Homosexuality is not unnatural

Sourabh Tiwary

Author: Sourabh Tiwary

I have never known a gay person in my life. Yes, I have met a few guys that I thought were gays but nothing more than that. The conservative society I was born in does not tolerate (or even recognize) anything that they consider unnatural. Being gay or lesbian is one of those things. Since I was a boy, we used to tease other boys of our age by calling them gays if they showed up with a pink shirt or cried when hit by a ball in a cricket match. Ask anyone what a “gay” means and he will give you the weirdest possible answers. Listening to Justin beiber is gay; wearing certain kinds of perfume is gay, playing certain kinds of game is gay and then there are many more ways in which the uneducated and conservative members of society twist the definition of homosexuality.

Ignorance breeds cynicism and hatred. Even in my college which is actually one of the top B-Schools in the country, people still believe that being gay is some kind of a disease. I think that it is the ignorance of history and science which makes our society so prejudiced and judgmental about homosexuals.

Initially, the word gay was used to describe people who were “jolly hearted”, “happy”, etc. but later the word came to disgrace when it started to be associated with sin and immorality. Mostly, a person would incline towards any sexual orientation to become happy and content, so by the mid-20th century, the term “gay” came to be associated with hedonistic and uninhibited lifestyle.

The germ of this thought came from religious bodies. Even today we can find that it is in the highly religious countries where gays are prosecuted or suppressed. In 2007, Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, speaking to Columbia University, said that “In Iran, we don’t have homosexuals”. This gross arrogance has led to mass public flogging and execution of homosexuals in Iran.

In Sudan, homosexuality is illegal and is punishable by death. In Tunisia, Morocco, Libya and Egypt, open homosexuals’ relationships are punishable by 3-5years of jail. These countries do not allow a homosexual to marry or openly serve in military. As one can note, all of these countries are extremely religious and backward.

I would not even talk about Saudi Arabia. This nation is the hub of everything bad that religious right can cause to human society. Homosexuals are punished in almost every Muslim country in the world except a few like West Bank, Iraq and Kazakhstan. Even in these countries, there are no laws to protect homosexuals from discrimination and same sex marriage or adoption by homosexuals is illegal.

In my country India, Homosexuality was recognized by the Delhi high court in 2009. Debates are going on over the validity of same sex marriages but the conservative Indian society is reluctant to give recognition to homosexuals. According to several human rights agencies, gays in their daily lives face discrimination, ridicule, blackmail and persecution by police and government agencies.

This discrimination is not only present in the third world countries, if we look at many developed countries, the story is same. Same sex marriages are banned in almost all the industrialized nations in Asia, Europe and the Americas. A few notable exceptions are Canada, Denmark, Iceland, Norway, Sweden, Portugal, Spain, France and Australia. There are few others and the complete list can be viewed here.

It can be noted that the countries I have mentioned above that allow homosexual marriages are mostly secular and atheist or places where irreligion is on the rise.

United States of America is one of the most powerful and religious nation in the world. Recently, the country was in news for the discriminatory proposition 8 that was being discussed in its Supreme Court. Proposition 8 was a California ballot proposition and a state constitutional amendment passed in the November 2008 state elections. The measure added a new provision, Section 7.5 of the Declaration of Rights, to the California Constitution, which provides that “only marriage between a man and a woman is valid or recognized in California.

Conservative right wings say that this discussion is not about the discrimination against homosexuals, it is about protecting the sanctity of traditional marriage. I ask these people, what the meaning of sanctity of marriage is. The median age of a heterosexual marriage in USA is just 11 years. Using 1995 data, National Survey of Family Growth forecast in 2002 a 43% chance that first marriages among women aged 15–44 would be disrupted within 15 years. More recently, having spoken with academics and National Survey of Family Growth representatives, PolitiFact.com estimated in 2012 that the lifelong probability of a marriage ending in divorce is 40%–50%

Is this what sanctity of marriage means? Homosexuals are not asking for any extra rights, they are just asking for the rights that every other human being in the world has always enjoyed – The right for the recognition of their love. This is about love and the recognition of human rights for everyone.

Many religious scholars say that homosexuality is unnatural. But is it?

Science today tells us that homosexuality is found in over 500 species in the natural world. An estimated one-quarter of all black swans pairings are of homosexual males. They steal nests, or form temporary threesomes with females to obtain eggs, driving away the female after she lays the eggs. Both male and female pigeons sometimes exhibit homosexual behavior. Courtship, mounting, and full anal penetration between bulls has been noted to occur among American Bison. The Bonobo, which has a matriarchal society, unusual amongst apes, is a fully bisexual species—both males and females engage in heterosexual and homosexual behavior, being noted for female-female homosexuality in particular. About 60% of all sexual activity in this species is between two or more females. There are several such documented cases that have been seen in natural world. So, how can anyone call Homosexuality as unnatural? Do they think that animals and birds like Dolphins, Bonobos, Swans, Gulls etc. do not come in the natural world? Homosexuality is found in all cultures, religion, ethnic groups, nations and races. It has been found since time immemorial and is not a new phenomenon.

Homosexuality is not a disease of any kind. The American Psychiatric Association and American Psychological Association do not consider Homosexuality as a disease. This is what American Academy of Pediatrics has to say about Homosexuality: –

“You are normal

Homosexuality is not a mental disorder. All of the major medical organizations, including The American Psychiatric Association, The American Psychological Association, and the American Academy of Pediatrics agree that homosexuality is not an illness or disorder, but a form of sexual expression.

No one knows what causes a person to be gay, bisexual, or straight. There probably are a number of factors. Some may be biological. Others may be psychological. The reasons can vary from one person to another. The fact is, you do not choose to be gay, bisexual, or straight.”

If I had to choose, I will go with what scientists say. I will go with what the philosophers and the thinkers say and not with the politicians and retarded religious preachers.

Homosexuality is not a disease and anyone who thinks so is thick brained, simple minded and uneducated. I support equal rights for gays, lesbians, bisexuals or transgender. If they marry, it does not disrupt the normal functioning of the society. But if we vote against their rights today, it would certainly disrupt our future. Marriage is not the prerogative of the powerful; it is the right of every human being. Love is not unnatural. Love is not a sin. It is beautiful and I hope that we can grow out of our anachronistic ideologies and accept the future.

Author: Sourabh Tiwary

I am an atheist, freethinker and humanist, though some of my friends just call me a ”geek”. I like to read a lot and write on eclectic topics ranging from science to education. I like to travel and communicate with new people. I hope that with education and scientific progress, world will certainly become a better place to live. You can find me on Google+