Yesterday, at Pink Dot 2014, I saw no activists, no one pushing for the decline of religious influences, no one ‘actively promoting’ their ‘lifestyle': what I saw was people – walking breathing feeling people – celebrating their right to love.
Stripped of all differences, they are fundamentally humans capable of love, who are looking for love. I cannot convince myself to go against that.
At the moment I realized that they aren’t homosexuals, male, female lesbian gay transexual bisexual confused spongeform – does it matter, really? I fall in love with someone’s intelligence, what they do, what they say – not their gender. If Justin were female, I would love him romantically in the same capacity.
Convince me that I am wrong, I want to be challenged. I want to know that the stance i ultimately take, whatever it is, is a fruition of careful deliberation and not merely the most convenient for my conscience. In a masochistic inversion of confirmation bias, i prowl anti-homosexuality pages, i.e. Lawrence Khong’s FB page, for worthy arguments against homosexuality. So far, my hunt has been pretty fruitless: mostly meme form rhetorical appeals:
At best (?), linking official statistics as intimidation against gay sex. Even then, there is little follow through to elaborate on how exactly these statistics justify robbing homosexuals of their rights. There is also a dearth of response to actual challenges to these largely quick n’ easy scare tactics.
I have had Christians, when challenged, lament on the aggression of those who disagree with them. If forced to a corner, they might also use the escape smog of “Sigh, I guess this is something we can never convince you to agree with.”
THEN TRY. We are aggressive not because we want to disagree, but because we want you to EXPLAIN TO US WHY WE SHOULDN’T. I crave, from the anti-homosexual camp, worthy arguments that can prove to me that you’re not merely hammering insistently on a non-existent nail. Because if so, you have been depriving people from their right to love all these years for naught.
I’ve felt that this is due for a long time. I believe in the genuine love between people of the same gender, and that it is no less – and deserves no less – than any other kind of love.
Here are the most favored arguments against homosexuals, none of which i feel can withstand punctures by logic and common sense.
1. Homosexuals are not discriminated, merely not allowed to ‘actively promote’ their lifestyle.
This is the argument i most dislike, because it is based on contradictory, hypocritical play on words. When hard pressed on why they aren’t practicing acceptance as they preach, i often hear Christians defend themselves with “I also have friends who are gays and lesbians. I don’t hate or discriminate them. But I disagree with their lifestyle, that’s all.” That’s not all. There is a difference between not sharing your friend’s taste in k-pop, and campaigning for iTunes to stop the sales of k-pop. Guess what, all you’re doing is saturating illegal downloads.
This becomes more pertinent when such movements extend beyond individuals. When effected by church bodies, these sentiments, although merely ‘disagreements’, impacts civil laws. And they know it. Under the guise of ‘merely disagreeing’, anti-homosexual communities are able to paralyze many constitutional rights of homosexuals. Now the issue is no longer confined to abstract acceptance or discrimination, but real rights that affect the lives of people. They are discriminated, legally, in the very bare definition of the word.
2. Legalizing homosexuality is a slippery slope down to pedophile, bestiality, and other sexual deviances.
This arguments exhausts me with its blatant ignorance. It is offensive on so many levels. Let me deconstruct and contrast each term for you.
Homosexuality: two consensual beings, fully capable of high order decision-making, in love emotionally and sexually, no one harmed in process.
Pedophilia: a mental disorder, medically diagnosable, fully sexual desire, causes distress to person experiencing sexual desire, involves harm to children, does not involve consenting adults.
Bestiality: similarly a mental disorder, causes distress, harm to non-consenting animals.
This slope they are talking about does not exist. It is not a slope, not a spectrum, not the roller-coaster thrill ride cockscrew track so happily painted to monger fear. Friends, this is not a ‘descent into moral darkness’ that imagery has traumatized us into picturing. These are issues in different ballparks altogether. Please don’t get taken in by baseless comparisons and techniques designed to scare.
3. Homosexuality is not natural / a result of sexual abuse.
Personally, i believe that homosexuality can be innate. Admittedly though, i have no clear evidence to lay these claims on, so i won’t even try. That one isn’t born homosexual, though, does not make it any less genuine. And, by extension, does not justify any form of discrimination.
