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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. YeahRight

    "In reality the empty heads of US voters shows"

    It showed they were educated on the real facts. Heterosexual behavior and homosexual behavior are normal aspects of human sexuality. Despite the persistence of stereotypes that portray lesbian, gay, and bisexual people as disturbed, several decades of research and clinical experience have led all mainstream medical and mental health organizations in this country to conclude that these orientations represent normal forms of human experience. The American Academy of Pediatrics, the American Counseling Association, the American Psychiatric Association, the American Psychological Association, the American School Counselor Association, the National Association of School Psychologists, and the National Association of SocialWorkers, together representing more than 480,000 mental health professionals, have all taken the position that homosexuality is not a mental disorder and thus is not something that needs to or can be “cured."

    Social science has shown that the concerns often raised about children of lesbian and gay parents—concerns that are generally grounded in prejudice against and stereotypes about gay people—are unfounded. Overall, the research indicates that the children of lesbian and gay parents do not differ from the children of heterosexual parents in their development, adjustment, or overall well-being.

    November 8, 2012 at 9:50 am |
  2. YeahRight

    "Poor show Maine Poor show Maryland, its a shame you have lost your way."

    No, it's called civil rights. 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.

    These rights include:
    Tax Benefits
    -–Filing joint income tax returns with the I R S and state taxing authorities.
    -–Creating a "family partnership" under federal tax laws, which allows you to divide business income among family members.
    Estate Planning Benefits
    -–Inheriting a share of your spouse's estate.
    -–Receiving an exemption from both estate taxes and gift taxes for all property you give or leave to your spouse.
    -–Creating life estate trusts that are restricted to married couples, including QTIP trusts, QDOT trusts, and marital deduction trusts.
    -–Obtaining priority if a conservator needs to be appointed for your spouse – that is, someone to make financial and/or medical decisions on your spouse's behalf.
    Government Benefits
    -–Receiving Social Security, Medicare, and disability benefits for spouses.
    -–Receiving veterans' and military benefits for spouses, such as those for education, medical care, or special loans.
    -–Receiving public assistance benefits.
    -–Employment Benefits
    -–Obtaining insurance benefits through a spouse's employer.
    -–Taking family leave to care for your spouse during an illness.
    -–Receiving wages, workers' compensation, and retirement plan benefits for a deceased spouse.
    -–Taking bereavement leave if your spouse or one of your spouse's close relatives dies.
    Medical Benefits
    -–Visiting your spouse in a hospital intensive care unit or during restricted visiting hours in other parts of a medical facility.
    -–Making medical decisions for your spouse if he or she becomes incapacitated and unable to express wishes for treatment.
    Death Benefits
    -–Consenting to after-death examinations and procedures.
    -–Making burial or other final arrangements.
    Family Benefits
    -–Filing for stepparent or joint adoption.
    -–Applying for joint foster care rights.
    -–Receiving equitable division of property if you divorce.
    -–Receiving spousal or child support, child custody, and visitation if you divorce.
    Housing Benefits
    -–Living in neighborhoods zoned for "families only."
    -–Automatically renewing leases signed by your spouse.
    Consumer Benefits
    -–Receiving family rates for health, homeowners', auto, and other types of insurance.
    -–Receiving tuition discounts and permission to use school facilities.
    -–Other consumer discounts and incentives offered only to married couples or families.
    -–Other Legal Benefits and Protections
    -–Suing a third person for wrongful death of your spouse and loss of consortium (loss of intimacy).
    -–Suing a third person for offenses that interfere with the success of your marriage, such as alienation of affection and criminal conversation (these laws are available in only a few states).
    -–Claiming the marital communications privilege, which means a court can't force you to disclose the contents of confidential communications between you and your spouse during your marriage.
    -–Receiving crime victims' recovery benefits if your spouse is the victim of a crime.
    -–Obtaining immigration and residency benefits for noncitizen spouse.
    -–Visiting rights in jails and other places where visitors are restricted to immediate family.

    November 8, 2012 at 9:41 am |
  3. Bob

    Maine and Maryland, two of the first states to progress past stupid laws based on supersti-tions. Well done.

    November 8, 2012 at 9:35 am |
  4. Bob

    A real problem here is that Christian god doesn't exist, and Jesus wasn't divine. In fact, the whole Christian premise of an omnipotent being "sacrificing" its son in order to "save" anything is absurd and silly. Basing laws on a myth book such as the bible, that isn't even self-consistent, is similarly absurd.

