A Christian, intra-religious
Homosexual & other terms
related to sexual orientation
Homosexual terms, phrases and
We compare here:
|Definitions used by many most fundamentalist, other
Christian, Roman Catholic, and other religious conservative groups like the Christian Coalition, the
Family Research Council, Focus on the Family,
Promise Keepers, Traditional Values Coalition,
|Definitions used by others -- including most liberal & mainline Christians, followers of other religions'
mainline & liberal wings, persons who don't identify
themselves with any religion, therapists, counselors, human sexuality
lesbians and bisexuals, transsexuals, etc. |
These definitions tend to reflect closely the group's or individual's beliefs
about the nature of homosexuality: whether it is:
|A behavior or an innate nature,|
|Chosen or unchosen,|
|Changeable or fixed,|
|A preference or an orientation. |
The terms and what meaning they are given automatically bias the discussion
in one direction or another.
|Common usage by religious conservatives
||Usage by others
||Preference implies choice; orientation implies a fixed nature.
||"Lifestyle" implies a chosen, changeable way of living,
like choosing to live in an urban area rather than rural, or being self-employed
rather than work for a large company. "Orientation" implies an unchosen, fixed
fundamental nature like race or gender.
|A person is either a homosexual or a heterosexual
||A person may be a homosexual, bisexual or heterosexual
||Bisexuality -- being attracted to both men and women -- is often
ignored by evangelicals.
|There are about 30 sexual orientations including incest,
||There are only three possible sexual orientations: heterosexual,
bisexual, and homosexual
||Some fundamentalist Christian groups recognize numerous new sexual
orientations in order to fight hate crime bills that would protect people of all
||Educating others about the dynamics and diversity of human
||Many evangelicals feel that to explain sexual orientation is to
promote homosexuality and that this would lead more youth to choose to become gay or lesbian.
|All homosexual behavior is sinful.
||Same-sex sexual behavior is sinful if it is unsafe, manipulative,
coercive or non-consensual. So is opposite-sex behavior under these
||Some "others" would add that all sexual activity (same sex or
opposite sex) outside of a committed relationship is sinful.
|Homosexuality is a behavior.
||Homosexuality is an orientation, a feeling, and an identification.
||This difference causes massive confusion and prevents meaningful
|Homosexual behavior is an unnatural and sexually deviant behavior.
||Homosexuality is a normal and natural sexual orientation for a
minority of adults.
||There are many studies that show which one of these beliefs is
correct. However, none are accepted by both sides.
|Homosexuality is a chosen lifestyle; an act of rebellion. It is sometimes a type of addiction.
||Homosexuality is determined by genetics and may be triggered by unknown
environmental factors before school age.
||The term "lifestyle" implies choice, as in choosing a single
lifestyle, or urban lifestyle.
|Some Evangelicals define sexual
orientation as including: homosexuality, bestiality, necrophilia, abusive
pedophilia, incest, prostitution, etc.
||Sexual orientation comes in three varieties: heterosexuality,
homosexuality, and bisexuality.
||By defining 30 or so sexual orientations, evangelicals try
to claim that
civil rights based on sexual orientation may decriminalize abusive pedophilia,
|Homosexuals can leave homosexuality and become ex-gays.
||Homosexuals can change their behavior by becoming celibate, if they wish. But
their homosexual orientation continues.
||Bisexuals can choose to confine their relationships to
opposite-sex persons, and thus also appear to become ex-gays.
|Homosexuals demand special rights & privileges.
||Homosexuals seek equal rights.
|"children... will be subjected to homosexual propaganda...
||Children in public schools will be educated with facts about
sexual orientation and sensitized to the discrimination felt by sexual
|Hate crime legislation gives
special privileges to gays and lesbians
||Hate crime legislation which includes sexual orientation as a
protected class gives precisely equal privileges and protections to everyone,
heterosexual, bisexual, or homosexual.
||Hate crime legislation only takes effect if a crime (e.g.
murder, attempted murder, assault) has been proven in a court of law. It then
increases the sentence that the defendant receives.
|High suicide rate among gays and lesbians caused by the
disordered nature of homosexuality itself, and being told that they have little
or no hope
of ever becoming "ex-gay."
||High suicide rate among gays and lesbians is caused by the high
level of homophobia in the culture, much of which gays and lesbians have
||There are lots of studies that show which one of these beliefs
is correct. However, none of the studies are accepted by both sides as valid.
* "Others" include most mental health professionals, gays, lesbians,
bisexuals, religious liberals, etc.
- James Dobson, "Update on California," Focus on the Family,
Copyright © 2000 to 2012 by Ontario Consultants on Religious
Originally written: 2000-OCT-02
Latest update and review: 2012-SEP-08
Author: B.A. Robinson