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trunks_girl26
So, tomorrow is April 26, 2006, also known as the Day of Silence. What the Day of Silence is (from their official website) is:

QUOTE
Now in its tenth year, the Day of Silence, a project of GLSEN® or the Gay, Lesbian & Straight Education Network in collaboration with the United States Student Association (USSA), is a student-led day of action where those who support making anti-LGBT bullying and harassment unacceptable in schools participate in events to recognize and protest the discrimination and harassment—in effect, the silencing—experienced by lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) students and their allies.


My uni's GSA, of which I'm on the executive board for, is participating in the day of silence for the first time, so I was reading up about it. In my reading, I found what's called to be the Day of Truth, schedualed for April 27, 2006. Here's a quote from their site:

QUOTE
The Day of Truth was established to counter the promotion of the homosexual agenda and express an opposing viewpoint from a Christian perspective.

In the past, students who have attempted to speak against the promotion of the homosexual agenda have been censored or, in some cases, punished for their beliefs. It is important that students stand up for their First Amendment right to hear and speak the Truth about human sexuality in order to protect that freedom for future generations. The Day of Truth provides an opportunity to publicly exercise our free speech rights.


Interesting, ne?

So, I leave you fellow Matazonians with

Day of Silence

vs.

Day of Truth

(and maybe we won't turn this into a 'bash the rightwings' type thread)

Discuss how you'd like, though I am interested in also hearing which you think is more effective and why.
gingerpig
The Day of Truth stuff says it comes from a Christian perspective, which may or may not be appropriate to your situation - I don't know lol. Day of Truth does sound more positive, but the exaplaination behind the name, Day of Silence is pretty powerful. Maybe you could have a Day of Silence, incoporating some type of representation from different religions, if you could find suitable representatives from within those religions?

Good luck!
Sir Psycho Sexy
Day of Truth looses all respect for claiming their belief is true, I have no problem with what people believe, nor do I think their freedom of speech should be taken away (we have the freedom not to listen after all), but the sheer arrogance of calling it the day of truth and claiming they speak "the Truth about human sexuality" bugs me no end!
gingerpig
Whoops, should have read that more closely....I thought the day of Truth was promoting Christian gay people *sighs*. So it's not a choice between how you promote positive attitudes towards alternate sexualities. Personally I would have to go for the Day of Silence, just becuase of that lame old line, that I have so many gay friends, and I really dont see what it has to do with me. I like Sir Psycho's point about anything calling itself the Truth is perhaps overstating the point.

it is actually also possible to be a member of a religious group and not be homophobic, even if thats what the teachings imply. A gay member of my Buddhist community explained to me, that yes, although the Buddha was quoted as saying things that could be interpreted as being anti-gay, the real point was that you're just not supposed to be so hung up on sex (having it, not having it, who else is having it, whatever), and that, like the Bible, it was written in the language of it's time. I'm certain a lot of people would find this very hard to accept, and would argue for it to be completely written out, btu taht again would miss the point of tolerance and understanding, you have to be prepared to put yourself, and your judgements on the side for a bit and just listen. Personally I find it very hard that such things do exist, but as long as they're no being used to discriminate (and my teacher has quite a few openly gay students), then as long as they're ok, it's actually not about me.

How to translate that to your position? Well I would always try and support the underdog, and be wary of anything that tried to repress stuff, without a reasoned discussion, in fact at all. To me, anything that doesn't allow human beings free will, and the choice to make their own choices is on a hiding to nothing, as we aren't built like that, and I feel it's only through making informed choices that we can actually grow and develop as human beings. I'm certainly not anti-Christian in that, I think I just prefer it when we're trusted to be grown-ups. So I would go for the former and not the latter. If there was a lot of support from your campus for the latter, it might be very interesting to try and tale some sort of carefully controlled debate to encourage both sides to at least talk to each other. I think that would be very fun, but also probably very unpopular, and difficult to do, without either side saying you were siding with the other.
bryden42
I find it interesting that the Christian led day is aimed at persecuting/nay saying a life style (in a religion where tolerance and loving your fellow "man" is one of the accepted virtues) and that the LGBT day is aimed at promoting empathy for their position through an exercise that by its very nature is non agressive and passive.
You tell me which is the more negative and improper of the 2 days.

QUOTE
Silence isn’t freedom. It’s a constraint.
Truth tolerates open discussion, because the Truth emerges when healthy discourse is allowed.
By proclaiming the Truth in love, hurts will be halted, hearts will be healed, and lives will be saved.


the above is a quote from the day of truth site, silence is what the LGBT community has to go through in order to not be persecuted and is exactly what the day of silence is meant to show, The Truth is that LGBT relationships are full of love and through that love hurts WILL be halted, hearts WILL be healed, not sure about the lives bit! the sooner the christian and other anti communities understand this the better /endrant and right wing bashing
Phyllis
QUOTE (Sir_Psycho_Sexy @ Apr 26 2006, 05:21 AM) *
Day of Truth looses all respect for claiming their belief is true, I have no problem with what people believe, nor do I think their freedom of speech should be taken away (we have the freedom not to listen after all), but the sheer arrogance of calling it the day of truth and claiming they speak "the Truth about human sexuality" bugs me no end!

