parallax background

Religion & Homosexuality

Pink Money
March 13, 2019
Perfect Business Model
March 3, 2019

The Battle Between Monotheism and Homosexuality


Religious Prejudice Versus Equality



Religion First Homos To Follow


Abrahamic religions have contributed to the most negative and destructive attitudes towards sexual issues, especially homosexuality. Christian and Islamic communities and organisations are the most vocal assailants on any legal or societal moves towards tolerance and equality. The liberal wings of some of these religions have adapted to the wide (European) acceptance of homosexuality.

Many traditional religions reject the scientific, medical and psychological knowledge that we have gained about sexuality and regard homosexuality as "unnatural", a "choice" or a "moral evil". These religions are themselves immoral and evil in their attitude, causing hatred, bigotry, violence and oppression in the name of God.

Homosexual communities have become accustomed to the ranting of religious fundamentalists and traditionalists, and this causes a strong anti-religious resentment amongst them. In the wider religious scene things are much healthier. Eastern history has produced less of the out-and-out violence against homosexuality.

For example under Confucian rules after 1840 in Japan, open homosexuality became tolerated including amongst monks 1,2. New religious movements and Earth religions are largely accepting of homosexuality, as these religions are more in touch with the natural world.

Although there are Pagans, Satanists, Wiccans, etc, who do not like homosexuality very few make the same hateful statements as Muslim and Christian authorities.



Although Judaism does not accept homosexuality in theory, Jews have not made many such hateful comments, but partially this may be because Judaism has not yet fully faced the issues although liberal Jewish groups match liberal Christianity in their tolerance. Amongst non-religious folk who campaign for human rights and tolerance, acceptance of sexual pluralism is standard


Traditional Patriarchal Norms Versus New Religious Movements


Religions have tended to represent patriarchal norms, enforcing a straight heterosexuality at the expense of any other sexual expressions. This primal instinct, arising from both sexuality and power relations, becomes institutionalized into the religions produced by primitive societies (and minds).

Most traditional religions have happened to ritualize and dogmatize practices that tend to place heterosexual males in charge of women, families, religious communities, societies and governments

.

This form of dominance ends up stigmatizing those who do fit into the scheme, notably, strong females and homosexuals. Although, thankfully, the direct influence of religion in secular society has receded from the government level, residues of its effects remain entrenched in some areas of law.



There are trends within portions of all the monotheistic religions mentioned here towards tolerance, but, for example with the Anglican church, such changes are causing serious fissures in the internal cohesion of the Church.

These are issues that have been accepted by secular society and there are no large organisations devoted to non-tolerance that are not religious in nature.Wicca is one example amongst many New Religious Movements that have rejected the loathing of homosexuality found in traditional monotheistic religions.

But in its foundation Wicca could not cope with homosexuality.

The Gardnerian Book of Shadows was strictly a heterosexual affair, and, one of the earliest and most successful Pagan periodicals throughout the 1970s was called The Wiccan, and showed outright hostility towards homosexuality

But all of this changed. Alex Sanders' version of Wicca removed this bias6, and, the entire Wiccan community (alongside Pagans in general) now proclaim their distaste of prejudice based on sexuality.

Another religion that has reached this pinnacle is Satanism. What they have in common is modernity and non-monotheism. Satanism is pro-sexuality. We should all shed the weird and stifling sexual inhibitions preached by the world's traditional religions;

Sexuality is a pure form of pleasure, something that satisfies our deepest purpose in life. Modern life allows us to enjoy sex without the risks of unplanned pregnancies and sexual diseases assuming that sense is taken.



Satanism supports any fetish, kink or flavor of sexual encounter as long as all parties involved are consenting. We are informed by modern and learned psychological, medical and scientific opinions on sex; there are no dogmatic principles or religious intolerance of sexualities within Satanism. It is very optimistic, positive and healthy:

This can only be expected of such a carnal religion of the flesh such as Satanism! Some people like quality, some people like quantity: Just be responsible, take emotions and consequences into account, and above all, enjoy your life!”


It is Not Necessary for Religionists to Deny Legal Rights to Others


All of the anti-gay-marriage religious groups confuse personal religion with what is right under the law. In a democracy, where citizens are free to choose their religion and beliefs, things like marriage are not exclusive to Christians and Muslims, and as such, religious superstitions should not limit who can or cannot get married.

If Christians believe that same-sex marriage is wrong, then simply, in order to live in compliance with their beliefs, they merely have to avoid marrying people of the same gender.



Job done. When they start imposing their beliefs on others, though, and support prejudice and legal inequality towards LGBT folk, then they have crossed the line into human-rights-abuse, in the name of religion.

This is the concept of "religious rights" trumping those of other people - even of those who don't believe the same things, and I talk about it more on Legislation and Faith: Religious Rights and Religious Wrongs.

Here's the intro to that page:“People act in all kinds of ways for all kinds of reasons. When it comes to actions that cause suffering, the basis of the person's justification doesn't matter - all we are interested in is making it clear the action is not acceptable.

When religious ideas of morality and blasphemy are institutionalized, inequality results as other religions are overlooked or even indirectly proscribed.

Neil Kressel in his book on religious extremism lists "the enshrinement of religion in the fundamental rules of the state" as one of religion's most dangerous attributes (out of three)8 . Many countries grant that laws that protect religious belief also protect non-belief -

the UK has had such secularist law since 20069, and in late 2016 the USA also adopted this stance10. "Secularism" is the idea that in order to treat people fairly, all special religious rights should be abolished as democracies should not legislate on beliefs,

but on actions (regardless of religion). Therefore, it is rarely required to mention specific religions in law, or to exempt them from law.”



