Homosexuals are men and women who have sexual feelings towards members of the same sex and identify themselves as being homosexual.
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- There is currently a growing acceptance of homosexuality
- Regarded the same as heterosexuality between 2 consenting adults over the age of 16 in private
- Present legislation has origins in the 1957 Wolfenden Committee Report which resulted in the Sexual Offences Act 1957 which helped end intolerance and inequality against homosexuals
- It is a human rights issue:
- March 2014 - UK government passed a law allowing homosexuals to marry
- Many still believe it's immoral and some are openly hostile
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The Cause - Still Not Fully Known
- Sigmund Freud - "Personal disorder resulting from a person's failure to deal with repressed issues of sexuality from infancy...the cause can be traced back to the relationship between a child and his or her parents".
- Supported by Elizabeth Moberly - "difficulties in the parent-child relationships, especially in the earlier years of life".
- Many believe it's the result of an imbalance of hormones or a genetic predisposition.
- A "homosexual gene" would help a lot to prove the condition is natural
- Nina Rosenstand - "objections to homosexuality as a moral choice that goes against nature would no longer be valid...no reason to discriminate".
- Critics of this think more dilemmas would arise from a gene. Parents may want to "screen" their children with the hope of finding a "cure".
- Anthony Storr - "homosexuals have a vested interest in affirming that their condition is an inborn abnormality".
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Christians For Homosexuality
- Natural way some are created by God so welcomed into the Christian community
- Church of England disrecommends physical expression but acknowledges the Church must respect those convinced they're homosexual and in a faithful relationship
- The Lesbian & Gay Christian Movement - "human sexuality in all its richness is a gift from God gladly to be accepted, enjoyed and honoured".
- Methodist Church - "relationships characterised by love can be an appropriate and Christian way of expressing their sexuality".
- Liberal members of the Church dismayed by withdrawal of acceptance by Canon Jeffrey John; Very Reverend Colin Slee - "Canon John has become the victim of appalling prejudice and abuse which has its main proponents within the Church of England".
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Christians Against Homosexuality - Roman Catholic
- Roman Catholic Church:
- On a natural law basis, homosexual marriage invalid as it cannot lead to reproduction
- Contrary to the will of God. In ancient scriptures, homosexuality condemned as "serious depravity and presented as a sad consequence of rejecting God".
- Pope's Teachings:
- Homosexuals should be treated with respect, compassion and sensitivity and discrimination must be avoided
- Feelings are not wrong, but putting them into practice is sinful
- Encouraged to pray and seek help and support to live a life of chastity.
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Christians Against Homosexuality - Church of Engla
- Lambeth Conference of Bishops - Homosexual acts are "incompatible with scripture".
- Declared that this policy would not be the final word and research would continue.
- Canon Jeffery John:
- July 2003 - Homosexual but celibate priest withdrew his acceptance of the offer to be Bishop of Reading.
- Did this to avoid creating worldwide split in Anglican church.
- Many Evangelicals were pleased:
- Philip Giddings - "We are not free to discard what is said in the Bible, however unpopular".
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- 2003 - Schism developed within Anglican church worldwide.
- Happened between liberal churches of the West and traditional churches in Nigeria where homosexuality is illegal and some are stoned to death.
- Nigerian Church opposed ordination of gay bishop, Gene Robinson, in the USA.
- President of Nigeria - "Such a tendancy is clearly un-Biblical, unnatural and definitely unAfrican".
- 2005 - Nigerian church broke away from Western churches as they had strayed too far from homosexual biblical teachings.
- Gene Robinson - "acceptance of gay and lesbian people into the life of the church is something that is going to happen...it will happen in God's time".
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Bible Views In Favour Of Homosexuality
- Burton Leiser - Sexual organs are for providing pleasure as well as reproduction.
- Paul's teaching - "The husband should fulfill his marital duty to his wife, and likewise the wife to her husband".
- Liberal Christians - Everyone is made in the image of God, so homosexuality must be in that image too because God would not have created "disordered" beings.
- Bailey - Biblical views based on ancient cultures and traditions that are not relevant today.
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Scholars In Favour Of Homosexuality
- Burton Leiser - If the purpose of sex is reproduction, marriage between infertile or elderly couples must also be wrong.
- Kate Saunders & Pater Stamford - Some Catholic cardinals express intolerant views and Church may be discriminatory in matters like teaching and abortion.
- Arcigay - Italian gay rights organisation. Catholic Church's teachings may be a factor in violence and intolerance.
- Gareth Moore - Bible requires Christians to help and support those marginalised in society.
- John Harris - Sexual activities are an issue of manners and etiquette rather than ethics. Homosexuality does not cause harm so should be free from moral and ethical judgements.
- Religious Believers - Not an issue of sexual orientation, but of sexual activity. Former is not a choice but latter is.
- Mark Bonnington and Bob Fyall - Solution lies in loving, non-genital, same-sex relationships.
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Ethical Theories In Favour Of Homosexuality
- Utilitarianism - No absolute right or wrongs as long as actions result in pleasure for people without unnecessary pain. If majority agree, it can be acceptable.
- Situation Ethics - Denial of homosexuals' rights to marriage, relationships and sex is wrong as the possibility of a man having a reproductive relationship is not great nor is it desirable. Personalism, positivism and pragmatism, which is relevant to the case, shows us that love, not rule, is absolute.
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Bible Views Against Homosexuality
- God only approves of sexual relationships between married heterosexual partners.
- Genesis 2:18 - Woman created especially for man.
- Sexual relationship between partners is important aspect of marriage bond and requirement to reproduce. Homosexuality can be seen as unnatural.
- Genesis 9:1 - "Be fruitful and increase".
- Old Testament - Homosexuality carried death penalty:
- Leviticus 18:22 - If a man lies with a man as one lies with a woman, that is detestable. They must be put to death".
- New Testament - Paul included homosexuality as part of his list of moral wrongdoing that could jeopardise chances of eternal life:
- "Do not be decieved, neither...homosexual offenders...will inherit the kingdom of God"
- Paul - Result of sin and The Fall.
- Romans 1:27 - "Abandoned natural relations with women...men committed indecent acts with other men".
- Conservative Evangelical Christians - Strong Biblical argument makes it sinful and only dealt with through repentance, forgiveness, prayer and healing.
- Westboro' Baptist Church - Worst example of Christian intolerance to homosexuality.
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Ethical Theories Against Homosexuality
- Divine Command Ethics - Bible, believed to be very words of God, condemns homosexuality. Can only bring harm and will not inherit kingdom of God.
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