Hamid Reza Karimianpour
October 10, 2006
There is at best a mistaken belief and at worst a deliberate attempt to mislead when one claims that homosexuality is morally wrong because it is against the nature. I have even heard once someone saying that homosexuality was an unnatural animalistic behavior. A
nimals are parts of the nature. If a kind of behavior is unnatural, it means that no animals do that. If it is animalistic, it means that at least some animals do that. Thus nothing can be at the same time both animalistic and unnatural, and I suspect there was homophobia behind that person's statement than any logic.
Though the above example only represents an extremist view, homophobic attitudes based on the view that homosexuality is unnatural and wrong are unfortunately still commonplace. This view is often backed by religious groups, who otherwise are very sensible and respectable.
In "Meet Arguments with Arguments", I tried to argue why I believe the question of what is natural or unnatural is totally irrelevant for the discussion of the moral status of homosexuality. I pointed out that as humans sometimes we follow animals' footsteps and other times we choose to distinguish ourselves. What makes our behavior morally right or wrong depends on other criteria than the idea that everything we do necessarily has to preserve the natural way.
However, if the reader still maintains that homosexuality is morally wrong because it is against the nature, it is worth mentioning that recent zoological research shows that animal behavior could be so much more varied and complex than many have previously assumed. Homosexuality has been discovered among a variety of species as diverse as many types of birds and chimpanzees.
The Oslo Natural History Museum in Norway recently organized a well-received exhibition of homosexuality and bisexuality among animals. The exhibition was the world's first show of its kind and has been commented worldwide. According to the exhibition's Project Leader, Geir Søli, "homosexuality has been observed for more than 1,500 animal species and is well documented for 500 of them."
An exhibition statement said, "We may have opinions on a lot of things, but one thing is clear -- homosexuality is found throughout the animal kingdom, it is not against nature." The exhibition showed that sex between animals was not only for procreation, but could also often be seen as a matter of enjoyment.
According to the BBC, a commentator complained that the exhibition was an example of "propaganda invading scientific world". The question is whether telling the truth about the nature is a propaganda invading scientific world, or concealing the truth in order to maintain the religious and political myth that homosexuality is a crime against the nature?
I personally like to stress once again that for me the moral status of homosexuality among humans can and shall be established regardless of whatever science tells us about animal behavior, but the exhibition certainly means a hard slap in the face to those who claim that homosexuality is a crime done to nature.