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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 • Opinion

soundoff (15,115 Responses)
  1. TC

    "What gives people the idea something is wrong? Isn't it moral standards?"

    No, it's not, becasue moral standards are changeable, and can be different from generation to generation, and from location to location. The idea that soemthing is wrong comes from an action causing HARM to someone or something. Being gay causes harm to no one, and therefor, cannot be wrong.

    Every single thing we call "sin", is something that infringes on others, or harms ourselves, or others. If you call being gay a sin, then it is the ONLY sin in existance that causes no harm ro anyone or anything.

    June 22, 2012 at 1:54 pm |
  2. John

    "But does this really get rid of sin just because we banish the Bible and God out of our lives? "

    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 22, 2012 at 11:21 am |
    • Jean

      Bishop John Frankenstein keep appearing on this blog with the same statement....who keeps putting this on here? This man is not a credible source....not going to change anyone's thinking. He is a spin master with an agenda

      June 22, 2012 at 2:05 pm |
  3. Janet

    "The standard was lowered not by any real point of science but because the standard was lowered because the ability to judge moral issues was given up by the APA"

    The Biblical condemnation of homosexuality is based on human ignorance, suspicion of those who are different, and an overwhelming concern for ensuring the survival of the people. Since the Bible regards homosexuality as a capital crime, it clearly assumes that homosexuality is a matter of free choice, a deliberate rebellion against God. We have learned from modern science that people do not choose to be gay or straight; hence it is neither logical nor moral to condemn those whose nature it is to be gay or lesbian.

    June 22, 2012 at 11:20 am |
  4. YeahRight

    "The Bible standard was also given up, so now you essentially have no standard just a set of laws telling people you can or cant do."

    That is what civil rights is about there were prejudice Christians just like you when it came to African Americans and women. Duh! Your prejudice isn't based on an REAL facts or PROOF! That's the point. You keep wanting to try to make crap up about the APA that you found on a bogus conservative website that spews their own version of prejudice and hatred towards the gay community. That is why all those organizations came together and release a state about the unfounded prejudices towards the gay community. It's NOT just the APA moron. 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." – And this is only a partial list there are still many organizations that also back this up but this makes the point that you have NO clue what you're talking about. DUH!

    June 22, 2012 at 11:12 am |
  5. YeahRight

    "psychs didn't say it was normal the true definition and the how they could take it off the dsm what they said if it doesn't cause the person any emotional problems then its ok. If it does then its not ok which is why the declassification is not far away for peds and every other conceivable perversion."

    LMAO Hundreds of thousands of experts have stated being gay is normal. 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."

    Normal
    1 a : according with, constituting, or not deviating from a norm, rule, or principle b : conforming to a type, standard, or regular pattern
    2: occurring naturally and not because of disease, inoculation, or any experimental treatment
    3 a : of, relating to, or characterized by average intelligence or development

    NORMAL – Gays are NORMAL human beings and so is their loving long term relationships and families. 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 22, 2012 at 11:07 am |
  6. Bob

    psychs didn't say it was normal the true definition and the how they could take it off the dsm what they said if it doesn't cause the person any emotional problems then its ok. If it does then its not ok which is why the declassification is not far away for peds and every other conceivable perversion. So all the associations actually said they didn't have the ability to determine what was deviant behavior that is why anything goes this day this will effectively doom that profession putting it in the no real answer category instead of a true science. It was the gays that made this possible we have them to thank if it comes to pass. If I am wrong in the definition then tell me.Am I wrong why wont you answer this? So all the science that you cite it boils down to this?

