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Online and in the media, I have seen 2 very passionate groups when it comes to gays and lesbians(for the rest of the article, gays/lesbians/homosexuals would include bisexuals too) – those who support them and those who don’t. I see a lot of passion involved in the debate over whether they are good or bad, whether homosexuality(and bisexuality) is wrong or not.
What I find intriguing is why is this so important to us?
Personally, I don’t have any interest in finding out anyone’s sexual preferences. Even if I come to know that someone I know or work with is homosexual, I don’t see how it affects our working together.
Why do you think this is an important question? I find this difficult to understand. If you feel this is important, do let the rest of us know your reasons in comments below and enlighten us.
Below, I am discussing my ideas about some of the common reasons I have heard why people think homosexuals and/or homosexuality is bad.
1. It is unnatural, against the laws of nature. This is probably the most oft quoted reason. Some feel that heterosex, that can produce babies, is the only natural way to have sex. I wonder how did you come to this conclusion? How do you define ‘natural’?
The way I see it, natural is what comes to someone without force or suggestion, what Maslow would have called a ‘Primary need’. If the drive to have sex with people of the same gender comes to someone, without having been forced into it or told to do so, it is probably natural.
2. God did not make man to be this way. My question to you again is – ‘Are you sure?’ Maybe your religious books say so, but again, were they really written by God? Did God, or Nature, write it in front of your very eyes?
You are just believing in heresay, something you have heard from others. Those others also seem to have heard it from yet others. Most people don’t usually question what their religion and culture tells them, because, as Mahesh Bhatt said in a recent tweet, it will threaten their sense of security.
There is a post I wrote – Does religion really help , you might want to read that.
I have seen that most people, unconciously, have 2 views about what is natural :
Natural is what majority thinks. The search for security often makes people stay with the majority. The parameter of what is true, what is morally right, for most people, is what the majority thinks.
If you think natural is what the majority thinks, I have some food for thought for you -
The majority Christian view a few centuries ago was that Earth is the center of the Universe.
The majority view among Hindu’s till less than a century ago, was that crossing seas is immoral. Gandhi ji was outcasted when he first sailed to England.
Majority view in some parts of the world is that you have to kill those who have different faiths, for a better world.
Natural is what the majority does. In this particular case, some might say that natural is what the majority does. So, since the majority is heterosexual, it must be the natural thing. You have to remember here that the majority also is right handed, that doesn’t make left handed people bad. Majority probably likes sweet foods. That doesn’t make those, who like salty food, bad. Majority probably eats non-vegetarian that doesn’t….
3. Homosexuals are mentally ill, they can cause harm… They might have been abused as children or they are the product of dysfunctional families. Maybe they have a tendency to abuse others. They may be hetro phobic. They fear the opposite sex…
This just sounds like a fearful response to something people are not sure of. We are used to things being a certain way. When something comes up that we can’t understand, the quickest way to feel safe again is to label it as good or bad as soon as possible. I think, to some extent at least, this response also shows a certain amount of envy towards those who are showing the courage to challenge rules that don’t make them happy. To rise and speak out your will, when it goes against the flow of majority, requires courage. Most people know that this is the right way to do things but lack the courage to do it. How many of us question laid down rules when we don’t like them? Ask yourself, did you ever question the ideas of God, religion, marriage, monogamy, national pride etc.?
How do you think gays and lesbians can harm you?
What is the worst that can happen if someone close to you, maybe a friend, turns out to be a gay or a lesbian? Maybe he/she will show interest in you. Won’t you be able to just refuse and carry on? What do you do when someone of the opposite sex shows interest in you and you don’t want to accept? It may feel uncomfortable to you. But then that is a problem YOU have, not them. They are just expressing their feelings politely.
Are you afraid of soicial ridicule and ostracization? Are you afraid what will people say? There are better ways to live than just trying to conform to society, and they don’t necessarily include being constantly at war with it.
Do you think homosexuals are going to jump on you or attack you? That is just paranoia! The same that a lot of people in the Western world once had against Blacks, that high castes in Indian society have had against low castes, that my mother has against escalators…
Ask yourself these questions – How many homosexuals have you really met? How many of them you know closely? How many of them act in a way that shows mentally unstablility, apart from their sexualy preferences? How many of them have been declared by certified doctors as mentally ill? Do you feel so strongly repulsed by other mentally ill people?
4. Aren’t these people the same as other sexual deviants? How are gays and lesbians different from pedophiles, exhibitionists, incestuous couples, rapists, those who have sex with animals? These people offend others, and gays too.
