Something I must get off my chest, and I hope this is the appropriate forum...
I recently read a hub by a gay man, who is uneasy because his homophobe radar isn't working as well as it used to...
He does specifically reference fundamentalist Christians as possible/probably homophobes. This is his experience, probably in the school of hard knocks.
The Bible doesn't mention much about homosexuality in the New Testament. Christ seems to be a very tolerant and kind person. I can't imagine Christ indulging in any gay-bashing or giving His countenance to such intolerant and ugly behavior.
Christ, we are taught, is love. Please, Christians everywhere, remember that when you are dealing with a member of the gay community.
Perhaps he could refrain from probably-labeling Christians with a word that's ill-defined from the start; as could you in your thread title.
Christians are taught not to judge, and to love one another. We know its wrong and we may not approve but you can't turn your back on a fellow christian cause they have issues and sins... I'm a sinner because I have "normal" sex with a guy I'm not married to, but is my sin any worse than his? lets not be so quick to judge! I love all men and women and I think all "real" christians do also!
This is such a good post, thank you nlogan.
It seems to me that consensual sex between adults, so long as it isn't profligate, isn't a sin. I'm probably somewhat wrong or too loose about this thinking...
My idea of a "sin" is something that harms another human being or disrespects God/Christ/the Creator...I don't see how homosexual love fits into my idea of "sin", or love outside of marriage, it doesn't really....
But then again, I can't re-write the Bible to please myself,, now can I?
lol Paradise7- We should put out a book, with same ideas but not call it Bible and we would have a huge following....
I agree with you totally- if you are just being a nice, respectful, and caring human being you should easily be able to get into heaven!
I beleive treat others as you want to be treated....and really christianity isn't that hard, cause we are all born of flesh, and all we have to do is repent when we cross the line! And God is so merciful he forgives us! It's simple!
nlogan, it's not a bad idea. As long as you and Paradise don't call it The Bible, people WOULD buy it.
Okay, good deal...what shall we call this plan? Golden Rule sounds nice, though I kinda think I actually practise the Silver Rule, or maybe even the Brass Rule...
Do unto others as you would have them do to you.
Do unto others as they do unto you...but give them the benefit of a doubt for their intentions, first, which may be better than the results.
Do unto others first, BEFORE they do it to you...(no, no, just kidding!)
I just have to say, being raised in a Catholic family and being gay, that all Christians are NOT taught not to judge. In fact, in my church, the open condemnation of gay and lesbian people was/is rampant. We were excluded, and even excommunicated simply for being who God intended us to be.
The Bible, on the other hand, teaches us to love one another and not to judge lest we be also judged. The divide between someone calling themselves "Christian" and actually conducting themselves that way is a vast one.
Another point I'd like to make to people who don't understand us, is that being gay or lesbian is not simply about a sexual act. When people see the word "homosexual" they tend to focus on the ..sex... and seem to forget that it is about who we LOVE. Reducing it to a sexual act is woefully ignorant of who we are as people, and insulting. It doesn't need to be that way.
We all want the same things as our heterosexual counterparts, including legal equality and employment opportunity/benefits. I know we can all do this, if we try to see things another way.
as cruel as this may sound, I think Sir Ian McKellen said it best in the first x-men movie, "humanity fears most what they don't understand."
One of the problems I have with the judgment by Christians is the type of judges I meet on a daily basis here in the bible belt. Not to be carcastic but some wouldn't qualify to judge a Jerry Springer show. There is a history of hate for all things not white Southern Baptist in this area, that is only now beginning to die off. These people learned to hate at a young age and practice every chance they get. As they are in the majority they are able to affect legal decisions that strive to keep all minorities or supposedly inferior people, in their place. As an atheist down here I often have the urge to head to the back of the bus where I belong being as , I am a second class citizen. Someone hit on a problem I have with religion in general. By not speaking out about the actions of the Westboro Baptist Church and The Army of God lunatics, Aren't mainstream Christians giving the illusion of support. I know most welcome the drop in abortions that the Army of God has brought about. How does the end justify the means when the end is simply an apprroved murder?
