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Tuesday, April 30. 2013
Yesterday, Jason Collins came out as the first openly gay, active, NBA player. Collins is a center for the Washington Wizards and is supposedly the first active professional sports player to come out. I don't think that's true. After all, several female players, such as Brittany Griner who is going pro this year, are openly gay. I'd even argue that if you didn't know Martina Navratilova was a lesbian during her time on the pro tour, you just weren't paying attention. Of course, she wasn't 'open' about it. Not sure how more open she could've been, but it was pretty evident to me and I was only a teen.
But Collins is, supposedly, big news. Big enough to be a top story on every major sports and news broadcast. In fact, I can't get away from it this morning. It's getting more than a reasonable amount of coverage on every morning TV show.
It's a political agenda. There is a belief that by blasting it on the airwaves 24/7, somehow it will 'solve' the 'gay problem'. No, the 'problem' isn't making gay people straight, it's making people who dislike gays suddenly like them, or at least start voting to approve gay marriage. Unfortunately, this focus really just reinforces my belief that the media is disconnected from society. My sons, and virtually all their friends, are not interested at all in someone's sexuality, and won't be denying people their rights.
That the government needs to 'approve' gay marriage ignores why the government got involved in marriage. Typically this involvement was to restrict who could marry, either within certain religious groups, to prevent miscegenation, or restrict polygamy by groups who practiced it. Marriage today is viewed as a right imposed by government rather than an agreement between two people to form a bond and a family, and having this bond witnessed and consecrated by friends and/or a religion.
The last time I reviewed the Declaration of Independence, we are all entitled to a 'pursuit of happiness'. This is not a governing document, but I never saw anything in the Constitution which limits rights to only straight people, nor are there any restricting rights for gays. Maybe I misread it.
On the other hand, I heard Mark Cuban state that Collins has the right to come out and not be criticized. He's wrong. Freedom of speech does give us the right to criticize anyone we want, whether the criticism is considered tolerant or not. Maybe Collins and Cuban won't like it if someone criticizes Jason's personal story, but opinions are what opinions are. If we are truly tolerant, then we have to accept that some people are just uncomfortable with and cannot accept the fact that some people are gay. I haven't cared one way or the other for as long as I can remember, but I'm not about to spend time trying to convince someone their views on the gay issue are wrong. It's a bit petty if they feel this way, but we all have things in our life we get petty about.
I wish Jason Collins luck and all the best in his life. I'm glad he's more comfortable today by coming out. But honestly, I'm tired of the focus by the media on whether or not someone is gay. If you're a person who makes someone's personal life an issue in your life, that's your problem, not theirs.
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--i thought that big tennis match between Billie Jean King and Truman Capote had already done all that groundbreaking and so forth --
This has all the markings of a well coordinated left mass messaging, all the way to the White House.
Who cares. I'm just not getting why this is celebration worthy or worthy of more than a passing mention.
Wish we could just get back to sex being a private matter.
Just another sign that Obama is conteptuous of traditional American culture and is front and center in dismantling whatever is left of it.
According to the Washington Post Jason Collins is heroic. That's certainly defining heroism down. If Collins is a hero, then what is Col. Ripley?
He's also a very lousy basketball player. If he wasn't 7' he would have no possibility of playing.
Now Kobi Bryan would have been a story.
I just discovered this - Glenn Burke was the first openly gay professional sports player. The difference between him and Collins? Burke didn't go to the media, but everyone in the sport was aware and he did nothing to hide it.
It was a non-story.
The real story about Burke was this - he's most well known as the guy who (with Dusty Baker) 'invented' the high-five.
To the press this is news because they are fixated on issues of race and sex so they can avoid reporting on major issues like Fast and Furious, the death of an American ambassador in Libya, the failure of US intelligence agencies to prevent another act of terrorism in the homeland, the sour US economy that's entering its 5th year, the high unemployment rate especially among minorities, the growing national debt, the role of Iran in sponsoring terrorism around the world and especially in the Middle East where civil war in Syria threatens to get out of hand, the looming crisis of (intentionally) unchecked illegal immigration across our nation's porous southern border, etc., etc., etc. The country has moved on. It's no story, not even if it involves a player in one of the major men's pro sports, not when it's about a guy who's a journeyman player of modest talent and has little chance of being picked up next season. If this story had instead been about Tim Tebow outing himself, well, now that might have been NEWS.