    June 22, 2012 at 1:47 am |
    • Bob

      What gives people the idea something is wrong? Isn't it moral standards? So if we lower the standards then theft is ok and peds are ok and hurting someone cause you feel like it is ok. The other persons feelings don't really matter if there is no moral standard. This is essentially what happened when gay were taken off the dsm. The standard was lowered not by any real point of science but because the standard was lowered because the ability to judge moral issues was given up by the APA.The Bible standard was also given up, so now you essentially have no standard just a set of laws telling people you can or cant do. There is still sin though, its just like everything else the secular people want any hint of God out of Society. But does this really get rid of sin just because we banish the Bible and God out of our lives? NO it doesn't there is still sin just as there was when Adam sinned that imparted to us the punishment for that sin. When the law of Moses came in it showed us that there was sin but didn't offer a real relief from that sin. When Jesus came there was real relief from the sin because He took all our sin upon Himself and died to it once and for all. The sin of Adam was broken. Does this mean that we keep sinning? no, for those that accepted Christ cannot keep sinning. So if we do then there will be no forgiveness and we will die with sin in our lives and suffer the fate of the condemned.
      Well then, am I suggesting that the law of God is sinful? Of course not! In fact, it was the law that showed me my sin. I would never have known that coveting is wrong if the law had not said, "You must not covet."
      Rom 7:8 But sin used this command to arouse all kinds of covetous desires within me! If there were no law, sin would not have that power.
      Rom 7:9 At one time I lived without understanding the law. But when I learned the command not to covet, for instance, the power of sin came to life,
      Rom 7:10 and I died. So I discovered that the law's commands, which were supposed to bring life, brought spiritual death instead.
      Rom 7:11 Sin took advantage of those commands and deceived me; it used the commands to kill me.
      Rom 7:12 But still, the law itself is holy, and its commands are holy and right and good.
      Rom 7:13 But how can that be? Did the law, which is good, cause my death? Of course not! Sin used what was good to bring about my condemnation to death. So we can see how terrible sin really is. It uses God's good commands for its own evil purposes.
      Rom 7:14 So the trouble is not with the law, for it is spiritual and good. The trouble is with me, for I am all too human, a slave to sin.
      Rom 7:15 I don't really understand myself, for I want to do what is right, but I don't do it. Instead, I do what I hate.
      Rom 7:16 But if I know that what I am doing is wrong, this shows that I agree that the law is good.
      Rom 7:17 So I am not the one doing wrong; it is sin living in me that does it.
      God made this world believe or not we will all appear before Him there is no escape Banish God and the laws and do evil then when death comes the price will be paid knowing or unknowing. We are not free we will always have something or someone rule over us. From our fleshly desires to the whim of our other desires to what we want in life all these rule our lives. But if we come to Christ and He does a work in us then by our heart we start to walk according to the law without the fear of punishment. This frees us to live life and enjoy life. This is what the secular world seeks to banish Gods laws. Banish or not they are still there and the price will be paid. These laws are written on our hearts too so if we ignore them then we get the error that we see this author and others do. This is why in Sodom and Gomorrah they could revile angelic majesty without fear. Their consciences was so seared by their own desires that they lost the ability to respect God. To understand the nature of the world and those in it who made it and how to conquer it. We conquer our own desires and seek Gods to replace them, we understand that there is no joy unless He is in our lives, and we understand He has our best interest at heart. The tower of Babel the fall of satan the banishing of Gods laws today all are based in self pride and thinking we don't need God. We fail to realize we are in a fishbowl Gods fishbowl and He takes care of it. We didn't create ourselves we are not a product of evolution we were created in God image He established the rules we cannot change them only live freely within them. That's why He said banish those desires cut off your hand if it makes you sin. Our life here is short our bodies will return to the dust and our spirits will return to Him who made us. eternity is forever where will you be spending it.

      June 22, 2012 at 2:58 am |
    • JWT

      Yawn – your god his laws apply to you not to others – get over it,

      June 22, 2012 at 7:01 am |
  7. ramc

    Who gives a s#!t if gays want to me miserable like everyone else and get married. Let em do it. No skin of my a$$. – Frank Reynolds.

