Friday, January 23, 2009

Is Homosexual Sex Abnormal? Respectful Discussion With a Pearl Passer-by

Is Homosexual Sex Abnormal
I just wrote a book…in my comments section. So, in my desire to move those gruesome murder pictures down the line a bit, I’ve decided to post my conversation with Sourabh that has been ongoing beneath my Martin Luther King, Jr, entry. I have really enjoyed this respectful debate surrounding the question, “Is Homosexual Sex Abnormal?” Sourabh has asked some interesting questions – “what right do we have to police others’ decisions?” – and made some interesting assertions – “gays in this country cannot serve their nation or donate blood or adopt or marry.” This discussion has inspired me to ponder thoroughly and flex and stretch my brain muscles in coherent defense of marriage and family. Thank you, Sourabh. My brain can always use the exercise. :0)

Sourabh Chakraborty said...

I find it difficult to digest the argument that only heterosexuals can procreate. And that being gay is against the law of nature.

Yes gays cannot give birth but there are 6 billion people in this world ... millions and millions of kids all around the world ... impoverished kids and hungry kids and parent less kids who could use loving fathers and mothers.

Are we then to argue that women who cannot give birth are nature's abomination? That they have lesser rights?

Yes, gay marriage is about removing stigma. It is about civil rights. It is about that fundamental belief that we cannot discriminate anybody on anything. And that includes your ability to procreate or not.

Sourabh

Pearl said...

Sourabh,

As difficult as it is for you to stomach this, the truth is that only heterosexuals can naturally procreate and homosexuality is abnormal in nature.

I agree that there are millions of children throughout the world who would benefit from a loving mother and father, but adopting and embracing homosexuality is not the brightest solution since it denies children the important presence of an opposite-sex parent by design. And research has proved, time and again, the importance of a child being raised by a married mother and father.

Women who are infertile are not nature's abomination and they do not have lesser rights. Frankly, I'm not sure how you arrived at that conclusion based on this post. You are lumping Lesbians together with married infertile women and the glaring lack of the former is still found in the desire to deny a father.

"Yes, gay marriage is about removing stigma."

Ah, and here you've hit the nail on the head. We don't create laws and legislation to accommodate hurt feelings due to stigmas. If this is the case and this is your argument, then certainly the stigmatized polygamous culture should have their right to marry whomever they will? I trust you would also support pedophiles in their desire to marry children and siblings to marry each other? After all, you did say that "we cannot discriminate anybody on anything."

That is a dangerous path to walk.

Sourabh Chakraborty said...

Thank you Pearl for that wonderful comment. To have been challenged logically rather than predisposed prejudice on this issue is very refreshing.

I'm not sure homosexuality can be considered abnormal in nature while heterosexuality normal. Is this based on the understanding that the choices or lifestyles of the majority of the population decide what is normal and abnormal?

Is homosexuality abnormal just because they cannot procreate? So that means lesbians and transgendered people (who were women before their sex change surgery) are still normal while gay men aren't? Are we solely driven by the ability to procreate as the deciding factor for normality and abnormality?

If that is not the sole factor, then we sure have a lot of abnormality in our world. Children born with Down's syndrome ... or with rare blood diseases. The point I am trying to make is where do we draw the line on normality and abnormality. Who decides what is normal and abnormal? And I think no one should. But if somebody must, it must be applicable universally to everybody.

Now if you held procreation as the sole factor in deciding normality, there are so many infertile people all around the world. Wouldn't we have to push them into this realm of "abnormality" as well?
I hope you'll forgive my forthrightness in writing such a long reply as I wanted to tackle every piece of thought logically and with reason.

As for the research study, I am unwilling to accept that opposite sex parents can be better parents than same sex parents. I would rather argue that the current social stigma that surrounds same sex parents is so divisive, that puts children with same sex parents in a difficult situation. So its not because they can't be good at parenting but because of a social order that we aren't so accepting of them that makes their parenting job even more difficult.

As for "gay marriage is about removing stigma", I am not saying bring laws to accommodate hurt sentiments. I am saying you need laws if you are discriminating against somebody. Blacks in the United States did not get their basic rights fundamental to any human being until the laws were changed to give it to them.

Gays in this country cannot serve their nation or donate blood or adopt or marry. Any of which a heterosexual man or woman can do. Now I am not talking about a disabled man who has lost both his legs demanding why he cannot still work as a heavy duty construction worker. I am talking of gays who are as capable in serving their nation, donating blood, adopting, raising kids and marrying like any other heterosexual. So why the discrimination?

When you say, "... then certainly the stigmatized polygamous culture should have their right to marry whoever they will? I trust you would also support pedophiles in their desire to marry children and siblings to marry each other?"

And I keep thinking what gives you or me or anybody the right to tell somebody what you're doing is totally wrong unless it infringes on my rights or somebody's rights by force.

The point is, then how willing we would be to accept when they would say ... hey, you know what ... we don't like it when you guys home school your kids or buy Christmas presents. If we have a right to tell these people that incest is wrong because we "believe" so, shouldn't these people have a right to dictate something similar to us of what they think is right to them?

My whole argument centers around the belief that we cannot be taskmasters and go policing around telling people what is right or wrong ... because using the same logic, then we must accept being policed around by somebody else with totally different ideas and views.

Telling gays you cannot marry is like telling a kid on a wheelchair you can't play basketball .. "son you might be able to play it okay, but not better than kids who have their legs" .. Gays can't procreate but we can be good parents .. just because we can't deliver an offspring (or rather don't want to have an offspring) doesn't in any way mean they cannot take care of them or they will be bad at it.

Sorry for the long post .. hope you haven't dozed off .. :(
Homosexuals Cannot Naturally Reproduce

Pearl said...
Sourabh,

Thank you for your thoughts. I, too, appreciate a good discussion. Now, let's see if I can expound upon my beliefs a bit.

"Is homosexuality abnormal just because they cannot procreate? So that means lesbians and transgendered people (who were women before their sex change surgery) are still normal while gay men aren't?"

I have to clarify that the abnormal homosexuality which I discuss is specifically the act of homosexual sex. The attractions and feelings could be normal for some people to experience based on a genetic inclination. I honestly don't know.

Saying that lesbianism is normal because they can procreate is misleading. True, they have the right equipment to procreate...if employed properly...with a man. But in their chosen lifestyle, with their chosen partner, they cannot naturally procreate. The same goes for transgendered people; they cannot naturally procreate with someone of the same sex, no matter if they have a uterus or not. Claiming you are a man when you were born a woman cannot give you semen, a scrotum, vas deferens, and a penis...all necessary for natural reproduction with a woman.

"Who decides what is normal and abnormal? And I think no one should. But if somebody must, it must be applicable universally to everybody."

Well, our own Creator and Heavenly Father is the best place to start. However, since so many have disdained His commandments and denied Him, the next best place to look for defining abnormality is science. Abnormalities are traits and characteristics, "things" if you will, which naturally fall outside the frequency-of-existence curve. Now, what follows is my opinion, I'll have you know, but in my own mind, it seems quite sound (of course). ;) We do not know how frequent the actual genetic tendency toward same-sex attraction is, but we do know that homosexuals make up a very, very small minority of the humanity on this earth, and that in many instances homosexuality is adopted through education and experimentation rather than inherent attractions. We now run into the issue of growth. Couldn't the fact that homosexual numbers are growing indicate a movement toward normalcy? Well, sure, homosexuals are growing in number, but since there is evidence that that growth may be as much a result of learned behavior as it is genetic inheritance, the question on many people's minds then is why should we embrace a clear abnormality so that its education and frequency can increase and compete with normalcy to the detriment of society?

"Now if you held procreation as the sole factor in deciding normality, there are so many infertile people all around the world. Wouldn't we have to push them into this realm of "abnormality" as well?"

No, we wouldn't, because they still have the very normal and natural impulse to be with someone of the opposite sex and while they may not be able to have children as a result of their intercourse, their "equipment" is still designed for such a purpose when united.

"As for the research study, I am unwilling to accept that opposite sex parents can be better parents than same sex parents."

And herein lies the problem. So many today are unwilling to rely on basic research anymore. If it disagrees with their beliefs, they are quick to dismiss it. And I wasn't even using research to claim that heterosexual parenting is better (though I will always maintain that it is), I was merely pointing out that this new homosexual parenting trend does not have enough "experience" to yield evidence of equivalency or superiority. Problems in relationships do not exist merely as a result of external beliefs aimed at that relationship. That is a transparent attempt to project responsibility away from oneself. If majority public opinion is to be blamed for every troubled relationship, then alcoholics could claim they are discriminated against and unfairly demonized, as could abusive husbands and angry mothers, "My children don't have a quality family home because people don't like my alcoholism." Or, as you said, "Its not because they can't be good at parenting but because of a social order that we aren't so accepting of them that makes their parenting job even more difficult." That is, to put it crassly, a cop out.

"I am saying you need laws if you are discriminating against somebody."

Yes, but it is only your opinion that government is discriminating against homosexuals when it does not, by the vote of the people, recognize same-sex unions as marriage. And in my mind, that is not discrimination; that is discernment. If it must be discrimination just because someone doesn't like it or doesn't feel it's fair, then we will be creating new anti-discrimination laws from now until forever. Our government of the people was not created to make people feel good, it was created to ensure the comfort, security, and survival of a healthy society.

"Gays in this country cannot serve their nation or donate blood or adopt or marry."

Well, that certainly is untrue. How does the inability to "marry" stop one from serving their country? If you are referring to the Don't Ask, Don't Tell legislation, then please answer this: how does keeping bedroom politics and practices in the bedroom keep one from serving their country? Additionally, here in California homosexuals are afforded the same protections under domestic partnerships as heterosexuals. This includes being able to adopt children. And in Massachusetts, same-sex "marriage" has been legalized. Are you sure you have not mistaken the United States for another nation?

"I keep thinking what gives you or me or anybody the right to tell somebody what you're doing is totally wrong unless it infringes on my rights or somebody's rights by force."

I thank you for your honesty, but "infringing on somebody's rights" is not the only negative effect against which we should be fighting permissiveness. What about survival of a healthy society? What about the nurturing of unconfused children? Right and wrong does not only exist where so-called "choice" is being guided. Pedophilia is wrong. Polygamy is wrong. Neither promotes healthy society. Neither preserves the definition of marriage most necessary for the optimal nurture of children.

"If we have a right to tell these people that incest is wrong because we "believe" so, shouldn't these people have a right to dictate something similar to us of what they think is right to them?"

