Homosexuality and Homophobia: In the end it is about Tolerance

Tolerance

This morning I visited Get Real Post to check on how my readers responded to my recent article on the Pacquiao vs gay community fiasco. I was pleased to see that my piece has piqued so many interests from so many people. However, I may have touched a nerve amongst some of my pro-gay readers. For that I hope they can forgive my “heresy” and appreciate my intent of questioning the seeming intolerance of the pro-gay community against those whom they label as “homophobes” and not homosexuality itself. But since the debate has shifted to the nature of homosexuality, whether it is natural or not, then please allow me to play Devil’s Advocate.

I have read some interesting and “science-based” explanations regarding homosexuality. Most of the folks who rely on science more than faith seem to argue that homosexuality is natural and there is genetic basis for it. It certainly sounds plausible that the ‘gay gene’ got passed on down to the next generations when homosexuals chose to have sex with the opposite sex. Now, let’s not even go to the question whether there is indeed a ‘gay gene’ or not. The truth is, the theory for this has not really been definitively tested and proven yet. Just October of last year, a supposedly breakthrough study on the quest for the ‘gay gene’ was met with derision from geneticists who criticized the methods presented, the validity of the results, and the coverage in the press. It appears that the whole thing was so hyped up by the media but the study doesn’t really do what it says it does. But again, just for the sake of discussion, let’s grant (without necessarily accepting yet) that there is indeed a ‘gay gene’.

So, how do we test this idea of a ‘gay gene’ and its propagation? How do we test the fascinating theories that support homosexuality’s natural status? Do these theories pass the evolution under the natural selection framework test? It seems to me that it would be a fair test to subject homosexuality under since we are trying to “scientifically validate” the claim that homosexuality is natural.

The late Harvard University Professor, Dr. Stephen Gould, who was also an evolutionary biologist (or more accurately, a comparative zoologist) and a professing Darwinian (but not necessarily a Darwinian apologist), said that Darwin did two separate things. First, he convinced the scientific world that evolution had occurred and second, he proposed the theory of natural selection as its mechanism. Fossil records are indicators that evolution has occurred. As for natural selection, Gould tells that it offers no guarantee on the rightness of principles. Gould said:

“Natural selection is a theory of local adaptation to changing environments. It proposes no perfecting principles, no guarantee of general improvement; …”

“Darwin’s independent criterion of fitness is, indeed, `improved design,’ but not `improved’ in the cosmic sense that contemporary Britain favored. To Darwin, improved meant only `better designed for immediate, local environment.’ Local environments change consistently: they get colder or hotter, wetter or drier, more grassy or more forested. Evolution by natural selection is no more than a tracking of these changing environments by differential preservation of organisms better designed to live in them: hair on a mammoth is not progressive in any cosmic sense. Natural selection can produce a trend that tempts us to think of more general progress…”

Again, as I understand it, evolution is a gradual process in which something changes into a different and usually more complex or better form. Natural selection is the mechanism behind evolution and it is a theory of local adaptation to changing environments. Local environments change consistently. The Earth has become hotter and colder throughout time. Environments have become wetter and drier, etc. The empirical data we have certainly shows how different species have adopted to the changing environments. The evolutionary history of the elephant family gives a good insight for how natural selection worked.

So in essence, evolution by natural selection tracks changing environments by differential preservation of organisms better designed to live in them.

Now, is there any empirical data that shows how the changing temperature throughout the planet’s history, for instance, has changed sexuality? Or why homosexuality emerged from the change in our planet’s historical climate? Can fossils of Australopithecus afarensis and Homo habilis and Homo erectus and Homo sapiens sapiens be correlated to the changing climates from their respective periods for us to see why homosexuality is what it is today? Do we have empirical data to show that human sexuality is directly proportional to natural selection from changing local environments? What empirical evidence do we have to show that the ‘gay gene’ favorably propagated from whatever ideal change in local environment or climate?

While we are out looking for empirical evidence for the evolutionary under the natural selection framework basis for homosexuality, let’s also look for the same for cannibalism, bestiality, and necrophilia. Hey, they do occur and there is evidence of their occurrence so they must be fair game to be deemed as natural, right? Let’s look for empirical evidence for the ‘cannibalism gene’, ‘bestiality gene’, and the ‘necrophilia gene’!

So people, can’t we see how dangerous it is to bash a belief (however antiquated and silly they may sound to us) prematurely without making sure that what we bash others with may also be flawed or at least may be inconclusive?

Ah yes, but in reality this whole controversy is not really about religious versus scientific belief, isn’t it? It really isn’t whether homosexuality is natural or not. It is really about tolerance. Both sides cannot really make any claims in holding the truth regarding homosexuality. Like I said, homosexuality and its nature are still being debated. So really, this is about how people ought to tolerate difference of beliefs. Tolerance matters when it comes to actions and ideas we don’t like or believe in. Pacquiao doesn’t believe in same-sex marriage and thinks that homosexuality is not natural. Aiza Seguerra is a strong advocate of same-sex marriage and in all likelihood, she strongly believes that homosexuality is natural. From my vantage point, Pacquiao only stated his opinion and he never tried to repress other people’s opposing opinion on the matter. (He even apologized and offered his love and prayer to those who may have been offended by his remarks.) That seems more tolerant than the actions of his bashers who spewed vitriol and words of hate directly at him (words such as ignorant, bigoted, hypocrite, and homophobe).

