Sunday, June 13, 2010

You Shall Not Pass

And you know what they say about angering wizards . . .


  1. I think it would be worth having a non-theistic discussion of whether or not there is even such a "condition" as gay. It seems more like a preference to me, and I seriously doubt there is some sort of hard-wired or definite nature to it.

    The ancient Greeks were bisexual. As far as I know, all Greek men had sex with both male and female partners at some point in life. The institution of pederasty, marriage, and the social acceptance of prostitution (again of both genders) pretty much guaranteed that Greek men lived a bisexual lifestyle.

    I imagine sexuality is largely influenced by social norms. If bisexuality is socially acceptable (let alone institutionalized), you will notice a sharp increase in people identifying as bisexual. There were no doubt men in ancient Greece who preferred sex with men over women, and I imagine this is what manifests itself as "homosexual" by today's standards.

    Regardless of the nature of such activity, I wonder if there are many non-theists who actually oppose same-sex marriage or homosexuality in general.

  2. Ginx you might want to check out my post:

    and check out the medical references about halfway down. There is AMPLE evidence that homosexuality is in fact a normal variation in biology. You can find observable differences in the brains of heterosexuals of either gender vs homosexuals of that same gender. While I suppose that some might argue that having gay sex changes your brain, the fact is that there are plenty of animals that exhibit homosexuality and choose to pair up with same sex partners. It is, in all likelihood, just a normal variation of sexuality, albeit perhaps a non-Darwinian one. (Though one could argue that it is a milder mechanism for population control, since paired same-sex partners might be healthier and more productive but not add population pressures to a community by bearing offspring.)

    And PF, I love the photo. LUH You!

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  4. I'm not a scientist like our fair Marzie, but I can offer anecdotal evidence that the gay people I've known my whole life (an aunt, an uncle, a friend, their friends and partners) knew from the time they were aware of any sexual inclinations at all that they were just not interested in the opposite sex. Since the people I refer to are all in their 40's or above, I find it very hard to believe that five- and six-year-olds (their average ages when they say they realized they were gay) would have the sense of self and sociological strength fly in the face of what were at the time virulently accepted socio-sexual norms. When you bring in the ample biological data that Marzie points to, I really find it incredible that there is still a belief (by people who know gay men or lesbians) that homosexual orientation is a personal preference, rather than something hard-wired.

    I am totally ignorant of the science of bisexual orientation, but, again, anecdotally, I think there is a big difference between, "I'll try this out because it's acceptable in the microcosm where I am," and, "I have a genuine sexual attraction to both men and women." I knew plenty of people in college who fell into the former category (I went to NYU, so this is not a surprise), and I knew only two who truly fell (and still fall) into the latter. Interestingly, my aunt's longtime partner who was born in the 1930's didn't "believe" in bisexuals and was very uncomfortable with the idea of transwomen, despite being a major donator to GLAAD. So as to your question about whethere there are nontheists who opposed same-sex marriage? I imagine there are. There will always be someone, somewhere who holds a belief that is either irrelevant or seemingly incongruous to their own actual situation in life.

  5. I just worry that those fighting for gay rights are trying desperately to argue "it's not a choice" when whether or not it's a choice is ultimately irrelevant. I know people don't think "gee, which do I prefer?" They just sort of know, like when I see a piece of art I like, I know I like that piece of art. But if I learn more about a style of art, or I'm exposed to it more often, or if my tastes change over time, and that's okay. I would rather people fight for homosexuality being a non-issue than for advocating it as... well... essentially some sort of genetic disease. That doesn't seem flattering to me.

  6. If that image is real (and there are way too many deftly photoshopped ones to know for sure these days, sadly), then that – as is Sir Ian McKellen – is pure WIN.

  7. Sir Ian McKellen came out as gay, where have you been? He's also an outspoken GLBT activist.

  8. « Sir Ian McKellen came out as gay, where have you been? »

    Under a rock, apparently. =/

  9. Ian MCKellen has indeed been out for ever and ever amen. And he brings the prettiest men to awards shows. :D :D :D

    Ginx, I do see what you're saying - that the idea of choice ought to be irrelevant. I think, though, part of what the unbiased science points out is that not only is it not a choice, it's not a disease or an aberration either; it's part of biology throughout the natural world. In much the same way being one race or the other isn't considered a disease, it seems to me that (at least the work of GLAAD, which is really the only thing I'm familiar with) the fight for gay rights is more analogous to saying, "I'm not white - get over it and get used to the idea that there's nothing wrong with not being white; in fact, why is being white considered some kind of default setting for humanity?" than it is to saying, "I have [inherited disease], but it's okay, you can't catch it from me."

    I do take your point, but it seems likely that as long as the existence of GLBT people is viewed as a question of "choice" then there will be people there to condemn the supposed choice.

  10. Ginx, the entire point of my blog post is that homosexuality appears to be, from a medical standpoint, a genetic 'disease' from the same standpoint that having blue eyes or being tall or being black is a genetic disease. It clearly isn't a disease. It is a normal genetic variation.

    There are also plenty of people who don't like other people because they are black or have the wrong color eyes or are short or tall. That's called prejudice or discrimination.

  11. I doubt anyone who accepts homosexuality would think of it as a disease. I'm just playing hill-billy's advocate here.

    Suppose it's proven that homosexuality is genetic. I wonder if a Republican would abort their baby if they carried the gene...

  12. To Ginx, from my conversation with people who are Gay there is a sizable percentage who think most straights would abort their fetus if it had a genetic marker for being gay.

    Isn't that what Jesus would want?

  13. The irony is... they might be aborting the second coming. I would not be surprised if Jesus was gay. I mean come on: 12 guys always following him around (mostly sailors), the unhealthy obsession with his mother, and don't even get me started on Mary "Fag-hag"dalene.


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