I'm cool with gays, I have gay friends and a gay brother
well i can't speak for every religious person out there, but i never had any problems with gay people at all. nah, my philosophy is if you respect me, then i'll respect you. im just that easy. anyways, i think it's really sad that so many people criticize homosexuals for being different.
in fact, i talked an ex coworker of mine a few years ago, and he was telling me statistically that the people who bash homosexuals the most are actually gay themselves. can you believe that? talk about hypocrisy.
I think fundamentalist Christians find it challenging to welcome a homosexual and at the same time disapprove of his or her homosexuality and way of life. I don't blame gays and lesbians for being confused by the message.
Good point, Flightkeeper, and I understand the conflict of loving the "sinner" but not the "sin"...
I, personally, happen to believe that a certain percentage of people are homosexual from birth. They cannot help being homosexual anymore than I can help being heterosexual. And I think there's at least some scientific basis, that I've read or heard, to substantiate this belief of mine, though I can't cite you on it.
There is still no need to be so hostile a gay person has to feel uneasy or unsafe.
It is so refreshing to read opinions like these, I stay away from the religious forums because of the amount of homophobic postings and threads. Discrimination like this in the forums makes me uncomfortable. In the old testament, homosexual practice is forbidden but so is banking and any religious practice which is not Judaism. Therefore, logically anyone with a morgage or a bank loan or with beliefs other than Judaism should be put into the same category as those who are gay. (I won't go into the incest issue, which in the old testament seems perfectly OK as long as it's a patriarch doing it.) I find people spouting their fundamentalist beliefs distasteful and disturbing. I thought in the UK it was against the law to incite hatred on religious grounds. Is this OK on Hubpages?
And you Brenda are the queen of hatred and incitement. I mean it, seriously, you are fantastic at what you do. If I was a lecturer at the University of Bitterness, Hatred and Incitement (UBHI).... I would give you scholarship and bet my bottom dollar (or pound) on you achieving a first class honours.
What??? Brenda???? Are you saying that the above post is inciting hatred of fundamentalist beliefs????
Don't think so, not really, not the beliefs themselves but the sometimes over-vehement exposition of those beliefs. Everyone has the right to believe what they believe, c'mon now! And everyone has the right to express an opinion, that's what these forums are about. Some people really do get a little tooo hot and in each other's face too much sometimes, especially when either religion or politics is the topic.
Sigh. Did what Brenda? Which bit didn't you like? My getting at people who commit incest perhaps? Intolerance towards gay people? People who are happy to ignore certain parts of the old testament but literally practice other parts? Live and let live Brenda, that's all I'm saying. I do not deny your right to your opinion, however much I may personally dislike it. Of course you must practice your particular beliefs and I would not want to oppress you. Just ease off gay people, please. You wouldn't be getting away with it if you substituted an ethnicity instead of a sexual preference. Oh and Hitler would have whole heartedly agreed with you and had a solution to the 'Gay' question.
I am a christian who loves everyone. I haven't treated any homosexuals badly. but I do not approve of the lifestyle.
I think you hit on the essential problem with the line "love the sinner but hate the sin."
This presupposes homosexuality is a sin.
The problem I have with fundamentalist Christians vs. rank-and-file, Christ-following Christians is this.
They do NOT love the sinner. They FEAR the sinner.
And they pretty much place anyone and everyone who does not believe EXACTLY like they do into the category of sinner.
You're right that Jesus taught love and tolerance, not divisiveness and hate.
What happened to "judge not, lest ye be judged?" I thought the whole point of God in Christianity was that S/He is not human, is above human pettiness, and knows better than all of us. So, if you believe that, shouldn't we leave it up to Him/Her to do the judging and stop being so pretentious as to believe any one of us has got a monopoly on truth?
you say it well Maddie.
I'm sure many of us reading the judgmental comments in these forums have asked the same question. I've often wondered who would want to serve a god as displayed by some of the religious people in these forums.
I've worked with young 3-4 yr olds who already show signs of being homosexual. they do not choose.
I don't understand why the religious fundamentalists spend so much time condemning and mocking everything they don't like. you're supposed to be like Him so others want to follow Him? when did that part of the Bible change?