As a parting shot, based on what I have seen, I think that the real intolerance is coming from those accusing Pacquiao of intolerance (or homophobia, ignorance, bigotry, hypocrisy, etc.). These folks are supposed to be the “tolerant” bunch yet they are the ones who are showing refusal to respect or “tolerate” an opposing opinion. Boy, have pro-gay folks evolved into such a sophisticated bunch! I really have to hand it to them. These folks quickly realized they can use “tolerance” as a weapon to subdue even its nicest critics like Pacquiao. But I wonder how they would feel about welcoming a branch of the Westboro Baptist Church or even a mosque for Sunni Fundamentalists right next to the Chélu (a popular gay bar in Malate, Manila)? That is certainly interesting.

(Image taken from Patriot Update)

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25 Comments on “Homosexuality and Homophobia: In the end it is about Tolerance”

  1. I think you are missing the point. There is no doubt that Manny is a nice guy but what he said about gay people is abhorent. If anything else, Manny should be tolerant since he proudly proclaim that He is a man of God. To compare Gay people to animals is extremely abhorent ang blatantly ignorant. Eveb the pope would not say such thing about gay people. Manny insulted millioms of gay people. Do you realy expect them not to react with such contempt?

    It also does not matter whether being gay is genetically hereditary or a choice. The issue here is personal liberty or the pursuit of happiness without hutung others.

    Morever, gay people aren’t pissed off at Manny for saying he is against same-sex marriage. He has every right to express his own personal beliefs, and I happen to agree with him that the church should not wed same-sex couple for the simple fact thst it is against their religion. You somehow twisted your arguments and implied that gay people are bashing Manny because of his stance on same-sex marriage which is blatantly false.

    Lastly, Manny spewed intolerance, which he has a right to exoress his ignorance but people has also the right to fight intolerance with intolerance.

    What would my reaction be if I see members of the westborough baptist church rallying with placards saying that gay people are an abomination? I would insult the hell out of them and ridicule their fundamentalist beliefs. They display their intolerance, I will do the same.

    They are standing up for their beliefs and I would, too. Bigots and ignorant fucks should not be tolerated. Will u tolerate someone who bash your personal beliefs? Me thinks it is time for you to get off your high horse 🙂

    1. I think you are missing the point. There is no doubt that Manny is a nice guy but what he said about gay people is abhorent. If anything else, Manny should be tolerant since he proudly proclaim that He is a man of God. To compare Gay people to animals is extremely abhorent ang blatantly ignorant. Eveb the pope would not say such thing about gay people. Manny insulted millioms of gay people. Do you realy expect them not to react with such contempt?

      I see. So exactly how does a gay person (or any person for that matter) being compared to animals extremely abhorrent? The way people view the worth of animals is a value judgment. So where do we base our valuation on? Is there such a thing as objective value? Or is value pretty much relative or subjective? If animals (or human beings) don’t really have any objective value, would a person being compared to an animal still be abhorrent? Now sure, I don’t expect Manny’s bashers to offer him flowers after his remark. But how exactly do they have any authority to suggest that Manny is intolerant if they themselves are intolerant? Live and let live, right? Afterall, it was just a stupid remark.

      It also does not matter whether being gay is genetically hereditary or a choice. The issue here is personal liberty or the pursuit of happiness without hutung others.

      But being hurt upon hearing a remark is based on perception. Different people may perceive things differently and at different levels. Gay person X may not take Manny’s remarks as bad as gay person Y may. Now with regards to your assertion on personal liberty and the pursuit of happiness without hurting others, Justice Jodie Ginsburg said that “The right to free speech means nothing without the right to offend.” Sure, Manny’s remarks may be deemed offensive but should the fact that his words are deemed offensive be used as an excuse for shutting down his right to free speech? As Justice Ginsburg said, that is exactly how millions of are silenced and how repressive regimes thrive. What protects people’s rights to say things others may find objectionable is precisely what protects one’s rights to object. You are correct to say that this issue is about personal liberty of the pursuit of happiness but the “without hurting part”, I’m afraid, is not plausible.

      Morever, gay people aren’t pissed off at Manny for saying he is against same-sex marriage. He has every right to express his own personal beliefs, and I happen to agree with him that the church should not wed same-sex couple for the simple fact thst it is against their religion. You somehow twisted your arguments and implied that gay people are bashing Manny because of his stance on same-sex marriage which is blatantly false.

      Actually, if you read my original article on this Manny vs LGBT issue, I mentioned that what infuriated the pro-gay crowd was Manny’s comparison of gays with animals. I also mentioned that Manny’s stance on same-sex marriage is nothing new.

      Lastly, Manny spewed intolerance, which he has a right to exoress his ignorance but people has also the right to fight intolerance with intolerance.

      Yes and I am not questioning that right. Afterall, that is part of free speech. Did I even remotely suggest to stifle the pro-gays’ right to bash Manny? What I am saying is that I find their bashing of Manny disturbing (probably as much as how they find Manny’s remarks disturbing), especially given the fact that they themselves are resorting to the same intolerance (perhaps even worse) instead of a more civil and substantive refutation of Manny’s words. Afterall, most of these bashers also assert that Manny is a stupid moron who should stick to sports rather than politics. It would have been nice if they took the high ground since in most likelihood, they are more intelligent than Manny. But hey… that is their choice. I am just merely stating my opinion and preference which all my readers here can take with a grain of salt.

