Refuting anti-LGBT+ arguments
“”I actually got a Ugandan Minister to say on camera… I said to him… there's so much more to worry about in your country than the odd gay person going to bed with the other gay person. For example, you have almost an epidemic of child rape in this country, which is just frightening.
And he said, 'Ah, but it is the right kind of child rape.'
|—Stephen Fry, recounting his discussion with Reverend Father Simon Lokodo of Uganda.|
|Checking our privilege|
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Over the years, mostly right wing and religious nuts have come up with arguments against the LGBTQIA+ community. Some arguments include: "Being LGBT is sinful", "Marriage is a sacred bond between a man and a woman", and "Being gay or transgender is a mental illness". These arguments have no scientific or historical basis, and this type of intolerance can lead LGBTQIA+ people to commit suicide or to major mental health issues. Ignorant prejudice from anti-LGBT+ bigots has even become a domestic terrorist threat as stated by the United States Department of Homeland Security. Violence against LGBT+ people often culminate as mass shootings. This will cover arguments against the LGBT community and refute them in an academic and scientific, as well as somewhat religious, manner (i.e., theological arguments against transphobia). Anti-LGBT+ arguments range from seemingly intelligent to downright bullshit. Many arguments are derived from twisting around neuroscience/psychology (or science in general) and twisting around religious concepts.
Note: There were no (distorted) biblical arguments against transgender people.
Also note that in secular society, if one is arguing for legality related to LGBTQIA+, these arguments are not enough to serve as the basis of new laws, and could also violate constitutional prohibitions on establishing religious beliefs on others.
|Religious Argument||Rational Refutation|
|Being gay is going against God's Plan||If homosexuality were against God's plan, God wouldn't have created it or allowed it to exist in the first place.|
|"Men committed indecent acts with other men, and received in themselves the due penalty for their perversion" (Romans 1:26-27).
"If a man lies with a man as one lies with a woman, both of them have done what is detestable. They must be put to death; their blood will be on their own heads" (Leviticus 20:13)
This is a common verse used against gays, but homophobes fail to realize that the original verse was written in Hebrew, then translated from multiple languages such as Greek and Latin to English. That is bound to twist the meaning at least a little. Also, the verse never mentions women. "Lie" is never clearly defined, but it might only be speaking against anal sex, since it was considered dirty in Biblical times. Jews also tend to be much more pro-gay than other religious groups. There has been an argument that in fact this only applied to men raping boys or other men, rather than simply any consensual sex. In any case, the writers of the Bible were products of their time, just as with the Qur'an. In fact, the Bible condones many actions considered immoral by today's standards (e.g., slavery).
|God hates gays||However, Jesus stated in (John 13:34), "A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another." This clearly means that people are supposed to care about each other despite differences. Besides, He also hates shrimp, but plenty of Christians have dinner at Red Lobster.|
|Marriage is a holy union||Marriage was around long before Christianity. Tribal people worldwide had marriages and ancient empires such as the Mayan Empire in what is now Mexico had marriages, and those people formed unions before the Christian religion. Before Christianity took over, in the Roman Empire, marriage was a civic institution.|
|Anti-LGBTQIA+ Argument||Rational Refutation|
|"DNA will tell the truth"
"You are born male/female"
There are differences between biological sex and gender. The former, being sexual phenotypes and genotypes, is what the DNA determines, while the latter refers to one's presentation and conception about oneself, being influenced mainly by society (the DNA has a very limited influence). Also, forcing someone to conform to their biological gender is unethical.