I think most of what you wrote is evident in the fact that pregnancies, people dating each other, and gayness are 'hard news' these days. It takes effort and information to report on real news.
It's cheaper to call a guy like Collins a hero, tell homophobes there is something wrong with them, and build up a story where none exists.
Hey, I can appreciate what Collins did, but it was hardly risky. He says he's getting tons of support, so clearly he overestimated the risk he was taking. As for the Washington Post calling him 'heroic' - well, a hero has to put something on the line. I'm curious what they feel he put on the line?
After all, he's coming out ahead in this. Nike just signed him. Looks like his 'ordeal' is over after less than 24 hours! There was no way he was going to get a Nike deal prior to this announcement, he just wasn't that good.
You are right, it wasn't risky for Collins to come out, he's already established, prosperous, and well connected. That's the point of people like him coming out, it's to make it easier for lots of other gay guys to accept themselves, cope with the stresses in their lives, and come out to their own circle of family and friends.
It ain't easy for lots of other gays of different backgrounds and upbringings, where the families they love might not be at all accepting or supportive. Not to mention peer groups, workplaces, schools, etc. Some people are strong and confident and can handle the ramifications, others are not so situated.
Sorry if you are bothered by the circus aspects of celebrities coming out, but many of them go through the public spectacle in order to make it easier for others who are not so advantaged.
Ah, but in your explanation of just why it wasn't risky for him is exactly why what he did doesn't constitute "heroics" of any sort, does it?
Many other more interesting and talented people have come out with much less fanfare.
Your claim is that the news is justified in making a spectacle of a non-event because it might help one person. Somewhere. My claim is that maybe that's right, but maybe that's also wrong. Either way, it isn't interesting news and it certainly should not be played out when there are other more important world events taking place - such as the president's weighing of military options in Syria, which has gotten little or no coverage.
You tell me which is more meaningful from a news standpoint?
It's all news, and the country is capable of handling all of it. Shame on the media for not covering the important stuff. But the whole celebrity fascination of the media is because people respond to it, just like "if it bleeds, it leads" is a rational business decision.
Collins is not a hero, he is a celebrity, partly because of a long and adequate sports career, mostly because of his being the first major sport male athlete (and black, besides) to come out. Yes, it contributes to changing the culture in the direction of acceptance and lesser hostility to gays in general, I'd say that is a mixed blessing but a blessing nonetheless. And so do numerous young people struggling with their sexuality and glad that they are not in a society like we see in many parts of the world, or like it was in their grandparents' days.
He was barely a celebrity until this announcement. To me, this is like Kim Kardashian, who was barely an inkblot on society until she crafted some bizarre personality disorder into a TV program which fascinates large chunks of brain-dead people.
From there, she can turn her wedding into a commercial event (most of the names paid to be included), end her marriage a few months later, and turn her pregnancy into another commercial event.
I don't see how Collins' announcement is different. Neither of these things are 'news' - except that people seem to be interested in the stories.
In my business (media) there is an ongoing debate over what 'premium content' is. There is a group of people who believe 'premium content' is whatever large numbers of people will watch. So "Charlie bit my finger" is now premium content. I equate this viewpoint to Kardashian and Collins. Mass Appeal = "NEWS"
On the other hand, there is a group of us who feel that 'premium content' is content which is (usually) professionally developed, has meaningful plot and/or storylines which resonate across prequalified audience groups. While that may result in poor programming from time to time, by and large it has resulted in some of the best programming we have seen over the years.
This doesn't preclude other types of produced content, but it does narrow the playing field.
In the realm of news, the situation USED to be that you didn't cross the lines between premium content and news. You kept a wall between promotion, commercialism, and the ability to report effectively. This prevented the pushing of agendas.
We have crossed this line. Today, Jason Collins' story can qualify as 'news' because it can qualify as 'premium content' in the broadest of definitions.
You may think it's meaningful, and maybe there is a small percentage of people out there who think it's meaningful. But this isn't what news was supposed to be, and where we are has only made Newton Minow's commentary on TV being a "vast wasteland" even more meaningful today, because the oasis that was news is no longer available.