      What would my reaction be if I see members of the westborough baptist church rallying with placards saying that gay people are an abomination? I would insult the hell out of them and ridicule their fundamentalist beliefs. They display their intolerance, I will do the same.

      Well, that is your choice and you have all the right to say what you want to say to them. Eye for an eye, right? But if you choose to do that, you do realize that you also lose the authority to claim tolerance and you’ll probably end up being no different from those fundamentalist nutjobs, right?

      They are standing up for their beliefs and I would, too. Bigots and ignorant fucks should not be tolerated.

      Really? Bigots and ignorant fucks should not be tolerated? You do realize that you may appear to those folks as a bigot and an ignorant fuck as well, right? You don’t share the same beliefs and what you hold to be (factually) true may be deemed as bigotry and ignorance for them. Surely you believe that they have no right to impose their beliefs on you, right? So what right do you have to impose yours on them?

      Will u tolerate someone who bash your personal beliefs?

      I deal with this all the time. 🙂 hehehe And yes, I do practice tolerance most of the time. Sure there are times I fight back and fight fire with fire but hey… nobody is perfect. 🙂

      Me thinks it is time for you to get off your high horse

      What high horse are you talking about? I was merely offering a critique on the vitriol and in this article I was merely pointing out that the claims of a lot of pro-gay folks with regards to the nature of homosexuality may not hold water. I think you should take a pause and have a nice cold drink to relax. 🙂

      Thanks for reading!

    2. Actually, the same principle applies to Pacquiao’s very presence in Congress. It could be argued that the way Filipinos vote incompetent politicians into office can be described as “abhorrent”. But that opinion does not necessarily make that sector of the electorate less entitled to express their will through their vote.

  2. It seems that people are looking for excuses to make homosexuals look unnatural and so not give them the right to marry.

    My perception, opinion and view is this: I see that females fall in love with females. What the heck. I am not looking for evidence – scientifically or otherwise. They are just there. I easily accept it. And then they want to marry. Okay, why not. If I can as heterosexual, then you (lesbian) must also be able to marry.

    Do they ruin the family code? Should I mind? The individual personal rights exceeds that.
    I dont expect gays and lesbians will get the right to marry in a church or mosque very soon. Probably never. I am sure, most of them dont care about that as long as they can have a civil marriage/wedding. And I really dont care if there is a gay gene or not.

    I dont even understand why I (as male) do have (2) nipples. Can somebody explain me that? Was that part of god’s plan?

  3. Thanks for this piece, Hector. The reaction to this whole kerfuffle was just amazeballs! LOL. But really, if the issue is homosexuality and its genetic origins let the biologists settle that (although, I think, psychologists and sociologists may be better equipped at this time due to the lack of supporting hard scientific (physical, biological) evidence, come on, personal experience and simplistic observations do not count). If the issue is morality of it and its distinctions (orientation vs actions/behavior), let that be a discussion within moral philosophy. And if it is about same sex marriage (which is also quite different from discussing same sex unions and same sex relationships), that is quite a socio-political question. It’s ultimately pointless to discuss whether it is natural or unnatural (whatever that means) when we are talking about implications on public policy, constitutional law, human rights. It becomes a red herring. What is the issue really? That has got to be defined clearly to reduce the heavy cloud of highly emotive distractions that abound. So let’s be very precise in our discussions: I don’t think same sex marriage is good for society. Some may argue along the lines of evolutionary implications and its undermining of our survival as a species, that may still be too broad and quite faulty in its assumptions, but I would take this route: Biologically, the truth is only a male and a female can reproduce, anthropologically, the truth is that men and women are different and these differences matter especially that sociologically, the truth is that children need both a mother and a father. So same sex marriage goes against those truths and it may have severe consequences to society. This of course does not mean that same sex relationships should be banned, it isn’t and it shouldn’t be, people should be free to engage in the relationships they prefer be it same sex, polyamorous, adulterous, or even incestuous, these may not even be banned and people are doing it in the Philippines and no one needs to be punished for these taken my view to the extreme. However, these cannot be considered marriages for the purposes of the state and at the same time no individual liberty or rights are being infringed, just because these relationships fail to acquire government entitlements.

    1. Pepe,
      okay lets take a lesbian couple that is not married. One of the 2 women just goes to a sperm bank (yes available in Europe, but at least in my country) and let those sperm cells be inseminated into her womb (together with her own fertilized egg cell of course).

      Now, I have a vivid imagination and fantasy that a gay – unmarried – couple can do something similar. All they need to do is find a woman who will carry the fertilzed cells inside her womb.

      So to only allow same sex relationships dont wash bec it is not good for society (according to you).

      All the above is already taken place by heterosexual couples that cant get kids (for some reason and/or causes; IVF)

      1. I’m not sure exactly which part of my argument you are trying to rebutt here, Rob, but I have an idea so thanks for engaging. I think the main point is that as you intimated what is “good for society”, not just according to me or you but what we can democratically agree about it. 50 years of robust studies involving fatherlessness have implied, to quote US president Obama in 2008: “We know the statistics: that children who grow up without a father are five times more likely to live in poverty and commit crime, nine times more likely to drop out of school, and twenty times more likely to end up in prison. They are more likely to have behavioral problems or run away from home, or become teenage parents themselves. And the foundations of our community are weaker because of it.” The issue also involves institutionalising some “right to have children” leave alone, the “right to get married” (SCOTUS somehow deduced such a thing) without due reference to those who don’t have and haven’t gotten, are they somehow deprived of some right or are they less of a human being because of their circumstances? Not really. It does not stand in rigorous legal scrutiny. Also, what does that say about the rights of children? So, does same sex marriage promote what’s “good” for society? With respect to fatherlessness, no, simply because, while we are not criminalising same sex marriages and families, or banning sperm banks and adoption for childless heterosexual couples (which, by the way, are not guaranteed to not have children – a key difference between the childless couple and same sex couples), we will be, through the power of the state, in effect, instituting (or worse, incentivising) fatherlessness. I shudder to think about motherlessness, it might even be far worse. There just isn’t enough studies yet. We may be seeing it already in OFW homes, but the data has to be collated. I hope I got your point correctly. If not, feel free to clarify your position. Thanks!

