Virginia Delegate Bob Marshall has been publicly condemned by his colleagues for his virulently anti-gay remarks, but he is undeterred. In fact, he wants other states to have to deal with his hateful rhetoric as well. In a letter in yesterday’s Baltimore Sun, Marshall attacked Maryland Gov. Martin O’Malley for supporting marriage equality and pulled no punches in attacking homosexuality, all in the name of Catholicism:
As a Catholic legislator, I disagree with Governor O’Malley. Sexual orientation is not limited to same- or complementary-sex attractions but includes attractions to children, prostitutes, multiple wives (polygamy) dead persons (necrophilia), animals, inanimate objects, and others that could not be printed in the Baltimore Sun out of deference to readers.
Of course, Marshall’s definition of sexual orientation is Marshall’s alone. Sexual orientation refers to what sex (or sexes) one is oriented toward — hence, sexual orientation. Most of the -philias in his list (children, corpses, animals, and the unprintable “Voldemorts”) are all paraphilias or psychiatric disorders, and homosexuality has not been classified as either since 1973. If Marshall wants to make a case against different sexual practices like prostitution and polygamy, he’ll have to give up his “6,000 years of Western religious and moral teachings.” Polygamy (which he highlights in his diatribe), in particular, features prominently throughout the religious teachings he cites. Not that it matters — none of this has anything to do with sexual orientation or marriage equality.
Marshall, unsurprisingly, offers no substantiation for any of his fear-mongering, including his claim that “the family…will be negatively impacted.” (He must, like Michele Bachmann, believe same-sex families aren’t already “families.”) His case is built around his desire to maintain the stigmatization and demonization of same-sex couples as a societal norm. He may not like it, but the Catholic Church does not have any official authority over Maryland’s state government. And fortunately, neither does Marshall.