In today’s Independent there is an interesting piece about gay sheep:
For the past five years, a team of researchers at Orgeon State
University has been investigating the sexuality of sheep. Early on,
they proved what every sheep farmer knows: some 8 per cent of rams are
gay. When it comes to sex, these woolly homosexuals shun ewes and
engage exclusively in ram-on-ram action.
It turns out that the hypothalamus in these sheep’s brains is significantly smaller, and these differences exist even in the 3rd trimester of pregnancy. It seems a further 8% or so of sheep are entirely asexual. The reason for the research? The lack of reproduction of this minority is costing farmers dear… And they’ve worked out a way to make them straight, too.
I wonder how this biological evidence will be treated by the various camps? Hari, himself gay and a forceful critic of the church’s attitude, admits he "fears the consequences of moves to abort or "cure" gay people – but I
cannot fear greater knowledge of the biology of human sexuality."
Personally, I think the whole issue is a huge distraction. While serious injustice remains, with famine, wars and global warming, the huge and divisive focus on attitudes to homosexuality as some benchmark for faithful belief is a travesty.
In my own tradition of the Church of England we have in Rowan Williams one of the wisest, clearest, politicially active and deeply spiritual leaders for many years. And yet he has been blunted by this one minor issue. The church has gone astray on this. We have been distracted.