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My Take: The Christian case for gay marriage
The author backs same-sex marriage because of his faith, not in spite of it.
May 19th, 2012
02:00 AM ET

My Take: The Christian case for gay marriage

Editor's Note: Mark Osler is a Professor of Law at the University of St. Thomas in Minneapolis, Minnesota.

By Mark Osler, Special to CNN

I am a Christian, and I am in favor of gay marriage. The reason I am for gay marriage is because of my faith.

What I see in the Bible’s accounts of Jesus and his followers is an insistence that we don’t have the moral authority to deny others the blessing of holy institutions like baptism, communion, and marriage. God, through the Holy Spirit, infuses those moments with life, and it is not ours to either give or deny to others.

A clear instruction on this comes from Simon Peter, the “rock” on whom the church is built. Peter is a captivating figure in the Christian story. Jesus plucks him out of a fishing boat to become a disciple, and time and again he represents us all in learning at the feet of Christ.

During their time together, Peter is often naïve and clueless – he is a follower, constantly learning.

After Jesus is crucified, though, a different Peter emerges, one who is forceful and bold. This is the Peter we see in the Acts of the Apostles, during a fevered debate over whether or not Gentiles should be baptized. Peter was harshly criticized for even eating a meal with those who were uncircumcised; that is, those who did not follow the commands of the Old Testament.

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Peter, though, is strong in confronting those who would deny the sacrament of baptism to the Gentiles, and argues for an acceptance of believers who do not follow the circumcision rules of Leviticus (which is also where we find a condemnation of homosexuality).

His challenge is stark and stunning: Before ordering that the Gentiles be baptized Peter asks “Can anyone withhold the water for baptizing these people who have received the Holy Spirit just as we have?”

None of us, Peter says, has the moral authority to deny baptism to those who seek it, even if they do not follow the ancient laws. It is the flooding love of the Holy Spirit, which fell over that entire crowd, sinners and saints alike, that directs otherwise.

My Take: Bible doesn’t condemn homosexuality

It is not our place, it seems, to sort out who should be denied a bond with God and the Holy Spirit of the kind that we find through baptism, communion, and marriage. The water will flow where it will.

Intriguingly, this rule will apply whether we see homosexuality as a sin or not. The water is for all of us. We see the same thing at the Last Supper, as Jesus gives the bread and wine to all who are there—even to Peter, who Jesus said would deny him, and to Judas, who would betray him.

The question before us now is not whether homosexuality is a sin, but whether being gay should be a bar to baptism or communion or marriage.

Your Take: Rethinking the Bible on homosexuality

The answer is in the Bible. Peter and Jesus offer a strikingly inclusive form of love and engagement. They hold out the symbols of Gods’ love to all. How arrogant that we think it is ours to parse out stingily!

I worship at St. Stephens, an Episcopal church in Edina, Minnesota. There is a river that flows around the back and side of that church with a delightful name: Minnehaha Creek. That is where we do baptisms.

The Rector stands in the creek in his robes, the cool water coursing by his feet, and takes an infant into his arms and baptizes her with that same cool water. The congregation sits on the grassy bank and watches, a gentle army.

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At the bottom of the creek, in exactly that spot, is a floor of smooth pebbles. The water rushing by has rubbed off the rough edges, bit by bit, day by day. The pebbles have been transformed by that water into something new.

I suppose that, as Peter put it, someone could try to withhold the waters of baptism there. They could try to stop the river, to keep the water from some of the stones, like a child in the gutter building a barrier against the stream.

It won’t last, though. I would say this to those who would withhold the water of baptism, the joy of worship, or the bonds of marriage: You are less strong than the water, which will flow around you, find its path, and gently erode each wall you try to erect.

The redeeming power of that creek, and of the Holy Spirit, is relentless, making us all into something better and new.

The opinions expressed in this commentary are solely those of Mark Osler.