Abrahamic Religions


The Bible Condemns Homosexuality in Some Places, Endorses Homosexual Love in Others


Three world religions (Judaism, Christianity and then Islam) accepted parts of the Jewish Scriptures as canon. The Christians call them the "Old" testament.

There is a lot of hype about the Biblical condemnations of homosexuality. The clearest verses come from the Hebrew scriptures and most others are indirect and unclear It is in Leviticus that the surest anti-gay text can be found, but the correctness of the translations have been questioned.

There are six quotations taken from the Bible that can be used against homosexuality. A word that is being used is "abomination" as a translation for the word that in the Bible means "taboo", or "unritualistic".

Some Bibles use the word "detestable"; it depends on which Bible you own as to how accurate the translation is.. In Genesis, the story of Lot, his daughters, and the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah has Lot send out his daughters to get raped by a mob, because the homosexual violation of his guests is a worse sin than rape. For this "brave" and "commendable" action



God rewards "just" Lot and saves his family from destruction (Genesis 19:11-13, 15-17, 19). Infamously, this holy man Lot goes on to have sex with both of his own daughters, and they have children by him .

So are the twisted divine morals of antiquity! See: Lot and the Destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah: In Genesis 18 and 19.

"Thou shalt not lie with mankind, as with womankind: it is abomination" - Leviticus 18:22.

"If a man also lie with mankind, as he lieth with a woman, both of them have committed an abomination: they shall surely be put to death; their blood shall be upon them" - Leviticus 20:13.

Wrongdoers and "men who have sex with men" and ungodly and cannot go to heaven (1 Corinthians 6:9-10). Although some say the Greek here refers only to male prostitutes, and isn't condemning homosexuality as a whole.

Why don't fundamentalists organize protests and picket seafood restaurants, oyster bars, church barbecue suppers, all grocery stores, barber shops, tattoo parlours, and stores that sell suits and dresses made of mixed wool, cotton, polyester, and other materials?

All of these products and services are abominations in Leviticus. When have you heard a preacher condemn the demonic abomination of garments that are made of mixed fabrics?



Pro-Homosexuality:


Nearly all the verses mentioning homosexuality are unclear, and it is only via assumption that many have interpreted and translated the verses to be (coincidentally!) in accordance with cultural norms that castigate homosexuality.

Approaching the verses neutrally allows one to see they are ambiguous. For Christians it should also be noted that Jesus Christ is never quoted or implied to have spoken about sexuality, so presumably it does not much matter. Christians hold that the Torah's laws are superseded by the New Testament because "we are no longer under the old covenant".

The vast majority of the seemingly pointless rules from Leviticus (no clothes made of mixed cloths, no buttons...) are duly ignored. But despite there not being a single sentence from the new testament that condemns a homosexual act as worse than a heterosexual one,

because Christianity has had such a strong culture of homophobia, when it comes to homosexuality the Old Testament is embraced as if it were the New although most other condemnations are ignored.

In the Hebrew Scriptures, there are several seemingly gay relationships, none of which are met with punishment, nor even described in negative terms. For example King David, one of the most holy and revered figures of the Bible, and Jonathan:



"The soul of Jonathan was knit with the soul of David, and Jonathan loved him as his own soul" (1 Samuel 18:1) and "I [David] am distressed for thee, my brother Jonathan: very pleasant hast thou been unto me: thy love to me was wonderful, passing the love of women"

Clearly, homosexual love is fully endorsed in the Bible, and, it is hard to read passages like that without realizing that there is no condemnation of physical homosexual love, too. In this light, Leviticus 18:22 and Leviticus 20:13 are merely saying that while you are laying with a fellow man, don't try to do it in the same way as you would with a woman.

The meaning is unclear; perhaps it is saying that men shouldn't be gentle with each other, or, shouldn't adopt the same position with a man as they would with a woman.

But rather than try to synthesize these contradictory verses into a coherent doctrine, it is probably best to assume that some of the various authors of the Bible were anti-gay, and others were ambivalent or even positive about it.

As to which verses you accept is purely up to culturally-borne prejudice and personal bias.



Judaism


Of the major monotheistic religions, Judaism has the healthiest attitude towards sex, aside from a few superstitious laws surrounding blood. However, despite this positive sign, it is clear that some shades of Judaism do not accept homosexual partners:

There is no suggestion in Judaism that the celibate life is specially holy. [Sex is] the most intimate and enjoyable way of deepening a relationship. [...]

A man who has no wife is doomed to an existence without joy, without blessing, without experiencing life's true goodness, without Torah, without protection and without peace A man and a wife are acknowledged, but no other combination.

It is readily observable that homosexuality is condemned in the Torah although some argue that this is not clear-cut and there are some strong cultural signs and institutional movements that indicate that Judaism is not in the same boat as Christianity and Islam.

In the USA 81% of Jews support legalizing gay marriage (2013 data), somewhat more than the appalling national average of 52% and in the 1990s "Reform Judaism officially announced its support for gay marriage"



The USA does have serious problems when it comes to religious intolerance, however, and in the Europe, where Christian rejection of LGBT equality has been resisted for longer, Judaism still lags behind common culture when it comes to calm tolerance, although there are still some good positive steps being made, for example:

The Liberal movement has become the first Jewish body in the UK to sanction blessings for gay and lesbian couples in synagogue, according to today´s Jewish Chronicle.

