Conversation with Mike about Gay Issues: Opinions vs Evidence

I had a chat with someone online about the acceptance of gay issues. I will call him Mike (not his real name, but I do not have his real name either). Mike had written to me about the article that I had written a few days ago. Please see below the discussion.

*****

Mike: Nice life story. It was indeed a good read.

Me: Hey, thanks for reading. I read that 377A might have a chance to be repealed, so it spurred me to write.

Mike: Sorry to disappoint but I’m not in favour of that. As hyprocritical as it may sound.

Me: Why are you not?

Mike: Well you would have to have an open mind to take in what I have to say. You ok with that?

Me: Sure, I do

Mike: Ok I’m a christian too for starters. God created Adam and Eve. Not adam and adam. Hence it was fashioned so that man and women are the established ‘natural-order’. If you view this in a religious way. This is the way it is meant to be.

Me: Lol. Sure. Are you gay?

Mike: I’m twisted, rather. Was bicurious and now bisexual.

Me: Twisted! Why do you consider yourself a bisexual?

Mike: Because of various incidences in my childhood days which i prefer not to disclose

Me: Sure. How do you reconcile being a Christian with liking men then?

Mike: I have yet to find out.

Me: And you believe that what you have been told about your faith is the truth then?

Mike: Certainly.

Me: Sure. But what about the other parts of the Bible which talk about the acceptance of incest and rape of women? That is true then?Mike: Which part of the bible says that?

Me: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/eliza-wood/todd-akin-the-bible-and-r_b_1819333.html
http://listverse.com/2008/05/26/top-6-incestuous-relationships-in-the-bible/

Mike: But there are many versions of the Bible. Which one are you referring to? (For this bit of the conversation, I had lost the actual transcript – this was in essence what Mike had asked.)

Me: If there are many versions of the Bible, which would be the right one?

Mike: Roman Catholic one. I looked up those verses and there were no such stories about women.

Me: Sure. I am not well versed in the Bible. Lol. Well of course, I believe in my right to love, as you have read and I will champion marriage between me and my partner, when I have one.

Mike: Roman Catholics have the first versions of the bible. Then came King David who didn’t like the idea that the bible stated that a man cannot have more than one wives.\n\nSo he broke away from the church and established a new christianity (Protestant) and a new bible. This bible is editted and had more ‘book’s inside removed from the chapters.
It was basically this. He wanted God on his terms.\n\nDo you want God on your terms or on his.

Me: So I suppose the other Christians are wrong then?

Mike: I can’t say for myself for I am not God. But since he broke away from the church. The later years saw ‘hell’.

Me: I will go to hell then?

Mike: I have no answer to that. Even the bible says somewhere that a person can still be saved at the last moment. It’s all Gods decision.

Me: What about the Muslims, Buddhists and Hindus?

Mike: Are you asking because you’re cynical or you really want to know more?

Me: I am asking to question. Neither cynical.

Mike: In answer to your previous question. I think not. Let’s put it this way. If a Muslim man carries out his faith. Does good. Helps others when possible. Tries to live a holy life dies.\n\nNow compared to a Christian or Buddhist who instead does bad. Makes use of others. The opposite of the Muslim stated above.\n\nI’d say the Muslim should be saved. I’d rather be a Musim then. Because being in a religon doesn’t mean that you’re saved, this is the mindset of the new-age christian (God died for us so we are SAVED)

Me: That’s true. And what if a Buddhist does good? Will you be a Buddhist?

Mike: Yeah

Me: And if in Buddhism, homosexuality is not specifically ostracised, will you agree then that being gay is acceptable?

Mike: I wouldn’t, but in a different conjucture. How do I put it.

Me: What do you mean?

Mike: Ok aside from religion. Because if you put it that way, people can jump religons just to be ‘accepted’ wouldnt that be the case? Remember the God on your terms or his.

Me: I did not say that. You did.  Aren’t you then interpreting Buddhism based on Christian beliefs?

