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Basic questions about homosexuality that you may have wanted to ask.


Why are people homosexual? Is it a choice?

Homosexuality is not a choice, just as you did not make a choice in your sexual orientation. Current scientific evidence indicates that sexual orientation is determined at birth, probably because of hormonal balances during gestation and genetics. A study of twins showed that if one identical twin was gay, the other had a 55% chance of being gay. If the twins were fraternal, then the odds of the other twin being gay dropped down to about 17%, the same as the likelihood of other family members being gay. In families with many boys, the younger members have a higher probability of being gay.


What percentage of people are gay or lesbian?

Estimates cited by the Human Rights Campaign are that about 5% of the population are gay men, and about 2-3% lesbians. Bisexuals, transgendered and intersex make up a smaller population. Actual numbers might be higher, as many gays and lesbians do not disclose their sexual orientation because of fear of rejection by family and friends, feared job loss, physical danger, etc.


Does same-sex attraction appear only among humans,or is it evident in other animal populations?

Studies have shown that same-sex attraction occurs in other animal populations.

Dr. Joan Roughgarden’s book ”Evolution’s Rainbow” provides compelling evidence that over 300 species of animals demonstrate same-sex attraction and behavior.


What does the Bible say about homosexuality? What did Jesus say about gay people?

Two sentences in the Hebrew Bible or Old Testament, have been translated and interpreted to mean that if a man has sex with another man, it is an abomination. Recent interpretations imply that this was a proscription against rape, rather than a proscription against loving same-sex relationships. There is no mention of homosexual relationships or lesbians at all in the Hebrew Bible. In the past few years, more evangelical conservatives have changed their position against homosexuality. Prof. of Theology Emeritus Dr. Jack Rogers’ book “Jesus, the Bible and Homosexuality” is the latest to examine the issues. In the Bible, Jesus condemned divorce, but said not a single word about homosexuality.


Can homosexuality be cured?

Since homosexuality is not a disease, it cannot (nor needs to) be ‘cured’. Some TV evangelists and organizations such as Exodus International (an “ex-gay” ministry), promote the idea that gays can change their sexual orientation. They show a handful of people, who say that they are able to control their same-sex attraction through faith. Relapses of ‘cured’ leaders of Exodus International have made media headlines as they faltered in their struggles to suppress their natural orientation.


I don’t know anyone who is gay or lesbian. Why should I be concerned with their issues?

This question is analogous to “I don’t know anyone who is Jewish, black, or Lebanese. Why should I be concerned about their issues?” Our basic humanitarian instincts call for treating all humankind with dignity and respect. There may be gays or lesbians in your family or among friends and coworkers who have not disclosed their sexual orientation out of fear, and have chosen to “stay in the closet”.


What really are “gay rights”?

Gay rights are NOT special rights. The rights being sought are the same rights that are granted to a citizen with heterosexual orientation.


Why would gay people want to be married?

For the same reasons that straight people wish to get married. Besides the public commitment to each other, it provides social, financial, legal and other benefits. It provides legal protections when owning property or raising children.



Note: Published information on sexual orientation has flourished in the past 10 years. You may wish to update your knowledge from the The Blue Book, published by the Mt. Kisko Presbyterian Church, www.pcmk.org, available as a free download. You can also purchase copies for $3. The Blue Book provides detailed information on the subject of gays, lesbians, bisexuals and transgendered persons. Questions and answers are categorized into scientific, social, family life, and theological perspectives. It also includes a detailed list of references. PFLAG Los Angeles www.pflagla.org v 1.2sk

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