February 22, 2014

Eight Debunked Anti-Gay Arguments

In every developed country where civil, free, open discussion with strict adherence to the highest standards of proper debate (that means no logical fallacies) has been allowed to happen over a long period of time, the anti-gay proponents always end up losing the debate. 
Common logical fallacies (invalid means of supporting arguments) you need to avoid (Click to enlarge). 

Places where homophobia is deeply entrenched are places where this level of discussion has not been allowed to happen sufficiently or at all. However in this day and age of information and communication, more of these discussions are happening, just go online and you will see them for yourself. I do not know whether these arguments are making anti-gay people understand why their arguments do not measure up when fact-checked and assessed for logical consistency. 
However I have been accused many times by anti-gay people that I along with all the scientific sources I use, the academic community, medical community, UN, popular culture, politicians, theologians, celebrities, Nobel Peace Prize winners, even the pope, are all part of some radical gay conspiracy! I am still waiting for evidence proving this but while I do, let's test these anti-gay arguments

1.      1.  It’s A Choice/Homosexuals Can Change- 

Science has clearly demonstrated that sexual attraction is an involuntary, biochemical response not a cognitive one. Our pupils dilate, our brain releases serotonin and oxytocin, our heart rate increases, blood rushes to the surface of our skin within seconds of seeing someone we find attractive. We may not fully understand why certain people trigger this reaction so effortlessly but others just don’t.  
Learn about the science of sexual attraction. It is all inherently instinctive and controlled by our most primitive brain.

 When a healthy, attractive, woman reeking of ovulation pheromones walks into a bar of straight men, it causes a primal mating response. The men, automatically sit up, stare, puff up, speak louder, deepen their voices and show off their prowess (physical or material) to get her attention. They do this without even realizing it. In fact, scientists studying this have actually proven the part of the brain responsible for decision-making shuts down for an average of 2 seconds  (see from 20:30) and the primitive lower brain takes over completely. Same sexy woman walks into a room with gay men... *crickets chirping*.   You cannot fake non-reaction because the response is not a conscious choice. 
Did you choose to consistently fall in love with the gender that you do? Everyone asked this almost always answer "No" or "They don't remember".  The only people who have a choice as far as sexual attraction goes are bisexuals and even they will say their bisexuality orientation was not a choice.
Following closely on the heels of this argument is the assertion that “Gays Can Change If They Want To.”
The only thing a gay person can change is whether and how they will act on their innate programing. However, suppressing and acting against one’s sexual orientation is not healthy. 
In 2012, PAHO, a division of WHO (World Health Organization) released the following statement, “Since homosexuality is not a disorder or a disease, it does not require a cure. There is no medical indication for changing sexual orientation. Practices known as 'reparative therapy' or 'conversion therapy' represent "a serious threat to the health and well-being — even the lives — of affected people." The negative effects of reparative therapy lead to this official statement from several boards comprised of thousands of medical professionals including this one from The International Society of Psychiatric-Mental Health Nurses (ISPN).  

The ex-gay movement is crumbling. Most of the people who founded, endorsed or were spokespeople for these programs now renounce them or like John Paulk and George Rekkers were caught in scandalous double lives. Dr. Spitzer, the most respected psychologist the ex-gay movement could find to back their claims now admits his claims were based on inaccurate findings. Two months ago Exodus International an ex-gay organization, in a dramatic investigative report on OWN, admitted they were misguided and ruined many lives by asserting gay people can change.

Reparative therapy has been condemned by every single medical, clinical and sociological and child welfare board in first world countries and is being outlawed as legal medical practice. The really curious thing is though that it would be very easy for them prove their therapy works. 

Step A.- Get a sample of confirmed (using psychoanalysis, polygraph and the gold standard- penis plethysmograph ) homosexuals who are highly motivated to change their sexual orientation and have no idea they are test subjects. 
Step B- Subject them to ex-gay therapy
Step C- Retest the subjects to see if their orientation has indeed changed. The penis plethysmograph rarely fails to show where people's inclinations truly point.