Mike: Oh no, speaking in general of all religions. Instead of just using two.

Me: And what of the religions which do not speak against homosexuality and what of the religions which accepts homosexuality? Are these religions acceptable? Are these religions true?

Mike: Exactly. One would have to decide on his own. Most of the time the parents introduce their offspring to the faith. They will decide what to believe in. This much will be true.

Me: That’s true. Will you deny liking men, even if you know it’s who you are, because your religion says so?

Mike: Probably wouldn’t because of the way I feel. I would probably resist the urge or try to come out of it.

Me: What of Catholics who have interpreted that the homosexuality is acceptable, as many have?

Mike: We’ll have to have the Pope and it’s consequent leaders to look into that. Partly the reasons have reasons behind them. I would put it this way. You can be whatever you want. The things is, being whatever you want to be has restrictions (like laws etc.).\n\nBe it Gays or Lesbians, the introduction of these sexualities have caused a huge spike in infections.\n\nPartners aren’t as faithful to each other (most of them are ONS and those with LTR don’t last long) I think this much is true if you’ve been in the scene long enough to know what the situation is like.

Me: But research has shown that what you said isn’t true but the opposite is. The legalisation of gay sex and gay marriage has been likened to reduce HIV infection. And that the lack of acceptance among gay people and the consequent low self esteem is what causes them to take risk and be infected, and what causes them to not allow themselves to form fulfilling relationships. In order for infections to be reduced and people to form fulfilling relationships, gays should be accepted. And gay marriage legalised. This is what research has shown and so we should legalise gay sex and gay marriage, yes?

Mike: Fair enough. What about the human population then? Gay’s/Lesbians who want to adopt kids will have them losing part of their gender. Imbalance in the x / y gene. Because they don’t have a proper family. A mother to show love and concern while dad shows responsibility and leadership. “Syphilis, for example, is 19 times more common among homosexual than heterosexual women. Male homosexual practices are especially destructive, because the male reproductive organ and the male bodily openings are not made for each other. ”

Me: There is research which shows that kids with gay parents will do just as well as kids with straight parents. It’s not the gender or sexual orientation that matters. It’s the quality of parenting that matters. Any parent that can provide a child with a safe, conducive and loving environment to grow can allow the child to grow well, whether the parent is straight or gay is irrelevant to the child’s growth.

Mike: That is not true.

Me: How so?

Mike: The human design. The way procreation was made. Was through men and women.

Me: I thought you had brought up the issue of parenting? we are now back to human design?

Mike: Desgin it to procreation as to raising a child. To raise a child, both are needed because the female is better designed for nurture, the male for protection. To teach him, both are needed because every young one needs two models, one of his own sex, one of the other. Neither Mom nor Dad is dispensable. I dare say that “parent is straight or gay is irrelevant to the child’s growth” is thus untrue.

Me: http://www.livescience.com/17913-advantages-gay-parents.html

“Research has shown that the kids of same-sex couples — both adopted and biological kids — fare no worse than the kids of straight couples on mental health, social functioning, school performance and a variety of other life-success measures. In a 2010 review of virtually every study on gay parenting, New York University sociologist Judith Stacey and University of Southern California sociologist Tim Biblarz found no differences between children raised in homes with two heterosexual parents and children raised with lesbian parents. “There’s no doubt whatsoever from the research that children with two lesbian parents are growing up to be just as well-adjusted and successful” as children with a male and a female parent,” Stacey told LiveScience.”

“The bottom line, Stacey said, is that people who say children need both a father and a mother in the home are misrepresenting the research, most of which compares children of single parents to children of married couples. Two good parents are better than one good parent, Stacey said, but one good parent is better than two bad parents. And gender seems to make no difference. While you do find broad differences between how men and women parent on average, she said, there is much more diversity within the genders than between them.”

