What has one's sexuality have to do with moral or ethical issues?

  • rmau

    Posts: 15

    Apr 04, 2007 2:47 PM GMT
    I am genuinely curious. Many of the questions posed in topics are along the line of how does being gay effect a particular moral or ethical situation.

    I'm not sure that my sexuality effects many of these questions at all and why would it. Heterosexual people don't wear their sexuality on there sleeve and neither do I. We ALL face ethical and moral dilemmas regulary being gay or not generally shouldn't effect our decisions.

    Questions directly related to sexuality and relationships are the only time being gay or not has any bearing and even then, not always. Questions like promiscuity effect gay, straight or whatever.

    OK that's my piece I'm keen to hear your oppinions.

    I hasten to add that this is my general opinion and I wouldn't ask for your opinions if I wasn't interested.
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    Apr 04, 2007 4:47 PM GMT
    I'm not sure whether one's sexual orientation itself affects one's broader moral and ethical perspective.

    However, I do feel pretty sure that being part of a marginalized minority does affect people in broader ways -- both negatively and positively.

    I don't, for example, really know what you mean about wearing your sexuality on your sleeve. Straight people make out in public, hold hands, etc. That's pretty visibly on the sleeve. Of course, as a majority, they have no need to politicize their sexuality (although the extreme right wing does).

    If one makes a point of hiding his sexuality or diminishing its expression, one is obviously being affected and, unfortunately, this becomes generalized for a lot of gay people, especially when they are coming out. Generally, they don't want to rock the boat. On the other hand, people who are completely out tend to generalize that style too, often becoming nonconformists, unique individuals.

    We are unique in that the source of our marginalizaton is our sexual expression. That being the case, it's not surprising that many respond by being more overtly sexual. African-Americans have black pride. We have, um, penis pride, so to speak.
  • rmau

    Posts: 15

    Apr 04, 2007 5:19 PM GMT
    I agree, we are indeed marginalized by our sexuality. I suppose that gives us a sexuality-centric view on things.

    When I say "wear my sexuality on my sleeve", I'm not talking about public expression of love or sex. I just don't (consciously) put the gay factor into my thought process. Whether I should do or not do something (accept for obvious occasions where love, relationship and sexuality are directly involved) the fact of being gay doesn't directly effect my moral or ethical judgement.

    Yes we do make judgements based of our experiences in and of the world, but being gay is only one part of that. I'm not sure, but I think that we put too much emphasis on that (gay)part of our world view.
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    Apr 04, 2007 7:42 PM GMT
    I think that society in general includes sexuality (as in sexual preference) as a morality issue, but it is not.

    So if you leave whether one is gay or not out of the "morality" pigeon-hole, then I think that sexuality has nothing to do with MY morality.

    What I mean by that is that many people would view sex outside of marriage as immoral. I don't, if both partners are willing. It may, of course, be unethical if there is cheating involved.

    I agree with both of you, though, on everything you say. I would add that I also don't "wear" my gayness on my sleeve. Whether I obey traffic laws, don't steal, rape or pillage, has nothing to do with whether I am gay or not, but everything to do with a code of conduct in which I do no harm to others, or myself.

    How I interpret that latter part is what drives my politics, also. This means I am not a slogan-driven, or political-party driven person. I support the candidates that generally support the issues I favor. It turns out that DOES end up making one of the two major political parties palatable and one especially repugnant.

    To put it another way, I am liable to support candidates who support choice, individual rights, intellectual honesty and who do not support imposition of religious or moral views of special interest groups on society as a whole.

    Guess which party which is the antithesis of that...and the first two guesses don't count.

    :-)

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    Apr 04, 2007 11:11 PM GMT
    I feel a minority finds it easy to embody a stereotype that has been given to their label in order to find a sense of belonging. Many gay individuals feel lost the majority of the time and don’t have an adequate sense of self or appropriate social or familial support to stand on their own. To avoid being rejected from the only group they may potentially be accepted in, the gay community, they portray what is thought to be as the typical gay guy. This need to belong and lack of identity may cause these individuals to cave into the peer pressures of the gay community, which are also shared by the straight community; however, I believe being a minority exacerbates this need to belong and, therefore, encourages the use of drugs and the act of promiscuous sex to fill an emotional void.

    A lot of people don’t have the strength to battle the stereotype and become lost in a world of immorality and promiscuity to reinforce what others already presume about them. They aren’t given the benefit of the doubt so they don’t see the point in challenging those ignorant individuals. Immoral and risky actions are characteristic of any group whose self-esteem has been destroyed through incessant bigotry and ignorance.

    These negative stereotypes make me want to come out of the closet and prove people wrong, but would that be an appropriate motivation for doing something.