Um, no, because home schooling and buying Christmas presents doesn't hurt society. Neither does maintaining marriage solely between one man and one woman. What does hurt society is devaluing a sacred, imperative institution by redefining it over and over and over again which is sure to happen once a first, radical redefinition is successful. Pedophilia is not just wrong for pedophiles, it is wrong for everyone. Similarly, marriage has been defined as being between a man and a woman in California for everyone. Homosexuals are not being discriminated against because they still have the same right as everyone else to get married...to a member of the opposite sex.

"My whole argument centers around the belief that we cannot be taskmasters and go policing around telling people what is right or wrong ... because using the same logic, then we must accept being policed around by somebody else with totally different ideas and views."

Imagine that. Checks and balances are no longer okay, according to you. That's what our entire government is built upon! Yes, we teach correct principles and let people make decisions, but when their decisions begin to affect others (society) negatively, we put our foot down. I am policed, Sourabh! So are you. We are not allowed to murder or steal or abuse. These are things that we, as a collective society, have decided are wrong, are frowned upon. We are collective taskmasters and individual servants. We can be tolerant of "different ideas and views," but tolerance is not equivalent to acceptance. That is imprudent.

"Telling gays you cannot marry is like telling a kid on a wheelchair you can't play basketball .. "son you might be able to play it okay, but not better than kids who have their legs."

Well, you might not want to say it out loud, but it's still the truth. Do we deny the truth and risk negative societal repercussion just to spare the hurt feelings of a few? Just the fact that you compare homosexuals to a disabled child in a wheelchair says a lot about the pervasive victim mentality of the former. Besides, if you spoke the truth to that child with sincere love and concern, he would be hurt but a moment and then I guarantee he would set about finding ways around his inability. So, too, could homosexuals do, but instead they've chosen to focus all their energy on their perceived inabilities rather than seek other alternatives than the appropriation of "marriage" in their struggle and desire for societal acceptance.

"just because we can't deliver an offspring (or rather don't want to have an offspring) doesn't in any way mean they cannot take care of them or they will be bad at it."

Contrary to popular gay activist belief, love is NOT enough. Children need a mother and a father. Homosexual parenting denies that by design. Deprivation should not be justified or glorified in any form.

"Sorry for the long post .. hope you haven't dozed off .."

On the contrary, this has been quite stimulating. Thank you.


What are your thoughts, Pearl People?


Yours in respectful debate and marriage preservation,
~Pearl

Related Links:
Animals Are Not Gay
How the APA Dropped Homosexuality From its List of Disorders
Homosexual Behavior/Relationships and Health
Pope’s Christmas Greeting Says We Must “Protect the Human Being Against Self Destruction” of Sexual Aberrations
What About the Mutual Affection of Homosexuals? Isn’t That Enough for Marriage?
Big Labor for Big Love?
Traditional Marriage//The Gay/Liberal Agenda is Trying to Eliminate All Tradition
Shame on You, You Heterosexist!

49 comments:

thepomegranateapple said...

I just want to respond to one point made by SC:

Gays in this country cannot serve their nation or donate blood or adopt or marry.

As pearl mentioned, those who have SSA can still serve their nation, they are just told to keep it to themselves.

They cannot donate blood, because the definition of their sexual encounters are unhealthy. (another reason why homosexual sex is abnormal-- it naturally leads to all sorts of disease, with or without condoms). I think its fair for the red cross to be concerned about the safety of the blood they take.
Besides, many many people are barred from donating blood for various reasons.

They aren't allowed to adopt in some US states because there is no proof that they can provide homes which are as good for children as the in-tact heterosexual couple.

And marriage: well, the definition is a man and a woman, (and in the united states they must also be un-related). There have always been restrictions on marriage.

Bonus note on discrimination: All of our laws are discriminatory. We discriminate against smokers in CA--they aren't allowed to smoke in restaurants, airplanes, etc. We also discriminate in favor of people who recycle. They get a number of benefits from the state.

Discrimination in laws is normal. Just because a group complains...doesn't mean society has to grant them whatever they wish. It is not wise for society to extend the definition of marriage. Especially because the only reason gays want it is:
1. so they can feel better about their identity.
2. so they can get benefits from the government.

these aren't the reasons for marriage.

Pearl said...

Bravo, Pomegranate Apple! In my methodical response, I completely failed to address the issue of health and giving blood. Of course the Red Cross would not accept blood donations from homosexuals. The lifestyle is too risque and accurately characterized by disease. I am grateful for their discernment.

Secular Heretic said...

The use of the words "normal" and "abnormal" can have a variety of meanings for different people. They are very broad terms.
There are lots of different types of disorders in our world including genetic disorders like Downs Syndrome, learning disorders and eating disorders, alcoholism etc. Some people also have sexual disorders such as being attracted to people of the same sex, being sexually attracted to children and even animals.
Although some people have these disorders it does not mean that they can not live a "normal" life. People with these disorders need to either be healed of them or learn to live with them in such a way to affirm their human nature. Pretending that the disorder is not disorder but instead using it to define who they are does not affirm their human nature.

emissary said...

As a people, we have to determine what is best for society. Then we must promote what will strengthen society, and discourage (in varying degrees and ways) things that will weaken it. We promote marriage between a man and a woman because IN MOST CASES the best place for a child is with his/her biological parents. We should discourage all other forms of sexual practice, as none of it promotes a strong society, especially for children. There are varying degrees of discouragement, though. Some societies kill those committing homosexual behavior, or those found pregnant outside of wedlock. In our country, so many laws and social stigmas have been relaxed that it's paved a way for discouragement to give way to endorsement. But most states and the federal government still give added incentives for men and women to get married. That is by design. If we start endorsing other behavior in the same way, society will be weakened.

Fannie said...

Bravo to you Pearl for fostering a respectful discussion on your blog with someone who disagrees with you.

As a lesbian and frequent blood donor, I just want to pop in here to ensure that when you said "Of course the Red Cross would not accept blood donations from homosexuals" you are referring to men who have sex with men. Too often, people fixate on gay male sex and then make generalizations about gay men AND lesbians, when such generalizations are unwarranted.

Lesbians have the lowest rates of HIV/AIDS of all demographic groups and, accordingly, there is no ban on blood donation among women who have sex with women. I don't say this to demonize gay men. Yet I do have mixed feelings around the ban, since men who have sex with men are at higher risk of contracting HIV/AIDs than other group. For now, I think the ban should stay in place until we develop screening methods to test for HIV within the 6-month incubation period between infection and when it shows up on a test.

Finally, I agree that the words "normal" and "abnormal" have different meanings for different people. I think it's important to be clear on which definition of these terms one is using when we declare other people or their behaviors to be "abnormal." For, if we're talking about normality in the statistical sense, then yes, homosexuality a deviation from the average. And then, so what? If we're talking about normality in the psychological sense, well, as you know, mental health associations do not consider homosexuality to be "abnormal" or pathological.

Personally, I find it unfortunate when normal human variation is stigmatized as "abnormal" in the pejorative sense. Yet, as well-adjusted, law-abiding successful woman, I also don't base my self-worth on whether people who know nothing about me consider me to be "abnormal" just because of who I form relationships with.

Take care.

Pearl said...

Hi Fannie, thanks for joining the discussion.

"As a lesbian and frequent blood donor, I just want to pop in here to ensure that when you said "Of course the Red Cross would not accept blood donations from homosexuals" you are referring to men who have sex with men."

I am sorry. That is clearly my mistake and I apologize for the misinformation.

"For now, I think the ban should stay in place until we develop screening methods to test for HIV within the 6-month incubation period between infection and when it shows up on a test."

I appreciate that you are trying to solve this problem in a way that would be safe for everyone, but I have my doubts as to whether that is even possible. What of the issue of gay males being proven to be wildly promiscuous? Who is to say that they will not contract the disease shortly after the test is administered and they have moved on to another partner?

"If we're talking about normality in the statistical sense, then yes, homosexuality a deviation from the average. And then, so what? If we're talking about normality in the psychological sense, well, as you know, mental health associations do not consider homosexuality to be "abnormal" or pathological."

Hm, so what indeed? Good question. Well, the problem lies in the deviant nature of this particular deviation. What you have so glibly dismissed with a backward wave of the hand is the idea that anyone might validly question the American Psychological Association's 1973 decision to remove homosexuality from its official list of mental disorders. I do not agree that it can be stated as fact that homosexuality is psychologically normal simply because the APA removed it from some highly-esteemed list. After all, that list is compiled and voted on by imperfect humans who are just as prone to fleshy folly as the rest of us mere mortals. And, just as law is subject to human interpretation, so too is psychology subject to interpretation by its many masters and practitioners and through varying ideologies. Indeed, there are more than a few psychologists today who will argue quite reasonably that the APA's move in 1973 was not so much a matter of mental health as it was the result of a politically-driven "encouragement" by the "gay liberation" movement at the time. And, as evidenced by the gay activist reaction in the days following Proposition 8 until the present time, we see how easily "encouragement" toward a goal becomes intimidation. "Then, so what," you asked? Oh yes, getting back on track. So, for those of us who disagree with the notion that homosexuality is psychologically sound and "normal," a statistical knowledge of normal and abnormal is important in understanding where to draw the line socially...as we have done.

"I find it unfortunate when normal human variation is stigmatized as "abnormal" in the pejorative sense."

Ah, but see, this is what we are currently debating and what we will most likely, and most sadly, always have polarized opinions about. I do not believe that homosexual sex is a "normal human variation." You do. The abnormality that I speak of is a behavioral abnormality, not an inherent characteristic or trait from which one cannot escape. And, therefore, this so-called perjury of which you lament, should not be taken personally. As a person, you are loved and valued on this blog. It is merely your sexual practices and their insistent demand for "rights" that offends and provokes. Are we at an impasse then? Somehow, as a society, we have to make decisions regarding what is bad, what is good, and what is best. In this Proposition 8 experience, society has collectively and democratically decided that legalizing same-sex "marriage" is not good or acceptable, and there are many who now clamor, rather uproariously, to take that collective right of discernment and conscience away.

So the real question is, who owns the greater, or more accurately, factual, right? Those whose freedom of conscience has been vehemently protected and championed since the very conception of our blessed nation? Or those who have only recently decided that homosexual sex is a "pursuit of happiness" worthy of appropriating the language of the epic civil rights movement and issuing demands based on the unsupported cry of 'genetic inevitability(!)'?

jzepi said...

One of the things I notice often in these sorts of discussions is that some people think morality is arbitrary, not based on any kind of reasoning process.

But this is not true. Traditional morality makes sense, and has proven time after time to not only be the traditionally moral course of action, but also the SMART course of action.

