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My Take: What the Bible really says about homosexuality
The author argues that the meaning of the Bible's passages on homosexuality have been lost in translation.
May 15th, 2012
05:39 PM ET

My Take: What the Bible really says about homosexuality

Editor's note: Daniel A. Helminiak, who was ordained a priest in Rome, is a theologian, psychotherapist and author of “What the Bible Really Says about homosexuality" and books on contemporary spirituality. He is a professor of psychology at the University of West Georgia.

By Daniel A. Helminiak, Special to CNN

President Barack Obama’s support of same-sex marriage, like blood in the water, has conservative sharks circling for a kill. In a nation that touts separation of religion and government, religious-based arguments command this battle. Lurking beneath anti-gay forays, you inevitably find religion and, above all, the Bible.

We now face religious jingoism, the imposition of personal beliefs on the whole pluralistic society. Worse still, these beliefs are irrational, just a fiction of blind conviction. Nowhere does the Bible actually oppose homosexuality.

In the past 60 years, we have learned more about sex, by far, than in preceding millennia. Is it likely that an ancient people, who thought the male was the basic biological model and the world flat, understood homosexuality as we do today? Could they have even addressed the questions about homosexuality that we grapple with today? Of course not.

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Hard evidence supports this commonsensical expectation. Taken on its own terms, read in the original languages, placed back into its historical context, the Bible is ho-hum on homosexuality, unless – as with heterosexuality – injustice and abuse are involved.

That, in fact, was the case among the Sodomites (Genesis 19), whose experience is frequently cited by modern anti-gay critics. The Sodomites wanted to rape the visitors whom Lot, the one just man in the city, welcomed in hospitality for the night.

The Bible itself is lucid on the sin of Sodom: pride, lack of concern for the poor and needy (Ezekiel 16:48-49); hatred of strangers and cruelty to guests (Wisdom 19:13); arrogance (Sirach/Ecclesiaticus 16:8); evildoing, injustice, oppression of the widow and orphan (Isaiah 1:17); adultery (in those days, the use of another man’s property), and lying (Jeremiah 23:12).

But nowhere are same-sex acts named as the sin of Sodom. That intended gang rape only expressed the greater sin, condemned in the Bible from cover to cover: hatred, injustice, cruelty, lack of concern for others. Hence, Jesus says “Love your neighbor as yourself” (Matthew 19:19; Mark 12:31); and “By this will they know you are my disciples” (John 13:35).

How inverted these values have become! In the name of Jesus, evangelicals and Catholic bishops make sex the Christian litmus test and are willing to sacrifice the social safety net in return.

The longest biblical passage on male-male sex is Romans 1:26-27: "Their women exchanged natural intercourse for unnatural, and in the same way also the men, giving up natural intercourse with women, were consumed with passion for one another."

The Greek term para physin has been translated unnatural; it should read atypical or unusual. In the technical sense, yes, the Stoic philosophers did use para physin to mean unnatural, but this term also had a widespread popular meaning. It is this latter meaning that informs Paul's writing. It carries no ethical condemnation.

Compare the passage on male-male sex to Romans 11:24. There, Paul applies the term para physin to God. God grafted the Gentiles into the Jewish people, a wild branch into a cultivated vine. Not your standard practice! An unusual thing to do — atypical, nothing more. The anti-gay "unnatural" hullabaloo rests on a mistranslation.

Besides, Paul used two other words to describe male-male sex: dishonorable (1:24, 26) and unseemly (1:27). But for Paul, neither carried ethical weight. In 2 Corinthians 6:8 and 11:21, Paul says that even he was held in dishonor — for preaching Christ. Clearly, these words merely indicate social disrepute, not truly unethical behavior.

In this passage Paul is referring to the ancient Jewish Law: Leviticus 18:22, the “abomination” of a man’s lying with another man. Paul sees male-male sex as an impurity, a taboo, uncleanness — in other words, “abomination.” Introducing this discussion in 1:24, he says so outright: "God gave them up … to impurity."

But Jesus taught lucidly that Jewish requirements for purity — varied cultural traditions — do not matter before God. What matters is purity of heart.

“It is not what goes into the mouth that defiles a person, but it is what comes out of the mouth that defiles,” reads Matthew 15. “What comes out of the mouth proceeds from the heart, and this is what defiles. For out of the heart come evil intentions, murder, adultery, fornication, theft, false witness, slander. These are what defile a person, but to eat with unwashed hands does not defile.”

Or again, Jesus taught, “Everyone who looks at a women with lust has already committed adultery with her in his heart” (Matthew 5:28). Jesus rejected the purity requirements of the Jewish Law.

In calling it unclean, Paul was not condemning male-male sex. He had terms to express condemnation. Before and after his section on sex, he used truly condemnatory terms: godless, evil, wicked or unjust, not to be done. But he never used ethical terms around that issue of sex.

As for marriage, again, the Bible is more liberal than we hear today. The Jewish patriarchs had many wives and concubines. David and Jonathan, Ruth and Naomi, and Daniel and the palace master were probably lovers.

The Bible’s Song of Songs is a paean to romantic love with no mention of children or a married couple. Jesus never mentioned same-sex behaviors, although he did heal the “servant” — pais, a Greek term for male lover — of the Roman Centurion.

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Paul discouraged marriage because he believed the world would soon end. Still, he encouraged people with sexual needs to marry, and he never linked sex and procreation.

Were God-given reason to prevail, rather than knee-jerk religion, we would not be having a heated debate over gay marriage. “Liberty and justice for all,” marvel at the diversity of creation, welcome for one another: these, alas, are true biblical values.

The opinions expressed in this commentary are solely those of Daniel A. Helminiak.

- CNN Belief Blog

Filed under: Bible • Christianity • Gay marriage • Opinion

soundoff (8,832 Responses)
  1. Eirk

    "They know better and are growing in numbers every day"

    Being gay is not a choice science, in fact, is actually not in dispute on this matter.

    All major medical professional organizations concur that sexual orientation is not a choice and cannot be changed, from gay to straight or otherwise. The American, Canadian, Australian, New Zealand, and European Psychological, Psychiatric, and Medical Associations all agree with this, as does the World Health Organization and the medical organizations of Japan, China, and most recently, Thailand. Furthermore, attempts to change one's sexual orientation can be psychologically damaging, and cause great inner turmoil and depression, especially for Christian gays and lesbians.

    Reparative therapy, also called conversion therapy or reorientation therapy, "counsels" LGBT persons to pray fervently and study Bible verses, often utilizing 12-step techniques that are used to treat sexual addictions or trauma. Such Christian councilors are pathologizing homosexuality, which is not a pathology but is a sexual orientation. Psychologically, that's very dangerous territory to tread on. All of the above-mentioned medical professional organizations, in addition to the American and European Counseling Associations, stand strongly opposed to any form of reparative therapy.

    In my home country, Norway, reparative therapy is officially considered to be ethical malpractice. But there are many countries that do not regulate the practice, and many others that remain largely silent and even passively supportive of it (such as the Philippines). Groups that operate such "therapy" in the Philippines are the Evangelical Bagong Pag-asa, and the Catholic Courage Philippines.

    The scientific evidence of the innateness of homosexuality, bisexuality, and transgenderism is overwhelming, and more peer-reviewed studies which bolster this fact are being added all the time. Science has long regarded sexual orientation – and that's all sexual orientations, including heterosexuality – as a phenotype. Simply put, a phenotype is an observable set of properties that varies among individuals and is deeply rooted in biology. For the scientific community, the role of genetics in sexuality is about as "disputable" as the role of evolution in biology.

    On the second point, that there is no conclusion that there is a "gay gene," they are right. No so-called gay gene has been found, and it's highly unlikely that one ever will. This is where conservative Christians and Muslims quickly say "See, I told you so! There's no gay gene, so being gay is a choice!"

    Take this interesting paragraph I found on an Evangelical website: "The attempt to prove that homosexuality is determined biologically has been dealt a knockout punch. An American Psychological Association publication includes an admission that there's no homosexual "gene" – meaning it's not likely that homosexuals are 'born that way.'"

    But that's not at all what it means, and it seems Evangelicals are plucking out stand-alone phrases from scientific reports and removing them from their context. This is known in academia as the fallacy of suppressed evidence. Interestingly, this is also what they have a habit of doing with verses from the Bible.

    This idea of sexuality being a choice is such a bizarre notion to me as a man of science. Many of these reparative "therapists" are basing this concept on a random Bible verse or two. When you hold those up against the mountain of scientific research that has been conducted, peer-reviewed, and then peer-reviewed again, it absolutely holds no water. A person's sexuality – whether heterosexual, homosexual, or bisexual – is a very deep biological piece of who that person is as an individual.

    The fact that a so-called "gay gene" has not been discovered does not mean that homosexuality is not genetic in its causation. This is understandably something that can seem a bit strange to those who have not been educated in fields of science and advanced biology, and it is also why people who are not scientists ought not try to explain the processes in simple black-and-white terms. There is no gay gene, but there is also no "height gene" or "skin tone gene" or "left-handed gene." These, like sexuality, have a heritable aspect, but no one dominant gene is responsible for them.

    Many genes, working in sync, contribute to the phenotype and therefore do have a role in sexual orientation. In many animal model systems, for example, the precise genes involved in sexual partner selection have been identified, and their neuro-biochemical pathways have been worked out in great detail. A great number of these mechanisms have been preserved evolutionarily in humans, just as they are for every other behavioral trait we know (including heterosexuality).

