RationalWiki:What's Wrong with Being Gay?

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Opening comments by AmesG:

This page is intended to gather user opinions about various issues affecting gays and couples. I'm presenting to my sex discrimination class on discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation, and while I have a pretty good idea about why people discriminate, I want some help. Basically, I'd like the users here to either tell me (1) what they hear about the below issues or (2) what they feel about the below issues. Please expand upon your beliefs (or those you report here), with at least three sentences, if you can.

I hope this can, also, spark a debate.... but I'd rather keep the actual debate as to the issues on the talk page.

Evolution and homosexuality[edit]

From an evolutionary perspective, you would want the children of others to become homosexual, while not wanting your own children or children of relatives to become homosexual, since homosexuals have very low probability of passing their genes on to future generations.

Yes, but we're a civilized species and can transcend basing our views on what our selfish genes would 'want'. (Was I allowed to put this here?) -The Almighty Tuna 08:30, 5 May 2008 (EDT)

He converted me for lack of a better word, I totally am against my descendents not passing on my genes --Radio afikomen 03:41, 8 June 2008 (EDT)

Granted but we're capable of overruling our genes. - Ebon (talk) 12:30, 15 June 2010 (UTC)

The female relatives of gay men tend to have more offspring than the female relatives of straight men [1]. In addition, it is believed that same sex behavior drives evolution in other species as well. [2]--MJMelcher (talk) 20:29, 7 July 2010 (UTC)

Same-Sex Marriage[edit]

Ought couples of the same sex be able to marry, using that term?
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  • Elassint
  • Kels
  • Wikinterpreter
  • Radioactive afikomen
  • Cracker
  • Human (though I'd say, drop the word "marriage" from law and just call them family corporations)
  • Researcher (though I'm not sure how much I care for the institution of marriage...)
  • PFoster
  • Pinto
  • Zmidponk
  • BlueMoon
  • Egnome (everyone has the right to make a horrible mistake...)
  • SusanG Yes (If they must - the whole institution leaves a lot to be desired)
  • Spica
  • Allhailtuna (They can say that they're married, in eternal union, sharing a house temporarily, or whatever else they want.)
  • GodlessHeathen
  • Kahran042 (Hey, if they want to be miserable like everyone else...)
  • ArtemisKillerJTL: Certainly they should! The argument of conservatives for the longest (aside from their religious fretting) has been that couples would falsely represent their sexuality and desire to be married in order to obtain tax breaks and health/life insurance coverage. It is a ridiculous argument.
  • SpiderRiv
  • Yossarian (In Soviet Canuckistan, state marries you!!!...regardless of gender...)
  • 07:13, 29 October 2008 (EDT)
  • Edward di Wilde(yes, we should, its utter barbaracy[*new_word] otherwise.)
  • Jamescharge (They definitely should; I should not.)
  • Arcadia (though I'd greatly prefer that government fiat not be the basis of marriage)
  • CUR
  • Javascap - Moved from same-sex unions.
  • Nutty Roux (And invite me to the fuckin' wedding so I can wear my purple Dolce tie)
  • SirChuckB - Need to remember to seperate church and state
  • MykalOfDefiance - Though I think marriage is a bad thing in general, if straights can, gays should be able to.
  • TheGeniusPrince - I don't like the fact that I even have to say that I support gay marriage. This should not even be debated. If people are ready for straight marriage, they are ready for gay marriage.
  • Secular ceremony is fine, but I don't think it is a good idea for anyone (homosexual or heterosexual) to use the word marriage (Any word or phrases, really) in a relationship. It leaves the possibility of people starting a War on words[3] with it. Only after all of us learn not to arbitrarily redefining words we should be able to settle on one set of words/phrases to describe these relationships. Thieh 14:49, 29 April 2009 (UTC)
  • Ttony21 - although true separation of church and state would be for the state to stay out of marriage completely, and let the individual church (or marriage-licensing center) decide.
  • Peripeteia - coming from a bisexual teen who wants to marry someone he loves, without fear.
  • Jace- No they shouldnt be able to marry, instead of marriage we can call it and make it something much better then marriage! Like Super Awesome Lovers That Kick Ass With Flapjacks And Sprinkles! Take that marriage! Do you have flapjacks and sprinkles? I thought not!
  • Sen
  • Rodlen
  • Ebon (if straight people can, gay people should be able to)
  • InsaneBookbadger
  • Thunderstruck (I've lived in Massachusettes my whole life. In the 7 year gay marraige has been legal, nothing bad has happened to us. We are the perfect litmus test.)
  • Colonel Sanders
  • Messiah of Doom (Of course! I can hardly think of any good reason not to!)
  • Whyhow
  • Bazer63 (Just give them the kiss and get on with your lives. Has your life changed in any negative way? No? Then shut up.)
  • Utter Lunacy