Not to mention that psychologists (particularly those involved in sex research) overwhelmingly disagree with them. Hmmm...who am I going to side with? Someone who has spent decades studying human behavior and learning the science of how our minds work....or someone reading from a text I don't believe in? It's not difficult to figure that one out.
gothictheysay
Well obviously, I think the Day of Truth is a crock of [expletive]. I like the idea of the day of silence, but for me it wasn't practical to do with school - I would want to honor them, though. I'd rather do more than just be silent about it for the effort, but I understand the reason, and I know people DO do more. I'd just rather talk. Anyway, I find it highly offensive and disgusting that people would observe this day of truth thing. The Day of Silence is to honor people who died as a result of hate crimes (I think that's what it is primarily, correct me if not) and here they are with their day of truth bashing other sexualities right after that day. It's like they're saying "we don't need to honor them, we're going to try to counter you because you're wrong, they don't deserve to be honored anyway because they are wrong too." They're not actually saying that, but that's the attitude I get.

argh.
Astarael
QUOTE (candice @ Apr 26 2006, 02:37 PM) *
QUOTE (Sir_Psycho_Sexy @ Apr 26 2006, 05:21 AM) *

Day of Truth looses all respect for claiming their belief is true, I have no problem with what people believe, nor do I think their freedom of speech should be taken away (we have the freedom not to listen after all), but the sheer arrogance of calling it the day of truth and claiming they speak "the Truth about human sexuality" bugs me no end!

Not to mention that psychologists (particularly those involved in sex research) overwhelmingly disagree with them. Hmmm...who am I going to side with? Someone who has spent decades studying human behavior and learning the science of how our minds work....or someone reading from a text I don't believe in? It's not difficult to figure that one out.


The annoying refrain I hear about that one on other forums is that a handful of closeted gay psychologists somehow strongarmed the whole APA into declaring homosexuality not a mental disorder and the brainwashed them all into falsifying their results to reflect that homosexuality is in no way a choice. I have yet to see any proof of this that doesn't come in the form of a rant from a violently anti-gay website.
Anyway, I'd go with the Day of Silence. If I'd seen this last night then I probably would have participated. I don't see the day as being pro-gay, but rather pro-empathy. Part of the point is that GLBT teens are tired of the constant "that's so gay" and little jokes and barbs because people think they're okay. How is trying to get people to think a little before they spew insults such a horrible day of lies? I would completely approve of the Day of Truth if they kept it confined to an issue of free speech and censorship in schools, but they stepped over my mental respect line when they got to the "truth about human sexuality" bit.
Calantyr
Day of Truth. Yes, your truth. You do not have a monopoly on the word.

How people can think they are persecuted like this after having the law on their side for almost 2000 years I do not know...

I suppose some people need to feel like the underdog to give their opinions value, when everything seems to point out its flaws.

Yes I know this sounds like bashing, but I realy am opposed to such bigotry.
trunks_girl26
QUOTE (Astarael @ Apr 26 2006, 04:46 PM) *
QUOTE (candice @ Apr 26 2006, 02:37 PM) *

QUOTE (Sir_Psycho_Sexy @ Apr 26 2006, 05:21 AM) *

Day of Truth looses all respect for claiming their belief is true, I have no problem with what people believe, nor do I think their freedom of speech should be taken away (we have the freedom not to listen after all), but the sheer arrogance of calling it the day of truth and claiming they speak "the Truth about human sexuality" bugs me no end!

Not to mention that psychologists (particularly those involved in sex research) overwhelmingly disagree with them. Hmmm...who am I going to side with? Someone who has spent decades studying human behavior and learning the science of how our minds work....or someone reading from a text I don't believe in? It's not difficult to figure that one out.


The annoying refrain I hear about that one on other forums is that a handful of closeted gay psychologists somehow strongarmed the whole APA into declaring homosexuality not a mental disorder and the brainwashed them all into falsifying their results to reflect that homosexuality is in no way a choice. I have yet to see any proof of this that doesn't come in the form of a rant from a violently anti-gay website.
Anyway, I'd go with the Day of Silence. If I'd seen this last night then I probably would have participated. I don't see the day as being pro-gay, but rather pro-empathy. Part of the point is that GLBT teens are tired of the constant "that's so gay" and little jokes and barbs because people think they're okay. How is trying to get people to think a little before they spew insults such a horrible day of lies? I would completely approve of the Day of Truth if they kept it confined to an issue of free speech and censorship in schools, but they stepped over my mental respect line when they got to the "truth about human sexuality" bit.


[breaks her silence temporarily]
mental illness
n.

Any of various conditions characterized by impairment of an individual's normal cognitive, emotional, or behavioral functioning, and caused by social, psychological, biochemical, genetic, or other factors, such as infection or head trauma. Also called emotional illness, mental disease, mental disorder.

well, from the technical standpoint, it could be considered one, however, I believe it's more the connotation than the denotation, which makes it unacceptable.

Personally, I believe that it's not a choice, however, I do believe that the underlying causes are a combination of genetic and environmental ones. Proof of it being environmental would be that there have been reported cases of identical twins in which one has identified as being gay and the other does not. Genetic proof would be that in gay males a portion of the brain seems to be larger (which part escapes me as of now) than in straight ones. Of course, there's still a lot of reasearch that is still going on, (and there may sctualy be cases in which some are choosing, though my guess would be very few) but you wanted proof that wasn't a rant, and there you go happy.gif.

[/breaking her silence temporarily]
pgrmdave
QUOTE
Genetic proof would be that in gay males a portion of the brain seems to be larger (which part escapes me as of now) than in straight ones.


While I agree that genes play a part of it, I think this fails as a proof - it's a case of causation vs. correlation, we don't know if the brain was changed by the environment to be gay, thus part became larger, or whether that part of the brain was larger, thus the person had a higher chance of becoming gay. Better proof is in the research in which certain genes have been changed in another animal to 'induce' homosexuality.Genetic proof would be that in gay males a portion of the brain seems to be larger (which part escapes me as of now) than in straight ones.
trunks_girl26
QUOTE (pgrmdave @ Apr 26 2006, 06:08 PM) *
QUOTE
Genetic proof would be that in gay males a portion of the brain seems to be larger (which part escapes me as of now) than in straight ones.