 Like many defective products in first world countries, those who profit from the ex-gay fraud are not willing to cut their financial losses. It is after all a multi-million dollar industry. People pay thousands for the treatment and many who do the "faith-healing" exorcism version also expect a "contribution" for their efforts. Now that the first world is wise to these charlatans, they are now exporting it to developing and poor countries where people are less educated and more gullible. The whole matter of choice vs. inherent trait is the basis for their second argument which is:

2     2. It’s Unnatural
In the 1990s animal biologists began documenting homosexual courtship, sexual play, sexual intercourse, long-lasting pair bonds in animal species in the wild ranging from bison to bottle-nose dolphins and 500 cases are well documented. These studies have been peer reviewed and published in respected scientific references or you can access National Geographic Online for a wealth of more information.
Diversity, complexity, anomalies, mutations, accidents are the normal order of things in the natural world. Open a Guiness Book Of WorldRecords and then tell me that human beings are naturally uniform in our characteristics. 
Clearly we are not and we already accept this fact in many human characteristics from height to handedness to intelligence to psychological and physical ability. Yet somehow when it comes to gender and sexuality we suddenly get very insistent that these traits never experience any of the diversity, complexity for which nature is so well known.  
The fact is the only thing that is unnatural is the expectation that 7Billion individuals will just fit into a binary of narrowly defined pigeon holes. This expectation gets even more ridiculous when you actually look at how gender/sexuality is determined.
Now remember we already showed that sexuality is ruled by the subconscious mind. That is the lower, more primitive part of the brain formed at the earliest stages of fetal development. By the time you are born, that wiring has long been shaped. Do you know what shapes that wiring? There is no single genetic smoking gun for intelligence, handedness (whether you are left or right handed), musicality (some people are inherently tone deaf), introvert/extrovert personalities and similarly, there is no single genetic smoking gun for sexual orientation.
However, biologists are realizing there are things call epi-genetic markers which determine how genes will work in response to particular environments. In utero, there is a huge biological window for any number of environments to trigger these epi-markers. At conception, we are all gender neutral (save at the chromosomal level) and we only begin to develop gender differences in the brain, biochemistry and anatomy in the second trimester and it all depends on a cocktail of hormones and antibodies heavily influenced by the mother’s biochemistry, which is also heavily influenced by her environment, diet, emotions, stress etc.
Every year, millions of children are born with chromosomal, hormonal and anatomical variances in gender and sexual identity. It is not far-fetched. It is reality. 
Putting the final nail in the “Gays cannot be born that way” coffin is that no post-partum universal environmental explanation exists.

 LGBT people come from single parent families, two-parent families; families with loving parents, families with abusive parents, rich families, poor families.....
deeply religious families, secular/heathen families of every race and culture around the world. 

Not even societies that are extremely heterosexual and/or extremely homophobic can prevent LGBT people from being born. Clearly, the cause is biological.

The fallacious “unnatural” argument has another angle that is equally ridiculous it’s called: 