Rabbi Frank Dabba Smith, chair of the Union of Liberal and Progressive Synagogues' rabbinic conference, said that there had been "no deep divisions" over the policy.:On the other hand, Jewish forces of bigotry are still active:

In 2012 Jan, the Jewish Free School (a UK faith school) led its students to a website offering "cure gays" via "Jews Offering New Alternatives to Homosexuality".14



Christianity


“Homosexuals around the world have faced frequent condemnations15, political campaigns and vitriolic statements against them, from Christian organisations,

Christian communities and individual Christian preachers and activists.16,17,18. From the 1980s, a resurgent form of powerful, political, well-funded and fundamentalist Christianity has rose to gain influence in many Western countries19, especially the USA

Similar groups have surfaced in the UK, although they've face tough battles against established Human Rights norms.

They fight against societal acceptance of homosexuality17,20, decriminalisation of homosexuality21, equality laws that outlaw discrimination based on sexuality, against gay marriage, against homosexual parents adopting children, against sex education that includes any positive commentary about homosexuality, and sometimes against the provision of social services to open homosexuals;

often, the result is violence, sometimes murder. In some countries, entire communities of devout Christians can rise up in mobs against perceived homosexuals and almost everywhere, gay clergy are expelled, shamed and ousted (even celibate ones in liberal churches

All tolerance towards homosexuals in the West has been obtained despite the campaigns of Christian institutions.



Some do now preach tolerance, but their voices are too little, too late, and they are generally shouted-down by the larger majority of Christian organisations that continue to shun anything sounding like gay tolerance or equality.

The poor state of Christian institutional morality can be highlighted with a question: How many secular large organisations would struggle so much to fairly employ a homosexual? Shame on them all, for the needless pain they've caused.27”


Islam


Islam is probably the most rigidly and inhumanly anti-homosexual in its practices of all the world religions. The verses from the Qur'an condemning homosexuality are much clearer than those that the Christians use.



In all Muslim countries (and all areas where the Islamic Sharia law is enforced), homosexuality is strictly illegal. All of Islam fits within the area of Christianity that we call "fundamentalist" with regards to sexuality.

The debates in Islam about homosexuality are not about whether it is acceptable, but merely about how severe the punishmen should be.

Seven countries in the world can give the death penalty as a punishment for homosexuality - all of them are Muslim, and in other Muslim countries, persecution against homosexuals is rife and violent, stemming from government and religious institutions down to the actions of mobs and individuals28.


Which Countries are Most and Least Tolerant?. All the worse countries are Muslim ones.

Aside from aggressive intolerance within their own countries, Muslim countries attempt to curb gay tolerance, gay rights and gay equality on the international arena:

An attempt by the United Nations to include gay people in anti-discrimination measures is being derailed by a coalition of Islamic countries. UN sources said that Pakistan, Egypt, Libya, Saudi Arabia and Malaysia were doing everything in their power to stop the resolution.

They hope to delay the vote long enough to kill it off entirely. Secretary of the Gay and Lesbian Humanist Association in Britain, George Broadhead, commented that all Muslim countries outlawed homosexuality,

and the penalties for those convicted ranged from prison, flogging, execution by a variety of perverted methods - such as throwing the victim off a cliff or pushing a stone wall on to them.

"The record of these countries on human rights in general is bad enough, but when it comes to gay human rights, they are disgusting." Muslim communities in Europe are the least tolerant towards homosexuals,

and hardliners and extremists within those communities apply pressure, violent sometimes, to ensure that no-one speaks out in defence of equality or tolerance.



Growing Fundamentalism in Islam: How Moderates are Subjugated by Muslim Hardliners. In the UK a recent conviction saw 3 Muslims were convicted of hate crimes as a result of threatening and vitriolic leaflets they handed out in Derby, depicting gays hanging from nooses, stating they will burn in hell, and saying that God abhors them

They defended themselves saying that it was their religious duty as Muslims to warn gays. The UK and other European countries have been subject to a long series of hate preachers, and when found by the mass media, such clerics are widely castigated in national secular news outlets.Very few individuals speak up for homosexuality,

although there is an international Muslim gay rights group, they are widely detested within Muslim countries, and opposed and campaigned against by Muslim groups in Western countries.

According to a pamphlet produced by Al-Fatiha, there is a consensus among Islamic scholars that all humans are naturally heterosexual. Homosexuality is seen by scholars to be a sinful and perverted deviation from the norm.

All Islamic schools of thought and jurisprudence consider gay acts to be unlawful. [...] Al-Fatiha estimates that 4,000 homosexuals have been executed in Iran since their revolution in 1979. 10 public executions of homosexuals have been performed in Afghanistan by the Taliban army.



The "Arab spring", which saw popular protests against oppressive governments throughout much of the Muslim world, was not the outcry of liberals against strict Islamism.

"Hossein Alizadeh of the International Gay and Lesbian Human Rights Commission, a New York-based lobby group, says that religious awakening is strengthening hardline interpretations of Islam"

The OCRT also repeat statements from Western Islamic groups citing their negative opinions on homosexuality.

Dr. Muzammil Siddiqi of the ISNA [Islamic Society of North America] said: "Homosexuality is a moral disorder. It is a moral disease, a sin and corruption... No person is born homosexual, just like no one is born a thief, a liar or murderer. People acquire these evil habits due to a lack of proper guidance and education."

