
marriage to mean: “two people—regardless of their sex—joining together in
a social contract called marriage, the purpose of which is both relational and
sexual, and the basis of which (even if homosexual) is the innate human
sexual drive to reproduce”.
That’s not what the word marriage means, currently, in our society; at
least not according to the dictionary anyway. And I certainly don’t know
where else (besides a dictionary) we might look for the definitions of the
words we are using. Do you?