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Old February 8 2014, 01:32 AM   #31
Cyke101
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Re: Homosexual Rights in the Star Trek Universe

Bad Thoughts wrote: View Post
Cyke101 wrote: View Post
USS Triumphant wrote: View Post
As an aside, this is actually close to my personal belief about the Judeo-Christian restrictions against homosexuality: at the times they were put in place, the Jews first and then the Christians later were very small groups surrounded by larger, hostile forces, and infant mortality rates were high, too. They needed everyone possible makin' babies to keep their numbers up and grow. Somehow the restrictions and stigma have survived even into an era when there are over 2.2 BILLION Christians and Jews on the planet, infant mortality in the first world is low, and participating in a NON-reproductive lifestyle might even be seen as a VIRTUE, if it wasn't for the "unchanging Word of God".
To add, IIRC, several of those larger, hostile forces surrounding the Jews were also mostly okay with homosexuality, or at the very least didn't forbid it. The relatively young Jews, in forming their collective identity, needed to set laws that not only kept order and serve a social purpose, but also to differentiate themselves from the other factions with whom they were competing with. Several books like Leviticus served to state these laws that would clarify how Judaism differed from the other nations/factions/religions of the area.
Contemporary scholarship focuses on this last point: the prohibition against homosexuality was a means of creating distinction between Israelite (Jewish would be an anachronism)
society and neighbors. Much about Israelite was a rejection of what were perceived to be the excesses of Egyptian religion. Among those were the plethora of sexual rituals that required the individual to submit to cult clergy. Indeed, the language used to prohibit sodomy--and it is a prohibition against sodomy, not homosexuallit, and certainly not lesbianism--classes it with prohibitions of other cult acts, not merely casual behavior. Given that it focuses exclusively on the act of sodomy and the high requirement of proof in courts, private practice of homosexuality is nearly untouchable. It really could only apply to public acts, such as ritual sex, and reflects other laws that separate sexuality from the practice of religion.
Right, and I also stand corrected re: Jewish vs. Israelite
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Old February 8 2014, 02:21 AM   #32
Elvira
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Re: Homosexual Rights in the Star Trek Universe

CTGuyton wrote: View Post
I think it's a bit of a stretch to even assume that homosexuality even exists in other species. We see it in only a few here on Earth ...
About 1,500 species on Earth have been observed engaging in same-sex sexual activities or behaviors.

1,500 hardly constitutes "a few."

I wouldn't expect to see it in Klingon, and as mentioned before, it's illogical to a Vulcan.
The portion of the Klingon society devoted to the warriors might consider gay behavior to be a perfectly normal part of a warriors life. While we do see female warriors aboard ships, they often appear to be the exception, the males would be celibate for protracted periods of time or gay.

With the Vulcans, given their reticence to openly discuss relationship and sexual matters it would be difficult to know how many of the Vulcans we've seen are gay. If pon farr over-rode a person's natural sexual orientation in order to accomplish reproduction, determining if someone is gay might become harder still.

Many people have noted an affection by Spock towards Kirk, some might even call it an attraction.

I would think that each world even within the UFP would have their own laws governing the situation.
This would make sense.

In our laws, we currently outlaw all marriages unless you receive permission (license) from the government.
No exactly, you need the permission of the state for the resulting marriage to be recognized by the state. People do get married everyday without state approval, it's not illegal to enter into such a marriage, just (again) the state won't recognize it.

The Overlord wrote: View Post
I assume the Federation allows for equal rights for homosexuals ...
It probably varies from member to member.

... given how sexist the society is, any Ferengi who displays any sort feminine personality traits (like being attracted to men) would likely be treated as an outcast.
It quite common for neither male in a gay relationship to manifest "feminine personality traits," although it not completely unknown either.

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Old February 8 2014, 03:13 AM   #33
USS Triumphant
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Re: Homosexual Rights in the Star Trek Universe

T'Girl wrote: View Post
People do get married everyday without state approval, it's not illegal to enter into such a marriage, just (again) the state won't recognize it.
Unless you live in a state that recognizes common law marriage (Alabama, Colorado, Kansas, Rhode Island, South Carolina, Iowa, Montana, Texas, and the District of Columbia). There, you can get married without a license, and as long as you do certain other things (generally, present yourself in public as married, cohabitate, consummate the marriage) then you are legally married. And in North Carolina, if a man and woman sign into a hotel as a married couple, they are.
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Old February 8 2014, 05:12 AM   #34
Shawnster
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Re: Homosexual Rights in the Star Trek Universe

Cyke101 wrote: View Post
Bad Thoughts wrote: View Post
(Jewish would be an anachronism)
Right, and I also stand corrected re: Jewish vs. Israelite
Why is Jew or Jewish an anachronism?