    Furthermore, there are many biologic traits which are not specifically genetic but are biologic nonetheless. These traits are rooted in hormonal influences, contributed especially during the early stages of fetal development. This too is indisputable and based on extensive peer-reviewed research the world over. Such prenatal hormonal influences are not genetic per se, but are inborn, natural, and biologic nevertheless.

    Having said that, in the realm of legal rights, partnership rights, and anti-discrimination protections, the gay gene vs. choice debate is actually quite irrelevant. Whether or not something is a choice is not a suitable criterion for whether someone should have equal rights and protections. Religion is indisputably a choice, but that fact is a not a valid argument for discriminating against a particular religion.

    August 22, 2012 at 10:54 am |
  2. Douglas

    GLBTQ celibates, take heart!

    The good news of the Bible brings joy and peace to you.

    Shunning the shame of fornication, GLBTQ celibates have turned the page
    and refused to buy into the myth that GLBTQ coitus is acceptable to the Lord.

    They know better and are growing in numbers every day. Ben, celibate gay man who works with
    our GLBTQ youth ministry, said that it took him 9 years to come to his senses and he is so
    blessed to be healthy and free from the afflictions that have hobbled so many of those GLBTQ brothers
    and sisters who remain trapped in the twilight zone of fornication...separated from God and yet
    so close with the simple renunciation of sinful acts.

    GLBTQ and straight youth have the highest admiration for Ben. He speaks to them in a language they understand
    and is living proof that GLBTQ folk can be celibate, saved, and content with their lives.

    Release the power of GLBTQ celibacy in your place of worship and watch lives transform for the better!

    As Jesus said, "keep your hand to the plough and don't look back!"

    Best, Douglas

    August 21, 2012 at 8:44 pm |
    • James

      "GLBTQ celibates, take heart!

      The good news of the Bible brings joy and peace to you.

      Shunning the shame of fornication, GLBTQ celibates have turned the page
      and refused to buy into the myth that GLBTQ coitus is acceptable to the Lord."

      The scriptures actually say nothing about homosexuality as a psychosexual orientation. Our understandings of sexual orientation are distinctly modern ones that were not present in the minds of Scripture writers. A few passages of Scripture (seven at the most) object to certain types of same-sex expressions or acts. The particular acts in question, however, are sexual expressions which are exploitative, oppressive, commercialized, or offensive to ancient purity rituals. There is no Scriptural guidance for same-sex relationships which are loving and mutually respecting. Guidelines for these relationships should come from the same general Scriptural norms that apply to heterosexual relationships.

      August 22, 2012 at 10:52 am |
    • John

      "Shunning the shame of fornication, GLBTQ celibates have turned the page
      and refused to buy into the myth that GLBTQ coitus is acceptable to the Lord."

      Some argue that since homosexual behavior is "unnatural" it is contrary to the order of creation. Behind this pronouncement are stereotypical definitions of masculinity and femininity that reflect rigid gender categories of patriarchal society. There is nothing unnatural about any shared love, even between two of the same gender, if that experience calls both partners to a fuller state of being. Contemporary research is uncovering new facts that are producing a rising conviction that homosexuality, far from being a sickness, sin, perversion or unnatural act, is a healthy, natural and affirming form of human sexuality for some people. Findings indicate that homosexuality is a given fact in the nature of a significant portion of people, and that it is unchangeable.

      Our prejudice rejects people or things outside our understanding. But the God of creation speaks and declares, "I have looked out on everything I have made and `behold it (is) very good'." . The word (Genesis 1:31) of God in Christ says that we are loved, valued, redeemed, and counted as precious no matter how we might be valued by a prejudiced world.

      There are few biblical references to homosexuality. The first, the story of Sodom and Gomorrah, is often quoted to prove that the Bible condemns homosexuality. But the real sin of Sodom was the unwillingness of the city's men to observe the laws of hospitality. The intention was to insult the stranger by forcing him to take the female role in the sex act. The biblical narrative approves Lot's offer of his virgin daughters to satisfy the sexual demands of the mob. How many would say, "This is the word of the Lord"? When the Bible is quoted literally, it might be well for the one quoting to read the text in its entirety.

      Leviticus, in the Hebrew Scriptures, condemns homosexual behaviour, at least for males. Yet, "abomination", the word Leviticus uses to describe homosexuality, is the same word used to describe a menstruating woman. Paul is the most quoted source in the battle to condemn homosexuality ( 1 Corinthians 6: 9-11 and Romans 1: 26-27). But homosexual activity was regarded by Paul as a punishment visited upon idolaters by God because of their unfaithfulness. Homosexuality was not the sin but the punishment.

      1 Corinthians 6:9-11, Paul gave a list of those who would not inherit the Kingdom of God. That list included the immoral, idolaters, adulterers, sexual perverts, thieves, the greedy, drunkards, revilers, and robbers. Sexual perverts is a translation of two words; it is possible that the juxtaposition of malakos, the soft, effeminate word, with arsenokoitus, or male prostitute, was meant to refer to the passive and active males in a homosexual liaison.

      Thus, it appears that Paul would not approve of homosexual behavior. But was Paul's opinion about homosexuality accurate, or was it limited by the lack of scientific knowledge in his day and infected by prejudice born of ignorance? An examination of some of Paul's other assumptions and conclusions will help answer this question. Who today would share Paul's anti-Semitic attitude, his belief that the authority of the state was not to be challenged, or that all women ought to be veiled? In these attitudes Paul's thinking has been challenged and transcended even by the church! Is Paul's commentary on homosexuality more absolute than some of his other antiquated, culturally conditioned ideas?

      Three other references in the New Testament (in Timothy, Jude and 2 Peter) appear to be limited to condemnation of male sex slaves in the first instance, and to showing examples (Sodom and Gomorrah) of God's destruction of unbelievers and heretics (in Jude and 2 Peter respectively).

      That is all that Scripture has to say about homosexuality. Even if one is a biblical literalist, these references do not build an ironclad case for condemnation. If one is not a biblical literalist there is no case at all, nothing but prejudice born of ignorance, that attacks people whose only crime is to be born with an unchangeable sexual predisposition toward those of their own sex.

      August 22, 2012 at 10:55 am |
  3. Robert

    "Just like having some birth defects among all the births is normal but those with the birth defects are not a normal physical variance. This is physical, but being h0m0 is something that is unseen unproven able to be cured in most cases and behavior issue that has a bad record of social problems"

    The latest edition of the SPLC’s Intelligence Report also contains an authoritative article detailing the hate and misinformation coming from the Ntl Association for Research and Therapy of Homosexuality (NARTH), an “ex-gay” junk science group. This group is headed by radical extremist whose theories on sexual orientation are so bizarre that he actually believes Bozo the Clown can turn people gay. NARTH has become the primary source for the faulty research and scientific distortions used by the religious right to justify their continued opposition to LGBT equality.

    August 20, 2012 at 1:33 pm |
  4. Cindi

    LIKE YOU, I TAKE THE BIBLE SERIOUSLY! Many good people build their case against homosexuality almost entirely on the Bible. These folks value Scripture, and are serious about seeking its guidance in their lives. Unfortunately, many of them have never really studied what the Bible does and doesn’t say about homosexuality.

    We gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender Christians take the Bible seriously, too. Personally, I’ve spent more than 50 years reading, studying, memorizing, preaching, and teaching from the sacred texts. I earned my master’s and doctoral degrees at a conservative biblical seminary to better equip myself to “rightly divide the word of truth.” I learned Hebrew and Greek to gain a better understanding of the original words of the biblical texts. I studied the lives and times of the biblical authors to help me know what they were saying in their day so I could better apply it to my own.

    We must be open to new truth from Scripture.

    Even heroes of the Christian faith have changed their minds about the meaning of various biblical texts.

    It took a blinding light and a voice from heaven to help the apostle Paul change his mind about certain Hebrew texts. A sheet lowered from the sky filled with all kinds of animals helped the apostle Peter gain new insights into Jewish law.

    Jerry Falwell believed the Bible supported segregation in the church until a black shoeshine man asked him, “When will someone like me be allowed to become a member of your congregation?” Through those simple words, the Holy Spirit spoke new truth about the ancient biblical texts to the Rev. Falwell, and in obedience he ended segregation at Thomas Road Baptist Church.

    Even when we believe the Scriptures are “infallible” or “without error,” it’s terribly dangerous to think that our understanding of every biblical text is also without error. We are human. We are fallible. And we can misunderstand and misinterpret these ancient words — with tragic results.

    What if someone asked you, “Is there a chance you could be wrong about the way you’ve interpreted the biblical texts sometimes used to condemn homosexual orientation?” How would you respond? What does it say about you if you answer, “No, I could NOT be wrong”? I am asking you to re-examine these texts — carefully and prayerfully. Lives hang in the balance.

    If heroes of the Christian faith could change their minds about the meaning of certain biblical texts, shouldn’t we be prepared to reconsider our own interpretations of these ancient words when the Holy Spirit opens our minds and hearts to new truth? That’s why we study the Bible prayerfully, seeking the Spirit of Truth, God’s loving Spirit, to help us understand and apply these words to our lives.

    On the night he was betrayed, Jesus told his disciples he was going away from them for a while, but that the Father would send them a “Comforter,” an “Advocate,” the “Holy Spirit” who would “teach them all things.”

