How Gay Is America and Why Does It Matter? Discuss

The full discussion: What Percent of Americans Are Gay?

And how does that play into the Power of Story around gay marriage as well as individual civil rights for members of other minorities?
A taste from JJ, January 2009:

Even if it IS only two percent instead of ten —
how dismissive [Saddleback’s Rick Warren] is of other human beings! Hmmm, I was reading this riveting Sunday magazine feature about unusual service animals, from miniature ponies to monkeys, ferrets and even a duck, about the policy challenge when majority grousing escalates to banning this tiny minority of “people with unusual companions they can’t get along without” from restaurants and grocery stores (just because their comfort in conformity is disturbed when the different dares to shows up in public.)

But “two percent” as Warren’s status quo-threatening minority to be legislated against, caught my eye in the first place because of home education! That was the rough national estimate of homeschoolers back when NHEN was getting started ten years ago, and we all were so enthusiastic about discovering our diversity and our secular voices — two percent was a million or more Americans daring to be openly different not just from the other 98% but from even from each other, individuals speaking out to reach the public about home education that wasn’t subjugated by HSLDA conservative Christian conformity even if there were more of “them” than of us.

And Mensa came to mind, proudly described as “the two percent society” when I qualified back in college (more than 35 years ago?!) Maybe that’s a better parallel to gayness than home education is, because hsing really isn’t an inherent human characteristic that defines who we are (much as some people act like it is!)

Whatever we may think about IQ tests or the geeky boorishness of the highest-scoring having their own exclusive social organization based on those tests, my only point here is that the two percent descriptor positively defined a viable group of unique individuals with one significant common characteristic, as a minority. Nurture-socialization matters too, but we’re born with both a brain and sexual orientation. Not born into home education.

And Mensa, like the openly organized gay percentage of the population, gets a lot of criticism from the “normal” majority including the Rick Warrens of the world, sometimes even from within the high-scoring two percent, from IQ-qualifying individuals who for their own reasons choose not to identify with this two-percent minority and instead join the majority in ridiculing those who do.

I wonder which is really more to Warren’s advantage, two percent or ten percent? Seems to me sophistry can use either one. A tiny number of deviants can be preached against as so aberrant and freakish, that it’s easy to legislate against. A much larger percent, say ten to fifteen percent, can be preached against as threatening to take over and be the new normal, and make deviants of the good conformists.

OTOH, from one individual all the way up to a majority, I can’t see how a preacher gets around the problem of that conflicting with messages like every person made in god’s image and “god doesn’t make junk.”

Unless no one listening is of Mensa-caliber intelligence. . . 😉

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4 responses

21 09 2009
Science Fiction — and Anti-science Fiction? « Cocking A Snook!

[…] How Gay Is America and Why Does It Matter? Discuss […]

3 10 2009
How Humans Are Hard-Wired to Treat Each Other « Cocking A Snook!

[…] How Gay Is America and Why Does It Matter? Discuss […]

10 10 2009
JJ

Did you know “don’t ask, don’t tell” is also sexist as well as homophobic? It cuts more harshly against women than men —

DADT Study: Women Far More Likely to Be Expelled Under Policy

“It’s very clear the military comes down harder on women than on men, but the question of whether they come down harder on lesbians than on gay men is harder to answer,” said Palm Center director Aaron Belkin. “We don’t know whether the statistics reflect lesbian-baiting or just a higher rate of lesbians in the military.”

Frank said the increases are all the more surprising because the “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy was largely driven by the argument that “straight men won’t tolerate serving alongside known gays.”

13 10 2010
JJ

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