It really does upset me that my cyber-friend whom I like a lot has to feel uneasy or unsafe around Christians...that really seems unChristian, to me. And I don't believe my gay cyberfriend is alone in feeling like this, for reasons stemming from my gay brother's personal experience.
This isn't all Christians, by any means. Many of the respondents to this thread seem like true, loving, tolerant, kind Christians to me, that no gay person would need to fear.
However, there's enough of the other kind to make us ALL uneasy...
I think if we do hear instances of Christians physically harming homosexuals, there should be public disapproval and it is a crime and it should be prosecuted as a hate crime. However, there are gray areas, for example if a homosexual couple goes to a Christian affair such as a picnic and starts making out, this will offend more than some depending on that community. The couple will be most likely asked to stop. They may even be asked to leave. I hope that couple does not feel unsafe by the public disapproval and I hope that couple also does leave and respect that community's wishes if they are asked.
Quite right. Now that we are almost universally agreed that Christians sharing their ridiculous beliefs in public is wrong - such as in the street - maybe they could be asked to keep them private as described in the constitution?
Too much to ask? Probably.
Do u feel unsafe now? I hope you respect my wishes and keep your ridiculous beliefs to yourself in future. I know you right wing fascists do not like to hear what other people think, but still - please be a little more respectful.
Honestly, any polite request put to a gay person to be more discrete in public will probably result in the gay person's cooperation. I don't believe that's what my friend was talking about...
He was talking about overall, pervasive hostility towards gays in the fundamentalist community. It exists. It's real, and it hurts.
Then we in the Christian community should discuss this. There is very little ongoing dialogue between the groups and I don't know why that is.
I think that one evidence that Christians are doing some talking about their differences of opinion/interpretation is the fact that we hear publicly - in news media - about reactions when church leadership chooses to ordain or appoint openly gay/lesbian ministers.
What I mean is that if all Christians truly were as homophobic as some people seem to believe, then the issue of ordination would never come up at all. It simply wouldn't even be happening.
In the area where I live, there are numerous churches that describe themselves as "open and affirming," meaning that they welcome people of all lifestyles, and they affirm (support) homosexuality as a valid lifestyle for Christians. I also have attended one church occasionally where the pastor preaches from time to time on the importance of being tolerant and accepting of gays.
I personally have some mixed feelings about being "affirming." But my extended family does include several gay/lesbian/bisexual family members whom I love very dearly, and knowing them has helped me to temper the expression of my opinions.
I was very pleasantly surprised at the number of tolerant Christians who responded to this thread. I'm hoping, hoping, hoping that tolerance and acceptance and true Christian love for gay people as well as all others is more prevalent than the reverse--hostility towards gay people in the belief that they are perverted and sinful as a result of their sexual orientation.
I could wish more gay people responded to this thread. I would like to hear their take on this, that point of view.
Thanks so much, Mighty Mom, for that exposition...I actually don't personally think homosexuality is a sin, per se. Sometimes the more flagrant aspects of a gay lifestyle when it involves promiscuity seems, at the best, ill-advised, at the worst, morally corrupt, but I think that very few of actual gay people indulge in this lifestyle. Many gay people have partners that they are monogamously committed to. That seems ok to me.
There are many, many heterosexual people that indulge in lifestyles involving promiscuity, and that also seems, at the best, ill-advised, and at the worst, morally corrupt to me.
I do recognize it:
1. Isn't my business what anyone else's sex life is like
2. Isn't my business to make moral judgements on other people's lifestyles,
even if I do read the Bible in hopes of eventually coming to some kind of spiritual certainty for myself, personally.
i think my church has the attitude: hate the sin, love the sinner
i know on any given sunday you can find lesbians sitting in church.
sometimes one will be sitting with an arm around the other.
they also have meetings for gay/bi/lesbian/and ts people at my church.
i know we don't turn anyone away.
That's really great, Question. That's the way it should be--the door is open, to everyone.
No self respecting person is going to sit there and listen to some sanctimonious garbage being passed about how they choose to live their life as being a sin that god hates.
you could be right but that is not the case in MY church just so you know
This is brilliant. I wish more churches were like yours!
All opinions are relative and subjective but God is not subjective or relative. Sin is sin no matter what sin it is. many confuse the condemning of sin to be condemning of people.