“In fact, the only consistent places you find differences between how kids of gay parents and kids of straight parents turn out are in issues of tolerance and open-mindedness, according to Goldberg. In a paper published in 2007 in the American Journal of Orthopsychiatry, Goldberg conducted in-depth interviews with 46 adults with at least one gay parent. Twenty-eight of them spontaneously offered that they felt more open-minded and empathetic than people not raised in their situation.”

“If same-sex marriage does disadvantage kids in any way, it has nothing to do with their parent’s gender and everything to do with society’s reaction toward the families, said Indiana University sociologist Brian Powell, the author of “Counted Out: Same-Sex Relations and Americans’ Definitions of Family” (Russell Sage Foundation, 2010).”

Mike: They’re still not modelled under the human design. Yes they can raise the kid but it still takes both sexes to raise and teach the kid. Homosexuals cannot model male-female relationships.

Me: So what you are saying is you choose to believe contrary to what evidence suggests? That it’s not about the gender and sexual orientation but the quality of parenting?

Mike: Unless the gay person is a very girly type LOL…that would be weird too.

Me: But the article has stated clearly that it doesn’t matter what the gender is – so it doesn’t matter if the gay person is so-called “manly” or “girly” or that the lesbian person is “manly” or “girly”. What matters is not the gender (and sexual orientation) but the quality of parenting. So if both fathers, who are “straight-acting”, if you would like, are good parents, the child will benefit from this quality parenting.

Mike: Sure they can. What of procreation there after? If the child turns to be gay or lesbian, what would happen to the population?\n\nIf the child turns straight, how does he/she handle one when he never knew how to do so with a female?

Me: Firstly, research has shown that less than 10% or 4% of the population is gay. It is hardly possible that procreation will cease because only a few people are gay. Otherwise, the world would have ceased centuries ago. We wouldn’t have 7 billion people on this people exhausting our resources. So procreation will occur – you don’t have to worry about that. The population will continue to explode because there are so many more straight people. And if the child turns out straight, almost everyone else around him (or her) is straight. If you ask a teenager, by the time he or she is in their teens, they would be learning from their peers. They will be learning from the other role models in the media. There are enough role models. More than enough. So there, you don’t have to worry. Anyway, based on your question, are you suggesting that straight parents actually do teach their child how to have sex now? – Are you suggesting that gay parents should also teach their children how to have sex? I can assure you that a gay parent will be more likely to teach their child about sexuality issues and prepare their child to be responsible in dealing with these issues.

Mike: true

Me: I can also assure you that gay parents will read up about sexuality issues, even if it does not pertain to their interest areas, because they would need to educate their child responsibly about these issues. But then again, this doesn’t pertain to either gender or sexual orientation. it is about the quality of parenting and whether parents are responsible.

Mike: Know what, we’ll just wait and see how things go in the near future because you can have articles and research, but time will tell all

Me: You are right. We just have to wait and see. Already at least 10 countries have legalised same sex or equal marriages, and already more than 30 countries have civil unions. In our region, Vietnam and Taiwan are considering legalising marriage between gay people as well. The debate over gay issues is part of a larger debate over civil issues that has been debated for centuries. Then, it was women, and blacks. Women and blacks, at one time, were seen as less than equal to men, and could not vote. But now they can. The current civil rights debate centre around gay people. Discrimination and the subjugation of rights of others will always exist because of people. People’s fears and their insecurities with themselves. Thus discrimination will always exist as long as we are not able to come to terms with ourselves and to learn to manage our insecurities.

Mike: A good tree cannot bear bad fruit, and a bad tree cannot bear good fruit. Let’s see how it goes.

Me: And what do you mean by this? – “A good tree cannot bear bad fruit, and a bad tree cannot bear good fruit. Let’s see how it goes.”

Mike: If gay / lesbian sex/marriages are indeed allowed. We’ll see if the outcomes are good or bad.

Me: What if in a parenthood where the two gay persons are good people, who volunteer, who respect the rights of others, who give their seats to those who need and who care for other people – what if they are good people, can they be good parents?