    Well, until I found out that it wasn’t mandatory, because I love my wife and I’d hate to have to leave her for a dude. So I didn’t want that. You never know. They said “gay marriage” and people got upset, so I figured, well clearly this means that there’s a law being passed that we all now have to be gay. – Jon Stewart

    Don’t we have more important things to be busybodies about? You know, like the economy and young people dying for oil.

    June 22, 2012 at 12:18 am |
  8. Amanda Wolf

    I FIND DEBATING RELIGION A VERY BORING THING TO DO, GOOD NIGTH. zzzzzzZZZZZZzzzzzzzzzzz.....

    June 21, 2012 at 11:54 pm |
  9. Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

    Bob:
    Answer the question ass wipe

    --

    I guess this is what Bob thought was meant by the admonition to "turn the other cheek"! ;)

    June 21, 2012 at 10:54 pm |
  10. Bob

    Professor Emeritus of Science at Westmont College, Peter Stoner, has calculated the probability of one man fulfilling the major prophecies made concerning the Messiah. Twelve different classes representing some 600-university students worked out the estimates. 1 in (10 157POWER) that one man could fulfill even 48 (F O U R T Y – e i g h t ) of these Old Testament prophecies.
    JUST REMEMBER THAT JESUS FULLFILLED OVER 300! Finally, he submitted his figures for review to a committee of the American Scientific Affiliation. Upon examination, they verified that his calculations were dependable and accurate in regard to the scientific material presented

    June 21, 2012 at 8:52 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      zzzzzzzzzzzzzz

      June 21, 2012 at 8:53 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      What does the ASA believe?

      As an organization, the ASA does not take a position when there is honest disagreement between Christians on an issue. We are committed to providing an open forum where controversies can be discussed without fear of unjust condemnation. Legitimate differences of opinion among Christians who have studied both the Bible and science are freely expressed within the Affiliation in a context of Christian love and concern for truth.

      Our platform of faith has four important planks:

      We accept the divine inspiration, trustworthiness and authority of the Bible in matters of faith and conduct.

      We confess the Triune God affirmed in the Nicene and Apostles' creeds, which we accept as brief, faithful statements of Christian doctrine based upon Scripture.

      We believe that in creating and preserving the universe God has endowed it with contingent order and intelligibility, the basis of scientific investigation.

      We recognize our responsibility, as stewards of God's creation, to use science and technology for the good of humanity and the whole world.

      These four statements of faith spell out the distinctive character of the ASA, and we uphold them in every activity and publication of the Affiliation

      Ahahhhahhahhhha!

      June 21, 2012 at 8:55 pm |
    • James

      Totally amazing Bob, thanks for sharing

      June 22, 2012 at 12:59 am |
    • HotAirAce

      They reviewed the "scientific material presented." Given that there is no scientific evidence for any god or the jesus myth, that should have taken less than 5 seconds. I bet they had their report written before anything was presented.

      June 22, 2012 at 1:05 am |
    • Bob

      Science cannot tell you whats behind the amazing frequency of Bible prophecy coming true either yet it did. It can tell you that you beat the odds and there may be something there though. But for us it is part of the evidence to see Gods plans and purposes being fulfilled. Can you say new world order?Some 400 years before crucifixion was invented, both Israel's King David and the prophet Zechariah described the Messiah's death in words that perfectly depict that mode of execution. Further, they said that the body would be pierced and that none of the bones would be broken, contrary to customary procedure in cases of crucifixion (Psalm 22 and 34:20; Zechariah 12:10). Again, historians and New Testament writers confirm the fulfillment: Jesus of Nazareth died on a Roman cross, and his extraordinarily quick death eliminated the need for the usual breaking of bones. A spear was thrust into his side to verify that he was, indeed, dead.
      (Probability of chance fulfillment = 1 in 10 to the 13th power.)

      June 22, 2012 at 1:40 am |
    • kokalol

      Bob, notice all the unbelievers can do is scoff and make ad hominem attacks. They didn't even attempt to refute the case for the messianic prophecies, which do make a strong case for the divine origin of the bible.

