Often, the fact that, in Scripture, the first human beings were a man (Adam) and a woman (Eve) and that this man and woman had a sexual relationship is assumed to be clear and irrefutable evidence that homosexuality is wrong. Presumably, “Adam and Eve” seem like such an airtight argument against “Adam and Steve” or “Elizabeth and Eve” because it is somehow thought that the procreative heterosexuality of Adam and Eve is a universal model that all human beings must follow without exception. The Catholic church’s centuries’ old practice of clerical celibacy (not to mention the example of Jesus Christ himself) alone demonstrates that this is not true. (See also “‘Deus Caritas Est’ and the Queerness of God’s Love“). However, the recent papal tendency to give interpretive priority to Genesis 2 over Genesis 1 also helps us understand why the “firstness” and even the necessary “firstness” of a “heterosexual” couple is not at all incompatible with the “goodness” of homosexuality.
In his encyclical, Deus Caritas Est, Pope Benedict argues that, in Genesis, it is clear that God created sex for persons. Sex was a way to fulfill Adam’s distinct personhood. In Benedict’s interpretation, “the biblical account of creation speaks of the solitude of Adam…and God’s decision to give him a helper.” God decides to give Adam a helper only because none of the other non-human creatures are “capable of being the helper that man needs, even though he has assigned a name to all the wild beasts and birds and thus made them fully a part of his life.” The word Benedict uses next is crucial: “so God forms a woman from the rib of man.” In Benedict’s view, the partnership between Adam and Eve, which Benedict somewhat anachronistically calls “marriage,” is interpreted to be erotic and sexual from the beginning, and occurs not because only heterosexual sex is moral, but because this partnership, of which sexual union is a real and essential part, fulfills Adam’s, and to a lesser extent, Eve’s personhood. According to Benedict, it is clear that God created a certain person first—Adam–and then created human sexuality as a means to fulfill the needs of this particular person.
In comparison to the tradition, this interpretation is really quite radical—its unintended implications on assessing the morality of homosexual sex are equally radical. God “created” heterosexual sex only because it was good for Adam. Moreover, God “created” heterosexual sex because, without it, Adam was disconcertingly unhappy. According to Benedict’s interpretation, if Adam could be fulfilled and satisfied by the company of God and the animals, it seems as though God would not have created sex. Now, if the church had not already conceded the existence both of homosexuality and homosexual persons, this interpretation would be irrelevant to assessing the morality of homosexual acts. Given that the church has conceded the existence of homosexual persons (in other words, at the official level at least, the church councils celibacy rather than change to homosexual persons), Benedict’s interpretation of the genesis of sex requires that the church ask what is good for homosexual persons. It is clear that, although the magisterium asserts, “homosexual activity prevents one’s own fulfillment and happiness by acting contrary to the creative wisdom of God,” they have not really looked to see whether or not this statement is actually true, instead they have assumed it to be true based upon their belief that it contradicts “the creative wisdom of God.”
In other words, the church must relate to homosexual persons in the same way that God related to Adam. In order to enable Adam’s flourishing, God had to abandon God’s preconceived notions about the good. At first, God thought that Adam’s solitude would not be an impediment to Adam’s flourishing, and God therefore thought that Adam’s relationships to God and non-human creation would be enough to make him happy. Through time, it was clear that Adam’s needs were not being met. Rather than telling Adam the Edenic equivalent of “bear the cross,” God created something new, Eve, and with her, inter-human relationality of all kinds—friendship, kinship, and both homosexual and heterosexual relationality. As Benedict shows, sex did not exist in the mind of God before God created Adam; rather, sex was a Divine innovation ordered towards the fulfillment of human needs. In other words, Adam was not created in conformity to some pre-existing sexual ideal; rather, God “created” sex and human relationships of all kinds in conformity to God’s discovery of Adam’s good.
Because Benedict privileges the second creation story as interpretively prior to the first creation story, it is therefore possible to interpret God’s command to “be fruitful and multiply,” which appears in the first creation story, not as an absolute and universally-binding command, but as a consequence of God’s recognition that it is “not good” for persons “to be alone.” In this way, not counting God’s pseudo-parthenogenetic creation of Eve from Adam’s body or non-sexual conception of Jesus Christ, procreation is the only way to ensure that human beings are “not alone.” In this way, we see that sexual procreation and the heterosexual desire which facilitates it are “first” not because, as Benedict assumes, it is the only way by which human beings become complete, but quite simply because it is the means through which God has chosen to bring new people into existence. The essential importance of heterosexual sex to the human species does not mean that it is the only type of relationship vital to human flourishing (even devoted spouses need friends and extended family, for example) or that human flourishing of particular individuals is impossible without it—as demonstrated by the examples of gays and lesbians and those called to celibacy. In this way, the heterosexuality of the first human beings need not be interpreted as evidence that only heterosexual sex is fully human.
 Deus Caritas Est. par. 11
 Deus Caritas Est par. 11
 while in the Catechism, the church hedges a bit on this, referring to “homosexual tendencies,” (2358) the church nonetheless admits that these tendencies are “deep-seated.” Moreover, I argue that this concession, along with the church’s use of the phrase “homosexual persons” (see: the “Letter to the Bishops of the Catholic Church on the Pastoral Care of Homosexual Persons”) suggests that the church accepts the reality of homosexuality as therefore the existence of homosexual persons. This view is also supported by the fact that the church proposes celibacy rather than re-orientation as the solution to homosexuality.
 Letter to the Bishops of the Catholic Church on the Pastoral Care of Homosexual Persons, par. 7
 Moreover, as I have demonstrated throughout this paper, even this assumption—that homosexual sex contradicts the creative wisdom of God—has not been established satisfactorily.
 Letter to the Bishops of the Catholic Church on the Pastoral Care of Homosexual Persons. Par. 12 John Paul II writes, “homosexual persons are called to enact the will of God in their life by joining whatever sufferings and difficulties they experience in virtue of their condition to the sacrifice of the Lord’s Cross”
 clearly, Pope Benedict’s celibacy is evidence that he also does not interpret this command in this way
 Genesis 2:18
 Benedict’s argument that “only in communion with the opposite sex can [man] become ‘complete’” seems to suggest as much. Deus Caritas Est