Sexual orientation

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Past and present civil rights
battles, involving Lesbian, gay,
& bisexual (LGB) issues.
All viewpoints covered.

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In this website and just about everywhere else, "LGBT" refers to the
Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender/Transsexual community.

The term "homosexual" in this section is used in its medical sense. It
refers to persons who have a homosexual orientation. That is, they
are sexually attracted only to persons of the same sex. Unfortunately,
the term is now being considered pejorative by some in the LGBT
community.

Many years ago, we titled this section "homosexuality and bisexuality."
We are gradually converting the titles of essays in this section over
to "lesbian, gay and bisexual" topics. These are more neutral terms,
at least for now.

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Three quotations:

1, By R. Albert Mohler, President of the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, in his book "Homosexuality and the Bible." 2005:

    "Homosexuality is now the most controversial issue of debate in American culture — and it is likely to stay that way for a long time. Once famously described as “the love that dares not speak its name,” homosexuality is now openly discussed and debated throughout American society. 4

    Webmaster's comment:

    Dr. Mohler made this comment in 2005, one year after private, consensual same-gender sexual behavior was decriminalized across the U.S., and one decade before marriage was extended to same-sex couples nationwide except for the territory of American Samoa. Both changes resulted from decisions by the U.S. Supreme Court.

    When this menu was most recently updated during 2019-AUG, homosexuality remains a "controversial issue of debate." However, with the the ruling of the U.S. Supreme Court in the case Obergefell v. Hodges which legalizing gay marriage throughout the U.S. (except for American Samoa) it has diminished somewhat in importance. A debate that is now rapidly rising in importance concerns equal rights for transgender individuals.

     

2. The main difference between sexual orientation and gender identity:

sex difference

3. An article on the evangelical web site: OneNewsNow.com:

On 2019-AUG-09, Steve Jordahl wrote an article: "A theory on slippery slope from faith to liberal bliss." It discussed several prominent Christian leaders who have abandoned some of the Bible's discriminatory teachings and have instead promoted the Golden Rule by refusing to discriminate against women and minorities.

The main author of this web site submitted the first reader comment to the One News Now article. It states:

"It is important to realize that the Bible was written by humans in ancient times and reflected the culture of that time, which was anti-women, pro-execution for sexually active never-married women, anti-LGB persons, pro human slavery, and anti-transgender persons. Further, Noah's Curse of Ham was once interpreted as meaning that black-skinned people were eternally cursed to be slaves; this was the original root cause of racism.

Over the past century, slavery has been abolished in the U.S., Canada, etc.; women have been given the vote, are now often permitted to become clergy, etc., and are now generally treated as equals; LGB persons are now becoming recognized as having one of three normal and natural sexual orientations caused by epigenetics -- a layer on top of their DNA that turns various genes on and off; transgender persons have generally been found to have a male body and female brain structures or vice versa; skin color is now recognized as being caused by a very few genes out of over 20,000 human genes in our DNA. In short, we are beginning to ignore much of the Bible's treatment of women and minorities, and giving increased weight to its Golden Rule."

Very few of the comments I have submitted to articles in evengelical web sites ever see the light of day. I expecting that this comment will not be published.

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Notes:

During the early 21st century, the most controversial religious topic in North America related to the LGB community was marriage equality -- allowing qualified same-sex couples to marry, limited only by the same age and genetic restrictions that are in place for opposite-sex couples. This is discussed in a separate section of this web site.

During mid-2005, the federal government in Canada legalized such marriages across the entire country.

On 2015-JUN-26, the U.S. Supreme Court made a major ruling in the case Obergefell v. Hodges. For the first time, same-sex couples were able to obtain marriage licenses across almost the entire United States -- all 50 states, 4 of 5 territories and the District of Columbia. For a while, some county clerks refused to issue licenses to same-sex couples. This forced the couples to travel to an adjacent county to obtain a license. As of 2019 the exceptions were:

  • The territory of American Samoa where most of the population are regarded as American residents, not American citizens. Thus rulings by the High Court do not necessarily apply there.

  • Some Native American jurisdictions where Native tribes are given jurisdiction over certain cultural matters.

As of mid-2019, all county clerks appear to be issuing licenses to same-sex couples. At least, no refusals have been discussed recently in the media. Even if a couple is refused a marriage license by one clerk, they can usually travel to an adjacent county in their state to obtain one.

Almost immediately after the High Court's ruling, those conservative religious and political groups that had worked to prevent marriage equality for the LGBT community switched from fighting gay marriage to concentrate their efforts at:

Although marriage equality was a major social change, some same-sex couples have been married one day only to find themselves legally fired from their jobs on the next. Pro-equality groups have shifted their efforts to expanding equality to these other areas by passing state laws prohibiting discrimination.

