left biblioblography: OF MARRIAGE AND MEN: THE BIRDS AND THE BEES

Friday, January 20, 2006

OF MARRIAGE AND MEN: THE BIRDS AND THE BEES



While I am not gay, I am pro-gay marriage. I for one get sick of the ululating nonsense of the Religious/Conservative Right (the line is exceedingly blurry, to the point where one is easily confused with the other, hence the slash).

I shall address these points piecemeal, and show how ridiculous they are for the most part. Let’s dispense with the “Eeeewwww!!” mentality for the nonce, shall we?

1. It’s ‘unnatural’.
If we actually go and take a good, solid look at nature, we find no such thing. Homosexual behavior is relatively common among a wide variety of animals, birds and mammals being the prime candidates. I have even seen one theory about this being the result of overpopulation.
I say that’s poppycock. The Bonobos chimps, for instance, exhibit this behavior regularly, using sex to arbitrate quarrels, with a fair degree of gay/lesbian behavior. Nor does that explain the “Wendell and Cass, two penguins at the New York Aquarium in Coney Island, Brooklyn, live in a soap opera world of seduction and intrigue” – article here - where 2 gay penguins are pretty close.
From the article:

“One particular book is helpful in this case. Bruce Bagemihl's "Biological Exuberance," published in 1999, documents homosexual behavior in more than 450 animal species. The list includes grizzly bears, gorillas, flamingos, owls and even several species of salmon.

"The world is, indeed, teeming with homosexual, bisexual and transgendered creatures of every stripe and feather," Bagemihl writes in the first page of his book. "From the Southeastern Blueberry Bee of the United States to more than 130 different bird species worldwide, the 'birds and the bees,' literally, are queer."

Last I checked, grizzlies are on the verge of extinction.
There goes that theory.

2. One man/one woman paradigm’.

Utter crapola. Again, we look to nature. Under the heading of ‘Intersexual’ at answers.com, we see the following:


“Biology. Having both male and female characteristics, including in varying degrees reproductive organs, secondary sexual characteristics, and sexual behavior, as a result of an abnormality of the sex chromosomes or a hormonal imbalance during embryogenesis.”


And as to ‘Intersexuality’:

http://www.answers.com/topic/intersexuality?gwp=19

“An intersexual or intersex person (or animal of any unisexual species) is one who is born with genitalia and/or secondary sexual characteristics determined as neither exclusively male nor female, or which combine features of the male and female sexes. (The terms hermaphrodite and pseudohermaphrodite, which have been used in the past, are now considered pejorative and inaccurate and are no longer used to refer to an intersexual person.) Sometimes the phrase "ambiguous genitalia" is used.
Overview
According to the highest estimates (Fausto-Sterling et. al., 2000) perhaps 1 percent of live births exhibit some degree of sexual ambiguity [1], and that between 0.1% and 0.2% of live births are ambiguous enough to become the subject of specialist medical attention, including surgery to disguise their sexual ambiguity. Other sources (Leonard Sax, 2002) estimate the incidence of true intersexual conditions as far lower, at approximately 0.018%.”
And again, at http://www.answers.com/hermaphrodite:
“hermaphrodite, animal or plant that normally possesses both male and female reproductive systems, producing both eggs and sperm. Many plants, including most flowering plants (angiosperms), are hermaphroditic, or monoecious; in these, male and female reproductive structures are present in the same plant, often in the same flower, and many hermaphrodite flowers are self-pollinated. Many lower animals, especially immobile species, are hermaphroditic; in some, such as earthworms, two animals copulate and fertilize each other. Some parasitic species, e.g., the tapeworm, are self-fertile as well as hermaphroditic, insuring reproduction where the parasite may be the only member of its species in the host. Many hermaphrodites are protandrous or protogynous, i.e., gametes of the two sexes are produced in the same organism, sometimes in the same gonad, but at different times; in such organisms (e.g., the oyster and the sage plant) self-fertilization is impossible.”

Upon reading these items (due to a discussion at NGB) it becomes blaringly apparent that even nature isn’t locked into a juxtaposition of male-to-female. Good ole mix-n’-match, it is.

