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Homosexuality: Both Sides of the Issue
Homosexuality is one of the most controversial, hotly-debated issues of our time. In this report, I will define homosexuality in a non-biased format and present the two popular opinions of this lifestyle with an argument for each side, including their backgrounds, beliefs and opinions.
Homosexuality is defined as the lifestyle embraced by those who are romantically and sexually attracted to those of the same gender. The lifestyle is practiced to a lesser degree by those who consider themselves bisexual: being romantically attracted to both males and females regardless of their own gender. The terms gay and lesbian refer to male and females living the homosexual lifestyle.
As staunch believers in equal rights for all, homosexuals should be accepted into society just as heterosexuals (those who embrace the heterosexual lifestyle of being romantically and sexually attracted to those of the opposite gender) are.
It’s not uncommon for people to experiment with their sexuality, especially during adolescence and young adulthood. Researchers who study human sexuality believe that sexual orientation develops and changes over a person’s lifetime.
All major mental health organizations, including the American Psychological Association (APA), have stated that homosexuality is not a mental disorder. Those unsure of their sexual orientation may consider different options or even experiment to determine what they are happy and comfortable with. The process may take a long time, and the decisions they make may be difficult for them and their close relations to accept.
Many gay and lesbian people suffer from oppression and discrimination almost everywhere. Because of this, organizations have emerged to support those minorities. One such organization is the Gay Straight Alliance (GSA), a youth leadership organization that forms an alliance between homosexuals and heterosexuals in fighting discrimination, harassment, and violence against young people professing to be gay or lesbian. To accomplish this, they educate the school community about homophobia, gender identity, and sexual orientation issues, in order to create a tolerance of everyone, regardless of their sexual orientation.
Homophobia is an irrational fear, prejudice or discrimination towards homosexuals. Homophobia can take many forms, from name-calling and teasing to serious crimes like assault and murder. Homophobia is most often based on fear and ignorance. The 1998 murder of Matthew Shepard, a gay student, is one of the most notorious incidents in the U.S
While anti-homosexuals often use the Bible to condemn gays and lesbians, they never mention the story between David and Jonathan, found in 1 and 2 Samuel. 1 Samuel 20:41 (NIV) says: “After the boy had gone, David got up from the south side of the stone and bowed down before Jonathan three times, with is face to the ground. Then they kissed each other and wept together - but David wept the most.” This suggests a homosexual relationship between David and Jonathan. Some Christians have tried to hide this passage in newer translations, such as the Living Bible translation, which states: “...and they sadly shook hands, tears running down their cheeks until David could weep no more.”
David later writes in 2 Samuel 1:26 (NIV): “I grieve for you, Jonathan my brother; you were very dear to me. Your love for me was wonderful, more wonderful than that of women.” A yet stronger suggestion to their homosexual relationship.
Finally, one must realize that it is not just humans that homosexual behaviour is found. It has been observed in approximately 1500 species and documented in about 500 of those species (according to a study by Bruce Bagemihl in 1999). According to Bagemihl, “The animal kingdom does it with much greater sexual diversity—including homosexual, bisexual and non-reproductive behaviours—than the scientific community and society at large have previously been willing to accept.”
Embracing the homosexual lifestyle is not just a political issue. It is also a moral issue. The Bible clearly states that the homosexual lifestyle is a sin. For example: “Do not be deceived: Neither the sexually immoral nor idolaters nor adulterers nor male prostitutes nor homosexual offenders nor thieves nor the greedy nor drunkards nor slanderers nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God.” (1 Corinthians 6:10) Also, Leviticus 18:22 says: “You shall not lie with a male as one lies with a female; it is an abomination.”
Religious conservatives feel that the Bible teaches that homosexual behavior is always a serious sin. Some regard it as the most serious of sins while yet others view it as being the same as other sins. Allowing sexually active gays and lesbians to be married, or to have their committed relationships recognized by the church would involve a drastic and unacceptable lowering of church standards. The church would be condoning sin. Most also oppose including sexual orientation in hate-crime and anti-discrimination legislation. Most oppose same-sex marriage and they prefer that homosexual couples be regarded as simple roommates without legal protections and their children as illegitimate.
People have an ethical intuition that certain behaviors are wrong because they are unnatural. We perceive intuitively that the natural sex partner of a human is another human, not an animal. The same reasoning applies to homosexual behavior. The natural sex partner for a man is a woman and vice versa. Therefore, many people have the corresponding intuition concerning homosexuality that they do about bestiality—that it is wrong because it is unnatural.
Many homosexuals argue that they were born the way they are and they can do nothing to alter it. But even if there is a genetic predisposition toward homosexuality (studies on this are inconclusive), the behavior remains unnatural because homosexuality is still not part of a human's natural design. For example, scientific studies suggest that some people are born with a hereditary disposition to alcoholism, but nobody would argue one should fulfill these inborn urges by becoming an alcoholic. Alcoholism is not an acceptable "lifestyle" any more than homosexuality is.
The effects on the health of homosexuals can be deadly. For example, the original spread of AIDS is generally attributed to the promiscuity of homosexual men. As of 1998, 54% of all AIDS cases in the United States were found in homosexual men. Other diseases that can be procured through the homosexual lifestyle are HIV and several types of STD's.
Peter LaBarbera is the President of Americans for Truth—an organization which counters the homosexual agenda. Peter LaBarbera stated the following regarding Christian ex-homosexuals who reported being transformed by the power of God: “Another factor from my experience as a close observer of the “ex-gay” phenomenon is that many former homosexuals do not linger in “reparative therapy” programs, or participate in them at all. They attribute their dramatic and (relatively) rapid transformation to the power of God, and likely would not show up in a study of this kind. In fact, these “unstudied” overcomers would appear to be the most successful ex-homosexuals because they’ve moved on with their lives — as “reborn” Christians move on after overcoming any besetting sin.”