Wednesday, November 11, 2009
Homophobia: in your blood or just your history book?
By Katie Welch
In light of the age-old Assyrian laws against homosexuality, Hungary emerges as a pretty liberal country. The first law against homosexuality was put into action as recently as 1878, forbidding man/man trysts with up to a year behind bars as punishment. In the early 1960’s, homosexual behavior was made legal again, provided that the participants were above the age of twenty (on a side note: England did not legalize homosexuality until approximately five years later). In the late ‘70’s the age bracket was dropped to eighteen. In 2002, when the age for consensual sex was determined to be 14, the decision applied to heterosexual and homosexual couplings alike.
When asked how she felt about homosexuality, Gabi Hollows, a student at McDaniel College Budapest stated, “I haven’t really got a problem with homosexuality. However, I don’t think that it is natural.” Hollows is not the first person (nor the last) to harbor that sentiment – but she might not be correct in her thinking. In 2004, National Geographic News published an article detailing just how natural homosexuality is – listing birds, sheep, fruit bats, dolphins, and orangutans as a few of the species in which same sex romances can be observed. Interestingly enough, there are no examples of homophobia in the animal world, which raises the question of just how natural the fear of homosexuality is.
“Homosexuality in public bothers me as much as any form of sexuality in public,” said Victoria Hurney, a pre-med student. “It's inappropriate.”
Public displays of affection in general may have the gay community receiving a bad wrap for their outward displays of “pride.” Family models that consist of mother, father, and children, sometimes struggle to explain the birds and the bees to young ones, never mind why sometimes the birds skip the bees and just date other birds.
In reference to pride parades, a student who wished to remain anonymous said, “Gay pride parades may take it too far… I don't think that there has to be all this ‘showing off’ about being gay. If you’re gay then you are gay, there is no need to go about telling the entire world. People, I think, would be a lot more open about homosexuality if it wasn't all about rights and being different and being in all in your face.”
But Bodwin Simons, a student at McDaniel Budapest, had some words of advice for those who may not be convinced of the validity of homosexual relationships, "Homosexuality needs to be accepted. It's not going to be something we will ever be able to change. To everyone who is a heterosexual, this is the way you have to see it; If you let homosexuality be, there will just be more straight people for you to pick from later in life!"