        1. Pepe,
          Thanks for responding.

          I am not gonna say that my country is the best. I guess, most Filipinos will label my country as hell on earth (legal divorce, legal same sex marriage, legal abortion, legal euthanasia).

          Probably either all those surveys/studies do not apply to European/Dutch cases or the Dutch government had other reasons/motives why they allow legal same-sex marriage and to let those couples raise kids.

          Anyway, there was no revolt and no big protests. Probably only from the religious political parties (we only have 3 religious based political parties and those parties have not that many supporters to make a difference).
          Now, since 2001 we have legal same sex marriage and I cant say my country has become (more) chaotic or even getting close to a dysfunctional situation.
          Nobody (well for sure the majority) is not and was not looking for moral, ethical, scientific excuses to not allow gay/lesbians to marry each other.

          Just assume that my personal view is to be against same sex marriage, does that give me the right to stop you (in case you are gay and wanted to marry) from having a legal same sex marriage? No. It only means that I myself will never engage in a same sex marriage.

          Besides all that we also have rules that you (as quardian/parent of a child) can be taken away from your own child, regardless of your sexual orientation/preference and your gender. So you will lose all parental rights over your own kid(s).

          In short:
          my country is not turned upside down, no chaos. The country is still going strong.

        2. (in addition to my previous contribution)
          My country has a more “I” (me, myself and I)-culture. And I dont mean selfishly. I mean: “you can/will not bother me and I will not bother you” & “I dont mind what you do with your life”. I like to call that “being practical”.

          So in that context, giving gays and lesbians the right to marry is not bothering me at all. You are not interfering my private space.

          Gun ownership is interfering with my private space. So I dont think that my government will ever allow that.

          It also helps a great deal, that we slowly but surely distance ourselves from religous indoctrination (as most will call it). It takes away free will; it limits our free thinking. Mind you, till the 1950s or so, we hardly had any of those legal rights bec we were still thinking in line of religious doctrine.

          Let me give you a brief insight on the 3 religious based political parties in my country. We have three of them. The CU (Christian Union), SGP and CDA. If the SGP would be in power, they will bring us back to pre-WW2 era.
          Only the male can be the breadwinner; the woman must stay at home and clean the house (she is not allowed to wear pants but only a knee high skirt), raise the kids; no television; no internet; no pop music; and sunday is the rest day.

        3. Well, Rob, I’m not part of those “most Filipinos” that label The Netherlands as “hell on earth”. That would be exaggerating, and I’d agree most Filipinos tend to exaggerate. I am pro-life, I am not sure of my position on euthanasia yet, however I like your decriminalisation of drug use, although my model for that is still Portugal. 😉 I’m more interested to see what is warranted by the data on same-sex marriage, after all it is a relatively new phenomenon (yet, decades of solid research on fatherlessness should cast doubt on the success of same-sex parenting despite all the small-scale research the media hypes) Let me just say that I’ve always maintained that the proper barometer for social policy isn’t what individuals, such as yourself, think they observe. So what you think of your country’s experience is largely moot. Sorry but I just can’t take your word for it. Only when we see collective data processed, we feel the real pulse of the nation. So let’s see the data: As early as 2004, the Dutch “increasingly regard marriage as no longer relevant because they have been persuaded that marriage is not connected to parenthood and that marriage and cohabitation are equally valid lifestyle choices…” (Mourik et al, 2004) Marriage already lost its place as the fundamental building block of society in the Netherlands and is now considered an “endangered institution”. In 2009, Dr Mircea Trandafir of Canada’s Université de Sherbrooke studied the effects of same-sex unions, partnerships (1998) and same-sex marriage (2001) in the Netherlands and “the results suggest that same-sex marriage leads to a fall in the different-sex marriage rate… the different-sex marriage rate falls after the legalization of same-sex marriage.” In any case, let me be clear, it isn’t same-sex ‘marriage’ that led to the demise of marriage if anything it is just another nail in the coffin that has already been built from decades of the idea that marriage is all about the feelings of adults, it is no wonder that in the Dutch experience and collective mindset, parenting has been jettisoned from marriage. I’m sure you’ve heard of the flitsscheidingen (“flash divorce”) where heterosexual couples get the option to sort of downgrade their marriage to a legal partnership due to the same-sex marriage act of 2001. (Antokolskaia and Boele-Woelki, 2004 and Manting and Loeve, 2004). Once you redefine marriage from its essential property of (a) one man, one woman, other essential properties, (b) permanence, and (c) exclusivity, crumble as well. So there are unintended consequences of the legislation. These are serious considerations to dismiss these as “moral, ethical, scientific excuses” is rather callous and to think that same-sex marriage does not adversely affect society due to its inherent characteristics (guaranteed biologically infertile, anthropologically non-complementary, and sociologically creates fatherless/motherless children and politically incentivises it) would be naive. Sure there are plausible reasons why European and other countries approved of such policy for all we know we are dealing with competing objectives and we may be missing the forest for the trees as the studies seem to show, by the way, Antokolskaia and Boele-Woelki’s 2004 paper is entitled “Dutch Family Law in the 21st Century: Trend-Setting and Straggling Behind at the Same Time”. That says a lot. Sure, you may think that your country has not been turned upside down, that would be exaggerating too, no one expects total chaos from the evolution (destruction?) of the family as a basic social institution, there are far bigger and more immediate challenges we face globally. However, it is good to put our houses in order. If Barack Obama in 2008 is right in his comments I quoted above, all the more, any state has valid interest in strengthening traditional marriage and the family to relieve further burdens to society and the welfare system. With respect to your additional comments, again, I am for liberty, I ultimately do not want the state to be in the business of our bedrooms that’s why I don’t understand why gays want the entitlements of state-sanctioned marriage if not to legitimise their preferred relationships and to gain social acceptance for their orientation and lifestyle which sadly many still view disparagingly when proper distinctions can be made to reduce unnecessary friction, where as I have mentioned earlier no one’s rights is actually being infringed, SCOTUS CJ Roberts said that too. However, the state is already in the business of regulating marriages and it may be legitimately under its interest to make sure new citizens are created and grow in the right environment. Government must uphold the gold standard without banning other forms of relationships. Gays can and should be able to love and form families as they see fit, there is no need to criminalise that, but to incentivise it is another thing altogether. Not all sexual relationships are equal and not all relationships can be considered marriages for the purposes of the society. Again, I appreciate your engagement. 🙂 I do hope that I may not be painted as being bigoted or homophobic because these ad hominems has misconstrued a lot of us already who care for our homosexual friends and family members but just cannot agree to same sex marriage. Admittedly there are those from both sides who distort our views but I try my best to present my views (although I tend to ramble) and represent the views of those who do not agree with me so the conversations are productive. 🙂

