Homosexual Rights in the Star Trek Universe

Discussion in 'General Trek Discussion' started by The Overlord, Feb 7, 2014.

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  1. CTGuyton

    CTGuyton Lieutenant Commander Red Shirt

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    you can't see an alien wanting to procreate with this Human? lol

    [​IMG]
     
  2. JirinPanthosa

    JirinPanthosa Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    I would speculate that, if there were a real galactic community like the one in Star Trek, miscegenation laws would be a far more common form of oppression than anti-gay laws.
     
  3. Greg Cox

    Greg Cox Admiral Premium Member

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    Exactly.

    I mean, sure, they're supposed to be completely alien species, but, in practice, all the well-known humanoid races behave more or less like Terrans, particularly where love and sex and relationships are concerned. They have romances and marriages and families, etc. Granted, the Vulcans have their own weird spin on it, but given that even they have their own version of marriages and mating rituals, why assume that somehow homosexuality is a uniquely human trait when all Star Trek humanoids seem to share the same basic biology and social structures.

    Now if you want to argue that there are no gay Hortas . . . okay, the jury is out on that one. :)
     
  4. abeardall

    abeardall Commander Red Shirt

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    Given that we have only seen one horta, that was a pregnant female that laid a bunch of eggs, we can assume she had a male buddy a long time ago to "rock" her world.

    As for other cultures...who knows. Klingons can get a divorce with a bit of yelling, spitting, and a good slap. Maybe it is acceptable in other societies, maybe it has never occurred, maybe it was seen as adverse and cured...

    It would just get really complex with the 4 gendered andorians. It would so confusing, who would know what to protest?:)
     
  5. alpha_leonis

    alpha_leonis Captain Captain

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    The only time they've addressed the issue even close to directly (aside from the "non-issue" treatment mentioned on DS9 several times already) was in TNG's "The Outcast". This featured a member of a race that had only one gender, and who was treated as a second-class citizen by "her" society because "she" actually felt a gender, outside of her species' norms.

    Not to mention the Vissian Cogenitor from Enterprise, a second-class citizen from a three-gendered race.

    Those examples would probably be much more common in a reality where people from different planets interact with each other so darn frequently. Questions like which variety of your own species you're attracted to would probably become irrelevant in that context.
     
  6. Cyke101

    Cyke101 Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    I've always liked the idea that, if modern-day Klingons were based off of samurai and spartans, that they would also have homosexuality among their warrior classes just as they would. After all, we've seen from Klingon heterosexual courting that battle is itself a form of intimacy, but there appear to be a heck of a lot more Klingon men serving, though.
     
  7. USS Triumphant

    USS Triumphant Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Actually, it's pretty straight-forward to figure out what they would protest/comdemn, and it has even been addressed in the novels: their complicated plumbing requirements for having offspring combined with their declining population mean that the government has taken great power in the citizens' sexual matters. Not only are any relationship combinations that aren't procreative seriously, seriously frowned upon, any relationships that aren't government selected as genetically optimized for producing healthy offspring are, as well.

    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". ;)
     
  8. JirinPanthosa

    JirinPanthosa Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    @USS Triumphant

    My feelings are close to that. I think that in cavemen times, tribes that hated homosexuals were less likely to be wiped out than tribes that didn't, so we developed an aversion to homosexuality that people still act on that instinct even though there's no longer an evolutionary advantage.

    And the reason homosexuality is considered immoral in so many religions is that the combination of religion and power tends to make people invoke the word of God to endorse their own personal feelings.
     
  9. Cyke101

    Cyke101 Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    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.

    This is also why fabrics couldn't mix (dischord), ink couldn't be on skin (permanent, unnatural), and shrimp couldn't be eaten (a sea creature that walked as if it was a land creature), even though the surrounding tribes could do all that -- they were all seen as disorderly and thus not virtuous. Thankfully, things have changed since Jews and later Christians didn't have to work so hard to maintain/demarcate their societies.
     
    Last edited: Feb 8, 2014
  10. Bad Thoughts

    Bad Thoughts Commodore Commodore

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    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.
     
  11. Cyke101

    Cyke101 Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Right, and I also stand corrected re: Jewish vs. Israelite
     
  12. T'Girl

    T'Girl Vice Admiral Admiral

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    About 1,500 species on Earth have been observed engaging in same-sex sexual activities or behaviors.

    1,500 hardly constitutes "a few."

    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.

    This would make sense.

    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.

    It probably varies from member to member.

    It quite common for neither male in a gay relationship to manifest "feminine personality traits," although it not completely unknown either.

    :)
     
  13. USS Triumphant

    USS Triumphant Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    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. :D
     
  14. Shawnster

    Shawnster Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    Why is Jew or Jewish an anachronism?

    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.
     
  15. Coloratura

    Coloratura Snuggle Princess Premium Member

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    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.
     
  16. maneth

    maneth Captain Captain

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    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.
     
  17. Bad Thoughts

    Bad Thoughts Commodore Commodore

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    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.

    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: Feb 8, 2014
  18. CTGuyton

    CTGuyton Lieutenant Commander Red Shirt

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    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.
     
  19. Maurice

    Maurice Vice Admiral Admiral

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    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.
     
  20. JarodRussell

    JarodRussell Vice Admiral Admiral

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    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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