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A Case Against "A Case Against Homosexuality"

The following article offers an interesting series of arguments against homosexuality. They appear to be non-religious in nature, but are clearly driven by religious, conservative, ideology. I should probably admit that as recently as six years ago, that the arguments presented here would have helped me to justify my own views regarding homosexuality at the time. My feelings on the matter have evolved over the years. As a teenager, I felt homosexuality was reprehensible, unnatural, and a sin. As I grew older, distanced myself from religious dogma, and became exposed to more of the world, I began to believe -- and still am of the opinion -- that sexual orientation is biological, though it seems that no one really knows for sure.

I'd like to examine a few of the points the article makes, and try to counter those points. I may not do it very well, as I am not much of a writer or a debater, nor am I a scientist. Note that the article is offering counterpoints to commonly made cases for homosexuality. I am countering the counterpoints, and therefore will list these counterpoints, followed by my comments. If you're not too confused yet, feel free to continue reading.
  1. In Nature, there is no biological niche for homosexuality. It runs counter to all principles of biology and physiology. While I don't think it's disputed that the sexual acts are not consistent with procreation, it really doesn't matter. It does not rule out the possibility that sexual orientation is biological. If we use the argument that homosexuality runs contrary to the laws of procreation, then we need to re-examine the act of oral sex as well; it is certainly a sexual activity that plays no direct role in procreation. There are very few things we do today that are "natural". While I believe that homosexuality is biological, the argument that it's unnatural doesn't hold water within the context of our society.
  2. Homosexuality is not an adaptive mechanism to overpopulation. I can't shake the belief that it might be. The author argues that a more likely theory is that people would be born sterile or with decreased sex drives. Why? All three seem equally plausible as natural forms of population control. There's no reason to assume that sterility or decreased sex drive is more "natural" then homosexuality. As a species evolves, couldn't we assume that it will develop different adaptive mechanisms as its environment changes?
  3. A large body of research suggests that homosexuality is a learned behavior. One of the sources mentioned here is the Institute for the Scientific Investigation of Sexuality. This organization was founded by Dr. Paul Cameron in 1983. Paul Cameron is now head of the Family Research Institute, a conservative organization. The Boston Globe has a fascinating article on Dr. Cameron, and these conservative think tanks. My feeling is that this point is very suspect, due to the mere mention of this organization. Homosexuality may be learned in some instances, but that doesn't discount the notion that it's innate as well.
  4. Homosexuals already have the same rights as other people. Really? The last time I checked, they couldn't get married. In our fine progressive state of Texas, the House and Senate have passed bills to reform Child Protective Services. The House version of the bill contains an amendment that would ban foster parenting by gays and lesbians.
  5. Providing homosexual couples the same rights as married couples would give legal legitimacy to unnatural sexual behavior and make it seem acceptable. My personal belief is that marriage is a symbol of mutual commitment and love, and is a way to guarantee a couple legal rights they might not otherwise have. There is no reason these things should be denied to any couple willing to commit to each other. The author suggests that if he were to proclaim his sexual attraction to a rock or snake, and demand that the state allow marriage between himself and one or the other, we'd think he's a bit odd. Actually, I'd wonder why he hasn't had a psychological exam, or I'd think he was someone out to prove a point by pulling a stupid stunt. The problem with his argument is that we're dealing with humans and human emotions here, so it's a completely ridiculous argument that can't be debated.

There are many more points that the article outlines, but they seem to all go back to the same argument that homosexuality is unnatural, and shouldn't be recognized as legitimate. I found two places where sources cited were either conservatives, or a conservative organization masquerading as a "research" institute. I'm sure further investigation on my part would reveal more of the same.

The article is dangerous, because on the surface, the arguments presented appear logical and sensible. Of course, the article cites various sources, which often gives the appearance of credibility. These types of essays, however, can easily draw someone in to a way of thinking that ultimately leads to hatred and intolerance.

Comments

  1. Rob - You Rock!

    Many people I am sure believe the crap presented in the article, and I am glad not everyone goes along with it.

    Thanks for being so open-minded... and really - I don't mind the jokes.

    ReplyDelete
  2. The article attempts to use "logic" and "reason" to argue illogical and unreasonable beliefs. It's pretty slick actually, but once you take a look at it, most -- if not all -- of the points, are refutable.

    Don't worry dude, the jokes won't stop... ;-)

    ReplyDelete

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