        4. Pepe,
          Is being pro-life, no ifs, no buts or …..?
          decriminalisation of drug use => this only applies for soft-drugs. Not for hard-drugs.
          For me, its too long ago what my government’s ideas were to allow gays and lesbians a civil wedding. I can only guess that the articles you mentioned were no issue at that time. Maybe they were too focused on equal human rights, I don’t know.
          What I do know is that to make such a (new) law, the Constitution had to be changed first. And that is a long tedious process. That’s why they come up with a – so called – transition phase/model. So they came up with 2 new forms of relatonships that gave the same rights as a civil wedding. That is “living together contract” and “registered partnership”. These 2 forms give 2 people the same rights and same responsibilites/obligations as a civil wedding.
          I cant give you any statistics about how many homosexual couples (married or not married) do have kids (via IVF, adoption or otherwise). In case you are curious, you may want to try the Dutch national bureau of statistics (Centraal Bureau voor de Statistiek: http://www.cbs.nl/).
          Again, if one is gay and wants to live his life the way he wants then that is peachy and swell. And if a gay man or lesbian woman mistreats her/his kid(s), he/she will be reported to the authorities. This also happens with heterosexual couples.
          The overall sentiment that I get while talking with my friends is that the topic of homosexuality is a non-issue. And talking about that topic is not a taboo.

          Last but not least:
          Everything that happens in the Philippines also happens in my country. We also have poor – or less privileged – families. On the other hand, everybody can make big money here (in a legal way), also those who come from less privileged backgrounds. They just have to grab the opportunity when it arises. And we all need a little luck now and then. And you need to have parents who stimulate and encourage you to mold one’s talent. In most cases a rough edged diamond (= talent) needs to be molded into a beautiful diamond. And then that beautiful diamond can shine. But if talent is not recognized it also cant be molded. And if parents are not the types who encourage and stimulate, well then we are wasting our own kids and basically ruining their future.

