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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. Primewonk

    I wonder why Bob doesn't understand that the research shows that the men who are most hômophobic are the same ones who show the greatest amount of pènile tumescence when watching man-on-man pôrn?

    July 9, 2012 at 12:58 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      The guy is beyond belief.

      July 9, 2012 at 1:36 pm |
  2. Bob

    The APA made statement of bio factors to h0m0,but since have updated their claims. In their newer claim the APA admits that they have not found a bio basis for h0m0.

    July 9, 2012 at 12:40 pm |
    • Who invited me?

      Just come out of the closet Bob...denying your true feelings can't be doing you any good.
      Me thinks thou dost protest too much Bob.

      July 9, 2012 at 12:44 pm |
  3. Bob

    Assistant Professor of Social Work, Barb Burdge, published an essay in July on the importance of social workers undermining the alleged "social construct" of gender.In "Bending gender, ending gender: theoretical foundations for social work practice with the transgender community," Burdge asserts that social workers must reject "a dichotomous understanding of gender" in favor of "more accurate and affirming conceptualizations of gender."

    July 9, 2012 at 12:20 pm |
    • Who invited me?

      More opinions you are trying to twist into evidence.
      You really don't get what these people are really saying do you. Either way, you keep trying to site op-eds and essays, and opinion pieces as evidence.
      Go hate somewhere else Bob, you will get no traction here.

      July 9, 2012 at 12:27 pm |
    • Bob

      If I were you and didn't want the truth to come out I would say the same thing. This is from one of the most complete studies made that there is not much dispute about even from the "professionals" that you and the others here bring up all the time

      July 9, 2012 at 12:44 pm |
    • Who invited me?

      What truth do I not want to come out Bob?
      The truth that gays exist, and it is a normal human experience?
      the truth that you hate and try to deny people for being the way they are ?
      When exaclty did you choose to be straight Bob? or are you?

      July 9, 2012 at 12:49 pm |
    • Bob

      Neither gay or gay marriage is normal. There is no support in the Bible for gays and there is lying support in physcs opinions. I will not listen to lies and I want all to know the truth.

      July 9, 2012 at 12:58 pm |
    • Who invited me?

      The truth is that gay people have been around for as long as humans have been around. Your bible is not the authority on this nor marriage. In this land, long before your bible was created, long before your religion was created for you by men, native tribes in what is now north america were marrying people in same s e x unions.
      People have been committing to each other in various religious and non-religious ceremonies for as long as humans have inhabited the planet.
      That is the truth Bob. You keep siting this one and that one but you choose not to accept the truth.

      Keep hating Bob...hopefully it will raise your blood pressure enough to cause that stroke that is coming your way.

      July 9, 2012 at 1:11 pm |
    • YeahRight

      Just so people know Bob is using outdated material to try to twist it to support his unfounded prejudice and bigotry. LMAO!

      July 9, 2012 at 1:16 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      "Didn't want the truth to come out"? What are you burping about now, Doddering/Captain? What 'truth' and why wouldn't people who believe gays should be allowed to marry want it to come out?

      You are claiming that being gay is not 'normal'. You keep pulling up all these bogus 'studies' that supposedly prove this, yet you've been shown that the majority of the medical establishment (you know, actual doctors,unlike you) believe it is not a mental illness and not 'abnormal'. You seem to think that posting this trip on here is going to change something. It isn't. Most people don't agree with you. They just don't.

      Furthermore, regardless of your belief that being gay is abnormal, denying people the rights you enjoy to marry a consenting adult is simply WRONG.

      July 9, 2012 at 1:33 pm |
  4. Bob

    In a historic study of children raised by h0m0 parents, sociolot Mark Regnerus of Texas at Austin has overturned the conventional acade wisdom that such children suffer no disadvantages when compared to children raised by their married mother and father. Just published in the journal the most careful, rigorous, and methodologically sound study ever conducted on this issue found numerous and significant differences between these groups–with the outcomes for children of h0m0 rated “suboptimal in almost every category

    July 9, 2012 at 12:15 pm |
    • Who invited me?

      Bob
      The opinions of one sociologist is now proof of your rantings?
      You are a sad case Bob. You hate people that you do not know out of fear. What is it you fear Bob?
      Is it because you cannot tell the difference from a gay person and straight by site. I bet it was easier for you when you were growing up because you could more easily identify the blacks that you hated, they were a lot easier to single out. Ahh simpler times,right Bob.