I’ve had people eagerly presenting me with statistics that homosexuality is often a result of childhood sexual abuse, even if the victim is unaware of it. Homosexuality is also too often dismissed as social influence and therefore a ‘passing phase’. That some cases of homosexuality may be borne of abuse or external influence is undeniable. Still, it is too convenient to claim that every homosexual has experienced abuse, but have forgotten due to trauma. EVEN IF (although i strongly object to this claim), the majority do fall into this category, how do you account for the cases of inborn homosexuality – no matter how small such a population is?
Innate or not, induced or influenced, the fact remains that right now, they are as capable of romantic love as anyone else. What makes their current love for another human being, even if gender-preference has been externally shifted, any less worthy of full support and acceptance? Do you find their love unnatural? Even if so, how can we discount the authenticity of their present feelings?
4. Children need a traditional family structure consisting of a male and female.
Children, most essentially, need good parents who love them. Are homosexuals incapable of good parenting or loving their child?
Another oft used point is that these kids will face societal discrimination because of their alternative family structure, resulting in psychological problems, etc. This is such an opaque way of viewing the situation i cannot help laughing. Can we please go back to why there is social discrimination? Because of the persistent stigma against homosexuality. What anti-homosexuals are arguing is: we cannot let you do this because it will result in bad consequence that we create.
What exactly is so important about having anatomically traditional male and female figures for a family? This is what i want explained to me. Are we great believers of the oriental balance of Yin and Yang? Will having an effeminate but heterosexual father mar the traditionally ideal structure of my household? Seriously. Explain to me.
5. AIDS/HIV statistics dumping
Another popular move is to unload a statistics of AIDS/HIV, highlighting how homosexual rates of diseases far surpass the heterosexual population. I dislike the reliance on statistics to impress, without analytical decoding of the statistics’ meaning. But in this case, i do confess that it is a relevant problem because anal sex does undeniably put one at greater risk of HIV transmission.
BUT THEN AGAIN. I emphasize on transmission. Contrary to popular imagination, having anal sex does not automatically bestow one with HIV/AIDS. Although anal sex has a greater infection rate, transmission largely anchors on how much one is sleeping around. The societal and possibly familial pressure faced harasses gays from forming a committed relationship. It is when their main route to love is blocked that they may seek the back door (sorry).
Rounding back to the child/discrimination issue, society’s stance towards gay relationships defines the paths taken by gays to seek love – physical or otherwise. This in turn affects the HIV/AIDs rate amongst them. If it is truly the spread of HIV/AIDs and general health of the population that you are concerned with, then let them take the main path.
Rather than shunting gay men to the dark alleys behind Play, where they fail desperately to satisfy what society has deprived them of, but try week after week anyway — can we acknowledge the fact that gay sex happens, whether you want it to or not. Face the truth and help them reduce the rates of HIV/AIDs.
In light of the debate, this article is extremely informative: http://www.thelancet.com/journals/lancet/article/PIIS0140-6736(12)60821-6/abstract
6. They are turning a “moral wrong into a civil right”.
Firstly, let’s not pretend we understand – or even have – a universal morality. Especially on the topic of homosexuality, what is morally right or wrong becomes increasingly defined by culture and religion. Because i understand the extremely subjective nature of my moral values, i try to keep them at the most basic level.
Here i’m going to coin a term: inductive morality. Instead of determining my stance on a topical issue before attempting to justify existing moral beliefs (what i call deductive reasoning), i start with the fundamentals. The essence of being moral, to me, is love — love for all without harming another.
Homosexual relationships are based on love. No one is harmed in the process. It does not violate my morality.
Homosexuality as a ‘moral wrong’ is defined by one religion of the world’s many. No, it is based on subjective interpretation from an individual’s extraction of a religious text belonging to one religion of the world’s many. That, friends, is too damn many levels of ambiguity for me to place any kind of trust in their claims of what is morally right or wrong.
I understand that for Christians, it is commendable to face your doubts and then eradicate them through prayer and faith. But there comes a point where the validation of your status as a good Christian is compromising on your ability to discern faithfulness and dogged but unsubstantiated beliefs.
Your beliefs should not surpass your relationship with God and what he teaches you about truth and love. Jesus is someone who loves, and who believes in the freedom to love. Am I wrong to say that? If He were around, i personally imagine He’d find it ‘morally wrong’ to be robbing someone of their rights just for the pure act of loving another person.
I’m open to all new arguments. Feel free.