A Careful Consideration of Same-Sex Relationships


In writing this article, I am aware that I am treading dangerous water. I hope that I am writing in a dispassionate way so that the facts and God’s Word would be clearly be demonstrated.

There may be those who, in reading this article, may describe me as a homophobe because I do not affirm same-sex relationships; but that act will close down any meaningful discussion. I want this article to be a means of real dialogue, whilst also recognising the facts laid before us and the inerrancy of God’s Word.


Introduction

 ‘I am the love that dare not speak its name’ wrote Lord Alfred Douglas in Two Loves(1896) of relationships between people of the same gender. We are facing the situation in the early twentieth-first century where people involved in such relationships are now proclaiming that its voice should be heard loudly from the rooftops.

We should be following the example in Acts chapter 17, in Paul’s sermon at Athens, we are reminded that ‘in Him we live and have our being’ (verse 28). We are not to deviate from the Creator’s instructions if we want to live a life that is consistent with His calling. It is the case that there are those, even within the Church, who worship at the altar of same sex relationships without realising or that they want to negate the obvious findings that the practice is contrary to God’s Word.

The ‘gay lobby’ tends to be a one-issue movement. It cannot understand that, for the vast majority of Christians, it is only one concern among others that call out for redemption and salvation – it is a minority subject in the minds of many believers. It is evidenced by the observation that more sermons are preached and articles written upon human rights, social injustice, global issues and, more importantly, issues faced from an eternal perspective than on this one subject. It is rare that any sermon deals with this matter as issues, such as mission and social justice, often takes precedence.

Where there is concern with regard to sexual matters, God’s people are looking to purity regardless whether a person has heterosexual or homosexual orientations. For many evangelical Christians, sexual sin is sin, regardless of sexual orientation – a heterosexual couple sleeping together without being married is just a sin as a same sex relationship.

We are waking up to the situation where the language that is employed has been subtly changed so that there is more ambiguity about the approach. ‘Gay’ used to mean ‘happy’ in the dictionaries from about twenty to thirty years ago. As we shall see through the evidence produced through this book, happiness is not an attribute that is readily applicable to the same-sex relationship movement. There seems to be anger whenever their cause is thwarted even by another diversity strand, especially if that strand happens to be religion and belief. There is also consternation that, generally (and this is a point that is raised within the media), the same-sex lobby has little tolerance toward the rights of other diversity groups, such as people with disabilities.

It important to state, at the outset that same-sex relationships have been often linked with transgender and transsexual, but there are clearly different issues that have to be addressed. The exceptions are, for example, the physiological and physical difficulties that ‘trans-people’ have to experience, beyond choosing a lifestyle that is contrary to scripture.

It could be that people involved in same sex relationships having to deal with emotions, such as their anger at other human beings and at God. We shall address some of these matters in a future chapter.

There seems to be an increasing lack of differential by people within the ‘gay lobby’ between same-sex relationships and same-sex friendships. It can be broadly characterised by the fact that the former is largely homoerotic. There has been the accusation by those in same-sex relationships that, when looking at the subject, heterosexuals are concentrating on the activities within the bedroom; but that is where the important area of the definition takes place – a major difference that is emphasised by homoerotic suggestions that are experienced by the same-sex lobby.

As we shall see in the chapter dealing with Biblical passages, the ‘gay lobby’ is very keen to show that their lifestyle is treated kindly in the Scripture so  they refer to passages (for example, with David and Jonathan, and Ruth and Naomi) where it is clear that the people concerned have friendships with people of the opposite sex. These friendships can often be deeper than physical relationships and, as shall be demonstrated, will often last longer.

Throughout this book, I have used the term ‘same-sex relationship’ as the other definitions can be confusing. The usage of the word ‘homosexual’ was disliked by the ‘gay lobby’ as it had implications within the medical world that it was a disorder. In addition, the term could be applied by both men and women involved in same-sex relationships.

The preferred terms used by people involved in such activities are ‘gay’ or ‘gay men’ for males, and ‘lesbians’ or ‘gay women’ for females; although older people who are involved may, confusingly, still refer to themselves as ‘homosexual’.

There are derogatory terms that have built up over the years and sadly used by all, including Christians, which do not demonstrate love for the person, which will not be repeated in this publication.  Interestingly, the meanings of words do change over the years, whereas ‘gay’ used to mean ‘happy,’ the word is used by younger people (particularly in the school playgrounds) to mean ‘sad’ or ‘weak.’

Other writers prefer to use ‘person with same-sex attraction’, but this book is primarily about the activities of people who hold to the lifestyle choices. There is an ongoing discussion about the causes of same-sex attraction, which is not condemned in any part of Scripture, but it is the demonstration that is called an abomination. I will be addressing the possible causes in later sections.

There will be occasions when words like ‘gay’ and ‘lesbian’ will be used within in this book, but it will principally occur when people are referring to themselves.

The term that is most often used in this book is ‘same-sex’. It is all-encompassing terms, which includes who are homosexual (from Greek homo meaning ‘same’ and the Latin for ‘sex’) or lesbian and more descriptive of the relationship.
In addressing this issue, I am aware that, in some traditions (especially within classical evangelicalism to which I subscribe), there is emphasis on reliance on scripture alone. In other sections of the Church, there is call to Scripture, tradition and reason. In making the case, I do refer to the three areas, although (as an evangelical) I am aware that Scripture is the only one that can be ultimately relied upon, as it is the Word of God. I have included tradition as evidence that it has been the settled mind of the Church over the centuries, and reason to show that God has the best in mind for our lives and has not declared something out of bounds on an arbitrary basis.

In the light of this, I am fully aware that we live in a postmodern society with its accompanying characteristics.  Proponents of a postmodern mindset advocate that all personal options are equally good so that members of society must demonstrate tolerance of diversity. (It is interesting to note that it is only differences to their settled will that are not tolerated.) These advocates have decreed that human judgements are relative.

It has increasingly become the case that any attempt to disagree has been termed ‘homophobic’, a hyperbole that has tried to curb any reasoned and reasonable discussion. If applied to other discussions, this line of argument would run risk of closing down many discussions on other lifestyles, such as the use alcohol and cigarettes (nicotine). I will return to this matter in the chapter ‘How to respond’ as there is the standard of behaviour for Christians to maintain whilst relying on God’s Word.

It must be clear from the outset that this publication is not about personalities. There are many people involved in same sex relationships whose lives are otherwise exemplary and would put most of us to shame. It is not whether or not we think the general niceness of people or the sincerity of their beliefs are acceptable, but what God states is the benchmark of how we are live.

 In the ‘progressive’ world, there is the proclamation that genital sexual expression seen as a right and even necessary for emotional health. This argument ignores those who cannot or choose not to express themselves by sexual intercourse, for it is not necessarily a need nor is it a right. It is increasingly usual for pupils, even within the primary schools, to articulate that their aim is for sexual intercourse when they reach adulthood, without the rights and responsibilities of relationships.

The advocators have yet to concede that acceptance of a lifestyle does not make it right. Other genes have been identified as being responsible for alcoholism, mental imbalances and violent tendencies, but it is acknowledged by most people that there has to be attempts to try to control for the good of society. There will be further details of the possible causes in the chapters in this publication.

Scripture commends people who struggle with temptation (such as attraction towards people of the same gender) and overcome their desires by not acting on them. It is important to emphasise that having the tendency toward same sex relationships is not sinful, but the practice is. There is definitely a difference between the inclination and the act.  The Bible says nothing specific about the condition of preference for same-sex relations. The lobby for such a relationship do not like the inference that it is a decision, but the act can be avoided.

It is agreed that all people born sinful. In Psalm 51: 5, we are told that:
‘Surely I was sinful from birth, sinful from the time that my mother conceived me.’ We all have different struggles and, for some people, it may in the area of sexual attraction. It is true that we all need the power of the Holy Spirit in our lives to overcome temptations and this is just further area where forgiveness can be obtained if we repent.

An example of this principle that we have born with a sinful nature is that we have to teach child to be good, not to be naughty. A working out of this principle is when people (and I am referring mainly to those who have asked Jesus to be Lord of their lives) desire the wrongful desires within (such as wanting to be involved in same-sex relationships) to be activated and put into practice.

On the statistical basis, this book has not included opinion polls, important as they are, and they show consistently that most people think that same sex relationships are contrary to the best way to live. It is important to recognise that God’s Word is the guidance that we need (not people’s thoughts and opinions) and the supporting facts are more significant to the basis of this publication.

 This work is not written to ‘demonise’ a particular grouping within our society, but to show that, if we claim to be one of God’s children, we have to respond in love to the pure desire He has for us to live as He wants.

I also acknowledge that the document is written predominantly from the perspective of the United Kingdom, although there are references to what is happening in other countries.

Regardless of the small amount of time that the Church spends on this subject, it is still important to address it. At a Reform conference, Rev. Paul Perkin stated:

‘It is not a secondary issue. This issue matters because it stands either side of the cross. Does God create my homosexuality part of my nature in his own image which was incarnated in the earthly life of our Lord Jesus? Or is homosexuality part of my fallen sinful nature which Jesus died on the cross to redeem?’[1]






  1. An Overview

Statistics in the UK

Those involved in same sex relationships, especially the people involved in organisations that promote the lifestyle, have become a vocal lobby increasingly within the last twenty years. It is totally out of proportion with the numbers involved in such a lifestyle within the United Kingdom. At best, recent studies have shown that 1 – 2 per cent of men are involved in such relationships and the figure is less than 1per cent for women.[2] In the 2001 census, less than 0.2 per cent of all households in England and Wales were headed by a same-sex couple.[3]

In the United Kingdom, the 1996 General Household Survey estimated that 0.1 per cent of households in UK were headed by a couple in a same-sex relationship.[4]Another omnibus survey by the Office for National Statistics found that 2 per cent of the population had had same-sex relationship with a man at some time. Half this group had also had sex with a woman.[5]

A survey in 2004 in the UK showed that 2.8 per cent of men and 1.4 per cent of women were sexually attracted to the same sex. [6]

In 2009 research for The Equality and Human Rights Commission in the United Kingdom, the authors stated that lesbians were most likely to be attracted to the opposite sex (19 per cent); whereas 10 per cent of heterosexual women, 12 per cent of gay men and 6 per cent of heterosexual men reported being attracted in a way that was opposite to their sexual orientation.

In the same research, 5 per cent of gay men had some sexual intercourse with women, as did 1 per cent of heterosexual women. In addition, 5 per cent of lesbians had some sexual intercourse with men, as did 3 per cent of heterosexual men.[7]

In document produced by the United Kingdom, there is an acknowledgement that the often-quoted statistic by those in same sex relationships 10 per cent (which we will refer to later) is incorrect. Her Majesty’s Treasury Actuaries stated that 6 per cent of the country’s population were involved in the same sex relationship scene or were bisexual.[8]The latter figure will be demonstrated later to be still too high an estimate.

A current study looked at the various surveys that gave figures for homosexual people. It stated, ‘There is no reliable information on the size of the LGB population. Estimates range from 0.3 per cent to 10 per cent using different measures and sources.’ It went on to state that the only official figure was five to seven per cent by the Department of Trade and Industry (now the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills).[9]

A still later survey by the Office for National Statistics estimated the 1.5per cent of the British population (on one in 66) is either homosexual or bisexual (being 1 per cent are gay/lesbian and 0.5 per cent are bisexual).[10] It is in the younger generation where there is the higher proportion, with 1.7 per cent of 16 to 24 year-olds self-identifying as gay or lesbian with a further 1 per cent stating that they were bisexual. In the UK, London had the highest number of people identifying as gay, lesbian or bisexual, but it was only at 2.5 per cent of the city’s population.

Statistics – Kinsey’s study

Alfred C. Kinsey’s publications Sexual Behaviour in the Human Male(1948) and Sexual Behaviour in the Human Female (1953) have been influential and continue to be in the statistical analysis of people who are sexually attracted to their own gender. The studies stated that the majority of humans had same-sex experiences or sensations and were bisexual. He found that approximately four per cent of adult Americans were predominately same-sex for entire lives, and approximately ten per cent for some portion of their lives.

Kinsey stated that: ’10 per cent of the males are more or less exclusively homosexual for at least three years between the ages of 16 and 55.’[11]

He continued: ‘4 per cent of white males are exclusively homosexual throughout their lives after the onset of adolescence.’[12]

The study also concluded that ‘37per cent of the total male population has at least some overt homosexual experience to the point of orgasm between adolescence and old age.’[13]

This study is important as the figure of 10per cent still used by many groups as being the number of people with same-sex inclinations. (We shall observe later in this chapter that it is a great exaggeration.) In a case[14]before European Court of Justice where employee claimed the same travel perks for a same-sex couple as a heterosexual couple, the argument hinged on a European Equal Treatment Directive (intended for equality for women and men in employment, etc.) which, the claimants argued, should be extended to prevent discrimination on grounds of sexual orientation.

The Advocate General in the provisional opinion argued for extension of the Directive’s extent. The opinion stated that 33 million people were attracted to the same sex in Europe would be affected, almost one tenth of EU’s population at time[15]. The full Court of Justice later reversed the provisional opinion.

The Department of Health had, in 1987, had a prediction of the extent of the HIV infection.  It acknowledged that the figure of 3.5 per cent was ‘very out of date’ but the prediction suggested ‘A further 3.5 to 10 per cent of men are assumed to have some homosexual contact.’[16]After acknowledging very out of date’ figures, it then went on to suggest that the real figure for ‘the homosexual population is around 4.5 per cent of adult males with a probable range of 3 per cent – 7 per cent.’ This reliance on the figures produced by Kinsey’s report explains why the expectations of AIDS infections within the United Kingdom were exaggerated beyond what was expected.

Some studies on Kinsey’s findings have, indeed, disputed his methodology and have suggested that his conclusions on the occurrence of bisexuality and same-sex relationships have been overstated. They point out that the original study interviewed disproportionately people with same-sex orientations and prisoners (many of the latter were sex offenders).[17]

It has been quoted in his biography that Kinsey admitted usedolder subjects who have had sexual contacts with younger boys’ and of ‘technically trained persons who have kept diaries or other records which have been put at our disposal.’[18]

There was clearly bias in the sample used by Kinsey. Approximately 25 per cent of the sample were prisoners and 63 per cent were college educated.[19]Many of those interviewed had volunteered after attending his lectures on sex. The grading used a “0 to 6”  scale, where 0 was to be exclusively heterosexual and 6 indicated that a person was exclusively attracted to the same sex.[20]To have had a single thought was enough to have same sex ‘psychologic reaction’ and so a same sex rating, although that thought was never acted on and could have been a single instance.[21]

Statistics – Welling’s study

This study worked on the premise that same sex attraction and experimentation is often part of youth. Wellings found that 5.5 per cent of men claim to have been attracted to another man, but only 3.6 per cent have ever committed a same sex genital act.[22]Majority of those who had experimented in their adolescence have exclusively heterosexual relationships in adult life.[23]

Half these acts performed in youth were never repeated with another man. The study found evidence that ‘Homosexual experience is often a relatively isolated or passing event’’[24]and are single occasions in youth never repeated in adult life.[25]

Where men might have had a same sex partner in their adult lives, 61.8 per cent of them had no partner in last five years and most (50.4 per cent) only had one such partner.[26]It could be regarded as a one-off taster, but no more.

Of 1.4 per cent of men that had at least one same sex partner in last five years, the vast majority (57 per cent) also had female partners at same time.[27]

Although 0.3 per cent only had male partners,[28] eleven times more (approx. 3.4 per cent) had both male and female sexual partners.[29]

Some 2.2 per cent men had same sex desires, but they had not act on them. The survey found that 2.6 per cent of the men were exclusively attracted to women, but they still had same sex contact from cuddling and kissing to genital contact.[30]

Statistics – Worldwide

Indeed, the statistics for the United Kingdom are broadly consistent for those involved in same sex relationships around the world:

According to Statistics Canada, 1.3 per cent men and 0.7 per cent women were attracted to the same sex. [31]

In the Netherlands, a survey had indicated that 2.8 per cent of men and 1.4per cent women were attracted to the same sex.[32]

In New Zealand, a survey showed that 2.8 per cent of young adults have identified themselves as homosexual or bisexual[33]

In a US study, 2.1 per cent of men and 1.5 per cent of women were identified as having sexual feelings for the same sex. [34]Another US study indicated that 1.87 per cent of women are lesbians.[35]

In a large US study, The National Survey of Men (1991), of men between 20 and 39, only 2 per cent of sexually active men had any same-sex oral or anal activity in last ten years, and only 1 per cent of the sample were exclusively homosexual.[36]

The Alan Guttmacher Institute Report in 1993 reported that 1.1 per cent of American men were either sexually attracted toward the same sex or were bisexual. This low figure comes from an organisation that is liberal in its morality, by promoting issues such as abortion.

In April 2011, a US study conducted by the Williams Institute at the UCLA in California cross-referenced five national and state surveys. The findings were that 1.8 per cent of respondents identified themselves as bisexual.

Another study in1993 as reported in ‘Death of a Myth,’ a Narth Bulletin, showed that 2 per cent of American men who were once sexually attracted to the same sex are no longer in that state.[37]

The largest and most thorough research in US entitled ‘Sex in America’ gave that statistics that  2.7 per cent of sexually active males and 1.3 per cent of sexually active females had at least one partner of same gender during past year.[38]

In France, a large telephone survey in 1991 – 1992 showed that 4.1 per cent of men and 2.6 per cent of women had at least one occurrence of same sex during lifetime,[39]but also that only 0.7 per cent of men and 0.6 per cent of women were exclusively attracted sexually to the same sex.[40]
  
Throughout the world, the figures show that the percentage of the population that are attracted to a sexual relationship with someone of the same gender is lower than that often quoted by the homosexual community and certainly lower than the 10per cent quoted by the Kinsey study. Gay rights activist Chris Woods has been honest in his refusing to accept the statistical findings, stating‘So, like Flat earthers, we deny the evidence.’[41]

  1. The Development of Sexuality

The desire for same-sex relationships is a condition that affects many people in the world for the gratification of sexual needs. However, the situation is more complicated than it would initially seem.[42]

When a child is conceived, he or she is not totally heterosexual or same-sex in psychosexual orientation. Indeed, an infant’s sexuality is generalised, not genital in behaviour and does not show either heterosexual or same-sex preference within the period of childhood.

With the onset of puberty, there is the commencement of sexual energy and the awareness of a person’s genitalia. However, psychosexual maturity is not attained, so there is a mixture of pre- and post-puberty behaviour, with confusion in the mind as to the correct sexual behaviour. There is mutual sexual exploration with people of the same and opposite gender, sometimes with masturbation being experienced. It may be that there are frequently common comparisons of their body parts among young people, especially boys.

The difference is that, after the initial stages of puberty, masturbation produces great pleasure along with ejaculation of semen. As adolescent behaviour progresses, there is normally movement away from same-sex exploration to heterosexual relationships that slowly increase in sexual intensity.

As John Money has stated, sexual relationships ‘have both prenatal and later causes, which interact during critical periods of development to create a long-lasting or even immutable sexuoerotic status.’[43]

It is perfectly normal at the pubescent stage to experience same-sex thoughts or feelings, but it is important to emphasise that these muddled emotions do not make a person attracted to the same sex in a homosexual relationship. These feelings are only the latent expressions of the same-sex aspect of our personalities that many people outgrow when they are assured of their sexuality and develop normal heterosexual relationships. These experiences sometimes cause same-sex panic reactions, which are acute panic attacks by fear that a person is sexually attracted to someone of the same sex. Because a person is still in developing stage, adolescents are particularly subject to these worries that they are homosexual in nature.

The claim that sexual orientation is fixed by the time that someone is sixteen years old is refutable. The Wellings study discovered that the majority of those who had one homosexual experience in their youth never had another such experience and regarded it as a phase in their adolescent development.