    Christianity is going to get left behind like so many other god myths, and gay marriage is going ahead whether fundie Christians (who are mostly a dying breed) like it or not. Get used to it, and move on from your supersti-tions.

    November 8, 2012 at 9:33 am |
    • Bob

      The truth is Christianity is growing and even in places like Iran who kill people for believing and telling anyone about Jesus the Christ. Also in China there are persecuted underground churches showing up all over. Its a shame the US was built on the Bible and we see here is a falling away, we have so much and forgot who to thank. But in countries that don't have as much and have sought for truth are finding it. I can only hope the US wakes up before its to late.

      November 8, 2012 at 10:56 am |
    • Bob

      The truth is Christianity is growing and even in places like Iran who put to death people for believing and telling anyone about Jesus the Christ. Also in China there are persecuted underground churches showing up all over. Its a shame the US was built on the Bible and we see here is a falling away, we have so much and forgot who to thank. But in countries that don't have as much and have sought for truth are finding it. I can only hope the US wakes up before its to late.

      November 8, 2012 at 10:57 am |
    • judy

      The Bible is failing in America, Bob, because people are waking up and facing the idiocy of religion. They are finally seeing it for what it is – myth.

      November 9, 2012 at 9:52 am |
  5. Bob

    Poor show Maine Poor show Maryland, its a shame you have lost your way.

    November 8, 2012 at 8:16 am |
  6. midwest rail

    Well done, Maine. Well done, Maryland.

    November 8, 2012 at 7:46 am |
    • Robert

      Minnesota, and Washington probably will pass too.

      November 8, 2012 at 10:16 am |
  7. Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

    Chew on this, you hom0phobes: Maryland just voted FOR the rights of gays to marry!

    Now you can shove your claim that every time the issue goes to a referendum, it's defeated.

    NO LONGER THE CASE. In your face, Bob and Lorraine.

    November 7, 2012 at 7:58 pm |
    • Who invited me?

      It was up for vote in 4 states...didn't it also pass in Washington and Maine?

      November 7, 2012 at 8:03 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      It may have.

      November 7, 2012 at 9:11 pm |
    • Lorraine

      tom the piper, look i can care less what gays do, it is not my call, it is between them, and YHWH, man don't put that on me, what man's law will allow, this, is obvious that he would do these things anyway, and it is taught in Malachi 3:13-15, doing whatever, and calling it good, prophesy fulfilled, its right on point, the sooner, the better of these end times to shine. We are all responsible for our own righteousness in the end, not for me, or anyone on earth, to judge, take it to the Holy One above. lol YHWH Bless.

      November 7, 2012 at 10:05 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Sure, Loopy. You don't care AT ALL. You just spend all your waking hours exhorting against gays.

      Suck on it, sister.

      November 7, 2012 at 10:21 pm |
    • Lorraine

      tom the piper, goofy, no gays are not the only ones that i exhort to about righteousness, they're not any different than the rest of us who are responsible for their own righteousness, nothing makes them any different to follow the law of righteousness like anyone else has to, or should. have a good day. YHWH BLESS.

      November 7, 2012 at 11:50 pm |
    • Bob

      I was saddened by the vote not only for this issue but also for the big O. In reality the empty heads of US voters shows and so I am not surprised either way. No one I talked to could give me a good reason to vote for O. The one joy in this whole thing was the thought of Tomasina jumping up and down for joy and gloating over what had happened. Congrats Tomasina in getting your wants but I fear this is only one step in the destruction of the US as we know it. Washington did not pass gay marriage. The country was divided in the vote for O and this issue. But through all this there is no justification for gay marriage in the Bible..

      November 8, 2012 at 7:37 am |
    • YeahRight

      "Washington did not pass gay marriage."

      Really Bob, where did you hear that fox news? LOL! They haven't stopped counting the votes yet idiot. But as it stands ss of 10:12 p.m. Tuesday

      Yes

      52%

      No

      48%

      November 8, 2012 at 9:45 am |
    • mama k

      Yeah, I've got your number, Lorraine. YHWH my ass. Lorraine's loopy group don't want to give creedence to Christianity nor modern Judaism, yet the only thing they can do is reference the unfounded folklore. LOL. A scam, pure and simple.

