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Family Values

Discussion in 'The OT' started by Danny R, Feb 15, 2005.

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  1. Danny R

    Danny R Goblin the Pug DBSTalk Gold Club

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    Why is it that so many conservative figureheads seem to have gay children or family members? Is it just the extreme juxtaposition that makes this a news story which stands out?

    It just strikes me as very odd, like the old stereotype of the hardened marine who is actually gay but works overly hard to suppress it.

    Daughter of conservative Republican calls herself 'liberal queer'

    Keyes of course critiqued Cheney's daughter for her "hedonism".

    Or perhaps I'm just seeing this more since two of the ones in the news have been Georgia figures:

    Georgia's leader for the Christian Coaltion, Sadie Fields, has a lesbian daughter who fought opposite her last year during the gay marriage amendment battle, publishing a very critical look at her mother's actions.

    Newt Gingrich, who pushed for the federal marriage law likewise has a lesbian sister.

    Makes one wonder. I believe that sexuality is both inate and learned (yes, I straddle both sides of the choice debate). Could the extreme conservatism have helped ground the sexuality in a child who is rebelling from their parents? Or perhaps the parent's current behavior is compensation for feeling they have failed somehow in raising their children.

    Oh well, just making observations. All in all the news story just feels wrong, as if somehow these conservative figures are being hypocritical. I've never liked stories where politicians are blamed or critiqued for the actions of their family members.
     
  2. HappyGoLucky

    HappyGoLucky Banned User

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    I think there are a lot more gay people than some realize. While it may seem like an "explosion" to the horrified right-wingers, it isn't that there are more gay people than ever, it is just more gay people unwilling to live a lie and remain closeted.
    I do not believe sexual orientation is learned. Conservatives tend to not understand that there is a difference between sexual acts and sexual orientation. For whatever reasons, be it genetic or hormonal or some other yet undetermined cause, I was born to be homosexual. The environment in which I was raised had absolutely no effect upon that, as evidenced by all the other people, including my siblings, who were raised in similar circumstances. What my environment did contribute, though, is the love and understanding and acceptance that gave me the courage to be honest about myself. What I've learned over the years is no different than what anyone else would learn, i.e. the many intricasies of relationships, how to survive in the world, etc.
    I agree that what someone's family members do should not have much, if any, bearing on another. But how these politicians interact with their family members DOES tell a lot, I believe. In the case of Keyes, it doesn't speak very highly of him.
     
  3. Capmeister

    Capmeister Large Hairless ApeCutting Edge: ECHELON '08

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    Is it more than the general population?

    I don't buy that it's not innate. I didn't decide one day "I shall be attracted to females." It just happened that way. And I grew up with a sibling who turned out to be homosexual. There's an old audio tape of us playing as kids. I was 4, he was 8. I was pretending to be Spider-Man. He was pretending to be Charles Nelson Riley. (Not kidding or making a joke here--that's who he idolized at the age of 8). We have the same parents, grew up in the same house, and yet have completely different values, personalities, and sexual orientations. I don't buy that it's (the homosexuality, not the values) anything other then the way he's wired for his orientation and I'm wired for mine.

    Just my two cents.
     
  4. Capmeister

    Capmeister Large Hairless ApeCutting Edge: ECHELON '08

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    See, we agreed on at least two things in this thread. What progress. ;)
     
  5. Danny R

    Danny R Goblin the Pug DBSTalk Gold Club

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    Well, don't really want to go back into the choice or not debate. Human behavior is far to complex for such a simple yes or no answer. For one thing, our brains adapt to our behavior and environment, so what might be learned at an early age becomes the fact as we age.

    The example Cap states of I didn't decide one day "I shall be attracted to females." It just happened that way. illustrates that. Yes it just happened that way, but its impossible to tell how much of that is because you likely observed this as the norm growing up, and it imprinted on your mind. Basically its similar to you saying "I didn't decide one day I'd speak English (or whatever your native language is)." You had absolutely no control over that aspect of your life, but it molded you permanently into how your brain functions and its definitely not a trait you were born with.

    Now I'm not saying its always a choice. I just think that there is no easy yes or no answer. My convictions on this matter have been reinforced by another gay friend who unequivocally states he DID make a choice, and defends his right to have done so.