Islamic theology, however, is inconsistent and illogical. It simultaneously states that all homosexuality is a moral evil, a corruption... yet it also holds that the animals of the world have submitted themselves completely to Allah.

Yet, in nearly all animal species we witness homosexual behavior. This must mean that it is permissible by Allah to be gay, and that animals who have submitted completely to Allah can therefore also be gay. Islamic tradition is wrong to condemn homosexuality as an evil,

and in denying that homosexuality is natural they are ignoring the facts of the world, it is an ignorant religious prejudice equal to that of the Christians during the Dark Ages.



If those who submit to Allah are sincere, they must recognize Allah's will: And Allah purposefully creates homosexual animals and homosexual humans. It is not therefore the Muslims' prerogative to question this or condemn homosexuality.

In the 7th sura (chapter) of the Qur'an Lot is mentioned briefly and the prime concern is pointing out the immorality of homosexuality

. Homosexuality in all the tellings of the story in the Qur'an is "the worst sin", "never committed before" (7:80, 29:28)! Lot's people "practise their lusts on men instead of women".

Such homosexuality is sinful transgression, and for this, Lot's people are destroyed in Qur'an 7:84. None of Lot's other behaviour is mentioned, because the Qur'an describes Lot as a prophet (Qur'an 26:161), sent to Sodom and Gomorrah, and therefore cannot be sinful.

The Qur'an's solution to the atrocious acts committed by them is simply not to mention them!


Attained Gay Marriage Rights Across the World


I have documented many of the places in the world where tolerance and equality have been victorious over traditional cultures and religions:



Prejudices against homosexuality were not always encoded into law, however. In the time before the dark ages, European communities were variously accepting of gay marriage

.

But the Christian age of faith saw violent intolerance sweep the continent as certain types of marriage were made illegal and transformed into social taboos.

People could only marry if it fit the Christian prejudices of what marriage should be. Islam arose also, and held to similar monotheistic patriarchal norms.

Thankfully, since the enlightenment, much of the religious damage to marriage has been undone and in many countries adults are free to marry whom they choose.

Starting with Sweden, Norway, Iceland and the Netherlands the 90s saw the beginning of the gay rights movements victories over established prejudice in an increasing number of developed countries.

There is not a single case in all these victories where there have not been multiple large and mainstream Christian groups running campaigns to prevent equal rights for gays.

The Catholic Church and the vast majority of Christian denominations continue to battle at local and European levels to repeal those rights already attained.

The Catholic Church has gained some ground in 1997 in exempting itself from some European gay rights conventions, and the Church of England has also succeeded in partially exempting itself from UK employment anti-discrimination laws with regards to homosexuality.

The traditional churches were wrong about slavery and anti-black racism, and they continue to do wrong on the issue of discrimination against homosexuals.



Eventually, when enough of their youth have grown up within gay-tolerant society, the Churches will change to embrace homosexual equality as they did to embrace abolitionism and race equality.


The Nature of Homosexuality


Its Prevalence in Nature


Homosexuality is thoroughly natural. It occurs in a massive range of animal species, including humans, so appears to be part of the genetic makeup of life in general.

The colourful and varied ways that wild animal species find to express intentional same-sex sexuality with other is surprising and sometimes ingenious, like the male dolphins who penetrate each other's blowholes.

Biological causes of homosexuality have been found in Human beings. All this points to the fact that homosexuality is a part of the design of nature. If nature was designed by God, then watching Bonobo Apes for a while is convincing proof that God certainly does not mind gay sex!



Genetics and Religion


The inheritability of homosexuality (i.e., its genetic basis) is a card that most think to be good in the fight against intolerance. As we demonstrate its biological basis, religionists may admit that homosexuality is part of god's plan for humans,

the same as it is for animals, and therefore decrease their prejudice. But much of the homophobia within the church is not rational, it is emotional. Rather than follow the general conservative line on genetic engineering (don't do it)

some make an exception when it comes to homosexuality. When superstition and prejudice are combined in the same emotional turmoil, it is no surprise to hear such paradoxical considerations as the following one:

Early in 2007, the president of the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary raised the possibility of a genetic or other biological cause of homosexuality and urged conservative Christians to consider using biotechnology to eradicate the condition.



Homosexuality in Animals and Humans


Homosexuality is thoroughly natural. It occurs in a massive range of animal species, including humans, so appears to be part of the genetic makeup of life in general. The colourful and varied ways that wild animal species find to express intentional same-sex sexuality with other is surprising and sometimes ingenious, like the male dolphins who penetrate each other's blowholes.

Biological causes of homosexuality have been found in Human beings. All this points to the fact that homosexuality is a part of the design of nature. If nature was designed by God, then watching Bonobo Apes for a while is convincing proof that God certainly does not mind gay sex!

But explicit homosexuality in most cultures has faced a prolonged period of general dislike, outright oppression, arbitrary criminality and mas misunderstandings. Dishearteningly, even the World Health Organization categorized homosexuality as a mental illness until 19921.

Homosexuals still are, persecuted by religious bodies throughout the world (who are by far the greatest and most bitter enemies of LGBT tolerance). They are discriminated against by Christian and Muslim organisations in Western countries, and imprisoned and criminalized in others.

Thankfully modern religions such as Paganism and the New Age are accepting, as is the rest of society in general.