The other thing that kind of "proves" the soundness of traditional morality is that nearly all religious traditions have separately arrived at the same conclusions with regard to moral biggies like the importance of continually encouraging heterosexual norms over homosexual indulgences.

Good moral standards lead to a virtuous and strong society, whereas practices that are immoral really are bad for us as a society and really do weaken us.

Like many people, I fully believe God has revealed the commandments to us so that we will not have to break our heads and hearts finding out the hard way what is good and bad. We use religion as a sort of short-cut to knowing right from wrong, and in this regard faithfully following traditional Judeo-Christian morality is actually amazingly reliable in guiding us to what is indeed good. When it seems to fail, almost always we can see that the morals taught by religion are not what fail us, but we ourselves and our own lack of devotion to what we know is good and moral are what fail. We make bad choices.

If we want to try to "re-invent the wheel" and by-pass thousands of years of moral tradition to try to figure out for ourselves which moral boundaries will lead to the good and which will end up bad, that is another option. But I don't think any of us really have the time or the ability to build our own moral system without making tons of mistakes and damaging ourselves and others in the process.

Our society has decided to PERMIT people to make what have traditionally been considered bad choices. But increasingly, people who are enamored of those choices are demanding that their chosen actions be CELEBRATED, not just PERMITTED. What they fail to do is make the case WHY this should be so. Their argument is basically that morality is arbitrary, so their self-constructed morality is just as good as anyone else's.

[When I think about how I would feel in this situation, I guess it is just human nature to respond this way, but...] nowadays whenever somebody asserts that some ACTION is bad, then people who are fond of DOING that action hear "oh, so that means *I* AM BAD", and they become defensive and angry.

Understandable as this reaction may be, this is like a roadblock to rational communication about these important unavoidable moral issues. And we seem to keep getting stuck behind these same roadblocks over and over again with this issue of homosexuality. Some people are looking at white and seeing black, and some people are looking at black and seeing white.

There are still some people in the middle, but I'm wondering how we are going to start bringing people together. And not just all agreeing on some arbitrary morality just for the sake of not disagreeing, but agreeing on a morality that is actually good and beneficial and will make a strong future society.

Sorry so long! Thanks for listening.

Sourabh Chakraborty said...

Hello again Pearl! I thought I should get started right away to save space because these posts are getting really long :)

The part where you said "Well, our own Creator and Heavenly Father .. ". Raised by Hindu parents, spending 9 years in an Evangelical Missionary school in India learning about the Bible and having lived by a mosque all through my childhood, I think I can say I have had quite a colorful religious experience.

Wouldn't you agree that the words of the Bible and Jesus Christ cannot be applied to everybody on the planet just like you wouldn't want the words of Prophet Mohammed or Lord Krishna to be applied to your life? I think God is the last thing that can be brought into such an argument for the very reason each of us see God so differently.

So as you suggested science and logical reasoning is probably the next place we must look for answers to the question, "who decides what is normal and abnormal?"

You say " ... that in many instances homosexuality is adopted through education and experimentation rather than inherent attractions." Having known queer people for a long time now, I have not come across one single person who said he or she actually made a choice to become queer. They said they were just born feeling that way. Being gay is not a choice. At least for most of us. That would be saying, non-gays actually make a choice not to become gay.

I have always felt myself attracted to the same sex more than the opposite sex. I can tell you with all honesty I felt that way right when I was a kid. With not the slightest inkling of what sexuality is or even aware of my sexual organs, I just felt that way. So I therefore assure you, homosexuality is a very inherent desire ... as much an inherent desire as to feel hungry or sleepy.

You said, "So many today are unwilling to rely on basic research anymore. If it disagrees with beliefs, they are quick to dismiss it". It was not the whole gamut of research that I was unwilling to accept but the subject of that specific research where you said, opposite sex parents can be better parents than same sex parents.

So... tomorrow if they said our research shows that a certain race of people are more intelligent than another race, am I going to believe that on face value? Just because it is scientific research I think you and I can both agree that it doesn't have to be true. And we have seen that over the last few decades, so many previous myths have been cleared about so many questionable aspects of science.

I am sure you read about the sexuality experiment that was performed I think in the seventies or eighties ... which showed that people are not strictly homosexual or heterosexual but people actually have shades of both .. and they found a majority of the population existed in the center , showing shades of both homosexual and heterosexual preference.

Would you believe this scientific experiment on the same account you tended to believe the previous research that opposite sex parents can be better parents than same sex parents?

My point is, am I going to let science be the judge on a humane issue? If we just assumed for the sake of the argument that colored people have been proven to be inferior to white people or vice versa, would we then tell the courts that hey, if science shows this is true ... then why should we give the other group equal rights?

No, we would say... irrespective of the color of your skin, you are human and you are entitled to the same right as anybody else.

The important point to me is, it is irrespective how you quantify (morally, scientifically or in any other way) homosexuals. You might consider them abnormal because they cannot procreate. You might consider them immoral because it is against your religion.

But they are still as human as anybody else, subject to the same laws like anybody else ...and thus entitled to the same privileges as anybody else.

As for the issue of using "unpopular public opinion" to cudgel my argument when you say, "If majority public opinion is to be blamed for every troubled relationship, then alcoholics could .." that was not the point I was making.

What I was saying was that same sex parents still do not find much favor in many walks of public life ... and that can be a detriment to the way they raise their kids. But if we accepted them more whole heartedly, if we created a conducive atmosphere of acceptance and respect ... there is no doubt in my mind such parents would make excellent parents.

As for my mention, yes I do know Massachusetts and Connecticut are the only two states out of the 50 states where same sex civil unions are allowed. No, I have not mistaken the United States for any other nation. :)

As for policing myself and yourself and everybody else, of course we all have to police ourselves. That is oversimplifying my argument. As long as our actions in no way are effecting another person detrimentally or we are forcing it on somebody else ... we are almost free people. So it is not murder or stealing or abusing I talk about here.

I am talking about the larger picture... like for example, can I tell another person that he or she is doing wrong praying in front of idols because my faith says idolatry is blasphemous ? I think that is what seems to have come down with the issue of gay rights and the whole "morality" behind it.

People from different faiths tell me that their religion prohibits homosexuality to different extents. I tell them the religion I follow supports it open heartedly so I see no reason to be bothered. That is the 'policing' I was talking about.

I also must say I was very surprised when you said "Children need a mother and a father". Although raised by two parents (so I cannot proclaim otherwise) I must say I totally disagree.

Are we to presume single parents do a bad job raising kids? Yes, two parents does help the situation ... but I don't see a child suffering from the lack of it. Now if the single parent walks away from his or her responsibility of parenting (and I guess you can have the same scenario where both the parents could walk away) then the child would suffer from it.

As much logical reasoning I find in your post Pearl to counter my arguments, I am not very sure if I could say so for some of the replies to your post. I rather felt a sweeping predisposed notion in some of the replies. Hope you will forgive me for digressing to address some of their comments.

Pomegranateapple says "... because the definition of their sexual encounters are unhealthy another reason why homosexual is abnormal" . I notice you have strongly acquiesced apple's comments.

Apart from having generalized the whole queer community to practicing unsafe sex, we have conveniently ignored unsafe sex practiced by heterosexual people. If that was not sweeping enough, apple has said gay sex is unhealthy. I loudly wonder if that was a self made opinion or a consensual scientific fact across all boards of the medical community.

For Red Cross to presume that homosexuals practice unsafe sex so it is unsafe to use their blood is a very eighties-paranoia thing. Everybody knows about condoms now. And have we once again forgotten the unsafe heterosexual performers who are being given a free ticket? I can sniff a strong burnt smell of discrimination here.

Apple makes a very interesting point though which I would like to elucidate on. We discriminate against smokers in CA ... well yes because why should I have to inhale their harmful smoke? Not that I don't have anything against smokers, but why should a non-smoker have to suffer while a smoker finds pleasure in his smoke?

Now if some of you are excited that hey, can't we then use Sourabh's argument for gay rights too ? I guess you can ... I guess one can then say that one is uncomfortable with gays around them .. or they can argue that they think gays will have an adverse effect on their family ... So why should they suffer just because gays find pleasure in whatever they are doing?

Here is the catch in that argument. The reason why smoking and gay rights are two very different things. Before I offer my reason, I want to offer you this scenario.

What if I and a group of brown people said .. I am uncomfortable with black people or white people .. and maybe we, the brown people are in the majority in that part of our world .. and also I believe that the minority group of people (of a different skin color or race) seems to having an adverse effect on me solely on the principle that they are different from me in terms of skin color or race..

Now think how different is that from the argument in the paragraph just 2 paragraphs above this one ...

If we thought it was allowed to discriminate gays because certain large groups of people felt it was causing adverse effects ... couldn't the same principle be used on a race of people ? The only difference between the former and latter is .. one is discriminating on your sexuality .. the other on your skin color or race.

If somebody smokes and their smoke makes me uncomfortable ... they have no right to do that in public space which belongs to everybody. And everybody has equal rights to clean air.

But if you or another group of people are uncomfortable by the presence of gay people, it is not the problem of the gay people .. it is your problem because it is your inability to have a broader scope of mind and be more accepting of different people and view points. And that gays have equal rights to the space as you do ...

Winston Churchill, the great hero of the British nation ... the man who inspired his nation to fight against the terrible injustice of Hitler .. never got a simple fact. He vehemently believed that India was an integral part of the British empire .. and was extremely unwilling to part with it and give her independence .. he just never got it.

Churchill was never willing to accept that India had been taken by force and that after the war it was now time to return it ... at a time when the British saw Hitler taking other nations by force and that had to fight tooth and nail to battle with that injustice.

So I must admit our long discussions will never get to the point where we might be able to convert the other into believing what we believe is right ... Of course I am not saying I or any body else in this discussion is Churchill ... but I think it is a nice example of an instance where even a great respected man like Churchill could have such mistaken understandings of history and the world ... I am sure we then can be allowed quite a few such mistakes at least ..

As for my final comments before I start to proof read this behemoth of a reply ... I must say I was genuinely flabbergasted with what Secular Heretic wrote .. Hence I seriously wonder if Secular Heretic really thinks homosexuality is a sexual disorder?... and that gays need healing? I genuinely want to know his or her reaction on this question .. what if a large group of people in the world (I would say the number running into millions and that would include some of the most distinguished psychologists and behavioral experts of the world) thought it was he (or she) who needed help ... and maybe it was him (or her) who was sadly suffering from a psychological disorder?