      July 9, 2012 at 12:23 pm |
    • Primewonk

      I wonder why you forgot to include that Regnerus's study has been soundly refuted on both methodology and outcomes? You can go online and see that more than 200 professionals have trashed his fundiot study.

      Why do you cretins lie? I thought lying made baby jesus cry?

      July 9, 2012 at 12:36 pm |
    • William

      His so-called study doesn’t match 30 years of scientific research that shows overwhelmingly that children raised by parents who are LGBT do equally as well. His junk science and pseudo-scientific misinformation was shown to be flawed by the APA and every major child welfare organization.

      July 9, 2012 at 1:24 pm |
    • MarkinFL

      "the most careful, rigorous, and methodologically sound" <> "Agrees with my personal prejudices"

      July 9, 2012 at 1:34 pm |
  5. YeahRight

    "Hey did you guys see that Rosie ODonnel has a problem again with her lover and she has kids good role model just the kind of person that is great advertising for gay marriage. The hits keep coming"

    Should we point out all the really bad straight parents too based on your poor logic. Duh! The experts have 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.

    July 9, 2012 at 11:08 am |
  6. Shawn

    Let me start this off with a quote from a famous lesbian, Lynn Lavner:

    "There are 6 admonishments in the Bible concerning homosexual activity, and our enemies are always throwing them up to us – usually in a vicious way and very much out of context.

    What they don't want us to remember is that there are 362 admonishments in the Bible concerning heterosexual activity. I don't mean to imply by this that God doesn't love straight people, only that they seem to require a great deal more supervision."

    I am going to attempt to keep this short and simple, so here we go.

    Some claim that Leviticus 18:22 and 20:13 clearly say that homosexual sex is an abomination. In fact, it merits death. Isn't it obvious that God hates homosexuality?

    Yes, depending on which translation you are using, Leviticus does say, "You shall not lie with a male as one lies with a female, it's an abomination." However, a few points must be made about this statement:

    a) It appears in Leviticus, which was given to preserve the distinctive characteristics of the religion and culture of Israel. However, as stated in Galatians 3:22-55, Christians are no longer bound by these Jewish laws. Even if you, for some reason, argue that these "laws" are still important, then you surely follow all of them, right?

    It is interesting that people who use Leviticus against the gay community forget the part that talks about religious sacrifices, making women sleep in tents outside during their period, the dietary restrictions placed on them and how to cleanse a leper, all of which appear in Leviticus.

    The laws of Leviticus are completely obsolete for today's Christian; however, even if you do claim to live by the laws of Leviticus, it is not fair to pick and choose which laws you are going to live by, or condemn a people by, if you are not going to follow the others. You should not need any more convincing evidence than this; but if you do, be my guest.

    b) The word that was in the original work, "to'ebah," which was translated into Greek as "bdglygma" actually means "ritual impurity" rather than abomination (or enormous sin). These passages in Leviticus can be translated to not mean homosexual sex generally, but only limiting homosexual sex in Pagan temples.

    c) This passage does not denounce homosexual behavior as a whole, but just the specific act of anal sex. This was meant for the prevention of disease. It was ruled unclean because it was physically unclean; however, hygiene has made wonderful advances since that time.

    d) These passages in Leviticus can be interpreted in many ways. I have seen it interpreted by scholars and priests to mean: "don't have sex with another man in your wife's bed;" "don't have sex with another man in the temple;" and "don't have sex with another man and pretend he is a woman," just to name a few.

    I have never seen an interpretation in any Bible, or from any scholar, that specifically says to never have sex with a man.

    Some claim the Bible simply does not support gay marriage. Chapter two of Genesis defines marriage as a holy union between a man and a woman. And later, in Matthew 19:4-5, Jesus himself reiterates the traits of a traditional marriage. How can you argue that anything other than celibacy is honorable for gay and lesbian people?

    Yes, marriage is a holy union. However, in these passages, while Jesus reiterates (but does not require) the traditional marriage, he also provides an exception for eunuchs (castrated men – or otherwise impotent men, in today's terms), and allowed them to be married, saying that this law is given to those to whom it applies.

    Because these eunuchs were born sexless, God made an exception for them because it was natural. The same applies to the Gay community today. Science has proven homosexuality is completely natural, so it seems God would allow for homosexual marriages.

    In Matthew 19: 4-5, Jesus encourages a traditional path, but does not discourage alternatives, except in the case of divorce.

