Quantcast


Twitter icon


Facebook icon

About this site
About us
Our beliefs
Is this your first visit?
Contact us
External links

Recommended books

Visitors' essays
Our forum
New essays
Other features
Buy a CD of this site
Vital notes

World religions
BUDDHISM
CHRISTIANITY
Christian def'n
 Shared beliefs
 Handling change
 Bible topics
 Bible inerrancy
 Bible harmony
 Interpret the Bible
 Persons
 Beliefs & creeds
 Da Vinci code
 Revelation 666
 Denominations
HINDUISM
ISLAM
JUDAISM
WICCA / WITCHCRAFT
Other religions
Cults and NRMs
Comparing Religions

Non-theistic beliefs
Atheism
Agnosticism
Humanism
Other

About all religions
Main topics
Basic information
Gods & Goddesses
Handling change
Doubt & security
Quotes
Movies
Confusing terms
Glossary
End of the World?
True religion?
Seasonal events
Science vs. Religion
More information

Spiritual/ethics
Spirituality
Morality & ethics
Absolute truth

Peace/conflict
Attaining peace
Religious tolerance
Religious freedom
Religious hatred
Religious conflict
Religious violence

"Hot" topics
Very hot topics
Ten Commandments
Abortion access
Assisted suicide
Cloning
Death penalty
Environment

Same-sex marriage

Homosexuality
Human rights
Gays in the military
Nudism
Origins
Sex & gender
Sin
Spanking
Stem cells
Transexuality
Women-rights
Other topics

Laws and news
Religious laws
Religious news

Sponsored links

 

!!!!!!!! Search error!  If the URL ends something like .htm/  or .htm# delete the character(s) after .htm and hit return.

About the Natural Law and the LGBT community

Part 1: An alternative form of natural
law that favors same-sex marriage
horizontal rule

Sponsored link.


horizontal rule

The acronym "LGBT" refers to lesbians, gays, bisexuals and transgender persons.
"LGB" refers to lesbians, gays, and bisexuals.

The acronym "SSM" refers to same-sex marriage, often called "gay marriage"
We prefer the former term because some same-sex marriages include one or
two
bisexuals. Also, "gay" sometimes refers to male gays and sometimes
to both gays and lesbians.

horizontal rule

About the concept of "natural law":

George Weigel, columnist for the Denver Catholic Register, very eloquently described natural law as consisting of universal and fixed:

"... moral truths built into the world and into us -- truths that we can grasp by reason." 1

The famous British philosopher Thomas Hobbes (1588 to 1679 CE) also wrote about natural law in his work Leviathan (1651 CE). In it, he said that natural law was:

"A precept, or general rule, found out by reason, by which a man is forbidden to do that which is destructive of his life, or takes away the means of preserving the same ..." 2

By extension, it could be argued that natural law is a general rule by which people are encouraged to do whatever has a positive influence on their life.

During late 2012 and early 2013, several prelates in the Roman Catholic Church used arguments from natural law to support their case against allowing the marriage of loving, committed same-sex couples. The prelates concluded that wherever same-sex marriage (SSM) is adopted, society itself, the institution of marriage, and the children of same-sex couples are almost certainly to be seriously harmed. The prelates used their interpretation of natural law to justify their strong opposition to the legalization of SSM by Illinois courts or legislatures. Being based on natural law, they claimed that their conclusions are both universal and fixed. That is, their arguments against SSM are applicable to all cultures now and forever into the future.

If one accepts the accuracy of the Catholic prelates' natural law beliefs, then their arguments in opposition to SSM are completely logical. However, their logic may contain a fatal flaw. We suspect that their interpretation of natural law may not match similar interpretations of natural law by Catholic laity and non-Catholics. If multiple and conflicting versions of natural law exist, then the prelates' arguments against SSM will be far less credible. The absolute and fixed moral truths claimed of their natural law would then become just another relative truth, valid perhaps for one faith, in one culture, and one era.

horizontal rule

Goals of this essay:

The main goal of this essay is to make use of the findings of social sciences -- "the scientific study of human society and social relationships," 3 to try to develop an alternative statement of natural law on the topic of sexual minorities -- one that that is based on scientific findings. Then we attempt to apply that version of natural law in order to evaluate the morality and desirability of SSM.

If an alternate natural law on this topic can be developed, then one might conclude that multiple interpretations of natural law exist. Thus, natural law is not unique, universal, or fixed as the Catholic Church teaches.

horizontal rule

Step 1: Select a source for reliable information about sexual minorities:

One of the most convenient resources for such information is found in the official statements of professional associations in the fields of psychology, psychiatry, social work, anthropology, education, human sexuality, biology, and probably a few others.

