Il posto dell’omosessuale

Che ruolo devono avere gli omosessuali nella nostra società? Come dobbiamo trattarli?

Nel libro “Virtually normal” Andrew Sullivan si occupa del problema.

Il suo piano: descrivere le quattro posizioni prevalenti, eliminare le due posizioni estremiste e mediare tra le due posizioni moderate.

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La prima posizione “estremista” possiamo chiamarla “proibizionismo”…

… homosexuality is an aberration and that homosexual acts are an abomination. It is that homosexuality is an illness that requires a cure…

Per il proibizionisma l’omosessualità è una malattia mentale in qualche modo contagiosa e la società va salvaguardata da questa minaccia…

… require legal punishment and social deterrence. All human beings, in this view, are essentially heterosexual; and the attempt to undermine this fundamental identity is a crime against nature itself… pervert the natural design…

Per quanto questa posizione oggi ci suoni strana non va disprezzata, fosse anche solo perché la stragrande maggioranza dell’umanità vissuta sulla terra l’ha adottata con la massima naturalezza…

… Perhaps the most depressing and fruitless feature of the current debate about homosexuality is to treat all versions of this argument as the equivalent of bigotry. They are not. In an appeal to “nature,” the most persuasive form of this argument is rooted in one of the oldest traditions of thought in the West, a tradition that still carries a great deal of intuitive sense… Prohibitionism is a force to be reckoned with, resonating with the instincts and convictions of the majority of mankind… tolerant Western populations will be increasingly outnumbered by societies where fundamentalist religion…

L’omosessuale va curato e guarito, dunque…

… The most humane representatives of this view seek to bring people trapped in homosexual behavior back into conformity…

Se non si puo’ curare si punisce.

Fino a poco tempo fa l’omosessualità era illegale anche in molti paesi che consideriamo avanzati…

… Until very recently, homosexual sexual acts were illegal in Great Britain; and they are still illegal in many states in the United States…

L’omosessuale era comunque escluso dall’esercito e per lui erano stabiliti limiti di età ad hoc.

Il proibizionismo non è omofobico ma una posizione argomentata. Ecco il suo ragionamento…

… In the prohibitionist case, the argument goes something like this: Homosexuality is a choice. There is no significant difference between homosexual orientation and homosexual acts… It is a contingent quality of a human being, such as a propensity to lie or a fondness for wasting money. As in both those examples, it is a diversion from the virtue that is within the reach of any human being… any human being can be directed to heterosexual…

Si tratta di un argomento persuasivo?

Non molto: oggi sappiamo che le cause dell’omosessualità, almeno in gran parte, non derivano da una scelta personale ma dipendono dalla genetica, dall’epigenetica o comunque da un ambiente uterino su cui è difficile intervenire.

***

La seconda posizione estremista è il liberazionismo.

Il liberazionismo considera la sessualità un costrutto sociale…

… For the liberationists, homosexuality as a defining condition does not properly exist because it is a construct of human thought, not an inherent or natural state of being. It is a “construction,” generated in human consciousness by the powerful to control and define the powerless….

Michel Foucault è un po’ il Tommaso d’Aquino dei liberazionisti.

L’imperativo liberazionista è quello di disfarsi dai costrutti sociali e scegliersi l’identità più confacente al proprio desiderio.

La sfida liberazionista…

… rebellion against nature, to defy the ways in which human thought seeks to constrain and control human freedom…

E’ una sfida difficile poiché il concetto di natura è familiare alla gente, difficilmente ci rinuncia…

… this argument seems far less intuitively persuasive than the prohibitionists’ arguments about nature. Nature, after all, is an idea that comes naturally to people…

Liberazionisti e proibizionisti condividono il fatto che l’omosessualità sia una scelta (e che puo’ essere contagiosa!)…

… “homosexuality” does not refer to something tangible and universal; it is a definition of a particular way of being as defined by a particular culture. There’s plenty of evidence to suggest that this is true… “trans-generational.” They are about the initiation of youths into adult culture…