    Jesus did stress purity of marriage, but not in regard to the sexes of the people within it. It can be seen that the reason that churches are against homosexual marriage is not because it is explicitly said by God, but because of a lack of instruction to specifically allow it.

    In the time that the Bible was written it would have been impossible to foresee the future to be able to specifically allow or forbid homosexual marriage.

    Some claim, in Paul's letter to the Corinthians, he lists homosexuals amongst the many sinners who will not inherit the kingdom of God. Doesn't that make God's position on this vice very clear?

    If we look at the other types of people listed in this passage, we can understand what it is actually talking about. Law breakers, thieves, adulterers and drunks are specifically mentioned. The word "homosexual" was not found until the 1890s, so it would have been impossible for it to be in the original version.

    What actually appears in the original is Paul condemning those who are "effeminate" and "abusers of themselves with mankind." In this context, the original Greek word, "malakos," is translated into effeminate, or soft, which, more than likely, refers to someone who lacks discipline or moral control.

    In this passage, when Paul condemns "abusers of themselves with mankind," he is speaking of male prostitutes.

    Then there are the people who claim that, even though science has proven that people don't choose their sexual orientation, the fact remains that homosexuality is unnatural. Romans 1:26-27 tells us that humans have a sinful nature, and therefore commit sins against God. Certain people are predisposed to be alcoholics and pedophiles, but that doesn't make their actions any less immoral. God tells us to "tear out your eye" if it makes you stumble. Why can't you just accept homosexuality as the part of your nature you must deny?

    Because the Bible has gone through so many translations, and through the hands of many people (some being non-believers), it is not surprising that the meaning has become a little fuzzy in parts.

    Homosexuality is normal. The phrase "para physin" appears in the original text for this verse. This term is often translated to mean "unnatural;" however, more accurate translation would be unconventional.

    Proof for this can be found in 1 Corinthians 11:14 where Paul uses this phrase to refer to men with long hair (unconventional, not unnatural) and in Romans 11:24 where Paul uses this phrase to refer to the positive action God made to bring together the Jews and Gentiles.

    All in all, homosexuality is obviously not a sin., unless you take passages from the Bible and add your own words or you just try really hard to interpret it that way. Let's just remember Galatians 5:14, where Paul stated, "the whole Law is fulfilled in one Statement, 'You shall love your neighbor as yourself.

    July 9, 2012 at 10:43 am |
  7. Matthew

    "What I have posted is the truth"

    No you haven't none of it is based on any real facts. Homosexuality is not a sin according to the Bible. Any educated Christian would know that. Scholars who have studied the Bible in context of the times and in relation to other passages have shown those passages (Leviticus, Corinthians, Romans, etc) have nothing to do with homosexuality. These passages often cherry-picked while ignoring the rest of the Bible. The sins theses passages are referring to are idolatry, prostitution, and rape, not homosexuality. That’s why Jesus never mentions it as well. There is nothing immoral, wrong, or sinful about being gay. Jesus, however, clearly states he HATES hypocrites. If you preach goodness, then promote hate and twist the words of the Bible, you are a hypocrite, and will be judged and sent to hell. Homosexuals will not go to hell, hypocrites will. This is very similar to the religious bigots of the past, where they took Bible passages to condone slavery, keep women down, and used Bible passages to claim blacks as curses who should be enslaved by the white man. People used God to claim that blacks marrying whites was unnatural, and not of God's will.

    July 9, 2012 at 10:42 am |
  8. YeahRight

    "I don't want gay marriage "

    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."

    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.

    July 9, 2012 at 10:38 am |
  9. John

    "I don't like liars and I don't like those that would try to steer people in the wrong course about God and the Bible purely for selfish and distorted motives that run deeper than what all the gloss and glitz says. "

    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.

    July 9, 2012 at 10:37 am |
  10. Proclamation From The Clergy

    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..

    July 9, 2012 at 10:36 am |
  11. Erik

    "The doctor. Benjamin Kaufman explained in an interview on the group’ website, “I saw that I could not turn to the APA or any other such "

    By the way Bob it's not just the APA that is stating being gay is 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.

    July 9, 2012 at 10:34 am |
  12. YeahRight

    "The studies are incomplete and false as stated by the APA."

    That is a total lie. 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."

    July 9, 2012 at 10:33 am |
  13. Bob

    The studies are incomplete and false as stated by the APA. Spitzer’s change hinges on his new belief that reports of change in his study were not credible. Instead, he now asserts that peoples accounts of change were self-deception or outright lying. In taking this position, Spitzer has agreed purely scientific approach to the limitations of Spitzer’s study and would be to conduct more rigorous outcome findings, something that he along with others have been calling for all along Even the APA Report on correct Responses to Orient .APA issued a call for such studies to be undertaken.

