ALTERNATIVE LIFE-STYLES


1. Adam as androgynous; being humanly = appropriately related male-female pair; "They shall be as one flesh," sexuality as dimension of being humanly and reproduction.

2. Same sex love genuine but irrelevant (siblings, parent-child, friends - David and Jonathan). Being humanly involves unique quality of love.

3. Homosexual actions forbidden, condition undesirable.

4. Conditions which mitigate responsibility:

a. ignorance (Michtav MeEliyahu III, p.47 (theft); (Rambam, Mamrim III: 2,3) - even after receiving information

b. ignorance (Shabbos 116b) - knowing unbelief is worse

c. ignorance (Bava Metzia 33b - Maharal) - unlearned walk in the dark

d. individual circumstances (Rambam, Teshuva III:2)

e. capabilities (Basra Kama 50a - Maharal) - G-d is more exacting with those closer to Him

f. capabilities (Pri Tzadik, Shavuous 26) - each person from his own starting place

g. stress (Bava Basra 16b) - words spoken in pain; only Torah controls Yetzer Hara

h. sexual misconduct (San. 9b, Tos.) - not disqualified for testimony; (Gitin 41b, Tos.) - not fully deliberate, hence qualify for others' help

5. Gay lib arguments that homosexuality should be regarded as an equally valid life-style

a. Amer. Psychiatric Ass. voted that hms is not disease, hence not undesirable, hence equally valid

Rebut: A.M.A. not qualified to make moral judgments; later poll of readers of professional journals gave opposite result

b. hms is a genetic condition, hence unchangeable, hence no responsibility, hence equally valid

Rebut: some hms not genetically determined (proof from identical twins); no proof that any is genetically determined; no proof that any is unchangeable, even if no responsibility, equal validity does not follow - many unavoidable conditions are undesirable (color blindness, kleptomania, Down's Syndrome) - perhaps we should look for genetic elimination!

c. hms is isolated - it is not correlated with other undesirable behavior, therefore equally valid

Rebut: some evidence indicates that stability of personal relationships is affected; even if it is isolated, the point at issue is whether hms is itself undesirable

&#d. hms is problematic because of social rejection; when society becomes enlightened it will be equally valid

Rebut: social acceptance does not render all undesirable behavior valid - compare Nazis

e. it is paternalistic to judge another's life-style

Rebut: compare preventing suicide, and social work in general

6. Homophobia - a ploy to avoid discussion - compare "heterophobia".

7. The Torah as objective values


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