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Homosexuality and Bisexuality
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What the Bible says about Homosexuality

In biblical times, same-gender sexual interactions could take many forms. Some were:

  • kings of conquered tribes were sometimes raped by the invading army as the ultimate symbol of defeat and humiliation.
  • some non-Jewish tribes in the area had male prostitutes in their temples that may have engaged in same-sex activities; this horrified the ancient Israelites.
  • it is reasonable to assume that many loving gay and lesbian relationships existed, but these would normally have been conducted in secret.

Only the third type would have any similarity to today's gay and lesbian consensual, committed, loving relationships.

Many versions of the Bible exist in the English language. Each reflects the world view, beliefs and mind sets of its translators. Their personal biases distort their work. There is an additional complexity facing translators: today's society is very different from that of Biblical times. It is sometimes difficult to find a current English word that matches a Hebrew or Greek term.

Many words have been translated from the original Hebrew and Greek texts as "homosexual", "sodomite", "homosexuality". However, most (perhaps all) of the references bear no similarity to today's lesbian and gay partnerships. By carefully reading the original texts and considering the societies in which they were written, one comes to surprising conclusions:

  • The Bible has a lot to say about temple prostitution.
  • It talks about being kind to strangers in a way that has been incorrectly interpreted as referring to homosexual acts
  • It says almost nothing about homosexual feelings;
  • It says nothing about sexual orientation. The writers of the Bible assumed that everyone was heterosexual (or "straight"); the concept of sexual orientation was not developed until the late 19th century.

The Bible does make occasional references to activities which have been translated as homosexuality:

  • Genesis 19 describes how two angels visited Sodom and were welcomed into Lot's house. The men of the city gathered around the house and demanded that Lot send the visitors to the mob so that they might know the angels. [The Hebrew verb yada (to know) is ambiguous. It appears 943 times in the Hebrew Scriptures (Old Testament). In only about a dozen of these cases does it refers to sexual activity; it is not clear whether the mob wanted to rape the angels or to meet with them, and perhaps attack them physically. From the context, it is obvious that their mood was not friendly]. Lot refused, but offered his two virgin daughters to be heterosexually raped if that would appease the mob. The offer was declined. God decided to destroy the city because of the wickedness of its inhabitants. The angels urged Lot and his family to flee and to not look back. Unfortunately, Lot's wife looked the wrong way, so God killed her because of her curiosity.

    God was apparently not critical of Lot for offering his two daughters to be raped. However, God was angry at the other inhabitants of the town. He destroyed Sodom with fire and brimstone (sulfur). He presumably killed all of the men in the mob, their wives and other adults, as well as children, infants, newborns, etc. It is unclear from these few verses whether God demolished the city because the citizens:

    • were uncharitable and abusive to strangers
    • wanted to rape people
    • engaged in homosexual acts.

    The Church has traditionally accepted the third explanation. In fact, the term sodomy which means anal intercourse is derived from the name of the city, Sodom. As recorded in Matthew 10:14-15 and Luke 10:7 to 16, Jesus implied that the sin of the people of Sodom was to be inhospitable to strangers. In Ezekiel 16:48-50, God states clearly that Sodom's sins were pride, idolatry and insensitivity to the poor; sexual activity is not even mentioned.

    We are faced with the inescapable and rather amusing conclusion that the activities in Sodom had nothing to do with sodomy.
     

  • Leviticus 18:22 states: "Thou shall not lie with mankind as with womankind: it is abomination." The term abomination (to'ebah) is a religious term, usually reserved for use against idolatry; it does not mean a moral evil. The verse seems to refer to temple prostitution, which was a common practice in the rest of the Middle East at that time. Qadesh referred to male religious prostitutes. (See the discussion of Deuteronomy below).
     
  • Leviticus 20:13 states: "If a man also lie with mankind as he lieth with a woman, both of them have committed an abomination; they should surely be put to death....". The passage is surrounded by prohibitions against incest, bestiality, adultery and intercourse during a woman's period. But this verse is the only one in the series which uses the religious term abomination; it seems also to be directed against temple prostitution.