Certainly, the reader can point to the statistics, and say, “This is such a small percentile. What does this have to do with the subject at hand?”

Let us for a moment assume that an individual is born intersexual (hermaphrodite is considered a pejorative term, BTW). The parents don’t elect for the surgery, and allow the child to grow up as they were born, w/2 sets of genitalia (minor factoid here: this surgery actually accounts for some men/women to opt for sexual reassignment surgery).

Who then, can they marry, according to the 1-man/1 woman paradigm? Anyone? This, then, poses an ethical quandary. Flip a coin? Eject them as anathema from society? Apparently, the rules aren’t ‘written in stone.’

3. The ‘Gateway behavior’ theory:

“If we let gays marry, then we’ll have to allow polygamists/bestiality/pederasts [insert causally unrelated sexual behavior here] to do whatever they want!”

This is the traditional debate fallacy of the ‘slippery slope’, from here: http://www.answers.com/slippery%20slope
“Arguers also often link the slippery slope fallacy to the straw man fallacy in order to attack the initial position:
  1. A has occurred (or will or might occur); therefore

  2. B will inevitably happen. (Slippery slope)

  3. B is wrong; therefore

  4. A is wrong. (Straw man)
This form of argument often provides evaluative judgments on social change: once an exception is made to some rule, nothing will hold back further, more egregious exceptions to that rule.
Note that these arguments may indeed have validity, but they require some independent justification of the connection between their terms: otherwise the argument (as a logical tool) remains fallacious.
The "slippery slope" approach may also relate to the conjunction fallacy: with a long string of steps leading to an undesirable conclusion, the chance of all the steps actually occurring is actually less than the chance of any one individual step occurring alone.”

However, if we actually look at HISTORY, it is little known fact that same-sex marriage has been with us since time immemorial.

http://www.answers.com/gay%20marriage - History of same-sex unions – we find a preponderance of gay marriage throughout the known world, from Europe to Asia, to some societies in North America. When was it frowned upon, discouraged, considered anathema? Christian Europe, no less. What a surprise.

I have actually seen one idiot proclaim that the NAMBLA people are jumping on the gay-marriage bandwagon (guilt by association), thereby promoting the ‘slippery slope’ argument he was making. Of course they did. Any societal pariah’s going to do that. Hell, we see that in NON-sexual cultural disputes. Said idiot then proceeded to freely substitute the subject of the debate with the non sequitur.

Debating with some theists is just so…infuriating, because of the distinct lack of logic, the sheer frivolity of their verbal gymnastics, the complete and utter bankruptcy of (some of) their ideologies.

4. “It threatens the moral fiber/backbone of our society! It will unravel the fabric of our wondrous works!”

Drivel. Pure, unadulterated, unmitigated. I live in America: I love my country. But we are so FAR from being morally upright in so many ways, it crosses my eyes. The USA is jam-packed with so many social Darwinists on so many levels, I don’t even know where to begin. Yes, I am an atheist. Yes, there are moral imperatives. I borrow this concept from Buddhism (yeah, I get to use it despite my affiliation: someone try stopping me): Ahimsa. Do no harm. That, my friends, is the pinnacle of evolution IMHO. That we rise above the feral, and become civilized. I don’t even want to get started on the inherent racism that helped build this country, the supposedly ‘Xtian’ principles that are so conveniently swept under the rug, or danced about in some gymnastic manner. Not to mention our horrendous track record in re: foreign policy (loosely translated: let’s get these fellers to do it OUR way!).



5. “Gay marriage isn’t a civil right!”

Horse manure. From answers.com – Civil rights – “The rights belonging to an individual by virtue of citizenship, especially the fundamental freedoms and privileges guaranteed by the 13th and 14th Amendments to the U.S. Constitution and by subsequent acts of Congress, including civil liberties, due process, equal protection of the laws, and
freedom from discrimination.”

Not granting folks the right to marry due to the “Eeeewww!” factor is indeed discrimination, pure and simple. These arguments could be used (and probably have) to argue against women’s rights, black voters, et al.