|Lesbians, Gays, Bisexuals, Transgenders, Queers, Intersexs, Asexuals, and other sexual minorities are mentally ill||Sorry, but the American Psychological Association and the American Psychiatric Association have dropped homosexuality and transsexualism as mental illness through up-to-date scientific research and protests. Importantly, these attitudes are the reason these minorities are correlated with mental diseases, so some self-reflection is recommended. This is also not going into the further stigmatization of mental illnesses and leads to ableism.|
|You choose your sexuality||Wrong; sexual orientation is not a conscious choice. Sexuality is deterministic, being influenced by genes, epigenetics, and/or from hormonal differences due to birth order.|
|Transgender people are only confused about their sexuality caused by the liberal/mainstream media||Wrong again! At first, someone may be confused, but a person learns their gender identity over time. This varies from person to person because gender identity has a biological basis, while someone is physically male or female; in terms of biochemistry, a transgender person's brain is wired as the opposite gender (so to speak). There is a long history of transgender individuals across many countries and cultures, far beyond the reach of "liberal media".|
|LGBTQIA+ people need to be sent to a mental hospital by force.||An extension of the first argument, more or less. First, being LGBT is not considered mental illness anymore (as per the current Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders). Second, being different does not affect you in any way. Finally, that would be a civil rights violation considering that the United States Constitution states, "A person may not be denied life, liberty, or property without due process". Plus the Bill of Rights allows for Freedom of Expression.|
|Gays are not natural||This argument also gets mixed in with religious arguments saying, "God made sex for procreation" or some variant of this. As for it being "unnatural", homosexuality has been observed in many other animal species, while homophobia has been observed in only one subspecies (Homo sapiens sapiens). Nature isn't a reference for morals, either, since murder is ubiquitous, essential for survival for carnivores, and, thus, perfectly natural. Sex is certainly not solely for procreation, as rape in other animal species exists, and a few non-human animals, such as bonobo monkeys, have been observed having sex as a means to facilitate social cohesion and/or just for the heck of it.|
|Children exposed to LGBT representation in school or children's programming will be confused||
Ignorance is bliss, right? Not only is there very little evidence for this claim, it's also counterintuitive. Children who are taught about LGBT issues tend to become more accepting adults, are exposed to less homophobic bullying, and knowing what they're into can cause less unhappy "incompatible orientation" relationships later in life. In contrast, actively hiding information about entire groups of people tends to confuse LGBT youth, who won't know why they're interested in members of the same sex and think something's "wrong" with them.[note 1]
|There are only two genders||This is one of the Internet's favorite mantras, going as far as several YouTube personalities sporting this phrase at pride parades. This phrase is usually followed along with "I sexually identify as a [insert anything but human here]", where it implies that having no limits to gender identity will be problematic somehow. It's also frequently repeated that chromosomes determine gender identity, which is also ignorant of intersex persons. If someone is born with an XXY chromosome, what would they be? They can't be male because they have an extra X, nor female if they have a Y chromosome, based on the traditional definition. Additionally, many cultures across every continent have recognized there being more than two genders in their society for thousands of years.|
|LGBT+ people raising families is child abuse||This happens to be one of the most brain-dead sociological arguments against LGBT+ people everywhere. The general idea is that LGBT+ parents will imprint their sexuality and or gender identity onto any possible children. What matters is if the children are happy, not suffering physical, mental, or sexual abuse, are well taken care of, and have a roof over their head. Also, the irony here is that many LGBT+ kids face child abuse from their homophobic/transphobic parents.[note 2]|
|Parents of trans people are groomers.||Does limiting a child’s knowledge of their sexuality and bodily autonomy so that it’s easier for figures of authority to manipulate them into compromising abusive situations also count as grooming? Also, is LGBTQ mental illness, grooming, or indoctrinating? Those are completely different concepts.|
|Trans women will assault our little girls in the bathroom||There are numerous problems with this idea. First, this assumes that only males are child predators. Second, trans women assaulting people in the bathroom is extremely rare. Third, trans women and butch lesbians or women not considered "feminine enough" are the most common victims in bathroom-related sexual assault. Fourth, nobody complains if trans men use men's bathrooms. That relies on the first point that women cannot sexually assault males. It's not as if there's anything stopping people with bad intentions from entering the women's restroom right now, so allowing trans women to use their preferred restroom won't result in predators being more easily able to enter the women's restroom. Depending on the country one is in, it can take months to years to formally transition, and a person considering rape would go through all that just so that when they do rape, at least they are "in the right restroom"?|
|LGBT+ people should all be killed||Yes, there are people out there who want to murder all LGBT+ people for various (cruel) reasons. Endorsing the systematic detention and murder of an entire people is genocide. This is basically endorsed by Uganda and the Russian Republic of Chechnya. If you want to murder all LGBT+ people, that makes you no better than Adolf Hitler or Joseph Stalin. By the way, if you tried to incite the genocide of LGBTQ people in the United States, you could face prison time and a $500,000 fine. Actively trying to commit genocide can result in life in prison/death penalty and a $1,000,000 fine. Do remember that if you consider genocidal actions. Now trying to commit genocide on your own would likely result in you being labeled as a terrorist by law enforcement.|
- Of course, for a homophobe, confusing LGBT youth may be a desired result.
- Heck, any child being raised by homophobic/transphobic parents is being abused, considering that they're being raised to have the same repugnant values that will make respectable people want nothing to do with them (except maybe putting a bullet in their brains for being a menace to humanity).
- Ugandan Reverend Simon Lokodo: 'Child Rape Better than Homosexuality'. International Business Times.
- Los Angeles Blade, Retrieved on Jan 18, 2023.
- What the Bible Says About… Homosexuality Christian Teens section in About.com
- See the Wikipedia article on Transgender history.
- A MAP OF GENDER-DIVERSE CULTURES, PBS, August 11, 2015
- https://www.law.cornell.edu/constitution/billofrights Link text, additional text.
- Trolling the PRIDE MARCH!, Hunter Avallone, June 11, 2018
- A Map of Gender-Diverse Cultures, PBS
- NIH, National Institutes of Health.
- [eurasiareview.com/23042017-chechnyas-gay-purge-anti-lgbtq-violence-and-state-sanctioned-genocide-of-homosexuals-analysis/ Eurasia Review], Retrieved on April 25, 2022.
- Cornell University Law School, Retrieved on June 29, 2023.