To sweepingly say homosexuality is a sexual disorder is like hearing one of those segregation-era comments that a certain race of people are more prone to commit violence ... or like the British thought for a good 150 years that Indians were incapable of ruling themselves... they had to be ruled and it was their duty to rule over the Indians.

Coming back to your post Pearl, I must confess two things though ... first, you have given me through your comments an excellent window into the minds of other similarly thinking people .. and thus helped me understand what I would need to do to convince such people to agree with us to form a broad consensus on gay issues and rights...

But the most important thing these series of conversations has helped me is it has terrificly increased my belief that the path ahead of us to gain equal acceptance is more steeper than I first imagined .. and that I must try so much more harder and better to reach my goal of creating this broader acceptance.

It is thus with great delight I end my post (as the sooner I end, the sooner I shall have the chance to read what you've written) ... which I must say gives me great pleasure to read ... irrespective of the disagreement we have over our issues.

Fannie said...

Hello again Pearl.

Thank you for acknowledging the blood donor error.

You express concern that a gay man would engage in promiscuous sex after an HIV test cleared him of the virus. Are you concerned then that such a man would contract HIV and then transmit it to a donee? If so, per FDA regulation, a donor's blood is tested after each time it is drawn and before it is given to a donee.

For instance, even though I'm at extremely low risk for HIV, my blood-like everyone else's- is tested for HIV every single time I donate, no matter what I claim with respect to my sex life and other risk factors. As it currently stands, HIV tests are not yet sensitive enough to be able to detect HIV within the first several months of infection. My point was that if tests could be developed that could detect HIV immediately upon infection, whether a gay man is wildly promiscuous would not be relevant to the blood safety issue.

Anyway, when I said "so what?" with respect to homosexuality being a deviation to the norm, my point was that many traits in human beings are deviations from the norm. I know you do not believe that homosexuality is an inherent trait, but can you at least concede that some people have inherent same-sex attraction that other people do not have? To many of us, homosexuality or same-sex attraction or whatever it is in us that makes us different than "the norm" is nothing but a benign deviation from the norm that is similar to other instances of human variation.

The normal (meaning "average") height for women, for instance, is about 5'7" or so. I'm 5'10", so that makes me a deviation from the norm. So what? Most people living in the Netherlands are white. To be a black person there is to be "abnormal," or a deviation from the norm. So what? That was my point. Deviation in and of itself is not malignant.

With respect to the removal of homosexuality from the DSM, I am aware that many people believe that un-pathologizing homosexuality was some sort of politically-motivated act. But, from some people's perspective, putting it there in the first place was a politically-motivated act stemming from religious hostility towards homosexuality.

I know that some psychologists still claim that homosexuality is a psychological "abnormality." But that belief is certainly not the professional norm, so to speak. As Dr. Greg Herek has said (from the above link):

"However, empirical evidence and professional NORMS do not support the idea that homosexuality is a form of mental illness or is inherently linked to psychopathology." [emphasis added]

In other words, statistically speaking, the belief that homosexuality is a mental illness is an abnormal. Not that there's anything wrong with that. ;-)

thepomegranateapple said...

SC--

Are you saying in the first part of your comment that you do not trust scientific studies concerning homosexuality? Because if that is the case you are proving Pearl correct when she asserts that many times gay activists, or gay people, are unwilling to listen to any kind of evidence which refutes their choices.

So far, no one knows what causes homosexuality. It is probably a combo of factors both genetic and environmental.

However, the expression of homosexuality, the behavior, is a choice. No one has to act on it.

It is not an immutable characteristic, like skin color, shape of nose, hair color, or eye color.

Discriminating based on behavior is something we do as citizens every day.

Discriminating based on race is not okay because race is not a behavior.

This is why your analogy of smoking and racial discrimination is incorrect.

You could make the argument that homosexual sex does not hurt anyone. But, it does hurt the individuals involved. When men have sex with men, there is ALWAYS high risk factor for disease.

Always. With our without a condom. Even when wearing the condom-- there are other issues involved. (as a side note: if all men wear a condom these days--why are we still having outbreaks of syphilis and the spread of HIV among gay men?)

I don't think this is wise as a society to sanction a relationship with government approval that
a. does not provide any possible or resulting child with a mom and a dad.

b. that has sky-high risk factors for disease.

Regarding parenting. There is absolutely no evidence that same-gender parenting is as good as heterosexual parenting.

The history of the world, and common sense tell me, that if it takes a mom and a dad to create a child-- it's probably a good idea to have a mom and a dad raise the child.

The government does not reward single parenting with the term "marriage."

thepomegranateapple said...

Scientific and Social Evidence:

Sources:

While study after study shows that children do awesome in traditional marriages--there is no evidence that shows children do the same in same-gender households. I don't think it's a good idea for government to sanction a social experiment.

1.William Meezan & Jonathan Rauch, Gay Marriage, Same-Sex Parenting, and America's Children, 15 FUTURE OF CHILD. 97, 104 (2005)

"We do not know how the normative child in a same-sex family compares with other children. . . . Those who say the evidence falls short of showing that same-sex parenting is equivalent to opposite- sex parenting (or better, or worse) are . . . right."

According to this source from a magazine devoted to same-gender parenting…no one knows what the outcomes are for same-gender parenting.

2. American college of Pediatricians:
Data on long-term outcomes for children placed in homosexual households are very limited and the available evidence reveals grave concerns. Those current studies that appear to indicate neutral to favorable results from homosexual parenting have critical flaws such as non-longitudinal design, inadequate sample size, biased sample selection, lack of proper controls, and failure to account for confounding variables.

3. Bonus Problems with the studies

"Numerous reviews of the literature on sexual orientation and parenting have been conducted. At least three such reviews have pointed to the serious scientific limitations of the social science literature on gay parenting.

Perhaps the most thorough review was prepared by Steven Nock, a sociologist at the University of Virginia who was asked to review several hundred studies as an expert witness for the Attorney General of Canada.

Nock concluded:
Through this analysis I draw my conclusions that

1) all of the articles I reviewed contained at least one fatal
flaw of design or execution;

2) not a single one of those studies was conducted according to general accepted standards of scientific research. Design flaws researchers have found in these studies include very basic limitations:

a. No nationally representative sample. Even scholars enthusiastic about unisex parenting, such as Stacey and Biblarz, acknowledge that "there are no studies of child development based on random, representative samples of [same-sex couple] families."

b. Limited outcome measures. Many of the outcomes measured by the research are unrelated to standard measures of child well-being used by family sociologists (perhaps because most of the researchers
are developmental psychologists, not sociologists).

c. Reliance on maternal reports. Many studies rely on a mother's report of her
parenting skills and abilities, rather than objective measures of child outcomes.

d. No long-term studies. All of the studies conducted to date focus on static or short-term measures of child development. Few or none follow children of unisex parents to adulthood."

thepomegranateapple said...

Anal Sex is Always High Risk

"Anal Health for Men and Women," LGBTHealthChannel, http://www.gayhealthchannel.com/analhealth/; "Safer Sex (MSM) for Men who Have Sex with Men," LGBTHealthChannel, http://www.gayhealthchannel.com/stdmsm/.

These articles discuss how the incidence of HIV infection and other dangerous acts actually increases in steady gay relationships:

Maria Xiridou, et al, "The Contribution of Steady and Casual Partnerships to the Incidence of HIV Infection among Homosexual Men in Amsterdam," AIDS 17 (2003): 1031.

Jon Garbo, "More Young Gay Men are Contracting HIV from Steady Partners," GayHealth (July 25, 2001).

thepomegranateapple said...

Just want to highlight this recent CDC report:

Syphilis Summary

In recent years, [Men who have sex with Men] have accounted for an increasing number of estimated syphilis cases in the United States and now account for 65% of syphilis cases in the United States based on information from 44 states and Washington, D.C.


That is a SUPER high percentage for a group which is very small.

In 2007, (MSM) represented 65 percent of the 11,466 P&S syphilis cases reported. Increases in cases among MSM have occurred and have been characterized by high rates of HIV co-infection and high-risk sexual behavior. Syphilis among MSM is of particular concern because it can facilitate HIV transmission and lead to irreversible complications such as strokes, especially in those who already have HIV. There is also the financial burden that this life style places on health care budgets.

Heterosexual marriage may cost us money because it gives society things like babies. Babies are delightful contributions. However, disease is not. Government has no interest in promoting, rewarding, or privileging homosexual behavior.

CDC gov report on syphilis

a guy for marriage said...

Fannie,

do you consider it abnormal for a sister to be attracted to her? And then would it be abnormal for her to have sex with him?

On Lawn said...

I'm sorry, but for people who don't fetish homosexuality its a really boring topic.

Fannie, good to see you behaving here.

There are some interesting relativistic dynamics going on here. Normality is a relativistic paradigm, as many here are encountering. Each comes from a situation of a certain normality, and wonder how to discover some grander perspective of normality, or at least moral qualification of deviance.

In a world where cultural frameworks provide the battle ground for establishing or dis-establishing certain lifestyles and characteristics, a debate like this is more force than understanding. I see we all have our angles, and they are all to often orthogonal to each other. We wind up talking at right angles.

So lets start at the beginning, and for my purposes norm and deviance are the mathematical tools of observing large sets of data. If the framework is simply what is a relationship, then homosexuality and heterosexuality are both deviant. Relationships are generally not sexual at all.

If the framework is sexual relationship, then monogamy is deviant.

Marriage, is becoming more and more deviant. But what is most disturbing is the notion that the lifestyle of life long care and nurture of your co-creator in having children, as well as those children, is becoming deviant.

Consider how in the case of Rosie O'Donnell, or ex-Governor McGreevey their choice to marry is in deviation of that marriage ideal. In Rosie O'Donnell's case, she openly puts her sexual bias in front of her kids longing for a father. IN McGreevey's case, it is also his sexual bias that not only keeps him from taking part as a functional family unit, but motivates and is called on for justification to remove their children from the mother's attention and affection.

In our world everything has a cost. And if nothing else steps forward to pay that cost, then the payment is in the burning want of something. And whether you call it deviant or normal, these children are in want because their care-givers are putting their own sexual bias in front of the children's needs.

As our adult needs of sexual bias (be it promiscuity, homosexuality, or simply the need to have a sexually active or attractive relationship) will cost us our dearest treasure. Our functional and in-tact family kinship, our kin altruism.

Marriage is not against those exercises of free will, but it is not compatible with them either. Nor is our society's dissemination of love, understanding, and self-esteem as capable to meet children's needs if marriage as an institution is made subservient to these biases.

