Teaching about homosexuality in North American public
Topic 1: Definitions of terms,
how they differ among various
secular and religious groups.
Different secular groups, religious groups, and individuals assign conflicting
definitions and meanings to some homosexual terms. This makes dialogue very difficult. It
also makes it hard for people in one group to understand talks and articles
prepared by individuals from other groups. Students need to be aware of these
differences in terminology in order to be able to understand information supplied by a variety of sources.
||Social conservatives, conservative political groups such as the Christian
Coalition of America, fundamentalist and other evangelical religious groups and members, such as the Family Research Council, Focus on the Family, Promise Keepers,
Traditional Values Coalition, etc. may use one definition.
||Gays, lesbians, bisexuals, human sexuality researchers,
professional mental health organizations, religious liberals, secularists,
etc often use a different definition.
||However there is a significant amount of cross-over usage where one group will use the
definitions of another.
Common conservative religious usage
Common usage by the LGBT community, religious liberals, human sexuality researchers, etc.
|Homosexuality is defined as:
||A sexual preference
||A sexual orientation
||Preference implies choice; orientation implies a fixed status.
|Homosexuality itself is...
||A sexual orientation
||Again, lifestyle implies a choice; orientation implies a fixed status.
|Nature of homosexuality
||A behavior; what one does
||An orientation, based on one's feelings, sexual
fantasies and self-identification.
||This is an important distinction because it defines who is gay and
who is "ex-gay"
||Some define it very broadly to
include: bestiality, homosexuality, necrophilia, abusive pedophilia,
||Comes in one of three types: homosexuality, homosexuality, and
bisexuality. Some include asexuality as a fourth orientation.
||By including criminal activity within the definition of
homosexuality, it would totally change hate-crime legislation.
|Role of sex-ed classes which discuss homosexuality
||May involve the promotion of homosexuality
||Involves education about homosexuality
||This involves whether education about something implies promotion of
||Considered one of three sexual orientations
||Again, this can define who is gay and who is "ex-gay."
|Legislation guaranteeing human rights.
||Homosexuals seek special privileges
||Homosexuals and bisexuals seek equal privileges
||This involves whether homosexuality is an innate trait or a chosen
||A chosen lifestyle; an act of
rebellion against God and nature.
||Determined by genetics and perhaps triggered by
||Defining homosexuality as a preference or a lifestyle, implies
that it is a choice. Defining it as a "sexual orientation" often implies that
it is a fixed and unchosen trait.
||By defining homosexuality in terms of behavior, then a person with a
homosexual orientation who decides to be celibate is considered no longer a
homosexual. They have become an "ex-gay" and are cured of their homosexual behavior. They have left the homosexual lifestyle. So too for a bisexual who decides
to restrict her/his sexual activity to members of the opposite sex.
defining homosexuality in terms of sexual attraction to, and fantasies of
sexual activity with persons of the same sex, then a person with a homosexual orientation who
decides to be celibate is still a homosexual. They are a celibate
homosexual. A bisexual who decides to restrict his/her behavior to members
of the opposite sex is still a bisexual.
||By defining homosexuality to include criminal acts totally changes the
meaning of human rights and hate-crime legislation. This definition is only
used by a minority of religious conservatives, and is not recognized by legislatures, courts, dictionaries, etc.
L.R. Holben, "What Christians think about homosexuality: Six representative viewpoints," Bibal Press, (1999). Read reviews or order this book safely from Amazon.com
online book store.
- There is no consensus on the total number of Muslims in the U.S. Estimates range
from 0.5% to over 2%.
Copyright © 2005 to 2017 by Ontario Consultants on Religious
Originally posted: 2005-MAY-8
Latest update: 2017-JAN-24
Author: B.A. Robinson