Thursday, December 10, 2009

Killing Gays

Some Ugandan politicians want to kill gays because homosexuality is 'not natural in Uganda'. In this, they appear to have been encouraged by American advocates of conversion therapy. Both the Ugandans and Ahmadinejad in Iran, where being gay is a capital crime, identify homosexuality with Western influence. Leaving aside the savagery of the application of such ideas, what is striking is the sheer weirdness of the ideas themselves. Homosexuality is normal in the sense that a consistent and quite high proportion of the population has always been gay. What has also been consistent is persecution. Homosexuality was illegal here not so long ago. The new element here is the idea that it is a colonial import. At one level, this will be a cynical, neo-Nazi attempt to direct popular discontent towards a clearly defined minority group. (In this context, it is significant that in the video clip conversionist Richard Cohen goes to such lengths to gloss over the fact that he suggested in his book that race was a factor in homosexuality.) But real conviction does seem to be involved, a belief that there is some specifically national state of heterosexual purity which is in danger of being polluted by Western influence. It is, I suppose, the very concept of purity of any kind which causes people to kill.

9 comments:

  1. But real conviction does seem to be involved, a belief that there is some specifically national state of heterosexual purity which is in danger of being polluted by Western influence.

    I guess there was a sort of cultural echo of this with the primary mainstream objection to gay marriage: that it would dilute the purity (yeah, right) of the institution of heterosexual marriage.

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  2. Brit, it depends what you think the purpose of marriage is.

    As an affirmation of romantic love between two individuals? For individuals that is certainly how it is mainly viewed in the West and on that basis the objections to homosexual marriage seem inequitable.

    Or the creation of a stable environment for the raising of children and the basic building block of all communities throughout all history and cultures? That is what society would (should?) see as the purpose of marriage.

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  3. 'Homosexuality? I'd rather stick pencils in my eyes!'

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  4. Both the Ugandans and Ahmadinejad in Iran, where being gay is a capital crime, identify homosexuality with Western influence.

    Yeah, now there's some denialism. I mean, what kid, growing up in the most conservative culture imaginable, doesn't realize at some point the natural reality of homosexual orientation? I've found the "something's causing this" arguments laughable since I had my own mind.

    What's depressing is how many people acknowledge this and think we need to exclude these folks, anyway.

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  5. Jeremy Clarkson 2December 10, 2009 1:03 pm

    Sorry, that should read: 'Homosexuality? I'd rather stick a dick up my arse!'.

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  6. Same sex attraction is "normal" in the sense Bryan means. But "gay," in both the bothersome sense that sexual orientation is fundamental to self-identity and in the more benign sense that people are free to pursue their own happiness, is clearly a western concept that "pollutes" the "purity" of Ugandan and Iranian culture.

    In other words, non-western cultures tend to be less bothered by instances of male-male sex play (usually the powerful taking advantage of the less powerful) but more bothered than we are now by men hiving themselves off from the main culture.

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  7. Jeremy Clarkson 2, I take it that you're the version of me that writes for The Sun?

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  8. "Or the creation of a stable environment for the raising of children and the basic building block of all communities throughout all history and cultures? That is what society would (should?) see as the purpose of marriage."

    And our 50% divorce rate goes a long way towards creating that stable society, I suppose. At least the divorce rate among gays is less than among heterosexuals where gay marriage is allowed.

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  9. Homosexuality is virtually unknown in natural populations of animals but develops when they are confined as in zoos. I had three female ducks isolated for the production of their unfertilized eggs. All three turned Lesbian, taking turns mounting one another, the one on top pecking at the neck of the one beneath for some time after which the union was suddenly broken off with a loud quack.

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