    I’m not even sure if my thoughts really address the initial topic posted by rmau. It’s awesome to see so many in depth postings.
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    Apr 05, 2007 1:55 AM GMT
    Actually, there's no bigger stereotype for gay people than being closeted, is there? You can reasonably question the ethics of the closet, too, since it often involves lying.

    I find gay men stereotype one another pretty regularly. You certainly read that in these forums -- an endless description of gay men as promiscuous, disregardful of relationships, etc. We even arrange ourselves into categories like bear, twinky, circuit boy, etc.

    I did a paper a few years ago for a university's gay studies conference. I was interested in seeing how stereotyped images of homosexuality compare between gay people and straight people.

    What I found was that gay men most fear stereotyping as effeminate. However, when I polled straight people, they more often mentioned leather guys and other hypermasculine styles as gay stereotypes.





  • Paradigm_Shif...

    Posts: 251

    Apr 05, 2007 2:36 AM GMT
    My view of how sexuality and morality interact has two sections to it. The first being how someone builds their moral code. Many people’s main source of moral guidance comes from their parents, religious leaders or other institutions, like the boy scouts for example. These people look to those figures as role models and try to emulate the moral code that they teach.

    As some of you stated above I feel that as gay men, one thing that impacts our community is the constant oppression from many religious leaders and other “traditionalists” in society. Because of this oppression, the gay community as a whole generally rejects the “traditional” moral code. In many cases simply because this moral code does not accept homosexuality. This then leaves the gay community to create our own set of morals. Many gay men are sexually free, or have open relationships. We may place a different value on the role of family or follow a less mainstream spiritual path.

    So for many gay people, our moral code is set up differently than society in general. But the second part of the equation is if we adhere to our moral code. In my experience many straight people claim to be a “Christian” or to be on the straight and narrow as far as their moral standards. Yet at the same time their life is a complete contradiction to what they preach. I mean look at marriage for example. Every straight couple vowels “Till death do us part” but look at the divorce rate. Now more people get divorced than stay together. And this can be seen not just in marriage but throughout society. Enron, The Catholic Church molestation cases, and even the Governmental mess of lies and corruption. In each case Im sure they proudly claimed to be an upstanding moral member of society but in the end held themselves to no such standard.

    On the flip side, in my view, gay men may have a different code, but we are much more serious about living by what we preach. I have met many gay couples who have been together for 8 years, 10 years, over 20 years. Their relationships may be open, but they have a set code and they are both true to that. Now of course there are bad gay people and good straight people. Im not trying to say this is 100% true all of the time. But what I am saying is that because gay men have to take a second and figure out who we REALLY are, we may just be better at staying true to ourselves….
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    Apr 05, 2007 3:50 AM GMT
    Morals and Ethics are all determined within each individual, so what I consider morally right, others view differently. If someone doesn't agree with a specific situation that may be borderline immoral or unethical then..... DON'T DO IT. And if you're a witness to such action, RUN AWAY!!! Stand by your own set of moral and ethical values, it's one of the traits that makes each of us unique. to each his own....
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    Apr 05, 2007 3:59 AM GMT
    Excellent comments, gentlemen. What a contrast to the diatribes, paranoia and name-calling in some of other forums.

    These are very thoughtful. I agree with all the comments. I would add that societies do have the "right" to set laws on the basis of some definition of morality.

    For example, if we lived in a theocracy (as the religious right want us to do, or as exists in some of the Islamic states), the enforcable morality would probably lead to all of us getting executed.

    Thank goodness that our country is founded on a set of principles that are grounded in exclusion of theocracy as a guiding underpinning, despite what those who are on the fringes (both left and right) want to impose. (By the way, you can tell those guys right away...their "reasoned" arguments quickly degenerate into ranting and name-calling.

    John
  • phill

    Posts: 117

    Apr 05, 2007 4:14 AM GMT
    How does gay sexuality effect moral issues. Well morals are societies fastly held belifes based on tradition. So when something seen as aborrent for so long becomes mainstream and asks society as a whole to understand the deeper levels of mentation on the situation it is seen as a bucking of a moral system. Society exists as a way to teach peoples the social memes we hope to passed down to future generations. In 100 years based on the public face of homosexuality you may see the ideas of morality change. It may be immoral to discriminate based on sexuality it may be immoral to not be open to possible sexuality on a scale. Its really about what society whats to teach the structure of the future to value.
  • phill

