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Author Topic: Being against homosexuality is homophobic?  (Read 26874 times)

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Offline MasterMischief

Re: Being against homosexuality is homophobic?
« Reply #50 on: October 12, 2011, 08:33:42 AM »
Are we seriously just arguing semantics here?

This is the internet.   ;D

Sorry.  Couldn't resist.

Offline Caehlim

Re: Being against homosexuality is homophobic?
« Reply #51 on: October 12, 2011, 11:29:49 PM »
This is the internet.   ;D

:D Well said good sir, well said.

Online TheVillain

Re: Being against homosexuality is homophobic?
« Reply #52 on: October 16, 2011, 09:18:20 AM »
An interesting question, actually. If a phobia is an  extreme negative emotional reaction to a stimuli that is irrational then it doesn't sound like it, but only because she's not having an extreme negative emotional reaction. She is having a negative emotional reaction that is irrational, but it's not extreme.

So no, but only by a matter of degree. She's definitely behaving along those lines, she just doesn't take them far enough for that label.

And really, the only rational reasons to be against homosexuality are things in which heterosexuality is just as guilty. The spread of disease for example.

Offline Zelric MirasTopic starter

Re: Being against homosexuality is homophobic?
« Reply #53 on: November 19, 2011, 08:42:52 AM »
I appreciate all the answers I've received so far and I thank you all for your input. My own opinion is pretty much summarized by MCsc's phrase: "Agree to disagree." While my mother doesn't support of homosexuality, I do not think she is homophobic; which is what most of the the replies have agreed to in one way or another.

No Caehlim, we are not discussing semantics, we are discusing whether it is homophobic or not to be against homosexuality. I agree, the word itself is very wide in its definition, but the discussion has been oriented towards if not agreeing to homosexuality is or isn't a way of showing 'hate' -again in a wide sense of the word- against homosexuals.

The definitions were placed since I could have used them to support my argument against my girlfriend, but diplomacy told me it was better to not bring them up.

Envious does make a point, while I do know people that are against homosexuality that have little to no issues with being with homosexuals, it is true that many do behave in that way, civil and respectful, but would rather move away. Again quoting MCsc: "as long as they're respectful to you, then it's nothing to worry about." I have, currently, an homosexual classmate and two or three more sharing my major. I've seen both behaviours regards them and I think that both are respectful in their own way, even if it might be a bit tactless to leave when a person arrives.

I also agree with errantwandering that you can object on someones customs or beliefs and that doesn't mean you hate them.

Kaoru, the object of bringing definitions was to give a base, since the semantics is usually brought up in discussions like this one.

And I know there are repeated ideas in this post, I was reviewing the entire thread on separate days. ^^;

If we keep religious based beliefs(believes? sp) and some people that bring anatomy up... I think as TheVillain in that most reasons that are brought up to be against it are present on both homosexual and heterosexual relationships. The only reason that homosexuals are blamed for them is because of lack of knowledge or misleading or biased "facts" that have been spread over the years in anti-homosexual campaigns.

Again, I thank you all for your thoughts and input, I think my doubt has pretty much been answered.

Offline Caehlim

Re: Being against homosexuality is homophobic?
« Reply #54 on: November 19, 2011, 10:07:07 AM »
Envious does make a point, while I do know people that are against homosexuality that have little to no issues with being with homosexuals, it is true that many do behave in that way, civil and respectful, but would rather move away. Again quoting MCsc: "as long as they're respectful to you, then it's nothing to worry about." I have, currently, an homosexual classmate and two or three more sharing my major. I've seen both behaviours regards them and I think that both are respectful in their own way, even if it might be a bit tactless to leave when a person arrives.

Wait. A person's mere physical presence, based solely upon their sexual orientation, makes a person uncomfortable to the degree where they need to leave? That strikes me as odd.

Offline Zelric MirasTopic starter

Re: Being against homosexuality is homophobic?
« Reply #55 on: November 19, 2011, 10:14:52 AM »
As I said, it might be tactless, but some people would rather leave to avoid confrontation at any level.

Offline Caehlim

Re: Being against homosexuality is homophobic?
« Reply #56 on: November 19, 2011, 10:32:28 AM »
Well, I agree it could be considered tactless. If a person realizes that you're consciously avoiding them it's going to offend them. At the same time though, I think that you have the right to avoid a situation that makes you uncomfortable, even if it could offend someone else.