The authors of the Report state:
‘The difference in prevalence between lifetime and current homosexual experience points to the likelihood that homosexual experience is often a relatively isolated or passing event. Almost certainly, respondents who report having some homosexual experience but no genital contact (2.4per cent of men and 1.7per cent of women) are predominantly those for whom the same gender experience was a transient part of their sexual development.’[44]

The study continued to state that it was a ‘form of bisexuality prevalent in early adulthood’ which ‘may represent a transitional phase in which references are tested through experimentation with different lifestyles and relationships.’[45]

It is clear that throughout this period of early learning, the genders had no other partners of the same sex.[46]

  1. The Lifestyle

Diseases in general

There is present among those who practise same-sex relationships sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) as is the case where there any sexual promiscuity, regardless of sexual orientation. The STDs includes hepatitis B, anal warts, herpes, gonorrhoea, syphilis and shigellosis.

Among those who practice same-sex relationships, they indulge in highly risky practices, such as anal sex, and on a very common basis. The vast majority (60 per cent) participate in anal sex, frequently without a condom and even if they know that they are HIV positive and so are serious risks to the other person.[47]

This practice of ‘barebacking’ is intentionally unsafe anal sex. In HIV positive gay men, 84 per cent of them had engaged in the practice in past three months and 43 per cent with partner not likely infected, so they were putting someone else at risk.[48]

As a result, a large number of diseases associated with anal intercourse are evident among those who in same-sex relationships, of which many are rare or unknown among heterosexuals. These diseases include anal cancer, Chlamydia trachomatis, Giardia lamblia, Herpes simplex virus, HIV, Human papilomia virus, Isospora Belli, Microsporidia, Gonorrhoea, Syphilis, Hepatitis B and C and others.[49]

In the figures for 2006, the incidence of most STDs among gay men increased over the previous five years. The gonorrhoea diagnoses had increased by 25 per cent, genital warts by 21per cent and genital herpes by 15 per cent over those years. Following an 117 per cent increase between 2002 and 2006, the infectious syphilis incidence among gay men stayed high in 2006 and most of these cases were in the non-HIV-infected category.[50]

Cancer

According to a study from the United States, gay men are nearly twice as likely to have suffered from cancer as heterosexual men. The research was based on surveys with more than 12,000 people in California, which also indicated that cancer was diagnosed on average more than a decade earlier for gay men.

The survey did not indicate a difference in the cancer rates between lesbian and heterosexual women.
 
Although the research did not examine the underlying causes, Dr Ulrike Boehmer (the lead author of the study) indicated that the higher rates of HIV among homosexual men could be related to the increased rate of cancer.

HIV infection and AIDS have been linked to numerous cancers including anal, lung and testicular cancer, and Hodgkin Lymphoma.

Jason Warriner, clinical director at the Terrence Higgins Trust, commented: ‘We know that HIV can cause certain types of cancer, and that gay men are a greater risk of HIV than straight men.’

In putting another aspect, Liz Margolie, executive director of LGBT Lung Cancer Network, indicated that gay ‘men as a group have a bunch of risk factors for cancer,’ including higher rates of smoking and alcohol abuse.

Jessica Harris, senior health information officer at Cancer Research UK, commented: ‘In this Californian survey, gay men were more likely than straight men to say they had been diagnosed with cancer, but it’s not clear from this study why this might be.

‘It could be down to better survival or higher rates among gay men and we’d need larger studies that take both of these factors into account to find out.’[51]    

Syphilis

There has been a dramatic increase in syphilis in large cities such as Los Angeles, San Francisco but also in London and Manchester; the majority who whom practise same-sex relationships.[52]

While many are aware of HIV risk, many in same-sex relationships are not aware of non-HIV STDs, many of which have serious complications or are not curable. In a survey, 42 per cent of lesbians and 24 per cent of gay men indicated that they were not aware of the implications. [53] In the same survey, when the questions were about whether the people had discussed STDs with their doctors, fewer than 50 per cent had been vaccinated to prevent hepatitis. About 37 per cent of gays and 49 per cent of lesbians reported having a non-HIV STD. 

There were over 224,000 new diagnoses of STDs in men at Genito-Urinary Medicine clinic in the United Kingdom in 2006, a rise from the figure of 137,000 in 1997. Although the infection rates are rising for both heterosexual and gay/bisexual men, the Health Protection Agency reports high levels of infections in men who have sex with men. In 2006, there were an estimated 2,700 new HIV diagnoses in gay men and an estimated 5.4 per cent of gay men aged 15 – 44 years are infected with the HIV virus. The estimated numbers of adults (aged 15 – 59) living with HIV (both diagnosed and undiagnosed) in the United Kingdom was 69,000 in 2006. Of these, 30,100 (43 per cent) were gay men and 14,700 (21 per cent) were heterosexual men.[54]

HIV and AIDS

HIV and AIDS are the most familiar of diseases that are often erroneously associated with same-sex relationships as these can be transmitted to partners of opposite sex. However, studies in the US have shown that HIV and AIDS are prevalent among males in same-sex relationships, intravenous drug users and people with multiple sexual partners.[55] 

There is a significant increase in connection between HIV and anal sex. It has been discovered that young homosexual men aged 15 – 22 years have a five fold increased risk of contracting than if they had never engaged with anal sex.[56]

In the United Kingdom, 72 per cent of HIV cases were found among sexual contact of men with men. There were only 4 per cent of HIV cases through vaginal intercourse, even if all the unclassified cases were added into this category. According to the Terence Higgins Trust, up to 20 per cent of gay men in London and 5 per cent outside are HIV positive.[57]

In 2011, it was revealed by the Health Protection Agency (HPA) that the HIV infection rates had almost doubled in the last ten years, with the figures increasing ‘especially in men who have sex with men.’ The new HIV infections in 2001 were 1,950, whereas in 2010 it was 3,780. There was an increase of 70 per cent among MSM from 1,810 to 3,080.  There were approximately 30,800 MSM living with HIV living with HIV infection in the UK, where it is estimated that almost 9,000 were unaware of their infection.

Commenting on the 2011 HIV figures, Dr Paul Cosford, executive director of Health Protection Services at the HPA, stated: ‘Unfortunately, despite small decreases in the last few years, new diagnoses of HIV infections acquired within the UK are on the upward turn, especially in men who have sex with men.

‘This is the result of both new cases coming forward to be diagnosed as well as high levels of on-going transmission, especially among men.’[58]

The chief executive of the Terence Higgins Trust (the largest HIV and AIDS charity), Nick Partridge, stated that ‘Gay men are still the most at risk of HIV infection in the UK.’ He continued: ‘We also know that more than a quarter of people with HIV in the UK are currently undiagnosed, and they’re far more likely to pass the virus on than those who know they have it.’

The UK Blood and Transfusion and Tissue Services will not accept donations from men who have had sex with other men recently, regardless of whether a condom had been used. This policy was based on their impartial analysis of data so that a safe supply of blood can be ensured. [59]

A position paper from the National Blood Service states: ‘The criteria for blood donors across all of the UK Blood Services are agreed by the Department of Health’s Advisory Committee on the Safety of Blood, Tissue and Organs.

‘In order to assure the continued safety of the blood supply, we currently ask those in the groups shown to have a particularly high risk of carrying blood-borne viruses not to give blood.

‘These include men who have ever had sex with men. The reason for this exclusion rests on specific sexual behaviour (such as anal and oral sex between men), rather than the sexuality of the person wishing to donate.

‘There is, therefore, no exclusion of gay men who have never had sex with a man nor of women who have sex with women.’

The position paper outlines the medical reason for this policy, including: ‘While safer sex, through the use of condoms, does reduce the transmission of infections, it cannot eliminate the risk altogether.

‘Men who have sex with men continue to be disproportionately affected by HIV and account for 63% of HIV diagnoses where the infection was likely to have been acquired in the UK.

‘Epidemiological evidence in the UK also shows that there has been a significant increase in sexually-transmitted infections which can also be blood-borne, such as hepatitis B and syphilis, among men who have sex with men.
  
‘Between 2002 and 2006, for example, there has been a 117% increase in the syphilis infections in men who have sex with men.

‘Research shows that completely removing the current exclusion on blood donation from men who have sex with men would result in a fivefold increase in the risk of HIV-infected blood entering the blood supply.

There had been a sharp rise in sexually transmitted infections among gay and bisexual men in the previous twelve months to June 2015. The doctors reported a 46 per cent rise in syphilis and a 32 per cent in gonorrhoea among these categories of men. However, the number of new cases of STDs in England was reduced to 439,243 in 2014 from 440,707 in 2013.[60]

‘While changing deferral to one year from the last sexual contact would have a lesser effect, it would still increase this risk by 60%.’ 

The increase continued so that it could be stated, using the statistics from the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Cure (ECDC), that from  2007 to 2017 the cases of gonorrhoea had tripled whilst the reported number of syphilis had doubled.

Andrew Amato-Gauci, head of the ECDC programme on sexually transmitted diseases, acknowledged that the problem was widespread. He commented further: ‘The increases in syphilis infections that we see across Europe, as well as other countries around the world, are the result of several factors such as people having sex without condoms and multiple sexual partners, combined with a reduced fear of acquiring HIV.’[61]

A study has shown that rates of HIV infection among homosexual men in France are 200 times higher than among heterosexuals. In the released statistics, scientists from the French National Institute for Public Health Surveillance calculated that nearly half of the 7,000 people with new infections of HIV in 2008 were from same-sex community. Stephane le Vu, who headed up the team, stated that HIV transmission ‘seems to be out of control’ amongst men who have sex with men (MSM). [62]

The French study had shown that HIV infections had fallen during 2003 and 2008, although the numbers among gay men had remained static. M. le Vu continued: ‘HIV transmission disproportionately affects certain risk groups and seems to be out of control in the MSM population.’

In a separate European survey, Belgian researchers examined 500 patients who had recently been diagnosed as having HIV infection. The majority of these infections were among young white men who had sex with other men. The scientists at Ghent University also found that these men who also more likely to have contracted other sexually transmitted diseases, such as syphilis.

Over 70per cent of AIDS cases in Canada over fifteen years up to June 2004 were gay men (13,019 out of 19,238), sixty of which were HIV positive. This figure is to be contrasted with just over 15per cent of cases due to heterosexual contact[63]

MSM account for the majority of new HIV infections in the USA despite representing 2 per cent of the population. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) released data that new HIV infections remained stable at approximately 50,000 between 2006 and 2009.

However, the CDC’s data also revealed that MSM ‘remain the group most heavily affected by new HIV infections.’ In 2009, 29,300 of the estimated 48,100 new cases, equivalent to 61 per cent, were found in MSM. The worst affected age group of MSM was between 13 years and 29 years, accounting for 27 per cent of new infections during the same year.

Thomas Frieden, the Director of CDC, stated: ‘More than thirty years into the HIV epidemic, about 50,000 people in this country still become infected in this country.

‘Not only do men who have sex with men continue to account for most new infections, young gay and bisexual men are the only group in which infections are increasing, and this increase is particularly concerning among young African American MSM.’

Jonathan Mermin, the Director of CDC’s Division of HIV/AIDS Prevention, added: ‘We are deeply concerned by the alarming rise in new HIV infections in young, black gay and bisexual men and the continued impact of HIV among young gay and bisexual men of all races.’[64] 


In Asia and Africa, there is evidence that one in three gay men is HIV positive.[65]

 Life expectancy

The impact of STDs and other health issues have impacts in noticeable ways. Studies in US have shown that the average lifespan for men in same-sex relationships is the late thirties and early forties; whereas for lesbians, the life span is early to middle forties. These figures should be compared to that of heterosexual men where the average is 73 years and for heterosexual women is 77 years.

In study that examined the homosexual community in Vancouver, Canada, it was discovered that ‘Life expectancy at age 20 for gay and bisexual men is 8 to 20 years less than for all men.’[66]

The US Secretary of Education Bill Bennett, who served from 1985 to 1988 in the George H W Bush administration, stated:

‘One of the difficulties in this whole issue is that people have been less than candid, have been afraid to talk frankly about the costs of the promiscuous homosexual lifestyle… The Centers for Disease Control in Atlanta have pointed out in interviews (through the interview process) that a typical active male homosexual might have two or three hundred partners a year…The biggest problem faced by promiscuous homosexuals in this country is devastation. Its not discrimination; it’s devastation. It’s death. It’s disaster.’[67]

Canadian research has suggested that gay men have a lower life expectancy than heterosexual me, but the evidence is very limited and could now be different as the HIV/AIDS mortality in gay men has declined.[68]

A review of the health inequalities experienced by lesbian, gay and bisexual people (LGB) in the United Kingdom does not mention life expectancy directly, but does have this comment: ‘the health of many LGB people is affected by social exclusion, starting in youth and continuing through adulthood, resulting in a negative, cumulative effect across the life-course…people who are socially integrated live longer, whereas socially isolated people are at risk of earlier death.’  [69]


Mental Health

here is evidence that young gay men are more likely than heterosexual men to attempt suicide and probably to die as a result.[70]Research has shown that it is directly linked with sexual orientation or depression, or relationship problems and difficulties within the family.[71]

It has been discovered that the most common emotion and mental health issue is depression, which has been fuelled by loneliness and guilt. In such circumstances, it seems ironic that that the word ‘gay’ is used of this lifestyle.

Drugs

Drug abuse is a problem within all western societies. However, drug abuse among those who practise same-sex relationships is a particular cause of concern.

Michelangelo Signorile, a homosexual writer stated that there is ‘…the international circuit of gay dance parties that take place throughout the year in various cities around the country and around the world. Thousands of men travel to them…and the events often turn into several days of partying. Recreational drug use is rampant and almost universal among attendees…Gyms are the (homosexual’s) cult’s temples. Night clubs and sex clubs, its shrines. And the drugs – whether they are steroids and other compounds many men use to transform their physical bodies, or the Special K, Ecstasy, cocaine, and crystal meth many use to alter their minds – are the magical elixirs  and potions that will take us to a higher place where all is well and where we will bond with one another’s souls.’[72]

According the US National Gay-Lesbian Health Foundation, drug and alcohol problems are three times higher among those in same-sex relationships than among heterosexuals.[73]

There is some evidence that gay men are more likely than heterosexual men to drink alcohol, smoke and misuse drugs, although further research needs to be done in this area.[74]

Multiple Partners

There have been studies by organisations that promote same-sex relationships that indicate that few in such a relationship are able to practice ‘monogamy.’

In surveys, there have been more people within same-sex relationships than heterosexuals in ‘very active’ section of 10+ partners category. Of those reporting 100+ in five years, it was one hundred times greater in same-sex relationship group than among heterosexuals.[75]

In another study, more than 75 per cent of homosexual men claimed to have sex with more than 100 men in their lifetime; with approximately 15 per cent having100 – 249 sexual partners; 17 per cent claimed 250 – 499 sexual partners; 15 per cent claimed 500- 999 sexual partners and 28 per cent more than 1,000 sexual partners. [76]

In study of stable same-sex relationships, by academics that were homosexual themselves, it was discovered that of 156 couples, none of 100 that been together for more than five years had maintained ‘fidelity’. For 56 couples that they had been faithful for five years or less, with only seven couples stating that that their relationships were monogamous.[77] The study stated ‘Only seven couples have a totally exclusive sexual relationship, and these men all have been together less than five years. Stated another way, all couples with a relationship lasting more than five years have incorporated some provision for outside sexual activity in their relationship.’[78]

Project SIGMA (Socio-Sexual Investigation of Gay Men and AIDS) – an organisation based in London, although under auspices of the University of Portsmouth – preferred to use the word ‘closed’ instead of ‘monogamy.’ The definition was insipid for a relationship was considered to be ‘closed’ if the respondent had not had sex with a third party in the preceding month’.[79]

In next wave of study, SIGMA interviewed 387 of men who same sex behaviour. The study showed that 65 per cent of the men had more than one regular partner, 43.7 per cent were in relationships designated ‘at that time’ to be ‘closed.’[80]It was discerned that regular relationships did not last long with the median length of a relationship being 21 months.[81]

In Netherlands, it was discovered that male same-sex relationships lasted on average 1.5 years and that homosexuals had, on average, eight partners a year outside ‘committed’ relationships.[82]

Another study shows that gay men have sex with someone other than their primary partner in 66 per cent of relationships within the first year, rising to 90 per cent of relationships after five years.[83]

In an online survey among nearly 8,000 homosexuals, 71 per cent of men had been in same-sex relationships that had lasted less than 8 years. Only 9 per cent of such relationships lasted more than 16 years.[84]

Researchers have stated:
‘There is a widespread expectation among gay men that relationships will not be monogamous since this is widely seen as a means of combining the security of a long term commitment with the excitement of new encounter.’[85]

They continued:
‘… it is clear that sexual exclusivity was neither a reality, nor an ideal, for most coupled gay men before AIDS. The most common reasons given for non-monogamy were sexual variety, and the sense of personal independence attained by not confining sexual activity to one person. That open relationships are a positive choice on the part of gay men seemed…to be too simple an explanation for some researchers who saw openness as evidence of a failed closed relationship. Blumenstein & Schwarz (1983), for example, talk of the ‘threat’ of openness to relationships and Bell & Weinberg (1978) suggest that ‘a monogamous quasi-marriage between homosexual men is probably difficult to achieve.’[86]

Peter Davies from Project SIGMA has written: ‘The implicit goal of eradicating unsafe sex is unrealistic. It is neither a sustainable strategy nor an epidemiological necessity, but rather an unnecessary restriction on desire and action.’[87]

Another SIGMA paper has accepted that promiscuity is the norm among those who practice homosexuality:  ‘The endorsement of sexual exclusivity within these relationships is neither realistic nor necessary, and calls for it must be seen as morally guided.’[88]

In his essay on the revulsion against sex produced by the AIDS crisis, ‘Is the rectum a grave?’ Leo Bersani mounts a passionate defence of promiscuous desire, especially among gay men, as a way of freeing the self from normative imprisonment:

‘Gay men’s “obsession” with sex, far from being denied, should be celebrated – not because of its communal virtues, not because of its subversive potential for parodies of machismo, not because it offers a model of genuine pluralism to a society that at once celebrates and punishes pluralism, but rather because it never stops re-presenting the internalized phallic male as an indefinitely loved object of sacrifice. Male homosexuality advertises the risk of the sexual itself as the risk of self-dismissal, of losing sight of the self, and in doing it proposes and dangerously represents jouissance [enjoyment] as a mode of ascesis [rigorous self-discipline].’’[89]

Gay authors admitted that the ‘gay liberation was founded…on a sexual brotherhood of promiscuity.’[90]

Even moderate organisations, like Changing Attitude (in the Church of England), have written that in the contexts of same-sex relationships: ‘translating this thinking into the sexual sphere, the ideal outcome may be for mature adults to live in covenantal relationships that are stable, sexually exclusive/monogamous and permanent. This ideal is in tension with our common inheritance of genetic predispositions and developmental damage that compromise our capacity for relating, and often make serial commitments, and serial faithfulness, a more realistic aspiration.’[91]

The book continues: ‘Even harder to cater for and to evaluate is the degree to which any committed relationship may actually inhibit one or both partners from realising their full potential in some respects.’[92]

Andrew Henderson then endorses an argument that is familiar to most teenagers before the sign of maturity in commitment to one partner. He states ‘to leave a failing relationship can be a creative move towards allowing oneself to discover in another relationship new experiences and a new phase of growth.’[93]The sentiment forgets that God created monogamy, as the physical union was to be holistic; bringing both partners together as a spiritual, physical and mental couple – something that was not to be lightly cast aside. In the argument for multiple sexual partners, Mr Henderson clearly illustrates why God’s laws forbade the use of temple prostitutes.