Same-Sex Civil Unions[edit]

Ought couples of the same sex be able to engage in a secular ceremony that would result in the same rights and benefits accorded to married couples, just without using the phrase, "marriage"? In other words, ought couples of the same sex be allowed to be joined by "Civil Union"?
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  • SusanG Yes- but so ought hetero couples
  • Barbara Shack- but I'm not sure if gay couples should be allowed to adopt children
  • Spica
  • Allhailtuna (There should be no extra rights and benefits accorded to married couples, so that makes it easy enough)
  • Damo.
  • Javascap - Moved to "Marriage"
  • Yes, any 2 people over 18 should be able to.


Should it be legal for employers to decline to hire, decide pay, or terminate an employee, based on sexual orientation? Phrased otherwise, "should employers be allowed to discriminate against homosexuals?"
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  • Cracker
  • Only if, somehow, their sexuality prevents them from doing their work. So, no.
  • Like being a hooker?
  • Researcher (though I would allow for an EXTREMELY limited religious exemption.)
  • Nope. PFoster.
  • If you have general anti-discrimination laws, then no. However, from a libertarian point of view, you could argue that discrimination should be ended through social pressure, not legal action. -Kyle Stewart
  • No. -Zmidponk
  • They have no right to discriminate against homosexuals. Egnome.
  • SusanG: No! What the F has an employee's life outside work got to do with the employer?
  • Spica@ No
  • Damo NO.
  • NO. Discrimination is wrong. -Javascap
  • If they're getting the job done then there should be no problem. And I agree, discrimination is wrong, period. - Jamescharge
  • Despite their choice, I do not believe a person should be fired for believing he links members of the same sex. Shatoyaah C 20:49, 27 February 2009 (EST)
  • No. We're all at least .3 gay. Nutty Roux
  • MykalOfDefiance - Yes, but I think an employer should retain the right to discriminate against whomever said employer wants to discriminate against. If other forms of discrimination are illegal though, I think homosexual discrimination should be illegal as well.
  • BlueMoon says NO. @Mykal: Part of government's job is to protect the minority from the tyranny of the majority.
  • Of course not. That's the only reason people hire lawyers to rephrase everything into bullshit. Thieh 14:56, 29 April 2009 (UTC)
  • Peripeteia - No. Intolerance leads to fear, leads to hate, leads to violence. Stop the hate.
  • Ebon - No.
  • NO. No, no, NO. InsaneBookBadger (unleash the badger) 19:48, 30 June 2010 (UTC)
  • Yes Hamster
  • No. Whyhow
  • Bazer63 No. Full stop no.

