If being gay is a choice, then when did you choose to become straight?
What business of yours is someone else’s sexuality, and why do you think you’re important enough to repress them while having absolutely no rational reasons to do so?
The thing is, you being disgusted by someone or something isn’t a rational reason, nor are your religious feelings.
Even if you constitute a majority it doesn’t by itself give your claim any validity. Not long ago, the majority thought that women shouldn’t be allowed to participate in elections. Today, this sounds ridiculous.
What I’m saying is that the fact that something is backed up by a simple majority doesn’t make that thing anymore or less accurate. Instead, we should use scientific standards of evidence and sound logical reasoning to determine what is right and what is wrong.
Let me give you an example. Once upon a time, in now-developed countries, homosexuality was considered a mental illness. But, also once upon a time, schizophrenics were thought to have been inhabited by devils. Years of research and scientific progress have entirely eliminated both of these absurd assumptions.
But the fact is, that these people do have health disparities, but it’s not because of the way they are. Instead, the experiences of homophobia, discrimination, and stigma that LGBT people are exposed to, put these individuals at a higher risk of developing mental health issues due to chronic stress associated with these experiences.
“They are not ill, but you make them sick.”
Gay men and lesbians are subject to legal discrimination in housing, employment, and fundamental civil rights. And transgender individuals are stigmatized and discriminated against.
This reinforces a fact that equality on the legal level isn’t the same as social equality. Minority stress—a cause of health disparities—is a theory about the impact of prejudice and stigma, which is the most prevalent under the shade of our ever-vigilant church.
Church’s Bill of Indictment
An exclusive brand of radical lunacy and homophobia is pretty strong in Georgia. Special thanks to their ideological sponsor, the Orthodox Church for its role in the violence against LGBT communities. These homophobic ignorant bigots have been ravaging around the country, oppressing and often physically dealing with LGBT communities. We should not be tolerating this kind of superhuman bullshit.
Black-frocked priests, far-right troglodytes, some bearing clubs, and other weapons. Apparently, this is normal (while homosexuality isn’t). The modern-day pogrom in 2013 seemed like a warning: whatever Georgia’s aspirations to join Europe, its queer community would be left behind.
Allied to racism and tribalism and bigotry, invested in ignorance and hostile to free inquiry, contemptuous of women and coercive toward children: organized religion ought to have a great deal on its conscience. There is one charge to be added to the bill of the indictment – endorsement homophobia. With astonishing tenacity, every Abrahamic religious tradition, including Christianity, has advanced the innate repression of sexuality throughout history.
Sexual repression and stereotyping are an integral part of history and go all the way back to the accursed myth of Sodom and Gomorrah’s purge. It’s one of those violent dogmas that survived the transition from the Old to the New Testament. But don’t take my word for this. According to god, homosexuals must be put to death.
God himself says so in Leviticus (20:13), and St. Paul says it in Romans (1: 24-32). God also instructs us to murder people who work on the Sabbath and adulterers and children who curse their parents.
This cognitive corruption is so deeply rooted in our social consciousness that not only LGBTQ people get discriminated against, but their parents too. Phrases such as, “You should have watched him more carefully – instead of a man, he’s become a girl.”; “If you had known he’d turn out this way, you’d have had an abortion.”; “She’s the mother of a pederast.” and so on, are embarrassingly familiar. As one activist once said:
“With the birth of every queer child, a queer parent is born.”
What does it say about the society that still uses scriptures as guidelines to norms and policies in the 21st century? The Bible was written by men who thought the earth was flat and bushes could talk. We shouldn’t really be picking on the Bible exclusively. The Kuran poses an even bigger problem.
Religious faith is always, and everywhere, exonerated. It is taboo in every corner of our culture to criticize a person’s religious beliefs. Why? Not to hurt someone’s feelings? Let me tell you something – facts don’t care about your religious sentiments. Why should anyone be unable to even name, much less oppose, one of the most pervasive causes of human conflict? In any other case, we would count this as a significant limitation to our freedoms. Still, in the case of religion, especially the predominant religion in society, we are told to remain quiet.
As a renowned author, philosopher, and neuroscientist Sam Harris once said:
“It is time we realize that belief is not a private matter. As a man believes, so he will act. Believe that you are a member of a chosen people, awash in the salacious exports of an evil culture that is turning your children away from god, believe that you will be rewarded with an eternity of unimaginable delights by dealing death to these infidels—and flying a plane into a building is only a matter of being asked to do it. Believe that “life starts at the moment of conception,” and you will happily stand in the way of medical research that could alleviate the suffering of millions of your fellow human beings. Believe that there is a God who sees and knows all things, and yet remains so provincial a creature as to be scandalized by individual sexual acts between consenting adults, and you will think it ethical to punish people for engaging in private behavior that harms no one.”
