According to current knowledge there is no “problem” called homosexuality.
And that’s easy to prove.
Basically, three major arguments are put forward against homosexuality: it is against religion, it is unnatural, and it is useless. Let’s have a closer look.
Homosexuality is against religion
If a person believes that certain passages in an ancient book of their choice say that their God (or Gods) dismisses or bans gay activities, one can’t really argue against this belief – even if this person chooses to vehemently ignore other passages of their sacred books that could well be deemed to be equally relevant: for example the Judeo-Christian Old Testament prohibits eating shellfish, having a divorce, wearing clothes made from mixed fibers, and in the same text approves of slavery.
Why is it then that (for instance) conservative Christians in the U.S., or wealthy Orthodox Russians dressed in clothes made from mixtures of polyester, wool and linen, some of them divorced (more than once) denounce and condemn modern-day slavery, over a dish of shrimp cocktail – while detesting homosexuality as something against God’s will at the same time? Well, that’s something they have to come to terms with before their own conscience, or rather, their own religion.
In any case, such a bigoted, selective approach to faith can hardly be used as an argument against homosexuality in secular legislation and society in our days.
By the way, not all deities in the history of mankind have rejected homosexuality. Some of them were even gay or lesbian themselves. Or at least bisexual. Like Loki, Thor’s brother. Jupiter, the father of the Gods, who in addition to countless female lovers also had (at least) one male one, a young man named Ganymede. As many people interested in stars know: one of the moons of Jupiter has consequently been named after Ganymede, equal to the other moons, all of which bear names of the various sex partners of the king of Gods.
Homosexuality is unnatural
What, in fact, is natural? That’s a matter of definition of course. But in most cases something will be described as natural, if it occurs – often – in nature. It is an old, much-heard argument that homosexuality is against nature, that only humans would do “something as perverse”, and that it wouldn’t occur in the animal kingdom. Still, it is wrong.
Meanwhile, researchers have identified hundreds of species across zoology – from primates to birds and fish – that practice homosexuality regularly, be it lesbian or gay. And it may even lead to lifelong partnerships. (By the way, the percentages of homosexual individuals among animal populations are strikingly similar to those among humans.) All that has been known to nature researchers all along, but they used to file the observed behavior under „play instinct“ of (young) animals or isolated cases of – possibly mentally disturbed –individuals. Even the adoption of orphan baby animals by homosexual couples is quite common in nature.
Well, that’s it, nothing more to argue. The topic’s off the table. Natura locuta, causa finita* [* Latin for “Nature has spoken, the case is closed”]. On to the next one.
Oh, one more thing. Those who have claimed for decades that homosexuality was unnatural as it did not exist in nature, may now try a new approach and say that man is, after all, more than a mere beast, and must rise above the perverse goings-on in the animal world: let’s hope the only response they get will be amused grins and bored looks. At least, that would be only natural.
Homosexuality is useless
There are those who cannot deny any longer that homosexuality is a natural constant, and that there is ample research evidence indicating that it is innate. They now tend to refer to homosexuality an as „evolutionary dead end“, or a „mistake of nature“. Well, as far as animals are concerned, more research is needed before definitive conclusions can be drawn. But as for mankind, there are two things to say.
One: There have always been infertile heterosexual people. And there have always been childless couples. Yet hardly anyone dares to call them „errors of nature“, „evolutionary dead ends“ or useless for society.
Two: Interestingly, one may well argue that human homosexuality indeed makes sense in evolutionary terms: among artists, inventors, and most notably great military commanders(!), as well as pioneers in other fields, the number of same-sex oriented people has always been extraordinarily high.
The reason seems obvious. Until a few decades ago, having sex meant almost mandatorily having children. It was expected as well as hardly preventable. But supporting a family, raising children, as well as facing all the physical and psychological problems that are sure to arise: this will take up a great deal of one’s energy and personal resources. Furthermore, taking into account that in the past, life expectancy usually was between 30 and 50 years (at times even significantly below that), it becomes obvious that, given the timeslot, it’s extremely difficult indeed to be both a genius and pioneer on the one hand, and a caring family supporter on the other. This also explains why many heterosexuals geniuses have been unmarried and/or childless. Still, homosexuality is an obvious advantage here, which furthers the decision to follow a riskier and more uncharted path.
By the way, this does not apply to males alone. It’s hardly a coincidence that the most important ancient female writer, Sappho, was a lesbian. Fun fact for people who might not have heard of her before: the two most common female concepts of homosexuality, sapphism and lesbianism, go back to her very name and her place of residence, Lesbos. Anyway, this set of circumstances most probably also applies to many other wise women and shamans (formerly called witches), as well as nuns. There are quite a few nuns who, apart from reasons such as poverty or unfitness to marry, took the veil (and their achievements in their orders have often been remarkable) – because they wanted to avoid men. Regardless of whether they then remained chaste in the monasteries or had an active sex life with other women.
It is true that that this „function“ of homosexuality can only be speculated about so far. But if one denies the possibility that there may be a reason for homosexuality as a useful contribution to humanity and society, well, here’s one for you.
So, sorry, homophobes, nothing here to see, the subject is off the table. Go play somewhere else.
PS: While all this does not permit any conclusions about whether or not social or legal equality of homosexuals is sensible or justifiable, and whether or not they should be allowed to marry and adopt children in their respective societies and countries, one must not forget either that there are other social groups as well who were unable to marry or to have children, even in our Western society: the poor, servants or members of specific ethnic groups. Just look at the right to vote or other rights and privileges: it is a matter of social agreement to grant or deny certain rights. All that is subject solely to political considerations. And basically, it is not a question of morality but one of positive social change.
Still: there are no „natural“ reasons in favor or against it – see above.
Many thanks to Mag. Susanne Ofner for advice and help with the translation!
Thankas to Naomi Fearn for additional advice and corrections!