- CNN Belief Blog

Filed under: Christianity • Episcopal • Gay marriage • My Take • Opinion

soundoff (15,115 Responses)
  1. YeahRight

    "This is the most severe form of abhorrence and it is used to describe gay relations, the abomination of desolation and diviners and mediums. "

    Actually, If you read where Bob got his post from it doesn't state this at all! Bob is a liar and he is the abomination now before his god for breaking one of the basic ten commandments and he will burn in hell for all eternity for the lies he is spreading on this thread!

    http://topicalbible.org/a/abomination.htm

    LMAO! But of course Bob is also leaving out that hundreds of thousands of experts have proven his prejudice and bigotry is unfounded and not based on REAL Facts as this lie he wrote proves. 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. 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."

    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.

    More lies from the poster Bob continually proving his prejudice and bigotry aren't founded in real facts.

    June 20, 2012 at 1:57 pm |
    • Yo Wrong

      Hom.ose.xuality is a disease. It's a mix of hormonal imbalance and mental incapacity or disorder.

      June 20, 2012 at 3:09 pm |
    • JWT

      Yo – Wheres the recent paper you have read/written to prove that rubbish.

      June 20, 2012 at 3:17 pm |
  2. Bob

    Paul lets look into this real man of God born in Tarsus, Paul was raised in Jerusalem at the feet of Gamaliel a leading authority in the Sanhedrin in the mid 1st century AD Gamaliel once gave some advice to the Sanhedrin in Acts to refrain from slaying the disciples of Jesus. Paul or Saul same person was a Roman citizen a Pharisee of pharisees and he prosecuted Christians until he had a encounter with Jesus. He was educated in the finest religious traditions and the Sanhedrin was the assembly of twenty-three judges appointed in every city in the Biblical Land of Israel. He also had a miraculous encounter with Jesus that changed his life. This is the man that John is calling prejudice and unscientific. Fourteen epistles in the New Testament are traditionally attributed to Paul. His authorship of seven of the fourteen is questioned by modern scholars. Augustine of Hippo developed Paul's idea that salvation is based on faith and not "works of the law".Martin Luther's interpretation of Paul's writings heavily influenced Luther's doctrine of sola fide.So John who is into credentials is not respecting the credentials of Saint John.With Paul's upbringing and teachings he would not even think it was ok to be gay and might be the one to kill you if you were. he did kill many Christians.Saying that paul would not approve of gay behavior is a drastic understatement. He also was spiritually apprised and had received the Baptism of the Holy Spirit and was anointed a Apostle by Jesus. Paul understood from God and Jesus the meaning of relations it went far beyond the physical side and when you have relations with someone you are joining yourself with that person. This scripture explains it.
    Do you not know that the one who joins himself to a woman for hire is one body with her? For He says, "THE TWO SHALL BECOME ONE FLESH." But the one who joins himself to the Lord is one spirit with Him.Flee immorality. Every other sin that a man commits is outside the body, but the immoral man sins against his own body. Or do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God, and that you are not your own? For you have been bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body. Do you remember that God said I made them man and woman this is the spiritual side of marriage God looks at us in marriage as one person. So if God condemned gays and He created man and woman to be fruitful and multiply and He considers us one person and we are made in His image how many tenants of God does gay marriage violate?
    Interesting in Johns post he makes mention of Leviticus that the word abomination and says its the same Greek word for menstruation. Abomination in Hebrew is actually three distinct words, and are rendered in the English Bible by "abomination," or "abominable thing. It would be good if these words could be distinguished in translation, as they denote different degrees of abhorrence or loathsomeness. Everything akin to magic or divination is likewise an abomination to¯?e¯bha¯h; as are relational transgressions , especially relations between family and other unnatural offenses. This is the most severe form of abhorrence and it is used to describe gay relations, the abomination of desolation and diviners and mediums. This is the meaning in the Bible where it talks about a man laying with a man. John does not mention this in his research and actually glosses over it. Neither shalt thou bring an abomination into thy house and thus become a thing set apart like unto it, thou shalt utterly detest it and utterly abhor it, for it is a thing set apart To¯?e¯bha¯h is even used as synonymous with “idol” or heathen deity,
    yeah tom and the rest are terrorists and dont care about lying or who they hurt as long as they get their way

    June 20, 2012 at 1:46 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Are you still beating off about this?

      Who's "getting hurt" in Iowa?

      June 20, 2012 at 1:48 pm |
    • TOOL Tom

      Sadusky is gay.

      June 20, 2012 at 3:14 pm |
  3. John

    "Co 6:9"

    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.