        5. Hi again Rob (I hope you don’t mind me calling you Rob or do people call you Bob? Or just Robert?) Anyway, just a little off-topic: Pro-life “no ifs and no buts” may be too strict, we also have to be expedient sometimes but exercise restraint when treating life even if we are not sure. The best part is we are already past the time when we have to choose between life of the mother or the child thanks to technology, and most mothers of “unwanted” babies no matter what circumstance will choose life anyway. With regards to drugs, yeah, Portugal also distinguishes among drugs and their rehabilitation program has been working well for over 12 years now.
          I didn’t quite get your responses to the papers I’ve cited, 2004, 2009, those are fairly recent for social science. My point in citing those studies is simply that there are unintended consequences brought about by any legislation redefining marriage to which even The Netherlands experience. This isn’t an equality issue as I noted in the above, and as I also have demonstrated in the above, it also isn’t a civil liberties issue. One caveat is that we have yet to see its specific effects since I understand that this is a relatively nee phenomenon. My guess is, based on decades of research on divorce and fatherlessness, that it would be to the detriment of the children or new citizens and we can only expand our welfare states so much, and given that the Philippines is a third world country, strengthening the family would ease the burden on welfare, retaining the traditional definition of marriage would be more prudent and practical. Flitsscheidingen, paved a way for heterosexual couples to circumvent the divorce process that are tedious for good reasons, I mean there are some states in which it is easier to get a divorce than to replace a faulty fridge. That says a lot about our culture too and it is made readily available as what logically follows from redefining marriage. You said so yourself, “you need to have parents who stimulate and encourage you to mold one’s talent”, so there’s been a significant rise and continued trend throughout the decades in The Netherlands of out-of-wedlock children, how can we better develop those diamonds in the rough when the place or the environment where they are supposedly polished are breaking down? When we have part-time or largely absent mothers and fathers. Of course, homosexual couples can have children through technology, there is even talk about an artificial womb! However, it does nothing to the truth that the baby has a biological mother and a father to which she has rights to and that sociologically speaking she has rights to a married mother and father who both anthropologically bring complementary benefits to the table. With same sex marriage, we are actually instituting fatherlessness and motherlessness and I’ve let Mr Obama tell us its implications to the society based on the studies; the rights of children once again have been sacrificed for the desires of adults. Given this, I maintain that agree with you “if one is gay and wants to live his life the way he wants”, in fact even in the Philippines, one actually can to a certain extent, because it should not be at the expense of the rights of others such as children, that’s just not “peachy and swell” we delude ourselves if we say it is. I also agree that “the topic of homosexuality is a non-issue. And talking about that topic is not a taboo” I’d say the same for all other sorts of topics, no sacred cows! We should all stop it with the political correctness already such as calling people names: “islamophobes”, “homophobes” and “bigoted”, as it severely stifles the free exchange of ideas, we’re all better than that. But we should continue to discuss it as civilly as possible; homosexuality is a multi-faceted topic and it is very easy to create more heat than light. Again, thank you for your thoughts, Rob! I really appreciate it. 🙂

        6. Pepe,
          I really don’t mind how you address me as long as I get it that you responded to a comment of me. Otherwise I may/might not reply. However, being called Bob in my own country has never happened. Robert is common, Rob is rare. (When my niece was very young, she couldn’t pronounce the R, so she addressed me by the name of Lob instead of Rob. As you maybe probably have figured out by now, we don’t use words like Kuya, Ate and Dong).

          For me personally, a pregnancy as a result of rape is unacceptable (if I were the partner of the raped woman). I really don’t think I can handle/manage such an event. Let alone, the fact that I don’t think I want to see that boy/girl bec it will always remind me of not being a part of me and not being made out of love. And now the harshest part: I don’t think, I will want to work for that kid (in that case, I will be the guardian and not the parent). Hopefully, my partner will have the same sentiment/mindset. Pls understand me correctly: I will never blame my partner for being raped, she disnt asked for being raped. That’s why my POV is that rapist should be jailed for life without parole. And another POV is that in such cases I advocate/support abortion. The kid is not carrying my genes and it was not made out of love by very likely a complete stranger.
          When it comes to decriminalizing soft-drugs, I was and am still not sure what to make of my own view about that. Maybe probably it will lead to more petty thefts to get their fix/shot.

          Re your cited studies:
          Maybe politicians think that it simply doesn’t apply to the Dutch scene. And that also the Dutch people are also not bothered by it. Normally and ussually, such “big issues” will be published in daily newspapers, especially in the quality newspapers. And of course in medical and/or psycholigical/sociological journals.

          Most legal divorces are settled smoothly and will not take that much time. Most used reason for a divorce (in a court near you) is irreconcilable differences.

          O/T:
          If you got the time, maybe you want to read something about the “new” Dutch phenomenon called “vechtscheidingen”. A legal divorce process that doesn’t goes smoothly. Each party fighting over visitation rights or even over the micro-wave.

          I have friends who engaged in one of the 2 new forms of relationships (mentioned in an earlier comment) and they have kids. And everything goes according to plan. They are performing good in school and the 2 kids are social, smart, bright. Another friend of mine is married (civil and in church) and they decided to not procreate for the sake of both their careers.

          Now let me tell you something personal about myself in regard to relationships and having kids of my own.
          To make that decision to wanting and having kids, it is important that all the circumstances/surroundings are beneficial for the future kid. This include: not living in a war-zone (example: Syria), not living in territories where my kid can not excel (typhoon, earthquake, landslide, violence, civil war, corruption, poverty, hunger). On top of that both my partner and I have to be ready to become parents. Physiological, psychological, health-wise). And the income of both parents need to quarantuee a possible future for the kid. As you may know, “Utang na loob” is not part of the Dutch culture at all. Children do not and don’t have to take care of the parents. That will only limit their chances of a good future. And its selfish to make kids and then let those kids work for me. That is not what I see as good parenthood.
          Finally, I don’t want to become another statistics and end up in a divorce. So, I want to pick a quality person as my partner. If she is not there, then probably I will stay single. I just refuse to accept mediocraty in one’s mindset and thinking. And I am sorry to say but I (together with my partner) will decide about life (procreate) and not some guy living up there.

          Pac-Man vs Pepe
          There are 2 things I didn’t like about Pac-Man’s statement. He didn’t show his own opinion (he just copied something out of a book, the bible) and the comparison he made with animals. If he dropped (not uttering that last sentence) that very last sentence, Nike would still be with him. And that is what I like about your comments: you don’t throw the bible at me. You go deeper in the material/topic.