But that wasn't my point. I just don't understand why those people would be uncomfortable just because a gay person is around. What confrontation are they trying to avoid by leaving?

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Re: Being against homosexuality is homophobic?
« Reply #57 on: November 19, 2011, 10:56:09 AM »
One has to keep in mind that sexual orientation isn't written on a persons forehead. ;)

Offline Trieste

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Re: Being against homosexuality is homophobic?
« Reply #58 on: November 19, 2011, 11:13:46 AM »
No, but the person doesn't have to be really gay, either. All that matters is if this confrontation-aversive person perceives them as gay. Maybe they're wearing a fedora. Maybe they're a girl with a buzz cut. Maybe they're a guy who lisps.

You don't have to be gay for some people to think you're gay. Conversely, I ping on very few gaydars personally, despite being a flaming bisexual.  ;D

Offline Envious

Re: Being against homosexuality is homophobic?
« Reply #59 on: November 19, 2011, 12:58:02 PM »
I just don't understand why those people would be uncomfortable just because a gay person is around. What confrontation are they trying to avoid by leaving?
The avoided confrontation details could be anything from "if he touches me, I'll get infected with the gay and no longer want to touch boobies," to "God said he's a bad man, and if I hang around him I'll go to hell!"

Some people are uncomfortable around gay people because they're gay. They lump them into their pre-conceived concept of how a person should/should not behave and for some people, that means that a man should only be humping a woman and those who go against that idea are bad people. It's not unlike the "dark road" scenario where a young white woman is walking down the sidewalk. A black man is walking towards her, so she cuts to the other side of the street or darts into a building. She doesn't know a damn thing about him other than he's black, but she's got this pre-conceived concept of how he's going to act, and decides her actions accordingly.

Stereotyping is not a bad thing, but there's the whole personal saftey side of things, then there's the misinformed fear.

Offline MercyfulFate

Re: Being against homosexuality is homophobic?
« Reply #60 on: November 21, 2011, 06:14:01 PM »
Political Correctness often swings hard in the other direction as a defense. People who believe in strict bible interpretations (which many biblical scholars will say is flat out wrong, that it wasn't an abomination morally, it one was to the society of the time. They needed more people, and even stated sex without wanting to impregnate was an abomination) aren't always homophobic.

Homophobic - "Gay people disgust me, they spread disease and infect others with homosexuality!

Thinking it's wrong for backwards reasons doesn't always mean homophobic.

Offline Sophronius

Re: Being against homosexuality is homophobic?
« Reply #61 on: December 08, 2011, 06:48:20 PM »
Homophobia does not mean a phobia of homosexuals.  If you want to get into semantics, it means "Fear of the Same" or (if one is combining Latin and Greek roots, which is done in some poorly created neologisms) "Fear of Humans" (I'll assume the former is correct).  Thus a homophobe would be a man who is afraid of men, a human who is afraid of humans, a Latvian who is afraid of Latvians, a blonde who is afraid of blondes, a 1.7m tall person who is afraid of other people who are 1.7m tall, or whatever quality of sameness you choose.  However, to believe that is the primary meaning of the word is absurdity.  In almost all useages of the word, it means one who is prejudiced against homosexuals.  To play these games about a homophobe needing to be one who has a phobia of homosexuals would be the equivalent of someone saying that since Arabs are technically a semitic peoples (they speak a semitic language), that one who hates Arabs is an Anti-Semite.  Or that an Anti-Semite is one who hates the Phoenicians (who were also a Semitic people).  Linguistically, you are right.  But every use of the term "Anti-Semite" and "Anti-Semitism" refers to a hatred of the Jewish people, not against Semitic people at large.