    June 20, 2012 at 1:45 pm |
    • Bob

      Ok so if everything was good why didn't God want a blemished sacrifice if everything was good? By your standards that was normal also.

      June 20, 2012 at 1:50 pm |
  4. YeahRight

    "no real people are associated with this site"

    This includes Bob and the many handles that he posts under again proving what a liar this person and who's prejudice is unfounded and not based on real facts about the gay community.

    June 20, 2012 at 1:44 pm |
    • Bob

      yup the gay matrix

      June 20, 2012 at 7:07 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      You are resorting to "The Matrix" as an argument???

      For what? Proof you're a moron?

      June 20, 2012 at 7:09 pm |
  5. Bob

    Ti 1:9 realizing the fact that law is not made for a righteous person, but for those who are lawless and rebellious, for the ungodly and sinners, for the unholy and profane, for those who kill their fathers or mothers, for murderers
    1Ti 1:10 and immoral men and homi and kidnappers and liars and perjurers, and whatever else is contrary to sound teaching,
    Co 6:9 Or do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived; neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor homi
    1Co 6:10 nor thieves, nor the covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor swindlers, will inherit the kingdom of God.
    Gen 3:16 To the woman He said, "I will greatly multiply Your pain in childbirth, In pain you will bring forth children; Yet your desire will be for your husband, And he will rule over you."
    Rom 1:26 For this reason God gave them over to degrading passions; for their women exchanged the natural function for that which is unnatural,
    Rom 1:27 and in the same way also the men abandoned the natural function of the woman and burned in their desire toward one another, men with men committing indecent acts and receiving in their own persons the due penalty of their error.
    Rom 1:28 And just as they did not see fit to acknowledge God any longer, God gave them over to a depraved mind, to do those things which are not proper,
    Rom 1:29 being filled with all unrighteousness, wickedness, greed, evil; full of envy, murder, strife, deceit, malice; they are gossips,
    Rom 1:30 slanderers, haters of God, insolent, arrogant, boastful, inventors of evil, disobedient to parents,
    Rom 1:31 without understanding, untrustworthy, unloving, unmerciful;
    Rom 1:32 and although they know the ordinance of God, that those who practice such things are worthy of death, they not only do the same, but also give hearty
    If there is a man who lies with a male as those who lie with a woman, both of them have committed a detestable act; they shall surely be put to death. Their sin is upon them.
    Rom_1:27 and in the same way also the men abandoned the natural function of the woman and burned in their desire toward one another, men with men committing indecent acts and receiving in their own persons the due penalty of their error.
    cut and paste anyone can do it but yeah and the hord use each others names no real people are associated with this site

    June 20, 2012 at 1:39 pm |
  6. YeahRight

    "Great Loraine Im not the only one just the most annoying this is a gay pr sight thats it they cut and paste the articles over and over just so that if they repeat it enough someone will believe dont let them do it. Post the truth"

    That's why everything you have been posting has been proven to be lies which you use to try justify your unfounded prejudice and bigotry towards the gay community. 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. 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."

    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.

    June 20, 2012 at 1:35 pm |
  7. James

    "being gay is an abomination"

    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.

    June 20, 2012 at 1:18 pm |
  8. Jeannine

    "According to Leviticus, being gay is an abomination to the Creator"

    The Scriptures were written approximately 2000 or more years ago when there was no knowledge of constitutional homosexuality. The Scripture writers believed that all people were naturally heterosexual so that they viewed homosexuality activity as unnatural. Women today are pointing out that the inferiority of women expressed in the scriptures was a product of culture and the times in which the Bible was written; it should not be followed today, now that we are beginning to appreciate the natural and God-given equality of men and women.

    Similarly, as we know that homosexuality is just as natural and God-given as heterosexuality, we realize that the Biblical injunctions against homosexuality were conditioned by the attitudes and beliefs about this form of sexual expression which were held by people without benefit of centuries of scientific knowledge and understanding.

    It is unfair of us to expect or impose a twentieth century mentality and understanding about equality of genders, races and sexual orientations on the Biblical writers. We must be able to distinguish the eternal truths the Bible is meant to convey from the cultural forms and attitudes expressed there.