Homosexuality is Natural and Occurs in Many Animal Species - 20% of All Bird and Mammal Sexual Interactions are Homosexual


In his 1980 book Homosexual Behaviour: A Modern Reappraisal, psychiatrist Judd Marmor states that homosexuality is far from being "unnatural" in the statistical sense. It occurs in all higher species, even when members of the opposite sex are present and presumably available for mating

When it comes to the studying of homosexuality in nature the most prodigal studies have to be those collated by Bruce Bagemihl in his book "Biological Exuberance: Animal Homosexuality and Natural Diversity3" (1999).

Quite rightly it describes itself as "the book that definitely crushes the argument that homosexuality is not natural". Homosexuality is widespread in nature. To say that it is "unnatural" is to say that the stars don't shine!

Male gorillas court and couple with each other, grizzly bear families have two mothers, male swans form pair-bonds with one another and female long-eared hedgehogs have oral sex. In this book homosexual behaviour is documented in over 450 species of animals.

In the dimly lit undergrowth of a Central American rain forest, jewel-like male hummingbirds flit through the vegetation, pausing briefly to mate now with a male, now with a female.

A whale glides through the dark and icy waters of the Arctic [...] her fins and tail caressing another female. Drifting off to sleep, two male monkeys lie gently in each other's arms [in] the ancient jungles of Asia. [...]

In a protected New Zealand inlet, a pair of female gulls - mated for life - tend their chicks together. Tiny midges swarm above a bleak tundra of Northern Europe, a whirlwind of mating activity, as males couple with each other in mid-air.

Circling and prancing around her partner, a female antelope courts another female in an ageless, elegant ritual staged on the African Savanna. [...] The world is, indeed, teeming with homosexual, bisexual and transgendered creatures of every stripe and feather.



More than 130 different bird species worldwide are literally queer.

Species include primates, marine mammals, hoofed mammals, carnivores, marsupials, rodents and insectivores, waterfowl & other aquatic birds, wading birds, shore birds, perching birds and Songbirds and other birds, on every continent and ocean.

All observed in the wild, not including any zoo observations.”

The percent of homosexual behaviour ranges in species from 90% to under 1%. Sometimes almost entire collections are found to be gay, entire troops of Bonobo apes and up to 94% of some populations of Giraffes.

All this in nature, not in zoos or in experiments. Of all the species that have been observed to produce gay members, the ratio of gay sexual encounters can be calculated.

"Combining these [...] yields a figure of just over 20%: roughly one-fifth of all interactions, on average, are homosexual in mammal and bird species that have [some] form of [sexual same-sex behaviour]"

Inside zoos, the same story repeats itself. The Metro newspaper, 2005 Feb 14 (Mon), reported on a case hitting the papers that month.

"Bosses at Bremerhaven Zoo in Germany discovered most of its male penguins were in same-sex relationships and not producing offspring, despite there being adequate females present.".

But many people discount statistics gathered in zoos because they say that the unnatural circumstances cause animals to be gay, which is what sociologists call "situational homosexuality" in Human beings, such as occurs in prisons, single sex boarding schools, etc.

This is why Bagemihl stresses the importance that all his research comes from animals in natural habitats. To summarize, I refer to the newly opened exhibition "Against Nature?" at the University of Oslo:

The National History Museum at the University of Oslo has just opened an exhibition of gay animals. Homosexuality has been recorded in some 1500 species so far, and been well documented in about a third of these cases; it has been known since the time of Aristotle, who thought he witnessed two male hyenas having sex with one another.



Aside from illustrating homosexuality among an extraordinary variety of creatures, the exhibition shows how sexual stimulation can vary when, at first blush, the mechanical details of how this might work are not obvious to people attempting to draw analogies from their own anatomy.

Male Amazonian river dolphins, for example, penetrate the blowholes of other males; female bottlenose dolphins use their snouts as dildos on other females.

Why this behaviour might be favoured by natural selection, though, is a difficult question to answer. In an attempt to do so, the exhibition picks on gay flamingos. Two males raising a chick after one of them had a one-night stand (of sorts)

with a female are able to hold a larger territory than male-female partnerships. This suggests a chick with two dads could get more food and therefore have a better chance of survival. [...]

One [theory] is that homosexuals assist in the upbringing of their relatives so much that they pass on more of their genes this way than by having children themselves.



Which Countries are Most and Least Tolerant?7


Discrimination against Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender (LGBT) folk is rife across the world. Legal restrictions co-exist alongside social stigmatisation and physical violence

.

LGBT tolerance and equal rights have been fought for country-by-country across the world, often against tightly entrenched cultural and religious opposition. Adult consensual sexual activity is a Human Right, protected by privacy laws10. Despite this, homosexual activity is outlawed in around 80 countries

The Social & Moral LGBT Equality Index was created to compare countries and regions, granting points to each country for a variety of factors including how long gay sex has been criminalized and the extent of LGBT legal rights.

Graded negative points are given for criminality of homosexuality, unequal ages of consent, legal punishments and for not signing international accords on LGBT tolerance. The signs in many developed countries are positive, and things are gradually improving.

Europe is by far the least prejudiced region (Scandinavia in particular being exemplary). The Middle East and then Africa are the least morally developed, where cultural bias goes hand-in-hand with state intolerance, all too often including physical violence.



Causes of Homosexuality


The Great Diversity of Nature


Many animal species share a common set of sexualities: heterosexuals, homosexuals and plenty of dysfunctionals, plus lots of situation-dependent behaviour. Monogamy, polygamy, polyandry and all those other social combinations of the basic sexualities are also present throughout the animal world (including Humanity of course).