In a book by Courage, a church organisation that endorses same-sex relationships, there is a list of same-sex partnerships in long-term commitment, but the book still contradicts other information clearly provided by gay literature.[94]

It is this attitude as to why a prominent gay activist wants to ‘indoctrinate’ children. Writing on an LGBT blog, Daniel Villareal stated: ‘We want educators to teach future generations of children to accept queer sexuality. In fact, our very future depends on it.’ He then continued: ‘Why would we push anti-bullying programs or social studies classes that teach kids about the historical contributions of famous queers unless we wanted to deliberately educate children to accept queer sexuality as normal?’

Mr Villareal’s contribution continued: ‘I and a lot of other people want to indoctrinate, recruit, teach, and expose children to queer sexuality AND THERE’S NOTHING WRONG WITH THAT.’[95]

It is interesting to note that promiscuity among lesbians is less extreme, although many also have sexual intercourse with men. A study has shown that lesbians are four times more likely to have in excess of fifty male sexual partners than heterosexual women.[96]

Domestic violence

It has been discovered that females in particularly who are in same-sex relationships are characterised by extreme jealousy and possessiveness.

Meanwhile, studies show that domestic violence within same-sex relationships exceeds those within heterosexual relationships by a factor of at least five to six or seven times. Lesbians, in particular, are more likely to be victims of domestic violence from approximately eight to ten times more times than women in heterosexual relationships, and they experience the highest rates of instances of domestic violence than any particular sector.

In the  United States, men with  same-sex relationships account  for 10per cent of male victims  of domestic abuse (i.e. 13740 out of 142290), whereas  women within same-sex relationships account for 2 per cent of women who are victims of that crime (i.e. 16900 out of 902240). The two genders placed together total 3 per cent,[97]which is high when compared to the number of people within same-sex relationships and the general population.

In a survey of 692 people, 39 per cent of men within same-sex relationships had experienced at least one battering over last five years, compared to 7.7 per cent heterosexual men who had experienced a battering throughout their lifetimes. This also meant that 40per cent of women in same-sex relations had also experienced domestic abuse. The study found that being under 35 years of age, having a low income, having few qualifications and being in a first relationship were risk factors.[98]

Also compared with heterosexual women who are more likely to be victims of violence within marriage or cohabitation within the last five years (who are more likely to be victims of domestic violence than men), the figure of abuse by partners of men in same-sex relationships is substantially higher than that experienced by heterosexual women (22 per cent compared to 11.6 per cent).[99]

It has been noted that abuse within male same-sex relationships was as high as 46 per cent.[100]Among lesbian couples, the lifetime prevalence of physical assault was 35.4 per cent.

In another study, 40 per cent of lesbians experienced physical abuse from their partners, 40 per cent reported sexual abuse and 78 per cent reported emotional abuse. It has been stated that, although, one on four women suffer from domestic violence, the figure could be as high as one in three gay or lesbian people experiencing domestic abuse.[101]

A survey in the London Boroughs of Greenwich and Bexley[102]of homophobic and domestic violence in the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community found that 29 per cent of people had experienced domestic violence from a partner, ex-partner or family member. More women (17 per cent) than men (9 per cent) had experienced physical violence from their same-sex partner.

In the United Kingdom, there is little recognition of the violence that men use against their male partners. Levels of risk for heterosexual male victims are often lower than that of heterosexual women, whereas the experience of gay, bisexual and transgender male victims appears to be similar in risk to that of female heterosexual victims. Sexual violence is often present as a central issue in gay, bisexual and transgender domestic violence and abuse, whereas this is not the case for heterosexual men.

According to the British Crime Survey 2009/10, the percentage of gay men experiencing sexual violence in the previous year was 4 per cent, with heterosexual men being 0.3 per cent; for lesbians, it was 9 per cent and for heterosexual women it was close to 3 per cent. For both gender, it was over 6 per cent for those in same-sex relationships and 1.5 per cent for those in opposite sex relationships.[103][104][105]

If the relationship is harmful to your health, short-term and abusive, it is difficult to class it as a loving relationship.

Men and women complement each other

It is in a heterosexual marriage that the weakness and strengths of men and women complemented.

It is accepted that women hear better than men and that women are more tactile than men, which are good attributes to have in a relationship. (Indeed, the least sensitive woman is more tactile than the most sensitive man.)

Women understand facial expressions and tone of voice faster than a man.

Male brains are more adapt to specialised thinking as this is performed on the right side of brain, whereas the speech function is on the left side of the brain. Women have the thinking and speaking functions on both sides of their brains so that they are unable separate emotion and facts. In a heterosexual relationship, it means that the man is more logical and the woman is more empathetic. This combination stops the man from becoming a robot and the woman from seeing every situation through an emotional fog.

Men are motivated by occupational success; whereas women consider relational success to be their priority.

In order to achieve their aim, men have in-built aggression, competition and drive due to progesterone.

With the mental and physical makeup, the man is equipped to be the provider and protector, and the woman as the nurturer and carer. In our upside down thinking, we have perverted these roles so that we think that one is better than the other without realising that God has created the genders to work in harmony.

The only two sexual options that God commands are monogamous marriage of man and woman or celibacy (1 Corinthians 6: 9 – 11 and 18 – 20). In the only instructions in the epistles were to a man and a woman in the monogamous relationship of marriage (Ephesians 5: 22 – 33; Colossians 3: 18 -19). There were no other options or alternatives.

A man is commanded to leave his father and mother to be with his wife (Genesis 2: 24). Indeed, monogamy was promoted by Jesus and Paul (Matthew 19: 4 – 6; Ephesians 5: 31). The issue is so important that other passages to reinforce the principle. (Matthew 19: 4 – 12; 1 Corinthians 7: 1 – 40; Colossians 3: 18-19; Titus 2: 4- 5; 1 Peter 3: 1 – 7; Hebrews 13: 4).

The term ‘one flesh’ only refers to heterosexual marriage as the couple are to be emotionally, spiritually, mentally and physically compatible. They are to be made complete.

A reason for the first option is for procreation. Couples can still enjoy the sexual activities within marriage, despite having no children (whether through choice or inability. The issue is that the sexual activity of a heterosexual couple is opposite to ‘sterile’ and incompatible forms of sexual intercourse (Genesis 1: 28; 9: 1 – 15; Psalm 127: 3).

As a couple are ‘making love,’ the hormone oxytocin is released within the couple. The purpose of this hormone is increase the feelings of closeness and wanting protection, a creation within the body that could only come from God’s design for people. Incidentally, women have ten times more of this hormone than men to start off with so there is a need for men to make love more often to reach the same level as his spouse.

Studies, including those by sociologists within same sex relationships, demonstrate that same-sex couples are mainly not the same as heterosexual couples. There is evidence of greater instances of promiscuity, together with shorter life expectancy and short-term relationships in general. 

Children

Therefore, it is important that foster parents are to non-judgemental as they help the child to grow and develop. However, it is also important to acknowledge that all people undertaking that role come with different perspectives, whether or not the local authorities would choose to acknowledge that fact.

Dr Dean Byrd, an academic, practitioner and President of NARTH (Highland, Utah) has stated that the roles of fathers and mothers are not interchangeable, the former is to challenge and the latter is to nurture – gender matters for children. His worldwide research has concluded that children in same-sex households have outcomes as poor as those within fractured heterosexual families; placing an ‘at risk’ child within such a situation makes the situation worse.[106]

Part of the problem is that, generally, same-sex couples do not have the same stability in their relationships as heterosexual couples. In one survey, it was noted: ‘We found that divorce risks are higher in same-sex partnerships than opposite-sex marriages and that unions of lesbians are considerably less stable, or more dynamic, than unions of gay men…In Norway, 13% of partnerships of men and 21% of female partnerships are likely to end in divorce within six years from partnership registration. In Sweden, 20% of male partnership and 30% of female marriages are likely to end in divorce within five years of partnership formation. These levels are higher than the corresponding 13% of heterosexual marriages that end in divorce within five years in Sweden.’[107]

Two academics have raised the issue of two women in a same-sex relationship raising children: ‘…two women who chose to become parents together seemed to provide a double dose of middle-class “feminine” approach to parenting. Some research suggests, however, that a double dose of maternal investment sometimes foster jealousy and competition between the co-mothers, which the asymmetry of the women’s genetic, reproductive, and breast-feeding ties tot heirs infants could exacerbate.’[108]

The outcomes of children who were raised by couples in same-sex relationships were:[109]
  • Almost four times more likely to be on public assistance than other children when they grow up.
  • More likely to be frequently arrested and plead guilty to major crimes than other children.
  • More likely to have been touched sexually.
  • Three times more likely to have had a sexually transmitted disease.
  • One and a half times more like to have used marijuana.
  • Reported to have less perceived safety in their childhood homes.
  • More likely to receive therapy for anxiety, depression, relationships, etc.

A further study has also demonstrated that children raised by same-sex couples perform less well at school with children raised in heterosexual households were 35.4 per cent more likely  to make normal progress.[110]

  1. The Possible Causes

The scientists often look at the natural world for the answer to the dilemma as to why people are drawn into same-sex relationships.

The American Academy of Paediatrics has stated, ‘Sexual orientation probably is not determined by any one factor but by a combination of genetic, hormonal and environmental influences.’[111]

The American Psychological Association has also concluded that ‘there are probably many reasons for a person’s sexual orientation and the reasons may be different for different people.’ The APA has found in its research that a person’s sexual orientation is determined at an early age.[112]This is interesting as there is evidence that adolescents are still experimenting throughout their growing period.

In this chapter, there is an overview of the possible causes of why people are involved in same-sex relationships.

Genetics

The possible cause of genetic inheritance gives way to the fact that it could be an inclination, which could be overcome by medication or other forms of treatment.

People with a genetic makeup could be involved in same-sex relationships if other factors are included, given certain circumstances.[113]

The words from Francis Collins, the former head of the Human Genome Projects, are to be heeded as he noted that ‘sexual orientation is genetically influenced but not hard-wired by DNS, and that whatever genes are involved represent predispositions, not predeterminations.’[114]

Biological – Hamer’s Study

In 1993, Dean Hamer discovered what he titled the genetic marker Xq28 on the X chromosome, giving rise to the ‘born gay theory’.  He and his team found that in forty pairs of brothers involved in same-sex relationships, 33 (83per cent) received the same sequence on five genetic markers.

He claimed that [115]science was ‘on the verge of proving that homosexuality is innate, genetic and, therefore, unchangeable – a normal variant of human nature.’ His study sought to find a link with this marker and male same-sex relationships[116], but the original study’s findings have since been disputed.[117]

It has been stated that there was no such discovery. Hamer (himself a homosexual) later responded in mitigation that ‘…environmental factors play a role. There is not a single master gene that makes people gay…I don’t think we will ever be able to predict who will be gay.’[118]

N E Whitehead Ph.D. has outlined problems with Hamer’s study. For a start, it lacked the basic factor of a control group from general population. Whitehead noted that, if the same sequence from the X chromosome in men in same-sex relationships had also appeared in the general population of heterosexual men, then the gene was insignificant.

In addition, the researchers did not test heterosexual brothers of people with same-sex attraction, although some of the data did indicate that the siblings had an identical gene sequence. Furthermore, there is the evident error that seven pairs from those with same-sex attraction did not have required gene sequence.[119]

Another problem with the study was that Hamer confined his further study to family interviews, which have proved to have a disproportionately high number of males in same-sex relationships on the mothers’ sides of the family.[120]

Neil Risch, a professor of biostatistics at Yale University, who developed methods used by Hamer, questioned the study as a small sample was used.[121]

Other academics found that they could not replicate the research methodology, even with larger samples. George Rice, in the conclusion of his study on more homosexual brothers, stated: ‘We found no linkage of sexual orientation to Xq28.’[122]

One of Hamer’s co-workers: Angela Pattatucci went on record to say: ‘We have made no claims about causality, or even that the Xq28 region contributes to male homosexuality. We have just said that there is a correlation. Causality is what the media suggested – they went further with the results than we did.’[123]

Interestingly, even if his research was correct, Hamer quotes 2 per cent rather than the usual 10 per cent of people in same-sex relationships, a fact that is often overlooked [124]

Biological - Le Vay’s study

Studies into whether a person is determined before birth to be attracted to another of the same sex has produced the ‘prenatal hormonal theory’. Simon Le Vay, who has led the study, has written, ‘In experimental animals it’s been well established that the sexual differential of the body and brain results primarily from the influence of sex hormones secreted by the testes or ovaries (Arnold 2002). Males have high levels of testosterone in fetal life (after functional development of the testes) and around the time of birth, as well as at and after puberty. Females have low levels of all sex hormones in fetal life, and high levels of estrogens and progestagens starting at puberty. High prenatal testosterone levels organize the brain in male-specific fashion; low levels testosterone permits it to organize it in a female-specific fashion. Hormones at puberty activate the circuits laid down in prenatal life but do not fundamentally change them. Thus, the range of sexual behaviours that adult animals can show is determined by their prenatal/perinatal hormone exposure – manipulating these hormone levels can lead to atypical sex behaviour or preference for same-sex sex partners as well as a range of other gender-atypical characteristics.’[125] 

Dr. Simon Le Vay undertook a study in 1991 on brains of forty-one deceased bodies of which nineteen were of homosexual men in addition to sixteen men and six women presumed to be heterosexual. The study reported that there was a cluster of neurons in a distinct part of the brain generally smaller in homosexual men compared to heterosexual men. Therefore, Le Vay and his team hypothesized that size of these neurons cause a man to be homosexual or heterosexual. For the case to be proved, the difference needed to be there in all cases. Even his own research failed the comparison principle, for example, three homosexual men had larger neurons than their counterparts did, and three heterosexual men had smaller neurons than those in same-sex relationships. Even Dr Le Vay has retracted on his findings[126], as he has been reported in his role as the director at West Hollywood Institute for Gay and Lesbian Education[127]

A further flawed factor in this study was that the labelling was uncertain for the bodies that were presumed to be heterosexual, only two had denied that they had been in same-sex relationships, for the rest of the diseased the sexual histories were unavailable.


Biological – study by Bailey and Pillard

In a study in 1991 by Michael Bailey and Richard Pillard, both homosexuals, they recruited 161 same-sex or bisexual men with at least one brother, to see if orientation determined by genes. In study of twins within group, 52 per cent of identical twins were both attracted to partners of the same-sex, compared to 22 per cent of non-identical twins. If the cause is genetic, the figure should be 100per cent so the study disproves this particular causation. Non-identical twins were like other brothers and sisters and, presuming identical environments for the siblings, should not have resulted in 9 per cent of normal siblings being attracted to same sex partners. Although the brothers and sisters had the same upbringing, it does not mean they had the same treatment or does not account for other factors affecting them.

Biological – other studies

There have been physiological differences that have been pointed out between men particularly of different sexual orientations in subsequent studies. Heterosexuals are stated to have larger INAH-3 regions (although this difference could be caused by samples provided by homosexual men having AIDS) and smaller anterior commissure in brain[128]. In addition, they respond differently to fluoxetine (a selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor).[129]

In females in same-sex relationships, the startle response (eye blink following a loud sound) is masculinised.[130]

Research continues such as the Swedish study, published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences journals, which compared size of the brain’s halves in ninety adults using brain scanners at Karolinska Institute. Gay men and straight women had halves of similar size; while right side was bigger in lesbian women and straight men.

A further experiment has been done on one particular area of the brain, the amygdale, which directs the brain in response to an emotional stimulus. In heterosexual men and lesbian women, there were more ‘connections’ on right side compared to left. The reverse, i.e. more neural connections on the left amygdale was evident in homosexual men and straight women.

The Karolinska team stated that the differences could not be mainly explained by ‘learned’ effects, but they needed another mechanism to set them, either before or after birth.[131]

One problem with the genetic proposition is that there are thousands of pairs of identical twins, where one is sexually attracted to the same sex and the other is not.[132]

In addition, as the people in same sex relations cannot (by definition) have children, there should be a decline in the gene pool, yet there is no evidence of such a reduction occurring.

Furthermore, if the behaviour is inherited, it should be constant over time and in cultures. There should not be the waves of increase and decrease, such as we are seeing today.

Behavioural

There is the possibility of Arrested Development. This is where there has been a traumatic experience, severe deprivation or, conversely, gratification beyond normal experiences. Later, a person may regress to a level of development to lessen his or her growing anxiety. The result may be that person will only have love for self, reflected in developing relationships with the same gender.

Childhood Gender Nonconformity 

This cause is considered a predictor under Daryl Bem’s Exotic Becomes Erotic Theory. This theory states that some children will prefer activities that are typical of the other sex so they feel different from children of their own gender. The child may then be aroused physiologically when he or she is near to members of the ‘sex’ that he or she thinks as ‘different’ and may lead later in life to sexual arousal.  Researchers have stated that this nonconformity may be result of genetics, prenatal hormones, personality, parental care or other environmental factors.

Childhood Experiences

Research conducted with 275 men in Taiwanese military concluded that ‘paternal protection and maternal care were determined to be the main vulnerability factors in the development of homosexual males.’ The key factors in development were ‘paternal attachment, introversion and neurotic characteristics.’[133] 

Other researchers have concluded that men attracted to the same sex have reported less loving and more rejecting fathers, and closer relationships with mothers. There is no certainty if this is the cause of same-sex attraction or whether the parents have reacted to sexual orientation of the child.

Such as confusion of role models in parents including, but not exclusively, the dominant mother and weak or absent father; there is no doubt that serious family dysfunction does have a serious impact on child. Other factors also include early sexual abuse; the influence of an older person with sexual attraction toward the same sex during a crucial period of adolescence; conscious choice and cultivation; and/or experimentation, such as mutual masturbatory activity, by boys in early adolescence.

Elizabeth R. Moberley has a theory that is a variant in that it is not from relationship problems from opposite parents, but from defect in same-sex parent. Normal development of a child, she states, needs love, dependency and identification from same sex parent so that the child can identify with the appropriate gender.
.
She writes that, if the relationship is lacking or disrupted, the individual unconsciously tries to restore attachment. When the person becomes sexually attracted to the same sex, it is to make up for the ‘‘earlier defects’ in the parent-child relationship. The persisting need for love from the same sex stems from, and is to be correlated with, the earlier unmet need for love from the parents of the same sex.’[134]

There are a significant number of people involved in same sex relationships who have been abused as children. In one study, 1,001 adults involved in same sex relationships and who attended STD clinics were questioned regarding childhood and adolescence. The results show that 37per cent of participants encouraged or forced to have sexual contact before 19 years with an older or more powerful partner; 94per cent with men. The median age of the participant at first contact was 10 years; the median age difference between partners was 11 years. Other statistics showed that 51per cent of the older or more powerful partner used force; and in 33 per cent of cases anal sex was performed.[135]

The problem with specific genetic trait then all identical twins would have or not have it. The genes are exact duplicates so would be expressed identically.

However, the research continues with The New York Times Magazine asking the question ‘Can animals be gay?[136]The author commented, Various forms of same-sex sexual activity have been recorded in more than 450 different species by now, from flamingos to bison to beetles to guppies to warthogs.’

The example given at the time was that observation of several single-sex pairings of albatrosses in Hawaii.  

He explained: ‘Within most species, homosexual sex has been documented only sporadically, and there appear to be few cases of individual animals who engage in it exclusively. For more than a century, this kind of observation was usually tacked onto scientific papers as a curiosity, if it was reported at all, and not pursued as a legitimate research subject. Biologists tried to explain away what they’d seen, or dismissed it as theoretically meaningless – an isolated glitch in an otherwise elegant Darwinian universe where every facet of an animal’s behaviour is geared toward reproducing.’ 

In the observation of the various creatures, it is a reminder that all creation suffered as the result of the Fall and the entry of sin into the world. It is one of the reasons why creation is waiting for the redemption of man (Romans 8: 19 – 21).