      November 8, 2012 at 10:05 am |
    • mama k

      Well there are many who would have different interpretations of the Bible than you , Bub. That's the problem with Christianity – one can take any side of any argument and use the conflicted book to support their war.

      But fortunately, more and more people are waking up to the fact that there is no credible proof anywhere to any of the claims made by the Bible – I don't care whether you are talking about Gullible's Travels, Part 1 (Torah), or Gullible's Travels, Part 2 (NT). Your kind is dwindling rapidly, Bub, and sanity and reason is starting to prevail.

      November 8, 2012 at 10:10 am |
  8. Don

    "Both the Old and New Testament are replete with warnings and prohibitions cautioning believers about the
    dangers, diseases, setbacks, heartaches and pain associated with the practice of fornication"

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

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

    Genesis 19:1-25

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

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

    Romans 1:24-27

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

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

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

    What is "Natural"?

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

    I Corinthians 6:9

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

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

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

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

    November 7, 2012 at 10:03 am |
    • Lorraine

      Again YHWH does not do religions, they are all idolatry; His is the spirituality of all life, of the 'holy seed', Deuteronomy 32:45-47, and of our 'seeds' in Isaiah 61: 8-11, and in Jeremiah 29:32, there is no mentioning of being celibate, or of fornication in this sense of meaning pertaining to 'life' in the book of remembrance, the so called OT by YHWH. He advocates 'procreation' between a man, and a woman, otherwise anything else is not allowed. of course procreation of righteousness, a man, and his wife, or wives, and a woman, and her husband. This is not saying He doesn't love gay persons, no way, but He says you must do His law of righteousness, the 10 commandments, doing what is right, and as YHWH says in Isaiah 59:1-4, He explains that none of these iniquities are allowed, yet His hand is still strected out to us to convert to His law, which was never changed from YHWH, for in Malachi 3:6, it teaches us that YHWH changes not, none of His law. Therefore, these lies that are taught in the NT changing this law is not of the King YHWH, as expressed by His anger in Isaiah 24:1-6, until this day we are under His wrath of the sword, in Jeremiah 25, until we convert, and return to Him, and the law, Malachi 3:7, and in Malachi 4:4, by His last prophet until this day. Look it up. No man can change this law, only the Holy One YHWH can. And if being celibate is how one can control being gay so be it, but this law is perpetual, anyone gay will have to convert to this law of right, and do right by YHWH. Otherwise do what the man law says, and that is between them, and the Almighty Creator YHWH, for no man can judge another, only the King YHWH can, He's the only one without sin. Learn the truth the only son, and firstborn son that the Holy One says He has is in Exodus 4:22, Jeremiah 31: 9,20, and it is the chosen 'ISRAEL' there can't be two firstborns, that is a idol god in th NT. YHWH Bless.

      November 7, 2012 at 1:14 pm |
    • mama k

      Lorraine is a true nutcase. If I have this correctly, this website has some videos of the kind of things she believes in:

      http://www.yhwhourrighteousnesshome.org/the-jesus-myth-part-1.html

      I guess may it can be described as a kind of revisionist religion based on primarily the OT. And of course she rambles about the Book of Remembrance. Well, in all fairness, no more nutty than the next religion, including all faiths based on the god of abraham. There's one thing many of them have in common – a basis of the OT which of course is rehashed folkore from other folklore and word of mouth stories from millennia ago – stories that we see actually changed down through the millennia. Too bad that:

      1. No one is alive to give credence to any of the folklore.
      2. None of the proof that they claim to have can they show when asked.
      3. Ancient writings by themselves prove nothing.

      Ancient writings from rehashed folklore – credible?? I think not.

      November 7, 2012 at 5:52 pm |
    • Lorraine

      mama k, you can think what you want but it doesn't make it true, and i see you still won't call that number to substantiate what you are saying, or questioning, hmm, is the truth too much to handle for you? Oh, i had a post to give more facts of our american history but they did not allow it, to keep many, the masses in the dark. Besides, It is everyone's responsibility to read this book to know the truth from Genesis-Malachi, as Moses taught us in Deuteronomy 5, and as in Isaiah 34:16,17. YHWH BLESS.