        7. Pepe,
          I am not here to convert people to atheism. I am not gonna say that the Philippines have worse problems than homosexuality. That implies that homosexuality is a problem. I don’t think that homosexuality in the Philippines is a problem. They have no equal human rights. They probably don’t have the right to legally or even illegally adopt kids. So how can we describe that as a problem? But the Philippines do have serious problems. Unless of course they are okay with the current status. If they really want to get rid of those problems its really about time to start facing them. Even a lousy TV network can never be part of the solution to get rid of the major problems. The problems lay within the population. I am not poor bec we have a non-corrupt government. I am not poor bec my parents stimulated and encouraged me to use my talents. And they would have done that also in case my government was corrupt and/or if all the TV networks aired lousy TV programs.
          Yes, I was raised an atheist. But that doesn’t mean that my parents would have done things differently. Talent is talent. Only in my case, my talent wasn’t god given. Oh and some things are not regarded as a talent. Everybody can clean a house (dust, mob, vacuum clean) and everybody can cook (how difficult can that be?). So I don’t consider that as a talent. And if I cant cook, I can always follow a crash course.

        8. All right, it’s Robert then! Just some note on the abortion and rape: One, these are minority cases, and two, it would be better to ask the pregnant victim of rape and that’s exactly what they did back in the 1980s still to date the most recent biggest study on the subject of psychological effects of abortion with pregnant rape victims. Dr Sandra Makhorn found out that around 75-85% of these victims chose against abortion with several reasons one being that 70% of these mothers believe abortion is immoral because it is another act of violence (just like rape) perpetrated against their bodies and their children. Also, as they have been victimized, and the thought that they in turn might victimize their own innocent child through abortion is repulsive. Also some have suggested that these mothers felt that going through the pregnancy and giving birth conquers the rape, ending the cycle of violence. There are other reasons stated in the interpretations of the study and other studies such as Maloof, 1979, but my final thoughts are that abortion isn’t some magic turn-back-time pill that makes rape victims unpregnant, it is almost always also a traumatic and stressful procedure, and lastly, we ought to exercise special restraint because we still do not scientifically know for sure when life begins. Hypothetically, as the partner, or even really as an outsider, I can never truly comprehend the depth of violent acts of rape and, according to the study, abortion to women. Also the women themselves felt that they can love the child regardless and it is also not his/her fault. Yes I’d agree with you that rapists must receive the toughest penalties also, although I think you also, like me do not agree with the death penalty, as most of my Filipino compatriots clamor for. On soft drugs, I’d rather educate people on its effects but we have to treat it like tobacco and alcohol, which may even be far more destructive and addictive. I want to believe that we are all capable deciding what’s best for ourselves individually and that we all would want to have the best of health. Government doesn’t have to do it for us. But for hard drugs maybe some stricter regulation is needed but that also gives ammunition to the black market as we see now, bootleggers also abound, just as in the past when alcohol was immersed in prohibition so it will all be more unsafe just as it is now. Violence ensuing from drug use can be dealt with separately just as with other crimes to persons and property. On the studies I’ve cited, yeah, perhaps, we all know how politicians operate. In any case, we have yet to see and learn from your experience there are a lot of other problems The Netherlands is facing such as the economy, the eurozone, the refugee crisis and an ageing population. “Irreconcilable differences” is the sort of standard response (excuse?) for getting a divorce, that’s as vague as it gets. I’m at least delighted to hear that you are willing to wait for the right partner and I also find your ideas about parenthood and “utang na loob” refreshing the only thing that would be better to hear for me is that if you were actually an average Filipino, that kind of thinking would indeed be even more amazing for me if majority of my countrymen were to think like that. Thank you for even sharing your very personal insights! I agree that it’s still up to you as a couple to decide when or whether to have a child.

          On your additional thoughts, yes we all face a lot of problems in this country with limited time we can only address so much. Even that is a democratic decision, I mean the people through their lawmakers get to decide our priorities. I think I made my point clearly already with respect to same sex marriage and why it will be a problem for the Philippines and how it is a problem so far even in the Netherlands; I have also made my point that this isn’t an equal rights issue nor it is an infringement of individual rights: CJ Roberts said in his dissent to Obergefell: “…the privacy cases [such as Griswold, Lawrence] provide no support for the majority’s position, because petitioners do not seek privacy. Quite the opposite, they seek public recognition of their relationships, along with corresponding government benefits. Our cases have consistently refused to allow litigants to convert the shield provided by constitutional liberties into a sword to demand positive entitlements from the State.” Yes, homosexuality is not a problem in the Philippines, it should not be, anyone should be allowed to live as they see fit as long as they are not infringing on the rights of others, but same sex marriage is a different thing altogether, anti-discrimination laws are also quite different and should be discussed further. Finally, I respect Pacquiao’s views and convictions. It would be presumptuous for me to claim to know what’s in his head or how anyone processes their claims. Almost no idea ever since is really original, even I had to rely on other people’s research and find out for myself if these are warranted. I certainly don’t agree with his “worse than animals” comment and I believe that’s precisely what he apologized for. Just that but not his convictions. I try my best to clarify my positions, and I thank you for appreciating that. We can talk bible, religion and atheism if it is within the topic we can go deep into that too if you’re interested in knowing why I think, contrary to popular belief, Theism and even Christianity is a reasonable worldview. There is so much disconnect around online discussions about the topic of homosexuality and same sex marriage and it is very easy to create more heat than light. Anyway, this is getting too long already, but I’m sure to discuss with you again in other issues. It has been a good conversation with you Robert! Thank you very much. You have a good time and I wish you all the best in life man! 🙂

        9. Re: this comment of mine
          I waited quite some time before actually responding because of your last few sentences in your previous response. But because of the majority of your text, I really felt the need to answer. And I certainly don’t want to have the last word.