While I agree that genes play a part of it, I think this fails as a proof - it's a case of causation vs. correlation, we don't know if the brain was changed by the environment to be gay, thus part became larger, or whether that part of the brain was larger, thus the person had a higher chance of becoming gay. Better proof is in the research in which certain genes have been changed in another animal to 'induce' homosexuality.Genetic proof would be that in gay males a portion of the brain seems to be larger (which part escapes me as of now) than in straight ones.


See, that would be why I put in the bit where there's still testing, though I admit it was bad wording on my part. wink.gif
gothictheysay
People who think it's a choice should TRY choosing. I could "choose" to be a lesbian, but man, I'd still be attracted to guys.
trunks_girl26
QUOTE (gothictheysay @ Apr 27 2006, 02:57 PM) *
People who think it's a choice should TRY choosing. I could "choose" to be a lesbian, but man, I'd still be attracted to guys.


I think the "it's a choice" argument is rather amusing, especially when it's considered from the standpoint of the teenager, which is when many people find out ("choose") to be gay.

I tend to wonder why so many people would choose to be something for which they are ridiculed and tormented for.
Astarael
QUOTE (trunks_girl26 @ Apr 26 2006, 05:47 PM) *
[breaks her silence temporarily]
mental illness
n.

Any of various conditions characterized by impairment of an individual's normal cognitive, emotional, or behavioral functioning, and caused by social, psychological, biochemical, genetic, or other factors, such as infection or head trauma. Also called emotional illness, mental disease, mental disorder.

well, from the technical standpoint, it could be considered one, however, I believe it's more the connotation than the denotation, which makes it unacceptable.

Personally, I believe that it's not a choice, however, I do believe that the underlying causes are a combination of genetic and environmental ones. Proof of it being environmental would be that there have been reported cases of identical twins in which one has identified as being gay and the other does not. Genetic proof would be that in gay males a portion of the brain seems to be larger (which part escapes me as of now) than in straight ones. Of course, there's still a lot of reasearch that is still going on, (and there may sctualy be cases in which some are choosing, though my guess would be very few) but you wanted proof that wasn't a rant, and there you go happy.gif.

[/breaking her silence temporarily]


Thanks for the information! (and to dave for the other stuff.) The connoatation is indeed the problem- we see diseases as bad things that need to be fixed, so a technically correct classification becomes a slanted insult. It's nice to see a more levelhead approach to the subject. I'm sorry for not clarifying it properly- those who call it a mental disorder generally mean it in the context of "mental disorder that needs immediate and violent therapy to be cured because it's so horrible" and say that they have absolute proof. I'm inclined towards your genetic and environmental theory, as it seems to make far more sense than one cause that we can't seem to find or people choosing something that puts them in the path of many problems and a lot of ridicule.
Phyllis
QUOTE (Astarael @ Apr 27 2006, 01:53 PM) *
I'm inclined towards your genetic and environmental theory, as it seems to make far more sense than one cause that we can't seem to find or people choosing something that puts them in the path of many problems and a lot of ridicule.

That's the official stance of the APA -- that the cause is not known, but it's believed to be a variety of genetic and environmental factors.
Saratina
It's difficult and frustrating to participate in this sort of debate (Christians vs. homosexuals) when you belong to both sides.


That is all.
trunks_girl26
QUOTE (Saratina @ Apr 28 2006, 12:10 AM) *
It's difficult and frustrating to participate in this sort of debate (Christians vs. homosexuals) when you belong to both sides.


That is all.


One of my best friends is both Catholic and gay.

Yeah, it's not a fun situation sometimes.
{Gothic Angel}
I agree with SPS that calling your opinion fact is extremely irrtating. I actually went to a communion mass last sunday (my local church holds "rockmass", which is a mass where all the hymns and music are rock music, and there are cool lighting effects and things) to see my friend perform, whilst notbeing christian myself, and I found much the same attitude there - you have free will, but you're going to hell if you don't follow christ. I pointed out that I had lived a relatively sin-free life according to the bible, with the one rider I don't believe in Christ or God, and was told I would still go to hell, so... yes. Our way is the only way is a bad thing to be promoting and a bad persuasional tactic. </spam>

On the sexuality side of things I think there was an article in New Scientist about this a while back. It cited several examples from nature of homosexual tendencies in animals (including female hyenas - you'd have to look up the specifics, as this was a long time ago), where obviously no conscious decision is made due to peer pressure or whatever. Personally, I don't know about you, but I'm not really in control over who I'm attracted to, and I'm inclined to believe homo/bisexual people aren't either. Ergo, even without my predisposition to be against some christian dogma, I would support the Day of Silence first.

Also - FREE WILL! If someone can "choose" to be gay, it's their choice, so let them go to hell. Besides, if it were really all that bad, wouldn't we be due another great flood round about now?
trunks_girl26
QUOTE ({Gothic Angel} @ Apr 28 2006, 11:57 AM) *


Also - FREE WILL! If someone can "choose" to be gay, it's their choice, so let them go to hell. Besides, if it were really all that bad, wouldn't we be due another great flood round about now?


Well, technically, it's promised that God won't flood the Earth again. Fires, frogs and various other wipe-outs of humanity are possible though.