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lgbt symbollgbt symbol Topics covered in this really big section:

bullet

Introduction: Key topics:
(We recommend reading some of these introductory essays first.)

bulletthumbs up imageMostly positive changes in the acceptance of the LGBT community:

bullet

Among the U.S. public which seems to have reached a tipping point followed by rapid change

bullet

World Vision's brief 2 days of inclusion during which they recognized employees' same-sex marriages


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Gradual shift among conservative faith groups, as driven by membership loss


bullet Negative actions by a few conservative religious individuals and groups

bulletBasic info about homosexuality and bisexuality:
bulletSix common belief systems by religious folks about same-sex behavior and homosexual orientation
bulletBrief quotations
bulletMeaning of terms
bullet Meanings attributed to the term "sexual orientation"
bulletBeliefs about causes; is it changeable? abnormal? immoral?
bulletPreventing homosexuality
bulletSame-sex parenting, foster parenting, and adoption
bulletWhat percentage of the adult population are lesbian, gay, or bisexual?
bulletBisexuality;
bulletPublic opinion polls; << A large section
bulletEmails we have received;
bulletSuicide rates among gay and lesbian youth
bulletIs there a connection between sexual orientation and gender identity?
bullet Other topics: dialog; statements of professional groups; terminology

bulletThe impact of religion:
bullet Six common belief systems by religious folks about same-sex behavior and orientation
bullet The Bible and homosexuality -- the famous "clobber" passages
bullet Books covering a full range of beliefs by different faith groups
bullet Beliefs and policies of various religious groups, theologians, clergy, and laity concerning GLBT issues
bullet Other essays on dialogue, change, conflicts, policies, compromise, schism, teaching in schools, etc. -- even Ipad apps

bulletsame-sex marriage symbol Same-sex marriage (SSM), civil unions, etc
bullet SSM by U.S. state, in Canada, and other countries
bullet Public opinion polls
bullet Benefits of marriage
bullet Assessing the will of God
bullet 1999 ruling by the Supreme Court of Canada
bullet Presidential races and SSM
bullet Political party platforms
bullet etc.

bulletChallenges faced by gays and bisexuals:
bullet Employment insecurity ENDA laws
bullet Public school harassment
bullet Gay-Straight Alliances
bullet Family of origin problems
bullet Attacks on gay-positive churches
bullet Accusations of child molestation
bullet Who are the LGBT's?
 
bulletHomophobia directed against homosexuals and bisexuals:
bullet Multiple meanings of the term "homophobia"
bullet Causes, incidence, cost
bullet Boy Scouts of America
bullet "Dr. Laura"
bullet Senator Santorum (R, PA)
bullet Carl Palidino (R) running for governor in 2010
bullet Pro-equality businesses

bulletAbout ex-gays: reparative & other therapies:
bullet Introduction
bullet Statements by professional groups
bullet Beliefs by the public
bullet Results of studies

bulletLaws & regulations affecting gays & bisexuals
bullet

Worldwide laws protecting, recognizing & persecuting LGBTI persons

bullet UN declaration on the decriminalization of homosexual behavior
bullet 2011-DEC: Memo from President Obama re global LGBT rights strategy
bullet 2011-DEC: UN speech by Secretary of State Hillary Clinton on worldwide LGBT rights
bullet Countries decriminalizing same-sex behavior
bullet U.S. state laws formerly criminalizing homosexual behavior
bullet Changes in laws and regulation due to the "gay agenda"
bullet U.S. and Canadian hate-crime/hate-speech legislation
bullet Should homosexuals and bisexuals be a protected class in law?
bullet Exclusion of gays and lesbians from the military.
bullet Ending discrimination in hospital visitation.
bullet Timeline of the granting of GLBT rights in Canada
bullet Persecution & execution of LGBTs in Uganda
bullet 2017-JUN: Evangelical Christians vs. Child Protection Law in Ontario, Canada

bulletNews in the media and from the Internet
bullet General news concerning LGBT developments from 1996 to the present time
bullet Events indicating an increasing acceptance of homosexuality, etc. by the public
bullet Errors and lack of clarity among some media reports
bullet The "Dr. Phil" TV program & sexual orientation
bullet Homosexual milestones in the media
bullet The National Day of Silence
bullet Support from the National Association of the Deaf
bullet Proposed straight pride parade in Boston
bullet TV Shows with LGBT content
bullet Updating daily news feed. etc.

bulletParenting a gay/lesbian child; essays; sermons; personal stories; etc.
bullet What to do after your child says "I'm gay"
bullet Dealing with a son's homosexuality
bullet A gay person's letter to his church
bullet A father disowns his son for being gay
bullet Keynote sermon
bullet Analysis of an anti-gay essay
bullet Can a homosexual remain a Christian?
bullet An open letter from Christians to LGBT people by John Shore
bullet Challenging Emails we have received about homosexuality
bullet A mother's open letter to President Obama, 2009-JUN

bulletResources
bullet Books, and videos of interest to the LGB community
bullet Gay and Bisexual-positive resources
bullet Conservative Christian resources

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References used:

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

  1. Barack Obama, "A Proclamation..." White House, 2009-JUN-01, at: http://www.whitehouse.gov/
  2. Peter Heck, "Homosexual family law," One News Now, 2010-FEB-08, at: http://www.onenewsnow.com/
  3. "Religism" is a proposed new English word to cover bigotry based on another person's religious belief.
  4. R. Albert Mohler, Jr., "Homosexuality and the Bible." 2005. This book can be downloaded for free at: http://www.sbts.edu/
  5. Steve Jordahl, "A theory on slippery slope from faith to liberal bliss," One News Now, 2019-AUG-09, at: https://onenewsnow.com/

 

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Copyright 1996 to 2019 by Ontario Consultants on Religious Tolerance. The first date is not a typo. Ours was one of the original web sites on the Internet.
Last updated 2019-JUN-13

Author: B.A. Robinson

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