Homosexuality: Debating the Issues

Homosexuality: Debating the Issues

Homosexuality: Debating the Issues

Homosexuality: Debating the Issues


Its balanced approach offers powerful essays on four key issues: the causes of homosexuality, disputes about the role the courts should play, gays and the military, and religious attitudes toward homosexuality.

"... excellent reference book..". -- Publishers Weekly


"Vatican Blasts U.S. Stance on Homosexuality." "Anti-Gay Rights Law Proposed." "Gays Not Allowed to Marry." "Special Rights for Homosexuals— Just Not Fair." "Gay Games Stir Ire." Headlines such as these reflect the passion and, at times, the deep anger generated by the question of homosexuality.

Of all the topics addressed in this Contemporary Issues series, homosexuality is in some ways the most controversial. Unlike abortion, the controversy over homosexuality is such that the very existence of this volume will be objected to by some—and this objection comes from those on both sides of the issue. Some maintain that homosexuality is such an obvious contravention of nature or such a clear violation of God's law that there is nothing to discuss. Indeed, the mere suggestion that the issue is worthy of debate is considered destructive. As one contributor to this volume, Yaakov Levado, puts it, for "many orthodox Jews ... in the case of homosexuality there is little use for dialogue in the face of such a clear biblical prohibition." On the other side is the claim that homosexuality should be viewed as no more puzzling or objectionable than heterosexuality, and that to publish a book such as this mistakenly suggests the contrary.

As much as some may wish it otherwise, however, the issue is now permanently in the public arena; it is not going away. Therefore, the question remains, will we confront the issue responsibly, and will we establish policies that are wise and just? Our view is that such policies can be established only within a community of civil and informed discussion, and to that end we dedicate this book.

The term 'homosexual' generally refers to individuals sexually attracted to persons of their own sex. This word, therefore, is a label for two phenomena that many insist are quite distinct: male attraction to male and female attraction to . . .

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