3. Plumbing/Reproduction
The anti-gay proponent will say, “Look! Clearly you can see that men and women were designed like a lock and key to fit together and to reproduce. It is wrong not to use those organs for what they were designed for!”
This argument is what is known as a non-sequitor. In other words, while one statement is indeed valid, it does not relate to the argument being made. I’ll give an example:
True statement: Ducks migrate north at certain times of the year.
Non-sequitor: Therefore that means it is okay to shoot them if they migrate north your way.
The first statement while true has nothing to do with proving that the second statement, (the conclusion) is also valid. So let’s do the same with the Plumbing/Reproduction argument.
True statement: The “plumbing” of men and women is adapted (admittedly, some better than others) for reproduction.
Non-sequitor- Not using that “plumbing” for reproductive sex makes you a bad person or is itself a crime or evil thing.
If this argument was valid, it would be universal in its application but it is not. 
True statement: The mouth and vocal chords were designed for speech. 
Non-sequitor- People who are mute even though nothing is physically wrong with their speech organs and use other body parts (their hands) or tools to communicate are bad people, criminals and evil. 
See how ridiculous that argument is now?
The wonderful thing about humans is we find creative ways to adapt to the cards we are dealt. Homosexuals aren’t the only ones who have to find alternative ways outside the "penis inside vagina" formula, to enjoy sexual intimacy or start a family.  Many heterosexual couples, due to infertility, size discrepancies, dyspareunia or human seminal plasma hypersensitivity, also have to adapt their sex lives to suit the hand nature dealt them. Are they evil? Are they committing a crime?
Want to know what is truly evil and a crime? By the time you have finished reading this over 10,000 babies would have been born and most of them were unplanned and unwanted and less than a third of them will get all basic needs met. Seven billion and counting! We are suffocating on our waste and running out of resources.  Yet some insist that the minority of people who are unable to reproduce by pure accident of sexual desire, are somehow doing the planet a major disservice.
Fast on the heels of this “plumbing” argument is this whole obsession with:
   3. Anal Sex
Most people are squeamish about anal sex. This is more of a cultural thing as clearly, when we look at erotic literature from certain cultures anal sex was no big deal. From the Karma Sutra, to Greek and the art of Ido-era Japan we see it was merely considered just another sexual position for men and women and/or men and men. Victorian era literature calls the anus “the little rosebud”.
It used to be a highly specialized skill of experienced lovers to know how to make the rosebud “bloom” i.e. the sphincter muscles relax and willingly receive penetration with as little pain and as much pleasure as possible. The recipient of penetration was described in some erotic literature to be in a state of “kinetic bliss”. Of course we know the male G-spot is located in the anus and when astutely stimulated can led to men experiencing orgasms that are more intense and full-bodied with the same kind of lasting after-shocks women experience. We also know that women’s clitorises are more than just that little nub at the top of the vulva but it actually extends deep inside their bodies like a wishbone with two legs called crura, so any pressure from the back can also be highly pleasurable for some women.
There is no reason why anal sex cannot be safe and pleasurablebut it must be done in moderation and before it is done it requires a high degree of hygienic preparation; while it is being done it requires a lot of communication, skill, patience, condoms and lots of lube. It is pure laziness, selfishness, haste, lack of education, concern and moderation that makes anal sex painful and dangerous.
By claiming anal sex is something only gay men and ALL gay men do, anti-gay proponents hope that the bad experiences and squeamishness people have towards this sexual act will color how they see gay men. Some even try to add to the squeamishness by claiming the extreme fringe-fetish practice of scat (fecal play) is something all or only gay men do which is a blatant lie. The truth is anal sex is not a “gay act” any more than cunninglingus is a “lesbian act”. The oldest known depictions of heterosexual anal appear 800 years later on Peruvian pottery (c. 300 A.D.). In Peru 1,700 years ago, hetero-anal intercourse was by no means rare. On surviving pottery depicting erotic art, one-third of it shows hetero-anal intercourse. Chinese and Japanese woodblock prints (16th to19th centuries) depict heterosexual anal intercourse fairly frequently. And ever since the invention of photography (1840) and motion pictures (1890), pornography has shown hetero-anal play.
A 2011 study in The Journal of Sexual Medicine sampled 24,787 gay and bisexual men. The single most commonly reported behavior was kissing on the mouth (74.5%), followed closely by oral sex (72.7%) and mutual masturbation (68.4%). About one-third of men in the sample reported engaging in anal sex (37.2%). In addition, according to the US Center for Disease Control, 44% of straight men and 36% of straight women admitted to having had anal sex.  
The truth is anal sex is more of a heterosexual act  as overall more heterosexuals do it than gay men. Perhaps anti-gay proponents should stop assuming they know what people are doing in the privacy of their bedroom. Clearly, they don’t.
However is it a sound argument to say being homosexual causes HIV and therefore that proves it is wrong? Let's now address:

5. Misuse Of Statistics 
Anti-gay proponents love STD statistics on gay men the same way white racists use incarceration statistics on black men to claim being black is inferior and comes with a criminal mindset. This erroneous tactic is easily debunked.
Notice how lesbians who rank the lowest in HIV/STD rates are rarely ever brought up by those who love to misuse statistics.
The statistical health risks of unprotected penis-vaginal sex would fill up this entire article. Not just STDS, cervical cancers, vaginal bruising, yeast infections, urinary tract infections (also called Honeymooners Disease) but all the ravaging physical and psychological risks of pregnancy, including death in childbirth. Heterosexual women of color lead the world population in HIV infection rates. Does that mean being a heterosexual woman is wrong and causes these outcomes? Of course not!
Statistics cannot be used to make character judgements, predictions of the entire group or prove causation (what caused that particular outcome).  Statistics do not tell the whole story of why something is happening to a group of people. We cannot conclude that what causes the high rates of HIV among gay men, particularly gay men of color in lower income brackets is their sexual orientation.
What we can examine is how are they expressing their sexual orientation. Is it with laziness, selfishness, haste, ignorance, lack of concern for others, dishonesty, desperation/addiction? If their sexual expression is unhealthy then what is causing it? How come not all gay men act like that but instead choose knowledge, self-respect, concern for their partners, safety and honesty? How come some gay men avoid these diseases and will never get them?
Statistics show that the rates of HIV are higher among racial minorities who are already treated as socially inferior by the wider society. It is higher in more homophobic societies. It is higher in poorer societies. It is higher among men who are drug addicts and/or homeless and involved in prostitution to survive. What is the echo these people hear from society- You are shit! You are dirty! You are worthless! You DESERVE TO DIE.  

How we are treated by others affects our self-esteem and thus the choices we make. People with no self-value and intense sexual shame whether male or female will let themselves be treated like dirty rags by others. They are more likely to take drugs, which impairs judgment and makes practicing safe sex next to impossible.  They are more likely to become addicts, including sexual addicts. 

By far, the most powerful negative messages gay people hear is from religion.
6. But God Says...
This is one of the three “last straw” arguments.  It is not as popular as before because in academic, legal and civil forums “What God says” cannot be logically proven as God never appears in person to give his testimony on the matter. The claim “God says…” is always followed by quote-mining from a collection of man-made writings and adding one’s interpretation du jour and saying it is God’s opinion, which must be taken on nothing else but faith, which not everyone has or can be expected to have.
So the question is really not about what “God says” but whether these ancient writings can be taken as:
(1)   Authoritative.
Basically what this means is: Is what the bible says ALWAYS TRUE? Clearly the answer is no. If you were diagnosed with Hansen’s disease (leprosy) which we know from science is caused by Mycobacterium leprae and Mycobacterium lepromatosis, would you go to see a dermatologist and get antibiotic treatments or would you apply the bible’s advice:
Get two birds. Kill one. Dip the live bird in the blood of the dead one. Sprinkle the blood on the leper seven times, and then let the blood-soaked bird fly away. Next find a lamb and kill it. Wipe some of its blood on the patient’s right ear, thumb, and big toe. Sprinkle seven times with oil and wipe some of the oil on his right ear, thumb and big toe. Repeat. Finally find another pair of birds. Kill one and dip the live bird in the dead bird’s blood. Wipe some blood on the patient’s right ear, thumb, and big toe. Sprinkle the house with blood 7 times.– Leviticus 14:2-52
Let us never forget that the bible and many ancient books were written by bronze and iron-age men unaware of how much of the world worked. They did not know what caused earthquakes, storms or even that women contributed 50% of the genetic material towards babies. Sometimes they got it right but many times, they fell woefully short of what is actually true.
(2) Binding
We need to look no further than the bible thumpers themselves. They don’t follow the bible in all respects. Every single anti-gay, biblical cherry picker does things condemned in the bible as a matter of daily living with absolutely no fear of condemnation. How many have divorced and remarried (Mark 10:11, Luke 16:18), worn mixed fabrics or sown two types of seed in one plot (Leviticus 19:19, partook of our modern banking system which is based on usury (charging interest) Exodus 22:25 , Ezekiel 22:12, Luke 6:35, Psalm 15:5. These are just a few things. If I were to highlight all, this article would be about 10,000 words longer. If anti-gay people can pick and choose what to follow from the bible why can’t anyone else?
(3) Ethical
Christian slave owners and their supporters like Rev. Thomas Stringfellow, George Fitzhugh who claimed slavery is biblical and God’s will used a similar methodology with Genesis 9:25-27, Exodus 21:20-21, Leviticus25:44-45, 1 Timothy 6:1-5, 1 Peter 2:18-29. Those against women’s rights used Corinthians 14:34-35, 1 Timothy 2:14-15, 2 Timothy 3:6-7. Now we have anti-gay religious voices using the bible as a reason why LGBT people should not be treated with equal respect and humanity under the law. Today’s ethics has clearly evolved since times past. We don’t stone a woman to death for claiming she was raped but not screaming- Deuteronomy 22:23-24. We don’t execute disobedient children- Deuteronomy 21:18-21, Exodus 21:17.  If any nation did what the bible says here: Numbers31:15-18 they would be tried under the Geneva Convention for human rights abuses.
(4) The Basis For Civil Laws For A Diverse Population
The bible also condemns idolatry, over one thousand times in fact. Does that mean the human rights of Hindus and Orisha worshipers should now be up for debate? How can any Government honor the Constitution and enforce the preferred biblical interpretation of some Christians, on a diverse, multicultural population, without infringing on the fundamental rights of others? They can’t.