Also, I feel that harboring anti-homosexual feelings is homophobia, even if it does not emerge as outward aggression.  If I were to say I think African-American culture is bad or wrong, I would be a racist.  If I were to say that Judaism is wrong, I would be an anti-semite.  If I were to say all poor people are scum who just need to stop being lazy, I would be classist.  If I were to say that women are inferior to men, I would be a sexist.  I do not need to join a lynch mob, the KKK, or protest integrated schools to be a racist, I don't need to join a Nazi party, organize a pogrom, or publish a book about how the Jews use the blood of Christian infants in their rituals to be an anti-semite, I don't need to want to harm the poor economically or create a legal class system to be a classist, and I don't need to be a "men's rights" advocate or physical oppressor of women to be a sexist.  The simple expression of these views, even if I could tolerate the presence of such people, would make me those things.  I do not see how homosexuality and homophobia is any different.  And the reason why is that the expressions of these views do two things: 1) they encourage those more radical into believing that their extremist views are secretly harbored by the majority; and 2) they contribute to institutionalized racism, classism, homophobia, anti-semitism, and sexism.

Offline Chris Brady

Re: Being against homosexuality is homophobic?
« Reply #62 on: December 10, 2011, 02:31:58 AM »
So apparently, I'm homophobic.  Interesting.  I disagree with homosexuality on a biological level, but I accept that emotions and feelings are not so cut and dry.  That said, I have no issues with anyone who is.  I personally believe in letting people live their lives as they see fit, hopefully without overtly hurting others.  Which most of us, no matter what the orientation, is just trying to do.  Live our lives.

I have a hell enough of a time living my own messed up existence, I don't feel the need to live someone else's.

Offline Sophronius

Re: Being against homosexuality is homophobic?
« Reply #63 on: December 10, 2011, 05:18:39 AM »
So apparently, I'm homophobic.  Interesting.  I disagree with homosexuality on a biological level, but I accept that emotions and feelings are not so cut and dry.  That said, I have no issues with anyone who is.  I personally believe in letting people live their lives as they see fit, hopefully without overtly hurting others.  Which most of us, no matter what the orientation, is just trying to do.  Live our lives.

I have a hell enough of a time living my own messed up existence, I don't feel the need to live someone else's.

The reason I would say you are homophobic is that if one were to say "I believe that caucasians are superior to other races on a biological level.  That said, I have no issues with people of other races and I think everyone should have equal rights to live their lives as they want," that person would be a racist.  If someone said "I believe that men are biologically superior to women.  But I agree with social and political equality and have no issues with women," that person would be a sexist.  I do not understand why homophobia should be any different than with these prejudices.  If you could explain why it is different, I would be happy to hear it and understand how it is different.  Or, if you could please explain how the two above positions I proposed are not racist and sexist, I would be happy to hear it.

As it is, though, I don't understand how you can say that homosexuality is against nature (what you are saying in kinder terms with the phrase "disagree on a biological level") and not consider that an oppressive view.

Offline Tamhansen

Re: Being against homosexuality is homophobic?
« Reply #64 on: December 10, 2011, 05:32:32 AM »
Ehm, I'm not really sure i should point out here that homophobia when translated means fear of people, not fear of gays :P coming from the greek Homus (human) and phobos (fear)

But back to the point disagreeing with someone, or finding them inferior in any way does not make a phobia.

racists are not always xenophobic, and sexists aren't by definition eurotophobic.

I mean i disagree with the dogma of the  Catholic church, does that make me deiphobic?


Offline Trieste

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Re: Being against homosexuality is homophobic?
« Reply #65 on: December 10, 2011, 05:41:48 AM »
Ehm, I'm not really sure i should point out here that homophobia when translated means fear of people, not fear of gays :P coming from the greek Homus (human) and phobos (fear)

Not entirely certain this is true, since 'homo' and 'hetero' simply mean 'same' and 'different'. Another example of the use of these words would be in things like homogenize, heterogeneous, homology, and so forth. I am no expert and I haven't looked this up, but I would venture that it's more likely that the homo in homology and the homo in homo sapien just come from the same word, although I'm not entirely certain how "same" and "man" would be derived from the same root word.

Offline Sophronius

Re: Being against homosexuality is homophobic?
« Reply #66 on: December 10, 2011, 09:31:54 AM »
You are incorrect, Katataban.  the "homo" in homophobia comes from the Greek ὁμο- (homo) meaning the same.  There is no word "homus" that means "human" in Greek (or any other language, I believe).  Perhaps you are thinking of homo, the Latin word meaning human (which is the "homo" in homo sapien, Trieste).  Most (if not all) scientific names for living things is done in Latin (or neo-Latin) and most phobias use Greek words (since phobia is Greek).

