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  •  THANK YOU for this diary. (4+ / 0-)

    I did a complete spit-take when Richardson said "It's a choice."  I also thought he pretty much crashed and burned on Meet the Press...but I digress...

    Here's what I think Richardson meant to say:

    "Melissa, what do I look like?  A scientist?  How the hell do I know whether it's a choice or not?  And since when does that make a difference?"

    Here's what I would have said--

    • Most of my gay friends tell me they have always been gay and can't imagine what it would be like to be anything else.
    • Then again, some of my bi friends tell me that they are either equally attracted to both or slightly attracted to one more than another.  
    • And I know a few people for whom trauma more than likely led them to their present sexual orientation.   Don't all those people deserve the right to not be discriminated against?
    •  That's my stance. (5+ / 0-)

      It doesn't matter how someone became GLBT...or straight.  Being gay, lesbian, bisexual, or transgender is not evil.  We deserve equal chances to pursue happiness.

      •  Yes. (4+ / 0-)

        That's been on my mind since Richardson put his foot in it during the debate.  Why does it matter whether it's a "choice" or not?  That does not alter the fundamental question, which is one of human rights.  Why does being different make one less of a human being?

        It seems to me that the issue is essentially the same whether the question is one of being female in a world dominated by men, or being brown in a world dominated by whites, or being nonhetero in a world dominated by heteros.  The particular distinction that some use to justify discrimination against others is not the issue.  Discrimination is the issue.

      •  I agree (obviously) that being (0+ / 0-)

        GLBT is not evil.

        But the question matters.  Because, if it is a matter of choice, then the position of the wingnuts is just wrong not illogical.  

        As I understand the religious wingnut position, they believe the Bible says homosexuality is sinful.  Now, never mind if they are interpreting the Bible correctly - I know very little of the Bible, but I do know that people argue about what almost every verse means.  Now, if being GLBT is a choice then, per the wingnut position, they are choosing evil.  (*I* know it's not evil, as I said).  But if being GLBT is not a choice, then, per the same wingnut, God must make people GLB or T, and, therefore, the fault is God's not the person's.  If God is good (as wingnuts say) then how could he do that?

        So, it's a question of their argument being bad and their argument being illogical.  

        •  We will not be treated as equals... (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          TiaRachel, emeraldmaiden, plf515

          ...by people who think we were born defective.

          I lived with the people we are discussing for a lot of years.  They view the statement "God made me this way" as an attack on their God.  God wouldn't and doesn't make this sort of mistake.  God makes people like them.  Science and logic are not going to change that belief.  It requires religion.  It requires the reinterpretation of their belief in this matter, just like reinterpretation of their belief about people of color.

          Then again, I'm just waking up and am still a bit fuzzy-headed. :-)

          •  But 'wingnut' like most things (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            rserven, emeraldmaiden

            is a continuum, not a dichotomy.  Nothing is going to convince the far-out wingnuts that GLBT are decent.  Fred Phelps is a lost cause.

            But there are borderline people - people who were taught, by their parents or whomever, that the Bible is the One True Book, but who are starting to question that belief, or, at least, some of the ways that belief is applied.  If one can show them that something is illogical that might be more powerful than showing them that it is incorrect.

            •  What if the logic is built... (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              plf515

              ...on unsound science?  All there is right now is speculation and correlation.

              And let's suppose that a gay gene is found.  Or as is more likely, that it can be shown that certain conditions in utero cause homosexuality.  What happens to the people without that gene or whose mothers did not have that condition?

              Case in point (this is old and from a rusty memory):  Women who were treated with DES in order to ease difficult pregnancies after WWII bore daughters more prone to uterine cancer than the rest of the populace and sons who were more prone to be transsexual.

              How does that last line fit?  Is it okay to be a transwoman if mumsy was on DES but not otherwise?  Where is logic going to lead us?

              •  Of course you're right (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                rserven

                in some ways.

                But most of the stuff I've read indicates that science says sexual preference is not a choice.  In fact, this discussion is one of the very few (maybe only) places where I've seen the 'it is a choice' position, or at least 'it might be a choice' or 'it's sometimes a choice' position taken up by someone who is not ignorant or bigoted.  

                You've surely read much more of this literature than I, but I've read some, and it all indicates that there's a strong correlation between conditions present at birth (not necessarily genes) and sexual preference.

                As I noted in other comments, I think that when we really do start to get some good science here, we will find that there are no categories, and that everything is a continuum.  That the question is not "are you straight or gay?" but "How gay are you?"

                In fact, it's almost certainly several continua.

                •  Almost all of the scientific data... (1+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  plf515

                  ...is about gay men.  There is extremely little corresponding evidence about women or transfolk.

                  Science does tend to restrict it's focus to men.  I'm sure you have noticed.

                  •  You mean (GASP) that science (0+ / 0-)

                    studies men more than women????

                    I am SHOCKED!

                    snark, of course, but it really shouldn't be; women, are, after all, roughly half the population.  The little I've seen on the issue seems to say there are as many L as G people.  I know you've said there's no really good estimate of the number of T people (and I know I've mentioned at least one study that involves T people exclusively).

                    but, yeah, yet another instance of science studying one group and sort of half-assedly supposing it's general.  Somehow, it's always the group with power (whites, men, etc.) that gets studied.  I wonder why?

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