We live in a diverse society with different beliefs.
So those who believe being gay is a sin will simply have to learn how to be content with trying to control their own heads, hearts, home and houses of worship. In matters of public life and law they will have to learn to live and let live, the same way they already do for all the other “sins” they would never dare make a matter of legislation/vote, in this day and age. 
We're coming down to the two last and most desperate and fallacious arguments of all. Beginning with...
7.  Gays Will Molest Children
Let us begin by affirming that adults with healthy sexual urges look to other sexually mature adults to fulfill them. Think back to when you began to sexually develop at puberty. You did not get crushes on little children did you? No. You got crushes on your peers or older. At thirteen you put up pictures of Orlando Bloom, Megan Fox etc. on your bedroom wall. You began to find breasts, hips, body hair, deeper voices, developed male musculature and other signs of sexual maturity, to be appealing. 

When you eventually came of appropriate age to have sex, you felt an even deeper satisfaction when the one you desired was aware of your interest, understood what it meant and in return was able to flirt back and willingly participate. Their consent was part of what made it special and indicated their desire/love for you was real. This was the case whether you were gay or straight.
People who desire children are called pedophiles and they are classed as having a medical disorder. Why? Because for human sexuality to deliver mutual emotional or psychological benefits it must involve two sexually mature, consenting partners.
A child has not yet developed sexually in any respect. Their genitals are immature. They lack any emotional or psychological ability to equally participate in a sexual relationship. This means that an adult/child relationship will always be one-sided, premature and predatory. The adult might be getting their fulfillment but it will always be at the child’s detriment. A child cannot consent to sex.  Pedophiles therefore have to employ manipulative and abusive tactics to get what they want.
But what about men who only molest boys?
An expert panel of researchers convened by the National Academy of Sciences, noted in a 1993 study, that the assumption that male molesters of male victims are homosexual in orientation is a false one. Most molesters of boys do not report sexual interest in adult men. (National Research Council, 1993, p. 143).  
Choosing same-gender children has nothing to do with sexual orientation. I would advise you to go read the FBI’s Profile of who is most likely to be a pedophile and how they select their victims. After reading it, you will realize that a pedophile is most likely to be male and least likely to be a gay one.
Here is a summation:  
          Predators of children who classified as developmentally retarded, lack any adult orientation gay or straight. They see themselves as children and they find adult features and adult flirtations to be repugnant. But of course, they are not children. Whether they like it or not, they have hormone driven adult urges. So what starts out as innocent play with children always turns into sexual assault.
      Predators of children do not like attracting attention to themselves. They will not live a life that puts them under public scrutiny. They camouflage and fly under the radar. So in societies like ours, it is the straight-laced, “respectable”, outwardly heterosexual, married man nobody suspects, that would actually be the most suspect by a properly trained officer of the law. The flamboyantly gay man, not so much.
      Predators of children need to have total domination and control in their relationships. They like authoritative roles that give them the right to have their commands followed without question- teacher, coach, religious leader, scout troop leader, celebrity. Even better if that role puts them in unsupervised contact with kids. If they seek any adult sexual relationships it will not be with an equal. They are most likely to pick a very submissive, dependent woman of lesser intelligence than them. Since most pedophiles are men, it is not very likely they will seek adult sexual relations with other men.
      Predators of children pick their victims on two criteria (a) Opportunity. In other words what is most available to them and looks like easy pickings. True to their predatory nature, they look for the children isolated from the pack, that seem soft and vulnerable and the easiest to intimidate. (b) Purging psychological trauma. A man who was abused as a boy will most likely pick other little boys to abuse. When he does, he will select a victim that most resembles his ideal childhood self and reenact what was done to him to the innocent child. 
Jerry Sandusky, is the classic FBI Pedophile Profile.
A respected coach, married to a gullible, trusting woman,
enjoys unsupervised access and authority over kids.
 Homophobia actually perpetuates the cycle of child molestation. In homophobic, macho societies, boys are overlooked emotionally and are often too scared to report sexual abuse and risk being blamed or persecuted or ridiculed for being sissies. So their trauma goes untreated and as they become adults, mutates into something worse. 