      November 7, 2012 at 7:39 pm |
    • palabrasdereflexion

      the bible clearly states that in the finals days there will be teachers according to their own sinful teachings and would make the flock (christian ) go to the wrong path. to read your writings, and see how utterly wrong you are on this is just...out of this word, but when I read the bible it tells me that people such as you would show up, teaching a gospel according to their own sinful ways, and so, that takes the surprise and just show me that the word of God is been fulfilled. Romans chapter 1 states clearly that because man parted from God, and believed to be wiser than God and denied his excistense (much like you are doing, misinterpretting the word of God, and playing around with interpretation to basically further your agenda) turned what's agains nature woman with woman and men with men...read it

      November 7, 2012 at 8:21 pm |
    • 0G-No gods, ghosts, goblins or ghouls

      The Babble is a crock of sh!t with no factual foundation for its contents or the alledged supernatural beings within. It's long past the time for delusional belevers to grow up and shed their silly cultish beliefs.

      November 7, 2012 at 11:31 pm |
    • Lorraine

      palabrasdereflexion, i can see that you have not read the so called OT, the book of remembrance, named in Malachi 3:16, all of the prophetic books, for Malachi is the last prophet until this day, look it up for yourself. But i have read both the OT, and the NT, and the NT does not fulfill the OT, it contradicts instead. For in Malachi 3:6, YHWH the divine supreme's true name says that He changes not, meaning none of this law. This is also confirmed in Deuteronomy 4, and in Jeremiah 26:1,2, to never add, nor diminish nothing of the law the 10 commandments, the statues, ordinances, and judgments. And yet they did right over in the NT are many changes to this law, and they were not changed by the word of YHWH through His prophets, for He teaches us that He does nothing but through them in Amos 3:7, this is how we learn truth from the lies. Why just on the first page of mathew are so many discrepancies that it will blow one's mind, even with the begets, they are misspelled, not even in the books of genealogy, and its so much more.

      These are not my words i quote right from the scriptures in the so called OT, and over in the nt they changed them. The nt is a not true book, why do they have the introduction page of the our lord and savior in the middle of the book? who is He in the front of the book to you? This intro page should be in the front of this book, for the only son YHWH says He has is in Exodus 4:22, His son, and His firstborn, there cannot be two firstborn sons sir/madam, its also in Jeremiah 31:9,20, its 'ISRAEL' all the 12 tribes, and Ephraim of Joseph 's, so who is this over in the nt other than an idol, for YHWH says in Deuteronomy 32:39, Isaiah 44:24, Isaiah 45:5-7, that there is no one with Him, He does it all. And in Isaiah 43:3,11,15, He is our savior, and our redeemer, He's the Holy One, and In Isaiah 49:26, Isaiah 60:16. This is His Word not mine, and all the prophets give every word they say is praised from,and unto YHWH.

      Let me give an example in timothy 4:4 he says we can eat anything all is good , but YHWH says do not eat unclean animals in Deuteronomy 14, and in Leviticus 11. Remember Deuteronomy 4, do not add, nor diminish His words, a man cannot just change the law but they the priest, pastors, popes, elders do it over in the nt anyway misleading the people, as taught in Ezekiel 34, Jeremiah 5:23-31, Jeremiah 23 period, and many other books tells of this, and if you read closely you'll see that it teaches until this day they have gone astray, it will say 'latter days' or until this day. We are in the end times if you calculate its been now for over 2000 years that these lies were done, and is prophesied in the book of Daniel that it would, so what do you want from me? it is the truth, and YHWHs righteousness is near Isaiah 51:5, it won't be long now. YHWH BLESS.

      November 8, 2012 at 12:49 am |
    • Lorraine

      palabrasdereflexion, yes just as you say the wicked ones will teach wrong, but have no fear for YHWH says that His chosen will pop up like the willows in the present prophecy in Isaiah 44:1-8, and His jewels in Malachi 3:16-18. It has begun, and in process right now these are the end times and much is being prepared for this spiritual occurrence, the day of YHWH Malachi 4:1, Zechariah 3.

      November 8, 2012 at 1:19 am |
  9. pastmorm

    So, the past few months, I've been really concerned about a mormon in the White House because of my background with the mormon church (7th generation...ancestor even mentioned in the D&C) and how horrible I know it to truly be.

