Naturally Equal Rights

A friend of mine and I recently got into a 3 a.m. drunken debate on gay marriage that quickly turned into an argument about gay adoption. His argument was that if nature didn’t promote a gay family, then why should humanity? For example, if you left two people on an island of the same sex, they will never ever produce a child. Why then should they be allowed to adopt? Nature imposes the barrier.

I countered his argument with an infertile heterosexual couple. Stick them on an island, and they will never produce children. Should they be allowed to adopt? Nature imposed a barrier on them. What about science? Could they use in vitro fertilization or some other breakthrough to attempt conceiving children? Would that not be breaking the barrier?

I took the stance that a child is better off in a supporting, loving family than a foster home. It’s better to be wanted. If two men or two women can provide the emotional support, then why not let them? The American Psychological Association holds similar beliefs.

His stance was that homosexuality was unnatural. Depending on how we define the word natural, a person who brushes his or her teeth and wears shoes is doing unnatural acts. However, there is much evidence of homosexuality in the animal kingdom. Birds, beetles, sheep, fruit bats, dolphins and orangutans have had documented homosexual behavior. Zoologists are discovering that homosexual and bisexual activity is not unknown within the animal kingdom, especially among social animals.

A famous example is Roy and Silo, two male penguins at New York’s Central Park Zoo. They have been displaying classic pair-bonding behavior for six years now. While ignoring potential females, they entwine their necks, preen one another and also have sex. Studies of the bonobo, an African ape related to humans, suggest 75 percent of bonobo sex is non-reproductive and that nearly all bonobos are bisexual. Frans de Waal, author of “Bonobo: The Forgotten Ape,” calls the species a “make love, not war” primate. He believes bonobos use sex to resolve conflicts between individuals.
Imagine if humanity tried that! Instead of having the Iraq War, President George W. Bush and Saddam Hussein would’ve just solved their conflict sexually. I don’t know exactly how that may have worked; we’d have to work on that. Israel and Palestine need more lovin’. Instead of road rage, we could have road love. Obviously, it would be a totally different way of looking at conflict. It’d be like make-up sex for the whole world!

All this free love is getting me off topic; homosexuality is obviously natural. So, why does the majority of the world not accept it? History has shown the acceptance of same-sex affections by Native American, Roman, Asian and many other cultures. It is almost exclusively the influence of the Abrahamic religions that paints homosexuality in a negative way. This negative influence has, in its most minor, merely caused discrimination. At its most severe, it has led to death. In recent news, Mehdi Kazemi, a gay teenager from Iran, sought sanctuary in Britain after his boyfriend in Iran was hanged for homosexuality. Britain denied his request, and he was forced to flee to Holland and start up a similar asylum case. To go back to Iran would mean certain death.

To believe something is morally and ethically wrong is an individual’s right. Think gambling is wrong? Don’t gamble. Think going to strip clubs is morally despicable? Don’t go. If you think homosexuality is a slight against your religion, do not partake! This does not give you the right to openly mock gamblers. Or to condemn strip club owners to death. If you think two men kissing is an outrage to God, let the deity take care of the problem when they die.

I really hope our generation, which has already proven to be more accepting and tolerant of homosexuality, is the one that finally stops the hatred and discrimination. Over half of Fortune 500 companies already recognize domestic partnership benefits and include sexual orientation in their non-discrimination policies. May we eventually remove Ohio’s shameful amendment against same-sex marriages as we the removed the ban on interracial marriages.

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