No consensus seems possible at this time. The level of support for SSM has been rising between 10 and 20 percentage points per decade. Between 2010 and 2011, several national surveys revealed that most American adults favored SSM for the first time. However, the margin remains small as of 2011-SEP.
This conflict is distressing individuals. It is destabilizing friendships, marriages, religious denominations, and even American -- and to a much lesser degree Canadian and the UK -- societies as a whole.
The essays in this section discuss the nature of the conflicts, and offer information that we hope will be helpful in understanding the variety of belief systems about homosexuality.
In our experience, debate is rarely useful. It tends to raise emotions and to harden opinions. Dialogue is often much more useful. During a dialogue, the participants agree to try to avoid convincing the other person(s) that they are right. The goal is to understand the other person(s) beliefs and on what bases they are held.
Dialogue rarely leads to a consensus. However, it often results in all participants appreciating of the other person(s) integrity, character, intelligence, and thoughtfulness. Ultimately, it can help people with opposing beliefs live in peace even while retaining their diverse opinions.
Topics discussed in this section:
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