    No more of CNN (which obviously supported Romnesia, the big hairy ape). No more fighting with a bunch of mormon propagandists. All that matters is that not only did creepy conservatrolls LOSE last night, but the mormon church lost the money it donated to stop gay marriage in Maryland and Maine. LOL! ON top of that, how many members are going to be questioning their religion now? After all that fasting and prayer, surely God would have seen the light and created a win for Romney, the chosen of the mormons and God himself. LOL! NOT!
    So, no more of these boards. And NO more of cnn. In 4 years mormonism will be a skeleton of what it was. All of the things that have come out about it's REAL temple beliefs and godhood, etc, will hit Americans and they will put it up there with the likes of David Koresh. Younger generations are already leaving the church (I've been able to help 7 out of 13 of my nieces and nephews see the light of freedom) and as technology takes over, even more will leave behind the dinosaur led by a bunch of smelly, old, pathetic men, that is the mormon church. BYE LOSERS!!!!!

    November 7, 2012 at 9:43 am |
    • Lorraine

      All RELIGIONS are manmade, and pagan idolatry, they are not of the spirituality of all life, love, righteousness, nor peace, they are to control the masses, and are for gain, and profit, as taught in Daniel 11:39, and in Jeremiah 5:22-31, of the teaching of lies, and falseness of these religions since the former days until the latter . YHWH Bless.

      November 7, 2012 at 1:28 pm |
  10. midwest rail

    Well done, Maine. Well done, Maryland.

    November 7, 2012 at 8:28 am |
    • Robert

      Washington too.

      November 7, 2012 at 10:17 am |
    • palabrasdereflexion

      they shall receive their retribution from God, for voting for the abomination. however one thing is clear, regardless if they can marry or not, their marrige still a sham, govement did not invent nor did it come up with marriage so, it can't change it, in principle. nothing more grotesque and nausearing than two men or two woman, but hey, God's word needs to be fulfilled and the bible talks about these things happening in the end time.

      November 7, 2012 at 8:25 pm |
    • Janet

      "they shall receive their retribution from God, for voting for the abomination."

      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.

      November 8, 2012 at 9:59 am |
  11. Bob

    I think what amazes me here is we have Douglas a self proclaimed gay person. He has the ability to do what no one who attacks him probably me included, to go celibate so he wouldn't loose his salvation. This is a near to impossible road for most but the bible talks about it and it is a gift. Yet we have the ones that are so concerned about gay marriage that ridicule and malign him. What hypocrites to malign a person who they supposedly want rights for. This alone should make all who look at the respondents think about what is really their point. Who are they to trample the very testimony of someone they want rights for that is living a life that they themselves could not live and living it in devotion to Jesus so that he would not spoil his salvation. In this admitting he also reaches out to gays who may not have this idea and tries to get through to them. This is a noble cause and takes much strength to do. I know that I would have a hard time being married to devote myself to the Lord in this manner. So in all who argue for gay marriage how can you be so closed minded as to not accept the lifestyle statement from someone who has been there?? Not allowing him the dignity of the statements he makes with respect? What a sad state of affairs even for atheists like these shame on you. You wonder why I write, this is one reason the truth in their agenda comes forward not serving others but self motivated self serving. Not encouraging ones like Douglas who have found a way that works for himself and others.

    November 7, 2012 at 8:01 am |
    • .

      Bob and Douglas are the same person.

      November 7, 2012 at 10:07 am |
    • James

      "So in all who argue for gay marriage how can you be so closed minded as to not accept the lifestyle statement from someone who has been there?? Not allowing him the dignity of the statements he makes with respect?"

      Because the reason he is doing is not valid. 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.

      November 7, 2012 at 11:20 am |
    • palabrasdereflexion

      read your whole post, still didn't understand where you stand

      November 7, 2012 at 8:27 pm |
    • Bob

      So Yeah/James you are now the decider of what is right?? That alone is a truly scary thought but one that this whole thing is about. You are trying to decide for someone else if their reason is just in their decision, YOU ARE NOT THE JUDGE. just like you say of me and others about our decisions and rights you are trying to take away Douglas right to his decision. That is the pot calling the kettle black.

      November 8, 2012 at 7:42 am |
  12. Douglas

    The Bible is unambiguous about the sin of gay coitus.

    Both the Old and New Testament are replete with warnings and prohibitions cautioning believers about the
    dangers, diseases, setbacks, heartaches and pain associated with the practice of fornication.

    Why pursue sin and risk losing your salvation?

    This is the question we ask GLBTQ Christians when they answer the altar call to repent and be cleansed of
    the stain of fornication.