CTGuyton wrote: View Post
I didn't say exclusive. I said rare. There are an estimated 8.5-9 million species on Earth. And we've seen homosexual behavior in less than 2%. Even if the number were 10 or 15% then I'd still say it was rare enough to not assume we would see it throughout the galaxy.
T'Girl wrote: View Post
CTGuyton wrote: View Post
I think it's a bit of a stretch to even assume that homosexuality even exists in other species. We see it in only a few here on Earth ...
About 1,500 species on Earth have been observed engaging in same-sex sexual activities or behaviors.

1,500 hardly constitutes "a few."

I guess it really depends on your definition of "a few." As CTGuyton stated, there are over 8 million species on Earth. You stated 1,500 of those species have been observed in homosexual activities or behavior. That comes out to 0.01% or one-one hundredth of a percent.

If that is a mathematical average, then about 0.01% of the entire galaxy's species would display homosexual attitudes or behavior. Of course, this would be ALL of the galaxy's species, regardless of sentience or not. Perhaps the breakdown would be about the same from planet to planet with a handful of species (1 to 2,000) per planet expressing these tendencies.
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Old February 8 2014, 05:44 AM   #35
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Re: Homosexual Rights in the Star Trek Universe

I would imagine that for Vulcans, it would come down to the logic of it. There would be no rational reason to bar same sex couplings or mating practices. If the other species that were seeded by the Preservers is any indication, the percentage of humans that are gay would likely be mirrored, to some degree at least, in the other seeded species.
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Old February 8 2014, 06:20 AM   #36
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Re: Homosexual Rights in the Star Trek Universe

I would expect the rules to be different for each species, but for homosexuality to be widely accepted among most of the human population, and certainly in a legal sense, at least on Earth. I can easily imagine that when colonizing other planets is an option, some would be colonized for religious reasons.

One of the reasons why homosexuality has survived for so long among humans is that it can be advantageous to have a part of the population that doesn't necessarily reproduce. Helping your brother or sister to raise their children rather than having some yourself is equivalent to helping a quarter of your own genes survive to the next generation. There are still some African tribes left where children call all adults of their tribe the equivalent of mother and father, and children are raised collectively. In such a situation, it makes little difference if a few of those "parents" prefer to have sex with someone of their own gender.
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Old February 8 2014, 07:08 AM   #37
Bad Thoughts
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Re: Homosexual Rights in the Star Trek Universe

Shawnster wrote: View Post
Cyke101 wrote: View Post
Bad Thoughts wrote: View Post
(Jewish would be an anachronism)
Right, and I also stand corrected re: Jewish vs. Israelite
Why is Jew or Jewish an anachronism?
Jew references only the people who emerged in the Southern Kingdom in the era after the Babylonian exile. The term does not cover the entirety of the tribes that made up the united Kingdom of Israel, some of whom survive still today under a different name: Samaritans. Considering that we are discussing the formative era of the religion as it relates to taboos, Israelite is the appropriate term.

I guess it really depends on your definition of "a few." As CTGuyton stated, there are over 8 million species on Earth. You stated 1,500 of those species have been observed in homosexual activities or behavior. That comes out to 0.01% or one-one hundredth of a percent.
The 8 million estimate comes with a proviso: only 10% of those species have been scientifically observed. Added to that is many will be single cell organism that reproduce asexually (and a few other species that exhibit hermaphroditism). Homosexuality, when compared to heterosexuality, might not be as rare as you suggest.

Last edited by Bad Thoughts; February 8 2014 at 07:23 AM.
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Old February 8 2014, 07:49 AM   #38
CTGuyton
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Re: Homosexual Rights in the Star Trek Universe

Bad Thoughts wrote: View Post
The 8 million estimate comes with a proviso: only 10% of those species have been scientifically observed. Added to that is many will be single cell organism that reproduce asexually (and a few other species that exhibit hermaphroditism). Homosexuality, when compared to heterosexuality, might not be as rare as you suggest.
it's still .15% of the roughly million species that have been observed. I still contend that anything less than 10-15% can be classified as rare. Or at the very least can be used as a reference point when discussing the possibility that a particular characteristic would be seen outside of our own solar system. I think it's absurd to think that 100% of bi-gender species would have homosexuals, just as it would be absurd to think it is unique to our planet. The number I'm sure would lie somewhere in between. Maybe it's 15%, maybe it's 85%. We honestly haven't seen enough of very many species on Star Trek to really know. We're all just assuming. And in reality, it's up to the writers.
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Old February 8 2014, 08:08 AM   #39
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Re: Homosexual Rights in the Star Trek Universe

I think discussing what percentage of a behavior has been observed (and that's a troublesome word right there, because does it mean someone's looked for it or just that they noted it when they happened upon it?) is a distraction from the real topic here.