I liberazionisti sono anche rivoluzionari: ritengono che la fioritura gay non possa aversi all’interno della società attuale…

… The liberationist argument, with its pessimism about the possibility of real human freedom within traditional liberal society, must also confront a particularly discomforting fact: that the last few generations have seen a considerable flowering of gay culture and gay freedom…

***

Una posizione moderata è quella dei conservatori. In loro c’è una tensione tra privacy e armonia sociale

… There is a difference for conservatives between the invasion of people’s private lives, or the unwarranted attempt by the state to shape social and moral life, and the legitimate attempt by politicians to encourage some forms of behavior over others, to provide incentives for one kind of social outcome over another… is not a concern with moral norms as such; it is a concern with social norms…

Il conservatore è uomo di mondo, sa che gli omosessuali esistono e che spesso sono anche ottime persone. Li accetta, purché sul loro “vizietto” si mantenga un certo riserbo…

… conservatives are not alarmed to meet a homosexual at a dinner party (indeed, they may even find it fashionable to invite one or two) and regard some level of comfort with homosexuals as a mark of civilized conduct…

Per il conservatore pubblico e privato sono dimensioni molto distinte ed è in questa distinzione che si gioca il ruolo dell’omosessuale in società…

… Conservatives combine a private tolerance of homosexuals with public disapproval of homosexuality. While they do not want to see legal persecution of homosexuals, they see no problem with discouragement and disparagement of homosexual sexual behavior in the abstract or, more commonly, a carefully sustained hush on the matter altogether… silence and discretion are key parts of this delicate political strategy…

Oggi un conservatore classico è John Finnis

… Finnis’s is a pure version of the conservative stance: it is rooted in sincerely held moral beliefs—the exclusive purpose of sex is marital, loving, and procreative—but in public it is largely concerned with its pragmatic, social conclusion: that society should discourage all public messages that undermine the exclusively marital, heterosexual, and loving deployment of sexual desire….

Il suo principio di sussidiarietà in tema sessuale…

… “The standard modern position considers that the state’s proper responsibility for upholding true worth (morality) is a responsibility subsidiary (auxiliary) to the primary responsibility of parents and non-political voluntary associations” (Finnis’s italics). So in the troublesome homosexual issue, the role of the state is firm, but also limited…

L’omosessualità puo’ essere tollerata ma non va certo incentivata

… the public acceptance of homosexuality actively offends the identity—or “self-understanding”—of married heterosexuals and so makes it harder for them to practice marriage as it should be practiced…

Lo stato deve stare fuori dalle camere da letto

… So Finnis is a liberal inasmuch as he doesn’t believe it’s the state’s duty to affect private behavior among consenting adults; but he’s a conservative inasmuch as he doesn’t believe that the public affirmation or presence of certain behaviors, as displayed by openly homosexual people, is a neutral event…

Per certe tematiche il dibattito pubblico è nocivo.

Nella misura in cui l’ambiente incide sull’orientamento sessuale, è giusto incentivare l’eterosessualità

… as there is an environmental component to the development of a homosexual identity, that environment should more or less strongly dispose any individual toward choosing a heterosexual existence…

La posizione dello psicologo E. L. Pattullo

… Surely decency demands that those who find themselves homosexual be treated with dignity and respect. But surely, too, reason suggests that we guard against doing anything which might mislead wavering children into perceiving society as indifferent to the sexual orientation they might develop…

A livello sociale, infatti, omosessualità ed eterosessualità non sono affatto la stessa cosa…

… Hence to the extent that society has an interest both in reproducing itself and in strengthening the institution of the family—and to the extent that parents have an interest in reducing the risk that their children will become homosexual—there is warrant for resisting the movement to abolish all societal distinctions between homosexual and heterosexual…

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La seconda posizione moderata è quella liberal (o liberale). Qui ci si concentra più sull’individuo e sui suoi diritti…

