Superdrewby December 2005
There are many arguments used to promote homophobia and justify anti-gay actions, rhetoric and beliefs. Many of the arguments are used ad-nausea, even though they have been proven to be factually incorrect or just downright stupid.
The vast majority of antigay organisations use a mix of religious rhetoric, where they cherry pick passages from the Bible and bad or "POP" Science to argue that homosexuality is wrong. It is difficult to successfully argue with anti-gay organisations because many use bad "facts" or choose not to listen to the facts that disprove their beliefs.
When it comes to religious outrage against homosexuality, the argument is usually cut short by a statement like "God has told me so". Perhaps that is the same God that has over the centuries told entire civilizations to rape, torture and pillage all in the name of God?
Seriously though, this article is an overview that is both humorous and factual. Where possible sources for arguments, research and real scientific studies are provided. So the next time you come across an anti-gay person or organisation you can be armed with real facts and figures.
Homophobic rhetoric is a crime, reputable studies provide evidence that when homophobic rhetoric is seen and heard in newspapers, television, church etc there is a dramatic increase in violence against gays and lesbians. Religious organisations are exempt in many countries from anti discrimination policies against gays and lesbians, and this extends to vitriolic and hateful attacks aimed at gays and lesbians. This anti-gay rhetoric provides justification to the gay basher who viciously attacks a person because of their sexual orientation.
There are even worse extremes such as Fred Phelps and his God Hates Fags website who calls for gays to be put to death, and uses the Bible to justify his extremist views. There is nothing even remotely Christian about his beliefs or his actions in picketing the remembrance services or people like Mathew Sheppard or Bill Clayton.
Until the majority of society understand that anti-gay rhetoric is similar to the rhetoric used by the Nazi's to degrade and exterminate the Jews, or by the anti-black movement, there will be little or no acceptance of the differences in sexual identity.
Each of the following arguments could warrant a full article on their own, but this is only a brief overview of the major arguments and their criticisms.
Arguments used to stop the recognition of same sex relationships
By far the most common argument used by anti-gay organisations is that Homosexuality is not natural and it doesn't occur anywhere else in the animal kingdom. The organisations suggest that in the animal kingdom there is no such thing as homosexuality which is factually incorrect. There are countless studies that demonstrate homosexual behavior in the animal kingdom including:
The religious argument is a difficult argument to counter, not because the passages are necessarily correct, due to the almost myopic nature of the people or organisation using the argument.
The most common Bible passage used to the denigrate homosexuality is Leviticus 18:22
King James Version
You shalt not lie with mankind, as with womankind: it is abomination.
Revised Standard Version
You shall not lie with a male as with a woman; it is an abomination.
The most common counter argument for debunking this and other passages from Leviticus is the inability to translate the true meaning of the passages. The word "abomination" translates in Hebrew "to become unclean" and does not refer to sexual relations. The context of this passage refers to fertility rituals and social health practices that were commonly practiced by the Canaanites.
The second argument is that the passages of Leviticus relate to purity laws of cleanliness including identifying animals that can and cannot be eaten (such as shellfish which were unclean due to the pollutants from sewerage in the water where they lived). Other "unclean" practices include sex with a women during her menstrual cycle and wearing cloth of two fibers.
Leviticus is part of the Mosaic Laws in the Bible which are all but ignored in modern society and according to the Bible itself were rescinded by Jesus himself. Anyone familiar with the famous Dr Laura Letter will know many of these laws:
The third argument for debunking the anti gay Bible is the context in which the modern versions have been written and the use of language and meaning. The two most common versions of the Bible in current circulation are the King James Version and the Revised Standard Version.
Anyone who has studied language understands that there is an inability to translate directly from one language to another. Idiomatic expressions (an expression whose meanings cannot be inferred from the meanings of the words that make it up) are contextual and make no sense from one language to another but they make perfect sense in their original language.
Each version of the Bible uses the contextual language of the day to "interpret" the meaning of the Bible, and as shown above there is much confusion on just what the actual meaning of a word or passage actually is.
Just like the language of Shakespeare is difficult to contextually translate in today's language, without actually understanding the contextual meaning of the writing the meaning cannot be understood.
At the core belief of many anti gay organisations and people is that Homosexuality is choice and therefore is wrong. The argument of nature versus nurture in homosexuality has no clear answer.
Ask a heterosexual whether or not they had to "choose" their sexuality and you will most likely get laughed at. Ask a homosexual whether they chose their sexuality and they will ask you whether they "chose" a life of discrimination.
This argument is an extension of the argument that Homosexuality is not natural and not found in nature which is examined above.
At the basis of the "ex gay" organisation's belief is that sexual orientation can be changed. Ex Gay organisations such as Exodus have had some rather public failures with one of the original board members of Exodus (Wayne Besen) leaving Exodus and having a commitment ceremony to his gay lover. More embarrassing failures of the ability for gays to be converted by these groups was the 1999 advertising campaign fiasco, where three of the "ex gays" used in the campaign have gone back to their true homosexuality and are now staunchly against the ex gay groups.
There are two main "therapies" that have been used to "correct" homosexual behavior, it is important to note that both of these therapies are behavioral changes rather than cures.
The shock or aversion therapy was (and still is in many private "clinics") practiced for many years under the auspices of mainstream psychology until the American Psychological Association removed homosexuality as a disease in 1973 with the rest of the world's similar bodies following suit over the next several years.
Shock therapy involves the use of electric shock therapy and aversion therapy (involving showing subjects homoerotic material whilst inducing nausea and vomiting through drugs).