    These passages are part of the Jewish Holiness Code which also:

    • permits polygamy
    • prohibits sexual intercourse when a woman has her period,
    • bans tattoos
    • prohibits eating rare meat
    • bans wearing clothes that are made from a blend of textiles
    • prohibits cross-breeding livestock
    • bans sowing a field with mixed seed
    • prohibits eating pigs, rabbits, or some forms of seafood
    • requires Saturday to be reserved as the Sabbath

    Churches have abandoned the Holiness Code; it is no longer binding on modern-day Christians. They can wear tattoos, eat shrimp, wear polyester-cotton blends and engage in temple prostitution without violating this particular section of the Bible. Although this code is obsolete for Christians, many clergy still focus on those passages which deal with homosexuality.
     

  • Deuteronomy 23:17 states (in the King James Version) "There shall be no whore of the daughters of Israel, nor a sodomite of the sons of Israel . This is an "error" by the authors of the KJV. The word qadesh in the original text was mistranslated as sodomite. Quadesh means "holy one" and is here used to refer to a man who engages in ritual prostitution in the temple. There is little evidence that the prostitutes engaged in sexual activities with men. Other Bible translations use accurate terms such as shrine prostitute, temple prostitute, prostitute and cult prostitute.
     
  • Judges 19 describes an event much like that at Sodom. This time, an unnamed Levite visited the town of Gibeah with his slaves and concubine. He met an old farmer and was made welcome. A gang of men appeared and demanded that the old man send out the Levite that they might homosexually rape or assault him. (It is again not clear what the precise meaning of the verb to know was). The old man argued that they should not abuse the visitor. He offered to give them both the Levite's concubine and his own virgin daughter to be heterosexually raped. The mob accepted the former, raped her all night and finally killed her. The Levite sliced up her body into 12 pieces and sent one to each of the tribes of Israel. This triggered a war between the inhabitants of Gibeah and the Israelites during which tens of thousands died. There was no condemnation against the Levite for sacrificing his concubine, or for committing an indignity to a body. Judges 20:5 emphasizes that the aim of the mob was to kill the stranger - the ultimate act of inhospitality. It appears that these passages condemn abusive treatment of visitors. If they actually refer to homosexual activity, then they condemn homosexual rape; they have nothing at all to say about consentual homosexual relationships.
     
  • 1 Kings 14:24 and 15:12 again refer to temple prostitution. The original word qadesh is mistranslated as sodomite (homosexual) in the King James Version, but as male prostitute, male cult prostitutes, and male shrine prostitutes in more accurate versions. As mentioned before, there is little evidence that homosexuality was involved. Again, the text has nothing to say about consentual homosexual relationships.
     
  • Romans 1:26 and 27, at first glance, appears to condemn gay and lesbian activity. Paul criticizes sexual activity which is against a person's nature or disposition. But in Greek society of the time, homosexuality and bisexuality was regarded as a natural activity for some people. Thus Paul might have been criticizing heterosexuals who were engaged in homosexual activities against their nature. He might not be referring to homosexuals or bisexuals at all.

    The verses preceding 26 might indicate that he was referring to sexual acts associated with idol worship. The verse is too vague to be interpreted as a blanket prohibition of all same-sex activities.
     

  • I Cor 6:9 Paul lists a many activities that will prevent people from inheriting the Kingdom of God. One has been variously translated as effeminate, homosexuals, or sexual perverts. The original Greek text reads malakoi arsenokoitai. The first word means soft; the meaning of the second word has been lost. It was once used to refer to a male temple prostitute (as in the verses from the Hebrew Scriptures/Old Testament described above). The early Church interpreted the phrase as referring to people of soft morals; i.e. unethical. From the time of Martin Luther, it was interpreted as referring to masturbation . More recently, it has been translated as referring to homosexuals . Each Translator seem to take whatever activity that their society particularly disapproves of and use it in this verse.
     
