Wednesday, October 13, 2010

It doesn't matter

If there was ever an issue where I was unabashedly liberal (and let's face it, there are many), it is choice in sexual preference. And I'm not talking about simply choosing a life partner, being gay, bisexual, straight (and no, I don't think the last three are choices), etc. In terms that are even more broad, I respect people's sexual choices, as long as they are consensual between all partners. Why then, would I care about partners who choose to engage in sexual activities that I would choose not to? All you have to do is check out google and I guarantee you'll find some things that you think are awkward, weird, creepy, etc. But, it's not my business as long as no one is being damaged.

And so, when I read a blog post by Jill Carroll over at the Chron, I had to give her a shout out. She makes this point far better than I did. In particular, she said:

I fail to see why it should matter if people choose to be gay or not, especially in a country that respects human rights and affirms basic individual freedoms. So what if some people choose to live as homosexuals? Are they not free to choose this? Do people not have the right to choose whom they will love and partner with? Is this most central and intimate of relationships to be submitted to the approval of the government? Or someone's bishop or imam? Those who wish to submit their choices to a religious authority are certainly free to do so. But should the rest of us, who don't acknowledge that authority, have to submit our choices as well?

Assuming no direct and measurable harm is done (which is the boundary test of all freedoms), why do we not get to choose the nature of our personal, sexual relationships?

We are free. We get to choose.

For the record, she's not making the case that sexual orientation is a choice. She's arguing that even if it were it shouldn't matter because we live in a society which {supposedly} allows for personal choice.

Of course, most of the commenters didn't get the memo and think that Jill is a bigot, and others are just ill informed themselves. For example, a guy named phd dave (yeah right, PhD) said:

Homosexuality is a choice just as is pedophilia, bestiality, and panoply of others. They are all just as equally disgusting, grotesque, perverse and wrong

I'm guessing Dave is of the "if the girl is on top, it's wrong and ungodly" variety. However, there were a small number of literate people who commented accordingly. One of my favorite comments (by Daaron) sums it up pretty nicely:

For me, it always boils down to your third point: who cares? If you don't like gay marriage,  don't marry someone of your own gender. If you don't like gay sex, don't have sex with someone of your own gender. After that, it's none of your damn business.

Well done, Jill.

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