Conduct or Status?[edit]

Is homosexuality a conduct (a mere act, which can be suppressed) or an inherent characteristic of the individual, immutable or otherwise? What legal ramifications should your answer have?
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  • Status - Kels
  • Status - Cracker
  • Status - Researcher -- as for legal ramifications, as a status instead of a conduct, it definitely makes them qualify for "protected status" legislation, which could then give them the right to sue those who discriminate against them.
  • Status - PFoster - ditto Researcher.
  • Depends on precise definition. If you define 'being homosexual' as 'committing homosexual acts', then it is possible to stop yourself from committing those acts. However, if you define 'being homosexual' as 'having homosexual desires', then that is an inherent characteristic - even when you stop yourself committing homosexual acts, you still have the desire (albeit, perhaps a repressed one) to commit them. As for legal ramifications, you should be free to do what you want, provided that does not hurt others, so that should be protected. - Zmidponk
  • It's been my experience that sexual preference is status. I didn't decide to be hetero, and there have definetly been times when I wished I wasn't (no insult meant to the fairer sex), but I couldn't change it. Egnome.
  • Status - SusanG - learned through experience
  • Status-probably with a genetic cause. Homosexual desires are as impossible to eliminate by choice as heterosexual ones.
  • inherent characteristic. One does not learn to be straight or gay. It is possible that one can change one's behaviors with enough effort. --WaitingforGodot
  • Mu. To answer this question meaningfully, I need much better working definitions of gay, homosexual, and choice than are on offer, and furthermore, I would point out that much of what we understand as gay is learned or culturally-inculcated behaviour -- neither as innate or immutable as "not a choice" would imply nor as consciously mutable as "choice" would imply. Arcadia
  • It is a conduct picked up by mistakes and temptations they fail to resist. Shatoyaah C 20:54, 27 February 2009 (EST)
  • Status- They'd know, you wouldn't. CUR
  • Status - MykalOfDefiance - You can't help what you're attracted to, be it children, animals, people of the same gender, people of the opposite gender, etc.
  • At least as much standing as religion. If it isn't, make up a new religion for it. K61824"6+18=24" 18:17, 18 May 2009 (UTC)
  • Neither- Drolyt. I'm not convinced that it is completely immutable or that it isn't cultural (as opposed to biological) but it obviously isn't a simple "choice".
  • Irrelevant. - Sen
  • Status but also, that should be legally irrelevent - Ebon


Should the state be able to criminalize homosexual conduct, status, or both? Why?
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No - it's an impingement of people's civil and social rights, not to mention their inherent ones. Wikinterpreter Nein-Cracker

  • No. There is no overriding reason to criminalize the behavior, and as for the status, well that's criminalizing someone for existing. Researcher
  • BlueMoon says: Good heavens no! That would be like making it illegal to be black.
  • Of course not. PFoster.
  • Pinto - Hell No
  • No. Goes against the simple concepts of 'freedom to exist' and 'freedom of expression'. -Zmidponk
  • No way. That would definetly be a violation of basic human rights, especially considering that the only "proof" anyone can ever provide as to the "wrongness" of homosexuality is obscure, out-of-context quotes from a handful of religious texts. Egnome.
  • SusanG No! No! No! No! No! No! No! No! No!
  • Barbara Shack so long as they stick to consenting adults there's no problem
  • Allhailtuna says No.
  • ArtemisKillerJTL: NO. Using a law to disguise what is actually discrimination is abominable.
  • NO Damo
  • No, end of story. Being Gay is NOT a crime.
  • No. The only sexual crimes should have rationally definable victims. Arcadia
  • MykalOfDefiance - I think that only things that have a significant potential to disadvantage someone else should be criminalized, and even then, only rarely.
  • Only if the same law criminalize the heterosexual conduct and/or status. That way no discrimination is made, and probably everyone is prosecuted. Thieh 14:58, 29 April 2009 (UTC)
  • OMG did you compare being black to the same thing as being a homosexual...lol that's a laugh. No you are not born gay. Homosexuality is a spirit...a bad one at that. No I don't think you should go to jail. But if one is a homosexual I wouldn't worry about the jail or anything man can do to them I'd be more worried about what God will say to me when I go to meet him. He won't say, "Well done thou good and faithful servant. Enter into the joys of the Lord." How can he when by having homosexual sex you are first fornicating. Because in the eyes of God a marriage is between a man and a woman. So he'd never acknowledge a vows of commitment between to people of the same gender. And the list goes on...get a grip people. And ask God to show you the way if you are so confident that being gay is the way. And when you say it mean it...if not that means you to doubt the fact that being gay is right. 08:25, 3 August 2009 (UTC)*Foxxcv*
    • The eyes of God? You're on the wrong wiki, mon ami; we're rational. That said, the criminalization of homosexuality is an utterly laughable concept. Whether one can choose sexual orientation or not is irrelevant, as no one can possibly suffer from homosexuality. With all due respect, ~Supreme Gamesmaster Yddisac
  • Peripeteia - Rest forever in peace, M.A. and A.M., murdered in Iran, by the law, for the crime of love.
  • Drolyt- Poorly worded question. "Should the state be able to"- of course, the state should be able to do anything not limited by their constitution. If you instead meant "should the state make such a law" then most people would agree no.
  • Nope. For the exact same reasons that writing with the left hand is not a crime. - Sen.
  • Of course not. So long as we're talking about consenting adult humans, have a party - Ebon
  • What Ebon said. InsaneBookBadger
  • If they criminalize heterosexuality, I'll be okay with this.
  • No. Whyhow
  • Bazer63 No. Would you outlaw hetrosexuallity?


