A CURE FOR HOMOPHOBIA
An essay donated by Gary Miles
We need a cure for homophobia. This article
examines key arguments based on common misconceptions.
||Homosexuality is unnatural and runs
counter to the reproduction of species. The latest estimate shows 450
species where same sex mating and courtship occurs. A gay pride for animals
would include butch bison, gay gorillas and lesbian chimpanzees. Parrots,
seals, macaques and dolphins are just a few of the species proud to parade.
Some biologists now accept that sex is not always about reproduction (the
replication of genes) but has an important social role. In fact non-human
animals are less concerned with procreation than we think. Same sex mating
promotes bonds between individuals.
Bonobos live in small female centered groups. Lesbian sex plays a vital role
in bonobo society. Social ties founded on homosexuality make for a peaceful,
cooperative group and a safe secure environment in which to raise their
So homosexuality doesnít pose any threat to heterosexual reproduction but,
in many species, augments it.
||Homosexuality is condemned in scripture.
Other times and cultures lacked our word for homosexuality, which wasnít
even coined until the 1800s, but there were plenty of euphemisms - like the
ďPassion of the Cut Sleeve" and the ďPleasures of the Bitten Peach"
both from China.
A brief look at history establishes that irrational hatred is not the only
response to variations in sexuality.
In ancient Greece homosexuality followed a different pattern from our own.
Relationships between adult males were frowned upon but a relationship
between an adult male and a youth was considered vital for the youthís
education. 1 In some
states homosexual Eros played an important role in organizing the military.
Homosexuality inspired bravery and made the Theban army invincible.
So what does the Bible say about homosexuality? A mere four passages in the
Bible are singled out by Christians to justify homophobia.
It may come as a surprise but the sin committed in Sodom and Gomorrah had
nothing to do with sexual orientation. In the legend of Sodom and Gomorrah
two angels visit the city and are invited to spend the night with Abrahamís
nephew Lot. In Genesis 19 the men of Sodom gather outside Lotís house and
threaten to rape the male visitors (mass rape was a way of humiliating
strangers). But the threatened rape is not the cause of Sodomís downfall.
Earlier in Genesis 18 God had already revealed his plan to destroy Sodom
because of the peopleís wickedness: Godís decision is made before the
threatened rape. So the real sin of Sodom was inhospitality. In the words of
the prophet Ezekiel ďThey did not help the poor and needy".
In fact, Ezekiel, Jesus and the Talmudists never identify sodomy as the sin
of the Sodomites. Only later around 390 CE do the church fathers Augustine
and St John Chrysostom make sodomy the cause of Sodomís destruction.
In the New Testament, in Romans 1, the apostle Paul rants against idolaters
accusing them of all kinds of vice and debauchery beginning with
homosexuality. 2 But why
did Paul oppose homosexuality? Did he associate it with a rival religion?
The roots of Paulís hostility may be found in the Old Testament. Tribal
solidarity is important for a persecuted people and in the Old Testament we
see the Jews maintaining their separateness from neighboring tribes. One
tribe, the Canaanites, practiced temple prostitution.
The Canaanites worshiped rival gods and this worship involved having sex
with the temple prostitute. The temple prostitute could be a priest or a
priestess: same sex or a woman. In 1611 The King James Bible translated ďcult
prostitute" as ďsodomite". However, it is now understood that
Leviticus, Deuteronomy and Romans 1 are discussing idolatry: having sex with
the temple prostitute.
Leviticus condemns many things that are widely accepted today. Eating
shellfish. Wearing mixed fabric. So why arenít modern Christians trying to
get seafood restaurants closed down?
||Homosexuality is a psychiatric disorder that can be cured. In
America the Ex Gay movement claims to be able to cure homosexuality through
a combination of prayer and therapy. The success rate of the Ex Gay movement
is abysmal and failure to change has led to many confused ďStill Gays"
committing suicide. Celibate gay men are claimed to have left the homosexual
In 1991 The World Health Organization removed homosexuality from its list of
illnesses. No reputable psychiatrist now regards homosexuality as a
disorder; rather it is viewed as part of the natural spectrum of human
||Gay men use their genitalia for functions they werenít designed for.
Do you wear glasses? To equate natural with good is a fallacy. We constantly
use parts of our body for functions they werenít designed for. After all,
did nature give us ears so that some of us could wear earrings?
||Gay men are corrupters of youth. This is a myth. This argument
presumes that all gay men have sex with minors and ignores the fact that
straight men also have sex with under aged girls. The fear of corruption
only makes sense if sexual orientation is a choice:
if homosexuals are made not born. But even if some homosexuals were made,
the development of a homosexual orientation would only be morally wrong if
homosexuality itself was morally wrong. Something no one has been able to
||If we accept homosexuality then why not accept other sexual taboos?
This is the slippery slope argument. If we accept homosexuality then why not
accept incest, polygamy and bestiality? This argument is scraping the bottom
of the barrel. As there is nothing to connect homosexuality with incest,
polygamy and bestiality other than the fact that they have all been
traditionally off limits. Remember inter racial marriage was also considered
taboo but its acceptance hasnít led to the collapse of society and a sexual
free for all.
||Homosexuality is a threat to the nuclear family. This argument
suggests that the nuclear family is so weak that it canít coexist with an
alternative life style. Changes in society effecting how we live, where we
live and whom we live with, also have a bearing on the nuclear family and
the question of its continuing survival. Many of these changes have little
to do with homosexuality and are more to do with increased freedom and
I hope rethinking our attitudes in the light of history and science will lead
to a cure for homophobia.
- Age based relationships were the norm in ancient Greece and I canít
resist a description of the Intercrural Position (the gay missionary
position of ancient Greece). The active older partner and the passive
younger partner stand face to face. To avoid penetration the older
partner thrusts his penis between the thighs of the youth. The youth
must be post-puberty and should not accept payment for sex. He is deemed
to be granting a favor to the active older partner and is not meant to
obtain any enjoyment from the act. The upright position and avoidance of
penetration differs from anal sex.
- "For this cause God gave them up unto vile affections: for even
their women did change the natural use into that which is against
nature: and likewise also the men: leaving the natural use of the woman,
burned in their lust one toward another; men with men working that which
is unseemly." Romans 1: 26-27. God gave them up unto vile affections
because they were idolaters.
Romans can be interpreted in two different ways. The traditional
interpretation is that Paul condemns homosexuality. Another
interpretation holds that Paul is talking about heterosexual men
experimenting with gay sex. There are also different interpretations of
ďnatural". Natural could mean according to natureís laws or according to
It is important to remember that in Paulís Christianity there could be
no tolerance for other faiths. Anyone not a Jew or a Christian had
abandoned the true faith for idol worship.
For further information
I recommend the following books/websites:
Originally posted: 2006-JAN-14
Latest update: 2006-JAN-14
Author: Gary Miles