I personally hope for rabid squirrel death, since they're evil to begin with >.>

[/spam]

On a non-spammy note, there are actually tons of doccumented cases of homosexuality in animals, most notably the bonobos and various species of dolphins. This tends to eliminate not only the choice argument, but the 'it's not natural' one as well.

Oh, and apparently no one on campus participated in the Day of Truth, however, a few of the people participating in the Day of Silence were harassed by people at various times during the day.
Daria
My chickens are gay, if it is any help to the animal arguement, but I think it is just because they are bored (we don't have a cockeral)
/spam
Jan.McNeville
See, if the Day of Truth were actually about truth, then people like Pat Robertson, Fred Phelps and Jerry Falwell wouldn't be endorsing it. I think the genetics of homosexuality are pretty obvious, but then, not everyone has such an interesting family. Frankly, until the 'day of truth' crowd actually finds a copy of the Homosexual Agenda on official Gay Mafia letterhead with the signatures of Sir Elton John and Ellen DeGeneres, with the requisite sequin and glitter binder intact...I'm not going to believe one word they say. They're the ones with the agenda. It looks to me like gay people just want the same civil rights God gave everyone...or have the 'truthers forgotten "that they are endowed by their Creator with certain inalienable rights, that among these are life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness"? If gay persons A and B get married, how in the nine does it affect conservative person Z? The cost of the wedding offsets any tax changes. (Weddings are expensive, la...) It's not like gay couples want to go about kidnapping conservative children and bringing them up with the Teletubbies to form a Gay Army and conquer Red State America. If anything, I'd think the red-staters should endorse gay marriage and gay rights -because a bigger pool of potential adoptive parents means more demand for infants which means ...dun dun daa! Fewer abortions!
See? You can twist anything if you know how to talk enough. We just have to resolve; Never shall we shut up. That way, they can never win.
And even if the whole thing ends in a sore-throat stalemate, we'll have fought the enemy where he lies.
Everywhere.
bryden42
QUOTE (Saratina @ Apr 28 2006, 05:10 AM) *
It's difficult and frustrating to participate in this sort of debate (Christians vs. homosexuals) when you belong to both sides.


That is all.

Please try, i think that comments or insights from you would be the most helpful of all!
Saratina
hmm.

I didn't participate in the Day of Silence because only a few people know that I'm bi, and I'd rather keep it that way. They say you can't be a Christian unless you're straight, but my entire identity is built around my faith.

When talking to Christians who believe homosexuality is a sin, I like to compare it to alcoholism; wanting to drink and actually drinking are two completely different things. Being attracted to your own sex and being involved with your own sex are different things.

Right now all I can say, I guess, is that it's an interesting mix of guilt and frustration. And as for the Day of Truth, I'm sure everyone knows how Christian leaders feel about the issue, so why does there need to be another day devoted to the topic?
Phyllis
QUOTE (Saratina @ Apr 29 2006, 02:38 PM) *
They say you can't be a Christian unless you're straight, but my entire identity is built around my faith.

That kind of comment kind of frightens me. I don't really know you, but I am sure there is so much more to you than simply your faith. It's just my opinion...but I always thought that someone's faith should fit in with his/her identity, rather than trying to make his/her identity fit within the confines of a religion. But then...I'm not now nor have I ever been a Christian, so maybe I don't fully understand where you're coming from.

And who says you cannot be a Christian if you aren't straight? I don't know a whole lot about Christianity, but I really don't think Jesus would have said such a thing. I think the only people who might say that would be other Christians, who really have no place to be judging you. They all have their own inner struggles with sin. Though whether or not homosexuality is a sin is a different matter. I still really struggle with trying to understand how love could ever be a sin.
QUOTE (Saratina @ Apr 29 2006, 02:38 PM) *
When talking to Christians who believe homosexuality is a sin, I like to compare it to alcoholism; wanting to drink and actually drinking are two completely different things. Being attracted to your own sex and being involved with your own sex are different things.

Homosexuality is not a mental illness. It is not an addiction. I really hope you don't think it is. It would make me really sad to see anyone be that self-loathing. It is a natural thing. Though the exact causes are not completely agreed upon it's believed to be a mix of genetic and environmental factors (as mentioned earlier in this thread). I know it must be one hell of a struggle to deal with what the morals you were raised with are telling you conflicting with what you're feeling, though.
QUOTE (Saratina @ Apr 29 2006, 02:38 PM) *
And as for the Day of Truth, I'm sure everyone knows how Christian leaders feel about the issue, so why does there need to be another day devoted to the topic?

Nope. There really doesn't.
gingerpig
Does it add anything to this debate to clarify the point about choosing to be gay, genes, environment etc. If it was a genetic mutation that occurred randomly, then why wouldn't it et bred ut? Of course it may be a genetic mutation that spontaneously repeats itself as well. We havent' really discussed what "makes" us heterosexual, which is kind of the same issue. In Bonobo society sex is apparently used for all sorts of things, to strengthen links, to comfort, reassure, dominate and to procreate. Chimps of all ages, sexes, relations have sex together - even mothers and children. Bearing in mind they are our closest genetic relation, it is interesting that we do share this range of sexual behaviour, but obviously have given it different cultural labels. Most societies seem to have some form of taboo against incest, although I'm not convinced that that perception doesn't come from biased anthropologists.
trunks_girl26
QUOTE (Saratina @ Apr 29 2006, 05:38 PM) *
hmm.

I didn't participate in the Day of Silence because only a few people know that I'm bi, and I'd rather keep it that way. They say you can't be a Christian unless you're straight, but my entire identity is built around my faith.