    Through celibate partnerships, LGBTQ Chrisitians rise up from the depths of sin and find salvation.

    Stop the bullying of celibate LGBTQ Christians by Satanic apologists for the sin of fornication.

    Defend the right of LGBTQ couples to live in celibacy and peace.

    November 7, 2012 at 7:05 am |
    • Melvin

      "Both the Old and New Testament are replete with warnings and prohibitions cautioning believers about the
      dangers, diseases, setbacks, heartaches and pain associated with the practice of fornication."

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

      November 7, 2012 at 10:06 am |
  13. Douglas

    Out, Proud and Celibate!

    These words ring true to our LGBTQ Christian brothers and sisters who are obedient to the Bible and are serious about their salvation.

    Pray for the lost LGBTQ souls struggling with fornication. The guilt and shame that so many live with can be wiped clean.

    Start a support group at your place of worship for struggling LGBTQ Chrisitians battling the temptation of Satan to fornicate.

    Our prayer circle continues to grow and we welcome new members young and old to affirm that fornication must be jettisoned for true LGBTQ deliverance from sin.

    Together we can make a difference for LGBTQ souls striving for celibate partnerships.

    Satan...get behind!

    November 6, 2012 at 11:43 pm |
    • Lorraine

      You seriously need to learn what the King YHWH says, and He never said to be celibate, not with all of the begats that are in Genesi-Malachi, stop misleading the people. He specifically said to 'procreate' the right way of course, a man, and a woman, joined by the law of righteousness, the 10 commandment so do right, and read the truth from the Only Savior, and Redeemer In Isaiah 49:60, and Isaiah 60:16, these do not say jc. And all praise goes to the creator of all life the King YHWH. And all religions are crap, pagan, idolatry, and not from the spirit of the King YHWH, and the truth.

      And while you're reading Genesis-Malachi, look in the back of any of your books you learn that the Holy One,has a name, it is not Lord, or God, men have called themselves that, and putting the creator of life on the same scale as a man is great blasphemy. Look under tetragrammation, and the so called yahweh, also not His name but these define YHWH.

      November 7, 2012 at 1:06 am |
    • Jeffrey R.

      Wathc the movie "Protagonist". It's a very interesting look at the lives of very different people, and how they follow the dramatic arch of Ancient Greek tragedy. One is a German terrorist who realized his path had gone astray, and is now happy to just work on a farm.

      Another is a gay man who was so trapped in the teachings of his Christianity that he became an "I was gay but now I'm saved" speaker, lecturing and preaching all over the place. The video of him at that stage sounds like you right now: fervent and sure. Eventually the reality of his nature could not be suppressed or denied, and he became true to his real identity and is now the co-owner of a drag club.

      Very interesting film. Not everyone in this life will follow that dramatic arc.

      November 7, 2012 at 1:21 am |
    • Lorraine

      YHWH loves us all widows, orphans, adoptees, gays etc..He only ask that we all do the law of righteousness, and do right by one another, and ourselves. Ezekiel 18:23-32, and in Ezekiel 34.

      November 7, 2012 at 1:59 pm |
  14. Bob

    These posts by yeah using the names james,john brent, erik and many more have been posted on pages 146 to 176 in various forms by various people so if you have trouble with this page don't worry you can look them up on those pages. He has nothing to say.

    November 6, 2012 at 7:09 pm |
    • Douglas

      Good point Bob. Spot on.

      Best,
      Douglas

      November 6, 2012 at 11:52 pm |
    • YeahRight

      "He has nothing to say."

      More lies from Bob, what's new right people. This is coming from a person who posts things from well known hate groups that aren't based on real facts. What an idiot.

      November 7, 2012 at 10:01 am |
    • palabrasdereflexion

      to Lorraine, if you don't believe in gravity, go jump of a building and you'll see that it still exists, samethign with God and his word, you might not believe in it, it still is, regardless of your own believes and sooner or later you'll be judge accordingly.

      November 7, 2012 at 8:39 pm |
    • Lorraine

      pdbflexion, I don't believe, I know that the King YHWH is our only savior, and redeemer, and He is YHWH of host, the Holy One, from His words in Deuteronomy 32:39,40, in Isaiah 43,Isaiah 49:26, Isaiah 60:16, and in Isaiah 44:24, there is no strange god with Him, He does it all alone, how many times does He have to say it to those who are so stiffnecked, and proud. And His only son, and firstborn again is in Exodus 4:22,23, there cannot be two firstborn sons, read the truth, from the true prophets of YHWH for He teaches that He does nothing unless its through His servants the prophets in Amos 3:7, take off the blinders.