Perhaps it is time for us to realize that we are paying too high a price to maintain the iconography of our ignorance.
A Special Kind of Bullshit
Now let’s take a look at some statistical data. Myth Detector reported that a 2016 Pew Research Center poll found that 93% of Georgians believed homosexuality must not be accepted by society. In 2018, a survey by the National Democratic Institute (NDI) showed that only 23% of the Georgian population believed that LGBT rights protection was necessary. 44% thought the protection of LGBT rights was not essential, and 26% had a neutral attitude.
As expected, these people have totally rational reasons for their attitudes. Here, just to give you a gist of how stunningly full of shit their rhetoric is:
- Gay marriage is immoral because my religion tells me so. Plus, I also think that everyone else should act according to the teaching of my god. You know, the same God who wants you to bang your dead brother’s wife (Mark 12:19).
- The minority should not have the right to dictate to the majority. Because, you marrying the person of the same sex directly violates my right not to allow you to do so, thus lowering my satisfaction in life.
- Giving LGBTQ people rights will lead to all kinds of crazy behavior, like bestiality or pedophilia. People may even wish to marry their pets because a dog has legal standing and can make a conscious decision to sign a marriage contract.
- I don’t know the first thing about genetics and evolution, but being gay is totally unnatural. By the way, I also believe in holy fires, miraculous waters, and feasting on my god’s body every week.
- We are in an economic crisis, so we should not be wasting time on LGBTQ rights. Who in his right mind would ever ask people in charge of the country to do occasional multi-tasking? That’s just crazy.
- Straight marriage will be less meaningful if we legalize gay marriage. Just like my donut with chocolate topping will be less tasty if you eat one with cherry jam.
- My God told me through a burning bush that traditional marriage is a sacred institution. Marriage has always been a bond between one man and one woman. And Georgia has always been poor, so let’s keep it that way. Who needs this new world bullshit called progress?
- They disgust me, so it shouldn’t be legalized!
But not everything is so gloomy. Club culture has taken up the torch. Several of Tbilisi’s underground clubs have become incubators for political and equality movements. And, it’s worth mentioning that these same clubs are also a target (almost as big as homosexuality) for the above-mentioned bigots.
Homosexuality is Amoral
The core homophobic argument (a more sophisticated version than “they disgust me”) seems to rest on the assumption that homosexuality is immoral.
Is homosexuality moral? Well, no.
Saying that something is not moral is not the same as saying that it is immoral. Instead, I want to imply that the question as a whole is erroneous. As soon as you start trying to link homosexuality and morality, you’ve already lost the debate. You simply can’t say that homosexuality is moral and remain logically sound for the same reason as can’t say that it’s detrimental.
Everything we ever do falls within one of two categories. It either falls within the moral sphere, or it falls within the amoral field. Amoral is not the same as immoral. It merely means that it is exempt from morality.
So an act must be conscious not by chance, not by accident and must affect well-being, be it a positive or a negative effect, to be considered either moral or immoral. If these conditions are not met, the action is amoral, and no rational person can judge a person for committing it. To do so is to fly in the face of rationality.
Does homosexuality affect well-being? It doesn’t affect our well-being any more than me, hating sports affects the welfare of a sports lover.
Is homosexuality a conscious choice? The problem with the debate is that it’s usually framed in the following way – either homosexuality is natural and determined by birth, or it’s instilled in a person by the environment and upbringing but think about it for a moment, and you’ll realize that even if being gay is determined by upbringing and environmental factors it’s still not a choice. Did you choose your music taste? Here’s a trait that certainly doesn’t come from your genes but rather from your environment and your upbringing. Still, it’s not a choice, and if something is not a choice, then you cannot be held morally accountable for it.
Now, this thing about the “naturalness” of something just keeps coming up. Who said that everything “natural” is moral? Even if homosexuality was unnatural, this wouldn’t make it immoral. To say that it would be an Appeal to Nature fallacy. It would be as intellectually destitute as asserting that most modern medicine is immoral because it’s unnatural. To put it simply, you just can’t go against nature, because if you do go against nature, it’s part of nature too.
Are You Afraid Gays Will Treat You the Way You Treat Women?
A homophobic pattern of thought can manifest itself as physical and emotional distancing or ignoring kinds of behaviors. While also raising the likelihood of verbal abuse and physical attacks that can lead to bodily injury or sadly so often to death.
