A Question of Rights

Arguing against the LGBT on the basis of religion will not resolve the issue simply because they have gone beyond such talk of God, or any god, and religion.

Once upon a time, we attributed the fortunes of man (or, to be politically correct, men and women, or just people in general) to God, or a god. A bountiful harvest is a reward, while a severe storm is a punishment. For years, people prayed to a deity for a favor, or to ward off misfortune. Answered prayers became a thing and holy men were then sought for intercession during their lifetimes and even after death because, well, they were holy, and the chances are that deities would hear them more than us mere mortals. Cities, nation states, and whole countries were founded by heroes blessed by gods, gods themselves, or the God. We were so grateful for everything that we incorporated His teachings into our laws.

But with each passing generation, men started wondering what these gods were for. Over time, men made themselves gods harnessing the power of the atom, discovering the secrets of reproduction and bio-engineering, and collecting the wisdom of the ages. The power over life, death and understanding. That fruit in the garden of Eden. If you were a religious man, then you will see this as pathetic as the wisdom of this earth is foolishness to God but that is where we are right now. People do not need God. We can do things ourselves thank you very much.

So, to argue that “male and female God created them” may no longer have such force except maybe to some countries that still embrace their faith that now find themselves in the minority except perhaps in the Middle East in one of its more radical forms. In any case, to some, gender is not fixed at birth, or sex dictated by the kind of genitals you are born with. It is, to them, a matter of the mind. If you think you are female, you identify as female, then you are female even if you have male genitalia. Taking the counterargument to extremes, one might ask that if you think you were a dog, that will make you one? There are those who think they are but what is the reality? Are we to simply accept that even if they have no dog parts, they are still dogs because they believe themselves to be dogs? If this was a class in philosophy where your perception of reality may be challenged by what you can and cannot prove, then what you have would be a right royal headache because there will be no way for me, at least, to ever accept that you are a dog just because you believe it to be. You are simply a man who thinks you are a dog.

There are less extreme cases, of course. White people who identify as black. A man over 60 who wants to be 30. Recently, a white man who identifies as Filipino! Would what they think really matter?

The same can be said of LGBT. They simply think they are one gender when they are actually the other. Some are not comfortable in either and would want to be identified as a “third sex” — non-binary — neither male nor female. But, again, the question is what is the reality we move in? Some countries have allowed this but is it right? One might say if they want acceptance, then they should learn to accept who they are. If they are female, then they are female even if they are more masculine than most females; and a man can be more feminine than most men. In other words, in looking at genders, one simply accepts that some are more masculine or feminine than others even among the same genders but it doesn’t necessarily mean that you are of the other gender.

The struggle became headline news when a transgender male wanted to use the the female comfort room of a mall. She was evicted by a cleaning lady, and when she resisted, arrested by the police. She was later released without charges, and the mall owners and the cleaning lady apologized. Another incident happened on the MRT when another transgender male attempted to board the women-only carriage. Again, a lot of noise but not much else.

I have no problems with their quest for equal respect, and their fight against discrimination but this does not necessarily mean that we have to create a special class of individuals who deserve special, not just equal, rights. If you apply for work, then your age, gender or sexual orientation should not work against you assuming that you are otherwise qualified for the work. However, fat people have just as much a right not to be made the butt of jokes as any other person. So, if you want to protect one, protect everyone. It may be the end of comedy as we know it but it will achieve that which they seek.

Putting the idea of “living in sin” aside, one might even consider granting them civil unions with right of succession, to inherit from your same-sex partner, which is, for now, not recognized for intestate succession. I will not go so far as to justify the union as “love is love” because that tag-line has been coopted by pedophiles to justify their “misunderstood” attractions. I just think that people who supported one another in life deserve some rights over the properties of their partners in death. This is as far as my religiosity will take me. I leave the rest to God…even if you don’t believe in Him.

I cannot imagine my life away from my God. So, for me, there will be limits to what I can allow or accept. Even as a lawyer, it will always be a struggle to balance this earthly life with my spiritual life. However, my default mode will always be my faith; so, if we are ever to understand each other, we must at the very least respect each other. At the same time, I am not God or even just a god because what I know is foolishness to God. I know nothing of the secrets of the universe regardless of what our scientists may discover and teach us. We shall never know the truth of life no matter how detailed our genetic researchers take to their tasks. The power to kill will always haunt us and sometimes even destroy us. We are not gods. Understand that. Be willing to accept that. Then maybe you will accept you as yourself. Let’s start with that.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s