      YHWH is the King, the Creator of the earth, the heavens, and the waters, and life, and death, so why would anyone worship the son in the first place he can't do none of these, that is redundant. And no one can die for anothers sins, taught by Ezekiel 14:14-20, Jeremiah 31:30, and Ezekiel 18, from YHWH, all souls are His, and no man can ever be delivered from out of His hands in Isaiah 43:13, read the front of the book first from Genesis-Malachi, the last prophet until this day, look it up, its true.

      From the lack of fear unto YHWH in Isaiah 57:11, and in Jeremiah 5:20-22, until this day, 'YHWH' was taken out of this book 6800 times without Him instructing them to, but He allowed it, it will magnify the truth in His day, and is the Almighty's divine name, not Lord,or God, look it up. And anything not going by the law of righteousness is not going to fly people, not in the King's law. Man can do what he will be we all have to answer and be responsible for our own righteousness in the end folks, gay, liars, greed, users, adulters, hate, in difference, etc. etc. perversion, all not of YHWH. Praise YHWH.

      November 9, 2012 at 5:42 am |
  15. Brent

    The term “traditional marriage” is a term employed by anti-gay religious groups and individuals to promote bigotry, prejudice, hostility and discrimination toward gay and lesbian citizens.

    The term is used to justify a social injustice both in terms of denying gay and lesbian individuals equal treatment guaranteed by our Constitution and also denying them human dignity. The use of the term is an action that promotes constitutional unfairness and human indignity and therefore one which is morally wrong.

    If a person of faith agrees that a practice that promotes looking upon a segment of society as inferior, unworthy and undeserving of that which we find as good in our lives, the use of the term “traditional marriage” therefore also must be sinful.

    Regardless of their particular faith, the person would be hard-pressed to say that love, compassion and wanting what is best in our lives for others around us are not the core principles of most religions. When a person of faith stands opposed to those principles, their attitude and actions stand opposed to the principles which they strive to uphold in the everyday interactions with those around them.

    There is also deceit involved in the use of the term “traditional marriage” because those who employ the term attempt to perpetrate an untruth and ulterior motives of hostility and prejudice.

    The untruth comes when “traditional marriage” is offered up as a term that defines a religious concept of a God-blessed union of a young man and woman who fall in love, get married with no prior sexual experience, have children and remain together into old age. They are implying that this is how God ordains marriage.

    If it is, it took him until just 50 years ago to arrive at that conclusion.

    The tradition of marriage in Old Testament times meant the man and his wife could have the same father.

    In the Bible, the patriarch of the Hebrew people, Abraham, and his wife, Sarah, couldn’t have children so Sarah put forth her slave Hagar for Abraham to have children by.

    In Old Testament times, it was normal, sometimes even required for a man to take multiple wives. A man having multiple wives was accepted by the church as late as the 5th Century, 500 years after the teachings set forth in the New Testament. The church for a very long time apparently did not interpret biblical teaching as an edict for one-man, one-woman marriage.

    The tradition of marital unions in the 1700s and 1800s in America doesn’t seem to measure up to God-ordained – especially from the female perspective.

    One third of brides were pregnant at the altar in Concord, Massachusetts during the 20 years prior to the American Revolution.

    In this quote from a wedding couple in 1855, we see that the church had no problem blessing a legal marriage that was considered by many – including this couple – as a violation of the woman’s dignity and civil rights:

    “We believe that personal independence and equal human rights can never be forfeited, except for crime; that marriage should be an equal and permanent partnership, and so recognized by law; that until it is so recognized, married partners should provide against the radical injustice of present laws, by every means in their power…”

    So we can look back and see that religious teachings which uphold the ideals of love, dignity, compassion and respect for each person within marital unions throughout history has taken a back seat.

    In other words, the definition of a God-ordained tradition of marriage has never been constant rather it has evolved.

    History shows us it’s the marital union that should be uplifted…not the evolving traditions of a social institution. In other words, it’s not about how we come together but why.

    November 6, 2012 at 2:34 pm |
  16. John

    " hating God and this blinds them from seeing the truth"

    I do not hate God and have studied his word all my life. 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.