    Posts: 117

    Apr 05, 2007 4:14 AM GMT
    How does gay sexuality effect moral issues. Well morals are societies fastly held belifes based on tradition. So when something seen as aborrent for so long becomes mainstream and asks society as a whole to understand the deeper levels of mentation on the situation it is seen as a bucking of a moral system. Society exists as a way to teach peoples the social memes we hope to passed down to future generations. In 100 years based on the public face of homosexuality you may see the ideas of morality change. It may be immoral to discriminate based on sexuality it may be immoral to not be open to possible sexuality on a scale. Its really about what society whats to teach the structure of the future to value.
  • phill

    Posts: 117

    Apr 05, 2007 4:20 AM GMT
    "We are unique in that the source of our marginalizaton is our sexual expression. That being the case, it's not surprising that many respond by being more overtly sexual. African-Americans have black pride. We have, um, penis pride, so to speak. "

    Again this i think is what based on society we have told ourselves we need to be. At first the homosexual public face was confronted with a tantrum for lack of a better word in reguards to sexuality. Because we have been negated as a people because we have been told that our behavorisms are in themselves unclean or mentally deficient in nature we need to prove to ourselves that it is a healthy aspect of homosexual lifestyles. We chose to do this in a very public display. Which makes sense. for every action there is an equal and opposite reaction.

    I think we are finally coming to a time and place where we can be a wholey integrated male that encompasses a homosexual sexual politic without being outlandish or obscene. But we as a society of gay males are in our own way telling the next generation of homosexuals to be theses sterotypes. Sexualy explicite or taciturn in nature. We should show the youths of our culture that the only thing that seperates us is our chose of partners that it isnt about sexualizing our revolution as a means of integrating into society. Its education of the masses that we are suffering by measures to great to show because of the inability to openly and healthily share our love of someone of the same sex.

    If i learn to present to youth of this country that i am a healthy fully realized gay man then i hope that that is the steryotype they strive to become.
  • rmau

    Posts: 15

    Apr 05, 2007 6:05 AM GMT
    Keep up the conversation guys. I really thankful and impressed with the quality and thought in this topic
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    Apr 06, 2007 12:29 AM GMT
    "I think we are finally coming to a time and place where we can be a wholey integrated male that encompasses a homosexual sexual politic without being outlandish or obscene."

    I resemble that remark, Phil.

    Actually, I don't understand this viewpoint. What makes gay people "outlandish" or "obscene" are the puritanical and often hypocritical values of the dominant culture.

    It's troubling to see gay people, anxious to be assimilated, appropriate these values, often becoming more judgmental of the "outlandish" spectacle of gay life than straight people. (Remember the emergence in the early '90s of "queer" as a term that described a sensibility rather than a sexuality?)

    Here in Atlanta for a period there was a guy called "Baton Bob." He could be seen marching all over the city in drag, twirling a baton, blowing a whistle and shaking his stuff. The owner of a business in Midtown told me that his gay customers hated Bob and his straight customers loved him. To many gay men, he was an embarrassment. To the straight customers, he was a wacky, entertaining gender-bender.

    I don't understand why gay men find the consequential reality of our orientation so hard to accept. The way we express sexual desire, our attraction to other men, is repellent to most religious teaching and this is not going to change. As long as religion dominates the morals of a society, homosexuality is going to be objectionable to most believers. (Spain is an example of a Catholic-dominated country where people actually intensely distrust the church because of its alliance with Franco. Thus they can approve gay marriage because they know religion is often corrupt.)

    Also, like it or not, most gay men exhibit some degree of gender variation. No, not all gay men are effeminate but the extreme preoccupation with an almost outdated style of masculinity is itself a dead giveaway now (as I suggested in my earlier post). Whatever form this gender variation explicitly takes, it is objectionable to religious traditionalists too. But it's pathetic to see gay men adopt this value, which, like the purchase of religiously regulated sexual conduct, is simply a new closet. There are many ways to construct a closet.

    Personally, I think our society could use a lot more outrageous, outlandish and obscene expression. I've been mindful lately of this because it's the 20th anniversary of ACT UP's founding. Those of us involved in it were repeatedly lectured by more "mainstream" gay people for our angry rhetoric and theatrical and "tasteless" demonstrations. But there is no doubt that ACT UP, by pressuring the FDA to expedite experimental drugs and pharmacy companies to lower their prices, saved and prolonged countless thousands of lives. Yet I still remember the head of a major circuit party telling me he wouldn't permit condoms or ACT UP materials to be circulated at the event because we were so "in-your-face." (He contracted AIDS and made a public apology.)

    ACT UP demonstrated a way in which the outrageous and the outlandish -- the marginalized given full voice -- can speak truth to power and change the course of history.

    There is no need for gay men to become less "outrageous." We have more to teach the culture than they have to teach us.

    I'll go to dinner now and be quiet.

