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Homosexuality vs Religion: A false dichotomy

All too often, the debate concerning homosexuality (homosexual orientation, homosexual behavior, gay marriage, etc) is seen as that of being religion vs homosexuality.  This is in fact a false dichotomy.  Yes, there are several major religions who have waged war on homosexuality for some time now.  However, in many cases this is a one-way battle: there are gay people who are not only unwilling to fight against religion, but in fact are very religious themselves.  There are many churches now that are "gay-friendly" churches, who openly accept gay people.  (And I don't mean in the way the LDS church "accepts" gay people, which is that they accept them but tell them they need to refrain from homosexual conduct.  I mean, they allow gay people to be themselves--to have relationships and express love.)  There are also churches which market to gay people, that have gay clergy and preach gay sermons.

Why is this significant?  There are altogether too many people who believe that homosexual people have no morals, are unrepentant sinners, and don't feel any desire to be close to God.  This is simply not true.  While some gay people do feel that way, not all gay people do.  Just like straight people, there are gays who like religion and there are gays that are also atheists.

Another reason this is significant is because one of the arguments used to fight against civil rights for gay people is that of religious freedom.  Churches, such as the LDS church, claim that their religious freedoms are being violated when society accepts homosexuals and homosexuality.  They also make the extremely false claim that if gay marriage was legalized then all churches would be required to perform them.  At any rate, the point is that these churches do not speak for all churches in America.  While there are several large churches who oppose gay marriage, there are also churches that wish to be able to perform gay marriages in their church.  Therefore, banning gay marriage infringes on the religious rights of these churches.  So, the people who are claiming to fight for religious freedom are in fact merely oppressing it.

I do not wish to belong to any particular religion, since I do not believe any of them are correct.  However, I have no ire toward religion.  I have no motive to call for a nation-wide ban on religion (as some churches have called for in regards to gay marriage).  I do not feel as though I am at odds with religion in general or with any particular religion.  I feel perfectly comfortable co-existing with religious people.  And the main point is that there are religions who fully embrace homosexuality and there are homosexuals that fully embrace religion.  So, I don't think the debate on gay rights should be about "religion vs homosexuality".  Let's get down to the real issue at hand.

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