You said it - shame on the media for not covering the real news. But they can't when they have to cover nonsense like this. Today, the agenda is more important than the facts.
"Infotainment" --one of those words that address the question, 'can language hate itself?'
They could've merged the reverse order and had "Enterformation" and come accidentally to a truth.
We have a boomer/genXer financial freak show going on so no reason not to have a boomer/genXer sexual freak show to match it. Now if Corzine came out they could cover all the freak bases. We should just about be at the end of ALL the bubbles.
I appreciate Bulldog's point that censuring my point of view is not part of the equation. Last time I looked we had a first amendment. If that gives every jacked up lunatic the right to act stupid in public, it damn sure gives me the right to say that men sodomizing each other are deviants without some pinch faced dyke or some weeping nancy boy telling me to shut up.
mainstream is as mainstream does. To force alternate into its antonym mainstream requires a dialectical command-retooling of language --from 'in the beginning was the word' to 'in the word was the beginning'.
Thus through the happy sunshine doorway of salvation will abruptly lurch the blood-spattered nihilist totalitarian, going the wrong way, every time. "We need guardrails," someone shouts, then a shotgun fired and away I ran.
"Guardrails ain't natural," sang the chorus of the usual, but --here between the twin infinities, Heaven surely controls ingress, that's the point, after all. And Hell certainly controls egress --again, the point of it.
But what about here between, during OUR game on the playing fields of Eatin'?
Well here's the spirit of Robert Leroy Bartley, animating Dan Henninger, holding fourth (after God, Satan, and Mother Nature) on the guardrails topic:
With Newtown, the American people seem to sense that it is a moment to stand down and think hard about whether something's amiss in their society. And it's not just the guns. We have been here before.
In 1993, the U.S. reacted with national shock at the murder of abortion-clinic doctor David Gunn. President Bill Clinton condemned the Gunn killing, and Sen. Joe Biden called for legislative remedies. The Journal's editorial-page editor then, Bob Bartley, asked me to write an editorial, and the result was "No Guardrails."
What follows is an abbreviated version of that editorial, which was about the linkages between cultural disarray and personal disarray. Not much has changed in the years since.
The lead story on one of our local news shows the other night was about a dog that fell in a canal in Cape Coral. By those standards Jason Collins should be good for a week of headlines.
Jason Collins' Ex-Fiancee: I Had NO IDEA He Was Gay
1. Note word "fiancee", not just "girlfriend"
2. They were together EIGHT YEARS
3. She found out about it along with everyone else
4. He never mentioned it when he broke up with her
So, Jason, how much did the gay lobby pay you?
Homosexual activity is a fact - it does exist. Why - I don't know and I don't care. I've known some very tough Marines who were gay - not openly certainly, but it wasn't exactly a secret either. And they were respected and accepted as brothers at arms and Marines - because that was more important than their preference for Eve or Steve as sexual partners.
It's a feel good issue for those politicians who don't have brains enough to think their way out of economic malaise or have the leadership skills to light the way to prosperity and freedom. Everything has to be parsed within the framework political correctness which in and of themselves are acts of exclusion masquerading as acts of inclusion.
I'm sick and tired of gay anything - I can't turn on the TV without gay something something something being an "issue". My advice to gay men and lesbian women - just be who you are because normal people will accept you - and that's a majority of the people in the US.
As far as Jason Collins go, as somebody mentioned above, being 7' is the only reason he's still in the NBA. He's just another Henry Finkel as far as talent and now that he's come out as "gay", he's guaranteed himself another NBA contract with somebody for another year.
Everything has to be parsed within the framework political correctness which in and of themselves are acts of exclusion masquerading as acts of inclusion.
Hey hey HEY! Clean up that singular/plural disagreement and put that sonofabeach in Bartlett's!
Jason Collins is being praised for telling everyone he is gay, meanwhile Tim Tebow is being run out of the NFL for telling everyone that he is a Christian. Anybody else see a problem here?
He's being run out because he's a Christian? Why are so many other vocal Christians in the NFL not run out (like Kurt Warner)?
I think the issue with Tebow is much more complex than simply saying he's being sidelined for being Christian.