I'm straight and I participated in the Day of Silence, and I certainly wasn't the only straight one to participate from the group. You don't have to be a certain sexuality to participate. I've also never heard of not being able to be a Christian if you're anything but straight- I had always thought the wole "hate the sin, not the sinner" thing was more important, personally.


QUOTE
When talking to Christians who believe homosexuality is a sin, I like to compare it to alcoholism; wanting to drink and actually drinking are two completely different things. Being attracted to your own sex and being involved with your own sex are different things.


Ok, well, maybe you can picture it like this. What if it was heterosexuality that was a sin? Or bisexuality, though technically half of it is. Could you picture yourself never being with anyone -or worse- pretending to like someone of the same gender but never feel attracted to them? It's the same sort of thing.

QUOTE
Right now all I can say, I guess, is that it's an interesting mix of guilt and frustration. And as for the Day of Truth, I'm sure everyone knows how Christian leaders feel about the issue, so why does there need to be another day devoted to the topic?


I honestly don't disagree with them having a day to express their opinion, however, I do disagree with how they go about doing it.

QUOTE (gingerpig @ Apr 29 2006, 09:01 PM) *
Does it add anything to this debate to clarify the point about choosing to be gay, genes, environment etc. If it was a genetic mutation that occurred randomly, then why wouldn't it et bred ut? Of course it may be a genetic mutation that spontaneously repeats itself as well.

There are a ton of genetic mutations that haven't been bred out, and most likely never will. I find that most mutations ideally are suppossed to serve as a normal source of population control, the genetic version of homosexuality being the most prominent.

QUOTE
We havent' really discussed what "makes" us heterosexual, which is kind of the same issue. In Bonobo society sex is apparently used for all sorts of things, to strengthen links, to comfort, reassure, dominate and to procreate. Chimps of all ages, sexes, relations have sex together - even mothers and children. Bearing in mind they are our closest genetic relation, it is interesting that we do share this range of sexual behaviour, but obviously have given it different cultural labels.


Well, there are a lot of animals that share the same type of use for sex, though the bonobo is the most extreme example I've ever come across. What's also different is that the bonobos originally split from a big group of pre-chimp chimpanzees and that they evolved so differently (because of food shortage and other factors, chimpanzees have evolved to become very violent and male-dominated, while the bonobos became more sexually oriented and female-dominated), but that's for another thread. <.<

QUOTE
Most societies seem to have some form of taboo against incest, although I'm not convinced that that perception doesn't come from biased anthropologists.


Well, unless all the anthropologists and even to some degree biologists are all conspiring with one another, I'd have to say that that taboo is pretty much intact tongue.gif However, there are some major differences between beyond nuclear family who one can have relations with. (For instance, being involved with cross cousins is acceptable, but parallel cousins is not.)
Phyllis
QUOTE (gingerpig @ Apr 29 2006, 06:01 PM) *
If it was a genetic mutation that occurred randomly, then why wouldn't it et bred ut?

Because gay people never marry a member of the opposite sex and have children with him/her due to societal pressures, right? wink.gif

Well, if you are gay it doesn't mean your children will be gay. Likewise if you're straight. A lot of what psychologists are looking at now involves conditions in the womb and how that influences sexual orientation -- though that's tricky because sometimes there will be a set of identical twins where one is gay and one is straight. There's also some area of the brain that appears to be either larger or smaller (I forget which) in gay males...but it's important to not say that's causation. Not yet.

The truth is we simply do not know enough about it yet to say definitively what causes it. But it is widely agreed that it is not caused by things like "bad parenting." Gay people come from all walks of life, and from people with all sorts of different parenting styles. There are definitely some biological aspects and some environmental aspects to it, but we're not exactly certain what those are. Most of the current studies have been performed on gay men. There are comparatively few about lesbians, and even less about bisexuals. More studies need to be performed with both of those groups to gain more of an understanding of what causes homosexuality.

The bonobos are an interesting example...but there are definitely people within our society that are completely straight. Perhaps that is partially due to social conditioning telling them it's wrong. There's no real way to tell if those same people were brought up in a society that accepted homosexuality whether or not they would still not feel attracted to members of the same sex.
Saratina
QUOTE
I don't really know you, but I am sure there is so much more to you than simply your faith.


Oh, there is; but there's not a single aspect of my life that hasn't been affected by it somehow. In the same way, your faith or lack thereof probably affects your worldview and decisions even if it's only unconsciously.

QUOTE
I still really struggle with trying to understand how love could ever be a sin.


Me too, trust me.

QUOTE
But it is widely agreed that it is not caused by things like "bad parenting." Gay people come from all walks of life, and from people with all sorts of different parenting styles.


Indeed. It's always interesting to hear of gays who are told "you aren't really gay, you just think you are because you didn't have enough male influence in your life/were sexually abused as a child/were influenced by your gay peers/et cetera". >.>
Astarael
Good to see you here, gin! I can sort of understand your frustration with the debate and the way it's classified- I am a Christian, though not so well-grounded as you (I'm working on it.). It's frustrating that so many leaders of the conservative Christian movement are so loud that people begin to paint us with the same brush by association. I tend to take the view that picking out a handful of verses of iffy translated definition and saying that anyone who disagrees with them is going to hell is not the way to win converts, spread the love of Christ, or even sound basically rational. My opinions are likely to be permanently under construction about how to reconcile things.
The bit about parents is nonsense. Your parents are awesome people, though I'd likely feel a tad stifled if I had to live with them for a year (simply because of the various aprroval for books and movies.) Did you even have any peers that you knew were gay before you were twelve or so? None of the gay people I know were particularly open about it until last year (sophomore.)
pgrmdave
QUOTE
If it was a genetic mutation that occurred randomly, then why wouldn't it et bred ut?