    I believe with all my heart that the Holy Spirit is still teaching us. When we reconsider the texts that are used by some people to condemn God’s gay children, we must fervently seek the Holy Spirit’s guidance, or we risk being misled by our own prejudices.

    The Bible is a book about God – not a book about human sexuality.

    The Bible is the story of God’s love for the world and the people of the world. It tells the history of God’s love at work rescuing, renewing, and empowering humankind. It was never intended to be a book about human sexuality. Certainly, you will agree.

    In fact, the Bible accepts sexual practices that we condemn and condemns sexual practices that we accept. Lots of them! Here are a few examples.

    DEUTERONOMY 22:13-21
    If it is discovered that a bride is not a virgin, the Bible demands that she be executed by stoning immediately.

    DEUTERONOMY 22:22
    If a married person has sex with someone else’s husband or wife, the Bible commands that both adulterers be stoned to death.

    MARK 10:1-12
    Divorce is strictly forbidden in both Testaments, as is remarriage of anyone who has been divorced.

    LEVITICUS 18:19
    The Bible forbids a married couple from having sexual intercourse during a woman’s period. If they disobey, both shall be executed.

    MARK 12:18-27
    If a man dies childless, his widow is ordered by biblical law to have intercourse with each of his brothers in turn until she bears her deceased husband a male heir.

    DEUTERONOMY 25:11-12
    If a man gets into a fight with another man and his wife seeks to rescue her husband by grabbing the enemy’s genitals, her hand shall be cut off and no pity shall be shown her.

    I’m certain you don’t agree with these teachings from the Bible about sex. And you shouldn’t. The list goes on: The Bible says clearly that sex with a prostitute is acceptable for the husband but not for the wife. Polygamy (more than one wife) is acceptable, as is a king’s having many concubines. (Solomon, the wisest king of all, had 1,000 concubines.) Slavery and sex with slaves, marriage of girls aged 11-13, and treatment of women as property are all accepted practices in the Scriptures. On the other hand, there are strict prohibitions against interracial marriage, birth control, discussing or even naming a sexual organ, and seeing one’s parents nude.

    Over the centuries the Holy Spirit has taught us that certain Bible verses should not be understood as God’s law for all time periods. Some verses are specific to the culture and time they were written, and are no longer viewed as appropriate, wise, or just.

    Often, the Holy Spirit uses science to teach us why those ancient words no longer apply to our modern times. During the last three decades, for example, organizations representing 1.5 million U.S. health professionals (doctors, psychiatrists, psychologists, counselors, and educators) have stated definitively that homosexual orientation is as natural as heterosexual orientation; that sexual orientation is determined by a combination of yet unknown pre- and post–natal influences, and that it is dangerous and inappropriate to tell a homosexual that he or she could or should attempt to change his or her sexual orientation.

    While there are some people now living in heterosexual marriages who once perceived themselves to be gay, there are millions of gay and lesbian persons who have accepted their sexual orientation as a gift from God and live productive and deeply spiritual lives. The evidence from science and from the personal experience of gay and lesbian Christians demands that we at least consider whether the passages cited to condemn homosexual behavior should be reconsidered, just as other Bible verses that speak of certain sexual practices are no longer understood as God’s law for us in this day.

    August 20, 2012 at 10:38 am |
  5. Erik

    ". This is physical, but being h0m0 is something that is unseen unproven able to be cured in most cases and behavior issue that has a bad record of social problems. "

    Being gay is not a choice science, in fact, is actually not in dispute on this matter.

    All major medical professional organizations concur that sexual orientation is not a choice and cannot be changed, from gay to straight or otherwise. The American, Canadian, Australian, New Zealand, and European Psychological, Psychiatric, and Medical Associations all agree with this, as does the World Health Organization and the medical organizations of Japan, China, and most recently, Thailand. Furthermore, attempts to change one's sexual orientation can be psychologically damaging, and cause great inner turmoil and depression, especially for Christian gays and lesbians.

    Reparative therapy, also called conversion therapy or reorientation therapy, "counsels" LGBT persons to pray fervently and study Bible verses, often utilizing 12-step techniques that are used to treat sexual addictions or trauma. Such Christian councilors are pathologizing homosexuality, which is not a pathology but is a sexual orientation. Psychologically, that's very dangerous territory to tread on. All of the above-mentioned medical professional organizations, in addition to the American and European Counseling Associations, stand strongly opposed to any form of reparative therapy.

    In my home country, Norway, reparative therapy is officially considered to be ethical malpractice. But there are many countries that do not regulate the practice, and many others that remain largely silent and even passively supportive of it (such as the Philippines). Groups that operate such "therapy" in the Philippines are the Evangelical Bagong Pag-asa, and the Catholic Courage Philippines.

    The scientific evidence of the innateness of homosexuality, bisexuality, and transgenderism is overwhelming, and more peer-reviewed studies which bolster this fact are being added all the time. Science has long regarded sexual orientation – and that's all sexual orientations, including heterosexuality – as a phenotype. Simply put, a phenotype is an observable set of properties that varies among individuals and is deeply rooted in biology. For the scientific community, the role of genetics in sexuality is about as "disputable" as the role of evolution in biology.

    On the second point, that there is no conclusion that there is a "gay gene," they are right. No so-called gay gene has been found, and it's highly unlikely that one ever will. This is where conservative Christians and Muslims quickly say "See, I told you so! There's no gay gene, so being gay is a choice!"

    Take this interesting paragraph I found on an Evangelical website: "The attempt to prove that homosexuality is determined biologically has been dealt a knockout punch. An American Psychological Association publication includes an admission that there's no homosexual "gene" – meaning it's not likely that homosexuals are 'born that way.'"

    But that's not at all what it means, and it seems Evangelicals are plucking out stand-alone phrases from scientific reports and removing them from their context. This is known in academia as the fallacy of suppressed evidence. Interestingly, this is also what they have a habit of doing with verses from the Bible.

    This idea of sexuality being a choice is such a bizarre notion to me as a man of science. Many of these reparative "therapists" are basing this concept on a random Bible verse or two. When you hold those up against the mountain of scientific research that has been conducted, peer-reviewed, and then peer-reviewed again, it absolutely holds no water. A person's sexuality – whether heterosexual, homosexual, or bisexual – is a very deep biological piece of who that person is as an individual.

    The fact that a so-called "gay gene" has not been discovered does not mean that homosexuality is not genetic in its causation. This is understandably something that can seem a bit strange to those who have not been educated in fields of science and advanced biology, and it is also why people who are not scientists ought not try to explain the processes in simple black-and-white terms. There is no gay gene, but there is also no "height gene" or "skin tone gene" or "left-handed gene." These, like sexuality, have a heritable aspect, but no one dominant gene is responsible for them.

    Many genes, working in sync, contribute to the phenotype and therefore do have a role in sexual orientation. In many animal model systems, for example, the precise genes involved in sexual partner selection have been identified, and their neuro-biochemical pathways have been worked out in great detail. A great number of these mechanisms have been preserved evolutionarily in humans, just as they are for every other behavioral trait we know (including heterosexuality).

    Furthermore, there are many biologic traits which are not specifically genetic but are biologic nonetheless. These traits are rooted in hormonal influences, contributed especially during the early stages of fetal development. This too is indisputable and based on extensive peer-reviewed research the world over. Such prenatal hormonal influences are not genetic per se, but are inborn, natural, and biologic nevertheless.

    Having said that, in the realm of legal rights, partnership rights, and anti-discrimination protections, the gay gene vs. choice debate is actually quite irrelevant. Whether or not something is a choice is not a suitable criterion for whether someone should have equal rights and protections. Religion is indisputably a choice, but that fact is a not a valid argument for discriminating against a particular religion.

    August 20, 2012 at 10:33 am |
  6. YeahRight

    "This is physical, but being h0m0 is something that is unseen unproven able to be cured in most cases and behavior issue that has a bad record of social problems."

    This is a lie the hate Christians groups are using for propaganda and the experts released a statement against them but they can't handle the real facts. Because of the aggressive promotion of efforts to change sexual orientation through therapy, a number of medical, health, and mental health professional organizations have issued public statements about the dangers of this approach. The American Academy of Pediatrics, the American Counseling Association, the American Psychiatric Association, the American Psychological Association, the American School Counselor Association, the National Association of School Psychologists, and the National Association of SocialWorkers, together representing more than 480,000 mental health professionals, have all taken the position that homosexuality is not a mental disorder and thus is not something that needs to or can be “cured."

    Heterosexual behavior and homosexual behavior are normal aspects of human sexuality. Despite the persistence of stereotypes that portray lesbian, gay, and bisexual people as disturbed, several decades of research and clinical experience have led all mainstream medical and mental health organizations in this country to conclude that these orientations represent normal forms of human experience.

    August 20, 2012 at 10:30 am |
  7. Bob

    In the manufacturing process some will be defective and taken off the production line. Its the law of percentages. That is a normal occurrence but if you allowed the defective product to go out into the public then that would be a product out in public's hands that doesn't work as its supposed to that is not normal. This is how they get around calling gays normal. That there will be a certain amount of defective product is normal but that the product doesn't work like it should is not normal. Out of all the births to have some gay is normal but that they are gay is not normal. Just like having some birth defects among all the births is normal but those with the birth defects are not a normal physical variance. This is physical, but being h0m0 is something that is unseen unproven able to be cured in most cases and behavior issue that has a bad record of social problems. I really want to point out here that all these posts are not by gays but by atheists so the gays could care less but the real culprit is the atheists they push because they want a ungodly US. They have no reason to do this without the gay agenda. There is one other group that is in with them though its is the Socialists they want full change in the US government and way of life also.

