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The "Straight" and the "Unstraight"

by Bob on Tuesday, 15 January 2008 Comments
As I have observed on other occasions, people like to label people. There are those like ourselves that we consider comfortable with and those who are different, toward whom we often feel superior or inferior or even threatened. One good example is the labels “straight” and “gay” or “lesbian”, which are determined by one’s sexual preference, the “straight” being those who are sexually attracted only to those of the opposite sex and “gay” or “lesbian” being respectively men or women sexually attracted to those of the same sex. It seems obvious that whoever coined the term “straight” was a diehard heterosexual who firmly believed that his orientation was the one and only true one, right on the mark for moral rectitude. Had the gays or lesbians been more dominant and sure of themselves, then perhaps it would be the homosexuals who were “straight” and the others who were out of line.
If it were simply a matter of sexual orientation, just an inconsequential preference for one kind or other of purely natural animal function, there would be no controversy or conflict between “straights” and “gays” or “lesbians”. But such is not the case. Given the strict literal interpretation of some pronouncements in sacred religious texts which seem to brand homosexual behavior as unnatural and immoral plus the deep sense of repugnance and horror that many “straights” harbor toward all they consider to be unnatural, immoral, indecent, decadent, degrading homosexual behavior, it is not surprising that there are militant “straights” who are very hostile, relentless antagonists, pursuing and punishing transgressors, stamping out every vestige of homosexuality, while many “gays” and “lesbians”, whether they feel guilty or not, have to contend with being treated as outcasts and avoided as contagious.
Putting passion and prejudices aside, what are the real issues? In the first place, it seems that many humans, perhaps the majority, are sexuality attracted to the opposite sex, but many are more attracted toward their own sex, some are attracted both ways and some feel no attraction at all. Now, if “normal” were interpreted as what is true of the majority, then heterosexuality is the more “normal” orientation, but that does not make the other orientations “abnormal”, since they regularly and quite normally also occur all the time. And all the orientations are “natural”, because they occur naturally all the time, being one of the natural appetites humans are born with, though sometimes it is known that events or experiences that occur when one is growing up or later in life can alter one’s orientation or desire.
No one should ever be blamed or condemned or punished or even considered right or wrong simply because of some natural or unnatural inclination. It all depends upon how the person acts upon his attraction or desire. The person’s behavior may be considered immoral by you, if it offends your standards of morality, but it is only immoral in the person who commits it and is only considered sinful by God, if the person has deliberately chosen to perform an act that he or she believes is wrong, but does it anyway.
You have the right to believe and be true to what you believe; you may even have the right to protest, if you see someone else doing what you believe is wrong, but you have no right to judge the state of that person’s conscience or the automatically consign him or her to hell.
My life is my responsibility. Whether I feel heterosexual or homosexual, I should avoid going against my conscience. I should instruct my children and protect them from what can lead them astray, but I must also respect and defend the rights of others to be true to what they believe. If heterosexuals and homosexuals, the “straight” and the “gay” and the “lesbians could learn to respect one another’s freedom and live harmoniously side by side, many misunderstandings and injustices could be avoided. And let’s face it. If you believe strongly in what you believe, you will have a better chance of convincing your neighbors by charity and kindness than by bitter condemnation.

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