    November 6, 2012 at 2:29 pm |
  17. James

    "Gay marriage is addressed directly in the Bible even to the penalties of men wearing of women's clothing."

    No there is not, there is no passage about gay marriage. 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.

    November 6, 2012 at 2:22 pm |
    • palabrasdereflexion

      obviosuly you don't read the bible, so please don't state anything on the subject it would be better than getting embarrased.

      November 7, 2012 at 8:51 pm |
  18. Bob

    Although this is s repost actually fairly new one I wanted to answer. While it is true that in days of old just as today people used and use the Bible to justify their own motives this should in no way stop people from speaking the truth in what the Bible says. Because just like days of old people could be misled because they didn't know what was in the Bible. What it says is there is no justification for gay marriage it speaks on this directly. Gay marriage is addressed directly in the Bible even to the penalties of men wearing of women's clothing. But again like these men who in the past used the Bible those that are pushing gay marriage on us now have their basis in their own misguided ideas, liberal mindsets and hating God and this blinds them from seeing the truth,just like men of the past. The difference now is how to slander the Bible and Gods word so that people who don't read it will not know the truth of what it says. The other side is those who do know what it says how do we discredit and malign the Word of God so that we intimidate those who are true believers from speaking the truth. The Bible allows people to live lives whole and fulfilled and actually understanding and having a relationship with God. There is no justification for gay marriage in the Bible.

    November 6, 2012 at 12:38 pm |
    • Melvin

      "But again like these men who in the past used the Bible those that are pushing gay marriage on us now have their basis in their own misguided ideas, liberal mindsets and hating God and this blinds them from seeing the truth,just like men of the past."

      You have no idea what you are talking about. I am a Christian and I do not hate God!

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

      November 6, 2012 at 2:24 pm |
    • Brent

      Religion-based bigotry is the foundation of anti-gay attitudes in our society and in the minds of a majority of Americans, particularly persons of faith. The term religion-based bigotry was coined because it best fits the description of the problem. The term religion-based bigotry encompasses the attitudes of prejudice, hostility or discrimination that are falsely justified by religious teachings or belief. We will never see full and equal rights unless we address the root of people’s anti-gay attitude. Bob is a great example of this problem in America.

      November 6, 2012 at 2:41 pm |
  19. Brent

    Religion-based bigotry against LGBT people is wrong…just as it was wrong to use religious teachings to justify discrimination against Native Americans, African Americans, minority religious groups, woman and interracial couples.

    Connecting the dots between historical bigotry against other groups and the attitudes of some people today toward homosexuality is one of the most effective ways to educate people about the denial of equal rights to the LGBT community.

    Most people know that, historically, religion has been used to justify discrimination against women, religious minorities and people of color. Putting anti-gay religious beliefs in this historical context can be a powerful tool in connecting discrimination that most Americans today accept as morally wrong and the discrimination faced by LGBT people. By citing historical instances of religion-based bigotry and prejudice, you allow people to be more comfortable with attitudinal change – they realize they are not stepping out alone against a commonly accepted viewpoint but rather following historical progress toward justice and equality.

    When talking about the misuse of religion to justify discrimination in the past, it is important not to say that the LGBT community’s struggle with discrimination is exactly the same as the Civil Rights Movement. Rather, the point is that religion-based bigotry has been a common denominator of injustice toward many groups in American society’s past. When given a chance, many people will see the underlying historical pattern of using religious teachings and beliefs to justify harmful discrimination.

    There is another benefit to citing other times in the past when religious teachings have been used to justify discrimination. Many times, when people of faith are challenged about their anti-gay views, they cite biblical verses or other religious texts as a safe haven when they are unable to articulate why they hold prejudiced attitudes toward LGBT people. Instead of telling people that their interpretation is wrong, you can remind them that other religious texts have been used in the past to justify attitudes and laws that are recognized today as morally wrong and unjust – such as discrimination against women, people of color and religious minorities.

    History provides the moral judgment, and we do not have to be theologians engaged in scriptural debates to point people to the judgment rendered by history.

    November 5, 2012 at 9:47 am |
  20. Erik

    " made naturally by God"

    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!"

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

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

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

    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.

    Whether or not something is a choice is not a suitable criterion for whether someone should have equal rights and protections. Religion is indisputably a choice, but that fact is a not a valid argument for discriminating against a particular religion.

    November 5, 2012 at 9:35 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.