          Pregnancy as a result of rape
          Without having any numbers, I would and will certainly agree that it must be a rare occurring “event” (pregnancy as a result of rape). And yes, I also agree with you that the victim must have the final say in whether to opt for an abortion or not.
          Although, I cant imagine that a victim wants to continue a said pregnancy for the simple reason/fact that every time she will see and look at her son/daughter she will always be reminded of the dreadful horrible event of the actual rape. Now, who wants that? Furthermore, the pregnancy wasn’t a result out of “making love” (there never was love to begin with). The son/daughter does have 50% of the genes of the biological mother. If the raped mother has a partner (boyfriend or husband) she can never say/speak “OUR boy/daughter”; at best she can only say “MY son/daughter”.
          I, as partner of the raped mother (hence: my partner/wife), think I cannot live in an illusion that I have to work for and raise a kid that does not have my (and/or OUR) genes and that that boy/daughter will also remind me of that dreadful event. So both psychologically and practically, it is wiser for both parties to opt for an abortion. It may put a lot of pressure on the actual relationship if the pregnancy is continued eventually leading to a break-up. An abortion will not erase the event (of the rape) but maybe just maybe when the said couple have started their own offspring, time may heal that wound.
          In case the woman is single (no boyfriend, no husband, no relationship whatsoever), I would also advice her to do to the same for the same reasons mentioned above.
          Last but not least: I guess, you can compare this situation to what you mentioned earlier regarding 2 lesbians/gays raising kids. In the mentioned situation above, were I am the victim’s partner. I am NOT the biological father.

          Studies/questionnaires/Research/polls
          I can never object to an outcome of a study. However, I am not that naïve to question the used methods in ANY study. How was a study/questionnaire conducted/compiled, open-end questions/multiple choice answers/questions, was the interview done one-on-one (one interviewer with one interviewee), were the questions biased, what was the number of interviewees, where was the questionnaire held, were the interviewees chosen randomly; etc etc etc. In short: was it manipulated in such a way that the outcome becomes predictable?

          I really hope that you are familiar with (in) the field of consultancy. Consultancy bureaus are often hired by governments to examine/investigate a particular department. The outcome of the investigations are almost always predictable even before the said Consultancy bureau gives a press conference regarding the investigation.

          Example:
          A study done in the Dutch bible belt will give a different outcome then that same study done in say Amsterdam or Rotterdam. Or a study done in the southern USA states will also give a different outcome compared to that same study done in New York state.

          Rapist(s):
          As long as I live, my country did not have and don’t have the death penalty (as possible punishment). Maybe some kind of removing the male genital as part of the punishment wouldn’t be such a bad idea. Or making him impotent for the rest of his life.

          Life begins at….? / Abortion
          The bible says – if I am not mistaken – right from conception. So to start a conversation about this topic with a strict religious person is useless. All I know is that abortion is legal till the 24th week and that most (or all) Dutch doctors build in a safety margin and will do it till the 20th week.

          “Famous” last few words
          Thanks for your elaborate comments and your effort and time. Very much appreciated.

        10. Haha! It’s okay Rob, I’ll let you have the last word on these. I pretty much laid out my case already. I am grateful to have learned new things from you! See you around here when I have the time to drop by and comment. 🙂

  4. I agree, Pacquiao simply stated what he believes. As for facts about homosexuality among animals, well, let’s leave that for the scientific community to confirm/deny the findings, right?

    Why can’t some of the liberal LGBTQ people and their fans NOT accept the fact that not all people will like them? Even heterosexuals are having a hard time making people like them for who they are: poetry lovers, non-religious, cat-person, religious, likes his cereal cold, doesn’t wear tubes, likes her water on mug before coffee, hates kids, loves LeBron James, etc.

    With relation to the cartoon, my hope goes out to Brendan Eich, man.
    https://blog.mozilla.org/blog/2014/04/05/faq-on-ceo-resignation/

  5. I still cannot understand homosexuality. Not even, in the Scientific point of view. It is an occurrence in nature. Even in plants. Some plants that supposed to be female, and bear fruits; become male.

    Let us all be civil to one another. There is no use shouting down the opponent on the other side of the controversy.

    I do not believe, it is an evolutionary process. I believe: ” it is an aberration of nature, or an aberration in our creation.” However, I do not mean that homosexuals are freaks.

    Unless, we have a full study on homosexuality, based on concrete evidence of facts. Let us leave it, where it is, from now on.

  6. 5434Hyden007Toro99990000,

    I don’t understand homosexuality either like I don’t understand how people are born without arms or legs. However, we have to accept all human beings for what they are as a part of our humanity.

    Aeta

    1. @Aeta:

      Exactly, there are many things and phenomena in our universe, we still cannot understand. Behaviors of people, good and bad; worse and worst. Most, we cannot understand.

      Why is it, there are : insane people…mentally retarded people…suicide bombers…homosexuals… religious radicals/bigots….cross dressers…serial murderers/killers…people who commit genocides…
      congenital liars…nymphomaniacs…pedophiles…queers….Kleptomaniacs…kleptocrats…
      people suffering from depression and paranoia, etc…we leave them, as they are, until we have the proper cognitive abilities to understand them…

  7. If the Failipinos in the Failippines social consciousness seems stuck in February 1986, every year is gonna be a rough ride.

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