    August 19, 2012 at 4:46 pm |
    • myweightinwords

      I am neither gay nor atheist, Bob. I am bisexual. I was born with an innate attraction to both genders. I am not talking about liking my men feminine or my women manly either. No, I am attracted to curvy, beautiful women and men with strong shoulders.

      For me, this IS normal. It is who I am. Denying it, or attempting to "cure" it would be abnormal. But you will never understand that. You don't want to. You're afraid of it. You're afraid of people like me who will not allow you to denigrate us or subjugate us.

      The day will come, however you try to oppose it, when people like me can marry whomever we choose, if we choose.

      August 19, 2012 at 6:35 pm |
    • Bob

      Actually Weight you are the only one Ive seen that is not atheist and closer to gay. So when you do pick are you going to choose more than one? Will the idea of commitment for life be upheld? or will this be till death of desire do we part. To live together marriage is not needed it is for procreation and the raising of children. So if that is what you want to do, fine, enjoy but if you seek marriage on what grounds?

      August 19, 2012 at 6:47 pm |
    • myweightinwords

      Hi Bob,

      Actually Weight you are the only one Ive seen that is not atheist and closer to gay.

      You might be surprised. Often, due to the vitriol from both Christians and atheists, those of us who are neither will tend to be lost or overlooked in a conversation, if we choose to speak up at all. And there are a fair number of LGBT folk around these boards. We just don't always feel the need to announce ourselves as such. You may define us by our sex life, but we don't.

      So when you do pick are you going to choose more than one?

      To be completely honest, I have no intention of "picking". I'm not interested in marriage. I'm a pretty solitary person.

      Will the idea of commitment for life be upheld? or will this be till death of desire do we part.

      I don't believe in "commitment for life"...at least not for me. I don't think it's practical for the most part. I know it isn't for me.

      To live together marriage is not needed it is for procreation and the raising of children. So if that is what you want to do, fine, enjoy but if you seek marriage on what grounds?

      I have no need to procreate. There are far more children in this world today than our natural resources can support. I have no need of marriage. That doesn't mean that it is my job to tell you that you can't marry, or that anyone else can't marry. I don't believe in it, but those that do should have the right.

      August 19, 2012 at 10:25 pm |
    • Bob

      Ok so how about this those that believe in it should have the right to define it?? Those that agree to uphold a definition of marriage that has been there for for all time? How about if gays did civil unions or bonding agreements rather than marriage?

      August 19, 2012 at 10:52 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Why should they?

      Just because you don't like the idea of it, Boob?

      Besides, marriage has not "been there for all time", as you've been informed on multiple occasions. It wasn't even a religious rite at all. There's no reason the church should have any say in what marriage is or means since a marriage isn't legal unless the state sanctions it.

      August 19, 2012 at 10:55 pm |
    • Bob

      Tom we are in America and it has always been defined one way and even further back it was still defined the same way between a man and a woman and that you have been shown many times before. The State registers it, it doesn't sanction it, just like filing your taxes. Two people can go to the State and have their declaration of marriage registered.

      August 19, 2012 at 11:18 pm |
    • Bob

      I love the contrast in words between My Weight and tom toms one is real the other militant. Amazing one is bi the other a atheist.

      August 19, 2012 at 11:53 pm |
    • myweightinwords

      Ok so how about this those that believe in it should have the right to define it??

      Each person has the right to define it for themselves. Your rights end where my nose begins.

      Those that agree to uphold a definition of marriage that has been there for for all time?

      Which definition is that? Are you aware that many Native American cultures at one time celebrated same-gender unions? That other indigenous societies honored those who were "other" gendered? In the Middle Ages, only the wealthy and titled were married. In ancient cultures, girls as young as eleven were married off to old men, men had multiple wives and concubines. There has never, ever been one simple definition of marriage. Ever.

      How about if gays did civil unions or bonding agreements rather than marriage?

      Why? If two people want to join their lives together, share a home, raise a family, love each other, and share that love with the people around them, with society, why should it matter if they are of two different genders or one? If it looks like a duck and acts like a duck, chances are it is a duck. So...if it looks like a marriage and acts like a marriage, chances are it is a marriage.

      Besides, separate but equal isn't equal. It never has been. It never will be.

      August 20, 2012 at 12:08 am |
    • myweightinwords

      I love the contrast in words between My Weight and tom toms one is real the other militant. Amazing one is bi the other a atheist.

      While Tom, Tom and I have different communication styles, I doubt I am less militant than she on the topics of freedom and equality. As far as I know, and Tom, Tom please correct anything I get wrong here, she is straight, married and yes, a self avowed atheist. None of these things necessarily intimates that she is any more or less strident about a thing than myself who is bisexual, Pagan and single (though also polyamorous, so that when I do date, it is generally more than one person at a time).

      Courteous discourse requires us to see past our difference to find that which is common, to not fall back on the easy insult or simply point fingers at one another. This is how I choose to communicate.

      August 20, 2012 at 12:14 am |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Booby, when are you going to post links to studies you claim exist? I've posted mine. Where are yours?

      As for marriage, why can't it be redefined? What's your big problem with that? You've been asked to explain it and you can't.

      Are you this impotent in other areas, too?

      August 22, 2012 at 8:40 pm |
  8. 250 Ministers Proclamation

    As Christian clergy we proclaim the Good News concerning Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender (LGBT) persons and publicly apologize where we have been silent. As disciples of Jesus, who assures us that the truth sets us free, we recognize that the debate is over. The verdict is in. Homosexuality is not a sickness, not a choice, and not a sin. We find no rational biblical or theological basis to condemn or deny the rights of any person based on sexual orientation. Silence by many has allowed political and religious rhetoric to monopolize public perception, creating the impression that there is only one Christian perspective on this issue. Yet we recognize and celebrate that we are far from alone, as Christians, in affirming that LGBT persons are distinctive, holy, and precious gifts to all who struggle to become the family of God.

    In repentance and obedience to the Holy Spirit, we stand in solidarity as those who are committed to work and pray for full acceptance and inclusion of LGBT persons in our churches and in our world. We lament that LGBT persons are condemned and excluded by individuals and institutions, political and religious, who claim to be speaking the truth of Christian teaching. This leads directly and indirectly to intolerance, discrimination, suffering, and even death. The Holy Spirit compels us:

    – to affirm that the essence of Christian life is not focused on sexual orientation, but how one lives by grace in relationship with God, with compassion toward humanity;

    – to embrace the full inclusion of our LGBT brothers and sisters in all areas of church life, including leadership;

    – to declare that the violence must stop. Christ’s love moves us to work for the healing of wounded souls who are victims of abuse often propagated in the name of Christ;

    – to celebrate the prophetic witness of all people who have refused to let the voice of intolerance and violence speak for Christianity, especially LGBT persons, who have met hatred with love;

    Therefore we call for an end to all religious and civil discrimination against any person based on sexual orientation and gender identity and expression. All laws must include and protect the freedoms, rights, and equal legal standing of all persons, in and outside the church.

    August 19, 2012 at 8:40 am |
  9. Erik

    "It is a decision based on a s=ual desire not a physical difference in that person’s body."

    Being gay is not a choice science, in fact, is actually not in dispute on this matter.

    All major medical professional organizations concur that sexual orientation is not a choice and cannot be changed, from gay to straight or otherwise. The American, Canadian, Australian, New Zealand, and European Psychological, Psychiatric, and Medical Associations all agree with this, as does the World Health Organization and the medical organizations of Japan, China, and most recently, Thailand. Furthermore, attempts to change one's sexual orientation can be psychologically damaging, and cause great inner turmoil and depression, especially for Christian gays and lesbians.

    Reparative therapy, also called conversion therapy or reorientation therapy, "counsels" LGBT persons to pray fervently and study Bible verses, often utilizing 12-step techniques that are used to treat sexual addictions or trauma. Such Christian councilors are pathologizing homosexuality, which is not a pathology but is a sexual orientation. Psychologically, that's very dangerous territory to tread on. All of the above-mentioned medical professional organizations, in addition to the American and European Counseling Associations, stand strongly opposed to any form of reparative therapy.

    In my home country, Norway, reparative therapy is officially considered to be ethical malpractice. But there are many countries that do not regulate the practice, and many others that remain largely silent and even passively supportive of it (such as the Philippines). Groups that operate such "therapy" in the Philippines are the Evangelical Bagong Pag-asa, and the Catholic Courage Philippines.

    The scientific evidence of the innateness of homosexuality, bisexuality, and transgenderism is overwhelming, and more peer-reviewed studies which bolster this fact are being added all the time. Science has long regarded sexual orientation – and that's all sexual orientations, including heterosexuality – as a phenotype. Simply put, a phenotype is an observable set of properties that varies among individuals and is deeply rooted in biology. For the scientific community, the role of genetics in sexuality is about as "disputable" as the role of evolution in biology.

    On the second point, that there is no conclusion that there is a "gay gene," they are right. No so-called gay gene has been found, and it's highly unlikely that one ever will. This is where conservative Christians and Muslims quickly say "See, I told you so! There's no gay gene, so being gay is a choice!"

    Take this interesting paragraph I found on an Evangelical website: "The attempt to prove that homosexuality is determined biologically has been dealt a knockout punch. An American Psychological Association publication includes an admission that there's no homosexual "gene" – meaning it's not likely that homosexuals are 'born that way.'"