    July 9, 2012 at 9:41 am |
    • Bob

      Unfortunately, the reality appears to be that the APA and others in a position to fund and conduct outcome studies have no real interest in doing so. They have nothing to gain by such studies,

      July 9, 2012 at 9:46 am |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Then why are you posting about them?

      Avoiding answering the questions I asked, yet again?

      Reparative therapy, the APA, NAMBLA, pedophilia, blah, blah, blah, have nothing to do with this issue, Bob.

      July 9, 2012 at 10:31 am |
  14. Bob

    The doctor. Benjamin Kaufman explained in an interview on the group’ website, “I saw that I could not turn to the APA or any other such . All had totally stifled the scientific inquiry that would be necessary to stimulate such a discussion. It remains very politically incorrect–very marginalizing–to even make the suggestion of a dialogue that opens up the question of the normality of h0m0ity.”

    July 9, 2012 at 8:59 am |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Here's my post, Bob. I guess you didn't see it before:
      In what way is gay marriage 'changing' this country, Boob, when only 2-3% of the population is gay? How has it changed a single thing in your life? Can you give any honest answer to these questions?

      Or are you going to be a little pu$$y and change the subject again? Throw in sh!t about NAMBLA or pedophilia or polygamy or some other red herring because you don't have a single point otherwise?

      July 9, 2012 at 9:04 am |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      ht tp: //ww w.p ubliceye .or g/equ ality /x- gay/ X-Gay- 04.ht ml

      July 9, 2012 at 9:41 am |
  15. Lorraine Voss

    midwest,yeahright,jwt, and others, you all are a perfect example of the prophecy in Malachi 3v13-15, being so proud, hiding from truth, and bathing in selfishness of desire, doing whatever one wants, and thinking that they are in charge. Good luck with that one guys.

    July 8, 2012 at 11:51 pm |
    • tallulah13

      I think Lorraine is actually Heave Scent. The irrational accusations and bible quotes are remarkably similar.

      July 9, 2012 at 12:09 am |
    • Nah

      tallulah,

      Lorraine has said that she still has kids at home (so, not HS). Can. You. Imagine... being her child? My own mother was a little out there at times and we all four survived, but oh my, I feel sorry for them.

      July 9, 2012 at 12:24 am |
    • jwt

      And you lorraine are a perfect example of a religious zealot – bound by blind faith into believing you are right and that all others will persh according to some inane ramblings in an ancient book. I don't feekl sorry for your children – i pity them.

      Not believing in your worthliss POS of a god does not make us lesser or less good people. In fact it mkes us better people.

      July 9, 2012 at 4:55 am |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Loopy Lorraine, 'bathing in selfishness and desire'? What kind of stupid are you? I'm happily married and faithful. I work hard, pay my taxes, give to charity, do my best to be a good citizen. I don't "hide from truth" and I don't think I'm 'in charge' of anyone but myself.

      You're batsh!t crazy, lady.

      July 9, 2012 at 7:17 am |
    • Bob

      Hey did you guys see that Rosie ODonnel has a problem again with her lover and she has kids good role model just the kind of person that is great advertising for gay marriage. The hits keep coming

      July 9, 2012 at 8:52 am |
    • midwest rail

      Sure you wanna go there, Bob ? Shall I list all the str8 " role models " for marriage and/or parenting ?

      July 9, 2012 at 9:02 am |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Gee, Boob, my neighbors are getting a divorce. Actually, there are 3 couples I know of who are splitting up. They're all straight.

      And you were saying?

      July 9, 2012 at 9:07 am |
  16. Lorraine Voss

    jwt,yeahright, tom tom on the pipe, and others YHWH made this law of life for all the people of this earth, so to say your god is redundant, and at a lost for as He states in Isaiah 56, and in Exodus 33 vs. 16 this is for all nations, and people of this earth those who were mislead, and not taught properly by these priest, popes, false prophets, elders, and shepherds, as YHWH taught us of them all misleading the flocks, in Malachi 2, Jeremiah 23 vs.1-8, Ezekiel 20, and Ezekiel 34, yet YHWH will save them all when His day comes, as said in Isaiah 51 vs. 5, that His righteousness is near. No YHWH is the strong one, the King of the Hebrews, as taught in Genesis 3v18, and Genesis 5v3; just read Genesis – Malachi then you will know who is who. Wake up out of darkness.