Then, as morality is simply our ability to maintain this social happiness (morale), then moral deviance comes from sacrificing (or taking) from others their wants to satisfy our own. Morally, this is deviance from a set of principles that establishes (or allows us to find) truly humanitarian behavior.

Secular Heretic said...

I know you do not believe that homosexuality is an inherent trait, but can you at least concede that some people have inherent same-sex attraction that other people do not have? To many of us, homosexuality or same-sex attraction or whatever it is in us that makes us different than "the norm" is nothing but a benign deviation from the norm that is similar to other instances of human variation.

Same sex attraction is a desire that some people experience, but so is the desire to have sex with children and also the desire to have sex with animals. If same sex attraction is just a benign variation from the norm then so is pedophilia.

Pearl said...

Alright Sourabh, you've just got to stop writing novels in my comments section or I'll never get anything done around my house! Tsk Tsk. :0)

"Having known queer people for a long time now, I have not come across one single person who said he or she actually made a choice to become queer. They said they were just born feeling that way. Being gay is not a choice. At least for most of us. That would be saying, non-gays actually make a choice not to become gay."

Isn't it interesting how we have a tendency to believe that our own little world view and experience can extend out and accurately define all of humankind? I thank you for your assurance that you have never met anyone who made a choice to be gay, but I actually have a brother-in-law (a very dearly beloved brother-in-law) who recently did make such a choice. And there are countless recorded instances of gay individuals who have walked away from the lifestyle to happily live out the remainder of their mortal lives in a heterosexual relationship. This ongoing occurrence evidences the fact that homosexual behavior can be turned on and off.

"Just because it is scientific research I think you and I can both agree that it doesn't have to be true."

Ah, so will you agree then, that the research studies done to "encourage" the APA to remove homosexuality from their official list of mental disorders "doesn't have to be true"? You see the problem here? We'll go in circles saying we don't believe each other's research studies, but someone is right. Who is it? I'm inclined to believe the studies that marriage between a man and a woman creates the best environment for raising children because not only are there large amounts of research that support this assertion, it is also supported by experience. And homosexual parenting is not. Eight years cannot compare with hundreds of years.

"so many previous myths have been cleared about so many questionable aspects of science. "

And how were they cleared, pray tell? By those same research studies which you so disdain to believe? Oh no wait, you'll believe as long as it supports your world view. Right? I suppose I am the same way, but my beliefs have the benefit of experience to lend them weight and accuracy.

"But they are still as human as anybody else, subject to the same laws like anybody else ...and thus entitled to the same privileges as anybody else."

If being subject to the same laws as everyone else is a guide for entitlement, then I suppose we will naturally have to allow incestuous relationships (they are also subject to our same laws), and pedophilia (they are also subject to our same laws), and polygamy and polyamory (they are also subject to our same laws), and even bestiality (they are also subject to our same laws). We are all subject to the same laws, Sourabh. Are we all, therefore, entitled to whatever we want? Homosexuals already enjoy all the same protections as any other minority group that feels they are being discriminated against. But homosexuals do not care for protections, rather, they'd like for their deviant lifestyle to be elevated, through government, to the status of normal. They seek for government to drop the "deviant" from their lifestyle thus encouraging further desensitization and acceptance by society.

"there is no doubt in my mind such parents would make excellent parents."

That's nice. But your vote of confidence does nothing to quell my fear for the children who are being denied a father or a mother.

"As for my mention, yes I do know Massachusetts and Connecticut are the only two states out of the 50 states where same sex civil unions are allowed."

I have to admit, Sourabh, I still question how familiar you are with our country. Massachusetts and Connecticut are the only two states who have legalized same-sex "marriage," not civil unions. Civil unions and domestic partnerships, on the other hand, are widely available throughout many of the states.

"Can I tell another person that he or she is doing wrong praying in front of idols because my faith says idolatry is blasphemous?"

Religion is federally protected in our country. So, well, you can tell them that, but you cannot stop them from doing it. :0)

The thing is, Sourabh, we are not just policed by ourselves, we are all policed by law and government according to how we've created them as a collective society. We are all subject to rules and regulations and restrictions that we may not agree with but we are, nonetheless, required to follow. We always have a choice. I can choose to murder, but I also have to accept the consequences of such a choice. Homosexuals can choose to pursue same-sex relationships, but they also have to accept the consequences of such a choice (i.e. no access to same-sex "marriage"). You see? They can still get married, like the rest of us, to someone of the opposite sex, but if they choose to follow a certain course, they must accept the restrictions of that course as created by our collective state government - the people.

"Although raised by two parents (so I cannot proclaim otherwise) I must say I totally disagree."

That's fine, it is your right to disagree, but as Pomegranate Apple has so graciously illuminated, science, research, and experience do not align with your disagreement. Quite the contrary, all three show absolutely that one mother and one father is the gold standard for the raising up of healthy, well-rounded, mentally sound and emotionally unconfused children.

"Everybody knows about condoms now. And have we once again forgotten the unsafe heterosexual performers who are being given a free ticket? I can sniff a strong burnt smell of discrimination here."

Ha! The knowledge of the existence of condoms, which I agree has been quite aggressively pushed on lovers of all ages, does not prove anything about their frequency of use. And the reason that gay males are still unable to give blood is exactly as Fanny put it, it's just not safe yet. (By the way, Fanny, thanks once again for clarifying. I appreciate the new blood donation knowledge you have imparted and apologize once again for my ignorance).

As for the rest of your arguments...I believe Pomegranate Apple did an excellent job of providing research studies and journal articles enough for all of us to spend days learning. (Thanks, Pomegranate Apple). My babe just woke up and we are off to a party, so I only have time to say that I strongly agree with Pomegranate Apple and strongly disagree with much of what you have said, Sourabh. BUT, I think you expected just such a response. :) Still, I thank you for participating and discussing and I will be back for more when time allows.

On Lawn, your comments are always appreciated and respected here.

Fannie said...

Guy For Marriage,

Can you please clarify your question and explain its relevance? You asked "Do you consider it abnormal for a sister to be attracted to her?" Who is the "her" you are referring to? Are you talking about incest?

I'm sincerely not trying to be nit-picky or anything, but your question is very unclear.


Secular Heretic said:

"Same sex attraction is a desire that some people experience, but so is the desire to have sex with children and also the desire to have sex with animals. If same sex attraction is just a benign variation from the norm then so is pedophilia."

Okay. I think the problem with your argument is that you're equivocating the definition of "abnormal." Statistically speaking, all of the sexual behaviors that you mention are abnormal (used in the "variations from the norm" sense). However, according to the norms of professional psychology, only bestiality and pedophilia are "abnormal" (in the pathological sense). See my previous comment to Pearl for further discussion on the distinction between statistical abnormality and pathological abnormality.

Secular Heretic said...

However, according to the norms of professional psychology, only bestiality and pedophilia are "abnormal" (in the pathological sense).

Many psychologists disagree. Only a few years back practically all agreed that same sex attraction was a disorder.
Same sex attraction is a disorder just like being sexually attracted to children is a disorder. The primary purpose of sex is to reproduce the next generation. The desire to have sex with someone from the opposite sex helps to bring this about. The union between husband and wife fully reveals the completeness of what humanity is. Humanity is not just man or women, it is both. Sexual intimacy reveals the fullness of humanity. An attempt to join two men or two women together in this way does not reveal anything but a lop sided balance.

beetlebabee said...

On Lawn, I think you brought up probably the most interesting point. My husband and I talked about it for more than an hour this morning and that is the idea that people have a right to choose their lifestyles whether expressing homosexuality, monogamy, polyandry, etc., for whatever reasons they choose, whether it be religion, personal creed or how the stars align....the reason to choose a 1man/1woman lifetime arrangement is for the stability of children and family.

Why do we value voluntary social restraint? For children. That's it.

It's not a hetero vs. homo argument, it's a mono hetero gold standard vs. everything else argument, because history, science and experience show that this is best for children.

You can have all the religious, personal creeds you want, but only the ideal that puts a child's needs before the individual's own sexual desires deserves the support of society.

op-ed said...

The topic of the normality or abnormality of homosexual practice is obviously of great interest to many people, but it is important to distinguish this question from the question of whether it is good policy to neuter marriage. Many have brought marriage into this discussion, but I think Pom.Apple has done a good job of bringing up the more salient issues for marriage, the social policy of it. There are many "normal" tendencies for which marriage is not redefined because doing so would be bad policy.

For example, just about everybody is capable of cheating on or abandoning their commitments. That everyone is capable, even tempted, to break commitments makes the tendency "normal." That doesn't mean marriage should be redefined to embrace that "normal" temptation. Eliminating commitment as a component of marriage would leave children abandoned by their mother or their father... or both. That would clearly be bad policy.

That there is no tendency for monogamy would make it "abnormal," but it is good policy nonetheless. Those of us who may not necessarily have the tendency to be monogamous live monogamously anyway when we marry, or in anticipation of marriage. This does not constitute "living a lie," or "being untrue to our nature," even if we may have had the tendency toward multiple partners for as long as we can remember. Rather, this is doing what is best for our families, our society, and hence, our ultimate happiness. That is good policy.

Turning marriage from an inherently procreative union set up for the benefit of the potential children of that union, into a mere adult affectation would similarly be bad social policy. It would likewise be bad to turn marriage from its child centered purpose into some kind of bludgeon to affect public perceptions of one identity group or another. We have institutions for changing public perceptions. We have institutions for adult needs. Marriage is neither of those and there is no reason to abandon it's current purpose to try and make it a me-too to one of these other institutions.

The very survival of our society depends on our ability to pass on what we are to our next generation. It is wise to continue to support marriage as the institution that accomplishes that goal.

Chairm said...

What distinguishes incest from bestiality and pedophilia, "in the pathological sense"?

What distinguishes incest from homosexuality, "in the pathological sense"?

We might assume, for the sake of discussion, that one does not choose the sexual orientation toward animals, children, relatives, corpses, nor same-sexed persons.

Nor opposite-sexed persons, for that matter.

The blanket assumption is probably contestable but leave that aside, for now.

We are not discussing choice in terms of the sexual feelings and impulses. One might seek help to make better choices, based on one's values and so forth. One might seek to advance one's well-being.

So in that sense, sexual orientation not like hunger since one cannot survive with food but one can survive, quite well, without acting on sexual impusles. Of course, acting on the heterosexual impulse might constitute an act of survival for humankind but not for the individual. The individual may or may not wish to pass-on his or her genetic heritage; the individual might be indifferent to that. However, the sexual impulse definitely is necessary for the survival of humankind. Sexual behavior involving both sexes is the nature of humankind, of human generativity, and, indeed of human community. That is, this is essential and not merely an individual's hunger for his or her own gratification. It has a greater purpose even if in this instance, or in that instance, the individual would even seek to thwart procreative outcomes of the sexual act.

