In the current issue of MCV (Issue 358, Thursday 15th November 2007) has run an opinion piece by Jason Foster titled “Charming Man: The latest gay rights campaign in Italy is flawed” while the online headline of the same story reads “Mixed Messages Via Italy“.
The opinion is in response to the advertisement shown above (and in both articles). The ad’s headline reads “L’orientamento sessuale non è una scelta” which translates to “The sexual orientation is not a choice”.
In the article Jason Foster writes (an excerpt)
In itself, the idea that sexual orientation is pre-given has strong credibility.
However, by defending same-sex attraction in terms of its involuntary nature, the campaign logically implies that if sexual orientation could be chosen, then prejudice would be justified. It therefore suggests that homosexuality is something people have to put up with, like a disability or a disease that can’t be cured, rather than something good and worthy of choice.
In this respect, compare homosexuality with heterosexuality. Most people don’t accept heterosexuality because sexual orientation isn’t chosen, but because they see heterosexuality as good, as being the natural way in which human beings reproduce, and hence the proper way to be.
From this perspective, viewing homosexuality as involuntary places it in the same category as a disability, because it prevents people from exercising their natural capacity for reproductive sex, in the same way that deafness is a disability that denies people the capacity to hear.
Yet this ignores the negative side of heterosexuality, which involves biological and psychological differences between male and female that too readily give rise to unequal and oppressive relationships favouring men over women – and some men over other men. For example, it’s no coincidence that the greater proportion of violent and destructive acts are performed by the more masculine of heterosexual males.
I find myself disagreeing with so much in these paragraphs it’s amazing. When Jason writes: “It therefore suggests that homosexuality is something people have to put up with, like a disability or a disease that can’t be cured, rather than something good and worthy of choice.” I find myself cringing that a sensible human can twist something so small (such as the ad’s headline) into something so wrong.
If anyone is sending mixed messages it is the writer, Jason, who reads way too much into a small headline, and who agrees (at least at the start) with the headline then goes off into a tirade about how wrong it is to believe such a thing.
Um Jason, if Homosexuality is preordained then yep, your statement is correct, it is like a disability or a disease that can’t be cured, but that doesn’t make it “unworthy of choice”, it just isn’t an option to choose, it either is or isn’t.
Choice doesn’t enter into it so why act like that makes it a bad thing?
It is also like blond hair and hazel eyes which are genetically assigned, but I can dye my hair black and put blue contacts in if I so choose, it won’t change the fact that I have blond hair and hazel eyes. But it would be an attempt to live as I would prefer.
But my sexuality and the love I have held for my partner for the past 10.5 years was not a matter of choice. I am a homosexual male, and I always have been. I was born that way… it is no opinion, it is fact. I have never felt any other way… never felt attraction for a female of the species.
That Jason’s article implies that the Regional Government of Tuscany has done something wrong here is of greatest concern. They are after all attempting to support their homosexual population. They are trying to make people within a very religious part of the world understand that we don’t choose to be gay, we don’t choose to do something they see as different… we, like their target audience, live with feelings and urges that we are instinctively driven to act upon.
If the controversy that Jason eludes to truly exists, I’d suggest it has more to do with the idea that homosexuality is preordained or that an unknown baby has been marked as a homosexual against it’s will. I doubt that any of the controversy extends to the waffle that Jason has gone on to express throughout his article.
That I believe that homosexuality is preordained is not a belief, I am living proof. Homosexuality is not a choice for me, it never has been.
The instinctive drive I feel to this day, the longing I felt as a teenager, the fact that I have never pursued a relationship with a female are not a choice. It is in-built and has always been so.
Funny. I’ve never seen that ad before. Italian news had probably something more important to talk about
Hey Roberta, I thought as much… you know what the media is like, they love making a storm in a teacup.