    July 8, 2012 at 1:09 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      When I read your delirious drivel, I see Piper Laurie as Carrie's mother.

      July 8, 2012 at 1:53 pm |
    • jwt

      You and your god babble on yet I am not and never have been in any darkness – unless the sun is down or I was in a cave,.

      So what you are trying to say is that your god has taken over from all the other 3500+ gods and because some translation of some old bs I am one of his subjects – truly you are deranged if you believe that sh!t.

      July 8, 2012 at 4:33 pm |
    • jwt

      Lorraine the only time I would bend a knee to anyone's god would be immediately before I kicked its imaginary ass back down into the sewer where it belongs.

      July 8, 2012 at 4:47 pm |
    • Lorraine Voss

      CORRECTION...EXODUS 3V18, AND EXODUS 5V3, ARE THE SCRIPTURES OF THE CREATOR YHWH BEING THE HOLY ONE OF THE HEBREWS WHO MOSES BROUGHT OUT OF EGYPT.

      July 8, 2012 at 11:42 pm |
    • jwt

      Now lorraine! You know that yelling just spreads the spittle further.

      July 9, 2012 at 5:07 am |
  17. Bob

    The proletarian/gay revolution can become a reality only if the gay/proletarian class struggle culminates in a gigantic process, stretching out over years and decades. This process is one of systematically and consciously overturning all human relations, and of generalizing first the independent activity of the gay/proletariat, and later (on the threshold of the classless society) that of all members of society. right out of the Socialists handbook and you thought it was just a bunch of people not coordinated?

    July 8, 2012 at 8:04 am |
    • jwt

      So tell me bobby what really happened at roswell – did you crash your spaceship or did the airforce shoot it down? Were you braindamaged at all ?

      July 8, 2012 at 8:41 am |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Doddering/Captain Ass hole, don't take the brown acid. It's bad, man.

      July 8, 2012 at 11:03 am |
    • midwest rail

      Seriously delusional. This post proves, once and for all, that Bob doesn't have the good sense God gave gophers.

      July 8, 2012 at 1:27 pm |
  18. Bob

    I don't like liars and I don't like those that would try to steer people in the wrong course about God and the Bible purely for selfish and distorted motives that run deeper than what all the gloss and glitz says. I don't like the insults here and calling of names in a effort to intimidate, I don't want gay marriage and God is real ,alive and has been more faithful to me and helped me more than any person. I am a real Christian not a church on Sunday forget about God the rest of the week Christian.You and the others here have insulted a friend a Father to me. I do like the US and don't want to see value systems changed to accommodate gay lifestyle and a socialist agenda. The younger folks don't have any idea what a propaganda campaign is running right now to push this agenda through. Why would we have to take BC/AD out of this countries vocabulary except to take Jesus out and put secular standards in. We ARE a Christian Nation and you and others would like us to forget our very heritage to work toward their own selfish motives. Ones that I personally don't like and more will find they don't like either. What I have posted is the truth and the intention and direction of the gay agenda as spoken by their own creators. You didn't like opinion so it took me time to look and find the truth and even to be able to post it here. I hope that others would start to do the same. Our leaders have to know that this is serious.

    July 8, 2012 at 7:54 am |
    • jwt

      They do know it is serious and they are taking solid steps to ensure that gays and lesbians get the rights that they properly deserve. Hopefully soon more steps will be taken to protect them from the immoral bigots of the nation.

      It's fine for you to believe on religious reasons that beign gay is wrong – wrong for you. It is not wrong for those not of your particular religious persuasion. There is a solid reason for separation of state and church and you have shown us that reason bob, among others.

      July 8, 2012 at 8:51 am |
    • Bob

      There is No separation of church and state anther phrase that is misunderstood.

      July 8, 2012 at 4:15 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Yes, there is, Bob. And yes, you're the one who doesn't understand it.

      July 8, 2012 at 4:17 pm |
    • tallulah13

      Bob, you are enti.tled to your opinion, and you are enti.tled to your one vote. Personally, I find your willingness to vilify people on the basis of your personal faith to be harmful, offensive, and ultimately, un-American. This country was founded by men who knew that allowing religion to dictate government is poisonous to freedom and equality.