There may be some genetic factors, but nothing has been proved. Jeffrey Satinover dismisses all published studies so far, but states, ‘Because all human behaviour is related in some way to genes, we can nevertheless guess that one day higher quality research will find genetic factors that  correlate to homosexuality. But remember, one of the fundamental principles of research is that correlation does not necessarily imply causation. With respect to whatever genetic or biological factors are correlated to homosexuality, we will need to be very careful to understand what they mean and, indeed, how limited the implications really are.’[137]

Satinover has continued to state that, if the sexual orientation is directly genetic then it is insolvable, then the question has to be asked as to why the numbers of people in same-sex relationships is increasing. Indeed, the number of same sex relationships is associated with lower childbearing rates. (In the United States, the number of households with children is a third of all households; whereas the figure was half of all households twenty years ago. It could well be that that the statistics could be replicated throughout the Western world.) There is no way that a gene giving a sexual inclination towards the opposite sex could survive or even increase unless some non-heritable factors were apparent.

General Comments
Joe Dallas, an author, has stated that ‘People tend to view homosexuality more favourably when they think it is inborn. No wonder gay leaders (not all, but most) push the born gay theory; it furthers the cause.’[138]

In contrast, the American Psychological Association has the opinion that sexual orientation is not chosen by the individual.

It was reported that  when ‘the British gay film maker Derek Jarman was asked in a radio broadcast whether his homosexuality was learnt or inborn, he replied that was inborn – and then added that, at least he hoped so, because otherwise he would have no basis with which to challenge moral conservatism.’[139]

PFOX (Parents and Friends of Gays and Ex-Gays) (www.pfox.org) claims changes in sexual orientation possible and the existence of ex-gays proves that the sexual orientation can be overcome.

Interestingly, a 2003 study by a leading psychiatrist who supports same-sex relationships found that homosexuals could become ‘predominantly’ heterosexual through psychotherapy. By the end of the study, 84 per cent of those attracted erotically to the same sex became heterosexual.[140] 

William Saletan in Slate.com in an argument from nature stated:

‘A bare majority of rams turn out to be heterosexual. One in five swings both ways. About 15 per cent are asexual, and 7 per cent to 10 per cent are gay.

‘Why so many gay rams? Is it too much socializing with ewes? Same-sex play with other lambs? Domestication? Nope. Those theories have been debunked. Gay rams don’t act girly. They’re just as gay in the wild. And a crucial part of their brains - the “sexually dimorphic nucleus” – looks more like a ewe’s than a straight ram’s. Gay men have a similar brain resemblance to women. Charles Roselli, the project’s lead scientist, says such research “strongly suggests that sexual preference is biologically determined in animals, and possibly in humans.’[141]

An interesting bye product of this research is that the same scientists think that they can alter the sexual orientation of the sheep. By finding the reason for the biological behaviour, it may be also be possible to find a ‘cure’.

The upshot has been that People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) have demanded that the research be halted. Martina Naratilova, the former tennis player, has called the research ‘homophobic and cruel’ and has argued that gay sheep have a ‘right’ to be attracted to the same sex.

The irony has been that homosexual activists were the first to suggest and fund research into the biological cause of same-sex attraction. It was argued that the discovery of the biological reason would lead to its normalisation because it would be seen as part of the natural order and so would be part of normal human experience.

The research has thrown up an all too different picture. Many gay activists realise that the determination of this biological marker or cause for same-sex relationships could begin the journey up the path to eliminate the trait, or change a person’s orientation through genetic or hormonal treatments.

It is not surprising that Peter Tatchell has condemned ‘the flawed theory which claims a genetic causation for homosexuality.’’[142]Darrel Yates Rist of the Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation has called the biological argument ‘an expedient lie.’[143]

In an article in the Journal of Clinical Psychiatry in 1993, Daniel Golwyn and Carol Sevlie recorded that an exclusively gay man sought treatment for his social phobia. From the beginning of his treatment, his behaviour, thoughts and fantasies were entirely for other men. Although he did not set out to change his inclination, the man completely shifted his attractions and fantasies from being homosexual to heterosexual.[144]

Conclusion

The first challenge is for those who advocate the Darwinian theory of evolution insofar as same-sex relationships in that it cannot be consistent with ‘the survival of the fittest’ as the genes cannot be passed on as, historically, children cannot be a resultant of such relationships.

Those who hold to the creationist view have to be consistent in that the God who created the world also stated that same-sex relationships were forbidden.

There is a further problem for those promoting same-sex relationships as laid out below:

If the cause is genetic, with the mapping of the DNA structure and the possible elimination of undesirable genes, there is a possibility that it could be removed. Within Western society, however liberal in attitude an individual may toward the homosexual community, there will be temptation to screen the genes screening which result in the abortion of the unborn child. Although evangelicals would never go to that extreme, there could be the removal of certain genes in the future in the same way that genes causing debilitating disabilities could be removed.

The question has to be posed as to whether this is the reason why certain sectors of the gay lobby is against genetic research.

If the cause is hormonal, treatment could be applied.

If the cause were environmental, psychological treatment, such as cognitive behaviour treatment, would be effective.

If none of the above is the cause, it has to be admitted that it is a lifestyle choice with the moral and ethical implications, together with the physical, mental and emotional effects, that such a decision imparts.







  1. A Historical Perspective

The Early Church

The Early Church Fathers had little comment on the subject as it was clearly seen as a sin. Their opposition to same-sex relationships was absolute.[145]

Irenaeus of Lyon, in Against heresy’ 1.13.5 – 7, was one of the earliest writers to speak out against same sex relationships.

Aristides blamed Greco-Roman practices for polluting Christianity: ‘Some polluted themselves by lying with males. The Greeks, O King, follow debased practices in intercourse with males. Yet they in turn impute their monstrous impurity to the Christians.’ (Apology c.125 AD)

When it was a specific problem later in Early Church history, it was mentioned in the epistles of the Fathers.

In Antioch, John Chrysostom wrote in fourth homily on Romans in the 391 AD, that all homosexual acts worse than murder. It was so degrading that it was a punishment in itself and its enjoyment made it all the worse ‘for suppose I were to see a person running naked, with his body all besmeared with mire, and yet not covering himself, but exulting in it, I should not rejoice with him, but should rather bewail that he did not even perceive that he was doing shamefully.’

He continued, But nothing can there be more worthless than a man who has pandered himself. For not the soul only, but the body also of one who hath been so treated, is disgraced, and deserves to be driven out everywhere.’

It was an activity that John Chrysostom also condemned in ‘Homilies on Titus 5’ (390 AD) and ‘Homilies on Matthew 3: 3’ (391 AD).

The other early Church sources also denounced the practice as can be seen in the following examples:

Didache 2: 2 (AD 90): ‘You shall not commit murder; you shall not commit adultery; you shall not commit pederasty; you shall not commit fornication; you shall not steal; you shall not practice witchcraft; you shall not murder a child by abortion nor kill one that has been born.’

Tertullian (in ‘Modesty 4,’ 220 AD): ‘All other frenzies of the lusts which exceed the laws of nature, and are impious toward both [human] bodies and the sexes, we banish, not only from the threshold but also from all shelter of the Church, for they are not sins so much as monstrosities.’

Augustine of Hippo (in ‘Confessions 3: 8: 15, in 400 AD): ‘[T]hose shameful acts against nature, such as was committed in Sodom, ought everywhere and always to be detested and punished. If all nations were to do such things, they would be held guilty of the same crime by the law of God, which has not made men so that they should use one another in this way.’ (Augustine also condemns the practice in ‘On Lying 9 [15]’in 395 AD.)

Apostolic Constitutions 6: 11 (400 AD): ‘[Christians] abhor all unlawful mixtures, and that which is practiced by some contrary to nature, as wicked and impious.’ 

The list of other Early Church Fathers who condemned same sex relationships were Lactantius in Nicomedia (‘Divine Institutes 5: 9’ in 307 AD),  Justin Martyr (in ‘First Apology 27’ in 151 AD), Clement of Alexandria (‘Exhortation to the Greeks 2’ in 190 AD), Cyprian of Cartage (Letters 1: 8’ in 253 AD), Arnobius (‘Against the Pagans 5: 6 – 7’ in 305 AD),   Basil the Great (‘The Renunciation of the World’, 373 AD and ‘Letters 217: 62’ in 375 AD), Novatian (in ‘The Jewish Foods 3’ in 250 AD). Another example was Eusebius of Caesarea condemned ‘the union of women with women and men with men’ in the ‘Proof of the Gospel’ (319 AD).

One commentator has stated,There is little in the writings of the church fathers that could bolster a modern argument for ‘sexual liberation’.’[146]

The sixteenth Canon of the Council of Ancyra in 314 AD prescribed penance of at least twenty years duration  for those ‘who have done the irrational’ (alogeuestai). It could be taken that this term is a reference to same sex relationships or bestiality, as earliest Latin version has terminology that meant it could be interpreted in either way. However, it is interesting to note that same sex relationships and bestiality were usually condemned together in the Christian writings of this era.[147]

In 1049 AD, the position of the Church was further augmented when same sex relationships was condemned by Pope Leo IX at Rheims.[148]

In this era, Peter Damian in Liber Gomorrhianus (c. 1045 -54) issued an extended attack on same sex relationships and masturbation. Same sex relationships were seen as an enemy of morality, religion and society. He stated that these issues needed to be strongly opposed as the practices could spread, even among the clergy.

In England, Hildegard of Bingen reported seeing visions and recorded them in Scivias (abbrev. for Scito vias Domini, ‘Know the Ways of the Lord’), which was officially approved by Pope Eugene III. In Book II Vision 6, she states that God condemn same sex relationships, including lesbianism;  which she described as ‘a woman who takes up devilish ways and plays a male role in coupling with another woman is most vile in My sight, and so is she who subjects herself to such a one in this evil deed.’[149]

In the Middle Ages, Alain de Lille personified the theme of sexual sin as being opposed to nature in The Complaint of Nature. In the book, Nature herself denounced sexual immorality, especially homosexuality, as rebellion against herself, calling it confusion between masculine and feminine and between subject and object.

In the chief summary of doctrine of medieval church, Summa Theologiaewritten by Thomas Aquinas (1225? – 1274), denounced ‘copulation with an undue sex, male with male, or female with female.’ (ST: II: Q154: Art. 11)

Thomas Aquinas also stated that not all inclinations are right, only those that are full and proper. He commented that contrary inclinations are perversions in that they seek to do good but they are also destructive. He considered same sex relationships as unnatural for the act involves a partner that sexual intercourse was not created for. In addition, he considered it second only to bestiality as an abuse of sexuality. 

A historian, John Boswell has argued that ‘adelphopoiesis’, a Christian rite for uniting two people of same sex, was the approved outlet for romantic or even sexual love. However, he has missed the points that the rites explicitly state that union was not to be ‘carnal’.

Boswell also refers to Saints Sergius and Bacchus, whose icon shows them together with Jesus between them or behind them like a pronubus or ‘best man’. It is interesting to note that critics have responded by stating that the union was more like a blood brotherhood and that the icon was a typical example of two saints martyred together, with usual image of Christ that on many icons, so it was definitely not a ‘wedding’ by any imagination.

Boswell, in his essay ‘The Church and the Homosexual’ (4thBienniel Dignity International Conversation, 1979), attributes Christianity’s denunciations of homosexuality to a rising intolerance throughout twelfth century that was also reflected in other ways. His premise was that when sodomy was not being explicitly denounced, it was being ‘tolerated,’ an argument based on silence and without any documentary evidence. 

In response, fellow historian R. W. Sothern has stated that ‘the only relevant generalization which emerges from the penitential codes down to the eleventh century is that sodomy was treated on about the same level as copulation with animals.’ Also ‘Boswell thinks that the omission of sodomy from the stringent new code of clerical celibacy issued by the Roman Council of 1059 implies a degree of tolerance. But this is mistaken: the Council of 1059 had more urgent business on hand; and in any case, sodomy had been condemned by Leo IX in 1049.’[150]

At the time of the Reformation in the sixteenth, John Calvin did, at one stage called same-sex intercourse ‘the most serious’ of all the sins listed by Paul in 1 Corinthians 6: 9 and indicated that it was the ‘unnatural and filthy thing which was all too common in Greece’, before rapidly adding ‘there is no-one in whom there is not some evidence of the corruption common to all.’[151]

The perspective in the Church in its earliest days and into the days of the Reformation was clear; we shall now look at what the Church in modern times has to say about the subject.

European Judgement

In the case of Lautsi and others v Italy in the Grand Chamber of the European Court of Human Rights (Application 30814/06), the judgement of 18 March 2011 emphasised the importance of traditional Christian doctrine in the historical perspective of the European States. This case was brought by a person with regard to crucifixes in the classroom but the principles are the same.

The judges quoted the Italian Administration Court with approval:

’11.1 at this stage, the Court must observe, although it is aware that it is setting out along a rough and in places slippery path, that Christianity, and its older brother Judaism – at least since Moses and certainly in the Talmudic interpretation – have placed tolerance towards others and protection of human dignity at the centre of their faith.

‘Singularly, Christianity – for example through the well-known and often misunderstood “Render unto Caesar the things that are Caesar’s and unto…” – through its strong emphasis placed on love for one’s neighbour, and even more through the explicit predominance given to charity over faith itself, contains in substance those ideas of tolerance, equality and liberty which form the basis of the modern secular State, and of the Italian State in particular.

’11.2 Looking beyond appearances makes it possible to discern a thread linking the Christian revolution of two thousand years ago to the affirmation in Europe of the right to liberty of the person and to the key elements in the Enlightenment (even though that movement, historically speaking, strongly opposed religion), namely the liberty and freedom of every person, the declaration of the rights of man, and ultimately the modern secular State. All the historical phenomena mentioned are based to a significant extent – though certainly not exclusively – on the Christian conception of the world. It has been observed – judiciously – that the rallying call “liberty, equality, fraternity” can be endorsed by a Christian, albeit with a clear emphasis on the third word.

‘In conclusion, it does not seem to be going too far to assert that, through the various twists and turns of European history, the secular nature of the modern State has been achieved at a high price, and was prompted in part, though of course not exclusively so, by more or less conscious reference to the founding values of Christianity. That explains why in Europe and in Italy many jurists belonging to the Christian faith have featured among the strongest supporters of the secular State…’

The judgement continued:
’11.6 Moreover, with the benefit of hindsight, it is easy to identify in the constant  central core of Christian faith, despite the inquisition, despite anti-Semitism and despite the crusades, the principles of human dignity, tolerance and freedom, including religious freedom, and therefore, in the last analysis, the foundations of the secular State.

’11.7 By studying history carefully, from a suitable distance, not from up close, we can clearly perceive an affinity between (but not the identity of) the “hard core” of Christianity, which, placing charity above everything else, including faith, emphasises the acceptance of difference, and the “hard core” of the republican Constitution, which, in the spirit of solidarity, attaches value to the freedom of all, and therefore constitutes the legal guarantee of respect for others. The harmony remains, even though around those cores – both centred on human dignity – there have been numerous accreditations of extraneous elements with the passage of time, some of them so thick as to obscure the core, particularly the core of Christianity…

The judgement of the Administration Court, quoted in approval by the European Court of Human Rights also continued:

’13.3…In Christianity even the faith in an omniscient god is secondary in relation to charity, meaning respect for one’s fellow human beings. It follows that the rejection of a non-Christian by a Christian implies a radical negation of Christianity itself, a substantive abjuration; but that is not true of other religious faiths, for which such an attitude amounts at most to the infringement of an important precept.

’13.4 The cross, as the symbol of Christianity, can therefore not exclude anyone without denying itself; it even constitutes in a sense the universal sign of the acceptance of and respect for every human being as such, irrespective of any belief, religious or other, which he or she may hold…’

The importance of this judgement by the European Court of Human Rights is that it required, in 2011, ministers of the British government to refer the cases of Ms Ladele, Mr McFarlane and two others for comment (see the notes for those two persons).  

  1. The Biblical Answer

This chapter is central to the whole debate, as it is God’s Word that determines the best way to live as He created us. In every place where same sex relationships are referred to, the passages completely condemns the practice.

It is extremely important to note that people are not sent to hell for same-sex practices, but for rejecting the redeeming love that Jesus has given through His sacrifice on the cross. There are a number of sins (such as lying, gossiping, etc.) and none of them are on a league table – to God, a sin is a sin as it rejects Him for we are putting something or someone before Him. Therefore, someone who practices same-sex relationships is in the same category as someone who lies or is a glutton.

It is to be our practice that we refute the idea of same sex relationships that we are not to rant, but we are to be biblical and confirm with positive alternatives of marriage or celibacy.

There is an awareness that the standard liberal position is that the Bible ‘an authority’ not ‘authoritative.’ People who hold such a perspective claim that the Scripture is irrelevant or nothing to say to today’s society, including on the subject of same sex relationships.

 Brian McLaren, a leader within the emerging church movement, is one of those who has promoted the downgrading of Biblical truth in our generation.  ‘And although the debate has been agonising, liberals have blazed the trail in seeking to treat homosexual and transgender persons with compassion. Conservatives may follow in their footsteps in this issue just as they have in others, several decades down the road, once the pioneers have cleared the way (and once the old guard has passed away.’[152]

In contrast to that position, Francis A Schaeffer, the great evangelical commentator, has stated: ‘Here is the great evangelical disaster – the failure of the evangelical world to stand for the truth as truth. There is only one word for this – namely accommodation: the evangelical church has accommodated to the world spirit of the age. First, there has been accommodation on Scripture, so that many who call themselves evangelicals hold a weakened view of the Bible and no longer affirm the truth of all the Bible teaches – truth not only in religious matters but in the areas of science and history and morality.’[153]

Another author has made the illuminating comment: ‘Man brings a fallen nature into a social environment that itself bears the marks of sin, and homosexuality is one of the distortions that can result from that interaction. The Bible has no illusions about the perfection of either human nature or the social environment, but it does hold man morally responsible for the way he interacts with his world.’[154]

It is important that we allow the Bible to speak for itself.

Genesis 2: 18 -25

The word used for Eve in this passage is ‘helper’, which literally means ‘a help as opposite him.’ The creation of this person was not meant to be like Adam, but was to be complementary to him. God provided for human loneliness to be met in the male/female emotional, physical, mental and spiritual bonds that could not be provided by the same gender.

In verse 24, the word ‘united’ literally means ‘soldered’ or ‘glued’ to her. It was be difficult to imagine this passage as applying to a same sex couple as they were not designed to be so arranged either emotionally or physically. Marriage was to be seen as the norm with the couple becoming one flesh –firstly, as the indivisible social unit and, secondly, as a sexual union.

The couple were encouraged to reproduce, an action that can only be done by heterosexual sexual intercourse. It is argued, with understanding, that many couples cannot or choose not to have children, but it cannot be denied that in God’s perfect plan He made the opportunity possible.

We are also told in these verses that man and woman was created in the image of God who does not approve of sin, however we might like to dress it up or try to argue it away. In the Ancient Near East, the kings reigned wherever their image was present. Likewise, humans were encouraged to make more images of God (Genesis 1: 26 – 28).

The natural biology of the human race shows that the penis was designed for the vagina for the vagina and vice versa. The vagina has the natural lubrication and multiple layers of protective skin cells to prevent infection that the anus does not have so the risk of infection and disease from anal sex is multiplied.

The gay writer, Thomas K. Hubbard has stated that ‘Basic to the heterosexual position [among the Greek and Roman moralists in the first few centuries AD] is the characteristic Stoic appeal to the providence of Nature, which has matched and fitted the sexes to each other.’[155]

Sodom and Gomorrah (Genesis 13: 13, 19: 1 – 11)

In these most famous incidents, the inhabitants of the city did not rape Lot’s guests – but the question has to be asked, if Sodom’s intentions were not sexual, why did Lot offer his daughters?

The passage has been used as a lesson on inhospitality (cf. Ezekiel 16: 49) [156]Indeed, Jewish writings have been used to show that the citizens had broken the rules of hospitality and justice (Sanhedrin 19a; Bab. Bath 12b, 59a).