  • 1 Tim 1:9 again refers to malakoi arsenokoitai which has been variously translated as homosexuals, sexual perverts etc. Again, the original meaning of the text as been lost.
     
  • Jude 7 refers to the people of Sodom as "giving themselves over to fornication and going after strange flesh". Strange flesh has been variously translated as perverted sensuality, unnatural lust, lust of men for other men, and perversion. Again, it is unclear what is being referred to here. Some biblical scholars interpret this as referring to an ancient Jewish legend that the women of Sodom engaged in sexual intercourse with angels.

In summary:

  • homosexual activity in the temple by male prostitutes is clearly prohibited by the Hebrew Scriptures (Old Testament).
  • homosexual activity in general may have been prohibited at the time by the Holiness Code, but that code is no longer binding on Christians today.
  • St. Paul considered at least some male and female homosexual acts to be forbidden, but it is unclear precisely which acts are included. He may have been referring to temple prostitution, or to people who are not innately gay, lesbian or bisexual engaging in homosexual acts. One should note that Paul also condemned women preaching (1 Cor 14:34) or wearing gold or pearls (1 Tim 2:11). He also accepted and did not condemn the institution of slavery. Some Christians feel that his writings are not a useful guide for ethics and morals in the 20th Century.
  • Jesus made many hundreds of statements regarding belief and behaviour. However He never mentioned homosexuality.
  • There are two Biblical same-sex relationships (one between two women, the other two men) reported in the Bible in a positive light. They appear to have progressed well beyond friendship. They were likely homosexual affairs, although not necessarily sexually active relationships:
    • Ruth 1:16, 2:10-11 between Ruth and Naomi
    • 1 Samuel 18:1-4, 1 Samuel 20:41-42 and 2 Samuel 1:25-26 between David and Jonathan. (Some translations of the Bible distort the original Hebrew text, particularly of 1 Samuel 20)
  • It is the subject of endless debate whether St. Paul's prohibition of at least some homosexual acts was:
    • for the people in the vicinity of the Mediterranean during the 1st Century CE, or
    • for all people, forever.

    One can argue that the ancient Israelites were surrounded by warlike tribes. Their fertility was very important if the group was to survive. The early Christian church was also surrounded by enemies. Homosexuals tend to have few children; thus their presence would be met with opposition. At the end of the 20th Century, conditions are the exact opposite; we are threatened by our excessive fertility. Perhaps Paul's criticism of homosexuality is no longer valid, like his various prohibitions against women's behaviour.

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Churches' Attitude Towards Homosexuality

This is a topic of fierce debate among Christians. Churches currently hold different views:

  • The Unitarian-Universalist Church is believed to be the first religious organization in North America to ignore sexual orientation in membership and leadership. A very few other groups have followed their lead.
  • The Metropolitan Community Church was organized as a Gay and Lesbian positive religious institution.
  • Some liberal churches allow non-practicing Gays, Lesbians and Bisexuals to full membership and eligibility to the ministry
  • Some mainline and conservative churches absolutely prohibit homosexuals as members or clergy. One Evangelical church allows clergy who are guilty of murder, molesting children or rape to return to their jobs after an interval of treatment, but forever expels clergy that are "guilty" of having a loving, committed homosexual relationship.

Jewish groups tend to mirror Christian denominations, ranging from liberal to conservative.

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Terminology

The term homosexuality, like heterosexuality can refer either to:

  • feelings of sexual attraction to another person, or to
  • practices of a sexual nature.

When discussing sexual orientation, a person may often switch between these two meanings. This causes much confusion and misunderstanding. We recommend that the terms homosexual or heterosexual never be used in isolation, but always followed by either feeling or practices or suitable synonyms.

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What is the Nature of Homosexuality?