Jesus came to give life. He didn't come to condemn the world but He did come to reprove the world of it's sinful ways.
@ Sir Dent: It seems to me that Paul, in several places, allows for different perceptions of what sin is in his churches. After all, it does say in the book of Romans, "Whatever does not come from faith is a sin." And in other places he speaks of people with strong and weak consciences being allowed to do as they saw fit without judging one another.
When you say God is objective, it seems to me that the picture of God you're using is one that does not take seriously that Jesus (whom we agree is God) was a human being. When I am looking for a way to determine what sin is, I look in Scripture, of course, but first and foremost at the life of Jesus. The Gospel of John says that whomever has seen Christ has seen the Father. What do you think?
That's the problem. It takes at least 10 loving, kind, tolerant Christians to counter 1 hateful, spiteful, self-righteous, holier-than-thou Christian.
Kinda makes me wonder why even bother with this Forum at all.
it reminds me of a friend I had in my late teens/early 20's, when it wasn't so open as it is now. I didn't even know he was until later when I went away to college. he told me he had been so ashamed and embarrassed that he didn't want anyone to know. no one should have to live like that.
I know christians who don't give it a second thought, which they shouldn't. we all have our personal lives, no one should be ashamed to be who they are.
I personally think that people choose to believe what they want to believe. I'm not sure why some want to choose hatred and prejudice. it must be a sad way to live.
I would like to add one more thing. Because of the family members I mentioned, I have done some reading of books published or recommended by Exodus International (I think that's the name). It is a controversial organization of formerly practicing gays who believe that as Christians they should either give up the homosexual lifestyle or "convert" to heterosexuality. [That opinion of theirs predated a lot of the scientific studies that do indicate a genetic component in homosexuality.] I do not wish in any way to argue for or against that position of theirs, but I do want to mention that their books were immensely helpful to me, because they understand both what it means to be gay and what it means to be Christian. They were/are able to explain a lot of things to Christians in a way that a secularist would not be able to.
Among the things that stood out to me was their explanation of the difference in meaning that they perceive when other Christians use the expression "hate the sin, but love the sinner." Even though most of us who are straight would probably think nothing of this expression, to the gay person their sexuality is so deeply a part of their personhood, that the two (person and activity) can't be separated. To them, the expression "hate the sin, but love the sinner" is totally a contradiction - that is, the homosexuality and the person/individual are the same. When they hear the expression, they hear something like "hate the homosexual, but love the homosexual," even though that is not what others mean when they say that.
It's a difference in perspective that I would never have guessed at, and it has changed my use of that specific expression. I no longer use that language when I speak about homosexuality, even though I do in other circumstances.
I think that the issue here is equality. No way are some people happy with the idea that all men are created equal.
Ethnocentric forces of society always ends up this way. There are groups that think they are better than gays.
There are groups that think they are better than christians.
There are groups of gays that think they are better than lesbians.
There are gay politicians that think they are better than gays.
It just goes on and on.
The truth is that this is a social phenomena that is self perpetuating and the less you pay attention to it, the better.
Ethnocentrism is the tendency to believe that one's ethnic or cultural group is centrally important, and that all other groups are measured in relation to one's own.
The ethnocentric individual will judge other groups relative to his or her own particular ethnic group or culture, especially with concern to language, behavior, customs, and religion.
These ethnic distinctions and sub-divisions serve to define each ethnicity's unique cultural identity.
The term ethnocentrism was coined by William G. Sumner, upon observing the tendency for people to differentiate between the ingroup and others. He described it as often leading to pride, vanity, beliefs of one's own group's superiority, and contempt of outsiders.
Excellent Steve, I hope your reading his post Brenda.
Wow!!! This was probably the most definitive answer to the question I've read so far in the responses. Thanks for it.
I find that people are set in their ways. I do want to point out that is not just Christians who are discrimatory towards gay and lesbian people. The simple fact is that people can't hide behind the hate the 'sin' love the 'sinner' because frankly people are being defined by the 'sin'. I don't personally think that my life is a sin, I know very well that I am going to Heaven and God made me the way He made me. But I also find that if people get to know me before they find out my 'sexual orientation' they tend to be more receptive - Christian or not.