Also, etymologies are all fun and good, but they do not tell us the meaning of words, only how words historically formed.  What matters is how words are used and in usage, the term "homophobia" means "one who is prejudiced against homosexuals (and other LGBTQ people).  Take, as another example, the word "oriental."  The word oriental comes from the Latin verb "orior", meaning "to rise".  That does not mean that "oriental people" are rising people nor that "oriental lands" are lands that rise up.  It is all due to metaphoric uses evolving into the standard use of the word.  This is how it is that homophobia means a hatred of homosexuals, not a fear of them.  And indeed, your use of ther term xenophobic is a good example of this as well, since it usually refers to the hatred of foreigners, rather than simply an overwhelming fear of them.  (Also, racists aren't always xenophobic because another race can be a native (or long term) inhabitant of the same nation, meaning that the hatred is not directed at immigrants, but internal others.

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Re: Being against homosexuality is homophobic?
« Reply #67 on: December 10, 2011, 12:21:58 PM »
Not entirely certain this is true, since 'homo' and 'hetero' simply mean 'same' and 'different'. Another example of the use of these words would be in things like homogenize, heterogeneous, homology, and so forth. I am no expert and I haven't looked this up, but I would venture that it's more likely that the homo in homology and the homo in homo sapien just come from the same word, although I'm not entirely certain how "same" and "man" would be derived from the same root word.

Not too hard:  man (in the generic 'human' sense) = beings that are the same as us.

Offline Sophronius

Re: Being against homosexuality is homophobic?
« Reply #68 on: December 10, 2011, 07:18:12 PM »
Not at all, Oniya.  Like I said, homo meaning the same derives from Greek while homo meaning man derives from Latin.  They might be etymologically linked through some Indo-European root, but those two words are not closely related.

Offline Chris Brady

Re: Being against homosexuality is homophobic?
« Reply #69 on: December 10, 2011, 09:59:20 PM »
You guys are missing the other half of the word.  Phobia.  Meaning fear.

Homophobia means fear of the same (Or in this case, fear of homosexuals.)

Offline Trieste

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Re: Being against homosexuality is homophobic?
« Reply #70 on: December 10, 2011, 10:18:20 PM »
It wasn't so much a miss of that fact as it was that "phobos" does mean "fear". The root of homus (sic) as translated to people/man as the root word for the first part was incorrect.

Homophobia equaling phobia of homosexuals is, in fact, an example of the meandering way that etymologies are not always literally correct. Literally translated from roots, homophobia would be fear of the same, i.e. a heterosexual being afraid of other heterosexuals. The fact that it's called homophobia as a sort of amalgamation of homosexual phobia is another interesting example of Sophronius's point.

What's also fun, Chris, is that you didn't address the questions he gave you. :)

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Re: Being against homosexuality is homophobic?
« Reply #71 on: December 10, 2011, 11:08:48 PM »
The reason I would say you are homophobic is that if one were to say "I believe that caucasians are superior to other races on a biological level.  That said, I have no issues with people of other races and I think everyone should have equal rights to live their lives as they want," that person would be a racist.  If someone said "I believe that men are biologically superior to women.  But I agree with social and political equality and have no issues with women," that person would be a sexist.  I do not understand why homophobia should be any different than with these prejudices.  If you could explain why it is different, I would be happy to hear it and understand how it is different.  Or, if you could please explain how the two above positions I proposed are not racist and sexist, I would be happy to hear it.

As it is, though, I don't understand how you can say that homosexuality is against nature (what you are saying in kinder terms with the phrase "disagree on a biological level") and not consider that an oppressive view.
Would that not then simply qualify him as something along the lines of a "Sexuality-ist"?

For someone to feel that whites are superior to blacks does not make them aficanamericanphobic.
For someone to feel men are superior to women does not make them womenophobic.

There is a great difference in what you have pointed out here and "phobia".