    But that's not at all what it means, and it seems Evangelicals are plucking out stand-alone phrases from scientific reports and removing them from their context. This is known in academia as the fallacy of suppressed evidence. Interestingly, this is also what they have a habit of doing with verses from the Bible.

    This idea of sexuality being a choice is such a bizarre notion to me as a man of science. Many of these reparative "therapists" are basing this concept on a random Bible verse or two. When you hold those up against the mountain of scientific research that has been conducted, peer-reviewed, and then peer-reviewed again, it absolutely holds no water. A person's sexuality – whether heterosexual, homosexual, or bisexual – is a very deep biological piece of who that person is as an individual.

    The fact that a so-called "gay gene" has not been discovered does not mean that homosexuality is not genetic in its causation. This is understandably something that can seem a bit strange to those who have not been educated in fields of science and advanced biology, and it is also why people who are not scientists ought not try to explain the processes in simple black-and-white terms. There is no gay gene, but there is also no "height gene" or "skin tone gene" or "left-handed gene." These, like sexuality, have a heritable aspect, but no one dominant gene is responsible for them.

    Many genes, working in sync, contribute to the phenotype and therefore do have a role in sexual orientation. In many animal model systems, for example, the precise genes involved in sexual partner selection have been identified, and their neuro-biochemical pathways have been worked out in great detail. A great number of these mechanisms have been preserved evolutionarily in humans, just as they are for every other behavioral trait we know (including heterosexuality).

    Furthermore, there are many biologic traits which are not specifically genetic but are biologic nonetheless. These traits are rooted in hormonal influences, contributed especially during the early stages of fetal development. This too is indisputable and based on extensive peer-reviewed research the world over. Such prenatal hormonal influences are not genetic per se, but are inborn, natural, and biologic nevertheless.

    Having said that, in the realm of legal rights, partnership rights, and anti-discrimination protections, the gay gene vs. choice debate is actually quite irrelevant. Whether or not something is a choice is not a suitable criterion for whether someone should have equal rights and protections. Religion is indisputably a choice, but that fact is a not a valid argument for discriminating against a particular religion.

    August 19, 2012 at 8:14 am |
  10. Don

    The most beautiful word in the Gospel of Jesus Christ is "whosoever." All of God's promises are intended for every human being. This includes gay men and lesbians. How tragic it is that the Christian Church has excluded and persecuted people who are homosexual! We are all created with powerful needs for personal relationships. Our quality of life depends upon the love we share with others; whether family or friends, partners or peers. Yet, lesbians and gay men facing hostile attitudes in society often are denied access to healthy relationships. Jesus Christ calls us to find ultimate meaning in life through a personal relationship with our Creator. This important spiritual union can bring healing and strength to all of our human relationships

    Biblical Interpretation and Theology also change from time to time. Approximately 150 years ago in the United States, some Christian teaching held that there was a two-fold moral order: black and white. Whites were thought to be superior to blacks, therefore blacks were to be subservient and slavery was an institution ordained by God. Clergy who supported such an abhorrent idea claimed the authority of the Bible. The conflict over slavery led to divisions which gave birth to some major Christian denominations. These same denominations, of course, do not support slavery today. Did the Bible change? No, their interpretation of the Bible did!

    Genesis 19:1-25

    Some "televangelists" carelessly proclaim that God destroyed the ancient cities of Sodom and Gomorrah because of "homosexuality." Although some theologians have equated the sin of Sodom with homosexuality, a careful look at Scripture corrects such ignorance. Announcing judgment on these cities in Genesis 18, God sends two angels to Sodom, where Abraham's nephew, Lot, persuades them to stay in his home. Genesis 19 records that "all the people from every quarter" surround Lot's house demanding the release of his visitors so "we might know them." The Hebrew word for "know" in this case, yadha, usually means "have thorough knowledge of." It could also express intent to examine the visitors' credentials, or on rare occasions the term implies sexual intercourse. If the latter was the author's intended meaning, it would have been a clear case of attempted gang rape. Several observations are important.

    First, the judgment on these cities for their wickedness had been announced prior to the alleged homosexual incident. Second, all of Sodom's people participated in the assault on Lot's house; in no culture has more than a small minority of the population been homosexual. Third, Lot's offer to release his daughters suggests he knew his neighbors to have heterosexual interests. Fourth, if the issue was sexual, why did God spare Lot, who immediately commits incest with his daughters? Most importantly, why do all the other passages of Scripture referring to this account fail to raise the issue of homosexuality?

    Romans 1:24-27

    Most New Testament books, including the four Gospels, are silent on same-sex acts, and Paul is the only author who makes any reference to the subject. The most negative statement by Paul regarding same-sex acts occurs in Romans 1:24-27 where, in the context of a larger argument on the need of all people for the gospel of Jesus Christ, certain homosexual behavior is given as an example of the "uncleanness" of idolatrous Gentiles.

    This raises the question: Does this passage refer to all homosexual acts, or to certain homosexual behavior known to Paul's readers? The book of Romans was written to Jewish and Gentile Christians in Rome, who would have been familiar with the infamous sexual excesses of their contemporaries, especially Roman emperors. They would also have been aware of tensions in the early Church regarding Gentiles and observance of the Jewish laws, as noted in Acts 15 and Paul's letter to the Galatians. Jewish laws in Leviticus mentioned male same-sex acts in the context of idolatry.

    The homosexual practices cited in Romans 1:24-27 were believed to result from idolatry and are associated with some very serious offenses as noted in Romans 1. Taken in this larger context, it should be obvious that such acts are significantly different from loving, responsible lesbian and gay relationships seen today.

    What is "Natural"?

    Significant to Paul's discussion is the fact that these "unclean" Gentiles exchanged that which was "natural" for them, physin, in the Greek text, for something "unnatural," para physin. In Romans 11:24, God acts in an "unnatural" way, para physin, to accept the Gentiles. "Unnatural" in these passages does not refer to violation of so-called laws of nature, but rather implies action contradicting one's own nature. In view of this, we should observe that it is "unnatural," para physin, for a person today with a lesbian or gay sexual orientation to attempt living a heterosexual lifestyle.

    I Corinthians 6:9

    Any consideration of New Testament statements on same-sex acts must carefully view the social context of the Greco-Roman culture in which Paul ministered. Prostitution and pederasty (sexual relationships of adult men with boys) were the most commonly known male same-sex acts. In I Corinthians 6:9, Paul condemns those who are "effeminate" and "abusers of themselves with mankind," as translated in the King James version. Unfortunately, some new translations are worse, rendering these words "homosexuals." Recent scholarship unmasks the homophobia behind such mistranslations.

    The first word – malakos, in the Greek text-which has been translated "effeminate" or "soft," most likely refers to someone who lacks discipline or moral control. The word is used elsewhere in the New Testament but never with reference to sexuality.

    The second word, Arsenokoitai, occurs once each in I Corinthians and I Timothy (1:10), but nowhere else in other literature of the period. It is derived from two Greek words, one meaning, "males" and the other "beds", a euphemism for sexual intercourse. Other Greek words were commonly used to describe homosexual behavior but do not appear here. The larger context of I Corinthians 6 shows Paul extremely concerned with prostitution, so it is very possible he was referring to male prostitutes. But many experts now attempting to translate these words have reached a simple conclusion: their precise meaning is uncertain. Scripture Study Conclusion…No Law Against Love

    The rarity with which Paul discusses any form of same-sex behavior and the ambiguity in references attributed to him make it extremely unsound to conclude any sure position in the New Testament on homosexuality, especially in the context of loving, responsible relationships. Since any arguments must be made from silence, it is much more reliable to turn to great principles of the Gospel taught by Jesus Christ and the Apostles. Love God with all your heart, and love your neighbor as yourself. Do not judge others, lest you be judged. The fruit of the Holy Spirit is love . . . against such there is no law. One thing is abundantly clear, as Paul stated in Galatians 5:14: "...the whole Law is fulfilled in one statement, 'You shall love your neighbor as yourself".