      June 22, 2012 at 1:46 am |
  11. YeahRight

    "The lawmakers have always used physcs judgment now that there is none the gays have actually exploited the void because as we all know the law makers cater to whoever screams the loudest"

    No idiot it has to do with civil rights and the constitution. DUH! Thanks for continuing to show how clueless you are on this subject. LMAO!

    June 21, 2012 at 6:17 pm |
  12. YeahRight

    "psychs didn't say it was normal the true definition and the how they could take it off the dsm what they said if it doesn't cause the person any emotional problems then its ok."

    Again you're making up lies since they have stated: 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.

    June 21, 2012 at 2:23 pm |
    • Bob

      The cut and paste doesn't work for this you deflected the question and didn't answer it. Either answer the question or be called a liar in your terms.

      June 21, 2012 at 5:36 pm |
    • YeahRight

      "The cut and paste doesn't work for this you deflected the question and didn't answer it. Either answer the question or be called a liar in your term"

      More trolling without any facts. LMAO!

      June 21, 2012 at 6:28 pm |
    • Bob

      Answer the question ass wipe

      June 21, 2012 at 6:59 pm |
  13. YeahRight

    "This is why if people dont pick up on the morality issue and fall back to this reasoning then there is no perversion taht will not b allowed. "

    That's why they have hundred of thousands of experts in this country behind them. 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 21, 2012 at 2:21 pm |
  14. Erik

    "It happens it doesn't mean it normal."

    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 21, 2012 at 1:18 pm |
    • Bob

      This is why if people dont pick up on the morality issue and fall back to this reasoning then there is no perversion taht will not b allowed. The lawmakers have always used physcs judgment now that there is none the gays have actually exploited the void because as we all know the law makers cater to whoever screams the loudest

      June 21, 2012 at 1:56 pm |
  15. YeahRight

    "What the h#### is psyco x orietntaion another psyco babel"

    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 21, 2012 at 1:15 pm |
    • Bob

      It happens it doesn't mean it normal.

      June 21, 2012 at 1:17 pm |
    • Bob

      psychs didn't say it was normal the true definition and the how they could take it off the dsm what they said if it doesn't cause the person any emotional problems then its ok. If it does then its not ok which is why the declassification is not far away for peds and every other conceivable perversion. So all the associations actually said they didn't have the ability to determine what was deviant behavior that is why anything goes this day this will effectively doom that profession putting it in the no real answer category instead of a true science. It was the gays that made this possible we have them to thank if it comes to pass. If I am wrong in the definition then tell me.

      June 21, 2012 at 1:26 pm |
    • JWT

      Even if it was on the DSM so what? It does no harm and in fact benefit allowing them to marry. Not everything on th DSM is there becuse it can be cured or even should be cured.

      I have two diagnoses off the DSM IV and I can marry, have kids, drive, own a gun and do all kinds of other things

      June 21, 2012 at 1:55 pm |
  16. Bob

    hey Jen do you have a resume and do you know what kind of money you'd be looking for?

    June 21, 2012 at 1:14 pm |
  17. Erik

    "What the h#### is psyco x orietntaion another psyco babel"

    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 21, 2012 at 12:57 pm |
    • Lorraine

