A Question Of Morals (by Dave Webb)

I have a question that I like to ask my overly straight friends ‘Would you let (insert openly gay celebrity) have sex with you for $1,000,000?’

If the answer is yes, then you halve the amount; if the answer is no then you double it. The reason I ask this question is that everybody has a price, we learn our morals from somewhere and I like to push those morals to breaking point.

I recently asked this question to a group of friends, one of whom, much like myself, settled on $500,000. This is an amount that would allow us to live, mortgage free, in a very nice apartment in or around the city of Adelaide. My other friend was slightly more staunch in his answers: we reached the point where he was offered $64,000,000,000,000 (is that a trillion?) and he still said no!

The point isn’t that I’m trying to catch people out and laugh at the fact that Mr Heterosexual would have gay sex, the point is that a person is so set in the idea that gay sex is wrong that the offer of more money than you could ever spend is not enough for them to breach their taboo. I’m not gay, but if somebody offered me one million to spend the night knocking on my back door, in a Robert Redford indecent proposal fashion, then I would happily let him.

We are all given a set of morals by our lifestyle and upbringing. We are not born with Harold Bishop jowls shaking at how even the idea of sex between men is wrong. It is something that we are taught and we accept it, mostly without question. We should start to ask the most important question in the world: ‘Why?’

Don’t get me wrong, we need to live in a world that has rules, but those rules need to be questioned and updated. The laws of Australia are based on English legislation, legislation that until very recently made it illegal to have sex with another man! The law is a very fluid thing, even now there will be a solicitor/lawyer/barrister pushing the limits and testing the wording of many laws. This is how we evolve and improve as a race of people. Why is it wrong to steal? Is there ever a good reason to steal?

Why is gay sex wrong and taboo? The fact that it doesn’t start my engine shouldn’t stop other people being able to enjoy it. I cannot stand eggs—they make me sick, even being in the same room as somebody eating an egg sandwich makes me gag—but you are unlikely to find me standing by the Mall’s Balls on a Friday night with a placard denouncing eggs and suggesting the people who eat eggs are destined for an afterlife of pain and suffering.
I tried everything to convince my friend to part with his slightly homophobic point of view, in the end the price of his moral dignity was the threat of his grandparents being killed unless he became Elton John’s plaything for 3 and a half minutes.

At the time of writing this the Feast Festival is in Adelaide. I witnessed a group of men and women running around the city in red dresses, a sight that elicited some rather uninformed comments to be shouted at them as they passed. I still to this day have to have an internal discussion with myself, so strong is the learned behaviour ingrained in me from my eighties upbringing. My immediate reaction is one of slightly bigoted confusion. A man? In a dress? Holding hands with another man? Is what they are doing wrong? It’s definitely different, and probably something I would do to support charity. So why would I feel the need to ridicule? I don’t, so let them be, and smile at the idea that we are finally reaching a point in our lives where it really doesn’t matter.

Concentrate on the important moral questions, not those which really have no effect on the way we live our lives.

(By Dave Webb)

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