Thursday, April 2, 2009

Curiouser And Curiouser

Today in India, homosexuality is illegal and punishable by laws and social stigmas inherited from British rule and Victorian conservatism.

We all remember the Victorians - people who were so severely religious, they were afraid to see even themselves naked in case it caused them to think sinful thoughts.

This, despite ancient traditions and a richly diverse cultural heritage which includes the Hijira, a "third sex" grouping which includes transgender and gay people (similar to the Katoi in Thailand), which has existed for thousands of years. In the distant past, these people were employed in court activities and occasionally even formed part of royal 'harems'. Since the introduction of the western civilization - i.e. Christianity - these people have been increasingly marginalized and even hated. The legacy GLBT people in India face today is prejudice, hate and intolerance - as well as continuing resistance to pressure for equality and the legal recognition of GLBT humanity and the institution of same gender marriage.

At the same time in India, people (usually children or women forced into this phenomenon) have been marrying animals for centuries - and yet even this prime example of religous and superstitious idiocy is favoured and even supported over same gender marriage - the irony and insult to GLBT people in India - and around the world - is detestible.

In short, it is ok for people to marry animals for the sake of religion and tradition - but it is not acceptable for two men or two women to marry each other out of love!

While the idea of marrying an animal is objectionable (at least to the people I know), it calls to mind the idiocy evident in the arguments of the religious right who often compare same gender marriage to bestiality and pedophilia among other things. I find it curious that anyone can draw such a comparison at all, let alone while sober and sane and quite serious. None of the arguments in this line of thought make any sense. Same gender couples do not by marrying engage in bestiality, nor pedophilia. Nor would marrying a goat be some kind of "logical next step" after same gender marriage, for then what would be true for us would be true for heterosexual marriage, wouldn't it?

I know some people who have unwittingly married sloths, bears, goats, hairy gorillas, buzzards, turkeys, chickens and even an old duck - but at least they started out masquerading as human to begin with!

Apparently some bigots who argue against same gender marriage say it is a new thing which never existed before. Well, I have news for them. Historically speaking many older civilizations performed same gender marriage - in fact the first known marriages occurred in ancient Egypt and the first version was specifically lesbian. The Romans were also known for having same gender marriage, as were places such as the far east. As in all things, everything changed when Christianity exerted its narrrow minded influence. No wonder the Dark Ages were called that.

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It really is quite interesting - even the formulation of modern Christian wedding vows can all be traced to the ancient Egyptian ceremony. Did the founders of the Christian faith do nothing but 'borrow' ideas already taken by other religions at the time? I mean, even the ten commandments can be traced to the Egyptian Book of the Dead!

One argument the bigots love to sharpen their fangs on is the myth that gay people are automatically pedophiles. This is simply not true. In the first place, statistics prove that the biggest culprit in peodphilia cases is the heterosexual male, closely seconded by the heterosexual female. Now how about that? Amazingly enough, the sterotypical gay pedophile (reprehensible as they are) is very last in the queue. So much for the scientific basis of the religious rights argument. But then, they do use liberal sprinklings of Paul Cameron in whatever is bubbling in their cauldron.

Meanwhile around the world loving gay (and quite human) couples still face incredible opposition to marry, yet it seems to me the only people actually marrying animals at this point is abused Indian children and very odd adult heterosexual folk who probably should get out more.

Curiouser and curiouser.

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