Word count: 2550 (and too much blogging)

It’s official now - I’m old. I wasn’t planning to be old until tomorrow, but it hit me early because of the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court’s decision to extend marriage to homosexuals. That’s only an indirect cause of the premature aging; the end of marriage is one of those things that’s been coming on for a long time. You never think it will be your state and your black-robed masters who will put the final nail in the coffin, but hey, somebody has to do it. You don’t get to the fall of Rome without plenty of declining along the way.

American politics never really gets to me. It’s not like we’re all going to be pushed into the sea because of a single bad decision - it’s not a high-stakes game, it’s just a gentle decline and fall. When we make mistakes, other people’s governments collapse and other people get slaughtered by the millions. But I’m now officially out of patience with the willful ignorance of individuals and, to quote Thomas Sowell, with self-congratulation as a basis for social policy. Stupidity in groups is perhaps inevitable; it only bothers me in individuals.

So, to be specific, it’s the 10% number again. The media spent years spreading the myth that 10% of the population is homosexual, even though the number conflicts with scientific data and, much more importantly, is clearly and obviously inaccurate. Ten percent is a lot of people. It’s 635,000 people in Massachusetts alone, 30,000,000 in the US overall. It is, to be trite, one out of every ten people you know.

Now I don’t think that homosexuality is as biologically based as other people seem to, so I believe it is logically possible for 10% of the population to be gay. It’s simply a question of fact - if 10% of the population were of an incompatible sexual persuasion, you would notice. Those are not “don’t ask, don’t tell” numbers - those are numbers rivalling the black population. To put it in Bostonian terms, Cambridge is not a Roxbury full of gay folks, even though they’ve announced that they’ll be issuing same-sex marriage licenses before our Mormon governor can get his constitutional amendment going. (By the way, the black population of Massachusetts is only 5%, and it’s still higher than the homosexual population.) I found a nice overview of sexuality surveys, many of which show that the number is closer to 2% (as was believed in the medical community before the Kinsey report). There’s a nicer summary from the family research institute, but I’m not expecting you to take their word for it.

Since I believe it’s too late for our culture, what do I care about the cooling corpse of the civil institution of marriage? I don’t particularly; I just object to the characterization of those who do care as hateful, homophobic, or just plain irrational. Of the three, I don’t find hateful or prejudiced people all that scary, because there are so few of them. (Hateful here means actually feeling an emotion of hatred, not just disagreeing with someone else’s political agenda.) It’s the irrational people, the ones who are hallucinating about a full tenth of the population, who disturb me.

I’m too old to live in a country full of people who can’t count. This isn’t the first incident of non-counting to prematurely age me - the most notable recent one was when someone I know claimed that the Inquisition had killed five million witches. My attempts to impress upon said person that that was nearly the entire population of Spain at the time - and, again, someone would have noticed - fell upon deaf ears. (To his credit I should mention that he gave a good guess of the homosexual population at not more than 5% - his political sensitivity is restricted to religion.) I’m not talking about hicks here, but people with advanced technical degrees who ought to be able to count - but somehow the skill abandons them when politics is involved.

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