    June 20, 2012 at 1:17 pm |
  9. Lorraine

    According to Leviticus, being gay is an abomination to the Creator, YHWH the King. But, we as a latter day society has redeemed it as being a medical fact, as it was prophesied this, and many other wrongs, and mishaps would be, as in Malachi 3v13-15. For as was prophesied in Daniel 11v39, and in Moses 32v17, of our future generations doing wrong, and idols not known to the forefathers Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, that we will do, and here we are today in this so called civilization of mayhem; in difference, greed, poverty, war, hate, etc...calling it all good. Although, gay cannot be judged no differently than from all the others against the Almighty Creator YHWH, such as lairs, cheaters, thieves, whoring, murders, adulterers, idolaters etc..these are all sins that will not be accepted into the new kingdom of righteousness of YHWHs. Jeremiah 23vs.5,6, and Jeremiah 33vs.15,16.

    June 20, 2012 at 11:47 am |
    • YeahRight

      "According to Leviticus, being gay is an abomination to the Creator"

      LMAO – It's hysterical that Christians don't even understand their own bible. Christians don't follow Leviticus anymore, it's part of the Holiness Code, a ritual manual for Israel's priests.. So are you going to tell women now they have to marry their rapists and all the other sins listed in that particular scriptures? Duh!

      June 20, 2012 at 11:55 am |
    • Primewonk

      Well, Lorraine, thank gods we aren't a theocracy. So whatever your version of a god wants, needs, desires, or demands is irrelevant. Because neither your version of god, or any version of any god has standing in our secular laws.

      I know this sucks for you ignorant fundiots, but you are always free to move to a theocracy that already exists.

      June 20, 2012 at 12:03 pm |
    • Dr

      Very Very Good Word Lorraine!!!!!

      June 20, 2012 at 12:05 pm |
    • James

      Lorraine you have it in a nutshell!!! Well done. We all need to take a look around this world and really come to terms with what we have done to this planet. The earth is reeling like a drunkard under the weight of sin. If we could see what God sees, how much longer would you contend with sin?? Jesus is returning very soon, at that time things will be made right, but until then.....whoa

      June 20, 2012 at 12:19 pm |
    • Bob

      Great Loraine Im not the only one just the most annoying this is a gay pr sight thats it they cut and paste the articles over and over just so that if they repeat it enough someone will believe dont let them do it. Post the truth

      June 20, 2012 at 1:31 pm |
    • JWT

      Even if there was general agreement that the bible says that, and there isn't, so what. We have the great furtune not to live in some miserable theocracy.

      June 20, 2012 at 3:19 pm |
    • TC

      Hmmm, I thought that NO Christians today follow the holiness code for ancient hebrew priests. Obviously you do, since, otherwise, you would be showing yourself as a hypcrit. How does that work in your life?

      June 20, 2012 at 4:01 pm |
  10. YeahRight

    "there is no data that can verify that gay persons are born this way."

    In 1993, the National Institute of Health’ Dean Hamer illustrated that homosexuality might be inherited from the mother by her sons through a specific region of the X chromosome (Xq28). Hamer demonstrated this by noting that 33 out of 40 pairs of homosexual brothers whom he studied showed the same variation in the tip of the chromosome.

    - Hamer DH, Hu S, Magnuson VL, Hu N. and Pattatucci AML. A linkage between DNA markers on the X chromosome and male sexual orientation. Science 1993; 261:320-326.

    A June 2006 Canadian study published in the journal, “Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences,” said that nature, instead of nurture, explains the origins of homosexuality. The study’ author, Prof. Anthony F. Bogaert, at Brock University in Ontario, explored the causes behind what is known as the fraternal birth order. The research showed a correlation between the number of biological older brothers a man has and his sexual orientation. Dividing his sample of more than 900 heterosexual and homosexual men into four groups, Bogaert examined the impact of all types of older brothers, including step and adopted siblings, and the amount of time brothers spent together while growing up.His research found that only the number of biological brothers had an impact on sexuality, regardless of whether the boys were raised together.

    - Bogaert, A.F. 2006. Biological versus nonbiological older brothers and men’s sexual orientation. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 103 July 11 2006.

