Senate Homosexuality: the Thread

Discussion in 'Community' started by zombie, Jan 24, 2006.

  1. Jedi Merkurian ST Thread Reaper and Rumor Naysayer

    Manager
    Member Since:
    May 25, 2000
    star 6
    Any additional commentary of your own to add, or just a link with cut-and-paste? ;)
  2. Ghost Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Oct 13, 2003
    star 6
    I just think it speaks for itself. And for those few here who still oppose same-sex marriage and have made a "what about the children" argument in the past, I'd like to hear what they think about it.
  3. WormieSaber Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Oct 22, 2000
    star 5
    I agree with this, though you can't live in fear either. I just wouldn't go around throwing it in people's faces and forcing them to know about it. It's going to be a hard life regardless if you are gay, which I'm not but I'm just saying depending on circumstances. I was just talking to someone today in the movie industry who admitted to firing an actor from his TV show when he found out he was gay. He told me, "I don't want a gay co-star on my show." Of course, he made up some other excuse for why he fired him. But if you announce what you are to the world then it's out and accept the criticism.
  4. Vaderize03 Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Oct 25, 1999
    star 5
    Gee, what if you don't want to have a Jewish co-worker? Or a Muslim one? How about a Mormon?

    When it becomes ok to devalue others for one reason, it becomes okay to devalue them for any reason.

    Collectively, we as a society seems to have forgotten that, and we would do well to get our memories back.

    Peace,

    V-03
  5. Alpha-Red Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Apr 25, 2004
    star 5
    It's one thing to say, "I'm personally opposed to homosexuality" and leave it at that....no one's going to criticize you for this. It's quite another to say that gays are scum and imply that they ought to be treated as second class citizens. If you think that gays should "be willing to accept the consequences" then what other "consequences" should minority groups have to put up with? Should blacks have "accepted the consequences" of being black? Because there was a time when people didn't want to engage in commerce with blacks and it got to the point where blacks couldn't go about their normal lives in a reasonable fashion. Should Mormons or Jews "accept the consequences" of being Mormon or Jewish? Or how about Christians in the Middle East who sometimes suffer persecution (or should I say "consequences") for their faith? Is that right?
  6. KnightWriter Administrator Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Nov 6, 2001
    star 8
    It comes back to believing, as I believe Smuggler still does, that homosexuality is a choice, not something you are born with. Or, alternatively, that gays should live a celibate life.
  7. Ghost Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Oct 13, 2003
    star 6
    Alpha-Red, IIRC, Smuggler is opposed to all anti-discrimination. If someone wants to discriminate against Mormons/Gays/Muslims/Jews/Catholics/Protestants/Whites/Blacks/Irish/Rich/Poor/Celebrities/Disabled/Fat/Skinny/etc. in the private sector then they should be able to, from his point of view. He thinks that that is liberty which should be protected, is fine with potentially being discriminated against himself, and that businesses that are too exclusive would naturally be driven out of business in a free market economy. That's his point of view, which he and his brother have stated here many times before. He hasn't said if he would personally use that liberty to discriminate against anyone.

    I do not agree, but to prevent another cycle asking him to explain his views, there it is summarized (from what I've gathered from him over the years, anyways).
  8. KnightWriter Administrator Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Nov 6, 2001
    star 8
    I'm in favor of the federal government being able to knock a business on its ass with regard to discrimination, forcing it to either shape up or get shut down.
  9. Ghost Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Oct 13, 2003
    star 6
    It's funny that this is coming up right now, since the US Supreme Court just ruled that religious employees of a church cannot sue for employment discrimination. But that's the difference between religious employees of a church and secular employees of a church? And what else may get this exception in the future?

    Link


    In a groundbreaking case, the Supreme Court on Wednesday held for the first time that religious employees of a church cannot sue for employment discrimination.

    But the court's unanimous decision in a case from Michigan did not specify the distinction between a secular employee, who can take advantage of the government's protection from discrimination and retaliation, and a religious employee, who can't.

    It was, nevertheless, the first time the high court has acknowledged the existence of a "ministerial exception" to anti-discrimination laws ? a doctrine developed in lower court rulings. This doctrine says the First Amendment's guarantee of freedom of religion shields churches and their operations from the reach of such protective laws when the issue involves employees of these institutions.

    The case came before the court because the federal Equal Employment Opportunity Commission sued the Hosanna-Tabor Evangelical Lutheran Church and School of Redford, Mich., on behalf of employee Cheryl Perich, over her firing, which happened after she complained of discrimination under the Americans with Disabilities Act.

