RE: Gay Marriage/Homosexuality

From: Cameron, Leslie <>
Date: Thu Jun 10 2004 - 13:33:44 EDT

To Dr. Bundrick and the group: Homosexuality has been consistently documented across cultures and across time, as well as in animals. From the National Health and Social Life Survey (researchers at the Univ of Chicago): about 5% of men and 4% of women reported having had sex with a same-sex partner since age 18. It's also felt by some that getting at this information is difficult because discrimination and widespread hostility make it hard to disclose, so the actual incidence may be a bit higher -- I have seen estimates of 5%-7%, up to 10%. Other references:

o The Construction of Homosexuality (1988) by D. F. Greenberg
o Biological Exuberance: Animal Homosexuality and Natural Diversity (1999), by B. Bagemihl
o Patterns of Sexual Behavior (1951) by C. S. Ford & F. A. Beach

Homosexual feelings (being attracted to someone of the same sex) consistently develop in people beginning in middle childhood or early adolescence. The "feelings" come first, then behavior. References:

o Demography of Sexual Orientation in Adolescents (1992 Pediatrics journal article), by G. Remafedi
o Sexual Identity Trajectories Among Sexual-Minority Youths: Gender Comparisons (2000 Archives of Sexual Behavior journal article), by R. C. Savin-Williams and L.M. Diamond

Most gay men and lesbian women experience "no choice or little choice" in their feelings of attraction to their own sex. References:

o Psychological Sequelae of Hate-Crime Victimization Among Lesbian, Gay, and Bisexual Adults (1999 Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology article), by G. M. Herek et al.
o Gay and Lesbian Youth: Expressions of Identity (1990), by R.C. Savin-Williams
o Is Sexual Orientation a Matter of Choice? (1997 Psychology of Women Quarterly journal article), by S. Rosenbluth

I conclude from this that homosexuality is about as much a "choice" for gay and lesbian people as heterosexuality is for straight people.

However, I think there's another more important aspect. The negative reaction straight people have to the idea of homosexuality causes an enormous amount of misery. The discrimination is intense and unrelenting, for those who have taken the hugely courageous step of coming out -- first to self, then family and friends.

It is A particularly painful thing to me that people who have decided they will not lie or pretend, and who are as courageous as this, are often not welcome in God's house.

Leslie Cameron

-----Original Message-----
From: Bundrick, David []
Sent: Thursday, June 10, 2004 11:26 AM
To: Cameron, Leslie
Subject: RE: Gay Marriage/Homosexuality

Could you please cite for me "the evidence" (tells us that gay and
lesbian people are as "born homosexual" as straight people are "born
heterosexual") ?
I am not a scientist, so maybe you can help me. However, I do teach
graduate level New Testament, and my Ph.D. is cross-disciplinary among
education, religious studies, and science, so perhaps I can grasp the
concepts if I can see the evidence presented.
David Bundrick, M.Div., Th.M., Ph.D.

-----Original Message-----
From: [] On
Behalf Of Cameron, Leslie
Sent: Wednesday, June 09, 2004 8:37 AM
Subject: RE: Gay Marriage/Homosexuality

I feel we (humans, I mean) need to be very careful when "enforcing" for
others what we perceive as the law of God. We tend to default to
legalism, and Jesus warned us about that.

When asked, Jesus summarized the entire law by saying (1) love God and
(2) love your neighbor. It was love He wanted from us, first for God
and then for each other. From this I take it that if it is not about
love, it is likely not about God.

I also remember Peter's vision (Acts 10 and 11) -- the sheet which
contained all kinds of animals defined as unclean by the law. In that
vision, a voice told Peter to kill and eat. Peter objects, saying he
has never violated the law in that way -- as a God-fearing Jew, he seems
truly appalled by this idea. The voice (in the vision) says "What God
has made clean, you must not call profane."

People have a wide variety of views on being gay or lesbian and what God
thinks about that. I have heard many say they "hate the sin but love
the sinner." I don't think anything resembling love comes across in
that message.