Not if one could be a 'carrier' of the gene, and if it isn't always expressed. I don't think it can be defined as simply as "You have gene XYZ so you must be gay", but that a certain combination of genes may increase your predisposition to be homosexual. Having that combination of genes wouldn't necessarily make you homosexual, so you could still pass them on. Also, you may have some of the genes, but not all of the genes, which would mean that while your chances might be low, thus allowing you to pass on those genes, if you procreate with a person who has the other genes, you can produce a child with a high chance of being homosexual.
trunks_girl26
QUOTE (pgrmdave @ May 1 2006, 09:03 PM) *
QUOTE
If it was a genetic mutation that occurred randomly, then why wouldn't it et bred ut?


Not if one could be a 'carrier' of the gene, and if it isn't always expressed. I don't think it can be defined as simply as "You have gene XYZ so you must be gay", but that a certain combination of genes may increase your predisposition to be homosexual. Having that combination of genes wouldn't necessarily make you homosexual, so you could still pass them on. Also, you may have some of the genes, but not all of the genes, which would mean that while your chances might be low, thus allowing you to pass on those genes, if you procreate with a person who has the other genes, you can produce a child with a high chance of being homosexual.


It could also be something akin to how cancer is.* There are however many genes that control the various aspects of what leads to cancer (basically, several genes which code for proteins, and said proteins can't recive signals correctly), and these deformities in genes can be triggered through both heredity as well as environment. It may be something similar to that, only that the environmental conditions can also be sustained in the womb......*trails off into scientific mumbling*



*Note: I'm not saying homosexuality is a disease like cancer, only that the mechanism might be similar.
Witless
There's also some theories why homosexuality wouldn't be bred out.

Way back when people are a lot more nomadic and technology wasn't so great. If we had children at the fastest theoretical rate we could have had them, there's no way we could have supported ourselves.

In such a time, anyone having sexual preferences that didn't lead to the birth of more children would have been welcomed. They would have been able to aid the group, through hunting and helping with looking after the groups young. At the same time, they wouldn't be swelling the group numbers faster than the group could handle.

In a system like that.. groups and communities that had the genes to produce a certain amount of people with different sexual preferences per generation could possibly have it easier than groups that did not.

Maybe that explains where the prejudices started. The moment we learned how to farm the land we could support a boom in population. Then the desire to produce more and more kids to farm the ever increasing amounts of farm land began. This made people pressure gay people into becoming straight and having children again?

I do know that some tribes in Africa celebrate gay people, for much the reason I suggested above. That they help look after the community without swelling the population.


On a side note, I always found the buddhist standpoint on homosexuality great. The general consesus (although there are differing sects) is that as long as everything is consentual, and that it increases the happyness of the people involved then not only is it ok, but you should do it.
Some sects go as far to say, "be the best of what you are". In terms of homosexuality that means that if you think you are gay, it is harming yourself to force yourself to be straight. You should embrace the reality of what you are, to get a bit closer to feeling spiritually enlightened.

This is different from merely being indulgent mind you. Buddhism considers harm against yourself and harm against others one of the strongest evils there is. So.. no alcohol.. no smoking.. stay physically and mentally fit etc etc. But homosexuality causes no harm, so... 'Be gay, Be happy'.
Calantyr
Not just in pre-history. Homosexuals were welcomed in ancient Sparta for much the same reason. They could be relied on to add a stable and masculine environment for upbringing young Spartan warriors, while their fathers were out on campaign.

In fact it was a duty for all men to show homosexual tendancies. Even to this very day Spartans are considered the ultimate form of masculinity. All you have to do is mention Thermopylae...

That may be slightly off-topic but meh.
Cassidy
I think that I read in the Gaurdian recently that new research surgested that the more siblings a person had the more likly that they would be gay, the base rate was supposed to be 2% per sibling for the eldest child.

Also, if there is a "gay gene" would it be acceptable to christians since God made us all, including including gay, lesbian and bi, and as such gives tacit approval to peoples sexuallity....although the bible classes the eating of shellfish as an abomination along with homosexuality
Calantyr
QUOTE (Cassidy @ May 4 2006, 12:54 AM) *
Also, if there is a "gay gene" would it be acceptable to christians since God made us all, including including gay, lesbian and bi, and as such gives tacit approval to peoples sexuallity....although the bible classes the eating of shellfish as an abomination along with homosexuality


Technically God made everything, even evil and sin. However he seems to have no qualms about condemning people who perform such acts.

Seems you can get smited for anything. Best to just live in a house with a lightning conductor.
monkey_called_narth
The ideals of "right" and "wrong" are social ideas. You think its wronge to be gay because while you were growing up, ou were taught that it is wrong to be gay.

It's like disscussing the diffrences of Moral: the following of social ideals, Immoral: knowing the social ideals and going agaisnt them, and Amoral: being unawear of social ideals and morality.

Within this itself you have to remimber that everything in life is subjective, so while chistians claim that homosexuality is immoral based on there morality. You have many homosexuals view homophobia as immoral. In the Roman you had groups of men that veiwed having sex with women as an immoral act, and today you have some feminists that veiw having sex with men as immoral.

For myself, I would have to say that blameing homosexuality on a gene seems like an easy way out. The fact of the matter is, that everyone has likes and dislikes concering every aspect of life. Being gay is just as natural as being straight, and I dont see the point of trying to reduce it to lower levels by claiming "Its not his fault, he just inherited the gay gene".
Phyllis
QUOTE (monkey_called_narth @ May 5 2006, 02:56 PM) *
For myself, I would have to say that blameing homosexuality on a gene seems like an easy way out. The fact of the matter is, that everyone has likes and dislikes concering every aspect of life. Being gay is just as natural as being straight, and I dont see the point of trying to reduce it to lower levels by claiming "Its not his fault, he just inherited the gay gene".

