Rep. Louie Gohmert, a hyper-conservative Republican Congress member from Texas, is obsessed with this question.
Gohmert is obsessed with what would happen if gay and straight people were separated on two desert islands:
I said, well, let’s just take a totally secular approach to this. Congress is good about having studies. How about if we take four heterosexual couples and put them on an island where they have everything they need to live and exist. And we take four couples of just men, put them on an island, where they have all they need to survive, and then let’s take four couples of just women and put them on an island, and then let’s come back in 100 years and see which one nature favors.
I love-hate this question. It’s comical. It’s inane. It accomplishes nothing for the conservative cause. There are so many reasons why it’s a ridiculous red herring.
First, say Straight Island were accidentally populated with all infertile or elderly couples. They try and try, but it just doesn’t happen. Biology wasn’t on board with this experiment. Would Rep. Gohmert treat those couples as horribly as he treats the childless citizens of Gay Island?
Second, with only four couples to start, it’s likely that Straight Island would end up with quite a few inbred kids before too long. Unless each couple is producing dozens of kids and everyone is being exceptionally careful as they go, this is not a great plan.
Third, let’s say every time a baby from Straight Island grew into a gay teenager or adult, they would be airlifted onto the corresponding Gay Island. If the citizens of Straight Island are reproducing at Duggar-like rates in order to avoid the inbreeding, chances are each straight couple will have at least a gay kid (or two or three). Boom. The population of Gay Island grows.
Fourth, not all straight couples are couples with a penis and a vagina! Straight transgender people exist. Their parts do not necessarily match up in baby-making ways, and they are still straight. Pass it on.
Fifth, are we really that worried about underpopulation? If Straight Island gets crowded, maybe Gay Island could adopt some of those extra babies. Straight Island sounds really stressful.
Sixth, this argument is pointless. Let’s stop connecting basic human rights with our ability to crank out kids, shall we?