Mike: Sound like a good upbringing, yes. what if they are brought up to be sex maniacs and run around looking for the right partners

Me: Who are brought up to be “sex maniacs”? The children? Why do you think they will be brought up to be “sex maniacs”?

Mike: Parents?\nWhy would I think? Because anything can happen.

Me: Can it happen to straight parents as well?

Mike: I think you know the answer to that question yourself.

Me: So your answer is, yes, I presume?

Mike: No doubt.

Me: And if that’s the case, then I think you would agree that it’s not the gender or sexual orientation of the parent that matters but the quality of parenting that matters – whether the parent can inculcate in the child the right values and have the awareness to raise the child to be a respectable person?

Mike: and otherwise

Me: Otherwise?

Mike: Quality of parenting. Can work both ways.

Me: What do you mean by that – that it can work both ways?

Mike: Having a good parenting and bad parenting. Regardless of the gender of parents.

Me: That is true. And we agree on this. But you would still think that gay people are not acceptable, in spite of the evidence which shows that regardless of the gender and/or sexual orientation of a person, he or she, as long as he/she is a good person, and is able to provide a child with quality parenting, can still be a valuable person to humanity?

Mike: Yes.

Me: So it would seems – and correct me if I am wrong – that your unwillingness to accept gay people as equal people arises from your own personal opinions, rather than based on conclusive evidence?

Mike: Yes. Because evidence is subjective. Singapore is one to the many bad examples.

Me: Agreed. Evidence is necessarily subjective. Why would you form those opinions though? – that gay people are not acceptable? and you have said it’s based on your catholic beliefs?

Mike: Partially.

Me: There are other reasons? What other reasons?

Mike: Like those I’ve stated earlier up. Though contrary to the articles you’ve brought up.

Me: Oh yes. those that I have debunked through evidence.

Standard

12 thoughts on “Conversation with Mike about Gay Issues: Opinions vs Evidence

  1. Sylestaris says:

    If you view faith as “pretending to know something that you really don’t”, you might have a clearer picture of the world as it is.

    As for hell, one might be interested to know, that in old-english ‘hell’ meant grave; as in “helling potatoes” meaning burying potatoes – google “helling potatoes” to find out more.

  2. meepok says:

    God created Adam and Eve? You serious about the kiddy story on Adam n Eve? It’s created by a spin doctor to deceive gullible serfs to pay tribute and enriched themselves! (read CHC)
    Just go ahead and be yourself. Love the man in your life and ignore the judgmental eyes of others. JUst life up your head and be a gay pride!

  3. Seriously? At this juncture all this ‘friends’ deserves to be told is that “there is no such thing called homophobia. You’re just an asshole”. Tell him its a quote from Morgan Freeman. 😉 LOL

    People are still scared of Indian people in this country, the same way some people are scared of the LGBT community. Some think that Indians smell, that we are lazy, that we are stupid and etc. etc. I’ve been told this to my face on several occasions by everyone from teachers, to bosses. I’ve been approached by Evangelists who told me that as an Indian I am born damned because of my darker skin.

    Some people are just bigoted morons. Trying to speak logically to such folk is just a Sisyphean task.

    • Hey deviousdiv,

      Thanks for this. I understand what you mean.

      Unfortunately, when people discriminate, they discriminate across the board. There is research which shows that people discriminate because of the issues that they are not able to come to terms with themselves. And as much as it is tiresome to have to deal with being discriminated, we just have to remember that it’s not about us when people judge, but that they have their own opinions and beliefs which they need to come to terms with themselves for.

      So I understand where you are coming from, and thank you 🙂

      I do think it’s a pity that we judge other races, genders, sexual orientation and foreigners and choose not to see how we can come together to form new experiences with the diversity that we have.

      But, no worries, you and I, and many of us here, are at least on the right track baby, we are born this way. 🙂

      Roy

      • Interesting conversation. On the issue of legalising gay marriage, it really is a matter of religion vs political freedom. A democracy would (or should?) not deny its citizens from choosing to marry someone of the same gender if they wanted to. However, it is difficult to separate that decision from one’s religious background, especially in a country such as Singapore.