… Liberals believe, like conservatives, that homosexuality as a social phenomenon is a mixture of choice and compulsion. Some people, they concede, are involuntarily homosexual; others may be tempted that way, but could lead either heterosexual or homosexual existences. But unlike conservatives, whose first recourse is to ask how society’s interests are affected by this phenomenon—and therefore what social effects would be incurred by a relaxation of the antihomosexual taboo—liberals ask first how the individual is affected. And by this, of course, they mean primarily the individual homosexual…

I diritti degli omosessuali sono infranti in diverse occasioni…

… They see the homosexual’s rights infringed in several areas: the right to individual privacy, where antisodomy laws exist; the right to free expression, where social oppression largely intimidates homosexuals from disclosing freely who they are; and, most significantly, the right to employment and housing, where antihomosexual prejudice results in homosexuals being fired or never hired because of their sexual orientation, or being refused housing…

Come rispondere? Con la legge…

… liberal’s response is to create laws which protect this minority…

Non solo i diritti vanno equalizzati ma le minoranze devono godere di una protezione anti-discriminatoria, quindi di una certa quota di privilegi compensativi.

Proprio quest’ ultimo progetto ha spesso trasformato le politiche liberali in politiche autoritarie

… liberals are curiously blind to the illiberal dimensions of their program: they wish, after all, to deny others the right to complete freedom of contract and to complete freedom of expression, in order to protect a specific minority…

Il caso delle “azioni positive” è ormai un classico.

Si crea così il paradosso liberal

… The liberal paradox here is obvious: liberty is restricted for some so as to enlarge it for others…

Al liberal non basta regolare la sfera pubblica, aggredisce anche la sfera privata trasformandosi in un proibizionista al contrario…

… liberalism moved from simple regulation of public life into regulation of private life, it moved into an entirely new realm… The limitation on free speech encapsulated in hate-crime laws is a real limitation; the legal prohibition against a free contract in antidiscrimination laws is a real prohibition…

Oggi tra i liberali c’è una vera guerra civile in atto: i classici che chiedono un arretramento ed un ritorno all’eguaglianza formale dei cittadini e i liberal autoritari che promuovono un interventismo ipertrofico per compensare le minoranze svantaggiate…

… The old-fashioned liberal marveled at the complexity of these human interchanges, and was glad he did not need to regulate them; the modern liberal is so concerned to overcome the visceral hostility toward homosexuals in the society that he wishes to reduce all these emotions to a binary bigoted-tolerant axis, and legislate in favor of the tolerant….

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Queste sono le 4 posizioni principali sulla questione omosessuale. Eliminiamo gli estremismi (proibizionismo e liberazionismo). Poi, cerchiamo di mediare tra le due posizioni moderate: conservatorismo e liberalismo.

Partiamo da un riconoscimento dei meriti.

I conservatori hanno il merito di valorizzare le consuetudini.

I liberali hanno il merito di tutelare la libertà individuale.

Aggiungiamo una considerazione di fatto: la condizione omosessuale è per lo più involontaria…

… This politics begins with the view that for a small minority of people, from a young age, homosexuality is an essentially involuntary condition that can neither be denied nor permanently repressed. It is a function of both nature and nurture, but the forces of nurture are formed so early and are so complex that they amount to an involuntary condition…

Proposta: la legge dovrebbe promuovere l’eguaglianza formale tra tutti i cittadini…

… public equality for those who, through no fault of their own, happen to be homosexual; and it would not deny homosexuals… all public (as opposed to private) discrimination against homosexuals be ended… And that is all…

Ma quando si entra nella sfera privata la legge deve lasciare che ad operare siano le consuetudini…

… No cures or re-educations, no wrenching private litigation, no political imposition of tolerance…

In questo senso si dà grande valore alla distinzione pubblico/privato tanto cara ai conservatori.

Una posizione del genere consente ad un club di escludere gli omosessuali oppure al prete di tenere in tutta tranquillità la sua predica omofoba. D’altro canto non proibisce le pratiche omosessuali, non discrimina sull’età del consenso, sull’accesso alle forze armate, al matrimonio e all’adozione.