Why is that? Is it because I am a good person and my sexual orientation doesn't define me? Yes, I believe it is. Maybe if people defined other people by the content of their character and the manner in which they carry themselves; detaching sexual orientation and religious preferences from the deciding factor - maybe one day we will all be equal and without fear and intolerance.
Even people who support gay rights can be guilty of this. I remember a conversation with a gay friend who was ranting about all the people who feel obliged to tell him stuff like, "I think gay sex is disgusting, buy hey, to each their own."
I mean, on the one hand, great, they aren't beating him up or shoving his head in a used toilet, but why is he expected to be grateful for that? Isn't not beating people up supposed to be common courtesy in civilized societies?
Silly me, I thought name calling was supposed to be out for civilized human beings, too, but apparently it's okay to say someone is disgusting to their face as long as they're gay.
Okay I would defend this person who made the accusation to some respect because some people who call themselves Christian DO act violently toward people in the LGBT community. I had these views shattered last year at school when all of my close friends just happened to be Christian, and I mean to the fullest, and were the most loving and understanding people I've ever met in my entire life. They were all there for me when I was coming out and having a difficult time and they never turned there backs on me. We are all still the best of friends and I wouldn't change any of it. It always will depend on the person, not one thing thats apart of their life.
There is no excuse for gay bashing. Period.
That "love the sinner, hate the sin" crap is an evil platitude.
As stated in the OP, to be Christian is to follow the teachings of CHRIST as laid out in the NEW TESTAMENT.
What would Jesus do? He'd promote tolerance and love.
Not holier-than-thou narrow-mindedness....
that "love the sinner, hate the sinner" phrase emerged in the last 15-odd years to try and give an impression of tolerance. I left the christian church years ago, and it was a difficult experience (and I'm straight). Can't imagine how difficult it would be for a person that was gay in a christian family.
I don't have a problem with gay/homosexuals at all. I love gay men & watch Chris Crocker videos on Youtube all the time. My brother is gay & I've never tried to cram the Bible nor Jesus down his throat. He had a traditional Southern Baptist upbringing so he knows the basic doctine. It's his choice right now. If he found a suitable mate, I would be present at the union, whether it be male or female.
Before my Mom died last year she told me that she so wished that my brother would find someone special, she wanted him to be happy. She said she didn't approve of his lifestyle, but loved him & accepted it. She was 80 & a lifelong Christian & Sunday school teacher. My mom was a righteous woman who loved everyone & forgave easily. Including Gay & homosexual men & women.
Jesus loved all people. He taught forgiveness & acceptance. Period.
Oh, by the way.....I'm a Christian. Surprised?
I'm sorry. But I do not understand what people mean when they say they "don't approve of the LIFESTYLE" of gay people.
What lifestyle? Gay people live life just like you or I do.
Do you make the same proclamation about not approving of the lifestyles of people who
a) have kinky (even sado-masochistic) heterosexual sex?
b) like to watch porn?
c) make a bunch of money but refuse to share it with others?
d) beat their wives?
e) don't play with their kids?
f)drink too much alcohol?
g) eat too many potato chips?
h) don't exercise?
i) don't work, even though they could?
j) worship a god who is not Christ?
k) don't worship a god at all?
I could go on and on....
I mean really, admitting "I do not approve of the lifestyle" is a judgment. It's a negative judgment. Who the hell are you to APPROVE of another person you know nothing about?
Do you not see that????
Substitute the words "sexual behavior" everytime you hear the word "lifestyle" and it all makes alot more sense. There is still a backwardsness with most christians that wont let them discuss anything sexual in public arenas. Puritanism still runs deep among mainstream christianity. Lifestyle is one of those words that means different things in different situations and to different people.
MM, that was well spoken and yet I have to give donotfear the benefit of the doubt. If she is willing to admit that there are large numbers of gay christians she doesn't appear to support the hardline radical rightwingnuts out there. At least in regards to the gay and lesbian community and that, usually indicates a level of tolerance and acceptance not associated with mainstream christianity. This is a good sign, lol.