Fact seems to be that he's just not that good. Of course, his record seems to imply otherwise. He's won more playoff games for Denver than Peyton Manning, after all.....
I don't know how good he is or he isn't, I don't go to practices, and I'm not a coach. But I do know a few things:
1. He's not a prototypical NFL QB. That tends to be a thing some QBs have to overcome, and hard workers typically do.
2. He's a hard worker. Which explains why he was always welcome on the teams he's been on so far.
3. He has some mechanical issues with his passing. His stats in this critical area are not good. Of course, a good QB tends to win rather than put up amazing numbers. Putting up the numbers can help a team win, but it isn't always necessary.
4. The Wildcat, as a viable option, has more than seen its day. Using Tebow in this fashion may have been an interesting idea, but you don't keep a player like him around for 2 plays a game. A team will need to see potential with him in order to pick him up. I suspect one will. The NFL always needs hard working QBs.
Bulldog, that is just my opinion. While I respect your points, I think that all of the hullabaloo about his religion, PARTICULARLY in the media, has had it's effect. I am from Charlotte and watched John Fox play marginal QB's for years, but he dumps Tebow. Then the Jets coach sticks with Sanchez as bad as he has been and refuses to give Tebow a chance? I just think that political correctness is at work here more than anything else. In todays media being gay is to be celebrated, being Christian, not so much. Take away the religion issue in the media and I think Tebow gets a chance to develop his potential and make a good NFL QB. As I said, just my opinion.
I understand why you'd have that opinion, but it doesn't mesh with what's going on in the NFL.
Fox had the opportunity to get Peyton - so Tebow isn't worth as much to him anymore. Fox also doesn't make all the decisions, Elway had more say in Denver than Fox.
But if you ask me, I'd take Peyton over Tebow any day.
That said, what happened with the Jets has nothing to do with Tebow and everything to do with a terribly dysfunctional organization, from the top down.
I do agree that being gay is celebrated, but being Christian is ripe for ridicule. I was a member of Knights of Columbus (being Catholic) not long ago. When I joined, a very liberal friend of mine said "why would you do something stupid like that?"
I replied "do you know anything about them and what they do, or are you just talking out of your ass because you can?"
When he heard why I'd joined (I later quit - I couldn't stand how political they became), he was more respectful. There is a knee-jerk reaction which is applied by liberals on certain subjects which they fail to acknowledge or even deal with.
That said, the same is true of some hard-line Republicans, just on different issues.
I like Tebow. I even wrote about him a year ago or so, on Maggie's. But being Christian has little or nothing to do with his current status.
If that were true, many other players would be on their way out the door.
I had to revisit this. It seems there are other people who share my opinion. There may have been "football reasons" to justify cutting Tebow, but I think there is more to it than that.
There is a significant difference between being blackballed because of the media circus that follows him (and there is one - I've seen it here in NY), and for being a Christian.
It's a stretch of your original claim to make this article support for his being blackballed since he's a Christian.
I LIKE Tebow. But he's not a great player, though perhaps he could be.
But a coach has to be mindful of all aspects which a player brings to a team - including the press. Consider Terrell Owens, who was by far one of the greatest receivers on the field during his tenure. But the 'other stuff' he brought with him eventually made him unbearable, to the point that nobody wanted him.
Randy Moss had the same issue, as did Chad Johnson.
NFL teams are concerned about appearances as much as they are about talent.
You can take a chance on a Terrell Owens if he gets you to the Super Bowl (as he did with the Eagles), but if he is dragging the team down, you have to ignore the talent (as the Eagles did) and release him. His career went into a death spiral after that, though the Cowboys did get some production out of him...not as much as they liked, though.
Tebow may land somewhere, still. But if you still think the issue is his Christian beliefs, you need to start looking at all the other Christians in the NFL.
Les Carpenter wrote a piece the other day on Chris Kluwe being "blackballed" for coming out in support of gay marriage. This was as much nonsense as the idea that Tebow is blackballed for being Christian.....
Seriously? Read the article. Without a whiff of proof (much as in the Tebow article), the claims are laid out that something is happening. But nothing to back it up.
Wow, you are sure determined to prove me wrong. The only point of linking the article was that there are others that share my opinion. It is just that - an opinion. I am not trying to prove anything else by linking the article. I think that you take away the media hype about his religion then he gets a legitimate shot at success in the NFL. You say that NFL teams are concerned about appearances and you are correct - they should be, it is a business. A lot of this is media related and political correctness in my opinion. There are always football reasons to dump a player - age, injury, skills, salary cap, etc, but I happen to think that is not all that is at work here and the media circus you mentioned is indeed a large part of it. Being an outspoken Christian these days is not the way to endear yourself to the media. Being gay obviously is.
It's not about 'proving you wrong'. It's about making a claim which is unsubstantiated.
Your claim was that Tebow was run out BECAUSE he was Christian.
That article doesn't make that claim at all.
Just like the article I linked to which made a similar type of claim about Kluwe (from the pro-gay standpoint), that was completely unsubstantiated.
Your view shares nothing with the author's article. You said (and I quote) "he is being run out because he's a Christian". Show me where, in that article, that he was being run out for being a Christian? If you can show that to me, I'll simply say OK - someone agrees with you. But it's not in the article at all.
I will agree with you that being Christian is generally not smiled upon as much as being gay - but that's a different discussion altogether and has nothing to do with Tebow or any other Christian player in the NFL.
In fact, the article I linked to about Kluwe, I'd argue, would NEVER have been written if Kluwe was dumped for being Christian and making anti-gay comments. More to the point, if an article WAS written about Kluwe saying something like that, it would've been about how intolerant he is rather than about how he has a right to an opinion.
If you believe Tebow is run out because he's a Christian, that's fine - it's your opinion. But don't use an article that doesn't even link the two things as support.
I think this is very accurate, and makes your point far more eloquently.
These issues are VERY real, though here in New York they are often dismissed as Christian paranoia.
Ha...try dismissing a gay pride commentary here in New York, and you'll get run out of town on a rail (they still do that here, I think).
New York is, for better or worse, the center of the media and corporate universe. As a result, the culture has an overriding influence on the rest of the media world, not to mention the corporate world. We are forced, literally forced, to consume what the media dishes out in bowlfuls, and accept, in our jobs, whatever bizarre and extraordinary dictates come from above.
I hope you understand now that I'm not trying to prove you wrong, as you think. In fact, I'm VERY sympathetic to the point you were making. I just think the Tebow example is a massive stretch, and one hardly worth making, particularly when you compare it to the nonsense of the other article I posted from Les Carpenter.
Trying to make a point where there isn't one to make is a tough slog. Unless you're Obama.
Tim Tebow wasn't "run out of the NFL" [cut by the Jets] for openly professing Christianity. He was cut for football reasons. Another team will sign him on- for football reasons.
That being said, Tim Tebow has gotten a lot of criticism for openly professing Christianity.
I've been listening to the blather about this on sports radio for the last couple of days - they're talking about this because the Red Sox are doing ok for now - and one thing that keeps getting pushed aside is that Jason Collins is an older player who averages just 3 points a game and is looking for one last contract to pad the bank account. No one knew who this guy was before this. We ain't talkin' about LeBron here, folks. That would be a story.
As for Martina: I admired her as a tennis player when she was at the top of her game and I admire her now for her silence. She always struck me as being kind and graceful and yes, even ladylike in her own way.
Could part of this hullabaloo be that it's the hyper macho world of basketball? There have always been gay/lesbian athletes in other sports i.e. figure skating, diving, but since they're considered fringe sports with little appeal to the average person, those athletes have been dismissed or ignored. I recall watching Greg Louganis during the 1984 summer Olympics and admiring his grace and form under extreme pressure. Even at the ripe old age of 15 I knew he was gay. No biggie.
it's possible, but I don't perceive basketball as being hyper-macho. GOLF is hyper-macho. Those guys are crazy boy's club types. But just because a sport is physical doesn't make it hyper-macho.
In fact, Jason has gotten tremendous support from NBA players, and that's part of the reason he came out to begin with (again begging the question what kind of ordeal he was really going through).
Charles Barkley is basically saying the same thing I am - what's the big deal?
Charles even said if anyone in the NBA thought they've never played against a gay man, they were just not paying attention. Charles knows how to deal with a topic like this. As I said, it's great for Jason that he felt compelled to do this - but beyond that, there is no news here, and the circus it has become is outlandish.