    Simply put, when it comes to human behavior, there are no easy singular causes.
     
  6. Capmeister

    Capmeister Large Hairless ApeCutting Edge: ECHELON '08

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    It's such a basic thing, I just don't buy that what gets us off is learned so much as innate. Might there be something learned to how much we SHOW or ACT ON our predilection? Sure.
     
  7. HappyGoLucky

    HappyGoLucky Banned User

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    My parents aren't gay. I never knew any gay people until I was already grown. The only examples I ever saw growing up were heterosexuals. My siblings, the neighbor kids, all grew up in the same environment with much the same exposures, yet they are heterosexual.

    At 5 years old, I had a crush on a male television actor (Clint Walker, in "Cheyenne") and repeatedly told anyone who would listen that I was going to marry Clint Walker. At 8 years old I had a crush on a neighbor who was older (he was probably about 23). He never knew my feelings, and most definitely did not encourage them, but I would make every excuse I could just to be near him or get to talk to him (intentionally break a part on my bicycle and get him to fix it, for example). Even by 8 years old, though, I knew that such feelings were different from the norm and knew I should keep them to myself. So thus began the years of "in the closet" and self-loathing for being different, pretending to be something else. It wasn't until I was 18 years old that I met other gay people (that I knew of).

    We may learn some aspects of our sexuality. Your environment or exposures may be responsible for your particular attraction to certain types of people, for instance. For instance, you might be attracted to big boobs, or long red hair. But regardless of those "learned" attractions, you are always attracted solely to females. Doesn't mean you are attracted to ALL females, but that the characteristics you find attractive occur only with females. Likewise the opposite happens with me. I most certainly do not find all males attractive, I have my particular likes and dislikes. But attraction does require the other to be male. I can say whether I think a female is pretty or not, but there is nothing else beyond that, there is no "umph" to seeing a pretty female. That can't be "learned".
     
  8. Argono

    Argono Registered User

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    Not to pick a fight here, just truly asking for an explaination - what exactly is the difference between "orientation" and "acts"? To me, the issue is that the "orientation" of homosexuality is defined by homosexual "acts".

    And, I don't see any hypocrisy from the leaders you've mentioned. They are not responsible for their children, or relatives' actions, although I would agree that the story about Keyes cutting off support for his daughter, not knowing all the facts, could be viewed in a negative light.
     
  9. pjmrt

    pjmrt Hall Of Fame

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    I too do not see any hypocrisy from the leaders mentioned. As parents we do the best we can, but ultimately, as an adult, the child is responsible for his/her own actions.

    As to homosexuality itself? There is no credible evidence that I've seen to suggest homosexuality is "born in". Learned somehow, during childhood perhaps -- probably a little at a time. But I don't see how anyone can claim they were "wired" that way from birth, any more than a pedophile can claim his/her orientation ... or someone addicted to pornography, ... etc. Orientation versus acts? I guess as one of those conservatives, I would put it in terms of temptation and yielding to temptation. I've seen kids who idolize space aliens from TV - I don't think they have an orientation to Martian. I'm not trying to belittle HGL's statements about his childhood - but I think the origins of the things that enter kid's heads have multiple sources. Fantasy is a way to explore the world around them - it doesn't necessarily dictate a path. I think homosexuals who become Christian and abandon that lifestyle are examples of the "by choice" aspects.
     
  10. HappyGoLucky

    HappyGoLucky Banned User

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    I'm assuming you are heterosexual here. Would you still be heterosexual if you never actually had sex with another person? Are you just "blank" until you perform a sexual act and from that point on are defined as whatever that act entailed? Not hardly. There are homosexual people who, for various reasons, may have sex with someone of the opposite gender. And likewise, I've known heterosexual people who, for whatever reasons, have had sex with others of their gender. The sexual act does not define nor determine the sexual orientation. Sexual orientation defines the gender to which you are attracted. Sexual acts are simply what you might do, they do not define you.
    They speak one way and act another, or publicly advocate one message while privately doing something else. That's hypocrisy.
     
