I was reading some of the news items on this topic. Most of the authors seem to address this issue using the words like ‘unnatural’, ‘abnormal’, as if it is an ailment or handicap that can be remedied or corrected. Here’s an article that appeared in THE HINDU recently:
Mohana Krishnaswamy, who says that he is a ‘paramedical person by qualification’, writes,
“ …arrested on charges of homosexual practice. The remedy to that should be to educate the police and make them more human, to sympathise with the conditions of abnormality in human behaviour…”
“While we can sympathise with people practising homosexuality, it is an altogether socially, ethically and medically unacceptable idea to treat them as normal. There are no homosexuals among any species of animals. Such practice is fundamentally against nature. With all our sympathy, we have to treat them as abnormal.”
Before I start giving out my position on this, I would like define certain terms, like what is ‘natural’, ‘normal’ and ‘human’? Natural is something that is found in the nature without the intervention of man. Trees, rocks, mountains are natural, while plastic is artificial. Sex, suckling, reproduction, baby care, etc are natural, since it is found in certain higher order animals. These are natural and biological. Feelings, conscience, sense of justice, ability to produce music and art, etc, are human, and not necessarily found even in higher order mammals. These are natural and in addition, they are human.
Now, do we accept everything that is biological and natural as acceptable? Not really! Killing another human (not for food) can easily be shown to be natural, but we do not accept it. There are certain traits which are found in humans, like war, kill for sport (not for food), rape, etc, which are natural to humans but not necessarily desirable. Therefore a certain sense of law and order and its affiliated institutions are introduced, which are entirely human, to suppress, control or curb certain human traits. Therefore, though certain things are natural, we consider some of them to be inhuman. Now what is normal? When something deviates from what is expected, it is 'not normal'. For example, deafness or blindness is considered 'not normal'. It is deficiency or a handicap by which a person will not function the same way as any normal person would (of course, this is highly debatable). A person who is born with a deformity of hand will not be able to perform certain actions the way a normal person would and hence it is considered abnormality.
Coming to homosexuality, Is it ‘unnatural’, ‘abnormal’, or ‘inhuman’?
Homosexuality is natural
Homosexuality is found in many other animal and bird species. Wikipedia lists nearly 500 species of mammals, birds, fish and other animals which display homosexuality. Recently a museum opened up in Oslo,
The Oslo Natural History Museum concludes human homosexuality cannot be viewed as "unnatural".
Homosexuality is normal
Homosexuality is found in every culture, every religion, every nation, in both female and male, and at all ages. It has been found since time immemorial and is in fact as old as human itself. It is not something very different from a left-handedness, which is seen in minority population but is still normal. It is not a handicap by which a homosexual is not able to perform certain physical or mental activities which a heterosexual can. Except for sexual orientation, a homosexual is similar to a heterosexual. It is neither a genetic defect nor a biological abnormality. Homosexuals are normal people with a different sexual orientation.
Is homosexuality legal, moral, inhuman or common?
One has to understand that law is made by man to control man. There were many things that were illegal once, like pre-marital sex, which are now completely legal. While some legal things in past, like slavery, are made illegal now. Homosexuality is legal in very few parts of the world, and in most parts of the world it remains illegal. Coming to whether it is ethical or moral, I don’t want to debate. It is up to individual’s opinion; I leave it to my readers. I do not think it is inhuman either since it does not involve in encroaching on other people’s rights or freedom. It does not bring harm to other people or cause inconvenience to them. There is no reason to treat it as a crime.
But yes, I agree that is not common, and if it is, it is hidden, and hence most of us do not know about it. Just because we do not know about it doesn’t make it go away, make it unnatural or abnormal.
Homosexuality is completely natural, completely normal, but yes, it is uncommon. We may have grown up not knowing about it, but there is a way to teach the young generations about it. As a kid, I haven’t known many things- I didn’t know about sex or pornography. There is a way one can know about these things. If the teaching is shunned or if it is done in the negative light as seen from the above article written in THE HINDU, we will not be able to understand it and may grow negative or wrong prejudices and start targeting homosexuals.
To consider homosexuality to be unnatural or abnormal is completely wrong. It’s not an ailment that can be cured; it’s not a disease that can be eradicated. It is not a mental condition that can be corrected through therapy. If your kid is homosexual, accept him/her. If you are a believer in God, consider the kid to be a creation of that God. If that God has created homosexuals in animals, so he did in humans. And if you are an atheist, like me, I don’t think you need to be told anything, you already know it.