On matters relating to sexual orientation, various professional associations teach very different beliefs. Among the most influential groups are:

  • The American Psychological Association, a secular group with "... more than 137,000 researchers, educators, clinicians, consultants and students as ... members." 4

  • The American Psychiatric Association, another secular group, representing "... more than 33,000 U.S. psychiatric physicians." 5

  • The National Association for Research and Therapy of Homosexuality (NARTH), who describe themselves as:

    "... a scientific and professional organization that includes highly qualified academics and fully licensed mental health professionals." 6

    However, Warren Throckmorton, a professor of psychology at Grove City College, suggests that only about a quarter of NARTH's approximately 1,000 members are mental health professionals. He writes:

    "... the lion’s share of NARTH’s members consist of lay people, ministers, and activists who have an interest in the materials provided by NARTH but are not scientists or therapists." 7

NARTH, the Family Research Council (FRC) and many other conservative religious groups, denominations, and parachurch organizations share many similar or identical beliefs concerning sexual orientation. However, all or almost all of these beliefs are very unlike the views expressed by the American Psychological Association and the American Psychiatric Association -- the two APAs.

We often refer to NARTH and the two APAs as the "two solitudes" because they teach totally different belief systems, rarely interact, and never appear to dialogue. NARTH once suggested a joint study of homosexuality with one of the APA's, but were rejected. This lost opportunity may well have contributed to the deaths by suicide of hundreds or thousands of gay and lesbian youth who simply ran out of hope that life would ever "get better" for them.

While the Roman Catholic Church and the APA's disagree on almost every point concerning sexual orientation, they do agree that homosexual orientation is not a choice. However, most conservative Protestants still maintain that it is an orientation or behavior that is chosen by the individual, perhaps during or after puberty.

Points on which NARTH, the Catholic Church and most conservative Christians agree among themselves but disagree with the APAs are:

  • whether or not homosexuality is a mental illness;
  • whether or not same gender sexual behavior by persons with a homosexual or bisexual orientation is immoral, disordered, or degenerate;
  • whether or not a homosexual orientation is normal;
  • whether or not a homosexual orientation is natural;
  • whether same-sex relationships are driven by love, caring for the other party, and commitment, or by simple lust;
  • whether reparative therapy has a high success rate at converting gays and lesbians to heterosexuality;
  • whether reparative therapy is safe;
  • whether homosexuality is caused by one's genes, or pre-birth hormones, or poor parenting, or being sexually abused as a child, or some combination of the above, or by some other cause(s);
  • whether children raised by a same-sex couple have poorer outcomes than those raised by opposite-sex parents. 6

One concern is that The Family Research Council (FRC), which has been designated by the Southern Poverty Law Center as a hate group, 8 has very close ties with NARTH. 7

In order to attempt the development of an alternate natural law, we chose to accept the findings of the two APAs as valid representations of the reality of homosexual and bisexual orientation.

horizontal rule

This topic is continued in the next essay

horizontal rule

References used:

The following information sources were used to prepare and update the above essay. The hyperlinks are not necessarily still active today.

  1. George Weigel, "The natural law = bigotry? Please." National Catholic Register, 2009-NOV-25, at: http://www.archden.org/
  2. "What is Natural Law?," WiseGEEK, undated, at: http://www.wisegeek.com/
  3. The result of the search: "define: social science" in http://www.google.com
  4. "About APA," American Psychological Association, 2013, at: http://www.apa.org/
  5. "About APA and Psychiatry," American Psychiatric Association, 2012, at: http://www.psychiatry.org/
  6. "Admin," "Answers to frequently asked questions about NARTH & homosexuality," National Association for Research
    and Therapy of Homosexuality (NARTH), 1912-OCT-11, at: http://narth.com/
  7. Warren Throckmorton, "NARTH is not primarily composed of mental health professionals," 2011-OCT-24, at: http://wthrockmorton.com/
  8. From the Winter 2010 issue of the Southern Poverty Law Center's (SPLC) Intelligence Report. The SPLC monitors racist, homophobic, nativist, and other hate groups in the U.S.

Copyright © 2013 by Ontario Consultants on Religious Tolerance
Posted: 2013-JAN-09
Latest update: 2013-JAN-10
Author: B.A. Robinson

line.gif (538 bytes)

Sponsored link.

Go to the previous page, or to the "Catholic Church and natural law topics" menu, or choose:

horizontal rule

Google
Web ReligiousTolerance.org

Go to home page  We would really appreciate your help

E-mail us about errors, etc.  Purchase a CD of this web site

FreeFind search, lists of new essays...  Having problems printing our essays?

Google Page Translator:

This page translator works on Firefox,
Opera, Chrome, and Safari browsers only

After translating, click on the "show
original" button at the top of this
page to restore page to English.

'''
 

Sponsored links: