Jordan Peterson on Gay Marriage

Given the amount of scrutiny as to his preferred political ideology, Jordan Peterson’s views on Gay Marriage have been of interest to fans and non-fans alike. Luckily, Jordan Peterson answered this question directly in a question posed to him on his channel and an enterprising YouTuber was able to edit just the clip. For the record, the full Q&A can be viewed on Jordan’s channel here and was recorded and uploaded on October 10th, 2017. We’ll embedded the full clip below, but just in case the clip is pulled from YouTube, you’ll be able to find the source.

We’ll first give the questioners remarks, then Jordan Peterson’s answer. Finally we’ll put the answer in context. Jordan lightly touches on some social science research, in addition to a handful of other arguments, that we’ll clarify at the end. There’s a lot going on here but let’s get to it. 

Question:

“Australia is holding a plebiscite on whether to legalize gay marriage. I’m against the yes campaign, but only because it’s backed by cultural Marxists. I’m curious to hear your views on gay marriage.” 

Jordan’s Response: 

“Well, I would be against it too if it was backed by cultural Marxists because it isn’t clear to me that it will satisfy the ever increasing … What would you call it? Demand for an assault or traditional modes of being. Now with regards to being married specifically, that’s a really tough one for me because I can imagine … I can’t do anything really other than spout platitudes about what I suppose, unfortunately.

If the marital vows are taken seriously, then it seems to me that it’s a means whereby gay people can be integrated more thoroughly into standard society. That’s probably a good thing. Maybe that would decrease promiscuity, which is a public health problem, although obviously that’s not limited to gay people. Although gay men tend to be more promiscuous than average, probably because there’s no women to bind them with regards to their sexual activity. The problem is that it does seem to me to be part of a wedge. It isn’t obvious to me that legalizing gay marriage has done anything to decrease the demands that the racial left, neo Marxist types are placing on traditional society.

Those are my views. I know they’re confused because I’m in favor of extending the bounds of traditional relationships to people who wouldn’t be involved in a traditional long-term relationship but I’m concerned about the undermining of traditional modes of being, including marriage, which has technically … Historically between a man and a woman, fundamentally, for the purpose of raising children in a stable … An optimal and stable environment. Marriage has already taken a fair bit of damage over the last few decades. Poor people are increasingly less likely to be married, and that’s really not good for them as far as I’m concerned.”

Gay Men and Promiscuity 

Jordan throws in this line about Gay men and promiscuity that seems to be thrown in but there’s actually some solid social science to back it up. What “could” be unclear is the value claim that it’s necessarily bad. The specific quote is that perhaps gay marriage “would decrease promiscuity, which is a public health problem, although obviously that’s not limited to gay people. Although gay men tend to be more promiscuous than average, probably because there’s no women to bind them with regards to their sexual activity.”

Here Jordan isn’t merely talking about the stereotype about the promiscuous gay male but is talking about some highly cited research in both evolutionary psychology and the medical literature which discusses this phenomenon. Evolutionary psychologist Jesse Bering made a strong evolutionary reason for the promiscuity of gay men in episode of the podcast Very Bad Wizards. Bering, who is gay himself (not that it matters), said “Gay men are just men. We have an unlimited supply of sperm cells that keep regenerating.” 

Since Jordan did not diverge from the mainstream Canadian opinion, nor did he necessarily weigh strongly on the debate, we’ll abstain from further discussion. As always please watch the video for yourself and let us know if we made any factual errors.  

Views on Gay Marriage in Canada Differ From United States

To provide additional context, it’s important to note that views on gay marriage in Jordan’s home country of Canada are vastly different (both in law and public opinion) than they are in the United States. In America, gay marriage remains an intensely debated issue, only becoming legal in all fifty states on June 26th, 2015 in the U.S. Supreme Court decision of Oberfell v. Hodges. 

Conversely, Canada  one of the world’s most progressive countries in terms of marital rights of same sex couples. Having been decriminalized on June 27th, 1969 when Canadian Prime Minister Justice Pierre Trudeau (not that Trudeau) introduced the Criminal Law Ammendment Act. Though modestly contentious at the time, the bill did pass by a vote of 149-55, with 12 of the 55 conservative members of Canadian Parliament who cast a vote on the issue voting in favor of the bills approval. In 2003, same-sex marriage officially became formerly legal in Ontario and other provinces followed shortly after. 

Updated: an initial version of this article stated that same-sex marriage became legal in 1969 in Canada when in fact it was only decriminalized. We thank an anonymous reader for catching the error. 

 

As always, should we become aware that Dr. Peterson has changed his opinion or should new evidence be submitted that we have either misconstrued his opinion or failed to include important statements from him, we will 1) make the correction, 2) note the correction here, 3) issue a mea culpa that attempts to explain and improve on how we missed this. 

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