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Homosexuality and Same-Sex Marriage

Editorial /Opinion /Analysis

Perspective Regarding Homosexuality

Content Warning: This article discusses aspects of human sexuality.

Last Friday June 26, 2015 a divided Supreme Court ruled that same-sex couples now can marry nationwide. This ruling establishes a new civil right. 

The decision was a 5-4 ruling.  Justice Anthony Kennedy wrote for the majority with the four liberal justices. The four conservative justices also wrote their own dissent. 

"No union is more profound than marriage, for it embodies the highest ideals of love, fidelity, devotion, sacrifice and family," said Kennedy. "In forming a marital union, two people become something greater than they once were."  

"Their hope," Kennedy also wrote, "is not to be condemned to live in loneliness, excluded from one of civilization's oldest institutions. They ask for equal dignity in the eyes of the law. The Constitution grants them that right." 

This decision gives gay rights and marriage equality advocates a historic victory. Approximately two thirds of Americans now favor same sex marriage. Even with that majority and the public’s attitude continuing to shift toward favoring marriage equality, not everyone agreed with the ruling.

There has been talk from several high profile opponents of the ruling, favoring what they refer to as traditional marriage, of a constitutional amendment to put the matter back into the hands of the states. What impact this type of grandiloquence may have regarding the 2016 election cycle is the source of much speculation. 

Across the country the subject of same-sex marriage has become one of the most politically charged quandaries of the times with strong underlying themes of religion, sexuality, and social norms.

It should be a given that regardless of what one’s opinion of homosexuality may be, we should all be very proactive in our feelings against discrimination, bullying, or any mistreatment of anyone based on the fact that they might be different from other people in some way.  No one’s value as a human being should ever be infringed upon.

Supporters of same-sex marriage basically hold the position that everyone should be able to live the life style that suits them and maintain the ability to share in the same rights as everyone else.  I am of the live and let live mold and I would agree with this concept.

Opponents of same-sex marriage argue that the institution of marriage was set up for the union of a man and a woman. Religious freedom gets drawn into their talking points because they make the case of having their right to present morality to their children without having governmental institutions telling them that they are wrong. That is a legitimate point but on the other hand there are many things that are legal that may not be the best moral decisions for everyone. In my opinion opponents of same-sex marriage are free to live the moral life that they choose but any type of morality is a hard thing to legislate. That should be the choice of individuals and their respective religions.

Fundamentalists of various faiths often cite homosexuality as a particular affront to God. Although many religious people do cite certain passages in the Bible as a just cause for classifying homosexuality as immoral, not all of them tout damnation for homosexuals and in fact some of them actually try to be tolerant.

Some of the more religiously accepting present the notion that homosexuals are basically good people, it just seems as though something has gone astray. Maybe some spring just popped in their brain? There are some very attractive women who feel that some men are gay simply because these poor deprived men have never had the pleasure of being with a woman like them. I wouldn’t mind pretending to be gay in some of these situations in the hopes of receiving a trial run of the conversion process from these voluptuous women. I am sure that the treatment would be very convincing but then again I am straight from the start. The bottom line in this humorous anecdote is that some people regard homosexuality as a condition that should met with sympathy and the people afflicted with homosexuality just need a little help and understanding.

As far as I am aware of specific references to homosexual activity in the Bible are relatively scarce. The passages from Leviticus are among the ones most often sited which seem to make the point that for a man to lie down with mankind as he does with a woman is an abomination. There are various other passages in the New and Old Testaments that are also referenced and interpreted as the Bible forbidding homosexuality.

Although during the first part of the last century American society was aware of homosexuality and a few gay rights organizations did exist, it wasn’t until after WWII that the subject came became more of a cultural spoken topic. In 1948 Alfred Kinsey published “Sexual Behavior in the Human Male.” Among Kinsey's findings was that homosexuality was much more common than first believed and this fact shocked the American public. In step with the rest of the 1960’s sexual revolution, the 1969 Stonewall riots, which occurred when patrons of a gay bar in New York’s Greenwich Village fought back during a police raid, transformed the perspective of the gay rights movement from being limited to a small number of activists into a larger cause for equal rights and acceptance. It wasn't until 1982 that Wisconsin became the first state to outlaw discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation.

In the early 1970s the American Psychiatric Association removed homosexuality from its official list of mental disorders. Although there are still those who consider homosexuality a disorder, the current research and clinical analysis tends to favor the position that same-sex sexual orientations are normal and positive variations of human sexuality.

I am certainly not going to try to debate religious doctrines. I want everyone to be aware that I am not against religious beliefs and I thoroughly respect all established religions and anyone’s personal beliefs. I have great respect for religious leaders who have truly dedicated their work to the struggle against poverty and the problems associated with it. Beyond that my attitude toward life and my motivation as a human being is driven by the needs and concerns of my fellow inhabitants of this lonely rock called Earth, not by the promised reward or punishment after death.