The evidence tells us that gay and lesbian people are as "born
homosexual" as straight people are "born heterosexual." As in the past,
when the church has needed to wrestle with Bible verses that seemed to
support the slavery of human beings, and verses that have placed little
value on women, I think the wrestling we must do today is about this

It is very distressing that God-fearing gay and lesbian people so often
have no place to go, because they are not welcome in our churches. Or
maybe they can come, as long as they pretend, or lie about who they know
themselves to be. Based on what Jesus has told us about the Father,
this does not seem as though it would be ok with Him.

Leslie Cameron

-----Original Message-----
From: []On
Behalf Of Robert Schneider
Sent: Wednesday, June 09, 2004 4:52 AM
To: Mike Tharp; 'John W Burgeson'
Subject: Re: Gay Marriage/Homosexuality

This is a subject that you will learn, Mike, I have done some thinking
and writing about. One of my pieces is posted on Burgy's web pages on
the subject of homosexuality: "Sodom and Gomorrah: What is this Story
Really About." One of the best pieces I have read recently deals with
the interpretation of biblical passages dealing with same-sex relations
in the light of the consecration of Bishop Gene Robinson in the
Episcopal Church, and all of the turmoil that the approval of this act
has created in the my Church over the past several months.

The title of this address is "The Biblical Case in Favor of Gene
Robinson's Election, Confirmation and Consecration," by the Rev. Gray
Temple at Holy Innocents Church, Atlanta, GA, 3/11/03. The URL for this
address is, and
requires Acrobat Reader. It's a long piece but well worth the reading.
Fr. Temple's dissection of biblical passages used by opponents against
recognizing faithful same-sex relations in their historical contexts,
and his larger reflections on biblical interpretation and the invocation
of Tradition are well worth the reflection.

Bob Schneider

----- Original Message -----
From: "Mike Tharp" <>
To: "'John W Burgeson'" <>
Cc: <>
Sent: Tuesday, June 08, 2004 3:00 PM
Subject: Gay Marriage/Homosexuality

> Hello Burgy,
> Thank you for the reply. I will peruse the information available on
> your website (probably during the weekend) before I reply in any
> detail. I suspect, however, that my conclusions will differ from
> yours and that we will disagree on this issue. I do very much enjoy
> your "Today's quips", though. :-)
> In Christ,
> Mike
> -----Original Message-----
> From: John W Burgeson []
> Sent: Monday, June 07, 2004 4:43 PM
> To:
> Cc:
> Subject: Re: Shapes of a Wedge
> >>How can any Christian advocate gay marriage when the Bible (both old
> and new testament) so clearly speaks out against it? I understand
> that you are not personally advocating that position, but you don't
> seem to see such a position as contradictory to the Word of God.
Please explain.
> >>
> Lots of material on my website, page 2, section 10, on all sides of
> the issue. Some people here get bent out of shape when I mention this
> stuff, so I will not go over already plowed ground.
> The issue (#1) of whether ALL same-gender intimacy is sin is one
> The issue (#2) of Gay marriage is another issue. I have a position
> statement on the first issue on my website, written after a several
> years study in 2001; it is still my position.
> I have not (yet) taken a position on #2, Gay Marriage, although I
> think the arguments for permitting it are strong ones -- yes,
> strong ones. There is at least one argument against it which still
> gives me pause; it is a variation of the so-called "slippery slope"
> Briefly stated, if I can approve Gay Marriage, on what grounds can I
> still oppose polygamy? I have not (yet) worked through this.
> In any event, the Bible does not speak at all to either issue, except
> by strained interpretations. The material on my site will explain why
> I do not see scripture as speaking "clearly" on either issue. There
> are quite a number of Christian scholars, clerics and lay people who
> argue this point quite better than I can. Is Paul, in Romans 1,
> speaking of ALL same-gender intimacy, or only of the kind he clearly
> knew about, acts which took place in a pagan temple between men and
> One of the neatest example of this is a debate between Tony Compolo
> and his wife, who hold differing views on issue #1. A link to this
> debate is on my website.
> Scholars Wink and Mauser have written position papers on issue #1,
> each on a different side. Worth reading them both; links on my site.
> The issues are not easy. The temptation to just "believe what one has
> always believed" is great. I started there; I know.
> Best
> Burgy
> Today's quip: They told me I was gullible -- and I believed them.
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Received on Thu Jun 10 14:09:43 2004

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