Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Congrats to Liechtenstein!

More good news out of Europe as the beautiful alpine nation of Liechtenstein, located between Switzerland and Austria, approved the Partnerschaftsgesetz, or Partnership Bill.

The bill, which confers the rights and benefits of civil unions to same-sex couples, passed parliament with unanimous approval on March 21st, and will take effect September 1, 2011. 

Liechtenstein is 80% Catholic.

Congrats to Liechtenstein!  We now look forward to seeing Luxembourg pass its same-sex marriage bill within this year.


Wednesday, March 16, 2011

It's Okay to be Catholic and Liberal

I'm no fan of small-mindedness.  It's fine to be "traditional," but when someone is being blindly traditional (i.e. stubbornly and rigidly conservative while ignoring all modern science), it is entirely unacceptable -- whether that someone is a president, a mayor, a judge, or a cleric.

I realize that I've called out the Catholic Church more than a few times in this blog, particularly in their illogical stance on homosexuality and same-sex unions, and I stand by that.  I do not, however, want to give the impression that I dislike Catholics.  That's not the case at all.  I know many, many Catholics and I like them all, and many of them are even pro-marriage equality.  What I dislike are people whose brains are stuck in the middle ages, regardless of which faith they choose to follow.

Simply put, there is absolutely no excuse for stubborn irrationality in the year 2011.  No excuse.  That's why I call out the Catholic Church and many Protestant churches as well, because they're ridiculously stubborn.  They think they're right simply because they say they're right.

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Bishops to Pinoy LGBTs: Be who you are, but accept that you're second-class... in your church and in your nation

In typically confusing Roman Catholic style, two Filipino Bishops of the Catholic Bishops' Conference of the Philippines (CBCP) have said that they don't care about a person's sexuality, and that they only care about making sure anyone other than heterosexuals cannot have sex or form legal unions.  This all fits tragically in with what I wrote about in a previous post, "We accept you as long as you never find fulfillment."

Essentially the two bishops, Paciano Aniceto and Oscar Cruz, aren't saying anything new.  This has been the line of the Catholic Church for the past few decades.  Their reiteration comes in conjunction with the Philippine launch of a Catholic-sponsored book entitled Homosexuality and The Catholic Church.  The crux of their view is that it's okay for gays and lesbians to come out as gay and lesbian, but at the same time, if they choose to be in a relationship, form a household, or enter into a committed union with someone of the same sex, they then become sinners who need to be "corrected."

The book isn't anything new, actually.  It was first released in 2007 but wasn't released in the Philippines until March of 2011.  I actually had the opportunity to read it in 2009.  As a biologist, I give the author (Fr. John Harvey, who recently passed away) a thumbs-up for promoting tolerance, but a thumbs-down for a lack of scientific facts.  The book presents a view of sexuality that is straight out of the playbook of early 80s psychoanalysis, and as such promotes a type of pseudoscience (essentially saying that homosexuality is a sickness, but saying it with a compassionate smile), which is neither accurate nor beneficial to the discussion.

Monday, March 7, 2011

Betty Explains it Like Only Betty Can

A hilarious (and frighteningly true) explanation of what really constitutes a traditional marriage according to the Bible.


Sunday, March 6, 2011

Gay sheep do their part for progress

The latest research conducted into homosexuality in animals adds to the mounting evidence that it is a naturally-occurring and hormonally-influenced orientation of prenatal origin.

From the Oregon Health and Science University in Portland, and the research of Charles E. Roselli, Radhika C. Reddy, and Katherine R. Kaufman, the new sheep study (concluded in Jan 2011) showed a percentage of rams which had an exclusive preference for partners of the same sex.

There was clear identification of an ovine (sheep) sexually dimorphic nucleus (oSDN) in the medial preoptic area.  This area in sheep directly corresponds to the medial preoptic area in the human hypothalamus, further bolstering the neurohormonal theory of homosexuality in humans.  Evidence showed that the size of the oSDN is organized prenatally by testosterone, the same findings in other animals that have been researched, including humans.

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

The Human Body: Multi-functional by Design

@ chuckcat:
(Response to chuckcat's comment)

For starters I would ask you to read question #5 on the FAQ page, as well as take a look at the anal sex question addressed in this blog.  Beyond that, as an evolutionary biologist I can assure you of three things:   (1) Homosexual pairings and homogenital sex acts are readily found throughout the animal kingdom and as such are in fact natural.   (2) The human body is entirely capable of (and in fact even designed to) accommodate sex acts between persons of the same sex.  And (3) our common evolutionary ancestors from approximately 170 MYA were monotremes – mammals with a few reptilian characteristics – including a cloaca, which is a “multi-purpose hole” that acted as a urinary tract, anus, and genital/reproductive pore all in one.

Point three is important because it highlights our evolutionary ancestry as well as the amazing capacity, multi-functionality, and adaptability of animals, including humans.  As a species we retain the calling card of our ancestral past in our embryonic stage, wherein a cloaca still forms and eventually splits.  In a minority of women, however, it never does split, which causes a condition known as persistent cloaca (where the urethra, vagina, and anus remain fused and form one single opening and channel).