There are many different beliefs. However, most people hold one of the following concepts:

  1. Homosexual Feelings as a Choice:

    Homosexuality is an evil, unnatural and sinful lifestyle. It is a matter of choice that can be changed at any time. Keeping children ignorant of homosexuality will assure that they will grow up heterosexual. To grant homosexuals the same protection under law as is granted to other minorities is to give them "special privileges".

  2. Homosexual Feelings as a Fixed Orientation:

    Homosexuality is a natural orientation for a minority of people. Like other sexual orientations, it is determined early in life, perhaps at conception. Most children grow up heterosexuals; the orientation of their parents and friends have little influence. Since Gays and Lesbians are extensively discriminated against, they need the same protections as are granted to other minorities.

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Types of Sexual Orientations

Some people believe that there are only two sexual orientations (feelings of sexual attraction):

  • Heterosexual - a person who is sexually attracted only to members of the opposite gender, or
  • Homosexual - a person who is sexually attracted only to members of the same gender.

This is not a useful model, because it ignores two minorities:

  • Asexuals - people who have no feelings of sexual attraction to neither gender
  • Bisexuals - people who are attracted (perhaps to different degrees) to both genders

Most researchers into human sexuality look upon sexual orientation as a continuum:

  • Those with solely heterosexual feelings form one extreme; they are free to select celibacy, or to seek sexual activity with members of the opposite sex.
  • Those with solely homosexual feelings form the other extreme; they can be celibate or enter into relationships with members of their own gender
  • In the middle are bisexuals. Being sexually attracted to both genders they can choose:
    • only heterosexual relationships
    • only homosexual relationships
    • relationships with both men and women
    • celibacy

Most researchers believe that one's orientation is fixed and unchangeable. Prayer, counselling, psychotherapy, electric shocks, castration, frontal lobotomies, etc have all been used to try to change a person's orientation. None have succeeded. These "therapies" can persuade homosexuals to be celibate. They can persuade bisexuals to confine their sexual activities to members of the opposite sex. But they cannot change one's feelings (one's sexual orientation).

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What Determines a Person's Sexual Orientation?

As described above, there are two schools of thought:

  1. Orientation is a decision made perhaps at puberty and can be changed at any time
  2. Orientation is fixed early in childhood; perhaps before birth; perhaps at conception; the cause is outside of a person's control.

The vast bulk of evidence favors the second belief:

  • The National Institute of Health (a US Federal Government agency) reported that about 30% of youth suicides are by gays and lesbians who recognize that they are homosexual and realize that they cannot change their sexual orientation - they are stuck being gay or lesbian for the rest of their life. These young people who commit suicide may have been taught to hate or reject homosexuality by their families, religious institutions, schools etc. If they had any hope of changing their orientation, they obviously would seek counselling instead of killing themselves. Their deaths are one more price that society must pay for its homophobia.
  • Suppose that every heterosexuals asked themselves a simple question: what would it take for me to be attracted to a person of the same gender and want to enter into a sexual relationship with her/him? The answer is that it is impossible to create such feelings of sexual attraction where they do not exist. This test would be a good indicator of the fixed nature of sexual orientation.
  • Bishop Benjamin Tutu of South Africa once pointed out that homosexuality cannot be a matter of choice. Who would select a life style that would bring such hatred and discrimination against them?
  • One important type of study involves determining the sexual orientation of identical twins who were separated at birth and raised in different homes. If sexual orientation is decided genetically at conception, then if one twin is gay or lesbian, the other would be as well. If sexual orientation is determined by life experiences, then if one twin is gay or lesbian, the other would have only about a 5% chance of being homosexual. This type of study has been performed and replicated. In most cases, the identical twin of a homosexual was found to be also homosexual.
  • Simon LeVay, a Neuroanatomist at the Salk Institute in California published a study which examined the brains of men who had died of AIDS. He found that the INAH 3 (a structure within the hypothalamus) differed in size between heterosexual and homosexual men. This suggested to the researcher that "sexual orientation has a biological substrate".
  • Psychologist Michael Bailey of Northwestern University and Psychiatrist Richard Pillard of Boston University studied the sexual orientation of siblings raised together. If one person was homosexual then the chance of their sibling being homosexual was:
    • 52% for their identical twin
    • 22% for their non-identical twin
    • about 10% for adopted or non-twin brothers.

