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Religious Tolerance logo

Resolving human rights controversies
in the U.S. as they existed circa 2016:

A brief discussion of the root causes of major
religious/secular conflicts, involving abortion
access, sexual orientation, and gender identity.

Part 3 of four parts, about:
Homosexuality and bisexuality.

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This topic is a continuation from the previous essay

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Conflict 2:

The core conflict here is whether the term "homosexuality" and "bisexuality" refers to:

  • A normal, natural, sexual orientation. A person is set up to have a homosexual orientation by their genes, but it may require an epigenetic process during pregnancy or an environmental trigger early in childhood to implement the orientation.

    Based on studies of human sexuality and the life experiences of lesbians, gays and bisexuals, one's sexual orientation is discovered, not chosen. It is always -- or almost always -- fixed in adulthood and not changeable. "Homosexuality" and "bisexuality" are defined by the gender of persons to whom a person is sexually attracted. About 5% of adults have a homosexual orientation and are attracted only to members of the same sex
    . Another approximately 5% have a bisexual orientation; they are attracted to both women and men, although typically not to the same degree. Having a homosexual or bisexual orientation or engaging in same-gender sexual behavior is viewed as not intrinsically immoral.

or, alternately, to:

  • An abnormal, unnatural, chosen, changeable, and perhaps addictive, sexual behavior caused by environmental factors such as parenting coupled with an actual decision by the individual. Homosexuality and bisexuality are typically defined in terms of the gender of the other person with whom an individual has been sexually active. All same-gender sexual behavior is viewed as inherently immoral. Using this definition, a person with a homosexual orientation who is celibate is considered to have "left the hoosexual lifestyle" and converted to heterosexuality.

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There are a half-dozen passages in the Hebrew and Christian Bible (a.k.a. Old and New Testament) that are believed by most conservative Jews, Christians and Muslims to condemn all same-gender sexual behavior.

Religious liberals and secularists often refer to these as "clobber passages," and interpret their meaning very differently. They are seen as condemning: rape, bestiality (sexual behavior by humans with a nonhuman species), sex with temple prostitutes, two men having sex on a woman's bed, and men having sex with catamites (boy or youth slaves).

Romans 1 is a special case because it discusses both men and women engaging in sexual behaviors with members of the same sex. It involved formerly Christian heterosexuals who converted to Paganism and engaged in same-gender sexual behavior during ritual orgies. In doing so, they violated their natural feelings of sexual attraction. and engaged in sexual behavior which was against their basic nature. The author, Paul, condemned them for it. Some liberals and secularists would argue that a person with a homosexual orientation who engaged in sexual behavior with members of the opposite sex would similarly be violating their basic nature and thereby be condemned by the same passage.

If a consensus could be reached about the core nature of homosexual and bisexual orientation and behavior, then many disagreements could be resolved. They include whether such behavior should be legal or illegal, and whether these minorities should be eligible to marry, adopt children, be protected from discrimination in accommodation, employment, etc.

Homosexual and bisexual youth are over represented by about eight times in homeless shelters. Many of them have been expelled from their family of origin when their parents found the sexual orientation of their child. Resolving the nature of sexual orientation might go a long way towards resolving this serious social problem.

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This topic continues in the next essay, which
discusses transgender individuals and transsexuals.

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How you may have arrived here:

Home > Vital notes > here

Home > "Hot" religious topics > here

Home page > "Hot" religious topics > homosexuality > here

Home page > "Human rights" > homosexuality > here

Home page > "Morality and ethics" > homosexuality > here

Home > Vital notes > here

Home > Vital notes > here


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Copyright 2016 by Ontario Consultants on Religious Tolerance
Original posting: 2016-MAY-07
Latest update : 2016-MAY-30
Author: B.A. Robinson

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