Our society has a major problem with homosexuality. Why is this? We’ll it’s largely cultural, historical and religious.
Our Prime Minister has been quoted as saying he wants to stay clear of the topic of homosexuality and gay marriage.
I know that I will be called all sorts of insulting terms by the end of this show. But I think we should look at the issue of homosexuality and resist condemning people because of their sexual orientation.
We all see television and know about the dramatic changes in attitudes toward homosexuals in Europe and in North America. Just 20 years ago, attitudes toward homosexuals were dramatically different. The concept of gay marriage was not considered. Now it’s becoming normalized in many parts of the world.
I want us to look at the issue of homosexuality from a logical and not an emotional viewpoint. I will stay away from the religious arguments since we can find almost anything we want to in the Bible to support our various positions on almost any issue.
We as a society are quick to condemn gay people and especially gay men in particular. We ostracize gay people. We treat gay people as though they consciously choose to be homosexuals.
What causes people to be gay? What causes people to be attracted to members of the same sex? If we can look at this then maybe we can be more sensible in our attitudes toward gay people. Psychologists and scientists have and continue to look for the reasons that cause homosexuality. The American Psychological Society (APS) has looked at this issue and their website has some great reading on the current findings. There is no definitive answer at this time on what causes people to be gay. I certainly don’t have enough time on this programme to go into any details about the various findings of the scientific community thus far.
People who are homosexual don’t choose to be homosexual. The vast majority can’t help that they are attracted to people of the same sex. The scientific literature says that between 3 and 7 per cent of people are gay. In St Vincent, if these statistics are correct, that would mean roughly three to seven thousand gay people. That’s a substantial number.
Who in their right mind would choose to be gay in a society such as ours? Knowing that they will be abused? Knowing that they will be prejudiced against? Who would really choose that lifestyle? The vast majority of gay people don’t choose to be gay. They are gay. This is just a fact! Many of my religious fanatic friends will refuse to see this reality.
I believe that most of us watching this show know someone who is gay. And I believe that if you honestly look at these people, you know this is not a conscious choice. They are what they are. We can look at some children and see their sexual tendencies. Do you think they are choosing this? I certainly don’t.
I am not here to condone homosexuality. I am here to ask you not to condemn those among us who are gay. I am also not asking you to condone homosexual behaviour. I am asking you to be a decent human being and respect those who are gay. I am asking you to treat gay people as people first. To refrain from calling them stupid names and from being prejudiced against them.
I will like to relate a short story about one of my experiences. There is one of our Vincentian popular entertainers who would go on stage before thousands of people and encourage violence against gay people. About a year ago, I spoke to this person and asked if he was really conscious of what he was doing? The impact he was having? The fact that he knew good and decent people who happened to be gay? I pointed out that he was a leader in our society and he therefore had a duty to refrain from such behaviour. He was very upset at what I said to him and the way that I said it. In fact, I don’t think he spoke to me for at least six months after that incident. However, I noticed that in his stage performances this carnival season, he didn’t make the stupid offensive comments (at least not in the shows that I saw).
I relate this story only to say that the leaders in our society, the political, social, religious and other leaders need to lead!!! Don’t run away from the hard unpopular issues. History will judge you. I note that the new Pope has taken a much different position than his predecessors and I am extremely happy about this. The reality is that our knowledge changes and improves over the years. And our positions on issues should also evolve as we learn more.
We are discussing calls to legalize marijuana. I want us to revoke the laws criminalizing homosexual activity. Why is it any bodies business what two consenting adults do in the privacy of their own homes?
Imagine if your children grew up to be homosexuals. Would you love them any less? I certainly would not!!!
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