    August 19, 2012 at 8:12 am |
  11. Bob

    Ok line up three men and look at them intently. One is gay one is straight and one is a ped now look at them carefully can you see what makes them different. NO I didn’t think so but this is the hoax that the agenda wants you to believe. That there is a difference. Well now line up three men and they are all straight. See a difference even though one likes beer one likes alcohol and one doesn’t like to drink at all. No I didn’t think so ok now line up a person with a birth defect and one that doesn’t have one do you see a difference yes I can see the difference. The agenda wants you to believe that we are supposed to be able to pick out and say that a s=ual desire is easily spotted, normal , and physical but it is not. What makes one person like coffee and another not physcs cannot tell you. So what is the solution call them all normal and variants on being normal. Now when we see how these people act and the decisions they make then we see if they are normal. The men’s S-ual desires are all different and reflect a preference not built into genes just like the preference for beer wine or nothing. The agenda and atheists also want to say it is a normal variation which it is not. Just as the person with the birth defect doesn’t look the same the decisions we make because of our desires look that much different. Even in the Bible birth defects happened such as the sacrifices that the Jews started to bring had defects and God said that it was not right so it is with people of the wrong preference. It is a decision based on a s=ual desire not a physical difference in that person’s body. They do happen it’s not good sometimes but it does happen now we say that it is normal in the course of the birth process that we will wind up with some babies that are not normal and have birth defects but this is a normal percentage not a normal outcome. This is what the gays and atheists would like you to believe that just because there is a frequency of birth defects that it makes them normal. But in this case we can see they are not normal but in the case of the three men other than the outward differences in hair or eye color we cannot see any difference. Wait till one speaks or moves or makes decisions based on what they like and now you see the result of differences in the desire of each although each has all the same equipment. Phycs pulled this slight of hand because they didn’t feel that they could establish what is normal. They lost the moral compass to establish what is normal and should be accepted. the basis for this was looking at how different people act and knowing that some will act differently they said this is a normal person based on the percentages, Not based on the differences that makes a persons decisions. So they said we know that there are people out there with this problem they make up a percentage of the population therefore if they can function with a defect we will treat them when they feel they have a problem. Now the fact that the percentages of problems are much higher with the gays is no secret. There is no stat that is in favor of gays. The atheists and the agenda hold up the successful ones but that percentage is so small that its probably less that a 1/10th of 1 percent. You compare these stats to the amount of people who are straight and have a good life and you will see something like 60 percent of say billions of people . So the shear number of straights the percentages will be different you have to take into account the number of people you are talking about and the percentage in order to come up with a true number. This is also a slight of hand by the gays and atheists.
    The goals of the gays atheists and socialist all work pretty well together. But it is not the society that anyone is used to even the kids that grownup today with much looser morals that when I was younger will not recognize the US that these people want to transform it into. This is not even talking about the heritage of the US that will be thrown out the window or the blessings of God on this great nation. So when you see that these people want to change the very fabric of society look at some examples we have of when that has happened. Rome. Sodom and Gomorrah and most free people when moral guide lines were lost led to the decay and destruction of society. Just because we see countries with some of these things accepted doesn’t mean that it is good. You have to look back see the changes and project forward to see what will become of this nation. It is not one generation it takes many. Just like the 60s the courts took morals out of the schools now we have TV programs with unwed 16 year old mothers. The decision hence the result just like the gays just like the path of this country. There is no society that once starting down this road didn’t lead to the destruction of that society.
    Know the truth and the truth will set you free.

    August 18, 2012 at 8:00 am |
    • HeavenSent

      Bob, what part of this scripture of Jesus' warning to us do you not comprehend?

      A few years on earth or, eternity? What to do, what to do, what to do?

      Enter ye in at the strait gate: for wide is the gate, and broad is the way, that leadeth to destruction, and many there be which go in thereat:

      Matthew 7:13

      Amen.

      August 18, 2012 at 8:09 am |
    • myweightinwords

      Hello Bob,

      Ok line up three men and look at them intently. One is gay one is straight and one is a ped now look at them carefully can you see what makes them different. NO I didn’t think so but this is the hoax that the agenda wants you to believe.

      There is no hoax. They are all men. All of them equal. All of them human. They all have needs and desires, rights and duties. They all are expected to live according to the law of the land that they live in. They all have the freedom to speak, to believe or not believe, to seek happiness, to love and be loved. Every one of them.

      That there is a difference. Well now line up three men and they are all straight. See a difference even though one likes beer one likes alcohol and one doesn’t like to drink at all.

      How does this even relate to sexuality? The one who doesn't drink might actually be an alcoholic, dry and in recovery, but still an alcoholic. The one who likes hard liquor may only have one or two a month. The beer drinker might get wasted every single night. What's your point?

      No I didn’t think so ok now line up a person with a birth defect and one that doesn’t have one do you see a difference yes I can see the difference.

      Not necessarily. It depends on the defect.

      The agenda wants you to believe that we are supposed to be able to pick out and say that a s=ual desire is easily spotted, normal , and physical but it is not.

      Which agenda, Bob? If there is an agenda (there isn't), the focus is more on making people understand that it DOESN'T MATTER whether or not you can "spot" sexual orientation, or even that there is a difference in orientation...what matters is that we are all human and we all have the same basic rights.

      August 18, 2012 at 2:02 pm |
    • myweightinwords

      What makes one person like coffee and another not physcs cannot tell you. So what is the solution call them all normal and variants on being normal. Now when we see how these people act and the decisions they make then we see if they are normal.

      In actuality there is probably a fair amount of physical and mental components to the reasons for why one person likes coffee and another prefers tea. It has to do with culture, upbringing, exposure, need, and the way your body interprets the flavor, the way your body reacts to the beverage. The reasons behind it don't matter though in the long wrong, because it is all just a part of modern society.

      The men’s S-ual desires are all different and reflect a preference not built into genes just like the preference for beer wine or nothing.

      Actually, science is continually showing us that while no one gene is defined as being responsible for a man or woman being attracted to their own gender, the complex reasoning behind it, much like many other parts of being a human being, is in fact based in genetics, in the physical. Of course there are other complexities at play there, but in the end, like a person's taste in beverage, it is no more unnatural than a person's taste in beverage.

      The agenda and atheists also want to say it is a normal variation which it is not.

      Considering that the rough percentage of LGBT folk remains constant over the course of the decades that we've studied it, statistically speaking it is exactly that, a variation from normal. A standard deviation if you will. Standard. Normal.

      Just as the person with the birth defect doesn’t look the same the decisions we make because of our desires look that much different. Even in the Bible birth defects happened such as the sacrifices that the Jews started to bring had defects and God said that it was not right so it is with people of the wrong preference.

      Birth defects are caused by genetic anomalies, diseases and toxins ingested/consumed by the mother during pregnancy. You can not relate birth defects to homosexuality.

      It is a decision based on a s=ual desire not a physical difference in that person’s body.

      When was the last time you made a decision to be attracted to someone? In my experience it's something that happens regardless of your desire for it to happen.

      They do happen it’s not good sometimes but it does happen now we say that it is normal in the course of the birth process that we will wind up with some babies that are not normal and have birth defects but this is a normal percentage not a normal outcome.

      You're talking in circles here, Bob. Birth defects are a sad fact today due to any number of causes. They are not normal, the deviation is not standard, it rises and falls based on environmental causes and the behavior of the parents. It is unfortunate and far too common, but it isn't normal.

      This is what the gays and atheists would like you to believe that just because there is a frequency of birth defects that it makes them normal.

      Statistics says that it is. Math. Has nothing to do with what atheists and gays say.

      August 18, 2012 at 2:19 pm |
    • myweightinwords

      But in this case we can see they are not normal but in the case of the three men other than the outward differences in hair or eye color we cannot see any difference. Wait till one speaks or moves or makes decisions based on what they like and now you see the result of differences in the desire of each although each has all the same equipment. Phycs pulled this slight of hand because they didn’t feel that they could establish what is normal.

      I'm beginning to think that you do not understand the word "normal" Bob. Of course, the definition varies slightly depending on the usage of the word, but accepted understanding is that normal=common. If there are a hundred men standing in a room and all of them are white, it might be assumed that for that group, being white is normal. If in that group, 1 of them is gay and 1 of them is bi, it can be assumed that being straight is normal. HOWEVER, if in the next 99 rooms there are 100 men in each room, and in each room 1 of them is gay and 1 of them is bi, it becomes normal that 10% of the men are gay and 10% of the men are bi. Likewise, if there are a few rooms with 2 bi men and some with 2 gay men, or a number with none of either, but the overall number when taken as a whole is that of the 10,000 men, 1000 are gay and 1000 are bi, normal is still 10% of each in the population.

      They lost the moral compass to establish what is normal and should be accepted. the basis for this was looking at how different people act and knowing that some will act differently they said this is a normal person based on the percentages,

      Again, that is how normal is defined. Morality does not define normal.

      Not based on the differences that makes a persons decisions. So they said we know that there are people out there with this problem they make up a percentage of the population therefore if they can function with a defect we will treat them when they feel they have a problem. Now the fact that the percentages of problems are much higher with the gays is no secret.

      Actually, the "problems" in the LGBT population can largely be traced to the treatment of LGBT individuals by the people around them. Anyone who grows up in a family where they are told repeatedly that they are evil, sinful beings for something that they can not control is going to have issues.

      There is no stat that is in favor of gays.

      If you actually displayed any understanding of statistics, this statement might have meaning, but it's clear that you don't.

      The atheists and the agenda hold up the successful ones but that percentage is so small that its probably less that a 1/10th of 1 percent. You compare these stats to the amount of people who are straight and have a good life and you will see something like 60 percent of say billions of people . So the shear number of straights the percentages will be different you have to take into account the number of people you are talking about and the percentage in order to come up with a true number. This is also a slight of hand by the gays and atheists.

      Again, with the clear demonstration of how little you understand statistics. You can not compare the two groups for the simple reason that they are not equal. They do not have equal opportunities, equal rights. That alone means you can not compare them in the areas you are trying to.

      The goals of the gays atheists and socialist all work pretty well together. But it is not the society that anyone is used to even the kids that grownup today with much looser morals that when I was younger will not recognize the US that these people want to transform it into.

      Change isn't the enemy, Bob. Progress, the continual improvement of the world in which we live should be the goal. Equal rights for all, without regard to skin color, ethnic heritage, economic status, religion (or lack thereof), sexual orientation, marital status, whether or not you have children, what school you went to or what your politics are.

      This is not even talking about the heritage of the US that will be thrown out the window or the blessings of God on this great nation.

      Our heritage? The one of rebellion? The one of ensuring freedom? The one in which we said "Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses yearning to breathe free."? How are we going to lose that by living up to it? Our very reason for existence was rebellion against oppression. It is a sacred duty to continue to do so, even when that oppression comes from within our own borders. Possibly even more so.

      So when you see that these people want to change the very fabric of society look at some examples we have of when that has happened. Rome. Sodom and Gomorrah and most free people when moral guide lines were lost led to the decay and destruction of society.

      One could look at the example of Rome, at a country that thought itself the center of the universe, treating the world as if it belonged to Rome, constantly extending outward without realizing that the core of Rome could no longer support the weight of the extended empire. One could argue that the "collapse of morals" was in fact more to do with the wealth and frivolity (and with it the growing boredom and the need to sate a people grown used to being entertained by its government), than anything to do with religion. There is no one reason Rome fell. As with the issues of so many things in our world, it's complicated.

      Just because we see countries with some of these things accepted doesn’t mean that it is good. You have to look back see the changes and project forward to see what will become of this nation. It is not one generation it takes many. Just like the 60s the courts took morals out of the schools now we have TV programs with unwed 16 year old mothers.

      You know we had unwed 16 year old mothers in the fifties, before the sexual revolution of the 60s, right? Heck, my grandma had children out of wedlock in the forties. It isn't a new phenomenon. Today though, rather than hiding them away, we help them, support them, teach them.

      The decision hence the result just like the gays just like the path of this country. There is no society that once starting down this road didn’t lead to the destruction of that society.
      Know the truth and the truth will set you free.

      Equal rights is not going to be the stone that sinks us. Falling backward into a dark age of oppression and suppression will.

      August 18, 2012 at 2:50 pm |
  12. Douglas

    *****The Power of Celibacy in the News **********

    The Chinese Ministry of Health has lifted a 14-year-old ban on lesbians donating blood in effect as of July 1.
    The ban still applies to men who are s@xually active with other men, but celibate ho-mo-s@xuals are permitted to give blood, according to the Ministry of Health's website.

    August 17, 2012 at 10:42 pm |
    • YeahRight

      "The ban still applies to men who are s@xually active with other men, but celibate ho-mo-s@xuals are permitted to give blood, according to the Ministry of Health's website."

      Yo moron, straights aren't allowed to give blood if they have a tattoo or use needles, etc... only prejudice bigots like you think posting this crap is relevant to equal civil rights. Duh!

      August 19, 2012 at 9:10 am |
  13. Douglas

    Gay s@x is mentioned in the Bible, but never favorably. By contrast, marriage between a man and a woman is mentioned frequently as being blessed of God. Indeed, God often uses marriage as an analogy of the kind of relationship He wishes to have with His people. Furthermore, the Bible makes clear that all s@x outside this relationship is abhorrent in God's sight – whether that's heteros@xual or ho-mo-s@xual. I figure the same God who made us knows that there's something about the s@xual "one-flesh" experience that takes something away from us unless we engage in it within the boundaries God has provided. We ignore His rules to our own injury.

    Celibacy then provides a way back home.

    Join me won't you, as we welcome our celibate GLBTQ brothers and sisters to the altar call for redemption,
    casting out fornication, guilt and sin and ushering in a new tomorrow filled with hope and joy!

    Best, Douglas

    August 17, 2012 at 10:37 pm |
    • Melvin

      "Gay s@x is mentioned in the Bible, but never favorably. By contrast, marriage between a man and a woman is mentioned frequently as being blessed of God. Indeed"

      The Scriptures at no point deal with homosexuality as an authentic sexual orientation, a given condition of being. The remarkably few Scriptural references to "homosexuality" deal rather with homosexual acts, not with homosexual orientation. Those acts are labeled as wrong out of the context of the times in which the writers wrote and perceived those acts to be either nonmasculine, idolatrous, exploitative, or pagan. The kind of relationships between two consenting adults of the same sex demonstrably abounding among us - relationships that are responsible and mutual, affirming and fulfilling - are not dealt with in the Scriptures.

      August 19, 2012 at 8:19 am |
  14. Yeahright

    "These efforts vary greatly in intensity and popularity, and have manifested in a variety of forms, such as legislation for close-in-age exemptions to age of consent laws, advocacy to change the way age of consent laws are examined in court, to lower the age limits, and reduce related penalties."

    Bob seriously doesn't understand the difference between being gay and a pedophile this just continues to prove that his unfounded prejudice toward the gay community isn't based on any real facts.To have sex with someone under the age of consent is a strict liability crime (in most states) known as statutory rape. It is often referred to by other names such as sexual assault, sexual misconduct with a child, etc.

    The distinction between a victim's gender and a perpetrator's sexual orientation is important because many child molesters don't really have an adult sexual orientation. They have never developed the capacity for mature sexual relationships with other adults, either men or women. Instead, their sexual attractions focus on children – boys, girls, or children of both sexes.

    The research to date all points to there being no significant relationship between a homosexual lifestyle and child molestation. There appears to be practically no reportage of sexual molestation of girls by lesbian adults, and the adult male who sexually molests young boys is not likely to be homosexual. The debates about gay people as molesters "have little to do with everyday child abuse" and lamented that they distract lawmakers and the public from dealing with the real problem of children's sexual mistreatment.

    August 17, 2012 at 10:44 am |
  15. Bob

    In the US many states have adopted close-in-age exemptions. These laws, known as "Romeo and Juliet laws" provide that a person can legally have consensual intercourse with a minor provided that he or she is not more than a given number of years older generally four years but sometimes some other number of years Romeo and Juliet laws were passed Several ped membership org endorsed lowering or abolishing age of consent laws to legalize fleshly activities involving an adult and a child. As one of their arguments to lower or abolish the age of consent, members of ped advocacy groups promoted their belief that children are phych capable of consenting to intimate situations with adults and they often portrayed themselves as fighting for the right of children to engage in what the activists consider to be consensual intercourse with adults. Another issue has been h0m0 vs. hetero relationships. These efforts vary greatly in intensity and popularity, and have manifested in a variety of forms, such as legislation for close-in-age exemptions to age of consent laws, advocacy to change the way age of consent laws are examined in court, to lower the age limits, and reduce related penalties.
    This I posted is from WIki so there can be no dispute as to authenticity and truth I can always post up to date info about groups and such. So How are you going to call this lies now???? You can look for yourself!! There is much in the way of information on this and I am surprised that either you don't know this and are blind to what is happening or you choose to lie about it. Either way its doesn't speak well of you.

    August 16, 2012 at 7:31 pm |
    • myweightinwords

      Hi Bob. Hope all is well with you today.

      In the US many states have adopted close-in-age exemptions. These laws, known as "Romeo and Juliet laws" provide that a person can legally have consensual intercourse with a minor provided that he or she is not more than a given number of years older generally four years but sometimes some other number of years Romeo and Juliet laws were passed Several ped membership org endorsed lowering or abolishing age of consent laws to legalize fleshly activities involving an adult and a child. As one of their arguments to lower or abolish the age of consent, members of ped advocacy groups promoted their belief that children are phych capable of consenting to intimate situations with adults and they often portrayed themselves as fighting for the right of children to engage in what the activists consider to be consensual intercourse with adults.

      Actually, they were enacted to prevent prosecution of a 18 year old who had consensual sex with his 16 year old girlfriend. There were quite a few cases where a teenage girlfriend turned up pregnant and the father of the girl insisted that the "man" responsible be charged when in fact, both teens were of the age of consent and consent was given.

      Another issue has been h0m0 vs. hetero relationships. These efforts vary greatly in intensity and popularity, and have manifested in a variety of forms, such as legislation for close-in-age exemptions to age of consent laws, advocacy to change the way age of consent laws are examined in court, to lower the age limits, and reduce related penalties.

      Generally speaking, at least in cases that I am aware of, when the close in age teens are gay, there is more of a chance of stigma and prosecution for molestation than there is when the teens are hetero. I do not understand what your point is. The law should be applied equally, without regard to the genders involved.

      This I posted is from WIki so there can be no dispute as to authenticity and truth I can always post up to date info about groups and such. So How are you going to call this lies now????

      Bob, are you aware that a wiki article is NOT definitive proof of anything? In fact the whole point of a wiki is that anyone can add, change and remove information on a given subject without any proof whatsoever to back what they are writing. A wiki should NEVER be used as more than a starting point to give you information on where to begin looking for solid information.

      You can look for yourself!! There is much in the way of information on this and I am surprised that either you don't know this and are blind to what is happening or you choose to lie about it. Either way its doesn't speak well of you.

      1) Which wiki are you using? You do know that there are many that exist, don't you?
      2) Providing links to your sources is a good way for people to read the information for themselves
      3) You should realize that two people can read the same article, particularly one that does not provide facts and data with sources, and interpret it very differently. That's because we all read with our own prejudice. What you claim as proof may seem as little more than propaganda to another.

      August 17, 2012 at 11:12 am |
  16. Viper

    YeahRight-

    First: You should know yourself that science and technology to this point have been unable to explain the creation of the universe.

    Therefore, how can you disprove their is a God. You can't. If man hasn't proven how the universe has formed, you cannot prove there is no God. Your argument has been completely baseless up to this point.

    August 16, 2012 at 6:28 pm |
    • Yeahright

      "Therefore, how can you disprove their is a God. You can't. If man hasn't proven how the universe has formed, you cannot prove there is no God. Your argument has been completely baseless up to this point."

      Yo moron, we are talking about civil rights and it has nothing to do with your God. LMAO!

      August 17, 2012 at 10:49 am |
    • Viper

      LOL! good one! See I can do it too. I doubt you were really laughing though. LOL! Now that is funny! doh

      August 17, 2012 at 1:23 pm |
    • Viper

      Yet you totally deflected the question. Don't be a coward, answer the question. You should know the answer right? Do you not have a reply for what you believe is right? Come on Yeahright, don't be a coward. Unless you are one...

      August 17, 2012 at 1:27 pm |
    • YeahRight

      Yes I am laughing. If your so confident your god actually exists then prove it, but we all know you won't be able too. LOL!

      Marriage was defined by the US Supreme Court as a civil right. Recognized federal civil rights law in the United States is grounded in the U.S. Constitution as interpreted by the Supreme Court. By this standard, marriage has long been established as a civil right.

      The operative constitutional text is section 1 of the Fourteenth Amendment, which was ratified in 1868. The relevant passages read as follows:

      No State shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States; nor shall any State deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws

      A federal appeals court on May 31st ruled that the Defense of Marriage Act is unconstitutional because it denies equal rights for legally married same-sex couples, making it likely that the Supreme Court will consider the politically divisive issue for the first time in its next term. This most likely will be decided in the courts and since most courts keep ruling in gays favor they should be able to over turn all the unconstitutional laws prejudice bigots have been trying to pass.

      August 17, 2012 at 2:26 pm |
    • Bob

      Yeah will always laugh and deflect the question he is the village idiot and can only repost what has already been written.

      August 19, 2012 at 4:33 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Viper, one can't prove a negative. Your belief in a god is a belief, not a fact. If you make a claim that something exists, the onus is on you to prove it.

      Furthermore, your beliefs have nothing to do with the right of gays to marry. Marriage isn't up to you or the church. It's up to the state.

      August 19, 2012 at 4:41 pm |
  17. YeahRight

    "Which means that there will be no legal basis for restrictions against a h0m0 couple obtaining children in any way they choose, for such restrictions would be discrimination."

    Your prejudice and bigotry is hysterical because the experts have already stated that social science has shown that the concerns often raised about children of lesbian and gay parents—concerns that are generally grounded in prejudice against and stereotypes about gay people—are unfounded. Overall, the research indicates that the children of lesbian and gay parents do not differ from the children of heterosexual parents in their development, adjustment, or overall well-being. – Duh!

    August 16, 2012 at 10:54 am |
  18. tallulah13

    I suspect that "bob" and "douglas" are the same person. Either that, or they are deeply in love.

    August 16, 2012 at 10:49 am |
    • Douglas

      tallulah13

      There is healing power and deliverance through GLBTQ celibacy.

      The Holy Bible makes no provisions for GLBTQ marriage.Efforts to make the BIble "fit" the whims and desires of
      GLBTQ folk continue to fall short. Consider starting a group at your place of worship to support GLBTQ youth in
      making pledges of celibacy. This will protect their health and deliver them from the sins of their elders.

      If you really want to make a difference, be a role model for GLBTQ youth and let them see how celibacy can make a
      positive change in your life.

      Thanks for your support.

      Best, Douglas

      August 17, 2012 at 8:22 am |
    • Jen

      Tallulah, I don't think they are the same person (since Douglas can spell and Bob can't), but I'm sure they are both as gay as can be. Perhaps they should meet and try to be celib@te together (though really they will both be fantasizing about the s-x acts they are both clearly obsessed with).....

      August 17, 2012 at 8:37 am |
    • Melvin

      "There is healing power and deliverance through GLBTQ celibacy.

      The Holy Bible makes no provisions for GLBTQ marriage.Efforts to make the BIble "fit" the whims and desires of
      GLBTQ folk continue to fall short. Consider starting a group at your place of worship to support GLBTQ youth in
      making pledges of celibacy. This will protect their health and deliver them from the sins of their elders."

      The Scriptures at no point deal with homosexuality as an authentic sexual orientation, a given condition of being. The remarkably few Scriptural references to "homosexuality" deal rather with homosexual acts, not with homosexual orientation. Those acts are labeled as wrong out of the context of the times in which the writers wrote and perceived those acts to be either nonmasculine, idolatrous, exploitative, or pagan. The kind of relationships between two consenting adults of the same sex demonstrably abounding among us - relationships that are responsible and mutual, affirming and fulfilling - are not dealt with in the Scriptures.

      August 17, 2012 at 10:50 am |
  19. Erik

    Being gay is not a choice science, in fact, is actually not in dispute on this matter.

    All major medical professional organizations concur that sexual orientation is not a choice and cannot be changed, from gay to straight or otherwise. The American, Canadian, Australian, New Zealand, and European Psychological, Psychiatric, and Medical Associations all agree with this, as does the World Health Organization and the medical organizations of Japan, China, and most recently, Thailand. Furthermore, attempts to change one's sexual orientation can be psychologically damaging, and cause great inner turmoil and depression, especially for Christian gays and lesbians.

    Reparative therapy, also called conversion therapy or reorientation therapy, "counsels" LGBT persons to pray fervently and study Bible verses, often utilizing 12-step techniques that are used to treat sexual addictions or trauma. Such Christian councilors are pathologizing homosexuality, which is not a pathology but is a sexual orientation. Psychologically, that's very dangerous territory to tread on. All of the above-mentioned medical professional organizations, in addition to the American and European Counseling Associations, stand strongly opposed to any form of reparative therapy.

    In my home country, Norway, reparative therapy is officially considered to be ethical malpractice. But there are many countries that do not regulate the practice, and many others that remain largely silent and even passively supportive of it (such as the Philippines). Groups that operate such "therapy" in the Philippines are the Evangelical Bagong Pag-asa, and the Catholic Courage Philippines.

    The scientific evidence of the innateness of homosexuality, bisexuality, and transgenderism is overwhelming, and more peer-reviewed studies which bolster this fact are being added all the time. Science has long regarded sexual orientation – and that's all sexual orientations, including heterosexuality – as a phenotype. Simply put, a phenotype is an observable set of properties that varies among individuals and is deeply rooted in biology. For the scientific community; the role of genetics in sexuality is about as "disputable" as the role of evolution in biology.

    On the second point, that there is no conclusion that there is a "gay gene," they are right. No so-called gay gene has been found, and it's highly unlikely that one ever will. This is where conservative Christians and Muslims quickly say "See, I told you so! There's no gay gene, so being gay is a choice!"

    Take this interesting paragraph I found on an Evangelical website: "The attempt to prove that homosexuality is determined biologically has been dealt a knockout punch. An American Psychological Association publication includes an admission that there's no homosexual "gene" – meaning it's not likely that homosexuals are 'born that way.'"

    But that's not at all what it means, and it seems Evangelicals are plucking out stand-alone phrases from scientific reports and removing them from their context. This is known in academia as the fallacy of suppressed evidence. Interestingly, this is also what they have a habit of doing with verses from the Bible.

    This idea of sexuality being a choice is such a bizarre notion to me as a man of science. Many of these reparative "therapists" are basing this concept on a random Bible verse or two. When you hold those up against the mountain of scientific research that has been conducted, peer-reviewed, and then peer-reviewed again, it absolutely holds no water. A person's sexuality – whether heterosexual, homosexual, or bisexual – is a very deep biological piece of who that person is as an individual.

    The fact that a so-called "gay gene" has not been discovered does not mean that homosexuality is not genetic in its causation. This is understandably something that can seem a bit strange to those who have not been educated in fields of science and advanced biology, and it is also why people who are not scientists ought not try to explain the processes in simple black-and-white terms. There is no gay gene, but there is also no "height gene" or "skin tone gene" or "left-handed gene." These, like sexuality, have a heritable aspect, but no one dominant gene is responsible for them.

    Many genes, working in sync, contribute to the phenotype and therefore do have a role in sexual orientation. In many animal model systems, for example, the precise genes involved in sexual partner selection have been identified, and their neuro-biochemical pathways have been worked out in great detail. A great number of these mechanisms have been preserved evolutionarily in humans, just as they are for every other behavioral trait we know (including heterosexuality).

    Furthermore, there are many biologic traits which are not specifically genetic but are biologic nonetheless. These traits are rooted in hormonal influences, contributed especially during the early stages of fetal development. This too is indisputable and based on extensive peer-reviewed research the world over. Such prenatal hormonal influences are not genetic per se, but are inborn, natural, and biologic nevertheless.

    Having said that, in the realm of legal rights, partnership rights, and anti-discrimination protections, the gay gene vs. choice debate is actually quite irrelevant. Whether or not something is a choice is not a suitable criterion for whether someone should have equal rights and protections. Religion is indisputably a choice, but that fact is a not a valid argument for discriminating against a particular religion.

    August 16, 2012 at 10:48 am |
  20. YeahRight

    "You can't stand on moral high ground when you take the Holy Bible and say that all passages prohibiting same-s@x coitus don't apply to you because this is 2012 and the shrinks tell me it is OK to tongue out the termination of the alimentary canal of my "partner".

    The whole thing is pathetic, but it is revealing to see these truths played out here in this forum so graphically by the GLBTQ apologists who have no shame."

    This is the ugliness of prejudice and hate toward a minority group, what a hypocrite. What's so stupid about this argument is straight couples have the same kind of sex.

    August 16, 2012 at 10:47 am |
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The CNN Belief Blog covers the faith angles of the day's biggest stories, from breaking news to politics to entertainment, fostering a global conversation about the role of religion and belief in readers' lives. It's edited by CNN's Daniel Burke with contributions from Eric Marrapodi and CNN's worldwide news gathering team.