Homosexuality is a normal sexual orientation among numerous species in the animal kingdom, including in primates with homo sapiens or human beings as one of them. In proportion to the natural and normal, and healthy, sexual orientation of males of the species to other males or females to other females as minority sexual orientations or innate and organically-developed psychophysiological arousals to the same sex, human societies developed the capacity for hatred, prejudice, bigotry, and straight-forward bias against this minority sexual orientation, whether for males or females in the species.
Some of which garner divine mandate. Leviticus 18:22 speaks to a man not sleeping with another man as a woman because it amounts to an abomination in the Hebrew scriptures or the Torah. Reform Judaism and Reconstructionist Judaism take accepting terms on homosexuality, as they, more or less, provide a wider liberalism for people in the community with minority sexual orientations. Within the large number of Christian sects, there can be outright condemnation or disapproval on a number of levels. At the same time, we can see the acceptance of homosexuality. It depends on the grouping.
Mormons consider it morally wrong. The Catholics see it as a violation of the marital sacrament, where this calls upon homosexuals under the doctrine of Catholicism to live a chaste life – to remain virgins or to cease homosexual sexual activity henceforth. All major sects’ teachings of Islam condemn homosexuality as unnatural. Bahá’í limits sexual relations between a man and a woman in marriage, but, more liberally, does not impose its moral standards on those outside of the faith. Buddhism, Hinduism, Jainism, and Sikhism have more mixed views on homosexuality as a sexual orientation and homosexual acts, i.e., a range of liberal to conservative orientations on the matter. Zoroastrianism points to the male homosexual act as something demonic. For Confucianism or Taoism, there’s little or no single position on it. In short, this is the wisdom of the ages. As the brilliant Professor Francesca Stavrakopoulou has noted, many of the contexts, for example, of the Bible represent the tales and stories of men, written by males, who have daddy issues. As a consequence, others suffer.
This ‘wisdom’ has led, by the nature of exclusion and condemnation of individual members of a social species, to untold suffering, humiliation, abuse, ostracism, and relegation to secondary status in societies. More recent incarnations of viewpoints include Satanism, Humanism, Unitarian Universalism, Ethical Culture, and Wicca, with more acceptance of members of the LGBTI communities. We can ignore the cult-bigotry of the Unification Church. The Yogyakarta Principles from November 2006 with supplements from 2017 have been an important advancement for the development of rights and acceptance for LGBTI members of the global community. The United Nations has an LGBTI Core Group now. All for the betterment of the lives of the sexual and gender minorities around the world.
A few days ago was the International Day Against Homophobia, Transphobia and Biphobia. A day garnering international attention, providing insight to the rights and lives of others, and giving a spotlight of individual sub-populations in the world known to endure disproportionate violence against them. If you were homosexual, or if I was a lesbian, what would you, or I, like to see in the international and local scene? One might be awareness. Another might be concrete action in order to reduce the amount of violence against you (or others like you), or me. When we think of abuse, it can mean many things, but it can mean the outcomes of the violence too. In that, those who experience violence or trauma in some manner. They tend to suffer from mental illness more than the baseline.
LGBTI individuals face discrimination and abuse. Mental illness follows from this. The International Day Against Homophobia, Transphobia and Biphobia commemorates this population as well as providing an awareness platform. 70 countries in the world criminalize same-sex relationships with 6 incorporating the death penalty into it. Brunei enacted an Islamic law making the stoning of LGBTI citizens to death legal. Kenya upheld another law criminalizing same-sex relations while Gabon passed one and Indonesia and Uganda are considering the identical matters now. In Hungary under Orban, there are explicit attempts to end the legal recognition of transgender people.
On the pseudoscience flames being fanned, we have the therapy entitled “Conversion Therapy” or a theological or pseudoscientific doctrine to change an individual LGBTI member’s sexual orientation or gender identity, as far as I know from LGBTI to straight or heterosexual. It has failed in most cases and, therefore, shows something closer to the null effect, which makes the therapy non-scientific. Conversion Therapy is practiced in China, Colombia, and the United States, as the major areas. Rights, as grounded in universalistic ethics, deserve universal application. Taiwan became a bright spot as a place legalizing same-sex marriage while Northern Ireland followed suit to do the same.
As with most contexts for rights in times of crisis, authoritarian regimes, self-appointed fundamentalist religious hierarchs, and hate-based groups utilize the chaos to ram through various forms of bigotry and policy intended to not raise people, build them up in a healthy manner, but, rather, to put the pedestal on them, to crush them by law, by social mores, by communal norms, and divine mandate. And it pains me to see it. More could be done, and isn’t, lives could flourish more and aren’t, and bigots, racists, and inconsiderate personalities grasp for power in a time of their dying gasps, of the death of the “Dinosaur Age,” as Robert Anton Wilson, called it.
Within intimate settings, Covid-19 can create a context in which extant domestic violence (DV) situations become more pronounced than before with homelessness and DV as a natural fallout of it, not to mention ordinary healthcare needs of LGBTI peoples that may require more special attention than others of the population not in categories (and, hence, not with these issues). Humanists around the world came together and approved the Reykjavik Declaration on the Family and Human Rights. It is a declaration inclusively incorporating the rights and respect for LGBTI people and all gender identities with an inclusive definition of family.
The fight for equal rights isn’t a day or decade battle. It is a continual process of the development of a vision as to what comprises a just and equitable global society comprised of individual regions, and regional alliances or international organizations including League of Arab States, Organisation of Islamic Cooperation, Gulf Cooperation Council, OPEC, NATIO, ASEAN, PLO, UN, Commonwealth of Independent States, Commonwealth of Nations, Arab Maghreb Union, OECD, WTO, Arctic Council, ANZUS, FAO, SAARC, and the European Union, or the G20, MERCOSUR, Interpol, IMF, and the Colombo Plan. All bound to notions of solidarity, how ever limited at times, with more distinct representations in the individual Member States in the UN. It’s all the same species fighting for plots of land, of resources, of the time of minds, and control over others paths in life at times. Days of commemoration and recognition represent the larger vision, in part a scientific vision, and in many ways a world still in discovery, in ever-continuous transition, based much on human choices. When it comes to the equality and dignity of others, what choice will you make?
*With some sources and information by Humanists International.*
Photo by Harry Quan on Unsplash
A few personal experiences of being transgender, http://www.transpeoplespeak.org/