    Writing the court's opinion, Chief Justice John Roberts said allowing anti-discrimination lawsuits against religious organizations could end up forcing churches to take religious leaders they no longer want.

    "Such action interferes with the internal governance of the church, depriving the church of control over the selection of those who will personify its beliefs," Roberts said. "By imposing an unwanted minister, the state infringes the Free Exercise Clause, which protects a religious group's right to shape its own faith and mission through its appointments."

    The court's decision will make it virtually impossible for ministers to take on their employers for being fired for complaining about issues like sexual harassment, said the Rev. Barry W. Lynn, executive director of Americans United.

    "Clergy who are fired for reasons unrelated to matters of theology ? no matter how capricious or venal those reasons may be ? have just had the courthouse door slammed in their faces," Lynn said.

    But Douglass Laycock, who argued the case for Hosanna-Tabor, called it a "huge win for religious liberty."

    "The court has unanimously confirmed the right of churches to select their own ministers and religious leaders," he said.

    But since this was the first time the high court has ever considered the "ministerial exception," it would not set hard and fast rules on who can be considered a religious employee of a religious organization, Roberts said.

    "We are reluctant ... to adopt a rigid formula for deciding when an employee qualifies as a minister," he said. "It is enough for us to conclude, in this, our first case involving the ministerial exception, that the exception covers Perich, given all the circumstances of her employment."


    [continued]

  10. shinjo_jedi Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    May 21, 2002
    star 5
    I'm still believed people don't actually believe it's a choice, it just sounds better in their head. At least I'd hope that people don't actually believe that it's a choice, but hey.
  11. DarthIktomi Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    May 11, 2009
    star 4
    It's not so much a choice, but I will say that gay activists, by advocating biological determinism (e.g., a "gay gene"), are going down a dark path that can only end in the religious right advocating the sterilization of anyone with an out relative.
  12. Ghost Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Oct 13, 2003
    star 6
    There's some evidence (nothing certain) that suggests the genes which make men gay are the same genes that make women more likely to have more kids. So they're not really "gay genes," more like "very attracted to men regardless of gender" genes. Probably the same with lesbians. I think that's the most likely explanation, it would explain why it keeps going on throughout history, throughout all life, the cause has to have an evolutionary advantage in some ways. Plus if there are kids with gay aunts/uncles/cousins, there's more adults taking care of those kids, with a greater likelihood that the kids survive and become successful.
  13. DarthIktomi Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    May 11, 2009
    star 4
    Yeah, but these "gay gene" people also insist bisexuals don't exist. Or at least male bisexuals don't; some say, conversely, that all women are bisexual. Also, a half-century ago, they'd be talking about race and IQ.

    There's also the issue of culture. "Gay", as we know it, is a nineteenth-century psychiatric fiction (Let's not forget, Homosexualität was a disease originally. This doesn't mean much; 19th-century psychiatry also gave us such wonderful terms as "drapetomania", "anarchia", and "dysæsthesia Æthiopica", all of which basically translate to "opposition to slavery".) that was reified in the 20th century.

    But this notion of being exclusively homosexual xor exclusively heterosexual, the notion of this as an identity, is relatively novel, and does not appear in societies that lack the divine prohibition on such acts. A common axiom in anthropology (when the issue of homosexuality comes up) is that men have been having sex with men for thousands of years, but they've only been homosexual for a little over a hundred.
  14. anakinfansince1983 Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Mar 4, 2011
    star 8
    I don't know. I have a friend who is a lesbian who wants lots of kids. Not that anecdotal evidence counts for much; I just think that there isn't a trait that can be pinned to all homosexuals, other than being attracted to the same sex.

    I also take the position that we don't need to analyze why some people are gay in order to make the case that they don't need to be treated like second-class citizens. African Americans deserve to be treated equally because they are people, not because we've analyzed the fact that they are African American because they have more melanin in their skin.

    The APA making the statement that homosexuality is inborn, and not a "disease," should really be enough.

    The state of Washington legalized same-sex marriage yesterday. =D= [face_dancing]

    And here's some hopeful news from my home state.
  15. Kimball_Kinnison Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Oct 28, 2001
    star 6
    Except, I would say that is too simplistic. Genetics can have a large influence, but it's rarely 100% determinative, especially when it comes to behavioral issues.

    The way I see it, sexuality is clearly a spectrum. Otherwise, you wouldn't have such variance (such as homosexuality, bisexuality, heterosexuality, etc). Your genetics might give you a predisposition towards a range on that spectrum, but they don't determine your exact location on it. Other factors (including individual choice) help to determine your exact position.