I think the bigger question here is, are these people causing anybody, any kind of harm? Homosexuals are just 2 consenting beings having an act of pleasure between themselves, outside of the knowledge of the rest of the world. Lets analyze the other groups -
Pedophiles – An adult sexually attracted to children. I don’t think having an attraction towards anything or anybody can be wrong. But if a pedophile tries to have sex with children, by the use of coercion/intimidation, it amounts to harm according to me. This is sex without consent. But this is totally different from homosexuals’ consensual acts.
What is the actual age of consent? Can kids consent? How agreement differs from consent? Does a maturity switch just turn on when a kid reaches the age of consent? Do all kids mature at the same rate? These are serious questions and cannot be dealt with in depth here(maybe another article someday).
Exhibitionists – Someone with a compulsive desire to expose the genitals. These people don’t cause any physical harm to anybody. They do something that put people off. Some feel that homosexuals are similar since there acts also put people off.
Here too, there is a difference. The general idea of an exhibitionist is a person who exposes in public without regarding the sentiments of others present. Such Exhibitionists understand that what they do offends people and are still doing it. They don’t care that they are offending others. A healthy society cannot function that way. If they want to do it, and there are others like them, they can have a seperate place designated for them. Nude beaches all over the world are all examples of nudists and exhibitionists getting to do what they want, without offending others.
Homosexuals are different. Maybe some of them don’t care for the sentiments of others. I’ll assume their ratio is just the same as their counterparts in the rest of the society. Not caring about others has nothing to do with sexual preferences. Most homosexuals just want to do their acts privately, with those of similar inclinations. I suppose if no one asks them too many questions, they won’t be too bothered to answer and no one needs to feel offended. It is only when we poke our nose too hard into the lives of othes and ask for explanations, that these things come out in the public.
Incestuous couples – People having sex with thier close relations. All I have to say is, it’s their choice. If they are consenting, I don’t care. It matters to me in no way.
Rapists – If you compare them to homosexuals, it just shows that you are paranoid. Rapists force others into sex AGAINST THEIR WILL! They cause physical harm! Enough said.
People who have sex with animals – Animals can’t give consent verbally. But they still have sex. I think this a personal call. If I find a person forcefully having sex with an animal, if I feel that the animal has not given it’s consent, I will try to save it. If the act seems consentual, I will just pass by.
5. They set bad examples for our kids. How? Just tell your kids they are 2 people who love each other. There is nothing bad in that. That is all that you and your kid need to know. It is no business of yours to imagine about and pass judgement on what goes in their bedroom. They form an example only when we collectively give our attention to their sexual preferences. Just treat them as normal people.
6. Higher rate of a lot of diseases among homosexuals… especially AIDS and various other STDs. This is also an oft quoted reason. This is backed by statistical data. I will not contest that, although I don’t believe that all statistical data is always true. For the sake of this discussion, I will assume it is all correct.
Don’t you think these are more concerns of exercising proper health practices, hygiene and discretion? It seems the homosexual community is showing less regard towards these issues. This may, as some say, be caused by the difficulty they have in finding sexual partners because of the social stigma involved. Probably they tend to disregard health concerns when they find that one rare and willing partner. But then lets be clear here, the problem is lack of concern for health and hygiene. The problem here is also social stigma which is causing this dire state for gays and lesbians. The problem is NOT homosexuality itself.
Is this God’s will? God never seems to come forward and say so.
Aren’t diseases spreading through them in the rest of society? As I said above, what is responsible is here, is lack of good health practices and lack of discretion, NOT homosexuality. To hold homosexuality responsible here is the same as holding electricity responsible when people get electrocuted. People just need to be more careful with their use of electricity.
7. If they adopt kids, it will be difficult for the kid. I know there are kids who grow up with a single parent. I know kids who grow with parents who continually fight among themselves or who abuse their kids. The point is, while having 2 parents of different genders may be a good-to-have, it is not a necessity for good parenting. It is only something that we are used to seeing.
While a mother’s or a father’s love is a unique and beautiful experience, I think love cannot be described as adequate or inadequate. If 2 people of the same sex really loves a child and care for him/her, I don’t see how I can call their love inadequate. There might still be issues of bad parenting, just as their are with regular parents and they should be taken just as any other case of bad parenting. Maybe statistics will show that homosexuals are comparitively bad parents, but then I won’t want statistics to deny genuine people from the beautiful experience of having a child. Love and care for a child is what I would emphasise upon, not the gender of it’s parents.