There are several psychoanalytic explanations of homophobia as an anxiety-based phenomenon. One is that anxiety about the possibility of being or becoming a homosexual may be a significant factor in homophobia.
For example, it might be that homophobia is the result of the remnants of homosexuality in the heterosexual resolution of the Oedipal conflict. This might be vague but psychoanalytic theories usually tell us that homophobia is a result of repressed homosexual urges.
Interestingly enough, when people, who unconsciously feel guilty about their sexual urges and strive to hide them, are placed in a situation that threatens to excite their own unwanted sexual thoughts, they almost always overreact with panic or anger.
We have even seen that people who score high on the homophobic scale also show intense arousal to male homosexual erotic stimuli.
But don’t you worry, the study of the relationship between homophobia and latent homosexuality is relatively new and has not accumulated sufficient empirical evidence. So, dear homophobes, you might or might not be repressed gays after all. But, nevertheless, remain bigots.
In a similar vein, Cory also proposed that negative feelings toward opposite-sex homosexuals result from heterosexuals’ feelings of rejection as potential sexual partners. Weinberg thought that since many people strive for immortality by having children, and since lesbians and gay men are perceived (incorrectly) as having rejected this means for eluding the finality of death, the latter might evoke an unconscious fear of death. William James assumed that tolerance is learned, and revulsion is inborn. raRatherhan vice-versa.
According to the study Homophobes, when compared to those with more favorable attitudes toward lesbians and gay men:
- are less likely to have had personal contact with lesbians or gays;
- are less likely to report having engaged in homosexual behaviors, or to identify themselves as lesbian or gay;
- are more likely to perceive their peers as manifesting negative attitudes, especially if the respondents are males;
- are more likely to have resided in areas where negative attitudes are the norm (e.g., the midwestern and southern United States, the Canadian prairies, and rural cities or small towns), especially during adolescence;
- are likely to be older and less educated;
- are more likely to be religious, attend church frequently, and subscribe to a conservative religious ideology;
- are more likely to express traditional, restrictive attitudes about sex roles;
- are less permissive sexually or manifest more guilt or negativity about sexuality, although some researchers have not observed this pattern. Others have reported a substantially reduced correlation with the effects of sex-role attitudes partially out;
- are more likely to manifest high levels of authoritarianism and related personality characteristics.
There is also a possibility that heterosexual men may envy gay men because they are not constrained by the masculine ideal and thus enjoy sexual freedom. Which, in return, may induce unconscious hostility.
In fact, people who strongly oppose gay people also have higher levels of psychoticism and inappropriate coping mechanisms than those tolerant of homosexuality.
This doesn’t mean that homophobic people are psychotic, but that the better the person’s mental health, the less likely they are to be homophobic.
It’s safe to say that homophobia is often seen in dysfunctional personalities, but personality isn’t the whole story. It also is a “culture-induced disease.” This means we can’t just go ahead and blame the innate influences of a person. We must also examine a culture that plays a significant role in the development of norms and outlooks. Religion is one of the vital elements of the culture we already discussed, but it’s not the only cultural component in play.
Wealth of Nations
Because of the focus on group loyalty and tradition, many from underdeveloped countries are likely to view homosexuality as problematic. It violates traditional sensibilities. Thus many think that individuals should conform to dominant heterosexual and conservative family criteria.
Residents from more prosperous nations are less dependent on the group and less concerned about basic survival. Which means they have more freedom to choose their partners and lifestyle.
Education is Vital
Some people are transphobic or homophobic simply due to a lack of a real understanding of what it means to be LGBT. Many lack access to accurate information.
A lack of knowledge may also mean that people say or do homophobic things without realizing it. For example, when children use the word “gay,” or in our case “pederast,” to indicate “bad,” this furthers the idea that being gay is actually wrong.
Misinformation is Fatal
Transphobic and Homophobic people often spread misinformation or lies about the LGBT community. Things like – “they are financed by American NGO’s to destroy Georgian spirit” or “homosexuality is contagious” and extraordinary bullshit like this. Some people just find it very difficult to separate the facts from fiction.
With priests as their educators, psychiatrists, spiritual leaders, and moral arbiters, people often rely on them to also decide whom to hate and whom to love.
Suppose someone is exposed to fake facts for a long time. In that case, this can help create prejudice, even in people who are generally reasonable and rational.
In the light of all this homophobia seems like a perk of an undeveloped and culturally unevolved society. So, I leave you with a revised form of “Homosexuality is an illness” and instead, give you:
“Homophobia is a cultural disease and closer to mental impairment than homosexuality.”