    This would point to a strong genetic factor at the time of conception. This type of study tends to have the same serious flaws as in the identical twin studies described above. One sibling may have come to terms with his/her sexual orientation and realized that they are homosexual; the other might also be gay or lesbian but has not come to terms with their sexual orientation. One sibling could be bisexual and identify themselves to the interviewer as heterosexual; the other could also be bisexual and be behaving homosexually.

  • Children who grow up to become homosexuals often engage in "gender inappropriate play" in early childhood. This indicates that the factor which determines sexual orientation takes effect very early in one's life (perhaps before birth).
  • Gays and Lesbians do not appear to be any less common in societies which condemn homosexuality; they do not seem to be any more common in accepting societies. This would argue against sexual orientation being learned.
  • Almost all children raised in families headed by two Gays or two Lesbians grow up heterosexual. The sexual orientation of one's parents appear to have little influence over the matter.
  • Researcher Dean Hamer, and colleagues at the National Cancer Institute studied over 100 gay men and found that many of their uncles and male cousins were also gay. This suggested that a genetic effect was determining sexual orientation. They compared the DNA of 40 pairs of homosexual brothers and found that almost all shared genetic markers in the Xq28 region of the X chromosome (one of the two sex chromosomes). The "gay gene" has yet to be isolated precisely; however, they have found its approximate location.

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What Fuels Homophobia?

The root meaning of the word homophobia is: fear of homosexuality. Its meaning has evolved; it is now usually defined as fear, loathing and hatred of homosexuals and/or homosexuality. Some reasons are:

  • this is what some of us have been taught as children
  • some of us do not personally know any openly gay or lesbian person and fear people who are different
  • one's religious faith promotes homophobia
  • heterosexuals have a natural feeling of repulsion at the thought of engaging in same-sex sexual activity. They recognize that homosexual behaviour is wrong for them. Some generalize this feeling into the belief that homosexuality is wrong for everyone. (Homosexuals, of course, have the same feelings of repulsion at the thought of engaging in other-sex sexual activity).

A TIME/CNN poll in 1994 showed that 52% of US adults found the homosexual lifestyle to be acceptable; this is an increase from 35% in 1978. An Angus-Reid poll in Canada showed that 68% of Roman Catholics, 59% of United Church members, 63% of Anglicans (Episcopalians) and 38% of "conservative" churches favour legal protection from discrimination for gays and lesbians.

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Can a Person Change their Sexual Orientation?

There is general agreement among researchers into human sexuality that one's sexual orientation are unchangeable in adulthood. In terms of behaviour by sexually active adults:

  • Heterosexuals (over 90% of the adult population) can chose to enter into sexual relationships with members of the opposite sex, or be celibate.
  • Homosexuals (less than 10%) can chose to become involved with members of the same gender or be celibate
  • Bisexuals (less than 10%) can become involved with members of either gender or be celibate

Researchers have attempted to change people's sexual orientation using counselling, psychotherapy, electric shock treatments, castration and frontal lobotomies (cutting away of brain tissue) without success.

Many Evangelical and Fundamentalist Christians disagree. Some ministries specialize in attempting to change homosexuals and bisexuals into heterosexuals. Their long-term successes appear to be in two areas:

  • convincing bisexuals to restrict their sexual activities to members of the opposite sex
  • convincing homosexuals to be celibate.

As knowledge of sexual orientation increases, it is expected that conservative Christians will change their focus towards convincing homosexuals to abstain from sexual activity.