Acting on a sexual impulse with an inanimate object, or an animal, or a corpose, or a same-sexed person can be excused only as satisfying an impulse on the individual level -- satiating a sexual hunger, perhaps, but not satisifying a survival need like that of acting to avoid starvation and death.

So, yes, normal is quite different from abnormal when it comes to the design of humanking.

But what about human variation? Sexual orientation toward animals, for example, varies markedly from the normality of humankind's design.

Sex with children is also markedly distant from normality. Sex with adolescent children -- with youths sexually maturing -- varies from normality but less so that sex with persons of the same-sex.

Sex with relatives, especially close relatives, is also distant from normality. That is, given the design of humankind, genrations of intrafamilial sexual behavior -- and procreation -- is deviant and abnormal. But on the individual basis, sex with relatives of the opposite sex is less markedly at variance with normality that would be sex with anyone of the same sex, related or not.

Acting on the attractions is a choice. If the action is compulsive or deemed very difficult to avoid, given the persistence and strenght of the feelings and impulses, then, the question becomes one of acceptable choice regardless of the orientation's cause, immutability, and so forth. Is it more or less acceptable to desire restraint on behavior -- whether through self-control or through social taboo?

Pathology, in terms of psycho-sexual development and well-being, is a social construct framed by scientific methodologies but it is not actually a purely scientific field of study. It must also entail philosophy and morality and ethics.

That ought to be acknowledged at the outset.

Perhaps the individual can excuse acting on certain sexual variations by claiming indifference to normality -- as per the design of humankind. Perhaps by claiming license or by claiming to minimize harm done to others. Perhaps by claiming indifference to this or that social taboo which the individual finds offensive or cumbersome -- perhaps out of a deeper satifisfaction in defying normality. There can be many different rationales.

So the two base questions provide a good starting line:

What distinguishes incest from bestiality and pedophilia, "in the pathological sense"?

What distinguishes incest from homosexuality, "in the pathological sense"?

We are not talking just about a group's concept of normality, surely, when citing psychologists. The norms of pyschology are social constructs for a subgroup -- influenced greatly by philosophy and other factors such as politics and morality and ethics. Yes, psychologists may wish to impose their "professional" norms on all of society, on all of humankind, however no group has that authority or that power over humankind.

As with all social constructs, the pathology, or the non-pathology, of sexual orientations is highly negotiable, always, and is not a purely scientific determination.

the pomegranate apple said...

thanks everyone here for an awesome discussion.

Fannie said...

I said:

"However, according to the norms of professional psychology, only bestiality and pedophilia are "abnormal" (in the pathological sense)."

Secular Heretic said:

"Many psychologists disagree. Only a few years back practically all agreed that same sex attraction was a disorder."

Again, you are missing it. Re-read my statement, I am using the my chosen words very carefully. According to the NORMS of professional psychology, homosexuality is not a pathology. Yes, currently some psychologists, like those who promote "ex-gay" therapy, believe homosexuality to be some sort of disorder. My point is that that idea is certainly not the prevailing norm among professional psychologists today.

Yes, many psychologists used to believe that homosexuality was a disorder, but that is no longer the case. (Although even in the early years of research on sexuality, homosexuality was not universally labeled a pathology. Psychologist Havelock Ellis, for instance, in 1901 argued that homosexuality was inborn and not a disorder). The professional norms have changed. Whether due to new information, less prejudice, or a vast homosexualist conspiracy. ;-)

Secondly, you claim that it was only a "few years back" when "all" psychologists believed homosexuality to be a disorder. Actually, the American Psychiatric Association removed homosexuality from its list of mental disorders in 1973, the American Psychological Association in 1975. Perhaps you and I have different definitions of a "few years," but I don't consider 30-some years to be "a few." :-)

Third, for those who suggest that the topic of this conversation is "boring," perhaps they need to be reminded that they are not required to participate in that which they find dull. Personally, I find it fascinating to better understand other people's opinions. And, I gather that those who dedicate their blogs to opposing homosexuality and LGBT rights also do not find the topic to be "boring."

Take care everyone.

Fannie said...

Finally, some have compared homosexuality to bestiality and pedophilia. This is a common tack.

The commonality between these three is that homosexuality, bestiality, and pedophilia are statistical variations from the norm (meaning "average"). I wonder if anyone here can offer any other arguments as to how a lifetime, faithful romantic commitment between two women is equivalent to having sex with animals or children?

op-ed said...

Or to marriage, for that matter.

Pearl said...

Bravo Op-Ed! Excellent question. (Sorry, Fannie, no offense you understand, your questions are necessary for the discussion, but I do so love the brilliant responses from my like-minded friends here).

Perhaps, Fannie, you could just answer Chairm's questions as to how these sexual preferences/orientations can be distinguished from each other?

What distinguishes incest from bestiality and pedophilia, "in the pathological sense"?

What distinguishes incest from homosexuality, "in the pathological sense"?


The comparison is common because it is a valid concern. If we redefine marriage once to accommodate consensuality, what stops us from redefining it again for another deviant, yet consensual, relationship? That seems to be the course of action advocated for in the gay activist bible, After the Ball, which was introduced by Kirk and Madsen, two Harvard graduate homosexual activists, shortly following the 1988 War Conference:

"When you're very different, and people hate you for it, this is what you do: first you get your foot in the door, by being as similar as possible; then, and only then - when your one little difference is finally accepted - can you start dragging in your other peculiarities, one by one. You hammer in the wedge narrow end first. As the saying goes, allow the camel's nose beneath your tent, and his whole body will soon follow."

And Beetle, thanks for reminding us that the reason for all of this marriage defense is to protect the children. It is absolutely true.

Fannie said...

That's easy, op-ed. A lifetime faithful romantic commitment between two women is like marriage because, to many (including Andrew Sullivan who I'm stealing this quote from, "the essential meaning of contemporary marriage is a lifetime legal commitment between two unrelated, consenting adults to take responsibility for each other (and their children, if any) and to share their lives and home together."

Since I answered op-ed's one-liner, I certainly hope others will answer my question and clarify how a lifelong, faithful romantic commitment between two women is like having sex with children or animals. I am very interested in the reasoning process that would lead people to believe that.

Pearl, I understand your concern that opening up marriage to same-sex couples will mean that we then will not be able to draw the line anywhere in the future. If you've never read it, I would encourage you to read Andrew Sullivan's piece (that's linked to in my comment here).

Although I don't anticipate that you'll agree with him on much, he does do a good job of explaining how the "rules of marriage have changed beyond recognition in the West over the past few thousand years." For instance, it used to be that slaves could not marry. Yet, when legal marriage was opened up to slaves, it did not then mean that marriage was opened up to everyone. Drawing new lines around who can enter marriage does not mean the abandonment of all lines.

I know you all believe marriage to be something different, but many heterosexuals and many of those who advocate for same-sex marriage believe that marriage is a lifetime legal commitment between two unrelated consenting adults. The line stops there. Using that definition, there is then no reason to allow men to marry turtles or men to marry little boys.

I hope that makes sense.

Fannie said...

"Sorry, Fannie, no offense you understand,"

No offense taken, Pearl. I'm not offended that you and your readers believe marriage to be something different than what I believe it to be.

Secular Heretic said...

I said...Many psychologists disagree. Only a few years back practically all agreed that same sex attraction was a disorder.

Fannie said...Secondly, you claim that it was only a "few years back" when "all" psychologists believed homosexuality to be a disorder.

You have misquoted me Fannie.

The commonality between these three is that homosexuality, bestiality, and pedophilia are statistical variations from the norm (meaning "average"). I wonder if anyone here can offer any other arguments as to how a lifetime, faithful romantic commitment between two women is equivalent to having sex with animals or children?

I don't think they are equivalent. They do have something in common though. All are sexual disorders. Non of these desires lead to the fulfillment of the purpose of sex.

On Lawn said...

Fannie has compared how marriage and two lesbians are alike, but she's completely missed where they differ. As Pom-apple said,

"Why do we value voluntary social restraint? For children. That's it.

"It's not a hetero vs. homo argument, it's a mono hetero gold standard vs. everything else argument, because history, science and experience show that this is best for children.

"You can have all the religious, personal creeds you want, but only the ideal that puts a child's needs before the individual's own sexual desires deserves the support of society."

And I'll re-quote something I wrote from before along those same lines (though Pom-apple put it more succinctly)

"Marriage, is becoming more and more deviant. But what is most disturbing is the notion that the lifestyle of life long care and nurture of your co-creator in having children, as well as those children, is becoming deviant.

"Consider how in the case of Rosie O'Donnell, or ex-Governor McGreevey their choice to marry is in deviation of that marriage ideal. In Rosie O'Donnell's case, she openly puts her sexual bias in front of her kids longing for a father. IN McGreevey's case, it is also his sexual bias that not only keeps him from taking part as a functional family unit, but motivates and is called on for justification to remove their children from the mother's attention and affection.

"In our world everything has a cost. And if nothing else steps forward to pay that cost, then the payment is in the burning want of something. And whether you call it deviant or normal, these children are in want because their care-givers are putting their own sexual bias in front of the children's needs.

"As our adult needs of sexual bias (be it promiscuity, homosexuality, or simply the need to have a sexually active or attractive relationship) will cost us our dearest treasure. Our functional and in-tact family kinship, our kin altruism.

"Marriage is not against those exercises of free will, but it is not compatible with them either. Nor is our society's dissemination of love, understanding, and self-esteem as capable to meet children's needs if marriage as an institution is made subservient to these biases."

Andrew Sullivan, and virtually every neutered marriage advocate, miss entirely how marriage is something more. Something that is so ingrained in our human capacity and operation that we use words like "purpose" and "design". Something which is our gift to future generations. They miss that their ideals do come in conflict with marriage ideals.

They have many good ingredients for a relationship that are noble, but they miss out on how marriage is something more.

Liberty Belle said...

"how a lifetime, faithful romantic commitment between two women is equivalent to having sex with animals or children?"

Even a relationship between two monogamous women is not on the same playing field as a family. Families offer children the opportunity to have a mom and a dad. Lesbian relationships create fatherless children, and abuse the rights of children to have both genders by their very nature.

Children have a right to a mom and a dad.

op-ed said...

Fannie: A lifetime faithful romantic commitment between two women is like marriage because, to many...the essential meaning of contemporary marriage is...

