Omeka - Digital History at Ursinus

"Homosexuality: Not an Alternative." October 24th, 1995. (Rebuttal.)

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"Homosexuality: Not an Alternative." October 24th, 1995. (Rebuttal.)


Anne-Marie McMahon refutes Dr. Nagy's argument that
"homosexuality is not a good alternative." She argues that sexual orientation is not a choice, but rather an innate preference. She writes that the stigma that depicts homosexuality as negative is socially-constructed.


Anne Marie-McMahon


The Grizzly


Ursinus College







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Two weeks ago Dr. Nagy submitted an article to The Grizzly concerning gay and lesbian issues both on campus and elsewhere. There are two issues that we would like to
address concerning this letter. First, Dr. Nagy implied that homosexuality was a choice, that people like to "experiment with alternatives to the Judaeo-Christian standards for sexual behavior," and that people can be
"advised" to choose alternatives to that sacred standard.

Homosexuality is not a choice. Nor is it a mental or sexual disorder, according to the American Psychiatric Association. It is a sexual orientation that is present innately in some people (current research suggests
10% of the population), just as heterosexuality
is the orientation of the rest of the population. Much of the "good" and "bad" tags which determine "normal" behavior are socially determined by religion or tradition, and have no underlying logical basis. Imagine, for instance, if you are heterosexual, being deported to a society where the vast majority of people engaged only in homosexual relationships and thought it was sexually
deviant and disgusting to engage in sexual relations with a member of the opposite sex. Even if you were forced
to live In such a society for the remainder of your life, you would neither have any desire to engage in a homosexual relationship nor learn to have the desire to engage in such
a relationship. This is because you never learned your heterosexuality to begin with, just like homosexuality
it is an inherent orientation and by no means a choice.

One objection to this model would be that such a society would never exist, since heterosexual intercourse is the only way to propagate the human race. While this is true, some 90% of the population is of heterosexual
orientation, a figure which throughout time has not and will not fluctuate greatly. Since it is just as impossible for a heterosexual to become a homosexual as it is for a
homosexual to become a heterosexual, homosexuality poses no threat whatsoever to the propagation of the human race.

Second, Dr. Nagy also felt that persons harboring anti-gay sentiments were being " intimidated into silence" by gay and lesbian support groups such as GALA. On the contrary, a far greater attempt at silencing is made by the anti-gay community toward homosexuals. We can not exaggerate the number of people on this campus who subscribe to the motto, "Don't ask, don't
telL" Other common remarks made in relation to both homosexuals and GALA include: "Don't flaunt It," "Don't let other people see," "Keep it out of the public", and "For God's sake, don't put posters up or advertise
your meetings!"

Such remarks are not only prevelant here, but are
representative of the general treatment of homosexuals throughout the country. People are telling the
homosexual community to be quiet, they are threatening them with violence if their behavior or orientations
are made public. They are stigmatizing homosexuals in such a way that many are afraid to "come out of
the closet" for fear of being ostracized as a result of their disclosure.

However, heterosexuals experience none of this discrimination, and GALA or any other gay and lesbian
organization has not and will not ever participate or condone such discrimination toward heterosexuals.
We ask you, Dr. Nagy, who is really being silenced?

Anne-Marie McMahon
Chris Bowers
Class of 1996

Original Format

newspaper article





Anne Marie-McMahon, “"Homosexuality: Not an Alternative." October 24th, 1995. (Rebuttal.),” Omeka - Digital History at Ursinus, accessed July 14, 2024,