Likewise, I don't think there's proof of any innate human revulsion to homosexuality (the "cave man" idea put forward above), given that it's acceptable in different cultures and different times. Rather, those are more likely cultural biases.
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Old February 8 2014, 01:48 PM   #40
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Re: Homosexual Rights in the Star Trek Universe

It would be kinda odd if beastiality was widely accepted within the galaxy (which sex between two alien species essentially is, the only difference is that both parties are able to give clear consent), but homosexuality wasn't.
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Old February 8 2014, 03:39 PM   #41
Elvira
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Re: Homosexual Rights in the Star Trek Universe

CTGuyton wrote: View Post
it's still .15% of the roughly million species that have been observed.
The important term there would be "observed." Whenever researchers have investigated if a species does engage in same-sex sexual behavior, there is evidence. There hasn't been (I can't find) a study of black bears in this area, however a study on brown bears did find same-sex behavior, and given that black bears and brown bear (different species) exhibit the same behavior in a wide range of areas it likely that some black bears also display same-sex behavior.

I think it's absurd to think that 100% of bi-gender species would have homosexuals, just as it would be absurd to think it is unique to our planet.
I would not find anything odd in the least if portions of all intelligent extra-terrestrial species had sexualities beyond just heterosexuality.

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Old February 8 2014, 06:13 PM   #42
USS Triumphant
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Re: Homosexual Rights in the Star Trek Universe

T'Girl wrote: View Post
CTGuyton wrote: View Post
it's still .15% of the roughly million species that have been observed.
The important term there would be "observed." Whenever researchers have investigated if a species does engage in same-sex sexual behavior, there is evidence. There hasn't been (I can't find) a study of black bears in this area, however a study on brown bears did find same-sex behavior, and given that black bears and brown bear (different species) exhibit the same behavior in a wide range of areas it likely that some black bears also display same-sex behavior.
It's also possible that the small (assuming it IS small) relative percentage of species that exhibit that behavior correlates strongly to the percentage of species capable of enough higher order thought to desire something and to couple beyond simple reproductive function. Bears probably have *opinions* about one another to some extent. It's hard to imagine any of the 80,000+ species of beetle complaining about a bad date the night before.
CTGuyton wrote:
I think it's absurd to think that 100% of bi-gender species would have homosexuals, just as it would be absurd to think it is unique to our planet.
Now this, I'll agree with - it seems likely to me that at least one of the species we've been introduced to through Trek would have a strong, simple, very binary sex drive system, as opposed to the chemical and biological sexual spectrum that exists in ours. Just as we've met at least one species -Trill - where bisexuality would seem to be a given for just about everyone in it.
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Last edited by USS Triumphant; February 8 2014 at 08:59 PM.
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Old February 8 2014, 08:51 PM   #43
yousirname
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Re: Homosexual Rights in the Star Trek Universe

USS Triumphant wrote: View Post
T'Girl wrote: View Post
CTGuyton wrote: View Post
it's still .15% of the roughly million species that have been observed.
The important term there would be "observed." Whenever researchers have investigated if a species does engage in same-sex sexual behavior, there is evidence. There hasn't been (I can't find) a study of black bears in this area, however a study on brown bears did find same-sex behavior, and given that black bears and brown bear (different species) exhibit the same behavior in a wide range of areas it likely that some black bears also display same-sex behavior.
It's also possible that the small (assuming it IS small) relative percentage of species that exhibit that behavior correlates strongly to the percentage of species capable of enough higher order thought to desire something is coupling beyond simple function. Bears probably have *opinions* about one another to some extent. It's hard to imagine any of the 80,000+ species of beetle complaining about a bad date the night before.
This. The percentage considered against all known species is a meaningless figure (virii etc do not have 'sexuality'). It's best considered in light of the kinds of species the behaviour has been observed in.

As an example of why this is the case, consider language. Only a tiny fraction of species have been observed to possess anything resembling language. This doesn't make us sceptical that intelligent alien life would have language.
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Old February 9 2014, 01:14 AM   #44
Elvira
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Re: Homosexual Rights in the Star Trek Universe

Of the terrestrial life that is on the list of being observe engaging in same-sex, there are Humans of course, very intelligent. There are the toothed whales, orcas and dolphins, intelligent. Elephant are are also in the list, quite intelligent.

Elephants apparently are well known for engaging in lesbian sex.


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Old February 9 2014, 01:41 AM   #45
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Re: Homosexual Rights in the Star Trek Universe

In Star Trek, carbon-based humanoids of all stripes have politicians, soldiers, spies, diplomats, scientists, priests, priestesses, judges, jailors, husbands, wives, mistresses, families, etc. Given that Romulans, Cardassians, Terrans, Klingons, Bajorans, and so on seem to be basically the same under the skin, aside from some minor cultural and cosmetic variations, it seems safe to assume that some degree of homosexuality is a humanoid constant like politics, science, and medicine.
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