I have wondered for a long time now, why homosexuality has taken such a forefront position amongst all the important issues of today. Why it strikes passion, fear and anger into the hearts of so many, half of whom it doesn’t effect.
Homosexuals are singled out because many come out into society and don’t hide the fact that they are gay. Granted some still live in the closet, bound by fear of judgment from their peers. Most however, try to live honest lives without lying to people about who they really are. This is why people that disagree with homosexuality (such as fundamentalist religious groups etc.) have the impression that gay people are somehow showing off, or shoving their orientation in people’s faces. This contributes to their want of laws prohibiting the rights of homosexuals. Now the question is: why do gays no longer hide their sexuality from the world? The answer I believe is: because they know in their hearts that it is not wrong. Do you see rapists, pedophiles or cannibals coming out into society and fighting for their rights?! No, because they know that what they are doing it a perversion, and feel the need to conceal it. Such activities impede on the rights of others and are therefore morally wrong, something that a consenting homosexual relationship does not do.
We as a community continually show non-violent protest to those members of society who get their morals and ethics from a book written thousands of years ago. The reason they choose this specific “sin” to focus on, out of the many described in the bible, is because they are confronted by it on a daily basis (their son or daughter is gay, possibly their boss, or their land lord). They can’t deal with something that is different, and it makes them uncomfortable to do so. Why? I don’t know. The only reason I can fathom is that they are too cowardly to confront and learn about something that appears foreign to them. Fear, if left unchallenged and unchecked can so easily turn to hate. Do you believe that all people should be treated equally, regardless of their race, gender, religious beliefs or in my case lack thereof? Then why can’t sexual orientation be added to this list of persuasions and diversities we tolerate?
The Bible, whether true or not, was written by man and has been translated and re-written hundreds of times, and therefore in my opinion should be taken with a grain of salt. It calls homosexuality an abomination. Now disregarding the fact that the kind of gay behavior referenced in the bible is not the kind of committed same sex relationships seen today, these scriptures also claim many other things as abominations. Such ’deviant’ occurrences are constantly overlooked in modern society, both by secular and devoutly religious people. Just a few of the numerous examples being, the book of Leviticus, the same book that mentions homosexuality calls eating shellfish an abomination, four times in the space of only three verses (11:10-12)! God was really insistent about that one. In Deuteronomy 21:18-21, it is written justifiable to stone rebellious children, and finally planting two different crops side by side is said to be punishable by death (Leviticus 18:22). It is profoundly hypocritical to cherry pick the sins one wants to condemn and ignore the less convenient ones. If one was to accurately follow the words of Jesus, they would have to give all their monetary possessions to the poor, and leave their family behind to surrender their love to God. I very much doubt that millionaire preachers such as Reverend Howard Woode are doing any such thing, as they drive around in their 50, 000 dollar cars, which I bet you aren’t hybrids, and spewing hate on cable T.V. everyday. Is judgment not a sin worth condemning?
An argument aside from the biblical perspective is that homosexuality is unnatural, due to the impossibility of procreation… because all straight couples only have sex to reproduce. Still, this may have been a plausible hypothesis in the past; today’s scientific research however, shows that homosexuality is present in over 500 animal species. Not only this, but it appears in these species in around the same percent of the population as shown in humans. I would just like to point out, that none of these species are going extinct due to the presence of homosexuality. Only around ten percent show homosexual behavior, and contrary to popular belief; homosexuality is not contagious. Another evolutionary sign that homosexuality is naturally intended, is the physical and biological makeup of male and female genital anatomy. The male G-spot is stimulated through the rectum wall and found by anal penetration. While the source of most sexual pleasure for a woman is often the clitoris, which is external. Both these cases suggest that the human body was intended for more than traditional heterosexual intercourse.
Homosexuality is also not a choice. Animals don’t make the conscious decision to be gay, and neither do humans. It is the result of a complex interaction between many genes and hormones during a fetus’s development, and seems also to be affected by birth order. When analyzed logically, the suggestion that one would simply wake up one morning and say “hey, I think I’ll be gay from now on. I’ll face ten times the discrimination as the average person, have to fight for my rights, and belong to a minority group with one of the highest rates of suicide, sounds like a good time!” is nothing short of ludicrous. The only way to alter ones orientation is to deny and suppress natural urges, which in the long run, has proven to be extremely mentally damaging.
Same sex marriage is the last issue I will address; it is a matter of much contention currently, particularly in America. The main argument against it, apart from the ones already covered above, is that the definition and sanctity of traditional marriage must be saved. If this mandate had been utilized in the past, black people and interracial couples would not have the right to marry, and a woman would still be viewed as property to her husband. The definition of marriage has changed many times over decades to cohesively fit with the ever evolving western world. One guideline that it has always upheld however is that marriage is a legal contract between two consenting human individuals, and as we live in a secular legal society, it is available to both atheists and theists alike. The allowance of gay marriage does not stray from this long withstanding definition. Bestiality and polygamy, the most common comparisons to gay marriage are fundamentally different and stray drastically from said definition. One involves a separate species, that isn’t capable of giving consent, and the other involves more than two people. The suggestion that same sex unions be given a separate but equal title is an oxymoron, as separate but equal, simply does not exist. By segregating gay marriage, by rights, or title, gives people the ability to maintain the belief that it is different, and therefore justify their discrimination against it.
Christian right and wrong, is different from Islamic right and wrong, is different from Jewish right and wrong, which in turn is different from Buddhist right and wrong. I implore parents all around the world to teach their children right from wrong, as dictated by scientific evidence and personal conscience, rather than religious prejudice. If an individual household desires to educate their children based on their religion, then they have the freedom to do so, but fundamentalist ideas must not be allowed to govern our society, which by nature is secular. Churches and religious institutions have always reserved the right to refuse a requested ceremony based on religious beliefs, whether it is people of divorce, separate faiths or sexual orientations. The religious freedom within America would not be ignored or jeopardized by allowing gay marriage to those who wish to have or perform it. Don’t pass on ignorance by perpetuating stereotypes and disguising misconception as fact. I truly believe that a time will come when the oppression of homosexual rights will seem absurd, just as slavery and segregation of African Americans does today. The WE generation is overall more tolerant and diverse than our antecedent baby boomers, and though we are inheriting a world in decline and incredible environmental turmoil, due largely to overpopulation, the youngest of us will be of voting age by 2016, and WE can change it all.
By: Selena Neumark (me)