Offline Sophronius

Re: Being against homosexuality is homophobic?
« Reply #72 on: December 11, 2011, 03:35:42 AM »
This is the Oxford English Dictionary's first definition of homophobia, "Etymology:  < Latin homō man + -phobia comb. form.  rare.  Fear of men, or aversion towards the male sex; also, fear of mankind, anthropophobia."  I bolded and underlined the more important part of that definition.  Here is the OED's second definition of homophobia, "Etymology:  < homo- (in homosexual adj. and n.) + -phobia comb. form.  Fear or hatred of homosexuals and homosexuality."  I bolded and underlined the most important (for my purposes) part of that definition.  The OED (the closest thing the English language has as an authority) defines homphobia (as it is most commonly used) as a fear or hatred, not simply as a phobia of homosexuals or homosexuality.  Similarly, here is the definition of xenophobia, "Pronunciation:  /zɛnəˈfəʊbɪə/ Forms:  Also ˈxenophoby, zenophobia (both rare).  Etymology:  < xeno- comb. form + Greek ϕόβ-ος fear + -ia suffix1, -y suffix3.  A deep antipathy to foreigners."  Note that it means an antipathy to foreigners, not a fear of them.  And, to contrast, here is the definition of arachnophobia, "Pronunciation:  /əˌræknəʊˈfəʊbɪə/ Etymology:  < Greek ἀράχνη spider + -o- connective + -phobia comb. form.  Irrational fear of spiders."  See, nothing about hatred of spiders.  [note: I would provide links to the OED online, but it requires an account to look at]

It should also be noted that true phobias are medical disorders (anxiety disorders) and are properly defined in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders.  "Phobias" that revolve around hate (xenophobia or homophobia, for instance) are not true phobias, they are not anxiety disorders.  As such, they cannot be held up to the same standard as agoraphobia, arachnophobia, or other phobias.

The reason so many people here are having so much trouble is that they seem to think etymology is the end all be all to a word when it is not.  How a word is used is more important than how it was formed.  The Wikipedia article (even just the first paragraph) on homophobia is actually incredibly useful.

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Re: Being against homosexuality is homophobic?
« Reply #73 on: December 11, 2011, 09:25:08 AM »
For my two cents - so long as a person does not outright feel that homosexuals, lesbians, and transgender people should be denied rights, and be treated as less than people - then they are not homophobic.  Considering that the questionnaire for Elliquiy makes the attempt to weed out such people, I do not feel that it is very polite to call any member here homophobic.  One may indeed disagree with they way they feel, but there are many environmental and societal factors that create the preferences of each individual person - and to simply categorise a person in this fashion just because they do not like one's lifestyle is - rather unfair.  It did not seem to me as though anyone that has posted here displayed any sort of irrational fear - more - that a specific lifestyle was not to their preference - which they do have a right to feel that way.

To me, it is like saying: 'I' want vanilla cake - but if 'you' (proverbial) do not like the fact that I want it - then 'you' are not nice.  Instead of saying - I respect the fact that you prefer a different life style than 'me' so long as 'we' both agree 'we' are all people and deserve equal treatment under the law.

It's almost like pointing at someone - in my humble opinion - and saying if they dislike apples, then they've a fear of them, and are homophobic.  I personally disagree with the idea that everything has to be cut and dry in such a fashion - as a lot of things are so much more complicated than that.  What about people, for example, that are homosexual - and have misgivings about their own lifestyle due to societal pressure?

I simply feel there is a huge stretch to say someone that does not like the idea of homosexuality can be called a knee jerk term with the very sharp connotation that the term homophobic has - regardless of its origins, which are much less the point and scope of this thread. 

Now, for my two cents?  I firmly identify as bisexual, and am married to a man that is not in the least troubled by my proclivities.  However, unless you've a country that is firmly a religious state that outlaws various things - which they indeed have the right to do - to a point in my opinion - then every single person should have equal rights, and I don't care what they look like, or if they are disabled, or who they are having sex or cuddling up to at night.  That I very much feel is not the governments business ... and I likewise find it appalling that still on the books in at least five states that it is illegal to have sex with the lights on ... or further more have oral sex.  I wonder at times what precisely they were thinking to actually put things like this in the legal code, but that is another topic for another thread. :D 

Somewhat off topic, one can consider as well the relative ridiculousness of illegal prostitution in a country that is by definition a representative republic ...  I simply fail to see precisely what it is that is going to make the world - 'not safe' if there are men that enjoy penis wandering around.  In either case, a very interesting rhetoric.  I enjoyed reading the various responses and opinions here, as I generally do.  :-)

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Re: Being against homosexuality is homophobic?
« Reply #74 on: December 11, 2011, 01:03:08 PM »
Okay - there is a real difference between 'fear and hatred' and mere 'disapproval'.