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L’accesso alle forze armate ha sollevato obiezioni ma alla fine il dibattito ha preso una piega che ha lascito in una posizione scomoda gli oppositori.

Innanzitutto le forze armate hanno fatto ammissioni importanti…

… conceding the excellent service that many gay and lesbian soldiers have given to their country…

Finora, in questi casi, vigeva il compromesso

… “don’t ask, don’t tell”…

Di fatto la proibizione riguardava un numero limitato di persone…

… The prohibition was against homosexuals’ being honest about their sexuality…

Con queste premesse la richiesta di parità è destinata a vincere

… Once the debate has been constructed this way, it will eventually, surely, be won by those advocating the admission of open homosexuals in the military…

La lotta è solo simbolica, gli omosessuali hanno già dimostrato nei fatti di essere adeguati…

… Prohibitionists also won the military issue because of its symbolic power. The acceptance of open homosexuals at the heart of the state, at the core of the notion of patriotism, is anathema…

Si tratta di strappare un riconoscimento che dia dignità…

… instead of seeking access as other minorities have done, homosexuals in the military are simply demanding recognition… They do not even have to seek, as blacks did before them, the right to be integrated into the military: they are already integrated…

La modalità del dibattito mette la strada in discesa per l’agenda pro-gay…

… the homosexual entered public debate and said, “Let us into your military, and protect us from hostility. Let us into your businesses, so we can earn our living without discrimination… now the homosexual enters public life and declares, “We are your military and have fought your wars and protected your homes… This is a rhetoric that, unlike that of contemporary liberalism, is actually complementary to the deeper psychological changes that are needed for homosexual equality…

I liberali sono contenti: la parità dei diritti è ottenuta…

… The liberal can campaign for formal public equality—for the abolition of sodomy laws, equal protection in public employment and institutions…

I conservatori sono contenti: i valori tradizionali vengono esaltati…

… conservative, while opposing “special rights,” is able to formulate a vision of what values the society wants to inculcate. He can point to the virtues of a loyal and dedicated soldier, homosexual or heterosexual, and celebrate his patriotism…

***

Passiamo al matrimonio, la questione più ostica, anche perché sono implicate credenze religiose.

La questione terminologica (significato di “matrimonio”) lasciamola da parte…

… Some might argue that marriage is by definition between a man and a woman; and it is difficult to argue with a definition…

Concentriamoci su un significato più generale di matrimonio…

… The center of the public contract is an emotional, financial, and psychological bond between two people; in this respect, heterosexuals and homosexuals are identical….

Il matrimonio come lo intendiamo oggi non sembra implicare la presenza di bambini (tanto è vero che nessuna legge civile richiede un impegno in tal senso)…

… The heterosexuality of marriage is intrinsic only if it is understood to be intrinsically procreative; but that definition has long been abandoned in Western society. No civil marriage license is granted on the condition that the couple bear children…

Le ragioni per cui oggi si proibisce il matrimonio ad alcune categorie di persone non sembrano tangere la condizione omosessuale…

… The state rightly, for example, withholds marriage from minors, or from one adult and a minor, since at least one party is unable to understand or live up to the contract. And the state has also rightly barred close family relatives from marriage because familial emotional ties are too strong and powerful to enable a marriage contract to be entered into freely by two autonomous, independent individuals; and because incest poses a uniquely dangerous threat to the trust and responsibility that the family needs to survive. But do homosexuals fall into a similar category?…

Si teme sulla solidità dei matrimoni? Non è facile però punire una schiera di innocenti per prevenire il comportamento solo di alcuni. Inoltre, le coppie lesbiche sembrano più solide di quelle etero (non è che il problema sono gli uomini più che gli omo?)…

… Of course, marriage is characterized by a kind of commitment that is rare—and perhaps declining—even among heterosexuals. But it isn’t necessary to prove that homosexuals or lesbians are less—or more—able to form long-term relationships than straights for it to be clear that at least some are…

