Garter snakes and homosexuality

I have recently become a little less fond of our new home due to three sightings of garter snakes in the past few days. I am so super afraid of snakes that even though I know garter snakes are harmless and an important part of the ecosystem, I still don’t want them around. I’d be totally fine with them if they hung out and lived here and I never saw them, but I know that’s not going to happen – especially if I’m seeing them so frequently (I’m guessing that means there are hundreds under the porch).

So I was reading up on them, seeing how we could cut down on the garter snake population naturally (as opposed to going on some killing / poisoning spree). And while I was reading about them, I learned this bit of information (from wikipedia):

…sometimes male garter snakes produce both male and female pheromones. During mating season, this fact fools other males into attempting to mate with these “pseudo-females”. It is often these males, with the female pheromone genetic variation, that are among the first to mate. By expressing the male pheromone, they still attract females. But, the expression of the female pheromone leads to fruitless mating attempts by other males.

Look at that. Homosexual behaviors in nature!

Due to a recent cartoon of mine and ensuing letters to the editor, the claims about homosexuality’s existence as an innate trait or a choice have been center stage in the debate about whether or not to grant homosexuals protected class status along with race, color, national origin, religion, disability, sex, or because they have children.

While I personally don’t care if it’s a choice or not, and I’m fully aware that both sides will be able to find a scientist to argue their cause, for some people the idea that it’s a choice means everything to them. Apparently, if it’s a choice, it’s somehow not worthy of protecting.

This is amusing to me because very often, those who would argue against protected class status do so from a religious perspective. It seems this “choice”-based nullification would apply to religion too, wouldn’t it? I don’t know of many people who were born with a religion. Sure, some people’s parents are more heavy-handed about passing down the faith than others, but still, it’s not like there’s a Missouri Synod Lutheran gene.

So homosexuality exists in nature and we already offer protected class status for “lifestyle choices.” Both bases are covered. Why is this still a problem?

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