        As a christian (protestant, hence having very different views from Mike), I would not opt to legalise gay marriage purely because it is against my faith. Although, I have to say that I have nothing against you being gay. I just don’t agree with it and don’t believe that it is right. It does not mean that I am homophobic. The LGBT community often treats people who do not accept their sexual orientation with disdain. But since when did disagreeing with a choice or policy mean that we are necessarily homophobes?

        PS deviousdiv: Some of the smartest people I know are Indians. Also, I found it really interesting that evangelists have said that you were born damned cos of your skin colour. They must be mormons – something I only found out when I read Roy’s link to Listverse.

      • Hi offtherecord,

        Thanks for your comment. Much appreciated 🙂

        You brought out a free discussion points which I am inclined to agree with you.

        You had brought up the issue of democracy. I have similar views as well. Separate from this discussion, my beliefs of democracy are that it does necessarily respects the rights of all individuals. Because of the way democracy works, it necessarily favours the majority and sidelines those that are deemed lesser in society. Also, because of the decision-making process, those deemed less important are sometimes considered illegal thus. Also, the western governments have tended to champion democracy as the best form of governance because it respects the rights of individuals. However, it can be seen across the globe that even in countries where democracy is championed, there are rights of individuals which are not respected, because of the beliefs of those in power, or by the pressure enacted by those who have opposing viewpoints. This might or might not arise out of gay issues and this would belong to part of a broader philosophical discussion about governance.

        A friend on Facebook had shared this link which discusses this as well: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/magazine-19372177

        Just a note too – on your points on Indians – I actually think that one of the best thinkers and leaders in our government now are Tharman Shanmugaratnam and K Shanmugam. I know some people might be against the PAP government but aside from the fact that they belong to PAP, I admire their thinking. I do wish though that they would not need to follow such a financially-skewed policy-making mindset, as the government had set out, but to showcase more of their social beliefs, which they have shown to be open and understanding.

        Also on your point that because of your religious beliefs, you might not agree with legalising marriage for gay people. Just a quick point generally that the discussion of the legalisation of marriage among gay people might be immature since the law against gay sex has not yet even been repealed yet, but it is good to start the conversation going so as to allow us an opportunity to think about it. Back to what you had mentioned, I understand where you are coming from. And I respect your viewpoints. I know some gay rights advocates globally would argue that this is still considered as discrimination since, they argue, we are still denying the rights of gay people to marry. I know some people might disagree with me but I do still respect your beliefs.

        If you ask me, I hope to eventually be able to get married to my partner in Singapore, because like anyone else, all I want is to be able to have a chance to allow myself to marry the person I love. But you know, we have actually not had the chance to have a discussion as to what marriage means, our beliefs and attachment to it, and the role of religion that has impacted on marriage. So, I can understand why it might be seen as sudden if we ask for the gay people to have the right to marry, when these things are not discussed. I just want to say that for me, my idea of marriage is only to formalise the love that I have with my partner. I understand different people might have different viewpoints, but for me, it’s simply to allow my love with my partner to be honoured, in that sense.

        But like I say, I understand where you come from, and I hope when the time comes, we would have been able to have a stronger conversation on this.

        I think too, because of society’s (and our) unwillingness, or because we didn’t see the need, to discuss certain issues, such as sex, marriage etc, we have thus allowed ourselves not to be able to have a deeper understanding to these issues, and this has resulted in us not being able to have a further conversation on it.

        I am thinking about this as I am reflecting on this conversation, so please do continue to share and discuss on this. It has been enlightening.

        Thank you.

        Roy

  4. Roy- Amen to that. 😉

    Here’s to a world free of gender, sexual orientation and race and religion based discrimination, where a person is judged by their character and their deeds alone.

    ~deviousDiv

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