  • phill

    Posts: 117

    Apr 06, 2007 4:45 AM GMT
    I can understand and respect your opinion because it is valid. I'm not chastising gay men for there ribald humor or sexual freedom. I think my opinions come from being raised in California where the celebration of our unity has been downgraded to leather thongs and a chance to dish about so and so. I should have used an I statement in my previous digressions because it was meant as an opinion.

    I am not someone who looks at someones sexual display and judges them based on a fear or shame based response. I am however, one who is discouraged that the men i had to look up to when coming our or learning about my own sexuality where much more into the carnal side of life. I was looking for a spiritual ethic, a way of being who i was and being comfortable with all aspect of my homosexuality. I was looking for the deeper levels of understanding about the unity with in.

    I meant no disrespect to men who are free enough in there sexual expression to do so publicly and loudly as an excersize of self affirmation. It was more of a criticism of men who only understand there being through sex and not the freedom that being integrated as a being or whole can give.



  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Apr 07, 2007 2:48 PM GMT
    i think people only make it a moral issue becuase it is easy. Someone could say "if a man/women has a affar during married they can not marry agian." But they will not. Even though the bible said it is wrong. Saying gay and lesbien is moraly wrong is easy and people have thought that for a long time. This then gets to the point that if you take away a basic right people moral will change and get PO. Makeing their view point change.
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    Apr 09, 2007 3:34 PM GMT
    I disagree about hetersexuals esp heterosexual men not flaunting there sexuality. I am always hearing about the last bitch somebody fucked "with details" Like oof! she was tigh! or damn that bitch was looser than a mother after 10 kids! Yah i believe if they can flaunt it so can we. But I can't stand the closeteers who fuck around behind there wife, boyfriend, girlfriends, or husbands back. Now that is what i call immoral and wrong!
  • TallGWMvballe...

    Posts: 1925

    Apr 09, 2007 5:11 PM GMT
    I am with skippyhappy69 on this one.

    Being one who is mostly dealing with Hets in my work, I see the same morality issues that Gay people have.... we DO have our own as well and the Hets certainly have their moral views towards us but cheating, lying etc are not same sex specific.
  • GQjock

    Posts: 11649

    Apr 12, 2007 11:05 AM GMT
    When you bring up this topic you have to be a bit more specific in your definition of moral
    because that in itself can open up a whole can of worms
    We are part of a minority that has been severely discriminated for hundreds and hundreds of years...where the act itself was for many years punishable by law
    ...now we're discriminated against in more subtle and not so subtle ways
    but we've all had to lie
    sometimes we've had to laugh along with homophobic jokes in High School
    that lying to our them and ourselves allows stereotypes to be labeled onto ourselves along with the name of immorality placed onto our heads
    then there's the specter of what austrication
    does from society...from being told from an early age that you're evil and that god views you as an abomination
    ...that has a lot to do with why many gay men turn to drugs...to alcohol
    why gay teens have such a high suicide rate
    ...as far as sex goes
    we're no more immoral than any segment of our society....Right Jimmy Swaggart
    James Baker
    sex is sex and the heterosexuals are just if not more kinky than we'll ever be
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    Nov 01, 2013 12:02 PM GMT
    It doesn't.
  • musicdude

    Posts: 734

    Nov 01, 2013 1:17 PM GMT
    A persons sexuality is deemed a moral or ethical issue when said sexuality is perceived as abnormal or deviant.

    Would you consider a pedophile to be a moral or ethical person?

    The problem with some people is that they believe homosexuality falls in line with pedophilia and other such abnormal sexual behaviours. We are therefore incapable of being morally or ethically sound (according to them).
  • Oceans_of_Flo...

    Posts: 393

    Nov 01, 2013 2:57 PM GMT
    In the gay community, we are all basically bees brightening the world of and scattering the effulgent pollen of our intended, a lack of morals and ethics can leave disaster and wilt in its wake.

    Yes, we are all mostly interested in multiple guys, whether we are single or partnered, but that shouldn't cancel out decorum, empathy, and gentlemanliness. However, a lack of ethics/morals can cause insensitivity, deceit, promiscuity, and all around bad bed side manner.

    Honesty conquers all, tell drum ass that like the aurora borealis you are there for a little while to cause awe and wonder and then you'll be a memory, but most would rather lead him on to believe that they are the sun.

    Then there are break ups - why not do it quick like a flu shot and with as little anger as possible, love is still something shared between the two of you, but again no, guys want to divide loyalties and point fingers.

    I might be so off base with my post, but I sensed this was a "why are guys jerks" thread. The answer to that query is that all people can be jerks, but - we don't bang all people or let them bang us so I can see why that answer is destined to be mulch.