In molti casi i matrimoni omosessuali di fatto già ci sono. In questo senso il dibattito sul matrimonio potrebbe ricalcare quello sull’accesso nell’esercito…

… In some ways, the marriage issue is exactly parallel to the issue of the military. Few people deny that many homosexuals are capable of the sacrifice, the commitment, and the responsibilities of marriage. And indeed, for many homosexuals and lesbians, these responsibilities are already enjoined—as they have been enjoined for centuries… … Homosexual marriages have always existed, in a variety of forms; they have just been euphemized. Increasingly they exist in every sense but the legal one. As it has become more acceptable for homosexuals to acknowledge their loves and commitments publicly, more and more have committed themselves to one another for life in full view of their families and friends… Even in our society as it is, many lesbian and gay male relationships are virtual textbooks of monogamous commitment; and for many, “in sickness and in health” has become a vocation rather than a vow…

L’argomento più forte per il matrimonio omosessuale è quello tipico dei conservatori: occorre avere uno strumento per rendere più stabili le unioni esistenziali. In altri termini, si sostiene il matrimonio contro la convivenza, una tipica battaglia conservatrice. Sì perché senza matrimonio non resta che la convivenza e nessuno meglio di un conservatore sa quanto il primo sia superiore alla seconda…

… one of the strongest arguments for gay marriage is a conservative one. It’s perhaps best illustrated by a comparison with the alternative often offered by liberals and liberationists to legal gay marriage, the concept of “domestic partnership.”…

Con i patti di convivenza, già oggi, molti omosessuali hanno accesso a tutti i diritti

… a variety of interpersonal arrangements qualify for health insurance, bereavement leave, insurance, annuity and pension rights, housing rights (such as rent-control apartments), adoption and inheritance rights…

Se reclamano il matrimonio, evidentemente, è per una sincera adesione ai valori tradizionali che questo istituto esprime…

Nelle convivenze non si richiede amore e coinvolgimento totale…

… In principle, an elderly woman and her live-in nurse could qualify, or a pair of frat buddies…

Nel matrimonio sì, e da questo fatto il conservatore trae spunto per privilegiarlo…

… Marriage provides an anchor, if an arbitrary and often weak one, in the maelstrom of sex and relationships to which we are all prone. It provides a mechanism for emotional stability and economic security. We rig the law in its favor not because we disparage all forms of relationship other than the nuclear family, but because we recognize that not to promote marriage would be to ask too much of human virtue

Le ragioni di questo privilegio – produzione di stabilità emotiva, reciproco aiuto, sicurezza economica – non sono campate in aria ma soprattutto sono condivise dagli omosessuali che intendono sposarsi…

… For conservatives, these are vital concerns. There are virtually no conservative arguments either for preferring no social incentives for gay relationships or for preferring a second-class relationship, such as domestic partnership…

E i figli?…

… There is no evidence that shows any deleterious impact on a child brought up by two homosexual parents; and considerable evidence that such a parental structure is clearly preferable to single parents (gay or straight) or no effective parents at all, which alas, is the choice many children now face…

L’omosessuale sposato e dalla vita stabile puo’ fungere da modello per il giovane omosessuale oggi spesso traviato su strade spericolate…

… It provides role models for young gay people, who, after the exhilaration of coming out, can easily lapse into short-term relationships and insecurity with no tangible goal in sight…

Possiamo ora concludere con un appello ai moderati…

… So long as conservatives recognize, as they do, that homosexuals exist and that they have equivalent emotional needs and temptations as heterosexuals, then there is no conservative reason to oppose homosexual marriage and many conservative reasons to support it. So long as liberals recognize, as they do, that citizens deserve equal treatment under the law, then there is no liberal reason to oppose it and many liberal reasons to be in favor of it. So long as intelligent people understand that homosexuals are emotionally and sexually attracted to the same sex as heterosexuals are to the other sex, then there is no human reason on earth why it should be granted to one group and not the other…

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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