Biological Advantage in Homosexuality? (aka. Another Homo Post)
Here’s yet another post that will lead my readers to believe I am gay.
I think it’s hilarious. In all the vitriol we’ve gotten against a previously posted gay-marriage-related humor piece, it seems that anti-gay folks immediately assume you’re gay if you’re for equal rights for gay people.
But now, a fun story regarding penguins.
Bruce Bagemihl, author of Biological Exuberance: Animal Homosexuality and Natural Diversity, says homosexual behaviour has been noted in more than 450 species and more often in wild animals than captive ones. The question is: why? Some researchers say it helps a species’ survival. By not producing offspring, homosexuals can help to support relatives’ young. ‘That’s a contribution to the gene pool,’ says Professor Marlene Zuk of University of California, Riverside. (Guardian Unlimited)
Won’t it be hilarious if there really is a biological advantage to having gays in society? I expect this will make a head or two explode as yet one more argument of the bigots falls away.
I continue to be completely amazed at the responses to that “12 Reasons Against Gay Marriage” post. But I’d like to talk a little more about the kind of comments I’m getting here.
I’m going to quote one of the more coherent comments in its entirety, from someone calling herself Rachel:
I thought certain things were not true about what you wrote. I am a single mother of a beautiful and above average two year old boy. I am a full time student to better the lives of my son and I. Although I may be young I am still very much capable of raising a child on my own. I also do not agree with saying straight parents raise straight children as do gay parents raise gay children. Tha is absolutely wrong in saying. I am against gay marriage as it is said in the bible that marriage is between a man and a women.
Taking her at her word (that she’s a single mother, and the rest) I feel sorry for her. But I have to wonder what moved her to comment without reading the post. I can understand not reading the immense list of comments on the post, but…
Right in the post I state that I am not the author, yet she comments as if I am. Secondly, she has mistaken the parody for serious argument.
How can you reason faced with that? Especially across this communications gulf of the internet?
But it was the last thing that finally made me want to address this specific post. She is against gay marriage because of what it says in the Bible. My first, snarky instinct is to say “Well if the Bible told you to jump off a bridge, would you do that?” And, in a way, that question is not snarky, but relevant.
(Putting aside for the moment that the Bible does not tell us that we have to keep other people from having gay marriages, and putting aside that the Bible is a book which only a fraction of the population deem holy, and putting aside for the moment that the Bible does not dictate US law, and putting aside the fact that the Bible says plenty of things like not to eat shrimp…)
The Bible is a book. You may consider it a holy book. That’s fine. But at some point, you need to interpret it. And that means you have to think about it. And that means you have to come to some conclusion about it. Your ability to come to a conclusion in interpreting the Bible has to come from somewhere.
For example, you read “Love thy neighbor.” Now, there are different definitions of love. Maybe this means “Sex up your neighbor.” I don’t think so, but who am I to say? I am me, that’s who. I have to come to a conclusion about this. My conclusion is that, for me, having sex with all of my neighbors would not be a good way to conduct my life. So “love thy neighbor” is going to have to mean something different to me.
Do you see how I reached into some place inside to get that interpretation? Some of us just go straight to that place and skip using a Bible. It is partly for this reason that “the Bible says so” doesn’t fly as an argument for most people. Not for arguments, and especially not for laws.
One other thing on this subject. Use the Bible to try to figure out how you should live your life. Don’t use the Bible to try to figure out and dictate how other people should live theirs. You might want to read the part about removing the plank from your eye instead of concentrating on the speck in someone else’s
Rachel, assuming you’re sincere and return here for some reason, I’m glad to hear you’re educating yourself. Let me recommend that you stick to your faith if it gives you strength, but consider that denying the rights of others because of what your religion says is just about as bad as denying two people to marry because they are not members of your religion.
To conclude this post, I’ll link to this item which appeared on Atrios’ weblog. Here he quotes Cameron, an oft-cited source of anti-gay bigotry. Atrios is perfectly correct when he says it reads as an over the top parody, but a quick look at the comments on my weblog will start to make you realize that so many of these folks are guilty of self-parody. Cameron says:
“Marital sex tends toward the boring end,” he points out. “Generally, it doesn’t deliver the kind of sheer sexual pleasure that homosexual sex does” So, Cameron believes, within a few generations homosexuality would be come the dominant form of sexual behavior.
Here is a closer-to-original source of the Cameron quote. I’m not pro or against gay sex. But if gay sex becomes dominant (and I don’t mean that in a BDSM way) won’t that help to stretch out what will undoubtedly be increasingly precious natural resources? And the post comes full circle.