You know, I find it very sad that this still seems to be a Christian verses the homos thing, in every conversation related to homosexuality. And, although I agree that the church is one of the biggest protesters of homosexuality, there are a lot of non christian people who don't care for us either.
However, It still gets me that church going people constantly bring being gay up, as it is THE only sin in the bible that they need to march, and wave their hate signs about. If it isn't being Gay, it's abortion. Yet, neither of those things are hardly mentioned in the bible. Where other sins such as though shall not commit adultry and thou shalt not kill, are hardly pranced upon as gays are.
It seems like almost everything people do in this world is a sin, except for going to church and worshipping God every Sunday. Everything else appears to be a one way ticket to hell. For example eating pork? PLEASE!! Drinking alcohol, even women exposes their ankles and hair in public in some religions is a sin.
So, here is a question for you. What do we do every day that isn't a sin? And, be sure that you are right before you answer. Getting up in the morning doesn't count, especially for us guys...because morning wood might just be a sin, and we just don't know it!!
bri, the biggest problem here is that these people don't even recognize their hypocracy. If all abominations in the OT were veiwed the same way the seafood and bbq industries would close. This would cause most of the south to starve to death. If every husband who married a woman who wasn't a virgin on their wedding night, killed her as he was commanded by god to do, well there goes the ones who didn't starve to death.
The incorrectly translated passages that are use to condemn homosexuality are so obscure most christians can't tell you exactly what they say. The commandment concerning adultry is easily found and completely understood by one and all. This one they have no doubt about is ignored by thousands of christians every day. Their laws don't apply to those they agree with. Those they don't understand and fear are going to hell no matter how hard they have to look for a reason. Once a reason is found and accepted, they set out to make this person's life as much of a hell as they can. I suppose they might think they are doing them a favor by preparing them for what they feel they have in store for all eternity.
Now if against all reason there is a hell and I end up there, I do so look forward to seeing the looks on about 90% of all christians who will be there with me.
You got that right!....Who's burning in hell now b-i-t-c-h-e-s!! LOL!!
"Now if against all reason there is a hell and I end up there, I do so look forward to seeing the looks on about 90% of all christians who will be there with me."
If you did something really horrible to your fellow man; you will go to hell. I don't think you will see any Christians there.
I think you will have to look down... really deep down, into that special ring of hell made for Christians!
Stump - Excellent points throughout.
Especially love the end of your post.
Should we make signs "Welcome Home, Christians"???
I can't hardly wait!
Ha! All this time we thought it was WITCHES who burn in hell -- it's really BITCHES !!!
They don't see the flaw in their logic. Even if they are given forgiveness every time they commit a sin, they are still hell bound for the sins they committed that they don't think are sins anymore. These they don't bother to ask forgiveness for. Guilty by way of not providing a defense, says St Peter. Now a possible defense could be that since they believed it wasn't a sin they didn't feel they had to ask for forgiveness for these situations. Now if that is an acceptable defense the homosexual community gets a free ride to heaven for exactly the same reason, they don't see their lifestyle as a sin and are therefore only judged on the intentional sins they committed just as their straight brothers and sisters in Christ are. But I'm just a heathen baby eater, what do I know?
Not all would comply and you would then have labelled and non-labelled people trying to co-exist. Too many variables for most to comprehend life as it is.
there you go. a label is a label and nothing more. it's not the person.
I can imagine standing in front of the pearly gate; wanting that love and forgiveness that I was promised...
Instead of getting a big hug and hearing "well done my good and faithful servant" ... I hear ..." what ya got in your pockets".
Let me see what you been carrying around with ya all your life. HUMM I see ya got a lot of hate and unforgiveness..
Here let me give ya some more.
Just in case you want to know more.
In the words of Robin williams, "let gay men and lesbian women get hiched, they would find out that marriage is always the same sex." I am for gays and lesbians have civil unions but marriage should be for man/woman. As for the act of gays and lesbians, I can careless what they do in their own houses. To display sexual affection of that kind in public in front of children ages 16 and under is not good. I love people of all kinds but there is a fine line I draw in society. I do not like for someone to display with Neon their sexuality. old Proverb, "it is better to be seen, than heard."
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