The scholar Derrick Sherwin Bailey has suggested that the word ‘know’ (sungenometha, LXX) in these verses is not sexual. However, the argument falls on the grounds that it would be taking the word ‘know’ in completely different senses in the space of four verses (Gen. 19: 5, 8; Jud. 19: 22, 25).

The verb ‘know’ in verse 5 was common as a metaphor for sexual intercourse throughout the Old Testament and into the New Testament. It cannot be explained as a breach of hospitality without the sexual overtones being acknowledged as the primary cause, otherwise it fails to explain fully the use of wordyāda’ meaning  ‘know’  and the substitutionary offer of Lot’s daughters and the Levite’s concubine in the Biblical passages..

On more grievous grounds, the argument by Bailey fails to explain why on each occasion the host replied to a request for a formal introduction by offering his daughter for sexual abuse – and why the visitor’s concubine was so severely assaulted at Gibeah. It also raises serious doubts about the interpretation the New Testament puts on the punishment of Sodom (in Jude 7).[157]

It is true that Jesus used the example of Sodom and Gomorrah to illustrate several points such as inhospitality (Matthew 10: 11 – 13, Luke 10: 8 – 12), unbelief (Matthew 11: 20 – 24) and unpreparedness (Luke 17: 28 – 30). This does not take away from the main reason why God, who demanded the destruction of such nations when the Israelites entered the Promised Land for such sexual activities, should destroy cities for such sins.

Both Peter (2 Peter 2: 6 – 10) and Jude (Jude 7) regarded the punishment handed down by God was partly for homoerotic lust.

The offending act is a matter is also gang rape- the lack of a caring relationship between consenting adults - which God punishes as He does in the parallel passage where, at Gibeah (Judges 19: 22 – 26), it is an heterosexual act.

Homosexuality was part of the sin and subsequent condemnation, so it is understood how ‘the inherently degrading quality of same-sex intercourse plays a key role in the narrator’s intent to illicit feelings of revulsion on the part of the reader/hearer.’[158]

The chapters also prove that majority or the most vocal are not always in the right when it comes to issues of morality, as we see where Abraham is pleading for Sodom’s deliverance except there were insufficient righteous people.

Leviticus 18: 22 and 20: 13

It could be argued that these verses apply to religious prostitution but the context is all forms of ungodly behaviour, which is condemned both ritually and ethically. The practice of being sexually intimate with someone of the same gender is included with incest, adultery, sacrificing children to idol and intercourse with animals such is the gravity that God regards it.

The context of these verses is preoccupied with ritual cleanliness, the relationship of God with His people.[159]If they were following the example of those around them and/or following after the way of the devil, it was impossible for them to be in communion with God.

The practice of same sex relations (verse 22) and bestiality (verse 23) were both practiced in context of ritual or magic in the ancient Near East. The latter practice was noticeable especially in mythology of Ugarit and was banned in legal texts, especially in the Hittite laws. The mixing of the realms was contrary to concepts of purity

In 18: 22, the word ‘to’eva’ means ‘abomination,’ literally ‘he is wondering with it [from the world] (‘to’e’ – ‘he is wandering). It was a religious term often used for idolatrous practices. We can be guilty of toning down what God is actually saying that He disapproves of the practice, whereas the Bible teaches that it is the practice of being way off the best practice of God and in rebellion to what He has commanded. In other words, it is sin.

In verse 22, the Bible specifically forbids ‘active’ role within same sex practice, even though it was approved of in the ancient world as opposed to ‘passive.’ The passive partner uses the generic term for ‘male’ rather than the specific word for ‘youth’  or ‘man’ so complete prohibition of same-sex intercourse and not just pederasty. There was to be no role for God’s people in such an activity.

The strength of God’s view about this subject was so strong was that the death penalty was to be applied to both active and passive participants as the  context includes the activity by mutual consent. There was no suggestion of rape in which only the active partner would have been executed (cf. Deuteronomy 22: 22 – 25). The reason was the emotional, mental and physical harm that such practices incur as we have seen in previous chapters.

As the Evangelical Alliance document states, the Assyrians made forcible same-sex intercourse illegal, the Egyptians banned pederasty, but Israelites alone viewed same-sex acts regardless with a strong degree of severity
(Leviticus 25: 36 was the command not to exploit one of own).

It has been argued by the gay lobby that the laws in Leviticus was supposedly out of step with modern life in order to get around these prohibitions. In counterbalancing this view, it amazing how far sighted they were, for (as an example) it was not until Victorian times that we began to understand hygiene in washing (Leviticus 6:27, 16: 28) and, until we did, there were high levels of mortality in the hospitals. (Indeed, in recent times, the spread of MSR infections among patients was the direct result of the practice of washing hands not being undertaken.)

A favourite target of the homosexual lobby is Leviticus 19: 18, where the wearing of different kinds of material was prohibited.  This prohibition makes sense as the combination of materials causes static in tropical climates; also, it is there to emphasis separateness. Some mixtures were reserved for sacred use. The parallel passage in Deuteronomy 22: 9 – 11 makes clear that this is also the case for Israel where things are not to be mixed. The mixture of wool and linen was reserved for use in the tabernacle and in high priest’s outer garments. This interpretation also to be found in Dead Sea scrolls (4QMMT))

Dr Jonathan Sachs has helpfully commented, ‘The Bible forbids crossbreeding livestock, planting a field with mixed seeds, and wearing a garment of mixed wool and linen. It calls these rules chukkim or ‘statutes’. The thirteenth-century scholar Nahmanides understood this term to mean laws which respect the integrity of nature. To mix different species, he argued, was to presume to be able to improve on the order of creation, and thus an affront to the Creator.[160]

The Old Testament laws was categorised in three groups: civil, priestly and moral. The civil laws were present as the government of Israel was based on a theocracy that is God governing the nation directly without human rulers. The priestly rules were given for Aaron and his descendants when it was necessary for sacrifices that were a sign for the coming Messiah. However, it is important to emphasise that the moral laws were not abolished, since they were based on character of God.

It is interesting to note that the often-used quotation of loving your neighbour (Luke 19: 8) comes from the same part of the Holiness Code. Frederick J. Gaiser has helpfully commented that ‘unlike dietary laws, which are specifically overturned in the New Testament, the proscription of homosexual activity specifically remains in the New Testament.’[161]

Deuteronomy 23: 17

The people of Israel were to be separate from the people around them in all matters, to be sanctified.

The word ‘qadesh’ and ‘separated ones’ could be referring to temple prostitutes, where the practice of sexual relations was not only with the opposite gender but also with the same one.

Ruth and Naomi

The gay lobby, in seeking non-existent examples of same sex relationships with the Bible, refer to this book. It is hard to see it as it is - just the friendship between daughter-in-law and mother-in-law. There is evidence that they had a deeper friendship than that reliant on the erotic. They were able to rely on each other for emotional and spiritual support.

It is often the case that one woman can share her viewpoints, etc. with another woman as they have a common starting point that a man, with the way that he thinks, cannot fathom. It is the ability to empathise without having to explain all the details and without a solution necessarily being formulated.

Indeed, Ruth shows her heterosexual views by marrying Boaz.

David and Jonathan (1 Samuel 18: 1 – 3, 20: 17, 2 Samuel 1: 25 – 26)

The gay lobby also refer to this friendship when they search in vain for same sex relationships to be affirmed in the Bible. The obvious problem to their theory was that David was the archetypal heterosexual man for his downfall was his adultery with Bathsheba. David was chastised for his adultery, rather than any illicit relationship with a man, both of which were condemned under God’s law.

The entire emphasis of author of these books was that David was not a political enemy of Saul and his family, and that Jonathan had no fear or suspicion of David.

As we have observed in the friendship between Ruth and Naomi, it is also the case that often men can share viewpoints, etc. with other men, which would be difficult to share with even their wives.  The most obvious example of this point would be the men who, after World War 1, could not communicate horrors of what they had seen and done with the general public but only with those who had been the battlefield with them

In addition, Jonathan allowed his own interests to be disregarded (a rare concept among either gender), which David did not even find among his mother and wives.[162]

Song of Solomon

 It is stating the obvious in that God is celebrating the sensual love of a man and a woman as the highest expression of one human to another.

Centurion’s Servant (Matthew 9, Luke 7: 2 – 10)

It has been argued the term used in this instance means ‘beloved servant/child/son,’ that is that the centurion was following the practice of other Romans who had ‘love servants’ (see George S E Hopper in Reluctant Journey).[163]These ‘love servants’ would accompany the soldier as he toured the empire and would be available for same sex relationships.

The first problem is the derivation of the words. The first word ‘entimos’ (precious) is used in Scripture to mean wedding guest (Luke 14:8) and both Christians and Christ (1 Peter 2: 4 and 6)

The second word ‘pais’ could mean ‘child’ (John 4: 4ff, Matthew 17: 18, Luke 2: 43, 9: 42, Acts 4: 27, 4:30), maid (Luke 8:31, 8: 54), manservant (Luke 12:45), servant (ten times), son (John 4:51), Jesus, Son of God (Acts 3: 13 and 26) and young man (Acts 20: 12).

The second practical problem was that the centurion was a proselyte to Judaism and homosexuality was widely condemned by rabbis in Jesus’ day. An example was the words of the contemporary, Josephus (Against Apion 2:24; 199): ‘The law recognises no sexual connections except the natural union of man and wife…Sodomy it abhors, and punishes guilt of such assault with death.’

Matthew 15: 19, Mark 7: 21

Although Jesus did not specifically talk about same-sex relationships, it is equally true that He did not comment on every moral situation

He condemned porneia or ‘sexual immorality,’ a term that includes all sexual sins.

Same-sex relationships had been widely condemned by the rabbis at the time[164]and there is scarcely any evidence of same sex activity among Jewish men following the Exile, so there was no need for Jesus to mention it.

Matthew 19

In contrast to the silence regarding same sex relationships, Jesus gave affirmative messages to the only two alternatives: faithful marriage (cf. Matthew 5: 27 – 28) or celibacy.

Acts 15: 19 -21

The Council in Jerusalem stated that the sexual ethics mentioned in the Old Testament was still binding on the early Church.

Romans 1: 18 - 32

Paul was the Christian who most in contact with the Greek world. He was aware that Greek males were regularly bisexual; for not only were same sex relationships approved (e.g. the speakers in Plato’s Symposium, who rated it higher than heterosexual acts), but some sectors of the Greek community brought boys into society like this. The sexes were segregated whilst growing up, and so male bonds became very close as a result. The deficiency in number of women (which may have been caused by selective the immoral practice of infanticide) meant that there were often marriages between thirty year old men and fourteen year old girls, whom the men regarded as children. Men had only three forms of sexual release until such late marriages: slaves, prostitutes and other men. A favourite past time of this era was introducing boys to homoerotic pleasure.

Many upper class Romans were affected by Hellenistic ideals; other Romans, particularly the philosophers, regarded as the Greek practices as disgusting. Greco-Romanists opposed gender reversal as ‘against nature’, reminiscent of Jewish argument (Genesis 2: 18). Although Jewish texts tell of adulterers and thieves of their nation, those texts nearly always refer to same-sex relationships as typical of  Gentile behaviour (Epistle of Aristeas 152; Sibylline  Oracles 3.185 – 186, 596 – 600; 5. 166, 387; Jerusalem Talmud tractate Quiddusin.4.11 § 6). It was a sin that deserved the death punishment. (Josephus Antiquities 3. 12.1 § 275; Ag. Ap. 2.25 §§ 199, 215) or punishment by God in the afterlife (2 Enoch 10: 4).  Like other non-Jewish writers (Diodorus Siculus Bibliotheca Historica 32.10.9; Diogenes Laeetius Vita 6.2.65; Artemidorus Oneirocriticon 1.80), some Jewish writers thought that couples in same sex intercourse was unnatural (Josephus Against Apion 2.38 §§ 273, 275; Pseudo. - Phoccylides 190 -91; Testament of Naphtali [the Testaments of the twelve patriarchs in the Old Testament pseudepigrapha] 3:4 – 5) as there would probably be no procreation as a consequence. (Aristotle Politica 1.1.4, 1252a)

Paul did not choose to be controversial for, although we live in a world where divisions are now apparent on this subject, Jewish and Roman Christian readers would have agreed that both idolatry and same sex behaviour was sinful and contrary to God’s revealed will.

There is evidence that Paul has used Jewish writings (such as Wisdom 13) and also employed Gentile thought in the formation of his ideas.

The primary concern of Paul in this chapter is that sin prevents people glorifying and giving thanks to God (v 21). As such, same sex relationships were only one of many sins that prevented this occurrence.

In these verses, there is the clear condemnation of both male and female same sex relationships, which seems unique of the religious texts of the time. Only two earlier texts (Plato Laws 1.636c; Psedo-Phoc. Sentences 191 – 92) condemns both male and female same sex relationships, alongside the use of language that does not identify pederasty for that it is a totally male identification for there is no female equivalent.

In verse25, Paul refers to the lie (tō pseudei), the defining distortion or perversion of God’s purpose for the world and the deviation from His best plans for humanity.

There is the repetition of the refrain ‘God gave them over (verses 24, 26 and 28), indicating the downward spiral that humanity was involved in.

 God’s wrath was in operation (1: 18) as the people condemn themselves for His image has been marred in them; they have been made ugly by sin. As in the Old Testament, their hardness of heart has been made clear for all to see (e.g. Isaiah 6: 9 – 11; 29: 9 -12; Jeremiah 44: 25 – 27). Some writers have referred to it as ‘penal blindness’ (see Psalm 81: 12 regarding Israel).

 Man has not made a good exchange in choosing to depart from the Creator’s perfect intention (v 25f.) Therefore, every same sex relationship is unnatural (para physin, verse 26), not because it is contrary to a person’s natural inclination (which may not) or infringes the Old Testament law[165], but contrary to God’s plan for human sexual expression in a man and a woman coming together.

In verse 26, it is not referring to people who are normally heterosexual who want to have dalliance with same sex relationships, but it refers to those people who act on their sexual attraction to the same gender regardless how innate they are.  The writer states that God has abandoned people who have forsaken heterosexual practices (Kresin tes thleias) in preference for homosexual (orexei auton eis allelous), regardless of the regularity. The focus of these verses is on sexual relationship rather than the techniques or the frequency. The modern definitions of heterosexual and homosexual were unknown in New Testament times, so Paul focuses on the behaviour that was unacceptable to God, regardless of who that person was.

It has been pointed out that to say that Paul is condemning same sex relationships by ‘natural’ heterosexuals ‘is equivalent to saying that scriptural condemnation of adultery refer only to such relationships among those who are ‘naturally’ monogamous’.[166]

In verse 27, Paul writes about those ‘burning with lust’, which is hardly a reference to temple prostitution that the gay lobby would have us believe. It is the heat of the moment and not the considered consequence of pagan worship.

A minimal argument has been put forward is that Paul is condemning homosexuality inspired by idolatry (e.g. in temple prostitution) and, therefore, has no bearing on same sex relationships in other contexts. However, this viewpoint ignores the context that same sex relationships, together with the other evidences of swerving from God’s path, is proof of people choosing to abandon His way.

Some commentators have argued that ‘unnatural’ means unconventional, that it is not the norm in normal accepted social. However, it is more than the equivalent of picking one’s nose in public as the chapter makes it clear as it is direct contravention of God’s revealed order.

Michael Vasey has stated that same-sex behaviour is not unnatural: ‘’Nature’ to Paul is not simply what biology dictates; it is a construct of biology and culture. This is not to argue that there is no mandate written into creation but it makes it harder to identify what this mandate is.’[167]

He then proceeded to write against Aquinas’s list of ‘sins against nature’: bestiality, homosexual sin, non-procreative heterosexual sex, masturbation. He argued that ‘The “sins against nature” are more serious than sexual sins within the natural order such as adultery, section and rape.’[168]

For Vasey, ‘nature’ defined by culture. Uses example of contraception – ‘profoundly affected the whole mood of modern society. It is through this, rather than any ‘permissive’ conspiracy in the 1960s, that the new attitudes to sexuality have come. It has ushered in new perceptions of the ‘natural’. Changes have included a positive attitude to sexual pleasure, a rediscovery of feminine sexuality, and significant alterations to the meaning of ‘family’ and of sexual intercourse itself…bodily sexual acts appear to derive much of their meaning from the symbolic world of the society in which they occur.’[169]

Dean Jeffrey John has written: When Paul argues that homosexuality is “against nature” he does not only mean that it is against the order of nature itself, that it is against the person’s own nature.’[170]He has argued that because Paul not aware of natural same sex attraction, then same sex relationships could be seen as being perverted by naturally orientated heterosexuals.

He further argued that Paul’s lack of understanding of modern definitions could be deduced from phase ‘give up’ or exchange’ (verse 26f). In another quotation, he states: ‘Paul must believe that homosexuals wilfully choose their unnatural perversion in the same way that he must believe that idolators wilfully suppress the truth about God that must be known to them from observing creation. Otherwise, as he says, God would not be just in his condemnation, and Paul could not say they are without excuse.’[171]

Rowan Williams, in same book, responded: ‘Is the mere fact of homosexual desire something against which struggle is imperative? It is always and necessarily a desire comparable to the desire for many sexual partners or for sexual gratification at someone else’s expense – comparable, more broadly to the desire for revenge or the desire to avoid speaking an unwelcome or disadvantageous truth?’[172]

In a partial answer by Dr Williams to the points raised by Dean John, he writes: ‘’The phenomena of homosexual behaviour’ are seen in a particular light in the Scripture – not as a uniquely awful perversion, but as an instance of the effect upon the human mind of rebellion against God, as symptom of that confusion that comes from failing to identify correctly and worship unreservedly the one true God.’[173] 

In this collection of essays, there is a difference between the Dr Williams and Dean Jeffrey John as the latter likens sexual attraction to someone of the same gender to a disability.

The logic of Romans chapter 1 is that there is an increase in immorality, commencing with heterosexual practices in first stage then in proceeding to new lows for those activities that are not natural.

Others commentators have stated that homosexual acts not sinful but unclean, ‘an integral if unpleasantly dirty aspect of Gentile culture.’[174]The problem with this argument is that Paul is not making a point about culture but about morality that God has integrated into the warp and woof of His creation. It is the twisting of natural relationships that God has ordained which Pau is condemning, not the rantings about personal foibles.

Robert Gagnon notes the parallels in the Septuagint of the Genesis creation accounts and Romans chapter 1. For example, the words ‘likeness’, image’, ‘human’, ‘birds’, ‘four footed animals’ and ‘reptiles appear both in Romans 1: 23 and Genesis 1: 26. In the same manner, Paul assumes that both idolatry and same-sex intercourse is against God’s created order.[175]

Robert Gagnon summarises the situation in this chapter as being that ‘Same sex intercourse is ‘beyond’ or ‘in excess’ of nature in the sense that it transgresses the boundaries for sexuality both established by God and transparent in nature even to the gentiles.’[176]

Furthermore, he continued ‘That Paul was thinking of ‘nature’ not as ‘the way things are usually done’ (i.e. cultural convention) but rather as ‘the material shape of the created order‘is also apparent from his previous illustration that idolatry entails the suppression of the truth.’[177]

Paul wrote about the misuse of God’s creation, not merely the passions and desires. He saw that wrongful use of our bodies was dishonouring to God, not just because against natural order but because it robbed God of His praise and glory.

1 Corinthians 5: 9 – 13, 6: 7 – 11

As the word ‘malakoi’ has the literal meaning of ‘soft’, it has been argued that, in a sexual sense, these verses seems to refer to passive partner in male prostitution (cf. Deuteronomy 23: 17).

However, the word also used is ‘arsenokoites,’ which is derived from ‘arsen’ (man), ‘koite’ (bed).

This word only used twice in the New Testament, both in Paul’s letters, here and in 1 Timothy 1: 3 – 11.