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Arguments Used Against Homosexuals and Bisexuals

A booklet by John Ankerberg & John Weldon, "The Facts on Homosexuality; Scientific Research and Biblical Authority: Can Homosexuals Really Change?" (Harvest House, 1994) is typical of the many conservative Christian books which attack homosexuals. The entire book is based on a fallacy: that people have either a homosexual or heterosexual orientation; bisexuals are ignored. They use heavily biased phrases, such as:

  • "committed homosexual" - implying that one can choose one's orientation
  • "sexual preference", again implying a choice
  • "encouraged homosexuality", implying that feelings of sexual attraction can be taught.

Some of their arguments are:

  • Their preface and introduction to the book mention homosexual child molesters and AIDS as two reasons to oppose homosexuality. The authors ignore that facts that:
    • the vast majority of child molesters are heterosexual,
    • female homosexuals (lesbians) have the lowest rate of AIDS and other sexually transmitted diseases than do heterosexuals
    • in the third world, AIDS is primarily spread by heterosexual contact

    They also imply that homosexual lobby groups have immense political power. They overlook the fact that (as of 1994) those groups had still not been able to change the laws in almost half of the states in the US which still list homosexual behaviour as a criminal act.

  • Section 1 describes scientific studies which attempt to prove the biological origin of sexual orientation. They reject Dr. LeVay's study of brain structure, Dr.'s Bailey and Pillard study of identical twins, and Dr. Hamer's genetic research. The authors seem to imply that since none of the studies prove that all homosexual orientation is genetic, that therefore none of it is determined before birth.

    They cite many researchers who believe that a genetic or biological basis for sexual orientation has not yet been proven. The authors seem to imply that it never will be. As of 1995, any absolute proof is still in the future; all we have to go on now are many strong indicators that sexual orientation is determined before puberty (and probably during or before early childhood).

    The authors cite many human sexuality specialists who believe that sexual orientation is a matter of choice and can be easily changed. They have ignored the majority who hold the opposite opinion. They cite instances where homosexuals have apparently changed their sexual behaviour and implied that they have also changed their orientation. They do not mention that many of these are bisexuals who are simply choosing to develop relationships only with the opposite gender. Others have a homosexual orientation and have desperately have tried to behave as heterosexuals in order to be accepted. Such attempts inevitably fail. Whether one is homosexual, bisexual or heterosexual, our feelings of sexual attraction are unchangeable.

  • Section 2 describes what the Bible has to say on sexual orientation. The authors interpret Genesis, Chapter 1 & 2, Matthew 19:4-6 and other passages as promoting heterosexual marriages. They state that if homosexual unions were permissible then they would have been specifically condoned. One could say with equal logic that because horses and chariots were mentioned often in the Bible, but trains, plains and automobiles were ignored, we should not use modern methods of transportation. The authors' views are based on their belief that matters of ethics and morality are absolute and fixed for all time. This is obviously false. Consider the matter of slavery; ownership of another person was regarded as quite normal throughout the Bible. But is regarded as a moral outrage in the 20th century. (It is also illegal throughout the entire United States since the 13th Amendment to the Constitution was ratified by Mississippi on 1995-March-21).

    In fact, sexual orientation was unknown in ancient times; thus, the authors of the bible could not have written about it.

    They analyze passages in Genesis, Deuteronomy, Leviticus and Romans, II Peter, etc with a particularly narrow, homophobic focus. These verses have been dealt with elsewhere in this essay.

  • In their conclusion, they suggest that homosexuals recite a standard prayer to God and cut off all contact with the homosexual community. The authors are a little vague about the results to be expected. They state that "same sex inclinations" will cease - either immediately or over time. They do not state whether the reader will lose all sexual desire, or whether he/she will develop heterosexual feelings. In practice, sexual feelings will not change. Hundreds of thousands (perhaps millions) of devout Christian homosexuals have each begged God (sometimes over many decades) to change their sexual orientation. God's answer is always no. This is perhaps the best proof that God does not condemn homosexuality.

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What do Professional Organizations Say?