"To many," the world is flat. That doesn't mean we should change our shipping lanes to keep the boats from falling off.

The "to many" appeal is merely an excuse for an argument. It is not an argument itself. It concedes that one's beliefs are not based on reason because no reason is given. Instead, the only reason offered is because someone might agree with them. It is equivalent to answering Fannie's question by saying "to many," "a lifetime, faithful romantic commitment between two women is equivalent to having sex with animals or children."

...the essential meaning of contemporary marriage is a lifetime legal commitment between two unrelated, consenting adults to take responsibility for each other (and their children, if any) and to share their lives and home together.

And why does government need to get involved in that? Consenting adults are perfectly capable of looking after their own interests.

I don't doubt that you can define down marriage until it includes who you want it to and excludes who you want it to. Your problem comes in creating a dumbed down definition that still warrants special government recognition. There is nothing in your dumbed down definition of marriage that cannot be handled by private contracts already.

Chairm said...

Fannie, assuming consent, what distinguishes incest from homosexuality, in a pathological sense?

And what distinguishes incest from bestiality and pedophilia, again assuming consent of the human beings involved?

And, no, you may not hide behind a legal argument since you raised the distinction entirely within "a pathological sense".

Fannie said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Fannie said...

Chairm has asked multiple times the difference, pathologically, between homosexuality and incest. (I do assume here that you are referring to incest between two consenting adults, and not between say, a parent and a child). That's a really broad question and I really don't think one-liner soundbites can do the answer the justice it deserves.

To understand pathology, it is essential to understand social taboos and norms. Social taboos surrounding homosexuality and incest have arisen for very different psychological and sociological reasons. The taboo against incest, for instance, is largely believed to have arisen in order to promote alliances with outside groups. The taboo against homosexuality, to be very general, arose as some sort of biblical "crime against nature."

Another distinction is that unlike incestuous behavior between two consenting adults, homosexuality is an orientation. While having sex with someone of the same sex and having sex with a related person are sexual behaviors that deviate from the norm of having sex with unrelated opposite-sex persons, we don't say that people have "an incestuous orientation." In actuality, for whatever reasons, incest between two consenting adults is very rare. And I would be highly interested to hear if anyone has heard of adults who claim to only be sexually attracted to adults that they are related to. Most often, incest is committed by male adults on unconsenting female children. In the case of these individuals, they probably suffer from pedophilia as defined by the DSM-IV. Unlike such incestuous pedophiles, gay people are not pathological under the current norms of professional psychology.

That's really all I have time for at the moment. Yet, that being said Chairm, you would receive a warmer reception and a more detailed response from me if you showed more of a willingness to answer question my friends and I have put forth to you in the recent past. If you would like me to remind you what those questions are, let me know.

And to anyone, what do you believe distinguishes homosexuality from incest, bestiality, and pedophilia?


Secular Heretic. You're right, you didn't say "all" psychologists used to believe SSA was a disorder, you said "practically all" of them did. My mistake. Although, I do wonder if you still believe 30 years to be "a few." ;-)

Fannie said...

[I deleted my comment from 3:36, because it contained a significant typo. To avoid confusion, I am re-posting my corrected comment]

When I began commenting in this thread, I intended the scope of my comments to encompass the question of the normality/abnormality of homosexuality and to clarify the issue regarding the ban on gay male blood donors. I see that the conversation has strayed from those topics onto the more specific topic of marriage. Further, as I am quite outnumbered here and many questions/responses have been posed, I'm sure you will understand that I cannot get to them all. Especially at the beginning of a busy work week.

As I don't expect to change anyone's mind on whether same-sex couples should be allowed to marry, I'd like to leave this conversation for perhaps another day. Instead, I would like to clarify op-ed's erroneous statement regarding the ability to same-sex couples to contract for the benefits of marriage.

Actually, there are many protections and benefits that go along with the legal status of marriage that same-sex couples cannot contract for. Social security survivors benefits, for instance, is one. The right to a green card marriage for immigration purposes, is another. Same-sex couples cannot "contract" to jointly file their federal taxes, is another example. Even if you do not support calling it "marriage," I do know that some of you would at least agree that same-sex couples deserve these tangible benefits and protections that cannot be encompassed in contract law. If you do not agree, then I wonder why.

Unfortunately, in a comment yesterday, I see that one of Pearl's readers said "I don't have any positive associations regarding these people (as a group in general)..." Now, I would be interested in an articulation of who exactly "these people" refers to, but as a lesbian it's difficult not to feel frightened by such a broad de-humanizing statement. I sense that some of you are frightened by what you perceive as an epidemic of rampant anger among LGBT rights activists, but as someone who is not violent I'd just like to put it out there that it's frightening when you paint us all with the same broad brush. I see you cherry-picking activists who are angry, and discounting those who condemn violence and displays of anger.

The Join the Impact movement, for instance, is probably the largest grassroots advocacy group for the LGBT community. It sprung up as a direct result of Proposition 8 and its mission statement specifically says:

"JoinTheImpact, as an entity, will not encourage divisiveness, violence, or disrespect of others and we do not approve of this."

Are you not aware that this organization exists? This non-violent movement is sweeping the nation and many LGBT people are a part of it. Why do you only focus on those who are violent? What if I focused on those on your side who were violent, and made the generalization that most of you here were violent? What if I looked at the 4 men who recently gang-raped a lesbian woman in California, and said that because of this violent assault I have no positive association of men or of heterosexuals? Many of you are making the exact same types of generalizations. Anger and violence are not "homosexual" problems. They are human problems.

Anyway, because you hold erroneous views of what you believe most "homosexuals" are like, it is not surprising to me that you do not see our shared human need to care for and protect our families. Because yes, we have families too. Even if you would not call our families by the same name as yours.

Pearl said...

Ah, Fannie. I had a sparklingly, brilliant comment (at least I thought it was), in response to this revised comment of yours. And, of course, when I hit "post comment," it disappeared. Grrr.... So, I will try again once the kiddos are in bed for the evening.

the pomegranate apple said...

In the span of all of history--30 years is a pretty teeny slice.

Pearl said...

Okay Fannie, I'm ready to try again. The kids are fed and busy for the moment. We'll see how long that lasts before the lateness of the hour strikes. :0)

I hope you will forgive my incessant reference to The Marketing of Evil; it just happens to be my current nightstand read and contains so much interesting and illuminating information such as deserves to be shared.

You mentioned: "Even if you do not support calling it "marriage," I do know that some of you would at least agree that same-sex couples deserve these tangible benefits and protections that cannot be encompassed in contract law. If you do not agree, then I wonder why."

I am one who does not agree and I will tell you why since you wonder. :0) Yes I believe that homosexuals should have the same protections as any other human in the United States, but they have those already. As far as benefits specifically ceded to sexual orientation, well, I hope you'll excuse the elementary nature of this response but, as the old adage goes, "if you give them an inch, they'll take a mile."

You may feel indignant about this comparison, but this is exactly the plan that has been drafted by Kirk and Madsen in their homosexual agenda, After the Ball: "Such declarations of civility toward gays [like the "benefits" you seek affirmation of concession for in your comment], of course, set our worst detractors on the slippery slope toward recognition of fundamental gay rights."

So you see, this attitude of "push a little harder, push a little harder, push a little harder, get a little more", is exactly the type of behavior that has carried us to our current impasse over the venerated term "marriage." My good friend, Euripides, said it best when he wrote in a top ten post: "Here's the crux of the gay agenda. They insist that all they want is to be left alone. Well, to be left alone and have tax breaks. To be left alone, have tax breaks and medical privileges. To be left alone, have tax breaks, medical privileges and be allowed to marry. To be left alone, have tax breaks, medical privileges, be allowed to marry and openly teach gay sex in school...."

It truth, where marriage is concerned, Chairm has the best response I have seen of late and I hope he/she won't mind my correction of a few typos while I paste the quote here. :0)

"Marriage is both-sexed, not one-sexed, so if a person chooses to form an arrangement that is short either man or woman, then, that person has excluded himself from marriage while including himself in some non-marital type of relationship."

In other words, marriage is not exclusive as it is currently defined. All citizens of our country are equally blessed with the "right" to marry someone of the opposite sex. If they choose to pursue a variant relationship, they are consciously choosing to exclude themselves from marriage; they are not being excluded by heterosexuals or the institution of marriage.

You see, Fanny, it's not the angry mob blowups that are frightening. In fact, those are helpful to the cause of defending marriage as they illuminate the seething lack of control that resides just beneath the surface of the pretty, fashionable MOB facade. I recognize that viewed as individuals in their daily lives, many homosexuals are perfectly respectful contributors to society. But their collective reaction to disappointment was so absolutely over-the-top inappropriate, and when combined with that little axiom that reveals, "the first reaction is the truest," it just reaffirms for many (including me) that the lack of control is not isolated to just a few individuals erroneously representing the whole of the homosexual community. But, I strayed from the topic of fear. I am not afraid of the anger. Anger (without violence) is easy to deal with. It is overt and blatant and visible. No, anger is the least of my worries. In truth, it is the scheming and planning, desensitization, marketing strategies and public relations gambits, and grade-school homosexual education that have me concerned because with these covert tactics, society isn't even aware that there is something to combat until it is too late and we've been duped on a large scale.

op-ed said...

I would like to clarify Fannie's erroneous statement:

Fannie: I would like to clarify op-ed's erroneous statement regarding the ability to [sic] same-sex couples to contract for the benefits of marriage.

I never said any such thing. Mine is not the first post in this thread Fannie has misread. In fact, what I said is that the relationship Fannie described, which is not marriage but rather a simple association between adults, could be accommodated with just private contracts.

"There is nothing in your dumbed down definition of marriage that cannot be handled by private contracts already."

Fannie: ...there are many protections and benefits that go along with the legal status of marriage that same-sex couples cannot contract for.

Which is as it should be. There is no reason to treat one relationship based on the needs of another. Or put another way, an individual who chooses not to enter into a given relationship has every right not to be treated as if they had.

Fannie said...

Actually op-ed, I didn't misread your statement at all. I believe we have, unfortunately, talked past one another. The relationship I described is that of a same-sex relationship (and many heterosexual marriages), and there is a lot in that "dumbed down definition" that cannot be handled by private contracts, contrary to your claim.

Further you say:

"There is no reason to treat one relationship based on the needs of another. Or put another way, an individual who chooses not to enter into a given relationship has every right not to be treated as if they had."