Is homosexuality "immutable"? Immutable means, inherent, and unchangeable, or so deeply linked with personality that it cannot be changed without great hardship.
Sign here without your signature. Yes.

  • Kels
  • Cracker
  • Human - as far as we know. And if it's a choice (mutable), it should still be a right.
  • Amen to Human. -- Researcher
  • PFoster. No idea. I tend to think that people are situated somewhere on a spectrum that runs from "completely gay" to "completely straight" and there are too many variables that go into deciding how a person is oriented/orients themselves at any given time. I know too many people who have switched teams - both ways - to think that these sorts of things are pre-programmed or immutable. Ultimately, I don't care why someone is "gay" or "straight." It's as relevant as why someone likes big breasts or blue eyes or whatever...
  • Pinto - I'll get back to you on that when more facts are known.
  • I don't think it's 100% 'immutable', but the factors involved in changing it are very complex and out of any one person's control, so attempting to knowingly alter your sexuality is at least very difficult, and probably impossible. Also, the point has to be made that whether you're homosexual or not has no relevance to anyone except yourself and anyone you're hoping to get into bed with. -Zmidponk
  • I personally don't think anything is 100% immutable. But as anecdotal evidence (from mostly nonchristian sources anyway) shows that attempts to change sexual orientation are very harmful to the mental and emotional health of the subjects, it seems to have a pretty high immutability percentile. Egnome.
  • SusanG Can't say for anyone else
  • Allhailtuna (More importantly, what difference does it make if it is?)
  • ArtemisKillerJTL: I agree with Allhailtuna; What difference does it make? NONE.
  • BlueMoon: Those two ^ are right. It doesn't matter. But I still don't think anyone can consciously change orientation.
  • Immutable. I don't think many people would choose to be gay given the discrimination that still exists, thus I think it is not a choice. Damo
  • Edward di Wilde - I am gay, and I can say that its not a choice, why would I want to be gay? Whats my incentive?
  • Mutable, with great difficulty, though it's not easy to say how much of that difficulty is internal, in the form of innate fixity, and how much is external, due to the social environment's resistance to this change. I personally know "political lesbians" who consciously made up their minds to be lesbians, and genuine "ex-gays" who made up their minds to leave homosexuality behind. In short, the question is: how much of the difficulty arises from the fact that we are taught from early on that sexual preference is immutable? People who believe that change is impossible are quite naturally going to find change impossible. Arcadia
  • MykalOfDefiance - I don't think it's a choice, but I do think it's immutable, sexual orientation, just like favorite color, can change.
  • MykalOfDefiance makes a good point; one doesn't choose one's own tastes in anything, regardless of mutability. Sexuality, presumably, is at most as mutable as choosing tastes in anything else. ~Supreme Gamesmaster Yddisac
  • Drolyt- I don't think it is a choice, but I am convinced that it is mutable. I would say yes under your definition however, since changing it would certainly require "great hardship".
  • Everything is "mutable" with sufficient technology. So? - Sen
  • Immutable, barring brainwashing, miracles or collosal amounts of psychoactive drugs. Also, doesn't matter. - Ebon
  • Change can happen. Some are, some aren't.