Recent statements include:

  • The American Psychological Association released a Statement on Homosexuality in 1994-JULY. Their first two paragraphs are:
    The research on homosexuality is very clear. Homosexuality is neither mental illness nor moral depravity. It is simply the way a minority of our population expresses human love and sexuality. Study after study documents the mental health of gay men and lesbians. Studies of judgment, stability, reliability, and social and vocational adaptiveness all show that gay men and lesbians function every bit as well as heterosexuals.

    Nor is homosexuality a matter of individual choice. Research suggests that the homosexual orientation is in place very early in the life cycle, possibly even before birth. It is found in about ten percent of the population, a figure which is surprisingly constant across cultures, irrespective of the different moral values and standards of a particular culture. Contrary to what some imply, the incidence of homosexuality in a population does not appear to change with new moral codes or social mores. Research findings suggest that efforts to repair homosexuals are nothing more than social prejudice garbed in psychological accouterments.

    In 1994-AUGUST, The APA sent a proposal to one of its committees that would declare as unethical:

    • attempts by a psychologist to change a person's sexual orientation through therapy, or
    • referral of a patient to a therapist or organization who attempts to change people's sexual orientation
  • The American Medical Association (AMA) released a report in 1994-DEC which calls for "nonjudgmental recognition of sexual orientation by physicians." They suggest that psychotherapy be directed help homosexuals "become comfortable with their sexual orientation."
  • The American Psychiatric Association took homosexuality off of its list of mental illnesses many decades ago.
  • There are many Evangelical Christian organizations devoted to helping gays and lesbians to become celibate, and helping bisexuals confine their relationships to members of the opposite sex. Among these is the Roman Catholic ministry Courage, who describe themselves as "Spiritual support for Catholic men and women with same-sex attractions who desire to live chaste lives in accordance with the teachings of the Roman Catholic Church." We of Dignity Canada Dignité do not wish to be confused with so-called Catholic ministries who premise that we are objectively disordered, intrinsically evil persons in need of conversion.

© Copyright 1995 by the Ontario Centre for Religious Tolerance. Whole pages at this site may be freely copied and disseminated. Acknowledgment of the source would be appreciated.

Revised, enhanced and footnoted by info@dignitycanada.org.