Regarding any other type of analysis of homosexuality in modern society, I am inclined to agree with contemporary psychiatric opinion stating that homosexuality is a variation of human sexuality.

I am going to do my best to elaborate on this matter in my own way.

We have to start at the beginning, the very beginning. Life began on Earth relatively early in its history. However, for most of the time that life has existed on Earth it has been microscopic. During the early stages of the microscopic life on Earth the small life forms didn’t do much other than divide, making what amounted to little duplicates of itself. A process began to develop over time by which the life forms that had the best traits for survival could combine with other successful life structures and pass along those traits to the next generation. What was destined to become sexuality helped kick start the development of more complex organisms and the eventual development of many life forms and species. This was one sexual revolution you did not want to miss.

What we refer to as intelligent life is a recent development in the context of the history of the roughly 4.5 billion year old Earth. The dinosaurs were already the benefactors of very advanced evolutionary processes and even they didn’t appear as the pop culture forms we are familiar with until the Jurassic and Cretaceous periods that are roughly within 206 million years ago. Human beings, depending on how you define them, didn’t appear until almost yesterday in terms of the history of life on Earth. Evidence of humans living on the coast of Africa, doing human things such as harvesting food from the sea and using tools, goes back roughly two hundred thousand some odd years ago. Yes, we are all Africans so why don’t we all just get along? I just wanted to throw that in there.

Dogs, squirrels, and even rats know how to have sex. The little dog that likes to rub against your leg doesn’t know that he is masturbating; he just knows that it feels good. If sex didn’t feel any different than urinating, sex really would just be considered another body function. Although it should be noted that if sex didn’t feel as good as it does the act probably wouldn’t get done; that is why it follows that the process of sex developed as a pleasurable one and is among the strongest instinctive drives in the animal kingdom. Oddly enough if urination felt as good as an orgasm then I would bet urinating when it wasn’t necessary would be a sin. I just keep throwing things in there.

Probably not your typical cavewoman.As we developed through the millennia our intellectual development also took some interesting paths. We began to question our own existence. What were all these lights that pass overhead? We also began to interact with each other in different ways. We exchanged ideas and began to share basic feelings such as fear, sorrow, and joy. I would guess that cavemen did not understand the concept of romance but on the other hand some of the oldest known erotic depictions are Paleolithic cave paintings and carvings. So, somewhere along the line somebody figured out that sex was not only necessary for procreation but that it also was a great deal of fun and decided to aim this new found intellectual power at getting creative with sex.

As more time passed our intellectualism also produced a more complex and mysterious emotion, love. Love is so powerful, so universal, and so unexplainable. Its mystery is probed in poetry, literature, and even by research into the confines of the brain. Is love felt in the brain or in some life awareness that transcends the physical body?

“Gravitation is not responsible for people falling in love.” – Albert Einstein 

We began to care for each other strongly and in different ways. We love our parents, children, and families. We also have another kind of love for our sexual partners. The sexual acts themselves have just been incorporated as a special means of sharing passion with our lovers.

Humans enhance the act of sex with sex toys, lotions, outfits, and role-playing. Lingerie is not essential to the act of sex, but tantalizes the imagination. I would challenge any heterosexual person who is critical of homosexual activity on the basis of it not being natural to forgo any sexual bustle including intercourse unless it is specifically for the purpose of insemination. Other sexual activities off limits would be oral sex, anal sex, masturbation, or any type of sex involving non-genital body parts such as the breasts or the hands. These types of sexual acts, whether preformed heterosexually or homosexually, will never result in the passage of DNA. How many heterosexuals would forgo all of these sexual activities and limit themselves strictly to the reproductive process? To say that they are in the minority is an understatement and quite frankly those who do place such severe restrictions on lovemaking that they are missing out on one of the true pleasures of life. The best things in life are free.

It should be pointed out that we should not let our desire for sex, heterosexual or homosexual, to become an obsession or allow us to become reckless. Our intelligence as human beings should underscore personal responsibility regarding all of our actions. Safety while engaging in sexual activity not only includes precautions against the transmission of disease but the emotional well being of both of the sexual partners. Both individuals should have an understanding of the parameters of the relationship and should be representing their feelings honestly.

It is true that the urge to mate with the opposite sex and extend the lineage of our DNA is among the most primal. Most of us find the allure of love within the construct of human sexuality that encourages procreation. However, what makes sex special is how we, as human beings, incorporate sex into our passion for life. The life spirit that dwells within us is what defines us as human beings. The love of life, of spirit, and of each other makes our existence as human beings wonderful and mysterious. It can be as basic as handing someone a flower and having a smile bloom on their face.

Finding someone who will love you beyond his or her own needs is difficult. Truly special people are rare. We should cherish that kind of love in our own lives as life itself can be fleeting. Never miss a chance to tell someone that you love them.

We should also respect the love that others may find for someone else regardless of what the gender of the other person may be. Life is hard and short, be happy for anyone who finds someone who will share life's journey with him or her.

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Updated 6/30/2015