But although this may look like enough diversity, there is more, because all of these are variants of bi-gender behaviour alone. Throughout half of the history of life on Earth, living things reproduced asexually, through simple duplicative division, in a variety of ways.

The ancient single-celled animal Tetrahymena thermophilia manages a total of seven different sexes



Sexual diversity, like the rest of living complexity12, had to undergo a slow process of evolution, proceeding first through isogamy where there are no genders.

All this should put human wranglings about the sanctity of the nuclear family, or arguments about what sexualities are 'normal' into perspective, because truly everything is natural in nature. We have to work out simply how to live in peace with the realities of sexual diversity in our own species.

There are various theories, each supported by some evidence, as to what the relationship is between the incidence of homosexuality and evolution. The instinctive question that researchers have been concerned with since the time of Darwin13 is

why is homosexuality not curbed genetically, given that heterosexuality is (surely) a more successful evolutionary strategy for any bi-gendered animal?


Sexual Orientation is 20% to 50% Genetic and Can't Be Changed


Studies of identical twins are essential in investigating human traits. Because such twins share identical genes, we know that all resultant personality differences are due to non-genetic factors.

The "concordance rate" of a trait between twins tells us to what extent the trait is genetically caused. Studies on identical twins have found, as is always the case, different concordance rates.



Born Gay by Dr Glenn Wilson of the Institute of Psychiatry and Dr Qazi Rachman of the University of East London [...] summarizes the latest research into the psychobiology of sex orientation, concluding that studies with twins show that around 30 to 50 per cent of sexual orientation is due to genes.

The rest is the result of processes in the womb. [...] According to the researchers, there is much evidence to contradict claims that homosexuality is caused by social factors, such as seduction, or that it can be learnt

The Economist (2008) reported on a study that found a 50% concordance rate15. If one of a pair of people with identical genes is gay, there is a massively increased chance that the other will be (50% chance), even if they are separated at birth and raised by different families

.

Other studies have only found a low 20% concordance rate13, however, there are a number of non-genetic developmental factors that act on a fetus that are also theorized to cause homosexuality.

As a result of these, "Jerome Goldstein, director of the San Francisco Clinical Centre, addressing 3,000 neurologists at the 21st meeting of the European Neurological Society (ENS) in Lisbon" in 2011 May confirmed that sexual orientation "is primarily neurobiological at birth"16.

Although not common in the UK, discredited and wrong ideas that homosexuality can be 'cured' have wide support in the USA.

The Royal College of Psychiatrists, a widely respected authority, issued a statement as recently as 2010 Feb reiterating "that homosexuality is not a psychiatric disorder. [...]



There is no sound scientific evidence that sexual orientation can be changed. Furthermore, so-called treatments of homosexuality create a setting in which prejudice and discrimination flourish''

Some brain structures of homosexual men (the amygdala and the interstitial nuclei) resemble those of homosexual women, and some structures of homosexual women resembled those of heterosexual men.

Other neurological cross-sex similarities have been found. These, combined with twin studies, confirm that the basis of homosexuality is beyond any active social training.16


Evolutionary Theories of Genetic Homosexuality


Why does homosexuality persist from generation to generation over long time periods? Most research has focused almost solely on humanity but the same question could also be answered by studying other social animals who have known rates of homosexuality within their populations.

The preponderance of homosexuality in some family trees, according to LeVay (2011), is one reason why we should favour genetic theories of homosexuality. Here are some of them: Kin Selection: Homosexual genes are propagated by their non-gay family members.



The reason why families with a tendency to sometimes produce gay offspring are not slowly outperformed in the genetic pool is because the gay members lend effective support to their families as a whole, thus indirectly spreading 'gay' genes17. However, others are skeptical.

To satisfy the kin selection hypothesis, each gay must account for the survival of at least two sibling-born children for every one he fails to produce - no doubt, a difficult benchmark to attain. In any event, relevant studies in the United States and United Kingdom have so far failed to provide such evidence

Although Krauss above does say for every one he fails to produce, it is worth emphasizing that homosexuality does not imply infertility and that a portion of homosexuals do produce children and thus preserve their genes, meaning that the required statistics is less than supported siblings per gay individual

.

But how far less would be a difficult thing to calculate, and would require an in-depth worldwide anthropological survey of homosexuality and the position of homosexuality in each society/culture.

Fertile Female Hypothesis: "A genetic tendency toward androphilia, or attraction to males - though problematic for men from an evolutionary perspective - is thought to enhance the reproductive success of their straight, opposite-sex relatives by rendering them hypersexual. [...]

At least two studies have claimed results in support of the fertile female model, which some researchers find appealing for a second reason. It is also capable of explaining why homosexuality persists at a constant but low frequency of no more than 8 percent in the general global population"13.

Feminizing Genes: "The inheritance of a limited number of these genes, LeVay suggests, will make males, for instance, more attractive to females - and thus presumably more successful in terms of reproduction - by rendering them less aggressive and more empathetic, for example. [...]



A few men in the family tree will inevitably receive "too many" feminizing genes and, as a result, be born gay. Indeed, one Australian study discovered that gender-atypical traits do tend to enhance reproduction"18.

It is of course true that there may be multiple genetic causes of homosexuality and therefore, all of the theories above have some supporting evidence but each fail to explain the bulk of the prevalence of homosexuality.