    Consider, for example, someone who is bisexual and commits to a life-long monogamous relationship with someone of the opposite sex. Their predisposed range of sexuality could include either homosexual relationships or heterosexual relationships, but through their own choice, they have then chosen a heterosexual relationship and lifestyle. Had they formed a life-long monogamous relationship with someone of the same sex, they would have chosen a homosexual relationship and lifestyle.

    I have known some women who claim that they were "turned off to men" because of a traumatic experience (such a rape), and so consider themselves to be lesbians. In such cases, I would argue that their self-identified homosexual orientation wasn't inborn, but that they already had some measure of predisposition towards bisexuality, and their experience caused them to choose the homosexual side of that bisexual predisposition.

    It's simply not accurate to try to claim that sexuality is 100% inborn or 100% choice. As with most things in reality, it is far more complicated than that.

    Kimball Kinnison
  16. Obi-Wan McCartney Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Aug 17, 1999
    star 5
    KK I think that's a fair assessment.
  17. DarthIktomi Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    May 11, 2009
    star 4
    Yeah, in my family, there are a lot of bisexuals. Pretty much even the gay couples have kids. (Note that I'm referring to a fairly large extended family.)

    And slightly narrower eyes (though not as narrow as Asian eyes), frizzy hair, flat noses, thick lips...19th century anatomists (using much the same school as the current "finger ratio makes you gay" meme) studied it all. The best example I can think of is Pierre Paul Broca. A wonderful anatomist in terms of the brain. Many parts of the brain were discovered by him, and I'm using one named after him to type this message. *grin*

    Broca also believed that blacks were more ape-like because of longer arms, and the fact that they had longer (and less ape-like legs) was irrelevant; conversely, Asians had shorter legs, and they fact that they had shorter arms was irrelevant.

    I'd even say these facts alone should make society more accepting of homosexuality:

    Homosexuals have historically been rejected by society, yet homosexuals still exist. No reasonable person deliberately chooses to be a social outcast. Therefore, homosexuality is not a choice.
    Homosexuality per se doesn't harm anyone. (Except for pregnancy, homosexuality and heterosexuality are roughly equal in the amount of damage they can do if used improperly.)
    Societies have historically, without divine injunction against homosexuality, allowed both, with the majority of people taking part in both. Homosexuality was still regulated, often more so than male heterosexuality. (Get rid of the double standard and men shape up fast, it seems.)

    That's good news for half of Sherman Alexie's characters. ;)

    I did like seeing it in New York on CNN. I learned a lot about Jewish wedding customs. Of course, for this wedding, we had two glasses.
  18. J-Rod Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jul 28, 2004
    star 5
    While I realize that Cynthia Nixon has "clarified" her statement after undue pressure from people who disagree with her and want to take away her first amendment rights, she understands that for her, homosexuality is a choice. Check it out.

    But isn't it possible that some people are born that way, some people choose it, and still others are drawn to it from past abuse?
  19. Lord Vivec Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Apr 17, 2006
    star 7
    A person or group cannot take away your freedom of speech. The first amendment only talks about what the government can do. That's why it starts with "Congress shall make no law..." and not "Person A shall not interrupt..." I do not suppress your first amendment rights by putting "undue pressure" on you, for example.
  20. Raven Administrator Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Oct 5, 1998
    star 6
    Just like being hetero...
  21. LostOnHoth Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Feb 15, 2000
    star 5
    I think there is a difference between being sexually attracted to a particular gender (which is something I think you are generally born with) and actually engaging in sexual conduct and entering into relationships with a particular gender (which is clearly a choice). In either case, I think it is entirely irrelevent to the question of whether a person should be protected against discrimination. Religion, politics, marital status, and gender identity are all traits which are generally choice driven, yet they all attract the protection of anti-discrimination laws.

    If Republicans,divorcees, bachelors, spinsters, cross dressers, Catholics and Mormons are protected against discrimination on the basis of the life choices that they have made then so should homosexuals.

    In short, who the hell cares if it is a choice or not? If somebody chooses to be gay and present themselves in that light then regardless of whether they were born that way, choose to be that way or simply wish to be perceived that way, they should enjoy the protections of anti-discrimination laws which are available to others in relation to the life choices that they make.
  22. J-Rod Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jul 28, 2004
    star 5
    Nice snipe. But are you saying that there aren't people who chose hetrosexual behavior? Because I hear about it all the time. "They aren't being true to themselves!"