      Erik, I totally agree with you, the hormonal influences, along with the society's influences is exactly what advocates, these gay behaviors. It and many other wrong doings are being encouraged for decades now in our generations through the medias as 'good' to do, it is just alright, and that it will have no consequences at all is the deeply persuaded 'illusion' given to this world today. Thus making it the way of life today as being normal for us all to live by, painting it as a true civilization. These days are absolutely of the times, the 'end times' that was prophesied in the book of Daniel in chapters 2, of his vision, and 11, and 12. Judgement is not warranted here for we all have had some form of responsibility of this being gay, or any other abnormalities taught to our children in our society, all being accepted, calling it 'good' within the media, and of our lifestyles, one way or another. And, Bob, yes we all need YHWH (God), for our deliverance, and guidance; something that Moses told to us from YHWH in Deut 32v45-47, doing the law of righteousness, and peace is our 'life' and what was intended for us as the 'real civilization' we could have been living instead. Without in difference, greed, imposed poverty, poverty, war, hate, prejudice, perversion, whoring, discrimination, injustice, and then calling it all normal; this is not civil people, it's confusion, and mayhem, mixed with pride, and greed, and false satisfactions, ironically upholding it as being 'life' and this is so unfortunate. As Malachi 3 vs. 13,14,15 states, prophesied, and teaches we are doing this proudly.

      June 22, 2012 at 10:54 am |
    • YeahRight

      "Thus making it the way of life today as being normal for us all to live by, painting it as a true civilization. "

      Yo moron, the hundreds of thousands of experts proved that what was written about gays in the past were done by bias and prejudice people, that includes the writers of your religion. Duh!

      June 22, 2012 at 11:25 am |
  18. Bob

    What the h#### is psyco x orietntaion another psyco babel

    June 21, 2012 at 12:49 pm |
    • Jen

      'psycho'
      'orientation'
      'babble'

      Don't worry Bob. You got the words 'what' and 'is' right. If you work really hard one day you might catch up to my three year old.

      June 21, 2012 at 12:54 pm |
    • Bob

      I dnt knw hw you gys got tht by the filtrs it wnt let me do it wnt to explan Do you know how fantastic the human brain that God made is you dont even, for most anyway, have the correct spelling and the brain puts the correct words in there. Maybe we found a problem with you guys Hey maybe thats part of what makes gays they are pretty articulate big word spelled right did you notice?

      June 21, 2012 at 1:01 pm |
    • Jen

      Actually I have absolutely no idea what your post means above (forget the spelling – it's not anywhere near being a sentence...)

      So you think s-xual preference is related to ability to communicate? Sounds like something you would make up and spout off as fact.

      Thanks for the job offer Bob, but people with masters degrees don't usually work for fourth grade dropouts.....

      June 21, 2012 at 1:21 pm |
    • Bob

      Masters today aren't what they used to be in some fields, and yours is in what field? Plus student loans, the government is getting pretty tough on them.

      June 21, 2012 at 5:33 pm |
  19. YeahRight

    "ust another example of gays not wanting the truth and calling it lies"

    You're the one who can't handle the truth and continue to post lie after lie. The truth is 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 21, 2012 at 12:29 pm |
  20. James

    "Your position that "those acts are labeled as wrong out of the context of the times in which the writers wrote" suggests that God follows the changing cultural trends of man."

    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 21, 2012 at 12:17 pm |
    • Lorraine

      James, yes the scriptures do imply that mankind would change, but it also tells us that we should not go this route of change, to stay with the law of righteousness, and peace or we will suffer the consequences of a troublesome generation, and society. Yes YHWH knew we would disobey Him, but His hand is still stretched out of His mercy, and grace, that He gave to Moses in Exodus 33 vs. 12-17. To bring us back to living our best life, all people, all nations, not just for some. Malachi 3v7, for this has not changed because YHWH does not change, as taught in Malachi 3v6,for us to know the truth.

      June 22, 2012 at 11:22 am |
    • Janet

      "but it also tells us that we should not go this route of change, to stay with the law of righteousness, and peace or we will suffer the consequences of a troublesome generation, and society"

      The Biblical condemnation of homosexuality is based on human ignorance, suspicion of those who are different, and an overwhelming concern for ensuring the survival of the people. Since the Bible regards homosexuality as a capital crime, it clearly assumes that homosexuality is a matter of free choice, a deliberate rebellion against God. We have learned from modern science that people do not choose to be gay or straight; hence it is neither logical nor moral to condemn those whose nature it is to be gay or lesbian.

      June 22, 2012 at 11:28 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.