      I find it offensive that you accuse people who don't agree with you of lying. When you do that, you are the one who is lying. I find it offensive that you endorse bigotry on the basis of your belief in a god for which there is not a single shred of evidence. Indeed, there is more evidence that hom.ose.xuality is innate than there is evidence to support the existence of any god. I find it offensive that you call the struggle for equal rights an "agenda".

      I don't care how you feel about your god. That is your business. But I will be casting my one vote in support of the American ideals - equality, justice, fairness - that aren't found in your bible.

      July 9, 2012 at 12:06 am |
  19. Bob

    A pioneering h0m0 activist Frank Kameny celebrated by fellow h0m0 the world over and honored by big O and his adm-in says the God of the Bible is a sinful h0m0pho bigot who needs to repent of his sinful h0m0pho.He was integral in pressuring the APA to reclassify gay activities as normal,has written to a pro-family organization that he believes bestiality is fine,as long as the animal doesn't mind."

    July 8, 2012 at 12:28 am |
    • jwt

      You take this to a whole new level. It has nothing to do with your fake god now does it bobby. It is all personal with you. Oh well a dyin gbreed anyway and all to the good.

      July 8, 2012 at 6:25 am |
    • midwest rail

      jwt nailed it. This is personal for Bob. Whether it involves a " funny uncle " from his youth is only a guess, but this is definitely personal, not religious.

      July 8, 2012 at 1:26 pm |
    • Bob

      Why wouldn't it be personal? Are you guys playing at this? or maybe the gay agenda is really playing? or maybe the change to this country is playful to you? I don't know why it wouldn't be personal, maybe misleading people on what the Bible says is playful to you or maybe you just don't give a crap.

      July 8, 2012 at 4:14 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Why is it personal to you, Bob? How will gay marriage affect you personally, Bob? Or should I call you Doddering Idiot? Or Captain Ass hole?

      July 8, 2012 at 4:15 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      In what way is gay marriage 'changing' this country, Boob, when only 2-3% of the population is gay? How has it changed a single thing in your life? Can you give any honest answer to these questions?

      Or are you going to be a little pu$$y and change the subject again? Throw in sh!t about NAMBLA or pedophilia or polygamy or some other red herring because you don't have a single point otherwise?

      July 8, 2012 at 4:20 pm |
    • jwt

      Personally I don't care what people believe the bible says as long as they don;t get some insane idea (see lorriane) about how any of the sh!t in it means anything to me. And as long as they don't use it to try and enforce their personal bigotry on the nation and as long as they keep said crap away from my kids.

      July 8, 2012 at 4:45 pm |
  20. Bob

    This was a question posed in a meeting,,In other words, according to Kinsey, s orientation is a matter of indifference to nature?
    Yes, and I can't help but laugh now, in this context, when I think of a physc meeting we had in Atlanta. Richard Isay, a gay physc and a leading proponent and promoter of gay intercourse, was on a panel where someone asked him about a Kinsey-like statement that Isay had made–something about nature's indifference to any form of S. The questioner asked Isay about farm boys who might be attracted to sheep. Would he encourage these boys to have s with sheep? With a straight face, Isay said this was entirely acceptable, "as long as the erotic attraction was satisfying to both the boy and the ewe." Here was the leading spokesman for the gay caucus at the A.P.A., giving a rationale for bestiality.

    July 7, 2012 at 11:40 pm |
    • Lorraine Voss

      Ah, yes, and this is what happens when people are choosing to do whatever they want to please their fleshly desires, without discerning right, from wrong as taught to us they would do, prophesied in Malachi 3v13-15, and is why we have the troubles, and sufferings of today. The in difference, greed, imposed poverty, hate, etc. all because of selfish behaviors such as these of gay acceptance, just for gain once again. That is all this government wants is to be able to tax it, being gay that is, and just for profit they can care less of its morality towards the world, their greed raises its ugly head once again, as prophesied it would in the book of Daniel 11 vs. 39-43. All nations accepting strange gods, that the fathers Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob knew not of, and calling it good, goes along with whatever else comes to ones mind in my opinion, oh, and also of the prophet Daniel's of course.

      July 8, 2012 at 10:53 am |
    • jwt

      One thing is for sure lorriane – you worship a really strange god.

      July 8, 2012 at 11:14 am |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Jwt, you seem surprised. Lorraine is a loony. Of course she worships a loony god.

      July 8, 2012 at 11:16 am |
    • jwt

      I don't mind what religion lorraine has – that is her choice. What I mind is her psychotic assumption that I must participate in it.

      July 8, 2012 at 8:03 pm |
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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.