Saturday, November 14, 2009

What 53% of Maine thinks is right is wrong

One of the many reasons that 53% of Maine voters elected to repeal the same-sex marriage law is based on a misconception. In fact, most of the arguments used by Yes on 1 activists are based on fear and lies. Disinformation aside, one of the reasons you hear over and over again by those who support "conjugal marriage" is that homosexuality is against the laws of nature.

That anyone can believe this with the mountains of evidence to the contrary simply amazes me. But indeed, there are educated, articulate people like Kathryn Jean Lopez of the National Review that do. She cites a few others in her article canonizing Maggie Gallagher and celebrating the Maine victory. People like Archbishop Timothy Dolan who says marriage is an "institution grounded in natural law".

These three, and many others like them who stand against same-sex marriage, believe that homosexuality is something that perverts the natural order. Since it takes male and female to reproduce, any behavior that contradicts that pattern would be going against our basic nature, right? Well, the real answer is not so much.

There is a long laundry list of studies that show evidence of homosexual behavior in animals. Some of the evidence is old. As in from the 1800s old. It's only gotten news in the last decade or so because of prejudice. Bruce Bagemihl wrote a book in 1999 called Biological Exuberance: Animal Homosexuality and Natural Diversity. In it, he rather clearly cites example after example of animal homosexuality. In fact, he documents over 450 species in his book.

The facts are that homosexuality occurs across many species and in many environments. As our understanding of biology grows, we're learning more about the complexity of sexual behavior, both straight and gay. Genetics plays its part but so do environmental factors. From the womb and beyond, we're shaped by the environments in which we live. And the two can't be separated. They are both equally important. Changes we encounter in our mother's womb can shape who we become and we have no more control over the outcome than we do the sunrise. Our genetics contain our potential that will be shaped by the environments we encounter in our lifetimes. Each is as natural as it gets.

Homosexuality is not a choice. It is not a lifestyle. And it is as natural as heterosexuality.

H/T to Andrew Sullivan for starting this morning's journey.

1 comment:

Rebecca said...

Thank-you for these articles, I still cannot believe that in 2009, we are still having to convince people of equal rights.