That is a ridiculous oversimplification of what psychologists are doing. Did you not pay attention when I said most agree that it's a combination of genetic and environmental factors?

Also,

QUOTE
and today you have some feminists that veiw having sex with men as immoral.


I disagree. I would argue those women are not feminists. Feminists advocate equality for the sexes...not reducing men to an inferior status. I believe the term you're looking for is misandrists.
gothictheysay
QUOTE
Amoral: being unawear of social ideals and morality.


I thought amoral was simply the lack of having morals. As I was told recently as an example, immoral is doing something heinous, and amoral is just "walking down the street".
trunks_girl26
I found an article that actually supports Dave's theory of how the gene would probably be passed down. It's interesting stuff happy.gif

Clicky!

Edit: and one about pheremones, though it's disappointing that there wasn't a homosexual female in the study.

Clicky number 2!

*is far too interested in this subject for her own good*

Edit #2: And an article on the brain structure of heterosexual and homosexual men.

Clicky number 3!
monkey_called_narth
QUOTE (candice @ May 5 2006, 05:21 PM) *
QUOTE (monkey_called_narth @ May 5 2006, 02:56 PM) *

For myself, I would have to say that blameing homosexuality on a gene seems like an easy way out. The fact of the matter is, that everyone has likes and dislikes concering every aspect of life. Being gay is just as natural as being straight, and I dont see the point of trying to reduce it to lower levels by claiming "Its not his fault, he just inherited the gay gene".

That is a ridiculous oversimplification of what psychologists are doing. Did you not pay attention when I said most agree that it's a combination of genetic and environmental factors?

Also,

QUOTE
and today you have some feminists that veiw having sex with men as immoral.


I disagree. I would argue those women are not feminists. Feminists advocate equality for the sexes...not reducing men to an inferior status. I believe the term you're looking for is misandrists.




I know its an over simplification. The point is that there are some people that use it as such. My main question was, why does it matter what makes people gay?

A few weeks ago my freind came over to my house after church and told me about the fact that her youth groupe was talking about homosexuality. From what i remimber she said that they disscussed it like it was an std rather then a persons life. she claimed that the minister told her that it was a bad idea to hang around with homosexuals because it was a genetic dissorder, and that they were kinnda like retarded people because of it. I shall say that last part again, he told her that homosexuals were mentally retarded and thats why they like having sex with same sex partners. I feel that that is freaking rediculios.

I think the whole idea of having to know why somone is gay is rediculous. Why should it matter if its genetic? Why should it matter if its enviromental? Do you really think that finding the correct answer is going to change the rights they receive? Shouldn't people be focusing more on human rights then that which divides us? Why does the fact that somone is homosexual matter at all?

I'm not trying to start a debate about this. I'm jsut trying to voice my opinoin that it doesnt matter what makes a person homosexual. Cause I really dont think that it does.


You are correct about the feminist thing. I'm used to refering to them as "femi-nazis" and couldnt find the right word. I wasn't entirly sure that "femi-nazi" was a correct term to use, so I refered to them as feminists. my appologies. I do understand the diffrence, and I am personally a marxist feminist. Sorry again.
Phyllis
QUOTE (monkey_called_narth @ May 6 2006, 09:42 AM) *
I know its an over simplification. The point is that there are some people that use it as such. My main question was, why does it matter what makes people gay?

Well beyond it mattering purely from a psychological perspective (crazy psychologists want to know what makes people tick, you know), it's also a bit useful against religious fundamentalists.

Some fundamentalists believe that because they think it is a choice, they can "re-educate" people. They send their gay and bi children to therapy to try and make them straight. If psychologists can prove that it's not indeed a choice -- that people are attracted to whoever they're attracted to because of genetic and environmental factors -- well that helps a lot. Whether they'll all believe them is another story, unfortunately, but if it stops just a few kids from having to go through re-orientation therapy then I cannot see the harm in it.

What could be the harm in educating people? That includes dispelling myths, such as homosexuality is a mental disorder (it has not been recognized as such by the APA since the 1970's), or that you can somehow "catch" gayness from another person.

Shrouding homosexuality (and bisexuality, for that matter, though few studies are done on that) in mystery and refusing to explore it from a scientific perspective only furthers such myths. I agree that it shouldn't matter if someone is gay. It doesn't matter to me at all what someone's sexual orientation is; it is none of my business who they share their bed with. But the truth is that in our society...it does matter to a lot of people. People who have had their heads filled with a lot of misinformation. And we can fight that with science, or we can sit idly by while people spread ignorance and hatred. I know which one makes sense to me.
trunks_girl26
Here's something I found that might help Saratina, and something I found really interesting.

(It's from another forum I go to, but I've got links to go along with it)

QUOTE
Analysis of Leviticus 18:22

In transliterated Hebrew, the verse of Lev 18:22 is written: "V’et zachar lo tishkav mishk’vey eeshah toeyvah hee."

English translations of this verse vary. Some are:

ESV: (English Standard Version): "You shall not lie with a man as with a woman; it is abomination."
KJV: (King James Version): "Thou shalt not lie with mankind as with womankind: it is abomination".
LB: (Living Bible): "Homosexuality is absolutely forbidden, for it is an enormous sin"
NIV: (New International Version) "Do not lie with a man as one lies with a woman; that is detestable."
NLT: (New Living Translation): "Do not practice homosexuality; it is a detestable sin.
RSV: (Revised Standard Version): "You shall not lie with a male as with a woman; it is an abomination .