It has been suggested that the meaning of the word is to be restricted to ‘male prostitute’ (compare Vulgate masculi concubitores). This explanation lacks linguistic support, although word is rarely used in literature of the New Testament period for comparison. Where the word is to be found in Greek writings, it used in broad sense to cover all same sex activity[178]  In the next usage of the word, the context in Sibylline Oracles 2:73 is ‘Do not practice homosexuality.’

In addition, it is obvious that Paul is not only concerned with male prostitution or pederasty, as he used general compound word (arseokoitai) when there were more precise terms for male prostitution and pederasty available.

The word is a translation of the Hebrew ‘mishkav zakur’ (‘lying with a male’). The Jews in the Greek civilisation acquired their teaching from the Septuagint,[179]which states In Leviticus 20:13 ‘ho an koine the mata arnesnos koiten gunaikos’ (‘he who lies with a man as with a woman’).

Paul is stating that God would not describe sexual relations between people of the same gender as sin if people did not have control and responsibility. The philosophers at the time considered that wise men did not need laws, because their wise behaviour itself modelled the moral truth that the laws were based upon. For Paul, it was also true for Christians in theory; since the laws were only required to restrain those inclined to sin, which was applied to all people in practice since no one is without sin.

In verse 11, unlike most moralists of his day, Paul reasons from what Corinthians are as result of God’s salvation, to how they should live, rather than the reverse. He sees God’s redemptive plan being played out in their lives (‘such were some of you’).

It is interesting to put this passage in the context of chapter 7, where God’s Word states that the only two options for people is celibacy or faithful marriage. The wife and husband are to be the exclusive sexual partners, to satisfy one another within the union of marriage. There are no other options such as couples living together, regardless of sexual orientation. 

1 Corinthians 7: 2

Paul outlines he principle of other-sex relationship, which is the principle of the entire chapter. There is no reference to same-sex relationships, because it was absent in the Church. 

1 Timothy 1: 10

These verses have parallels with the seventh commandment on adultery with the more general terms of ‘sexual immorality’ (pornoi) and ‘same-sex relationships’ being used (arsenokoitai) to cover all sexual intercourse outside of heterosexual marriage, regardless of sexual orientation .

Hebrew13: 4

The writer upholds the sanctity of the marriage bed, stating that God will judge the adulterer and the sexually immoral. If the opposite sex is taken out of the equation (being the adulterers), the sexually immoral must include those within same-sex relationships.

  1. The Response

Our attitude

It is important that members of the Church are not to be homophobic, that hating those who are sexually attracted to people of the same sex. Although we may be accused of being so, when we speak out the Word of God, we have to be loving in attitude to those whose views we disagree with.

We are not to be reliant on the power of our lobbying opposition to same sex relationships. We should win out because of the power of Jesus.

Jeering at Gay Pride or Mardi Gras events is not the answer to the problem. We are to love people in same sex relationships despite their actions, and continue to pray for them. It is better that we employ silent prayer vigils; for we may be mocked, but prayer is a mighty tool. We should avoid the appearance of being bigots since that contradicts the fact that we a people with the message of hope and reconciliation to God. In heckling, we will use the technique that is ‘non-Christian,’ for it is without love and the truth has no way in. In being antagonistic, the ability to witness or reason is eroded.

It should not be expected for the mindset of the world to follow or even understand the principles laid down in the Bible as Paul reminds us that the thinking of the Christian and non-Christian is poles apart (‘such as you were’ – 1 Corinthians 6: 11).

 In 2007, the Barna Group research that ‘…91 percent of young non-Christians and 80 percent of young churchgoers’ believe that Christians display ‘excessive contempt…towards gays and lesbians’ and claim ‘the church has not helped them to apply the biblical teaching on homosexuality to their friendships with gays and lesbians.’

Furthermore, it has been discovered that lesbians, gay men and bisexual people (LGB) quit mainstream religion at a higher rate than the general population according to a Massey University study.[180]The report’s author, Mark Henrickson (an Anglican clergyman who stressed that he was speaking as the Auckland campus social work lecturer), stated that it appeared that many Christians resolved the disagreement between their identities and religion by leaving their religion. If a student were forced to choose between their religious faith and personal identity, they would choose the latter. The report stated that the ‘Christian religion by and large have done an excellent job in communicating that a Christian identity and a homosexual are incompatible, or at least difficult to reconcile.’ It continued: ‘What we can say that whatever negative messages that organised religions want to communicate – they’re working.’ As a word of caution, Mr Henrickson stated: ‘In an era of declining mainstream church participation, churches may want to examine the way they’re coming across.’

R. Albert Mohler, the President of the Southern Baptist Convention, has also raised this important subject: ‘Evangelical Christians must ask ourselves some very hard questions, but the hardest may be this: Why is it that we have been so ineffective in reaching persons trapped in (homosexuality)?’[181]He continued by saying that the answer to this question must be because of apparent attitude of so many Christians.

There are so many people involved in same sex relationships that want freedom from persistent thoughts attracting them erotically toward the same gender and want to be beyond condemnation. In the same article, R. Albert Mohler: continued ‘…Homosexuals are waiting to see if the Christian Church has anything more to say after we declare that homosexuality is a sin.’[182]

At the outset, it is important for the Church to call upon a brother or sister who is the grip of any sin, whether it is relation to a sin relating to the same or opposite sex, to repent of it (James 5 verses 19 – 20). It is so easy to fall into the trap of proclaiming the higher ground, only to have the ground we are standing on be removed by sin of a different sort.  We have been reminded in the New Testament that ‘if you are standing firm, be careful that you don’t fall!’ (1 Corinthians 10: 12).

There is the evident temptation to call into question the Christian commitment of those who are involved in same sex relationship because we do not agree with them. However, that does not remove the responsibility of pointing out what it says in God’s Word in truth and love.

There has been a trend to take the easy option in the last twenty years to accept that same sex relationships are acceptable. We are called to not to lie down and accept everything. We are called to bearers of His Word, not to be jelly and wobble with every new fangled idea. It is an easy argument to say that the writers of the Bible were conditioned by the culture and tradition of their day, but does not take into account that God knew best (as we have seen in the previous chapters) and that very often the writers were going against the accepted practices of their time.

We do have to be moderate in our language, speaking out against the practice and its consequences, entreating the listener to follow God’s way. We should never be condemning of the person, regardless of the circumstance, for we will never know who is listening to our ‘private’ conversations. We are reminded that our ‘conversation be always be full of grace, seasoned with salt’ (Colossians 4: 6). Salt sometimes hurts when it applied but it has medicinal properties and the grace that accompanies it will be the soothing ointment.

We are to treat all people with respect, even if we disagree with their views and/or lifestyle.  John Stott reminds us: ‘However strongly we may disapprove of homosexual practices, we have no liberty to dehumanise those who engage in them.[183]

Richard J. Foster has written that: ‘because this issue has wounded so many people, the first word that needs to be spoken is one of compassion and healing. Those who are clearly homosexual in their orientation often feel misunderstood, stereotyped, abused, and rejected. Those who believe that homosexuality is a clear affront to the norms feel betrayed by denominations that want to legislate homosexuality into church life.

‘There is a third group that has been hurt by the contemporary battle over homosexuality: I refer to those who agonise over their own sexual identity, those who feel torn by conflicting sexual urges and wonder if they are latent homosexuals. Perhaps this group suffers the most. They are cast into the sea of ambiguity because the Church has given an uncertain sound. On their right, they hear the shrill denunciations of homosexuality and, though they appreciate the concern for biblical fidelity, they have been offended by the brash, uninformed, pharisaical tone of the pronouncements. From their left, they hear enthusiastic acceptance of homosexuality and, though they appreciate the compassionate concern for the oppressed, they are astonished at the way the Bible is manoeuvred to fit a more accommodating posture.

‘All who are caught in the cultural and ecclesiastical chaos over homosexuality need our compassion and understanding.’[184]

The phrase ‘Love the sinner, hate the sin’ is not liked by those involved in same sex relationships as so often what comes across to them still feels like hate, although some of this sentiment arises from the uneasiness of the message itself. We need to ensure that we see them as God sees them - as fallen, as we all are, but with the particular temptation.[185]


Listening

It is also truth in the charge that the Church has not been listening to those who have had these feelings of sexual attraction towards those of the same gender, preferring to stand on pulpits, actual and metaphorical.[186]

Deitrich Bonhoeffer has stated, ‘The first service that one owes to others in the fellowship consists of listening to them. Just as love to God begins with listening to his Word, so the beginning of love for the brethren is learning to listen to them. It is God’s love for us that he not only gives us his Word, but also lends us his ear. So it is his work that we do for our brother when we learn to listen to him. Christians, especially ministers, so often think that they must always contribute something, when then are in the company of others, that this is the one service they have to render. They forget that listening can be a greater service than speaking.

 ‘Many people are looking for an ear that will listen. They will not find it among Christians because these Christians are talking when they should be listening. But he who can no longer listen to his brother will soon listening no longer to God either, he will be doing nothing but prattle in the presence of God too. This is the beginning of the death of the spiritual life, and in the end there is nothing left but spiritual chatter and clerical condescension arrayed in pious words. One who cannot listen long and patiently will presently be talking beside the point and be never really speaking to others, albeit he be not conscious of it. Anyone who thinks that his time is too valuable to be spent keeping quiet will eventually have no time for God and his brother, but only for himself and his own follies.

‘Brotherly pastoral care is essentially distinguished from preaching by the fact that, added to the task of speaking the Word, there is the obligation of listening. There is a kind of listening with half an ear that presumes already to know what the other person has to say. It is an impatient, inattentive listening that despises the brother and is only waiting for a chance to speak and so get rid of the other person. There is no fulfilment of our obligation, and it is certain too that here our attitude towards our brother only reflects our relationship to God. It is little wonder that we are no longer capable of the greatest service of listening that God has committed to us, that of hearing our brother’s confession, if we refuse to give ear to our brother on lesser subjects. Secular education today is aware that often a person can be helped merely by having someone who will listen to him seriously, and upon this insight it has constructed its own soul therapy, which has attracted greater numbers of people, including Christians. But Christians have forgotten that the ministry of listening has been committed to them by him who is himself the great listener and whose work they should share. We should listen with the ears of God that we speak the Word of God.’[187]  

It is important that we do not just lay down the law and then walk away from the devastation that our words might have caused.

In truth and love

We have employed both of these attributes. Those advocating same sex relationships only use the latter: ‘As Walter Wink points out, the only scriptural ethic is the ethic of love as interpreted in different times and situations through narrative, prophecy and teaching.’[188]We have to be biblical, however much it may hurt us.

We have to be honest in saying that we have been negligent as the body of Christ in understanding that emotional intimacy is important. We have been lured into the trap of asking the question: can people be friends without sleeping with each other? The modern lifestyle of promiscuity has enticed into thinking that the emotional and the spiritual has to encompass the physical in our friendships.

Those Christians who are sexually attracted to the same gender point out that there are six restrictions on same-sex relationships compared to over three hundred of heterosexual acts. They have stated that heterosexual couples are not more immoral, it is just that they need more supervision. They overlook the principle that it does not matter how many times a sin is mentioned, it is still a sin. Most people consider that sexual relationships with animals wrong, but only five restrictions on bestiality are found in the scripture so the numbers of references are irrelevant.

There is also the argument by gay Christians that God does not make a mistake in creating and He has made them as they are. (This point is made despite the fact that the genetic origins of same-sex relationships are still disputed and research into this aspect is opposed by some gay activists, as we saw in a previous chapter.)

Andrew Tallman  has countered this by stating that ‘Whereas claiming that God has His hand in the creation of every child is uncontroversial, alleging that every element of that child’s physical, emotional and even sexual state at birth are all intended by God is quite another thing. If this pattern of inference were allowed, we would have to believe that God desires every birth defect, handicap, psychological order or behavioural tendency we can trace to early child hood. God may allow such things, but that is theological miles from saying that God wanted them.[189]

It is reminder that we are fearfully and wonderfully made by God, and that He knows us before we leave our mothers’ wombs. (Psalm 139: 14).  We are all made in the image of God, despite the fact that the image was marred by the effects of the Fall with devastating effect on the genetic makeup.

We all continue to suffer from the original sin that Adam and Eve succumbed to. We all have different battles to win, just that for some it is that same sex erotic attraction that they need the Holy Spirit to be their help to overcome the enemy, who seeks to snare them (1 Peter 5:8).

We are reminded that our bodies are the temples of the Holy Spirit (1 Corinthians 6: 19). In abusing our bodies, we grieve Him (Ephesians 4: 30) which is sin – the disobedience of God’s commandments.

As we have seen, there may numerous explanations as to why not all people are the same in the area of sexual orientation. The lack of bonding with the father may affect some, but the identical causes may not lead into same-sex relationships. Pre-natal factors may be contributing factor, but the research in this area has been contradictory at times.

‘Actually the truth lies somewhere in between, and the situation is different for every family.’[190]

Men who are erotically attracted to other men dread showing initiating strength of masculinity because it was rejected, ridiculed or inhibited in their earlier years. Because of factors during their developing years, they avoid demonstrating masculine traits.

In a corresponding attitude, women who are erotically attracted to other women are inclined to hate and fear receptive tenderness of feminity as it was exploited and betrayed during their formative years. They have achieved a false sense of completeness whilst their feminity is not being exposed as they feel fragile in this area.

We have to be honest and state that, at this stage, there is no proof where same sex relationships are a result of nature or nurture.

Our pattern should be that of Christ who confronted those things that were wrong. He did not compromise, but the door always left open for repentance. There is the Biblical call to holiness, but Jesus went to the tax collectors, prostitutes and sinners. It was not in contradiction to the Old Testament principles but as opportunities for people to be converted and live to redeemed lives.

God thinks so seriously about the issue that, in the Old Testament, kings expelled for promoting the practice (1 Kings 14: 24; 15: 12; 22: 46; 2 Kings 23:7).

There is truth in the words of Oliver O’Donovan: ‘Homosexuality is not the determining factor in any human being’s existence; therefore it cannot be the determining factor in the way we treat a human being, and should not be the determining factor in the way that a human being treats him – or herself. Gays are children of Adam and Eve, brothers and sisters of Christ. There is no other foundation laid than that. “He will feed his flock like a shepherd”; from which it follows, simpliciter and without adjustment, that he will feed gays like a shepherd, too.’[191] However, Jesus is referred to as ‘Lord’ more times in Scripture than ‘Saviour,’ and the mark of His lordship in our lives is following what He says.

It is clearly the injunction that we are to love our neighbours, even if we disagree with them (for example, Luke 6: 27). As Martin Luther King Jr. said, ‘I have decided to stick with love. Hate is too great a burden to bear…love is the only force capable of transforming an enemy into a friend.’

However, we are not to be judgemental for sin is sin (2 Corinthians 1: 3 – 5). We are urged to ‘Remember that love is both confrontive and accepting’[192]

Counselling[193]

The people doing the counselling should be accredited by a counselling organisation such as the Association of Biblical Counsellors or be members of an organisations such as Exodus (whose contact details are at the end of the publication).

At the outset, we are not to make heterosexuals, but disciples (Mt 28:19). As we do not convert drug users or others to be ‘normal’ parts of society but to part of the family of God, people in same sex relationships are not a ‘special case.’ We all need God working in us.

Our aim is not to attract them primarily to members of opposite sex, but to Jesus. If the person is already a believer then he or she should be encouraged to be a disciple – following the way and words of the Master.

We are to show that there are healthy same sex friendships, such as David and Jonathan who were like brothers, Ruth and Naomi, Paul and Timothy, Jesus and his disciples who He treated as ‘family’ (Mark 3: 33 – 35) and especially John (cf. John 13: 23 – 25, 21: 20). These friendships transcend any that that a same sex relationship can offer.

It is sad commentary on the western world that many men do not have one friend in whom they can confide, whereas many women have four such friends. Part of the reasoning is the fear of being associated in more than a friendship basis.

There may well be the need to counsel people within your church who are struggling with erotic attractions for the same gender.

It is preferable to have male-female counselling team to deal with the appropriate incidences.[194]There may be initial sessions with a counsellor of same gender to collect the background history and to make the initial relationship before the counselee meets the mixed counselling team. The example of the counselling team will show in practice what it means for a couple of the opposite sex to work together as role models, using the complementary gifts that God has given to them. The situation will help to deal with past history with both genders and how the person can move onto the future.

At all times, there should be the acceptance of person and regard for personhood. Although the issues are to be dealt with, there should be upmost respect that the person has opened him or herself up and exposed an intimate part of their lives to you.

It is important to give the person those things that they want and yet they push away from –  that is a genuine, non-using, intimate (without sexual) relationship.  One way to repair the defect in a person’s emotional being is to fulfil those unmet needs and to by building a ‘good non sexual relationship with a member of the same sex.’ [195]

The counselling goals to be agreed before commencing or else there will be frustration and discouragement as no progress would have been made. Those goals are to be smart, manageable, achievable, reasonable and timed (SMART). It would be prudent to review progress after the first six meetings to see whether further sessions are required, and after every six meetings thereafter. The sessions are best when they are about one hour in length as they may be intense. It is for this reason that counsellors should debrief to a supervisor afterwards. 

There may be verbal attacks, threats, withdrawals or other behaviours as part of defence mechanism employed by the person being counselled. These actions are strategies used by Satan as he sees that a person’s lifestyle and thought patterns being changed.

It is important that there is the talking out of the issues. This will, inevitably, lead to the release of emotions.  The responses to the questions may cause crying, yelling and other reactions. There will be the most incredible psychic pain exhibited by intense anxiety and fears. If this pain is allowed to continue, there will the terrors that the fears may lead to depression. The person will feel out of control because he or she cannot feel heterosexual emotions and cannot stop their erotic attraction to the same sex. This self-questioning could lead to self-doubt, before progressing to self-depression and possibly guilt.

The person may be struggling with pain, angry with God and how they were made; and doubt the goodness of God as they were not protected in the past. It is important that they need to wrestle honestly with their emotions in order to be open with God.

They should be allowed to tell their story. You are the hearers may not understand, but it is a vital opportunity to walk with them along this difficult road.

The counselee will need to own their grief (Matthew 5: 4; James 4: 8 – 10), and to acknowledge their sin before repentance can be effective. Repentance can only come about if the person understands what they are repenting on.

In time and with patience, love will replace bitterness and doubt (1 John 4: 9 – 16).

In the counselling session, it is important that preconceived ideas are dealt with and annulled. Examples of these thought patterns are that it is an irreversible condition, mental illness or unpardonable sin. It has to be reiterated that all sexual behaviour that goes against the perfect pattern of the Creator is the same before the eyes of God.

The encouraging thing is that the truth will make people free (John 8:32), so it is important that we show love and honesty as we present what God wants for us.

It must be acknowledged that changes may need to be made in person’s environment. Examples may be that the person may need to change his or her circle of friends. The local church should be the position to support that person actively, and not just shout commands from the sidelines.

It has been helpfully stated that ‘Homosexual people may struggle to ignore or deny their desires and may successfully avoid acting on their desires, but the desires seldom go away. If they try to change their sexual orientation – through effort, psychotherapy, or prayer – they find that the feelings are as persistent as those of heterosexual people. This has been the experience even of several of the founders of Christian “ex-gay” programmes:
‘Accepting the limits on our capacity to change can be liberating…It frees us from living with guilt and self-blame over not having accomplished whatever it is we keep thinking we will do. To make peace with oneself has to be able to say that grace extends to me, just as I am…whether my longings are heterosexual or homosexual…

‘But is there not a danger if we say no more?…If, indeed, one’s sexual orientation is neither wilfully chosen nor easily changed, are there still ethical choices that are within one’s power to make? Whether heterosexual or homosexual, one can choose to engage in promiscuous sex, to elect celibacy, or to enter into a committed loving, long term relationship. Sexual orientation per se does not dictate the choice, nor is it an excuse for sexual exploitation of anyone.’[196]

There should also be counselling and befriending around family, should that be necessary. There will also be alterations in their mindsets as a member of their household changes their behaviour – especially if that behaviour has been accepted and/or reasoned for by the rest of the family.