Most researchers have abandoned the idea that homosexuality is a purely genetic issue13 as the evidence points to other influences on the fetus as being important.

Despite attempts, no DNA markers have been found for homosexuality (although such an endeavour is difficult and very likely involves complicated polygenic markers18), and, some studies of identical twins indicating that non-genetic factors are also important.


Non-Genetic Causes of Homosexuality


"It is now fairly well established that prenatal androgen levels have a substantial impact on sexual orientation in both men and women"13. It is already known that a mother's hormones can affect the formation of

-

eating habits, alcohol intake and stress levels are examples where non-genetic environmental factors are known to have an impact, sometimes a defining impact, on the later life of the fetus.



Sexuality can also be affected "For instance, women suffering from congenital adrenal hyperplasia (CAH) due to elevated levels of prenatal T and other androgens are known to possess gender traits significantly shifted towards masculinity [and] female fetuses more severely affected by CAH [...] indicating that non-genetic factors are also important.

are the most likely to experience same-sex attraction later in life"13. Non-genetic factors that cause homosexuality have been formulated into a few different theories.

Motherhood: Previous Sons: Ray Blanchard, a Toronto sociologist and scientist, investigated a trend he noticed: gay men have more older brothers than straight men.

"The more elder brothers a man had, the more likely he was to be gay. Neither elder sisters nor younger siblings of either sex had any effect, but each additional elder brother increased his chance of being gay by about 33% from the population average of one man in 50. [...]

Hard as it was to explain, though, the finding was replicated again and again, across different cultures, eras and even psychiatric groups"20. The cause of this was studied by Dr Bogaert from Brook University in St Catharines, Ontario.

.

He found that men who were brought up with non-biological older brothers were not more likely to be gay. Even if children were adopted from birth, if their mother has had previous boys, the male child is more likely to be gay.

.

There is a solid, biological (yet non-genetic), non-societal cause of homosexuality. "He speculates that, for reasons as yet unknown, a mother's immune system takes note of the number of male offspring and that each succeeding male foetus is subjected to increase levels of antibodies.

.

These somehow affect its development"20. Dr Bogaert calculated that statistically, one gay man in 7 is gay for no other reason than that their mum had previous sons, whether they were raised in the same house, or not.

Epigenetic Expressions: "Epi-marks can be characterized as molecular regulatory switches attached to the backbones of genes that direct how, when, and to what degree genetic instructions are carried out during an organism's development.

.

They are created anew during each generation and are almost always "erased" between generations. But because epi-marks are produced at the embryonic stem cell stage of development - prior to division between soma and germline - they can, in the theory, be transmitted across generations [...] and thus mimic the hereditary effect of genes"

.

That certain epi-mark vectors have a particular influence on sexuality is theorized by William Rice et al. (2012). "To summarize, Rice's team argues that differences in the sensitivity of XY and XX fetuses to the same levels of T might be caused by epigenetic mechanisms"

.

This theory is in its early stages and LeVay mourns that although it is reasonable and deserves to be tested, it is still "pure speculation" and that the media have massively exaggerated its current importance, and that there is also some evidence specifically against this explanation of homosexuality21.

In conclusion, we appear to have multiple causes of homosexuality, although we do not yet have a complete chain of causal events from genetic, epigenetic, hormonal and developmental through to sexual and social effects.

.

Note that we do not have such a comprehensive understanding for any generic Human personality trait as there are simply too many factors to take account of. .

What we do know is that all the signs point to genetics and/or developmental (fetal) factors as being the determinants rather than social factors. In other words, homosexuality is biological and not social in origin.




Religion and Homosexuality


Abrahamic religions have contributed to the most negative and destructive attitudes towards sexual issues, especially homosexuality. Christian and Islamic communities and organisations are the most vocal assailants on any legal or societal moves towards tolerance and equality.

.

The liberal wings of some of these religions have adapted to the wide (European) acceptance of homosexuality.

.

Many traditional religions reject the scientific, medical and psychological knowledge that we have gained about sexuality and regard homosexuality as "unnatural", a "choice" or a "moral evil".

.

These religions are themselves immoral and evil in their attitude, causing hatred, bigotry, violence and oppression in the name of God. Homosexual communities have become accustomed to the ranting of religious fundamentalists and traditionalists, and this causes a strong anti-religious resentment amongst them

.

In the wider religious scene things are much healthier. Eastern history has produced less of the out-and-out violence against homosexuality. For example under Confucian rules after 1840 in Japan, open homosexuality became tolerated including amongst monks

.

. New religious movements and Earth religions are largely accepting of homosexuality, as these religions are more in touch with the natural world.

.

Although there are Pagans, Satanists, Wiccans, etc, who do not like homosexuality very few make the same hateful statements as Muslim and Christian authorities.

.

Although Judaism does not accept homosexuality in theory, Jews have not made many such hateful comments, but partially this may be because Judaism has not yet fully faced the issues although liberal Jewish groups match liberal Christianity in their tolerance

.

Amongst non-religious folk who campaign for human rights and tolerance, acceptance of sexual pluralism is standard

.

"The Battle Between Monotheism and Homosexuality: Religious Prejudice Versus Equality" by Vexen Crabtree (2014)

.
,H2.Gay Marriage,/H2.
I have documented many of the places in the world where tolerance and equality have been victorious over traditional cultures and religions:

.

“Prejudices against homosexuality were not always encoded into law, however. In the time before the dark ages, European communities were variously accepting of gay marriage.