Ought homosexuals be treated for homosexuality? Voluntarily, involuntarily, or both?
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  • Human - Societies should be treated for thinking there is something wrong with it.
  • CUR- I concur with human
  • PFoster. Amen to that, Human.
  • Researcher - If any homosexual wants therapy, no one should prevent them from seeking it. However, no one should force or pressure homosexuals to seek therapy of any kind.
  • Pinto - Agree with Researcher
  • Zmidponk - Agree with Researcher as well
  • I agree with Researcher, but I think some of that therapy should be dedicated to helping the person try to become comfortable with their sexuality, then move on to therapy to try to change it if the person still wants to. Egnome.
  • Barbara Shack agree with Egnome
  • BlueMoon agrees with Egnome
  • No to all. It's not classified as a mental illness; DSM-10 declassified it ("homosexuality in itself is no longer included as a category", p. 11, DSM-10), UK declassified it in the 1960s. No need to treat something that isn't an "illness". Spica
  • SusanG NO! Nohow! No way!
  • Allhailtuna (They can't be, so this wouldn't make any difference. If it turns out that it's possible, then they can do it if they want. On the other hand, I object to the use of the word 'Treatment' for it.)
  • The need for therapy is generally due to the way society stigmatizes homosexuality. Human is right! --User:WaitingforGodot
  • If you mean change through psychotherapy ... people who decide to shift sexual patterns by conscious choice, have a right to, and they will likely need a psychotherapist to talk the matter through. I'm not sure this is what is meant by treatment, though. Arcadia
  • MykalOfDefiance - I love Human's answer.
  • When will people who think homosexuality is wrong learn to simply keep the idea to themselves and not polluting other people (including their own offsprings) with such ideas? Thieh 14:40, 29 April 2009 (UTC)
  • Human's and Thieh's wits are as sharp as the rest of their senses. With all due respect, ~Supreme Gamesmaster Yddisac
  • Drolyt- Of course they should be allowed to seek treatment voluntarily, if that is what they wish. Of course it should not be forced on them.
  • Sen - I'd rather cure cancer, aids, paralysis, flu, every other illness and death, before even thinking of wasting a single penny on homosexuality. And even then there would be spaceships to make and planets to terraform and stuff...
  • Ebon concurs with Human.
  • Just like how people are able to change their appearance through plastic surgery, and gender trhough sex change operations, someone should be able to change their sexuality if they choose to. Although I don't think we should support this cause.
  • If for some reason they want to, they may need therapy, but not necessarily for homosexuality. I agree with Egnome, Researcher, Human, etc. (through the(made up) commutative property of agreement). Whyhow
  • Bazer63. No way. It's not a disease.


