The impact of religion on homosexuality & bisexuality
by some conservative Christians
"Jesus' life and teachings are built around love and forgiveness and
reconciliation. There is no way you can say that (he) would have supported a
policy of revenge, which is what the death penalty is." Rev. Joe Ingle of
Nashville, TN, a death row minister. 1
"Marriage, defined by one man and one woman, has been the foundation of
civilization for thousands of years. Any attempt to alter that definition is
an effort to undermine the most fundamental building block of every society:
the family unit." FAQ about Same-Sex 'Marriage' " by Focus on the
Legislation promoted by religious conservatives:
Religious conservatives generally refer to homosexuality as a behavior -- as
something that one does. Gays, lesbians, mental health professionals, religious
liberals and other groups generally refer to homosexuality as an orientation --
something that one is; it is defined by one's person's feelings of attraction towards
men and/or women.
This difference in definition generates an enormous amount of confusion and misunderstanding.
Most religious conservatives reject genetics as a cause of homosexuality.
They view homosexual behavior as an abnormal, unnatural,
chosen and changeable disorder, condemned by God, which has serious negative
moral implications. Most of their legislative
wishes derive logically from their ideas about homosexuality. The most important
of these beliefs may well be that homosexuality is a conscious choice by young
persons. Religious conservatives often feel that anything that
encourages more youth to choose the "homosexual lifestyle" is to be
opposed. Factors that make the "homosexual lifestyle" less desirable
are to be encouraged.
Their personal nightmare is that North American culture will change to:
||Accept all sexual orientations as equal from a moral standpoint, and
||Recognized all committed relationships, whether by opposite-gender or
The following are some examples of legislation that religious conservatives
are promoting or opposing are:
They oppose same-sex marriage because they feel that it would seriously
damage the institution, which they regard as a special privilege to be
reserved only for opposite-sex couples. If homosexuals can marry, then
millennia of family tradition would be dissolved. They believe that extending marriage to
allow gays and lesbians to marry would encourage more young people to choose
the "homosexual lifestyle." It would make
marriage meaningless. A 2002-APR-9 poll by Focus on the Family revealed
that 86% of its web site visitors agreed that "The institution of marriage
is in serious danger in America." 3 On 2002-JAN-22, over
95% of their visitors agreed that "Civil unions in California would be a
major threat to [heterosexual] marriage across the U.S."
Conservative Christians oppose allowing gays or lesbians to adopt
children, presumably out of fear that the parent(s) will train their children
to accept homosexuality as a normal "lifestyle" and may even influence them to
choose homosexuality later in life. A Focus on the Family poll on
2002-MAR-20 showed that over 90% of their visitors opposed adoption by
||Religious conservatives generally oppose including sexual orientation as a
protected class in legislation which outlaws discrimination in employment and
accommodation. They advocate that only factors like race and national origin,
etc. be included. Legislation protecting gays and lesbians would demonstrate
that the government regards homosexuality as an acceptable lifestyle.
Many religiously conservative groups have opposed federal
legislation which would include gender and disability as protected classes,
because the proposed bills would also include persons of all sexual
||They oppose including mention of homosexuality in public school sex-ed
classes, because to do so would typically present homosexuality as one of three
alternative normal and natural sexual orientations. Again, this would
legitimize homosexuality in the eyes of the students, and lead to more youth
deciding to be homosexual.
Many promote having health-care plans remain as a special
privilege reserved only for married couples. They wish to exclude the spouse
and children of same-sex couples for a variety of reasons. It would legitimize
same-sex partnerships; it would recognize same-sex parenting as valid. They feel
it would also encourage more youth to become gay and lesbian. A Focus on
the Family poll on 2001-NOV-20 showed that 61% of their visitors were more
inclined to donate money to the Salvation Army after they terminated
benefits to spouses and children of unmarried employees.
Conservative Christians often encourage the continuation of existing state laws that criminalize
same-sex behavior. They fear that if gay and lesbian behavior were to be
decriminalized, that more youth would choose this "lifestyle."
Legislation recommended by Robert T. Lee:
Only the most extremist groups within conservative Christianity advocate the
death penalty for homosexuals. But such radical elements do exist.