.

But the Christian age of faith saw violent intolerance sweep the continent as certain types of marriage were made illegal and transformed into social taboos. People could only marry if it fit

.

the Christian prejudices of what marriage should be. Islam arose also, and held to similar monotheistic patriarchal norms.

Thankfully, since the enlightenment, much of the religious damage to marriage has been undone and in many countries adults are free to marry whom they choose.

Starting with Sweden, Norway, Iceland and the Netherlands the 90s saw the beginning of the gay rights movements victories over established prejudice in an increasing number of developed countries.

There is not a single case in all these victories where there have not been multiple large and mainstream Christian groups running campaigns to prevent equal rights for gays. The Catholic Church and the vast majority of Christian denominations continue to battle at local and European levels to repeal those rights already attained.



The Catholic Church has gained some ground in 1997 in exempting itself from some European gay rights conventions, and the Church of England has also succeeded in partially exempting itself from UK employment anti-discrimination laws with regards to homosexuality.

The traditional churches were wrong about slavery and anti-black racism, and they continue to do wrong on the issue of discrimination against homosexuals

.

Eventually, when enough of their youth have grown up within gay-tolerant society, the Churches will change to embrace homosexual equality as they did to embrace abolitionism and race equality.”


Gay Marriage

View the page to view a year-by-year summary of attained rights for gay marriage across the world.


Gay Adoption of Children

Gay Adoption and the Catholic Church discussion on vexen.livejournal.com

Anti-discrimination laws have been passed in the UK (Equality Act 2006) making it illegal for adoption agencies to discriminate against same-sex parents. This enforces equality.

It will mean that more children are kept out of agencies and are given stable homes. There is no rational reason to find this offensive or wrong, but many try to give worried-sounding excuses to explain their disguised dislike.



Opposition to Gay Adoption

Some common and ignorant complaints about gay adoption are iterated below, and countered:

Gay parents will 'make' their children gay. Sociologists have made keen studies of gay parenting in countries where it is more commonplace and where it has been accepted for longer. The children of gay parents are not more likely to be gay than other children.

Children of gay parents will get bullied at school. By this logic, children who wear glasses should be banned from school. Also, so should foreigners, and maybe anyone who isn't the same colour as everyone else.

Perhaps the children of tax collectors shouldn't be allowed to school either! This is a ridiculous excuse for bigotry.

It offends some peoples' religious beliefs. Everything offends some religious belief or other... discrimination is wrong, whether or not it is caused by religion, and the government is right to legislate against discrimination, as a democracy's duty is to protect those who cannot protect themselves, and to temper the ignorance of mass rule.

The most vocal opposition of anything that provides equality for gays are always Christians and Muslims. Cardinal Cormac Murphy-O'Connor, the leader of the Catholic church in England and Wales,

backed by the Church of England26 and the Muslim Council of Britain, have led a campaign to get the government to give exceptions to Catholic Adoption agencies so that they won't have to give equal rights to gay parents.

He says that for reasons of conscience and morality, Catholics cannot be made to comply with the law. Tony Blair is rejecting their case, but has given them extra time to "adjust" to the new laws - they won't have to fully comply until the end of 200826. We will discuss the Catholic's pro-discrimination lobby later

.

There Should be No Exceptions from Anti-Discrimination Laws


christianity islam

Anti-discrimination laws are passed to protect minorities from prejudice actions. The actions of prejudice, are wrong. Exemptions from anti-discrimination laws, therefore, are also wrong. An exception requires exceptional circumstances.

.

That Catholic authorities don't like gays (and act on that dislike) is exactly what the law wants to stop. That they believe gays shouldn't adopt is also not the issue.

.

Special religious rights are a travesty of justice and a victory for stupidity. The more special religious rights that exist, the worse society has become and the more democracy is undermined.

.

The most extreme example is the Vatican, where all laws are religious, and there is zero democracy. The government passes laws because it is necessary and because it is for the greater good.

.

The more exceptions there are to those laws, the more democracy is weakened. This seems especially true where religious superstitions replace the rule of law.

.

For example in Islamic states where Sharia law is declared, or during the Dark Ages when Christian superstitions cost many people their lives (not to mention the torture!), society is at its worst.

.

Theocracy is the worst form of government, and special religious rights are exceptional in their ability to uphold discrimination and barbarianism in the face of normal moral legislation.

.

People do not have a right to do anything they wish. Just because something is a persons' religious belief does not give them extra rights to do it.”

.

They would rather allow the continued suffering of homeless and abused children (and discriminate against gays, too) - rather than infringe on their own religious beliefs. Their religion is more important to them than the welfare of children.

.

The government is making plans on how to amalgamate their work into other, non-discriminatory agencies, in order to prevent children being harmed by the Church's refusal to entertain equality.

.

There is an economic contradiction in granting Catholic Adoption Agencies exemption from the Law of the Government... the fact that in part, such agencies are funded by the government:

.

“Catholic adoption agencies receive public money for their efforts - both directly, in the form of grants, and indirectly through the tax break that any charity receives. If they are exempted from the law, they should also be relieved of subsidies from the taxpayers whose representatives approved it.”

.

M I Ro


phots by pixabay.com

Subscribe and get your
FREE E-Book

Subscribe to my mailing list and get updates to your email inbox.

Thank you for subscribing.

Something went wrong.

WP Facebook Auto Publish Powered By : XYZScripts.com