Psychologists agree that aversion and electric shock therapy is both dangerous and is more likely to lead to serious mental health issues.
Religious groups favor intense one on one, or group "prayer" and counseling sessions. Whilst the groups themselves admit that a person is never cured of their same sex attraction, these groups claim that through prayer a person can lead either an asexual life or one away from "sin".
By far the most insidious argument used by anti-gay organisations and people is that Homosexuals are Pedophiles, an argument which has no basis in reality. The flawed argument used by organisation such as NARTH (National Association for Research and Therapy of Homosexuality) is that if a man molests a male child then he must be gay. This is factually incorrect as pedophilia by its very nature is an attraction to children.
There are no large scale studies on the sexual identity of pedophiles, although some smaller studies have concluded that pedophiles are more likely to be married men. NARTH uses the 1984 and 1992 studies by Kurt Freund to suggested 35% of sexual abuse is perpetrated by homosexuals. However what Freund actually said was that male pedophiles are more likely to molest male children and made no discussion on the actual sexual orientation of the pedophile.
According to actual real research, most Pedophiles often have no sexual interest in adults same sex or otherwise, their sexual interest is in children, and the most common abuser of children is someone within the family who is married.
NARTH themselves says that pedophiles "are married men homosexually seducing boys", but this does not then mean that they are homosexual, doesn't by the fact that they are married suggest that they either identify as heterosexual or bisexual?
This is truly a ridiculous suggestion as multiple large scale studies have proven that heterosexuals have anal sex.
Edward O. Laumann's The Social Organization of Sexuality: Sexual Practices in the United States found that about 20% of heterosexuals have engaged in anal sex, and sex researcher Alfred Kinsey found that number to be closer to 40%. In several cultures (such as the Mediterranean area and Latin America) and countries (such as Brazil, where almost 50% of the population practices anal sex  ( Source )), female receptive anal intercourse is widely accepted amongst heterosexuals, not only for the pleasures involved, but also as a method of contraception and as a way of preserving female virginity (or at least preserving an intact hymen until marriage).
( Source )
This argument again is based on the belief that homosexuality is chosen (see nature vs nature) and the argument that there is a Homosexual Agenda. The so called homosexual agenda states:
As ridiculous as most of these assumptions are, many anti-gay organisations actually believe that by introducing a neutral acceptance policy towards homosexuality it will encourage people to be homosexual.
Homosexuals do not prey on children or convert people, you are either sexually attracted to people of the same sex or you are not. When was the last time you heard someone say "OK well I have had enough of women so I'm going to be homosexual".
Homosexuality is a disease
The American Psychological Association removed homosexuality as a disease in 1973 with the rest of the world's similar bodies following suit over the next several years. This was due to years of research about sexuality and the recognition of their being more than one (heterosexuality) sexuality.
The arguments used to stop the recognition of same sex relationships carry on in the same general approach as anti gay rhetoric. The push for Gay Marriage is fraught with serious issues as Marriage is in my view the wrong word for what should be sought. Marriage is a religious institution that is backed up by a legal recognition of the relationship between two people. What should be sought is the legal recognition of same sex relationships without the need for a religious connotation.
That aside the following arguments are well worth reading and understanding.
This argument is my favorite by the anti-gay organisations, because it is so illogical that it is stupid. Same sex relationships have very little to do with the value of a heterosexual marriage or relationship, a same sex couple cannot make a straight couple not marry or divorce. With somewhere between 43 - 50% of first marriages failing in the United States, marriage already seems to have been significantly devalued by heterosexuals.
The argument that marriage is only for procreating seriously devalues all relationships. By believing that recognizing a relationship is only for couples to have children is seriously warped. It would invalidate any heterosexual relationship between couples where they cannot have children due to physical impairments, such as an inability for the female to conceive of the couple being too old etc.
Many straight couples get married later in life after a women's child bearing ability is truly passed, or when the male or female is incapable of producing children together.
The argument that gays want recognition of their relationships and want to marry multiple partners is just illogical. By virtue of what is being sought, I.E. the ability for two people to have their relationship recognized, they are specifically denying polygamy.
This argument and the following two arguments are little more than scare tactics and have no real basis in reality. There argument goes that if same sex relationships are recognized then polygamy, incest and bestiality will be sought for next. In all my years I have never heard such a stupid argument that is both illogical and downright stupid. Because there are no real logical arguments for banning the recognition of same sex relationships hysteria is a tactic employed.
This is a similar argument to gays wanting polygamy, and is illogical to say the extreme.
I have never been able to understand how recognizing same sex relationships will break down society. There are millions of same sex couples throughout the world already, and many countries such as Finland, France Germany etc. None of these countries have seen a breakdown in society so I'm not really sure what this argument means!
Let's just be really clear here, many very well meaning people believe that Gays and Lesbians already have equality and it's not just the anti-gay zealots. Equality by definition means:
The condition or quality of being equal; agreement in quantity or degree as compared; likeness in bulk, value, rank, properties, etc.; as, the equality of two bodies in length or thickness; an equality of rights.
There is still significant discrimination in all areas of society for gays and lesbians not just in the legal recognition of their relationships, but in terms of equal legal status. This all adds up to the inequality of Gays and Lesbians in modern society.
This argument is far more philosophical than factual. Doing a web search for the definition of love there are literally millions of different interpretations of the term ( Source )
The Webster's dictionary defines love as:
A feeling of strong attachment induced by that which delights or commands admiration; pre["e]minent kindness or devotion to another; affection; tenderness; as, the love of brothers and sisters.
Love is not something that can be measured by empirical study. Love is a feeling between two people that is emotional, spiritual and often sexual.