Beliefs and professional associations'
statements about homosexual orientation
Until the 1950s, most people were of a common opinion about sexual orientation:
||Lesbians and gays stayed firmly in the closet.
||Same-sex behavior was considered
a criminal act by many legislatures.
||Same-sex behavior was considered a very serious sin by almost all faith
||Mental health professionals considered gays and lesbians to be mentally ill.
Hooker, a research psychologist, decided to study gays and lesbians in their
natural habitat. (Previous studies had been done among lesbians and gays who
were either in
prison or who were mentally ill and under the care of a therapist). She found that gays and lesbians exhibited a normal range of mental health.
Two decades later, professional mental health associations agreed.
Today, there remains a difference of opinion between two solitudes:
||Most gays, lesbians, bisexuals, mental health professionals, religious liberals
and progressives, consider the three sexual orientations --
heterosexuality, bisexuality, and homosexual -- to all be normal, natural,
un chosen, fixed, and morally neutral.
||Most religious and social conservatives consider the three sexual
orientations to be abnormal, unnatural, chosen, changeable, and immoral.
Whether any of the three sexual orientations is either moral or immoral under
a given set of circumstances is determined by ones ethics and are often greatly
influenced by each person's religious faith. However the other four properties
of each sexual orientation -- whether it is normal or abnormal, natural or
unnatural, chosen or un chosen, fixed or changeable can be determined by
scientific study. Unfortunately, the two solitudes are poles apart in their
thinking. They very rarely engage in meaningful dialogue. Both are probably
quite unable to accept evidence that contradicts their opinions. And so the
conflict is guaranteed to continue. Harmony may well extend into the late 21st
century, if then.
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Copyright © 1998 to 2010 by Ontario Consultants on Religious Tolerance
Originally written: 1998-FEB-5
Latest update: 2010-NOV-29
Author: B.A. Robinson