    And Vivic, are you saying that these hate groups who've attacked Cynthia would not want to remove her Constitutional right to speak freely if they could? Your post added nothing to the conversation, BTW. But thanks for the input.

    The truth remains that for some percentage of people, homosexuality is indeed a choice.
  23. Gonk Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Jul 8, 1998
    star 6
    It's simply not accurate to try to claim that sexuality is 100% inborn or 100% choice. As with most things in reality, it is far more complicated than that.

    But isn't it possible that some people are born that way, some people choose it, and still others are drawn to it from past abuse?

    I think these statements are very close to the truth of it, but more so the second one.

    I think it's more correct to say that sexuality is not 100% inborn or 100% choice for 100% of the people.

    While I think you can say that sexuality exists on a spectrum, I think there are definitely cases where the degree to which it has been inborn in the individual is close enough to 100% that it's essentially a silly notion to entertain that they be something opposite. With some gay people... in fact I'd say with the MAJORITY of gay people... it's hard-wired in there. A lot of them have tried to be straight just because it would make their lives easier if they were. They had EVERY INCENTIVE to be straight. But it just wasn't in the cards.

    It can be easy to see why these people might loathe the notion of bisexuality: to have struggled so hard to get to the point where you admit that you are gay only for someone to come along and say they can do with or without it... man, that would probably drive me NUTS. I have a hard enough time when people cut me off on the highway.

    My experience with friends in the gay community has been something to the degree of: somewhere north of 50% are born that way. Could be 51%, could be 70%, but I'm not sure. And in my experience those have been the most 'well-adjusted' gay people; which is not to say they are any less adjusted than I, but that living that lifestyle can't not cause stress and grief.

    Those who have chosen it... well I think my experience has been that it's a valid way to be, but that in these situations there is often something else going on. That's not to say every bisexual is like this, but that I've found that there does seem to be a correlation between a person who is bisexual and how inadequate to the task their parents or close friends were. There often does seem to be a larger tendency towards a search for identity and what we call the 'cluster C personality disorders' (Borderline, Narcissist, Histrionic, Antisocial).

    But the fact that they might suffer from such mental disorders does not make them any less bisexual in the here and now. Whether it was a self-fulfilling prophecy or not, bisexuality has become valid for them. Perhaps had they had a different upbringing their sexual preference would be completely different, but that doesn't mean changing it and righting the wrongs of the past will make their sexuality any more authentic, because now it IS authentic no matter the auspices under which it began. It's kind of like the state of Israel: IMO created by totally wrong reasons and not by choice of many who came to live there... but would changing it now be justice? Can we give that to them? And who are we to do so? Attempting to change it now might cause even more damage -- possibly even more than what set them off in the path in the first place.

    Like I said, this isn't everyone on top of that. If nothing else gay people might identify as bisexual as just a step on the way to accepting their homosexuality (you know, the bargaining phase, that sort of thing). And that's a different thing yet again because THAT'S just a gay person coming to terms with what they were more or less born with, not a person who would otherwise be hetero coming to terms with their physical, sexual or emotional abuse through sexuality. Totally different thing. Plus also, it's a wide world -- I refuse to believe there is nobody out there who is just a natural bisexual. I'm just relating my experience.
  24. J-Rod Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jul 28, 2004
    star 5
    Gonk and I share an opinion? LOL. It's a grand day!
  25. Ghost Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Oct 13, 2003
    star 6
    I don't think anybody "chooses" who they're attracted to.

    For the people who think homosexuality is just being in a relationship with someone of the same sex, then obivously they chose to be in a relationship. A lot of conservatives seem to define homosexuality this way.

    But most people, including most gay/lesbian people themselves, define homosexuality (and heterosexuality, and bisexuality) as the actual attraction. What kind of person are you attracted to?

    As that lady you mentioned above said, she was born bisexual (she's always been attracted to both sexes), but she chose to be in a relationship with someone of the same sex. You can also be bisexual, and be in a monogamous, lifetime, happy marriage with someone of the opposite sex. You can also be gay/lesbian, almost exclusively attracted to someone of the same sex, but marry and stay faithful to someone of the opposite sex (out of social convention, religious upbringing, or whatever). You can be completely celibate all your life, but still identify as gay or as straight, even if you're never in a romantic or sexual relationship with anyone.

    I think it just makes more sense to refer to homosexuality as the attraction. And that's definitely not a choice for most people. Do you remember choosing to be attacted to women, or to a particular woman?