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St. Thomas Aquinas said: "Union of male and female is said to be of natural law, because nature has taught this to animals: yet she has taught this union to various animals in various ways according to their various conditions. But carnal copulation with parents is derogatory to the reverence due to them. For just as nature has instilled into parents solicitude in providing for their offspring, so has it instilled into the offspring reverence towards their parents: yet to no kind of animal save man has she instilled a lasting solicitude for his children or reverence for parents; but to other animals more or less, according as the offspring is more or less necessary to its parents, or the parents to their offspring. Hence as the Philosopher attests (De Animal. ix, 47) concerning the camel and the horse, among certain animals the son abhors copulation with its mother as long as he retains knowledge of her and a certain reverence for her. And since all honest customs of animals are united together in man naturally, and more perfectly than in other animals, it follows that man naturally abhors carnal knowledge not only of his mother, but also of his daughter, which is, however, less against nature, as stated above."

So what in the relationship between an animal and the natural law makes it natural for an animal to practice homosexuality?

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    You claim it is 'natural' for an animal to behave in that way. Do you think it is 'natural' for some animals to eat their babies soon after they are born . . . . . . simply because they do so ? There is a flaw in your argument.
    – Nigel J
    Commented Feb 1, 2022 at 22:03
  • @Niguel I'm just saying that Thomas seems to say that incest between mother and child between animals is not against natural law, because animals are bound to natural law in a different way. Since there is homosexuality among animals, I want to understand what makes it in accordance with natural law. Commented Feb 1, 2022 at 22:27
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    But you are stating that something is natural . . . . . . just because it is done. Some things are done, that are contrary to nature. And since animals are not subject to any kind of prohibitive law one cannot accept their behaviour as an example to humans (who are subject to prohibitive law).
    – Nigel J
    Commented Feb 1, 2022 at 22:30
  • @NiguelJ Animals eating their children may not go against natural law either. I would say it depends on how they are bound to natural law. Commented Feb 1, 2022 at 22:32
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    But animals are not bound to natural law. No law is communicated to them.
    – Nigel J
    Commented Feb 1, 2022 at 22:34

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From a Thomistic perspective, why is there homosexuality among animals?

Thomasistic philosophy does not accord to animals the same moral status or equal consideration with humans due to a lack of consciousness, reason, or autonomy. In other words, animals are irrational animals that can neither comprehend intellectual thought or adore their Creator. Thus animals may act in animalistic manners, yet are not guilty of moral or immoral conduct as man is able to do.

Biblically speaking homosexuality is considered sinful. Thus is true for men, but not for animals. Animals being irrational beings are not capable of consent in terms of doing something sinful. There Acts are on a level conducive to their natures.

Thomas Aquinas would deny animals moral status or equal consideration with humans due to a lack of consciousness, reason, or autonomy.

Consent, properly speaking, is not in irrational animals. The reason of this is that consent implies an application of the appetitive movement to something as to be done. Now to apply the appetitive movement to the doing of something, belongs to the subject in whose power it is to move the appetite: thus to touch a stone is an action suitable to a stick, but to apply the stick so that it touch the stone, belongs to one who has the power of moving the stick. But irrational animals have not the command of the appetitive movement; for this is in them through natural instinct. Hence in the irrational animal, there is indeed the movement of the appetite, but it does not apply that movement to some particular thing. And hence it is that the irrational animal is not properly said to consent: this is proper to the rational nature, which has the command of the appetitive movement, and is able to apply or not to apply it to this or that thing. - Whether consent is to be found in irrational animals?

Only human beings are rational, autonomous, and self-conscious.

Only human beings can act morally.

The term rational animal refers to a classical definition of humanity or human nature, associated with Aristotelianism, from which Thomas Aquinas basis his theological and philosophical perspectives with the understandings gained in mediation on the Scriptures and other classical patristic writings.

Animals are not bound to natural law, for they are incapable of intellectual thought. Thus no law (natural or otherwise) can be communicated to them.

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    +1 generally animalistic behavior is not sinful, even if the same kind of act would be sinful for man. Man has reason and is called to behave accordingly. No one asks why sex outside of marriage is sinful on the grounds that animals do it. Animals cannot reason through the goods and the societal necessity of a monogamous, committed union, and they cannot make vows to the same effect.
    – jaredad7
    Commented Feb 2, 2022 at 13:56
  • "Union of male and female is said to be of natural law, because nature has taught this to animals: yet she has taught this union to various animals in various ways according to their various conditions." Commented Feb 5, 2022 at 21:45

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