In this entire situation, there should be the support of the local church in the counselling process and beyond, especially by those in leadership roles. A person will be walking in a way that was previously unknown by them and Satan would like to see that person’s witness diminished. Dr David Atkinson has written that ‘We are not at liberty to urge the Christian homosexual to celibacy and to a spreading of his relationships, unless support for the former and opportunities for the latter are available in genuine love.’[197]

God’s ultimate response

God’s love does forgive sinners. We are reminded by the apostle Paul, in Romans 5: 8, ‘while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.’  However, His love does not remain unconditional as far as we have to be forgiven of our sins. He does not overlook or ignore those things in our lives that grieve Him.

The entire purpose of His redemptive plan is to bring us back into relationship with Him. That plan cannot be fully fulfilled if there are issues that we cannot or will not let go.

It is true that we can never lose our relationship with God; there may be things that we have to repent of or that we have to turn and walk away from in order to be freed from the bondage of sin.  There still may be consequences from any same-sex activity (such as illnesses), despite being forgiven of wrong actions.

He wants to remind us that bodies are ‘temples of the Holy Spirit’ (1 Corinthians 6: 19) so (Like, for example, adultery, pre-marital sex and drugs) same sex relations was not part of God’s best plan for us.

Paul wrote: ‘Don’t you know that when you offer yourselves to someone to obey him as slaves, you are slaves to the one whom you obey – whether you are slaves to sin, which leads to death, or to obedience, which leads to righteousness?‘ (Romans 6:16) The essence of the verse is that we are all responsible what God has given us, including our bodies, and what we do with them.

In Romans 6: 12 - 14, the apostle also stated: Do not sin reign in your mortal body so that you obey its evil desires. Do not offer the parts of your body to sin, as instruments of wickedness, but rather offer yourselves to God, as those who have been brought from death to life; and offer the parts of your body to Him as instruments of righteousness. For sin shall not be your master, because you are not under law, but under grace.’

There is the reminder that self-control is part of the fruit of the Spirit (Galatians 5: 22 – 23). The fruit is to be taken as a whole so, if we neglect to grow in one area, it will affect other aspects of our lives and we will not see the image of Christ in us.

Sin has its consequences, whatever realm that might be (see 1 Corinthians 5: 5). The slavery applies not only to same-sex relationships, but also to couples engaging in heterosexual sexual intercourse outside of marriage. The Bible does not make any distinction or is involved in a grading system between sins.

It is easy to confuse the issues of moral responsibility and moral choice. We are all responsibility for our sexual orientation, but it does not mean that we choose freely and consciously that orientation. We misunderstand those involves in same-sex relationships by insisting that sexual orientation and attraction are predominately chosen. No person chooses the temptations that come in their way. However, we are responsible beyond doubt for how we respond to them, whatever the guise.

Salvation does not come at a cheap price and may be costly. It may mean, in some instances, leaving friends. The ultimate cost is in being removed and turning the back on a lifestyle.

For those who have lapsed into same-sex relationships whilst being in leadership roles within the church, there should be the way open to recommence membership of a church if the actions are confessed and repented of before God. However, it would be wise if that person was not appointed a leader, in the same way as any other person who was involved in a sexual sin (e.g. adultery) would be treated.

We often forget that God is not tyrannical for He wants us to live in the best possible way, in response to His love. We should obey Him because we love Him (1 John 3 cf. Psalms 19 and 119), a principle that is often replicated in human families but is overlooked when we consider the spiritual sphere.

We are reminded that ‘No temptation has seized you except what is common to man. And God is faithful; He will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, He will also provide a way out so that you can stand up under it.’ (1 Corinthians 10: 13)

We are assured that we fall then Jesus will raise us up if we apologise for the way that we have grieved Him. ‘If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just and will forgive our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.’ (1 John1: 9). God has also told us: ‘My grace is sufficient for you’ (2 Corinthians 12: 9).

We are all told ‘take up your cross’ (Mark 8: 34), which was never going to be easy. It is command, not an option, and may very well cross over our personal preferences. However, if we are going to be disciples of Jesus, we need to take God’s words seriously. There are two natures within (Romans 7: 23 -24) and we have to ensure, by the grace of God, that He has the victory in our lives.

 God has placed His Holy Spirit to support those who have fallen and His Church to encourage the brothers and sisters.

The words of 1 Corinthians 6: 18 are applicable to all of us, not just those struggling with sexual attraction toward the dame gender – ‘Flee from all sexual immorality. All other sins a man commits are outside his body, but he who sins sexually sins against his own body.’

We are to ensure that we keep on track (Psalm 26: 30, waiting for the day when Jesus return to bring His bride of purity, the Church, into Heaven. There will be no lust, adultery or fornication – there will be no heterosexual or homosexual sins (Revelations 21: 27).

Come, Lord Jesus.

Other resources:

‘Faith, Hope & Homosexuality’ – a report by the Evangelical Alliance’s Commission on unity and Truth among Evangelicals (ACUTE) (1998)

‘The Truth Comes Out: The Roots and Causes of Homosexuality’ published by Focus on the Family (2001)

‘A brief guide to the Sexual Orientation Regulations’ Faithworks (20 March 2007)

‘Homosexuality and Young People’ by Colin Hart, Simon Calvert and Iain Bainbridge (a report by The Christian Institute, 1998)

Dr Daniel Boucher, ‘A Little Bit Against Discrimination?’ (CARE Equalities Series: Paper 2, 2010)

D A Carson (ed.) New Bible Commentary: 21stCentury edition (4th edition) (InterVarsity Press, 1994)

D H Field ‘Homosexuality’ in D R W Wood, D R W Wood and I H Marshall (editors) New Bible Dictionary edited by (3rdedition, Intervarsity Press, Downers Grove, 1996)

G F Hawthorne, R P Martin and D G Reid Dictionary of Paul and his letters (IVF, Downers Grove, Illinois, 1993)

W C Kaiser Hard Sayings of the Bible(InterVarsity Press, Downers Grove, Illinois, 1997)

C Keener The IVP Bible Background Commentary: New Testament (InterVarsity Press, Downers Grove, Illinois, 1993)

James Kennedy and Jerry Newcombe What’s Wrong with Same-Sex Marriage? (Crossway Books, Wheaton, Illinois, 2004)

 Jeff Olson When Passions Are Confused (RBC Ministries, Grand Rapids, Mi., 2002)

R P Martin and P H Davids Dictionary of the later New Testament (IVP, Downers Grove, Illinois, 1997)

V H Matthews, M W Chavalas and J H Walton The IVP Bible background commentary: Old Testament (InterVarsity Press, Downers Grove, Illinois, 2000)

S E Porter and C A Evans Section 3.6 ‘Homosexual Intercourse’ Dictionary of New Testament background: A compendium of contemporary biblical scholarship (InterVarsity Press, Downers Grove, Illinois, 2000)

L Ryken, J Wilhoit, T Longman, C Duriez, D Penney and D G Reid ‘Homosexuality’ in Dictionary of biblical imagery(InterVarsity Press, Downers Grove, Illinois, 2000)

Francis A. Schaeffer The Great Evangelical Disaster: 1934 – 1984 (Crossway Books, Wheaton, Illinois, 1984)

John Stott Issues facing Christians Today(Marshall, Morgan and Scott, Basingstoke, 1984)

See:
Entry on Wikipedia for history – ‘Christianity and Homosexuality, ‘History of Christianity and Homosexuality’
Focus on the Family website (www.focusonthefamily.com)
Christian Apologetics and Research Ministry (CARM) (www.carm.org)
Lawyers Christian Fellowship (www.lawcf.org)

Gavin Ellison and Briony Gunstone, Sexual Orientation explored: A study of identity, attraction, behaviour and attitudes in 2009 (Equality and Human Rights Commission Research report 35, UK, 2009)

Peter J Aspinall, Estimating the size and composition of the lesbian, gay and bisexual population in Britain(Equality and Human Rights Commission Research report 37, UK, 2009)

Also recommended

Greg L Bahnsen Homosexuality: A Biblical View(Baker Book House, Grand Rapids, 1978)

Mark Bonnington and Bob Fyall Homosexuality and the Bible (Grove Biblical Series No. 1, Grove Books, Cambridge, 1996)

Tim Bradshaw (ed.) The Way Forward? Christian Voices on Homosexuality in the Church (Hodder & Stoughton, London, 1997)

Robert Gagnon The Bible and Homosexual Practice: Texts and Hermaneutics (Abingdon Press, Nashville, 2001)

Tony Higton (ed.) Sexuality and the Church(Action for Biblical Witness to our Nation, Hawkwell, 1987)

David Leal Debating Homosexuality (Grove Ethical Study 101, Grove Books, Cambridge, 1996)

Richard F Lovelace Homosexuality and the Church(Lamp Press, London, 1978)

Lisa Nolland, Chris Sugden and Sarah Finch (ed.) God, Gays and the Church: Human Sexuality and Experience in Christian Thinking(Latimer Trust (Paternoster), Milton Keynes, 2008)

Jeffrey Satinover MD Homosexuality and the Politics of Truth (Baker Books, Grand Rapids, 1996)

Thomas Schmidt Straight and Narrow? (IVP, Leicester, 1995)

Jeffrey S Siker (ed) Homosexuality in the Church: Both Sides of the Debate (Westminster John Knox Press, Louisville, 1994)

Marion L Soards Scripture and Homosexuality: Biblical Authority and the Church Today (Westminster John Knox Press, Louisville, Kentucky, 1995)

John Stott Eros Defiled: The Christian and Sexual Sin (InterVarsity, Downers Grove, Illinois, 1977)

David Wright The Christian Faith and Homosexuality (Rutherford House, 1997)


Pastoral/Biographical

Mario Berner Setting Love In Order(Monarch, Crowborough, 1995)

Gary R Collins Christian Counselling (Word Inc. Dallas, Texas, 1989)

Bob Davies and Lori Rentzel Coming Out of Homosexuality: New Freedom for Men and Women (Hodder & Stoughton, London, 1993) – check whether H & S or IVP

Martin Hallett Out of the Blue: Responding Compassionately to Homosexuality (Hodder & Stoughton, 1996)

Dr. G Keith Olson Counselling Teenagers(Thomas Schultz Publications Inc., Loveland, Colorado, 1984)

Leanne Payne The Broken Image: Restoring Sexual Wholeness through Healing Prayer (Kingsway, Eastbourne, 1981)

Anita Worthen and Bob Davies Someone I Love Is Gay: How Family and Friends Can Respond (IVP, Downers Grove, Illinois 1996)

Acknowledgement
In the chapter on medical effects,  many of the statistics have come from ‘’Gay Marriage’ and Homosexuality – some medical comments’ a paper written in February 2005 as joint medical statement to all Canadian Members of Parliament prior to a debate on whether or not to legalise same sex marriage. The authors included John Shea MD, FRCP a prominent Canadian radiologist. It was published on www.lifesite.net

 ‘Preaching on Homosexuality: Taking the Toad Less Travelled’ by Tim Wilkins (www.crosswalk.com) (accessed on 10June 2008)

‘Homosexuality and Young People’ and ‘Sexual Orientation Briefing (April 2006) by the Christian Institute