Should homosexual couples be allowed to adopt children at all? Should different restrictions apply?
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  • YES ~Elassint
  • Of course - Kels
  • Yes Radioactive afikomen
  • Duh Cracker
  • Absolutely. Human. And why do they have to be couples? Triads and monads make good parents, too!
  • Damn. Again, agree completely with Human. -- Researcher
  • PFoster - of course.
  • Pinto - Yes
  • Zmidponk - Yes, they should.
  • No question. They should have the same rights to adopt. No extra restrictions. Egnome.
  • No question about it, and no different restictions should apply. Spica
  • SusanG Of course - if they want screaming expensive horrid things around the house! (I'm not a fan of kids)
  • Barbara Shack no. Children can't choose their parents.
  • Allhailtuna (Not to mention homosexual singles, and homosexuals practicing polygamy,[4] which should also be legal.)
  • No Radio afikomen
    • Why? ħumanUser talk:Human
      • Too bigoted to respond.
  • Any person capible of, and desiring to be a parent should be allowed to adopt. there is nothing about sexuality that matters to an un-parented child. - waitingforgodot
  • SpiderRiv: Yes.
  • Yes, of course. Let them deal with the brats. - Jamescharge
  • No, it is risky enough that children grow up believing they love members of the same sex when raised in normal homes, but the risk is too dangerous when they are exposed to such on a daily basis.
  • yes and I would give a child up to any of my gay friends before Andy Schalfly. Nutty Roux
  • MykalOfDefiance - Yes. What's dangerous about homosexuality?
  • Of course, maybe for the wrong reasons[5]. Thieh 14:24, 29 April 2009 (UTC)
  • Yes. In whatever form of marriage, triad, monad, or none-of-the-above they like. My main problem with polygamy is that it leads to gender discrimination, anyway.
  • One must keep in mind that the only real reason it might be a problem for homosexuals to adopt is because fundy loons discriminate against them. That said, of course. ~Supreme Gamesmaster Yddisac
  • Yes. Two moms or two dads vs communal bunks, kitchens and no privacy in orphanages? Gee, why don't we ask the orphans themselves? - Sen
  • If gau people want to raise the noisy, expensive little gits, let them. No additional restrictions of any kind. - Ebon
  • Yep
  • Yes, there is no reason to believe there is a difference for the children or parents, which is what really matters. Whyhow
  • Bazer63 Yes.


Use the talk page or e-mail ames@nyu.edu.


Crap is what males see on their outdoor plumbing after doing the nasty. — Unsigned, by: / talk / contribs
Sign here without your signature.

  • [Against] Everything. It is against gods law, it is gross, it is encouraged by the devil, and it goes against family values. — Unsigned, by: / talk / contribs
  • Yes, I'm against this ignorant, anonymous jackoff who posted above me. Egnome.
  • So the person two posts above me is against criminalizing homosexuality? Alright then. ;D — Unsigned, by: / talk / contribs
  • OMG...@ the plumbing statement. But anyway This forum or whatever is crap...And America is so confused. It saddens me to know this is how the world thinks after knowing the result of the Sodom and Gomorrah. And if you don't got to your bible (genesis 19) and read it...shoot Google it! [[1]] [[2]]--Foxxcv (talk) 08:33, 3 August 2009 (UTC)*Foxxcv*
    • The thing is, there's no proof Sodom and Gommorah ever happened. :D
      • Even as a myth, there's good reason to believe it had nothing to do with homosexuality. --Kels (talk) 22:42, 16 August 2009 (UTC)
    • My god says otherwise. Since neither of can provide proof of our respective gods, let's just leave them out of the law. - Ebon (talk) 12:30, 15 June 2010 (UTC)
    • One of my gods turned himself into a female horse in order to stop a giant from finishing his task on time, thus giving birth to the greatest of all horses and boosting the power of the gods...so, yeah, the laws of my gods don't really care much about a guy having sex with a guy. Researcher
  • Actually, with proper cleaning procedures followed, santorum should be kept to a bare minimum. Thanks for playing, though. Researcher.

References, notes, and random comments[edit]

  1. http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/uk/article493668.ece
  2. http://www.guardian.co.uk/science/blog/2009/jun/17/same-sex-relationships-gay-animals
  3. An Example, "It depends on what the meaning of the word 'is' is." — Bill Clinton, former U.S. President
  4. When they're done practicing and have it worked out, let me know ;)
  5. I have yet to manage to know a way to make any of my potential kids to look good; that might be a starting point.