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footnotes

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Cf. Gen 19:1-29

1
The two angels arrived at Sodom in the evening, and Lot was sitting in the gateway of the city. When he saw them, he got up to meet them and bowed down with his face to the ground.
2
"My lords," he said, "please turn aside to your servant's house. You can wash your feet and spend the night and then go on your way early in the morning." "No," they answered, "we will spend the night in the square."
3
But he insisted so strongly that they did go with him and entered his house. He prepared a meal for them, baking bread without yeast, and they ate.
4
Before they had gone to bed, all the men from every part of the city of Sodom--both young and old--surrounded the house.
5
They called to Lot, "Where are the men who came to you tonight? Bring them out to us so that we can have sex with them."
6
Lot went outside to meet them and shut the door behind him
7
and said, "No, my friends. Don't do this wicked thing.
8
Look, I have two daughters who have never slept with a man. Let me bring them out to you, and you can do what you like with them. But don't do anything to these men, for they have come under the protection of my roof."
9
"Get out of our way," they replied. And they said, "This fellow came here as an alien, and now he wants to play the judge! We'll treat you worse than them." They kept bringing pressure on Lot and moved forward to break down the door.
10
But the men inside reached out and pulled Lot back into the house and shut the door.
11
Then they struck the men who were at the door of the house, young and old, with blindness so that they could not find the door.
12
The two men said to Lot, "Do you have anyone else here--sons-in-law, sons or daughters, or anyone else in the city who belongs to you? Get them out of here,
13
because we are going to destroy this place. The outcry to the LORD against its people is so great that he has sent us to destroy it."
14
So Lot went out and spoke to his sons-in-law, who were pledged to marry his daughters. He said, "Hurry and get out of this place, because the LORD is about to destroy the city!" But his sons-in-law thought he was joking.
15
With the coming of dawn, the angels urged Lot, saying, "Hurry! Take your wife and your two daughters who are here, or you will be swept away when the city is punished."
16
When he hesitated, the men grasped his hand and the hands of his wife and of his two daughters and led them safely out of the city, for the LORD was merciful to them.
17
As soon as they had brought them out, one of them said, "Flee for your lives! Don't look back, and don't stop anywhere in the plain! Flee to the mountains or you will be swept away!"
18
But Lot said to them, "No, my lords, please!
19
Your servant has found favor in your eyes, and you have shown great kindness to me in sparing my life. But I can't flee to the mountains; this disaster will overtake me, and I'll die.
20
Look, here is a town near enough to run to, and it is small. Let me flee to it--it is very small, isn't it? Then my life will be spared."
21
He said to him, "Very well, I will grant this request too; I will not overthrow the town you speak of.
22
But flee there quickly, because I cannot do anything until you reach it." (That is why the town was called Zoar.
23
By the time Lot reached Zoar, the sun had risen over the land.
24
Then the LORD rained down burning sulfur on Sodom and Gomorrah--from the LORD out of the heavens.
25
Thus he overthrew those cities and the entire plain, including all those living in the cities--and also the vegetation in the land.
26
But Lot's wife looked back, and she became a pillar of salt.
27
Early the next morning Abraham got up and returned to the place where he had stood before the LORD.
28
He looked down toward Sodom and Gomorrah, toward all the land of the plain, and he saw dense smoke rising from the land, like smoke from a furnace.
29
So when God destroyed the cities of the plain, he remembered Abraham, and he brought Lot out of the catastrophe that overthrew the cities where Lot had lived.

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Rom 1:24-27

24
Therefore God gave them over in the sinful desires of their hearts to sexual impurity for the degrading of their bodies with one another.
25
They exchanged the truth of God for a lie, and worshiped and served created things rather than the Creator--who is forever praised. Amen.
26
Because of this, God gave them over to shameful lusts. Even their women exchanged natural relations for unnatural ones.
27
In the same way the men also abandoned natural relations with women and were inflamed with lust for one another. Men committed indecent acts with other men, and received in themselves the due penalty for their perversion.

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1 Cor 6:10

9
Do you not know that the wicked will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: Neither the sexually immoral nor idolaters nor adulterers nor male prostitutes nor homosexual offenders
10
nor thieves nor the greedy nor drunkards nor slanderers nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God.

note: 1 Corinthians 6:9-10 and 1 Timothy 1:8-10 list arsenokoitai among those who will be excluded from the Reign of God. This obscure term has been translated "homosexuals" but its exact meaning is debated.

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1 Tim 1:10

9
We also know that law is made not for the righteous but for lawbreakers and rebels, the ungodly and sinful, the unholy and irreligious; for those who kill their fathers or mothers, for murderers,
10
for adulterers and perverts, for slave traders and liars and perjurers--and for whatever else is contrary to the sound doctrine
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that conforms to the glorious gospel of the blessed God, which he entrusted to me.

note: 1 Corinthians 6:9-10 and 1 Timothy 1:8-10 list arsenokoitai among those who will be excluded from the Reign of God. This obscure term has been translated "homosexuals" but its exact meaning is debated.

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Ezekiel 16:48-50

48
As surely as I live, declares the Sovereign LORD, your sister Sodom and her daughters never did what you and your daughters have done.
49
"`Now this was the sin of your sister Sodom: She and her daughters were arrogant, overfed and unconcerned; they did not help the poor and needy.
50
They were haughty and did detestable things before me. Therefore I did away with them as you have seen.

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1 Kings 14:24
There were even male shrine prostitutes in the land; the people engaged in all the detestable practices of the nations the LORD had driven out before the Israelites.
1 Kings 15:12
He expelled the male shrine prostitutes from the land and got rid of all the idols his fathers had made.

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