If indeed you really care about children arm yourself with proper knowledge and stop acting like headless chickens over LGBT people. If indeed you care about children never leave them unsupervised, be vigilant and carefully observe and profile the adults in their lives (according to real criteria) that includes family and relatives. Be extra protective of kids who are sensitive, quiet, shy, naturally very obedient and loners. 
8. Gays Will Destroy Society
This is usually the last ditch, desperate argument, already rendered impotent by historic and present evidence that shows the opposite to be true.
The most powerful, long-lived empires and dynasties of historical record were usually those that recognized LGBT people and gave them some area or role to have freedom. We know this because these societies left their homoerotic art and literature behind. Today, the countries that consistently rank the highest on World Indices of health, education, economy, class mobility, transparency, security and happiness (Norway, Switzerland, Canada, Sweden and New Zealand) are those that were the first out of the gate to fully recognize LGBT rights. Some have had gay marriage for over 20 years now. Surely, their societies would have crumbled by now, if that claim was true.
Before you gather your mob with their torches and pitchforks, consider what Nobel Peace Prize Winner, Archbishop Desmond Tutu in a public address on Friday March 12, 2010: “LGBT people are part of so many families. They are part of the human family. They are part of God's family!” Now, I am not saying that by any means are LGBT people perfect. We have our problems too, but so do heterosexuals. Last time I looked things aren’t all roses on your side of the Kinsey Scale- divorce, unwanted pregnancies, kids being born and thrown away, women raped every three minutes, sexual harassment, women entrapping men by getting pregnant, women using sex as currency/manipulation, mercenary relationships. Seems like you have some things to focus on instead of obsessing over LGBT people and what we are doing.
Heterosexuality is not innately better than homosexuality. They both come
with their own share of problems. What matters is how the individual chooses
to express their orientation. 
Despite family rejection, social stigma, regular abuse and discrimination, LGBT people in Trinidad and Tobago have contributed in every field most noticeably academics, arts, music, literature, theatre, fashion in ways that helped put us on the world stage.  We start businesses that employ people. We take care of elderly parents as we are often the ones without children. Funny how people like to mamaguy (flatter) us with awards, steal “cool-factor” and cash in on our creativity then slap us in the face by refusing to repeal Victorian-era laws, long abandoned by Britain as inhumane, joining the garbage heap of other unenlightened ideas.  
These present outmoded laws basically class LGBT citizens the same as rapists and thieves. Yet whose fundamental right to person or property is being taken away by LGBT people living and loving? Nobody’s! So why are our consensual, personal, intimate relations being criminalized? 
Why do we continue to stand with the intolerant and their losing arguments on the losing side of history? Especially with the preponderance of scientific, factual, ethical and human rights precedents! Especially since “Tolerance” is our national watchword! 


Liann said...


osvr said...

What an excellent article. Will definitely use some of these points in my own arguments against homophobia