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Lesbian, gay, bisexual & transgender (LGBT) topics

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Resolving people's conflicting beliefs about
homosexuality and bisexuality through dialogue

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Overview:

Unless you have been living in a cave somewhere, completely isolated from the media, you will realize that North Americans hold conflicting beliefs about gays, lesbians, and bisexuals.

bullet Should they -- whether single or part of a loving, commited couple -- be given the same human rights and protections as heterosexuals enjoy?

bullet Should same-sex marriages (SSMs) be allowed?

bullet

Or should same-sex couples only be allowed to enter civil unions or registered partnerships and obtain all or some of the rights, privileges and protections of marriage, without being able to call their union a marriage?


bullet

Or should they remain "legal strangers" to each other and treated in law like roommates?


bullet If they are permitted to marry, will they benefit or harm existing and future opposite-sex marriages?

bullet Is their behavior sinful and inherently disordered, or are homosexual and bisexual orientations normal and natural for a minority of adults?

bullet Is homosexuality and bisexuality something that is chosen or discovered?

bullet Is an adult's sexual orientation fixed or changeable?

bullet Should the children of same-sex parents be given the same protections and benefits as those of opposite-sex parents?

bullet The list goes on.

No consensus seems possible at this time. The level of support for SSM has been rising between 10 and 20 percentage points per decade. Between 2010 and 2011, several national surveys revealed that most American adults favored SSM for the first time. However, the margin remains small as of 2011-SEP.

This conflict is distressing individuals. It is destabilizing friendships, marriages, religious denominations, and even American -- and to a much lesser degree Canadian and the UK -- societies as a whole.

The essays in this section discuss the nature of the conflicts, and offer information that we hope will be helpful in understanding the variety of belief systems about homosexuality.

In our experience, debate is rarely useful. It tends to raise emotions and to harden opinions. Dialogue is often much more useful. During a dialogue, the participants agree to try to avoid convincing the other person(s) that they are right. The goal is to understand the other person(s) beliefs and on what bases they are held.

Dialogue rarely leads to a consensus. However, it often results in all participants appreciating of the other person(s) integrity, character, intelligence, and thoughtfulness. Ultimately, it can help people with opposing beliefs live in peace even while retaining their diverse opinions.

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Topics discussed in this section:

bullet Changes in the American culture. Timeline of events. Why is it such a prominent topic now?
 
bullet Current beliefs of Americans and Canadians
 
bullet Other items: Resistance to change; prejudice & intolerance; resolution via prayer.

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Site navigation: Home > "Hot" topics > Homosexuality > Basic data > here

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Copyright © 2003 by Ontario Consultants on Religious Tolerance
Originally written: 2003-SEP-4
Latest update: 2003-SEP-4
Author: B.A. Robinson

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