    A study released in May 2006 by Swedish scientists demonstrates that biology plays a key role in determining a person’ sexuality. The research shows that the portion of the brain that helps regulate sexuality — the hypothalamus – reacted the exact same way in straight women and gay men when exposed to male pheromones, which are chemicals designed to provoke a behavior, such as sexual arousal. The same area of the brain only became stimulated in heterosexual men when introduced to female pheromones.

    - by Ivanka Savic article in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, (PNAS) “Brain Response To Putative Pheromones In Homosexual Men,” (Vol. 102 No. 19) May 10, 2005.

    In 2005, Dr. Brian Mustanski of the University of Illinois at Chicago published a study in the esteemed biomedical journal Human Genetics, claiming he identified three chromosomal regions linked to sexual orientation in men: 7q36, 8p12 and 10q26.

    “A Genomewide Scan of Male Sexual Orientation”, Human Genetics, Vol. 116, No. 4, pp. 272-278, 2005.

    In 2003, University of Texas psychoacoustics specialist Dennis McFadden found that when measuring the way the brain reacts to sound, lesbians fell in between heterosexual men and straight women, meaning they are exposed to higher than normal levels of male hormone in utero.

    - Loehlin, John C.; McFadden, David. “Otoacoustic emissions, auditory evoked potentials, and traits related to sex and sexual orientation”. Archives of Sexual Behavior. 1 April 2003.

    In 2003, University of Liverpool biologist John T. Manning found that the lesbians whom he studied have a hand pattern that resembles a man’ more than a straight female’. Manning concluded from his study that this “tells us that female homosexuals have had higher levels of exposure to testosterone before birth.”

    - Neave, N., Laing, S., Fink, B., Manning, J.T (2003) Second to fourth digit ratio, testosterone, and perceived male dominance. Proceedings of the Royal Society B (Lond), 270, 2167-2172.

    A 1991 study by Dr. Simon LeVay found that a specific region of the hypothalamus is twice as large in heterosexual men as it is in women or gay men. This shows the role of biology in sexual orientation.

    - Levay, Simon “A difference in hypothalamic structure between homosexual and heterosexual men” Science. 1991 Volume 253, Issue 5023, pp. 1034-1037.

    Another 1991 study by scientists Richard Pillard and John M. Baily studied homosexuality among brothers and found that 53 percent of identical twins were both gay. In adoptive brothers, 11 percent were both homosexual. Of non-twin biological siblings, 9 percent were gay. Again, this points to solid evidence that homosexuality is a matter of nature.

    – Bailey JM, Pillard RC (1991). A genetic study of male sexual orientation. Archives of General Psychiatry, 48, 1089-1096.

    June 20, 2012 at 10:52 am |
  11. YeahRight

    "There are studies that are happening, but no concrete evidence so far. Much confusion on this blog, this issue is more in the ethics department than DNA at this point in time"

    There are hundred of thousands of experts that disagree with you. 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. 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."

    June 20, 2012 at 10:30 am |
    • Bob

      Cut and paste what a wonderful concpt no life just dead works

      June 20, 2012 at 10:47 am |
    • midwest rail

      I see Bob is still here getting his brains beat in with facts as opposed to the oft-discredited drivel he cuts and pastes.

      June 20, 2012 at 10:50 am |
  12. Erik

    "So far to this date, there is no data that can verify that gay persons are born this way."

    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.

    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!"

    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).

    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.

    June 20, 2012 at 10:29 am |
  13. John

    "There is no support for gay marriage in the Bible"

    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.

    June 20, 2012 at 10:28 am |
    • relish

      Bishop John Frankenstein again....just as creepy as ever!!!!!! yuk

      June 20, 2012 at 12:06 pm |
    • James

      Bishop John your teachings are not biblical, they are very, very twisted. Why didn't you just go into New Age stuff or Buddhism?? To take the bible and do what you have done is very serious before God, you need to repent

      June 20, 2012 at 12:25 pm |
    • Bob

      John the zombie keeps rising from the dead thanks to tommi

      June 20, 2012 at 7:09 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      I can raise the dead? All hail me!!

      June 20, 2012 at 7:10 pm |
  14. YeahRight

    "No one has addressed the issue of the health statistics among gays they are terrible including the mental health aspects yet we just go along and say nothing ."

    More lies. 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. 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."