[1]English Churchman 1 & 8 November 2002
[2]Figures quoted by Tony Payne, ‘Gay Spin City’, Evangelicals Now, May 2001
[3]Census 2001: National Report for England and Wales Part 2, ONS, 2004, Table UV 93, p. 70
[4]Hansard, House of Commons, 11 November 1997 column 507
[5]Hansard, House of Lords, 27 November 1997 column 137
[6] CH Mercer et al, AIDS 2004; 18; 1453 -8
[7]Gavin Ellison and Briony Gunstone, Sexual Orientation explored: A study of identity , attraction, behaviour and attitudes in 2009 (Equality and Human Rights Commission, Research report 35, Manchester, 2009) pp 7 - 8
[8]Talent not Tokenism, a document produced by the Equality and Human Rights Commission, Trade Union Congress and Confederation of British Industry (2008) citing Social Trends (Office for National Statistics, April 2008)
[9]‘Estimating the size and composition of the lesbian, gay and bisexual population in Britain’ by Peter J. Aspinall of the University of Kent, Research Report 37, Equality and Human Rights Commission
[10]‘Only one in 66 is gay,’ Daily Telegraph, 24 September 2010; Office for National Statistics, Integrated Household Survey: Experimental Statistics, September 2010; Steve Doughty, ‘1.5% say they are gay or bisexual: Number hasn’t increased in past year despite Cameron’s drive for equality,’ Daily Mail, 4 October 2013, http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2443293/1-5-Britons-say-gay-bisexual-Number-increase-past-year-despite-Camerons-drive-equality.html
[11]A C Kinsey, Sexual behaviour in the Human Male ( WB Saunders Co., 1948) p 651
[12]Ibid, p 651
[13]Ibid, p 650
[14]Lisa Jacqueline Grant v South West Trains Ltd, Case C-249/96
[15]Opinion of Advocate General 30 September 1997 Lisa Jacqueline Grant v South West Trains Ltd Case C-249/96, para. 42
[16]H Hillier, Appendix 3 in Short-term prediction of HIV Infection and AIDS in England and Wales, Department of Health, HMSO, 1987, p 48
[17]Paul J Calla III (20 October 2004) ‘The Science of Idiocy’ American Spectator: 42 – 44 ISSN 0148 – 8414
Julia A Erickson ‘With enough cases, why do you need statistics? Revisiting Kinsey’s methodology’ Journal of Sex Research (May 1998)
[18]J Jones, Alfred C Kinsey: A Public/Private Life (Norton and Co, New York, 1997) p 177
[19]J A Reisman and E W Eichel Kinsey, Sex and Fraud (Huntingdon House, La Fayette, 1990), p 23
[20]A C Kinsey, Sexual behaviour in the Human Male ( WB Saunders Co. Oxford, 1948) p 638
[21]A C Kinsey, Sexual behaviour in the Human Male ( WB Saunders Co, Oxford, 1948) p 638, 639 and 641
[22]K Wellings et al, Sexual Attitudes and Lifestyles (Blackwell, Oxford, 1990)p 187
[23]A M Johnson, J Wadsworth et al, in Nature(360) 411, 3 December 1992
[24]K Wellings et al, Op. cit., p 203
[25]K Wellings et al, Op. cit., p 214
[26]K Wellings et al, Op. cit., p 214
[27]K Wellings et al, Op. cit., p 209
[28]K Wellings et al, Op. cit., p 209
[29]K Wellings et al, Op. cit., p 209
[30]  K Wellings et al, Op. cit., p 209
[31]www.statcan.ca/Daily/English/040615/d040615b.htm
[32]TG Sandford et al, Archives of General. Psychiatry 2001; 58; 85 - 91
[33]DM Ferguson et al, Archives of General Psychiatry 1999; 56; 876 -80
[34]SE Gilman and J Am, Public Health 2001, 91; 933 -9
[35]DJ Aaron et al, J Epidemiol Community Health 2003; 57; 207 -9
[36]Family Planning Perspectives 25: 50 – 52, 1993
[37]The National Association for Research and Therapy of Homosexuals (ww.narth.com) is a valuable resource for those wanting to study this subject further.
[38]E O Laumann et al The Social Organization of Sexuality, (University of Chicago Press, 1994) p 294
[39]ACSF investigators, AIDS and Sexual Behaviour in France Nature 360: 407 -409, 3 December 1992
[40]ASCF investigators, Op cit, 408, ‘Of the people who had had homosexual intercourse at least one, most had intercourse with both sexes (82per cent of men and 78per cent of women).’
[41]C Woods State of the Queer Nation (Cassell, London, 1995) p 5
[42]Grateful to Dr G Keith Olson for detail of psychosexual development
[43]John Money, ‘The Development of Sexual Orientation’, Harvard Medical School Mental Health Letter 4; February 1988; 4 - 6
[44]K Wellings et al Op. cit p 203
[45]Ibid p 204
[46]Carl Malmquist, Handbook of Adolescence,(Jason Aronson, New York, 1978)
[47]CH Mercer et al, ‘Increasing prevelance of male homosexual partnerships and practices in Britain1990 – 2000’, AIDS 2004; 1453 – 8).
[48]P N Halikitis, ‘Intentional unsafe sex (barebacking) among HIV positive gay men who seek sexual partners on the Internet’, AIDS Care 2003; 15; 367 - 78
[49]www.netdoctor.co.uk; www.gayhealthchannel.com
[50]Health Protection Agency, Testing Times, HIV and other Sexually Transmitted Infections in the United Kingdom (HPA, London, 2007)
[51]‘US research reveals higher cancer rate among gay men,’ The Christian Institute, 13 May 2011; ‘Gay men ‘report higher cancer rate that straight men’,’ bbc.co.uk, 9 May 2011; ‘are gay men more at risk from cancer?’ reuters.com, 9 May 2011
[52]Centers for Disease Control and Prevention(CDC), ‘Trends in primary and secondary syphilis and HIV infections in men who have sex with men’, Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report 2004; 53; 575 – 8 and A Nicholl, ‘Are trends in HIV, gonorrhoea and syphilis worsening in western Europe’, British Medical Journal  2002; 324; 1324 – 7
(The first recorded instance of AIDS was in MMWR 15 June 1981, 30.250-2, of five young men, all of whom were in same sex relationships.)
[53]K-Y Lubricant and Gay Health Association survey, in 1998, in New York City, Denver, San Francisco and Los Angeles
[54]Health Protection Agency, Testing Times, HIV and other Sexually Transmitted Infections in the United Kingdom (HPA, London, 2007)
[55]Robert Michael Sex Love and Health in America:Private Choices and Public Policies   p. 216
[56]L Valleroy et al, ‘HIV prevalence and associated risks in young men who have sex with men’, Journal of the American Medical Association 2000; 284; 198 - 204
[58]‘New HIV infections nearly double in past ten years,’ The Christian Institute, 23 March 2011; ‘Doubling of UK HIV rate prompts routine testing call,’ bbc.co.uk, 23 March 2011; ‘number of HIV cases in the UK doubles over decade,’ sky.com, 23 March 2011
[59]‘HIV rates ’out of control’ among gay men in France,’ The Christian Institute, 23 September 2010
[60]‘Sexual infections soar in gay men,’ Metro, Wednesday 24 June 2015
[61]Cited in ‘’Alarming’ rise in STIs strongly linked to gay sex,’ Christian Institute, 22 July 2019, https://www.christian.org.uk/news/alarming-rise-in-stis-strongly-linked-to-gay-sex/?260719 
[62]‘HIV spread “out of control” among French gay men,’ reuters.com, 8 September 2010; ‘HIV infections in France 200 times higher in gay men,’ pinknews.co.uk, 9 September 2010  
[63]Public health Agency of Canada, HIV and AIDS in Canada, November 2004
[64]‘Most new HIV cases found in gay men, US stats show,’ The Christian Institute, 25 August 2011; ‘New multi-year data show annual HIV infections in US relatively stable,’ cdc.gov, 3 August 2011
[65]Cited in Elizabeth Pisani The Wisdom of Whores – bureaucrats, brothels and the business of AIDS (Granta Books, London 2008)
[66]Robert s. Hogg et al, ‘Modeling the Impact of HIV Disease on Mortality in Gay and Bisexual Men,’ International Journal of Epidemiology, 26 [1997]: 657
[67]Quoted in What’s Wrong with Same-Sex Marriage?
[68]R S Hogg et al, Gay life expectancy revisited, Journal of Epidemiology 2001; 30: 1499
[69]S D Scott et al Social Exclusion, Homophobia and health inequalities: A review of health inequalities and social exclusion experienced by lesbian, gay and bisexual people, UK Gay Men’s Health Network (London, 2004)
[70]ibid
[71]M Mitchell, C Howarth, M Kotecha and C Creegan, Sexual Orientation Research Review 2008, Research Report 24, Equality and Human Rights Commission, Manchester, 2008, p. 223
[72]Quoted in What’s wrong with same-sex marriage?
[73]Quoted in J Satinover MD, Homosexuality and the Politics of Truth, (Baker, Grand Rapids, Michigan, 1997), p 194
[74]S D Scott et al, Sexual Exclusion, Homophobia and health inequalities: A review of health inequalities and social exclusion experienced by lesbian, gay and bisexual people (UK Gay Men’s Health Network, London, 2004)
[75]K Welling et al Sexual Attitudes and Lifestyles (Blackwell, Oxford, 1990) p 214
[76]AP Bell and MS Weinberg, Homosexualities: a study of diversities among men and women (Simon and Scuster, New York, 1978)
[77]D McWhiter and A Mattison The Male Couple: How relationships develop (Prentice-Hall New Jersey, 1984) p 3
[78]Ibid, ppg 252 - 253
[79]F C I Hickson et alMaintenance of open gay relationships: strategies for protection against HIV/AIDS’ Care Vol 4 No 4, 1992, p 411
[80]F C I Hickson et alMaintenance of open gay relationships: strategies for protection against HIV/AIDS’ Care Vol 4 No 4, 1992, p 411
[81]P Weatherburn et al The Sexual Lifestyles of Gay and Bisexual Men in England and Wales (HMSO, 1992) p 11 see also F C I Hickson et alMaintenance of open gay relationships: strategies for protection against HIV/AIDS’ Care Vol 4 No 4, 1992, p 411
[82]M Xiridou et al, ‘The contribution of steady and casual partnerships to the incidence of HIV infection among Homosexual men in Amsterdam’, AIDS 2003; 17; 1029 - 38
[83]J Harry, Gay Couples, (New York, 1984)
[84]2003 – 2004 Gay & Lesbian Online Census, www.glcensus.org)
[85]P Weatherburn et al Op. cit p 12
[86]F C I Hickson et alMaintenance of open gay relationships: strategies for protection against HIV/AIDS’ Care Vol 4 No 4, 1992, p 410
[87]P Davies, ‘Safer Sex Maintenance among gay men: are we moving in the right direction?’ AIDS 1993, Vol 7, p 280
[88]F C I Hickson et al, ‘Maintenance of open gay relationships: some strategies for protection against HIV’, AIDS Care, Vol 4, No 4, 1992, p 418
[89]Leo Bersani, Is the rectum a grave?in Jonath Goldberg (ed) Reclaiming Sodom(Rouledge, New York, 1994) p 262, cited in Jeffrey Weeks Invented Moralities – Sexual Values in an Age of Uncertainty (Polity Press, Cambridge. 1995)
[90]Gabriel Rotello, Sexual Ecology: AIDS and the Destiny of Gay Men (A Plume Book, New York, 1998)
[91]Andrew Henderson ed. Sexual Ethics(Changing Attitude, 2004)
[92]Ibid, p 9
[93]Ibid p 10
[94]Jeremy Marks, Exchanging the truth of God for a lie (Courage UK, 2008) p 80. Interestingly, the book is commended by Colin Coward (Director of Changing Attitudes), whose organisation gives an opposite opinion. (Others who commend this book are Andrew Goddard [author], Jeffrey John [Dean of St. Albans] and Rev Benny Hazlehurst [founder of Accepting Evangelicals])
[95]‘US gay blogger: We want to ‘indoctrinate’ children,’ The Christian Institute, 27 May 2011; ‘prominent gay blogger: not educating kids about SSM makes them ignorant, hateful little morons,’ www.nomblog.com, 17 May 2011; ‘Recruiting children? You bet we are,’ frc.org, May 2011
[96]K Fethers, C Marks, A Mindel and CS Estcourt, ‘Sexually transmitted infections and risk behaviours in women who have sex with women’, Sexually Transmitted Infections 2000; 76; 345 - 9
[98]C Donovan, Comparing Love and Domestic Violence in Heterosexual Relationships (Economic and Social Research Council, Swindon, 2007)
[99]Research study in the American Journal of Public Health December 2002, Vol. 92, No. 12 and on http://www.ajph.org/cgl/content/full/92/12/1964, quoted by National Association for Research and Therapy of Homosexuality (NARTH) on www.narth.com/docs/dometric.hmtl/(accessed 12 June 2008)
[100]‘Domestic Violence in Gay and Lesbian Couples’, www.psychpage.com/gay/library/gay_lesbian_violence
[101]C Donovan, M Hester, J Holmes and M McCarry, ‘Comparing Domestic Abuse in Same Sex and Heterosexual Relationships,’ University of Sunderland and University of Bristol, November 2006; M McCarry, M Hester and C Donovan, ‘Researching Same-Sex Domestic Violence: Constructing a Survey Methodology,’ Sociological Research Online (21 March 2008 (www.socresonline.org.uk/13/1/8.html)
[102]L J Moran, S Patterson, T Docherty, Count me in! A report on the Bexley and GreenwichHomophobic Crime Survey (Galop, London, 2004)
[103]The number of respondents identifying as lesbian, gay or bisexual was low (men = 515; women = 473). A slightly larger number responded to the question on sexual orientation saying they ‘don’t know/don’t want to answer’ (men = 705; women = 886).
[104]K Smith, J Flatley, K Colman, S Osborne, P Kaiza and S Roe, ‘Homicides, Firearm Offences and Intimate Violence 2008/09: Supplementary volume 2 to Crime in England and Wales 2008/09, ‘ Home Office, 2009, Table 3.07
[105]K Smith, J Flatley, K Colman, S Osborne, P Kaiza and S Roe, ‘Homicides, Firearm Offences and Intimate Violence 2008/09: Supplementary volume 2 to Crime in England and Wales 2008/09, ‘ Home Office, 2009, p. 62: ‘Since April 2007 the self-completion section of the British Crime Survey questionnaire has included a question about their sexual orientation. This makes it possible to produce figures for experience of intimate violence by sexual orientation. There have been previous surveys of domestic violence in same-sex relationships (e.g. Donovan and Hester, 2007) but the samples have tended to be restricted to the lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender community rather than being part of a wider general population survey. Around 500 out of the 25,000 self-completion respondents in each year identified themselves as gay, lesbian or bisexual. Due to this relatively small number, data from the 2007/08 and the 2008/09 British Crime Survey have been combined for the purpose of analysis. This data show that 94% of adults aged 16 to 59 identified themselves as heterosexual/straight, 2% as lesbian/gay or bisexual and a further 4% selected either the ‘do not know’ or ‘do not want to answer’ answer response options (data not shown). The small numbers of respondents identifying themselves as gay/lesbian or bisexual, combined with the significant proportions of respondents unable or refusing to answer the question on sexual orientation means that figures on incidence of domestic abuse by sexual orientation should be treated with caution.’
[106]‘Experienced Community Paediatrician to be Removed from adoption Panel after County Refused her Religious/Conscience Request,’ www.christianlegalcentre.com, 18 July 2009
[107]Anderson, Noack, Seierstad and Weedon-Fekjaer, ‘The Demographics of Same-Sex Marriages on Norway and Sweden,’ Demography, volume 41, February 2006: 79 - 98
[108]Bibliarz and Stacey, ‘How Does the Gender of Parents Matter?’ Journal of Marriage and Family, 72, February 2010: 3 - 22
[109]M Renerus, ‘How different are the adult children of parents who have same-sex relationships? Findings from the New Family Structures Study,’ Social Science Research (July 2012)
[110]Allen, Pakaluk and Price, ‘Nontraditional Families and Childhood Progress Through School: A Comment on Rosenfeld,’ Demography 50: 3: 955 - 961
[111]‘Sexual Orientation and Adolescents’, American Academy of Paediatrics Clinical Report Retrieved 23 February 2007 (http//:aapolicy.aapublications.org/cgi/reprint/pediatrics.113/6/1827.pdf)
[112]‘Answers to Your Questions about Sexual Orientation and Homosexuality’, American Psychological Association (www.apa.org/topics/orientation.html)
[113]John Money, ‘Sexual Dimorphism and Homosexual gender Identity’, Psychological Bulletin 74; December1970; 435 - 444
[114]A Dean Byrd, ‘”Homosexuality is not hardwired,” concludes Head of Human Genome Project, LifeSite, 20 March 2007, https://www.lifesitenews.com/news/homosexuality-is-not-hardwired-concludes-head-of-the-human-genome-project
[115]Jeffrey Satinover, ‘Is there a ‘Gay Gene’?’ National Association for Research and Therapy of Homosexuality (NARTH) Fact Sheet, March 1999, page 1
[116]D H Hamer, S Hu, V L Magnuson, N Hu and A M Pattatucci (1993) ‘A linkage between DNA markers on the X chromosome and male sexual orientation’ Science 261 (5119): 321 - 7
[117]‘Doubt cast on ‘gay gene’’, 23 April 1999, BBC News
[118]Dean Hamer and Peter Copeland, The Science of Desire (Simon & Schuster, New York 1994)
[119]Neil Whitehead and Briar Whitehead, My Genes made Me Do It! (Huntington House, La Fayette, Los Angeles1999)
[120]Evan Balaban, quoted in V. D’Alessio, ‘Born to be Gay?’ New Scientist, 28 September 1996, pages 32 - 35
[121]N Risch, E Squires-Wheeler. B J B Keats (1993) ‘Male sexual orientation and generic evidence’ (Letter) Science 262: 2063 – 2065
[122]G Rice, C Anderson, N Risch, G  Ebers ( 23 April 1999) ‘Male homosexuality: absence of linkage to microsatellite markers at Xq28’ Science 284  (5414): 571
[123]Quoted in The Scientist 9 [3]: 1, 6 February 1995
[124]Interestingly, a staff survey by Pinsent Masons, a firm of solicitors, where 4per cent of staff identified themselves as in same sex relationship or as bisexual, cited in Talent not Tokenism, a document produced by the Equality and Human Rights Commission, Trade Union Congress and Confederation of British Industry (2008)
[125]S Le Vay (1991) ‘A difference in hypothalamic structure between heterosexual and homosexual men’ Science 253 1034 - 7
[126]Charles W.Socarides, A Freedom Too Far  (Adam Margrave Books, Phoenix, Arizona, 1995) p. 93
[127]Citizen, Focus on the Family 16 November 1992, p 12
[128]See L S Allen and R A Gorski (1992) ‘Sexual orientation and the size of the anterior commissure in the human brain’ Proceedings of the National. Academy of Sciences. U.S.A. 89 (15) 7199- 202
[129]L H Kinnunen, H Moltz and M Cooper (2004) ‘Differential brain activation in exclusively homosexual and heterosexual men produced by the selective serotonin reuptake  inhibitor, fluoxetine’ Brain Research vol.1024 (1 – 2): 251 - 4
[130]Q Rahman, V Kumari and G D Wilson (2003) ‘sexual orientation-related differences in prepulse inhibition of the human startle response’ Behavioral Neuroscience vol. 117 (5): 1096 - 102
[131]Reported in ‘Scans see ‘gay brain differences’, BBC News, 17 June 2008
[132]Michael J Bailey and Richard C Pillard, ‘A Genetic Study of Male Sexual Orientation,’ Archives of General Psychiatry vol. 48 (December 1991): 1089 - 96
[133]F W Lung ‘Father – son attachment and sexual partner orientation in TaiwanComprehensive Psychiatry  (2007) 48: 20-26
[134]Elizabeth R. Moberley, Homosexuality: A New Christian Ethic (Attic Press, Greenwood, South Carolina, 1982) pp 5 - 6
[135]L S Doll et al, ‘Self-Reported Childhood and Adolescent Sexual Abuse Among Adult/Bisexual Men’, Child Abuse and Neglect 16, no. 6 (1992) pp 855 – 64, reported in J Satinover, Homosexuality and the Politics of Truth  (Baker, Grand Rapids, 1996), p 44
[136]‘Can animals be gay?’ John Mooallem, The New York Times Magazine, Sunday 4 April 2010, as quoted in ‘Can animals be gay?’ by Albert Mohler, www.crosswalk.com
[137]J Satinover MD, Homosexuality and the Politics of Truth (Baker, Grand Rapids, 1997), p 81
[138]Joe Dallas, ‘Is Homosexuality Inborn? What Current Science Really Says’ (Exodus International – North America, Seattle, Washington, 1998)
[139]Jeffrey Weeks, Invented Moralities, (Polity Press, Cambridge, 1995), p 8
[140]R L Spitzer, ‘Can some gay men and lesbians change their sexual orientation? 200 participants reporting a change from homosexual to heterosexual orientation,’ Archives of Sexual Behaviour 32 (5), 2003 p. 411
[141]As reported in ‘Same –sex attraction: if it’s inborn, can we alter it? Should we?’ by Albert Mohler (www.crosswalk.com, March 2007)
[142]The Times, 20 February 1997
[143]D Y Rist, ‘Are homosexuals born that way?’ The Nation, 19 October 1992, pp. 424 - 429
[144]‘Dealing the race card in the gay marriage debate,’ Warren Throckmorton, The Centre for Vision and Values, www.visionandvalues.org, 10 December 2003
[145]A review of Patristic writings in D Wright, ‘Homosexuality in the early church’ in T. Higton (ed), Sexuality and the Church (Action for Biblical witness to our Nation, Hawkwell, 1987), pp. 39 - 50
[146]E A Clark, ‘Sexuality’, Encyclopaedia of Early Christianity, ed. E Ferguson (2 vols, 2nd edition, Garland, New York, 1997) p 1054
[147]Pierre Payer, in introduction to Peter Damien’s Book of Gomorrah – ‘Canons 16 and 17 of the Council of Ancyra…became the standard source for medieval ecclesiastical legislation against homosexuality.’ P. Payer, Book of Gomorrah(Wilfred Laurier University Press, 1982) p. 7
[148]R W Southern Saint Anselm: A Portrait in a Landscape (Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, 1990)
[149]See translation by Columba Hart and Jane Bishop (Paulist Press, New York, 1990)
[150]R W Southern, St Anselm: A Portrait in a Landscape (Cambridge, 1990) pp. 149 - 150
[151]J Calvin, Commentary on 1 Corinthians, translated by J W Fraser (Eerdmans, Grand Rapids, 1960) pp. 124 - 126
[152]A Generous Orthodoxy (Zondervan, Grand Rapids, 2004) p 138
[153]The Great Evangelical Disaster: 1934 – 1984 (Crossway Books, Wheaton, Illinois, 1984) p. 37
[154]J J Davis, Evangelical Ethics(Presbyterian and Reformed Publishing Company, Philipsburg, New Jersey, 1985) p 111
[155]Thomas K Hubbard Homosexuality in Greece and Rome (University of California Press, 2003) p. 444
[156]First interpreted in Derrick Sherwin Bailey, Homosexuality and the Western Christian Tradition, 1955)
[157]David Field, The Homosexual Way: A Christian Option, Grove Booklet on Ethics No. 9, Nottingham1980, p 10
[158]Robert A J Gagnon, The Bible and Homosexual Practice: Texts and Hermeneutics (Abingdon , Nashville, 2001)
[159]John Stott, Issues facing Christians Today (Marshall, Morgan and Scott, Basingstoke, 1984) p 306
[160]  Jonathan Sachs, The Dignity of Difference (Continuum, London, 2003) p. 168
[161]Frederick J. Gaiser, ‘Homosexuality and the Old Testament,’ Word and World 10 (1990), pg 165
[162]Joyce Baldwin, 1 and 2 Samuel(Tyndale Old Testament Commentary, IVP, Leicester, 1988) pp. 135 and 181
[163]Also argued in Jeffrey John The Meaning in the Miracles: The Archbishop of Wales’ Lent Book (Canterbury Press, Norwich, 2001)
[164]Michael E Saltlow, Tasting the Dish: Rabbinic Rhetorics of Sexuality (Scholars Press, Atlanta, Georgia, 1995)
[165]See John J McNeill The Church and the Homosexual (Beacon Press, Boston, 1977)
[166]Robert A J  Gagnon The Bible and Homosexual Practice: Texts and Hermaneutics(Abingdon, Nashville, 2001) p 391 quoting Broughton Biblical Texts and Homosexuality pp 152 – 153 (the credits are obscure)
[167]M Vasey, ‘Evangelical Christians and Gay Rights’, Grove Ethical Studies No 80, Nottingham  1991, p 13
[168]Ibid, p 13
[169]Ibid p 14
[170]  The Way Forward ( a collection of essays), p 50
[171]Ibid p 50
[172]Ibid  p 14
[173]Ibid  p 15
[174]P 117, L W Countryman, Dirt, Greed and Sex: Sexual Ethics in the New Testament and their Implications for Today (Fortress, Philadelphia, 1988)
[175]Robert A J  Gagnon The Bible and Homosexual Practice: Texts and Hermaneutics(Abingdon, Nashville, 2001) p 290f
[176]Ibid  p 390
[177]Ibid p 265f
[178]Cynthia Lanning (ed.) Answers To Your Questions About Homosexuality (Bristol Books, 1988) p. 66
[179]Vigiliae Christianae 38, 1984, pp. 125 - 53
[180]‘Gay churchgoers more likely to quit mainstream religion,’ New Zealand Herald, 13 February 2007. Of the 2269 gay, lesbian and bisexual participants, 73per cent said that they were raised as Christians and 22.5per cent not raised in any religion. Only 15per cent of raised Christians were practising their religion, while 73per cent were non-religious.
[181]Quoted in ‘Preaching on Homosexuality: Taking the Toad Less Travelled’ by Tim Wilkins (www.crosswalk.com) (accessed on 10 June 2008)
[182]Quoted in ‘Preaching on Homosexuality: Taking the Toad Less Travelled’ by Tim Wilkins (www.crosswalk.com) (accessed on 10 June 2008)
[183]Quoted in ‘Preaching on Homosexuality: Taking the Toad Less Travelled’ by Tim Wilkins (www.crosswalk.com) (accessed on 10 June 2008)
[184]Richard J. Foster, Money, Sex and Power: The Challenge of the Disciplined Life (Harper and Row, New York, 1985) p. 107
[185]An example is the Marin Foundation (www.themarinfoundation.org).
[186]Made for example in Jeremy Marks, Exchanging the truth of God for a lie (Courage UK, 2008)
[187]Deitrich Bonhoeffer, Life Together(SCM Press, London, 1972) pp 75 - 76
[188]Andrew Henderson ed. Sexual Ethics(Changing Attitudes, 2004)
[189]‘Five Logical Errors of Born Gay Ideology,’ Andrew Tallman www.crosswalk.com
[190]  Someone I love is gay, p. 44
[191]Oliver O’Donovan, seventh sermon, ‘Good news for gay Christians’, (on Fulcrum website, www.fulcrum-anglican.org.uk/page.cfm?ID=179)
[192]Dr G Keith Olson Counselling Teenagers (Thomas Schultz Publications Inc., Loveland, Colorado, 1984)
p. 428
[193] See Dr G Keith Olson Counselling Teenagers (Thomas Schultz Publications Inc., Loveland, Colorado, 1984) pp429 ff
[194]John E Powell, ‘Understanding Male Homosexuality: Development Recapitulation in a Christian Perspective’, Journal of Psychology and Theology 2; Summer 1974; 163 - 173
[195]Elizabeth R. Moberley, Homosexuality: A New Christian Ethic (Attic Press, Greenwood, South Carolina, 1982) pp 5 - 6
[196]David Myers and Malcolm A Jeeves, Psychology through the Eyes of Faith (Harper and Row, New York, 1987) p 111- 113
[197]D J Atkinson, Homosexuals in the Christian Fellowship (Latimer House, Oxford, 1979), p 118

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