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Religious Tolerance logo

Homosexuality, bisexuality, etc.


2009-2010: Events illustrating a cultural
shift about homosexuality, bisexuality, etc.

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bullet "The center is shifting because millions of 'Dick Cheneys,' people in the middle who might prefer not to think about the rights of gays and lesbians, one day see the issue indelibly stamped with the faces of their daughters, sons, neighbors and friends." Margorie Williams, 2000-OCT-13, Washington Post.
bullet "[Homosexuals are] brute beasts...part of a vile and satanic system [that] will be utterly annihilated, and there will be a celebration in heaven." Jerry Falwell, 1984-MAR.

bullet "You can safely assume that you've created God in your own image, when it turns out that God hates all the same people you do." Anne Lamott

bullet "[Same-sex marriage] was mainstream to some degree, but now that they've deigned it worthy of the [The Simpsons] show, it is interwoven into the fabric of popular culture. The Simpsons bestows upon something a pop-culture status it never had before, simply by virtue of being ripe for a joke." Ray Richmond 1


Since the 1950s, there has been a major cultural shift among North Americans in their beliefs about gays, lesbians, bisexuals, transsexuals, intersexuals, and other sexual minorities. Increasingly, the public has rejected traditional conservative religious teachings and accepted the findings of human sexuality researchers and therapists. The result has been a gradual increase in toleration and acceptance of these minorities. 

There have been many developments in the struggle of gays, lesbians and bisexuals to become accepted as people who:

bullet Have a sexual orientation that is unchosen, unchangeable, and is both normal and natural for a minority of adults.
bullet Deserve equal rights and protections from hate crimes, job loss, refusal of accommodation, etc.

bullet Deserve the right to marry the person that they love and to whom they wish to make a lifetime commitment.

Attainment of civil rights, cultural shifts in favor of tolerance, and hatred against sexual minorities are often inter-related:

bullet Increasing tolerance makes changes in law possible.

bullet When a city, state or country changes the law, tolerance increases.

bullet Unfortunately, hatred against sexual minorities can increase as those some of those opposed to equality feel more threatened.

These major events range from Harvey Milk's 1977 election as a supervisor in San Fransico CA -- the first openly gay person to hold public office in the U.S. -- to approval of same-sex marriage across Canada in 2005-JUL and later in a few states in the U.S.

In addition to these major events, there are also a host of minor events that demonstrate increasing acceptance and tolerance. Most were by literally millions of individuals who have come out of their closets to their relatives, coworkers, and the public. They have risked verbal abuse, discrimination, physical abuse and in one notable case -- that of Matthew Shepard in 1998 -- crucifixion.

Some events illustrating this cultural shift makeit into the news. We will attempt to capture some of these below, starting in late 2008-DEC.

Events concerning public acceptance of sexual minorities:

bullet Introduction
bullet Events illustrating cultural shifts about sexual minorities:
bullet 2008-DEC.
bullet Gay, lesbian and bisexual milestones in the media

We regret that it was necessary to terminate this section in mid-2010 because of lack of available staff time.

Site navigation:

Home > "Hot" religious topics > Homosexuality & Bisexuality > Status > here

Reference used:

  1. Ray Richmond, New York Times, 2005-FEB-20. He was commenting on that evening's episode of The Simpsons in which Marge Simpson's sister almost married another woman.

Copyright 2008 & 2009 by Ontario Consultants on Religious Tolerance
Latest update: 2010-JUN
Author: B.A. Robinson

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