    June 20, 2012 at 10:26 am |
  15. YeahRight

    "The gays will say that its their right and say that the psycs say its ok. But if you start to look at gay stats and personal habits then you will see a pattern emerge. "

    More lies since the divorce rate among straights is around 50% and most long term relationships among straights do not last over time. 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. 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."

    June 20, 2012 at 10:26 am |
  16. YeahRight

    "Do you realize that 74 percent of Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome is among the gays"

    That's a complete lie since 70% of people living with AIDS is in Africa among straight people. This further proves that this poster can't even follow the bible and is really NOT a true Christian but a TROLL who's prejudice and bigotry towards the gay community isn't based on REAL Facts.

    June 20, 2012 at 10:24 am |
    • Bob

      Its a lie on your part I didnt say world wide I think most that are not purposely being deviant will understand. You have no knowledge of the Bible so thats the other point. SLAM DUNK

      June 20, 2012 at 1:36 pm |
  17. Bob

    So far among the gays we are paying bills a year in added care costs due the the stats in mind health and body health among the gays. While marriage may help a bit in this area the habits of the gay will be a factor. Do you realize that 74 percent of Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome is among the gays. I am not wishing harm to anyone but I did not make the stats. Marriage will not cure the problems in the gays and may hurt the rest of society. You will find that in the countries that have legalized gay marriage that marriage registration among all has gone down. The fabric of society is getting diminished marriage by design was Gods. Now the ones that have opposed me will continue to hurl the insults and such but I have pointed anyone reading this to a direction look there see if what I am saying is true.

    June 20, 2012 at 9:07 am |
    • ^^

      Please don't feed the troll, folks.

      June 20, 2012 at 9:09 am |
  18. Bob

    This issue will not be decided on this board it will be decided by you. Most haven't taken the time to access the true cost. The gays will say that its their right and say that the psycs say its ok. But if you start to look at gay stats and personal habits then you will see a pattern emerge. There are no conclusive stats on gay marriage now because its only been allowed since the last few years. so look to the stats of the people that are going to be married how can 2 individuals who have problems come together to make one good marriage. WE see that in the regular world why, the higher percentages of problems in the gay world would not reflect worse stats regardless of what those in the know say. Jesus says those that do the will of My Father that are His children not the ones who say they are. God gave us directions and we need to stay in those paths He set down if we don’t we walk outside His blessings. It really is pretty simple. There is no support for gay marriage in the Bible those who say that God who set the pattern for relationships doesn't know about gays are actually calling God stupid. That He couldn't possibly have known how relationships really work, what utter nonsense. He can create a universe dictate to Moses the laws design the Temple with every measurement, make dna the building blocks that man can only now decipher andhave Jesus save us all but somehow miss gay marriage. I hope none of you buy that, His detail is beyond measure.

    June 20, 2012 at 8:58 am |
    • YeahRight

      "It really is pretty simple. There is no support for gay marriage in the Bible those who say that God who set the pattern for relationships doesn't know about gays are actually calling God stupid."

      That's a lie, they are calling the writers of the bible ignorant of the real facts about sexuality. It wasn't till recently that the real truth was revealed about the gay community. That being gay is NOT a choice, it's NOT a mental illness, and it CAN'T be voluntarily changed. The experts have shown that everything written in the past about gays were done by bias and prejudice people that includes the writers of your bible. Plus when you factor in that the bible has been proven NOT to be an historical document further proves the case of the ignorance of the writers of the bible. Duh!

      June 20, 2012 at 11:03 am |
  19. Bob

    No one has addressed the issue of the health statistics among gays they are terrible including the mental health aspects yet we just go along and say nothing . The gays in Canada published some stats on the subject. Why isnt this talked about and considered when they are handed kids. Have you ever heard of gay intestine syndrome? look it up.

    June 20, 2012 at 7:30 am |
  20. Bob

    A 1988 CDC survey identified 21 percent of all Hep B cases as being gay transmitted while 18 percent were straight transmitted. Since gay comprise such a small percent of the population (only 1-3 percent),they have a significantly higher rate of infe than straight.

    June 20, 2012 at 7:03 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 and Eric Marrapodi with daily contributions from CNN's worldwide newsgathering team.