Gay marriage: an elephant in the room
I am a Catholic priest from Australia, based in Hong Kong and China since 1985.
My present ministry is to the poor in Hong Kong, most of my time going to prison ministry and service to ex-inmates.
Every Sunday night I help run a gathering for ex-inmates, ex-drug addicts and other poor people. Of the more than 200 people who attend each week, a sizeable number are gay. Of the thousand or more inmates I see in prison each week, quite a number are gay. I have regular email contact with former students in Australia who are gay.
In all of the above cases I treat gay people exactly the same as I treat everyone else. As a Christian pastor I encourage them to increase their friendship with Jesus the potter, and if there's any issue about their "clay", let Jesus take care of it.
No one is discriminated against for being gay. They know they are welcome to attend/communicate ....that's why they keep up the contact, and encourage others to do the same.
The above words are to explain that I am not "anti-gay". If anything, I tend to show extra concern to people I know to be gay.
But on the issue of same-sex marriage, I see an elephant in the men's room that no one wants to talk about. It is a taboo topic and rarely mentioned in same-sex marriage discussions. By tabooing this topic, we are not doing the gay community or the general community a favour. On the contrary, we are putting both at risk.
The elephant is the unpleasant topic of anal sex, which is part of most gay men's relationship (and indeed of some hetero-sexual relationships, for which the same concern is valid). Has any doctor, anywhere in the world, ever said that anal sex is safe, is not dangerous? Do not all doctors agree that anal intercourse results in tearing the anal tissue, with consequent high danger of infection? That a penis or whatever is covered with a condom is irrelevant: condoms don't prevent anal rupture. There is no such thing as safe anal sex. The anus is an exit, not an entrance. Wrong way traffic is dangerous.
Ruptured anal tissue often results in disease
because fecal matter lodges in the ruptures and leads to infectious hepatitis
(which increases the risk of liver cancer), rectal cancer (which is often fatal)
and other diseases such as bowel problems.
Not to mention that anal sex is a major reason for AIDS
No wonder the medical life expectancy of gay men is about 25 years less than that of other men.
See this US doctor's medical description of anal sex (1a: Anal-Genital)
If anal sex is indeed a high risk activity, and anal sex is a usual sexual activity of male same-sex marriage, then this elephant needs to be faced honestly in any discussion of male same-sex marriage. What signal are we sending to children if they learn that male same-sex marriage is ok? Teaching them that male same-sex marriage is ok is teaching them that anal sex is ok.
To answer the above with shouts of "homophobia" etc is ignoring a very dangerous elephant in the room. The only way to answer the above is with cold, hard medical facts. I have yet to see any website, magazine or newspaper do so.