Actually, there are many reasons to, not the least of which is that under equal protection principles, similarly-situated persons are entitled to equal rights under the law. That being said, I don't expect you to agree with me that gays and lesbians in same-sex relationships are similar enough to heteros in marriages to enable them to receive the benefits of marriage. So you can spare me that one. Secondly, as didactic pairs, same-sex relationships and heterosexual marriages have many common needs, legally and financially. It's just not accurate to say "there is NO REASON to treat one relationships based on the needs of another" [emphasis added] when there are so many commonalities.


Pearl,

It's interesting that you call the collective LGBT response to disappointment "over-the-top inappropriate." I attended several Prop 8 rallies, none of which were remotely violent and I have supported the large, peaceful grassroots Join the Impact movement. So, based on my tangible experience, I do not share your opinion at all. In fact, from my perspective, the response that many of you have taken in labeling the community that I am a part of in mob-like terms is so exaggerated that it's almost amusing.

Anyway, as a fellow lover of books, I'd like to recommend John D'Emilio's book Sexual Politics, Sexual Communities. I have hunch that this book, written by an actual historian, will give you a more accurate history of the LGBT movement than the The Marketing of Evil. Personally, I will be picking up a copy of the The Marketing of Evil if my library carries it. So thanks for bringing my attention to it.

Thanks for the hospitality here. Perhaps I'll comment on another one of your posts in the future. Take care.

Pearl said...

Hi Fannie,

I hope you've had a lovely day. Thank you for sharing your perspective on the protests you attended. I am glad that JointheImpact saw fit to reel in the early, post-Prop 8, frenzied protesters under a banner of civility.

I find your barely veiled contempt for David Kupelian's journalism background interesting. After all, who's to say that "an actual historian" would be more of an expert on marketing and public relations strategies than a journalist? I suppose if he did his research he could be, but then, under those qualifications, so too could a journalist be.

Your comments are always welcome and appreciated. This has been an excellent discussion and I sincerely hope you will also be well.

Peace and blessings,
Pearl

op-ed said...

Fannie: there is a lot in that "dumbed down definition" that cannot be handled by private contracts, contrary to your claim.

That may be true, but you failed to point to any. All you did is point out differences between marriage and private contracts. I am not arguing those things are, or should be, the same.

Fannie: ...I don't expect you to agree with me that gays and lesbians in same-sex relationships are similar enough to heteros in marriages to enable them to receive the benefits of marriage.

I'm sure I would feel the same way if I thought procreation was unimportant and facile.

Procreation is not unimportant. On the contrary, it has profound impacts on all of society and to the couple involved. And it is not facile, but rather presenting unique challenges to all of society and particularly the couple involved. Society has no reason to treat any non-marital arrangement like marriage, and no reason to treat any marriage like non-marriage.

Fannie: It's interesting that you call the collective LGBT response to disappointment "over-the-top inappropriate." I attended several Prop 8 rallies, none of which were remotely violent...

Which does not say that there weren't violent "over-the-top inappropriate" rallies. What is truly interesting is that you don't express any disappointment at those.

Chairm said...

Fannie, yes, I expressly stipulated "assuming consent".

In your response to my basic questions, drawn directly from your previous comments, you did not plainly state the distinction(s) "in a pathological sense".

You simply labelled some things pathological and the other thing not pathological.

* * *

You said: To understand pathology, it is essential to understand social taboos and norms.

And then you said: The taboo against incest, for instance, is largely believed to have arisen in order to promote alliances with outside groups. The taboo against homosexuality, to be very general, arose as some sort of biblical "crime against nature."

If you want to point to the Bible, then, incestuous sexual relations and same-sex sexual relations are very apt analogues in the scriptural context.

However, both sexual taboos existed prior to the Bible and, also, have existed and continue to exist in societies and sub-groups where the Bible has not been a powerful influence on social norms.

Thus, your "largely believed" and "to be very general" are inadequate qualifiers.

* * *

You said: Another distinction is that unlike incestuous behavior between two consenting adults, homosexuality is an orientation.

Here you suggest a difference between orientation and behavior. Yet you immediately talked about "having sex" -- which is behavior.

You returned to statistical rarity but that can apply to both same-sex sexual behavior and incestuous sexual behavior.

You may not be aware of the evidence that siblings, raised as strangers, can experience strong sexual attraction and affinity. It is also experienced by cousins. (Whatever the cause, it may also apply to child-parent duos, though I know of no studies on that twist.) Whether we are speaking of behavior or sexual attraction, I don't think your remarks demonstrate a distinction that is nearly as significant as you might hope it to be.

Where same-sex sexual behavior is socially accomodated, or even encouraged, there will be higher prevalence of that behavior. Likewise with incestuous sexual behavior -- look at cousins and in-laws (i.e. affinity), for example.

Now, if you meant to distinguish some internal and subjective feeling from behavior, then you need to be more clear on what distinguishes incest from homosexuality, in a pathological sense.

Incest can be pathological even if not acted upon, yes? It is not just some sick joke that people have these feelings and inclinations, surely. The psychology is at issue, not just the behavior, right?

Clearly, this is not just about statistical rarity. Nor is it just about social norms. There is more at issue.

On the other hand, you've implied that sexual behavior based on orientation is not pathological, by definition.

You earlier comment, and your most recent, thus raised the question about bestiality and pedofilia, in a pathological sense.

If most instance of pedofilia, by your estimate, are incestuous, then, you might also have to contend with the statistical evidence that most pedofiles prey on their same-sex.

Look, Fannie, my comment is not intended to equate homosexuality, pedofilia, and incest (andn bestiality). But you claim there is some significant difference "in a pathological sense". Thusfar your comments point to similarities.

Especially given your emphasis on statistical rarity. I think there is more to it than that. You probably should broaden you understanding of normality, abnormality, and pathology.

Even with pedofilia, and perdastry, the issue of consent has become less definitive than you might assume, within the psychological profession.

* * *

Note, please, that Pearl's blogpost expressly asks about sexual behavior, not just orientation.

"Is Homosexual Sex Abnormal?"

I take it that for you, orientation alone, is the most significant factor in deciding whether or not same-sex sexual behavior is okay, in a pathological sense. Right?

a guy for marriage said...

Sorry everyone. I was skiing this weekend. Fresh powder is irresistible to me. My question was also asked by Op-Ed. I think.

If a sister is attracted to her brother, is it wrong for anyone to prevent them from being married.

I think this was pretty well covered. Enjoyed reading through all the comments.

Thanks, Pearl-Lady.

Fannie said...

op-ed said:

"Which does not say that there weren't violent 'over-the-top inappropriate' rallies. What is truly interesting is that you don't express any disappointment at those."


I wanted to end my participation in this thread on the more positive note above with Pearl, and to avoid personal character trials. I have appreciated the discussion here when it has been focused on substantive issues.

Yet, due to op-ed's parting statement, I see that I need to say aloud what I take for granted in other people: I am disappointed whenever people use violence. Based on accounts that I have read and my own attendance at rallies, I think that reports of violence among LGBT activists have been greatly exaggerated. Yet, I am nonetheless disappointed that some LGBT rights activists have engaged in violence.

The thing is, I tend to assume that most people already know that violence is wrong. I would agree that non-violence is a shared value among most Americans, gay or straight. So, unless a person expressly condones an act of violence, I try not to assume or insinuate that he or she approve of it.

For instance, in one of my previous comments, I mentioned the gang-rape of a lesbian woman in California that occurred after Prop 8 passed. Not a single one of the commenters here explicitly condemned this act of violence or even expressed disappointment that it happened. Yet, working from my assumption that most people know that violence and rape are wrong and disapprove of such things, I didn't find it "interesting" that you failed to express disappointment. Unless I hear differently, I have been working from the assumption that you all know that the rape of a woman is wrong, even if she is a lesbian.

In the future, I would appreciate if someone just outright asked me how I felt about something rather than make insinuations or vaguely note that my silence on an issue is "truly interesting."

Take care everyone.

Chairm said...

Fannie, those are fine sentiments and a good assumption.

But have you not asserted that you "understand" the angry protests of the anti-8 side?

It is not just about the violence, the threats of violence, but also about the reprisals and the villification. It is also about the hostility toward the amending process itself. It is also about the way that the anti-8 side openly used inflammatory rhetoric -- calling opponents "bigots" is not peaceful when screamed in faces, chanted in front of churches, and routinely excused by the leaders of the protests -- grassroot and official.

Do you "understand" their angry, because you share it? I would expect so.

I do, but not in a sympathetic way for the anger is unjustified. It is merely an outburst of aggression and, yes, prejudice and intolerance. No excuse for it. None.

* * *

If you want to show that you are capable of comparing apples to apples, then, consider the response of marriage defenders to the following:

1. The legislative expansion of domestic partnership into a localized merger with marriage -- against the man-woman criterion approved by 60% of the electorate in a statory enactment.

2. The attempt of legislators to over-ride the electorate's constitutional authority re that same statute.

3. The AG's weak argument in court -- abandoning the strong argument that won in other states.

4. The judiciary's imposition of the merger of DP and Marriage and its elision of the actual disagreement.

5. The impositoin of gay identity politics into the state's constitutional jurisprudence.

6. The judiciary's failure to wait for the outcome of the pending vote on the marriage amendment.

6. The anti-8 side's disparagement of the amending process as "mob rule".

7. The AG's current argument against the constitution of California.

8. The Governor's abandonment of the state constitution.

9. The anti-8 side's court case against a fair election result.

You may claim to have witnessed only peaceful protests, and your experience may be valid, however, the inflammatory rhetoric was an incitement to violence in the dozen or so large protests that I witnessed. Perhaps we can exchange videos and photos. I can point to a very prominent pro-SSM blogger who declared open war on the Mormon Church.

Like it or not, if your campaign seeks to villify those who dsisagree by labelling them "bigots", that incites violent reactions to fair votes.

The incident at El Coyote was an outright reprisal against someone for having participated in the marriage amendment campaign -- just as anti-8ers has participated. Yet there is no comparable blacklist targetting reprisals against vulnerable individual anti-8ers.

The aftermath has become poisonous precisely because the core of SSM argumentation, and its pro-SSM campaign, is identity politics fueled by the emotivism -- a deliberate attempt to rile people up based on false equivalencies -- and not based on reason, fair discussion, and peaceful resolution of contentious issues.

The vote was peaceful. The anti-8 protest, not so much.

op-ed said...

Fannie: Not a single one of the commenters here explicitly condemned this act of violence or even expressed disappointment that it happened.


True. Then again, not a single commenter here tried to describe the rape as an expression of "disappointment" or found it "interesting" that you found it "over-the-top inappropriate."