Robert Lee of the Society for the Practical Establishment and Perpetuation
of the Ten Commandments is one of the more outspoken of radical conservative Christian
sources on the matter of homosexuality. In his essay "Against Homosexuality,"
he proposes much more punitive legislation against gays and lesbians. 4
Lee makes a number of points in his essay; some are stated and others are implied. In the
chart below, we contrast Lee's arguments with possible counter claims by those who promote
equal rights for persons of all sexual orientations:
||Robert Lee's argument
||Homosexuals are individuals who engage in same-sex
||A homosexual is a person who is sexually attracted
only to members of the same gender.
||Only the Judeo Christian God has the authority to
define the nature of criminal acts.
||Governments have the power to create legislation,
including laws that restrict behavior.
|Range of law:
||All Americans -- Agnostics, Atheists, Buddhists, Christians,
Humanists, Jews, Muslims, Wiccans, etc. must follow the biblical laws of God.
||Americans follow a diversity of religious faiths. Each
faith group has unique beliefs governing behavior.
|Scope of law:
||Those who sympathize with homosexuals or who promote
tolerance of persons of all orientations are also to be executed.
||For a government to do so would be to destroy
freedom of speech, belief, and association.
|| Leviticus 18:22 requires
that all homosexuals are to be executed. "...it is the God-given
responsibility of corporeal governments to do the proper things to
remove it from society."
The verse actually refers to homosexual ritual sex in
Pagan temples. The Bible calls for execution
for many forms of behavior no longer considered to be crimes.
||God requires execution both for murder and
||Democratic societies do not execute adults for
consensual and victimless behaviors.
||Many homosexuals are abusive pedophiles.
||Pedophilia is extremely rare in society; about 85% of
abusive pedophiles are heterosexual.
Many homosexuals "want to recruit or teach children to accept
homosexuality.....[and to] create tolerance for the horrific crime of
Many non-gays also promote tolerance of persons of all
sexual orientations. Society normally reserves the word "crime" for behavior
that injures people; homosexuality doesn't.
|Nature of homosexuality
||The homosexual has a spiritual and moral defect which has no right of
||Heterosexuality, bisexuality and homosexuality are
three normal, and natural sexual variants which can be moral or
immoral depending upon the circumstances.
||Homosexuality can be caused by demon possession,
either before or after birth
||Mental health professionals, and religious liberals
have abandoned the concept of indwelling demonic spirits many generations
||Some are taught to be homosexual; others make a
conscious choice to be homosexual.
Sexual orientation is not
taught, nor can it be chosen.
||Although Lee apparently opposes abortion access, he recommends that if a pregnant woman becomes aware that their
fetus will be a homosexual, that she
have an abortion.
||Most people would not regard the gender, race, or
sexual orientation of a fetus to be grounds for aborting it.
||Lee implies in his essay that homosexuals cannot be persuaded to remain
celibate or to convert to heterosexuality. Instead, they must be exterminated.
||Some gays and lesbians can successfully adopt a life
of celibacy. Bisexuals can decide to engage only in heterosexual sex.
Very few homosexual adults, if any, can be converted to heterosexuality.
Christian groups promoting restricted homosexual rights:
The websites' URLs for some of these groups are listed below
Organizations promoting the death penalty for sexually active homosexuals:
Current beliefs among the public:
We have only been able to find one public opinion poll on whether persons who
engage in homosexual sexual acts should be executed. Unfortunately, that was
reported in an About.com section on Atheism
and Agnosticism. The persons participating in the
poll were self-selected. Although most were Americans, some probably lived in
other countries. Thus, the results are probably not representative of the
beliefs of the average American.
About.com's online survey "Should homosexuality be a felony that is punished
with death" conducted by About.com found that:
||82% of persons voting rejected making homosexual activity a corporal
17% accepted the alternative: that same-sex sexual activity should be
punishable by execution on the grounds that "... homosexuality is an
abomination before God." 2
"Bible Belt Death," at:
FAQ about Same-Sex 'Marriage' " by Focus on the Family, at:
"Previous polls," CitizenLink, at:
Robert T. Lee, "Against Homosexuality," The Society for the
Practical Establishment and Perpetuation of the Ten Commandments,"
"Poll results," About.com, at:
Copyright © 2002 to 2009 by Ontario Consultants on Religious
Originally written: 2002-SEP-21
Latest update: 2009-MAY-13
Author: B.A. Robinson