The LB and NLT translations use the term "homosexuality" That is unusually deceptive for three reasons:

The passage in the ancient Hebrew is clearly talking about male-male sex acts. By using the word "homosexuality," the English translation appears to condemn lesbian activity as well. The latter behavior is definitely not mentioned in the original Hebrew text of this passage. In fact, lesbian behavior is not mentioned anywhere in the Hebrew Scriptures.

The term "homosexuality" has two distinct meanings in English. Sometimes it refers to sexual behavior (what some people do). Sometimes it relates to sexual orientation (what some people are). One reader might conclude from an English translation that homosexual orientation is criticized in the Bible; others might assume that homosexual behavior is criticized.

The word "homosexual" was first used in the very late in 19th century CE. There was no Hebrew word that meant "homosexual." Thus, whenever the word is seen in an English translation of the Bible, one should be wary that the translators might be inserting their own prejudices into the text.

Various interpretations of Leviticus 18:22:

Conservative Christian Interpretation: This verse condemns homosexual behavior of all types including consensual sex between two adults and monogamous sexual activity within a committed relationship. Its meaning is clear and unambiguous. This verse is often quoted in Evangelical churches and on religious radio and TV programs.

Liberal Christian Interpretations: Some English translations of this passage condemn both gay and lesbian sexual relationships. This is a mistranslation. It refers only to male-male sexual behavior.

This passage does not refer to gay sex generally, but only to a specific form of homosexual prostitution in Pagan temples. Much of Leviticus deals with the Holiness Code which outlined ways in which the ancient Hebrews were to be set apart to God. Some fertility worship practices found in nearly Pagan cultures were specifically prohibited; ritual same-sex behavior in Pagan temples was one such practice.
The status of women in ancient Hebrew culture was very much lower than that of a man and barely above that of children and slaves. When a man engaged in sexual intercourse with a woman, he always took a dominant position; the woman would take a submissive posture. When two men engage in sexual intercourse, one of the men, in effect, takes the position of a woman. When a man takes on the low status of a woman, the act makes both ritually impure.

Many would regard "abomination," "enormous sin", etc. as particularly poor translations of the original Hebrew word which really means "ritually unclean" within an ancient Israelite era. The Greek Septuagint translation of the Hebrew Scriptures (circa 3rd century BCE) translated "to'ebah" into Greek as "bdelygma," which meant ritual impurity. If the writer(s) of Leviticus wished to refer to a moral violation, a sin, he would have used the Hebrew word zimah.

The seriousness of this idolatry in Hebrew eyes was compounded by the belief that 'to lie with a man as with a woman' violated the dignity of the male sex. Women were [considered] property but men were the direct image of God. To treat a man the way a woman was treated was to reduce him to property and, thereby, to violate the image of God. The issue was idolatrous activity which failed to acknowledge God's creation.

This verse says nothing about consensual same-sex activity today.


It brought up a lot of new information for me.

And here are some other links, as well.

Interview with Dr Reverend Cheri DiNovo
What the Bible says about homosexuality
Soulforce: What the Bible says
Disproving the 'smashing verses'
Homosexuality and the Bible by Rev Goss
The sins of Sodom- an Analysis

and here's another link from the forum which gives another very well thought out view on homosexuality and Christianity:

Ananel's Analysis


*and as a sidenote*
FOX takes on Phelps' daughter
Even FOX has a heart, apparently.
Saratina
The Phelps family is an oozing zit on the face of this nation.


Also, thanks for the info, trunks_girl26. I'd actually never heard most of that before.
{Gothic Angel}
QUOTE (Saratina @ Apr 29 2006, 10:38 PM) *
I didn't participate in the Day of Silence because only a few people know that I'm bi, and I'd rather keep it that way. They say you can't be a Christian unless you're straight, but my entire identity is built around my faith.


Can you explain something to me? I genuinely don't understand why, in a religion where (I think) you believe God made you that way, any way you are without conscious choice is a sin or a problem. If He made you bi, attracted to both men and women, then why is it right for anyone else to judge you? Especially since that's supposed to be a priviledge (yes, I know I spelled that wrong) reserved for God? Particularly givien how important your faith obviously is to you, I find that unacceptable.

QUOTE (Saratina @ Apr 29 2006, 10:38 PM) *
When talking to Christians who believe homosexuality is a sin, I like to compare it to alcoholism; wanting to drink and actually drinking are two completely different things. Being attracted to your own sex and being involved with your own sex are different things.


I like that analogy smile.gif But I still argue that alcoholism, which destroys you physically and mentally, and physical or mental attraction to another member of your own sex, which does you no damage beyond perhaps what a so-called "normal" relationship would do to you, are different things, although I suppose it could be argued that it damages you spiritually? I'm not that great at religious things >.>

QUOTE (Saratina @ Apr 29 2006, 10:38 PM) *
Right now all I can say, I guess, is that it's an interesting mix of guilt and frustration. And as for the Day of Truth, I'm sure everyone knows how Christian leaders feel about the issue, so why does there need to be another day devoted to the topic?


Sorry, but it makes me angry when people are made to feel guilty for the things they can't control about who they are. You should never, ever have to feel that way, particularly given you "can't help how you're made" and "God has a plan for all of us".
EvilSpork
http://www.subversions.com/french/pages/science/animals.html

And Candice, I love your signature.

I just don't get how people can say that homosexuality is wrong or a mental illness, but of course I was raised to be a very open person.
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