Years ago, when Glenn Burke more or less came out (not to the press, but everyone knew), the press kept it quiet. Why is it a big deal today? Political agendas have changed.
Today you can win a contract and get press for just announcing you're gay. Anyone who announces they are gay is going to get a ton of support, despite what someone further up the thread said about young folks lacking the support of family or friends.
It's true homophobia rages in certain portions of our country. So does racism. So does all kinds of intolerance. But we shouldn't celebrate people just for what makes them different. We're all different. So if I announce I'm a gun-toting, scuba-diving, eco-friendly black businessman who just happens to be a Republican (I'm not ALL of those things), what kind of press would I get? Not much, even though that guy is probably RARER and has to deal with more crap in NYC than Jason Collins does.
Some courage this guy has. He is getting support from the White House. The White House! And every known media outlet. While those of us who think that homosexual marriage is a bad idea are totally marginalized -- dismissed as red-neck morons.
It's reverse McCarthyism. The left has won the culture wars. Only their point of view can be expressed. By the White House and everybody below it.
I wonder whether a society that totally glorifies homosexual activity can long survive? We're not even allowed to discuss that. But time will tell.
Remember, Charles Barkley spoke out for people like you. He said that while he may not agree with your point of view, people need to remember and recognize there will be opposing points of view which are equally valid.
I agree with your basic premise that there was no courage, and those who disagree ARE being marginalized. I don't agree with them - but the whole point of this exercise of 'inclusion' is to marginalize the people the press hates.
There's no greater good here (with Collins).
He also used and abused his fiance
Now he exercises his ego 'coming out.'
Still a non issue, still bogus, still a scam, still no one's business but his own.
How can anyone care?
How can anything be any more boring - or a non issue?
the totally non-political people in my office don't believe he's gay. They say he did it to get endorsement deals.
I suppose I am days late on this, but is anyone else wondering why we don't do more research about twins and homosexuality? If they identical twins, and one is gay, doesn't that same something about gayness being a choice or something that happens AFTER birth? If it were genetic, identical twins would both be gay, right?
Also, I must note that recently on tv a family was mentioned that had 3 children. 2 of them were gay. What are the odds? If only 1% of the population is gay, then how could both of these kids end up gay...? I then lean in the direction of environment over genetics.
Would love to have a more scientific discussion on this since I am no scientist.
There are a few ways to approach this - and I'm no scientist.
But Jason IS a twin. His brother was just as surprised as anyone to learn Jason is gay.
However, remember identical twins, though we use the term "Identical" are not completely identical. For example, they are typically mirror images of each other. A birthmark on one's left cheek may be on the right of the other. In addition, one can be left-handed while the other is right handed. Finally, the do NOT have the same fingerprints. So IDENTICAL is a bit of a stretch when describing monozygotic twins.
And in discussing the odds of a family having 2 out of 3 children gay - well, if you assume the odds of being gay is 1 in 10, then you'd have to assume 1 in every 10 children in your neighborhood is gay, right?
Not really. Statistically speaking, odds tend to "clump". So you could have 1,000 kids in your neighborhood who are straight, but next town over might have a 20% rate of gay children.
It's the same concept of the tired old "cancer clusters" which were popular in the 1990s. Certain regions of the country were called "cancer clusters" because people in those areas seemed to get cancer more regularly than other parts of the country.
Not really though. For one reason, cancer isn't one disease. There are many different types of cancer, but for the purposes of the "cluster" studies, they were all lumped together.
Secondly, it ignored the fact that there were regions of the country that were devoid of any common cancers.
Statistics are interesting, and rarely linear. So simply saying 66% of one family is gay, but the average across the population is only 1% doesn't really inform a discussion in any meaningful way. I'm not a scientist, but I did study statistics.
Well, one problem with your analysis (since we are both non-science-y we are both guessing!): identical twins have identical DNA. I get the point about fingerprints and moles, but if gayness is genetic, how do you explain away identical DNA with different biological outcomes?
Also, the odds of being gay is not 1 in 10. Only about 2% to 4% of the population is gay...so the odds of 2 gay people in a family of 3 kids is pretty astronomical, wouldn't you say?