One of the more casuistic argument against it, is one that is pure dreck: “Many black people don’t feel this way,” or “African Americans don’t see gay marriage as a civil right.” Well, they did indeed institute the term as well as the change of culture. But that’s hardly a litmus test. The phrase is most certainly NOT locked in stasis.

These people (and yes, they ARE people) have been shoved into closets, ghettoes, forced to behave in a manner contrary to their nature, beaten and spat upon, in some instances even killed. Why? Because the ‘majority’ disagrees with it. As the ‘majority’ disagreed with segregation, inter-racial marriage, female voting, etc.

Couple of quotes for the reader:

“An equal application of law to every condition of man is fundamental.” -- Thomas Jefferson, to George Hay, 1807. ME 11:341

“There is no maxim in my opinion which is more liable to be misapplied, and which therefore needs elucidation than the current one that the interest of the majority is the political standard of right and wrong.... In fact it is only reestablishing under another name and a more specious form, force as the measure of right....” - James Madison, letter to James Monroe, October 5, 1786

And one more:

“The ordaining of laws in favor of one part of the nation, to the prejudice and oppression of another, is certainly the most erroneous and mistaken policy. An equal dispensation of protection, rights, privileges, and advantages, is what every part is entitled to, and ought to enjoy. “
Benjamin Franklin, Emblematical Representations, Circa 1774


6. ‘God will smite us down!’

Oh, like he did all of those other cultures? Detractors will be quick to bring up Sodom and Gomorrah, but another little known factoid: according to the book of fables, it was their lack of hospitality that brought the wrath of YHVH, not their sexual proclivities.
7. ‘God said not to!’
So here we get to the meat of the matter. This is really what it’s all about.

A bunch of priests (no, I doubt very much that Moses wrote the Pentateuch, sorry) made decisions for a small nomadic tribe, and that applies unilaterally across the world? Please.

What if the Council of Nicene had voted NOT to include Leviticus?

I’d say this discussion wouldn’t be necessary.

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12 comments:

The Noodly Apendage said...

Hehe. I bet Time will love this one:-)

Krystalline Apostate said...

TNA, hey, hey, hey!
Tim-may just might. I didn't really write it for him (everyone seems to think so).Thnx for dropping by.
Just had to get it off my chest, is all.

Mein Gott, ein Nudelmonster! said...

"...have actually seen one idiot proclaim that the NAMBLA people are jumping on the gay-marriage bandwagon (guilt by association), thereby promoting..."


Was Tim the idiot?

I've decided to change my name. (I'm TNA.)

Krystalline Apostate said...

TNA:
Ja, er ist derjenige, der das sagte.

HairlessMonkeyDK said...

Timmayh?
Aber er ist ein poopypants!

Ranting Ape said...

great post as usaul ra i to am pro gay marriage.

I say if you love some one why not get married.

udonman

Krystalline Apostate said...

thnx guys, for coming by. It does me wee heart good to see a bit of interest, it do.

Anonymous said...

It doesn't look like you're going to get anyone to disagree with you here, reluctant.
Maybe there's not enough attention in it.
Love is love, take it as it comes. As long as we're talking CONSENTING ADULTS, Timmie!

I'm going to try the "other" category for posting this time and see what happens.
If it doesn't work, I'm anonymous Karen. :)

Krystalline Apostate said...

karen:
It doesn't look like you're going to get anyone to disagree with you here, reluctant.
Well, I guess when I'm right, I'm right. Time to cue the triumphant music..the prodigal son triumpheth!
Hehehe.

Sherril said...

Hi. I found your blog via Dr. Marcos. I just have a question. Have y ou seen the movie, TransAmerica and if so what did you think of it?
Sherril

Krystalline Apostate said...

Hi Sherril:
No, I haven't seen it yet. I've seen a preview, & it looks interesting. I usually wait till films come out on video (this helps cut down on the irritation of those rude folk who insist on gabbling during a film, as if they're watching it in their own living rooms).
Is it out on video?

HairlessMonkeyDK said...

I've heard next to nothing of this film, but I know it stars Fellicity Huffman, which is reason enough for me to be interested.
She's a very underrated actress.