Last Update: 15 Aug 00
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HOMOSEXUALITY AND "LIFESTYLE" ISSUES
In today's "politically-correct" world, nobody has "weird habits" or "perversions", nobody "behaves anti-socially" or "rebels", and, most certainly, nobody could ever "do anything wrong". Today, everybody makes "lifestyle choices".
There's a certain romanticism that has often been associated with those who blaze their own trails or who take the road less travelled. Almost everybody, to some degree, likes to see themselves as "independent". In most cases, being "different" is neither good nor bad -- it's just "different". We even have specific terms that are used to characterize such individuals. If their actions are different, but generally acceptable, they are called "eccentrics" or "rogues" (usually based on how rich the individual might be). If their actions are somewhat less acceptable, they are called "weirdos" or "freaks".
It would seem, however, that there is a growing segment of the population who are attempting to "express themselves" in ways that are very hard to justify as being anything other than detrimental -- both to themselves and to society, in general. In and of itself, this would be unfortunate, but not problematic. However, it is becoming popular for such individuals (or the groups who support them) to target the general public as being "bigoted", "prejudiced", "discriminatory", "prudish", "stuffy", or just plain "wrong" for not completely condoning whatever they choose to do. In the language of political correctness, what they promote is called "sensitivity".
The most well-known and most highly organized effort on behalf of any current "lifestyle choice" is undoubtedly that of the various lobby groups and organizations which promote homosexuality. This can't help but be a volatile issue -- especially since America is a country with its own particular hangups about sex-related issues in the first place.
Homosexuality has, of course, been around since before the beginnings of recorded history. Until the latter portion of this century, however, it has generally been regarded as somewhat of a perversion. Those who practiced it were often shunned or looked upon as being one of "them". While that is still largely the prevailing opinion among the silent majority, constant spin-doctoring has begun to shift the perceptions towards the positive -- at least among the media and vote-grubbing politicians. An activity that had always been kept in strictest privacy has now become the beneficiary of a phenomenon sometimes referred to as "coming out of the closet" - a person's often-triumphal proclamation that "I am gay".
An argument often advanced in support of homosexuality is the claim that it is genetically-based. This means that one doesn't choose to be gay, one is born that way. The search is still continuing for the so-called "gay gene". In my humble opinion, finding such a gene would seem to be rather unlikely -- at least in frequencies that would account for the numbers of homosexual individuals. Since Man produces offspring by male-female sexual reproduction, any gene that would tend to reduce or eliminate a given individual's chances to reproduce would be detrimental. Since two homosexual individuals are extremely unlikely to mate and produce offspring, there is very little chance for their genes to be passed along to future generations. Even a cursory understanding of biology and evolution should point out that this is not something which would tend to ensure that genetic homosexuality would be what might be characterized as "normal". At best, any homosexual gene would seem to be a mutation or a deformity that would lower that individual's chances for survival and reproduction. Natural selection should, by now, have all but weeded out such a gene.
So, if homosexuality is most likely not genetic, then it must be a voluntary decision. In other words, it must be a "lifestyle choice". If this is so, then homosexuality must fall into the same category as any other "lifestyle choice" and those who choose to engage in it must be subject to the same scrutiny and criticism as those who willingly do anything else that falls outside the range of generally-acceptable activities and behaviors. Those who engage in it must be prepared to suffer the consequences, if any, of their actions -- just as we all do concerning anything that we do in our lives. Those who attempt to promote their activities in the general public must be prepared to weather a storm of protest from those who aren't so favorably inclined towards them. Now, just because something is "alternative" doesn't make it "wrong". However, the way to make it "right" is through positive demonstration of benefits, not through confrontation or by insulting the majority.
Personally, I'm a believer in allowing people to do what they please so long as their actions don't adversely affect others. I also prefer that individuals or groups don't try to proselytize their behaviors to those who don't wish to join them. As far as I'm concerned, neither homosexuality nor any other "lifestyle choice" should be promoted in schools until they are a generally-acceptable behavior in society or until their benefits can be substantiated by medicine and/or science. If you want to indulge, more power to you. Just don't expect or demand that I will join you or approve of what you are doing. That's *my* "lifestyle choice".
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