  11. HappyGoLucky

    HappyGoLucky Banned User

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    I wondered how long it would take before someone tried to insinuate pedophiles and porn addicts into the fray.

    There is no credible evidence for some super spook creating the Earth but that hasn't stopped you from believing in that lie hook line and sinker, has it? Millions of people telling you that they did not choose their sexual orientation isn't enough "proof" for you when it comes to something you want to disbelieve, but you'll latch onto ancient fairytales and myths like a dog on a bone.

    Have you always been heterosexual? Did you have to learn to be attracted to the opposite gender or did it just happen? Can you control your autonomic nervous system to the point where you can actively control the dilation of your pupils, heart rate, sweat gland production, blood pressure, capilary dilation, etc.? If so, then you could, just for a moment, "choose" to be homosexual and look at someone of the same gender who is attractive and have those autonomic functions under your command. So, can you "choose" to be homosexual, just for a moment, you don't have to act on it, just a few minutes? Can you do that? You must think others can, so surely you have that ability also.
    They go back into the closet and pretend to be something they're not for the sake of other people. If that's what they want, so be it. I should not be expected nor forced to live such a miserable lie, however.
     
  12. Danny R

    Danny R Goblin the Pug DBSTalk Gold Club

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    what exactly is the difference between "orientation" and "acts"? To me, the issue is that the "orientation" of homosexuality is defined by homosexual "acts".

    In this context, orientation is one's "natural" tendency. A gay man can have sex with a woman but not be attracted to her. Is the fact that he is acting like a heterosexual suddenly make him one? Nope.

    That can't be "learned".

    Happy, I'm not going to argue with you. In your case I'm certain you are correct and you didn't choose to be gay. However as I stated, human behavior is quite complex. Again, I have to respect another friend's opinion who specifically states he did choose to be gay and who doesn't like gays blaming it on some mysterious gay gene or the like. He thinks thats a cop-out and that being gay is a right be it choice or no.

    It might very well be that his "orientation" is bi-sexual, and he thus chooses only one half of this, but again, we can't know. Ultimately I think all human behavior is a combination of choice and heredity.

    That said, I agree that simply being raised by gays is not going to make someone gay, nor is a perfect straight household a guarantee for all the kids not to bat the other way. ;)

    But I don't see how anyone can claim they were "wired" that way from birth

    The difference between environment and heredity is impossible to separate for complex behaviors. Evidence points that even hormone levels one experiences in the womb can play a role in one's sexuality. This is obviously not something one is "wired" with, but still is an environmental factor beyond one's control.

    The recent release of information that the military was looking into making a bomb that would turn a foreign army into raging homosexuals should give you insights into how this is possible.

    Our sexuality is in large part derived from various hormone levels. If you've ever seen the results of someone who undergoes sexual reassignment surgery with the resulting hormone additions, you'll be surprised at the changes.

    There is evidence to suggest that prenatal exposure to higher or lower hormones such as testosterone or androgen in the womb does have an effect on the baby.

    But such cases don't count for every case, which is another reason why I think its a complex behavior with many roots.
     
  13. n8dagr8

    n8dagr8 Resident Rounder DBSTalk Gold Club

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    That's politics! :lol:

    I didn't get to read the article but Cheney has been good to his daughter, no?

    Okay, I read it, Not cool. I've always been taught love the sinner hate the sin (sorry HGL). That doesn't sound like loving the sinner. Not my idea of a christian conservative. Oh well, gotta do what's best for your career, right? Don't worry about your family. :nono2:
     
  14. durl

    durl Hall Of Fame

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    It wouldn't surprise me if there was some element of "rebellion" in Keyes' case. Or for that matter that there was some attraction to the gay lifestyle as a result of wanting to embrace something taboo. (Personally I don't believe it's a "born" thing.)
     
  15. pjmrt

    pjmrt Hall Of Fame

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    Ok, lets follow your "logic", and consider pedophiles. Are you saying they too were "born" that way? Surely :rolleyes: you aren't saying they woke up one day and said, " I think I will want to have sex with young children". Well if they are born that way, we really shouldn't condemn their actions then, should we? Come on, get real.

