Homosexuality not a question of natural

COLUMBUS, Ohio (U-WIRE) — For the last few months, I have been reviewing material authored by both gay rights advocates and gay rights opponents. Though opponents frequently cite Biblical or moral objections when discussing homosexuality, it is clear that the question of what is “natural” has become one of the most discussed issues over the past few years.
Evylen Hooker’s 1957 study, “The Adjustment of the Male Overt Homosexual,” sparked the debate, claiming that homosexuality is not a pathology and that homosexuals are just as free from mental disorders as heterosexuals. Another large step was taken in 1973 when the American Psychiatric Association removed homosexuality from its list of mental disorders.
Within the past few years, research of the human genome has sparked new debate. As science leads us closer to understanding our origins, the question of whether or not homosexuality is a natural occurrence is quickly becoming closer to being answered.
Thus the debate over the extent to which homosexuality is “natural” has reached new heights. Finding groups like the National Association for the Research and Treatment of Homosexuality is not a difficult chore. They are merely a click away from your local computer terminal. These groups go to great lengths to support their claim that homosexuality is not only unnatural, but also a treatable mental disorder or disease.
Not surprisingly, many gay rights advocates have replied, citing their own evidence of homosexuality being natural. Books like “Separate Creation: The Search for the Biological Origins of Sexual Orientation” by Chandler Burr, offer convincing arguments supporting the natural occurrence of homosexuality.
One such argument outlines the striking clinical similarities in the occurrences of human left-handedness and homosexuality. Specifically, it contrasts the population distribution of left-handed humans and homosexuals (8 percent and 5 percent), the age of the first behavioral appearance of the trait (both 2 years), the likeliness of identical twins to share minority orientation (both likely) and many more.
In all the hype surrounding the debate, we are missing a key point regarding whether or not homosexuality is a naturally occurring trait: It doesn’t matter. Let us suppose that homosexuality is unnatural. Does that mean that homosexuals should not enjoy the same rights that heterosexuals do? You should all be angrily shaking your heads no. Whether or not homosexuals’ genomes predispose them to be more attracted to members of their own sex is irrelevant. It is who they are and more importantly, it is OK.
A 10-year-old daughter of a lesbian once wrote an essay for school titled “Just Different, That’s All,” in which she reflects on her life as the daughter of a lesbian. In her essay, it becomes apparent that she understands something about homosexuality that the majority of our society does not. She recognizes that homosexuality, like heterosexuality, is neither good nor bad — homosexuality is just different.
Andrew Hall’s column originally appeared in Friday’s Ohio State University Lantern.