Republican Senatorial candidate Alan Keyes has labeled homosexuality–and, by extension, Vice President Cheney’s lesbian daughter–“selfish” and “hedonistic.” He condemns homosexuality as a “selfish relationship that seeks to use organs of procreation for pure sexual gratification.”

Keyes’ comment is much more than an attack on homosexuality. It is an attack on the notion that sexual behavior, for personal satisfaction, is moral and healthy for human beings. Keyes’ position wipes out the morality of sexual behavior for heterosexuals practicing birth control; for heterosexuals unable to have children, either because of infertility or for being past the age of reproduction; indeed, for most of the sexually active population.

Keyes should be condemned not just for his unwarranted hatred of gay people, but for his profound and deliberate attack on joy in living, of which human sexuality is an important part. Sex is not just for procreation. It is for the personal satisfaction of two people who wish to celebrate life, intimacy and each other. Anyone who endorses Keyes’ remarks should be prepared to deny themselves any and all sexual fulfillment outside the context of procreation. Otherwise, they are total hypocrites.

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