Friday, August 10, 2007

Gay: Choice or Biological?

In the latest bit of pandering to special interest groups, most of the Democratic Presidential candidates decided to appear in a "debate" on gay issues on LOGO last night. To call it a debate is almost facetious, it was more like consecutive interviews. Being a cable network, they had to put some sort of minor celebrity on the panel, dipshit Melissa Etheridge, to dissolve any pretense that this interaction was to be thoughtful or informative rather than "entertaining." The most interesting exchange of the night, or at least insightful in that it revealed the empty-headedness of political correctness, was between the Moron Etheridge and Bill Richardson.

MS. ETHERIDGE: Thank you.

Do you think homosexuality is a choice, or is it biological?

GOV. RICHARDSON: It's a choice. It's –

MS. ETHERIDGE: I don't know if you understand the question. (Soft laughter.) Do you think I -- a homosexual is born that way, or do you think that around seventh grade we go, "Ooh, I want to be gay"?

GOV. RICHARDSON: Well, I -- I'm not a scientist. It's -- you know, I don't see this as an issue of science or definition.

I see gays and lesbians as people as a matter of human decency. I see it as a matter of love and companionship and people loving each other. You know I don't like to categorize people. I don't like to, like, answer definitions like that that, you know, perhaps are grounded in science or something else that I don't understand.

MS. ETHERIDGE: Well, it's hard when you are a citizen of a country that tells you that you are making a choice when you were born that way, and your Creator made you that way. And there's a document that was written 200 years ago that says you are entitled to certain rights that you are not given.
How can there be anything other than absolute equal rights for homosexuals?

Richardson of course failed to initially answer the question politically correctly, because he took a sensible, rational, fact-based approach rather than an idiotic "this is the way we feel it should be, so this is the way it is" left-wing approach. He missed the perfect opportunity to answer this question the only way it should ever be answered:


There are just so many insanely thoughtless assumptions in Etheridge's false dichotomy and in the perceived ramifications of taking one position or another. For one, why would or should choice or biology have any impact whatsoever on "absolute equal rights for homosexuals" in a free society? The assertion here is that personal choice would be some sort of secondary, inferior justification for equal rights compared to biochemical causes. But I'm going out on a limb and say that choice would be the superior justification, for choice shows conscious reasoning, sophisticated emotional responses and intelligent thought. Liberty means freedom to do as we choose, not simply be as we biologically "are." There is absolutely no reason why a man's choice to eat and enjoy foie gras should be any less important than his right to breathe oxygen. It is not the role of a government in a free society to value judge personal preferences.

Secondly, I'm utterly unconvinced one can completely divorce choice from biology - or that any action or behavior we take on can not be attributed to personal choice to some degree. I may have a biological impulse to screw every girl I see - and trust me I've seen quite a few that I've had the impulse to have sex with - but that does not mean I choose to act on those impulses every time I get them. Maybe I uncontrollably get an erection sometimes, but I choose when and where to use it. Assuming what we call "homosexuality" has any sort unique biological cause, every single gay person still makes the choice to act on that impulse and live as they do. And no, Melissa, that's not in any way insulting or demeaning to say. You're thinking human beings, and you choose your lifestyle choices as much as I choose to be monogamous. And there is absolutely no reason to assume that because any behavior could be classified as a "choice" that is somehow less deserving of being made.

Also, the idea that the only options to explain your sexual preferences are that you have to be born gay or you just pick being gay is simply silly. Why on Earth is so important that homosexuality be simply a biological characteristic, like skin color, rather than say a learned behavior or cultural characteristic or belief system, like say religion? Is it really so outrageous to suggest that there MIGHT be developmental factors that come in play that may, at least sometimes, lead to homosexual behavior?

Heck, I'm not even convinced entirely that "gay" is anything more than a social construct, derived simply from physical pleasures that could be fulfilled by other means. I've known way too many gay men that seemed far too obsessed with female "biology" to suggest to me that anyone is 100% gay. But, whatever. I probably wouldn't say that to any gay friend, because who am I to tell them how to behave or what sub-cultural decisions to make. What's important is, it doesn't matter one iota if my stupid theory is right, or Melissa's stupid theory is right, or someone else's much better reasoned and factually supported theory is right. The state has absolutely no place interfering or restricting these behaviors or feelings, regardless of their origin or consistency.

The important thing is that Richardson was right, he is no scientist. And neither are you, Melissa. Scientists are willing to admit when there is not enough evidence to draw any really realy conclusion. And they do not assume a conclusion because it justifies a political goal, or makes them feel warm and fuzzy. The real conclusions could well be interesting, but will the answers really make you feel any different, any more or less lesbian? They may seem a stupid question, but it stems from your stupid question. Why on Earth is it even important when we're talking about liberty and your own pursuit of happiness? You've set it up so that if you're wrong about biochemistry, then you're wrong about your life. And that's just inane, and shows a lack of understanding of what personal liberty and individual freedom means, and why it is important.

Did I develop a taste for foie gras at some point, did I learn to love it, or is enjoyment of the flavor hardwired into me? Who cares? I mean, it'd be interesting to know - but it should have no effect on my freedom to do and live as I choose fit.


JAYCEE!!<3 said...

...So.... What's you stance again...? Cause you completely changed topic then went back with a different attitude. I completely lost sight of your point on this... Cause then you started talking about how people loosing their life to betting on biochemistry... Which is a choice argument. and SKDfjdsl;jfGRAHHHH!! You've succeeded in braining my break. What's your stance on Trans rights?

JsinGood said...

The point is that it is extremely asinine for people to freak out or be insulted over the idea there is at least some sort of personal choice in a person's decision to consider themselves gay or act on gay impulses. It is asinine for multiple reasons, but the major ones being - (1) valuing biological impulses over intelligent decision-making suggests weak-mindedness, an inability to consciously control ones behavior, (2) those that cherish freedom and liberty adhere to the idea that individual choice is to be respected, tolerated and unhindered, and (3) biology may influence or color choice - of course is hardly an excuse for behavior - but the two can be intertwined in such a fashion that the entire nature vs. nurture question could well be a completely false one to even be asking.

Etheridge proves herself an idiot not taking these elements into consideration, and instead of focusing rationally on the complexities of the subject, chooses to assume out of political correctness what should be true rather than what is actually fact or what is supposed hypothesis.

This post is not really about supporting or decrying homosexual "rights", but is merely attacking stupidity in the form of Melissa Etheridge.

Not sure what you mean by "trans rights," but I fully support individual rights for all people, and am against any "special" rights granted to anyone by the state based on group affiliation.