I used 1 in 10 as a guide to explain, not as a fact. Regardless, 2 out of 3 is not high if you understand the nature of statistical "clumping". I have a very good friend who is gay. So is his sister. They are the only 2 children in the family. By your logic, if 'odds' hold true, neither should be gay since only 2 to 4% should be gay, then even if 1 was gay, that's 50%! Shocking, I know. But the problem with using statistics that cover a broad area is that at microscopic levels the odds can't bear out.
Why is it, in a group of 50 people, you have an extremely high likelyhood of 2 people with the same birthday? Out of 365/6 possibilities, the odds should say this is impossible. But it's not. Clumping is the answer.
As for genetics - identical twins do not have identical DNA. They have VERY CLOSE to identical DNA.
But, just for the sake of discussion, let's just say they DO have identical DNA - so how could there be a genetic basis for homosexuality?
Consider cloning. This, by the same standards as identical twins, is about as identical DNA as you can get. Given 5 cloned individuals, do you think they will all have EXACTLY the same personality?
No. Why not?
Because environment is a trigger to personality, even if DNA plays a role in the development of that personality. The same individual, growing up in a desert, while another grows up in the tundra, and another in a forest, and 2 others in cities, will all have markedly different personalities, though they will share many common traits. Their DNA will determine certain aspects of their life which they may share in common - are they introverted, perhaps?
But just because DNA determines this, there are other factors which apply and can alter the potential outcome, depending on which triggers are switched on during development.
If you think this means homosexuality is, therefore, determined by environment, the answer is no. The answer can be it's a combination of both. While I may share the same DNA, my experiences may trigger different personality traits which the DNA deems "likely" or "possible".
The idea that just because it is genetically likely doesn't mean the outcome is predetermined - just that experiences have the opportunity to trigger certain outcomes. However, it also means that 'switching back' is also highly improbable. It's one thing to say that I "chose" to be heterosexual. I can't honestly say I ever made that choice...it was a very natural course of events for me, as I'm sure it was for anyone else who is.
I'm certain it's the same for homosexuals, too. The difference being, as part of a very small minority, it's got to be painfully obvious to them that they are thinking about things in a significantly different fashion than everyone around them.
Thanks, Bulldog, for this rational discussion. I think that some gayness is part 'genetic' from a mutation standpoint and part environment. I also think that some people who have been sexually abused end up confused and choose to be gay due to this confusion...not all, but definitely some. So, therefore, I also believe it is a mistake of nature and not a normal way for a human being to be. I also believe that sex is not the end-all be-all of human existence and that it, in itself, does not determine one's happiness in life. So it is a choice to decide to live a gay lifestyle...much like a priest or a nun can take a celibacy vow and live totally fulfilled lives.
I also think that there will be a day when a genetic component will be discovered, and many many people will abort babies that are flagged as 'homosexual' babies. Wonder what the left will think of it then.
I would only question you on this (though I don't agree with your 'mutation' point at all):
What is "normal"?
This was a question raised in my fraternity while I was in college many years ago. We spent quite a bit of time trying to determine which of the brothers was "normal".
Each of us is eccentric and unusual in our own way. So the idea of "normal" is really just a statistical measure of a single data point. In reality, for people, many data points come into play.
I would bet that there is at least one person you have met in your life who you have felt is the most 'normal' person you've ever met. I'll also bet that person may have been gay and was either not open about it or was never honest about it. You may never know.
I'm OK with the fact that 2 to 4% of the populations isn't like me. I also don't think this makes them abnormal or means they were either abused or have some kind of mutated gene. I think it's just part of what happens in life.
Why does my wife happen to enjoy romance movies while I enjoy action flicks? Is it a genetic issue? Probably. But I have another female friend who loves action movies and we have seen several together.
Just because we assume procreation is the be all to end all doesn't mean it is. Nature does many things in order to preserve life, and gayness may be one of those things.
That said, I'm not sure there's anything unusual about it at all. Living in New York I work with, and am friendly with, many gay people. I find nothing unusual or different about them, aside from their sexual preference. We talk sports, music, and culture just like anyone else does. But they happen to go home to someone who is the same sex, and I don't.
By the way, NONE of them had a press conference to let anyone know they were gay. They didn't think it was that big a deal. Neither did I.