    Psychologists have studied homosexuality. They have found that clearly its not genetic, people are not born that way. Someone may not explicitly "choose" to be homosexual overtly, but slowly, surely make "small steps" down that road until acting on the "feelings". People's hearts, all people, away from God, are wicked. There is no evil thought that we would not experience or do, if not for the redemption offered by God thru Jesus. I think we are given unique strengths and unique weaknesses. But its what we do with both that matters, and without God - its hopeless.
     
  16. jonstad

    jonstad Hall Of Fame

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    And then there's this from Keyes, just oozing with integrity and family values:rolleyes:, AND "protecting his own ass" self-serving pragmatic spin.
    :barf:
     
  17. Spruceman

    Spruceman Legend

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    Gayness has to be an inborn trait. No one, except the most extreme masochist would one day just up and choose to be gay in order to face the harrassment, derision, and hatred directed toward gay folks on an everyday basis, especially in homophobic right-wing countries like the USA, most Islamic countries, and sub-Saharan Africa. I wouldn't expect it to happen even in more tolerant countries like Canada, Brazil, or much of Europe.

    One example of the extreme hatred (and attempt at the extermination) of gays is a law in Virginia which makes it ILLEGAL for an employer to voluntarily provide health insurance coverage for gay domestic partners of employees. And we all know that unless you either are wealthy enough to pay medical bills out of pocket or have health insurance -- you will not get good medical care. VA law also makes any wills or contracts naming gay partners null & void if contested. Who would willingly choose to be subjected to treatment like this? Hatred and bigotry are not family values!

    As to gay marines -- there's an organization in Wash DC called GEMS (Gay Ex Marines).
     
  18. HappyGoLucky

    HappyGoLucky Banned User

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    Just like others who make the same claim, your "gay" friend is rather arrogant to assume his circumstance is representative of everyone else. Though I don't agree with Kinsey on some other things, I do believe his theory that human sexuality is a scale, not an either-or situation. While most people may fall closer to the heterosexual side of the scale, others exist at various other points. Personally, I know I am at the 100% homosexual end of the scale. Your friend is probably somewhere in the middle, which did allow him to "choose" which side he wanted to live as for the moment. Perhaps he'll choose something else later. I don't have that choice, there is simply no way I could choose, or more accurately force myself, to find females sexually attractive.

    I assume it would be equally difficult for a completely heterosexual man to force himself to find other men sexually attractive. And in that regard, I find it odd that some people, who themselves could never contemplate choosing or forcing their sexual attractions, would think others have that ability. As I have stated many other times, to say that one can choose, you have to assume those who do choose have extraordinary control over their autonomic nervous system, things like pupil dilation and capilary dilation and blood pressure, etc. If anyone says sexual orientation is a choice, they MUST also believe that people have direct control over things like dilating their pupils. When I point that out, they usually change the subject or just ignore it because they can't refute it.
     
  19. HappyGoLucky

    HappyGoLucky Banned User

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    Sorry, though I realize you don't mean any animosity here, but for future reference, that "love the sin hate the sinner" thing is a complete cop-out and is extremely insulting.
     
  20. HappyGoLucky

    HappyGoLucky Banned User

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    Pedophilia is not a sexual orientation. A pedophile can be heterosexual or homosexual or bisexual. Pedophilia is akin to a fetish, much the same way someone might have a fetish for large breasts or blonde hair or long fingernails, etc. There is no more similarity between pedophilia and homosexuality than there is between pedophilia and heterosexuality.
    Really? Oh please DO provide that conclusive proof. FYI, they have not "found that clearly its[sic] not genetic, people are not born that way." Making such a claim is rediculous.
    Bullsh*t. Didn't happen that way with me. Didn't happen that way with all the other gay people I've spoken with about it. People who actually KNOW what they are and KNOW they did not make any choice are the ones that count. People like you who can only speculate and make rediculous assumptions of what someone else thinks and feels really have no clue whatsoever. When did you CHOOSE to be heterosexual. That is a very valid question. If you assume sexual orientation is a choice, then you MUST have, at some point, decided to be heterosexual and only be attracted to the opposite gender. You MUST have been able to CHOOSE to be attracted to the same gender, however. You MUST assume that you have complete control over your autonomic nervous system.
     
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