Comments: General Synod - day 3 - Wednesday 15 February

When will you realise that gay people do not choose to be gay. It is not as if you wake up one morning and think "today I'm becoming homosexual". It is how you are created, there is no choice. Why should LGBT people be treated differently? The church should be all inclusive. LGBT people suffer enough, don't make them feel even more excluded and different to heterosexuals. What gives you the right to victimise and exclude any section of society. Make the world a better place, don't create barriers. We must all live and love together, pointing fingers is NOT the way. Why should the Church be allowed to have a Discrimation Policy?

Posted by Kathryn Jones at Wednesday, 15 February 2017 at 9:13am GMT

I suspect typical evangelicals and Catholics would respond in two ways.

1. Marriage is not a rite that can be rearranged, *even if one grants your premises fully.* Hard though it may be to accept, defenders of traditional marriage may be wholehearted supporters of aspects of your premise. That includes Gay men like Wes Hill.
2. Is sexuality really so binary -- Gay here, Straight there? Isn't the entire point of "LGBTI" a questioning of this premise? I knew lesbians when I taught at Yale who rejected the idea they were created "gay." It was an adopted choice. Are they wrong and you right?

Posted by cseitz at Wednesday, 15 February 2017 at 9:59am GMT

«I knew lesbians when I taught at Yale who rejected the idea they were created "gay." It was an adopted choice. Are they wrong and you right?»

Maybe you knew some bisexual women?

Posted by Kate at Wednesday, 15 February 2017 at 11:00am GMT

In the 1980s Bishop Swing, an Episcopalian bishop in California, asked his fellow bishops "If the second person of the Trinity took the risk of becoming human, why can't you?"
Food for thought...

Posted by Nicholas Roberts at Wednesday, 15 February 2017 at 12:11pm GMT

No, I stated the facts. Lesbians self-declared objected to the idea of "being born that way." It was a political and moral choice.

I was unaware that this particular position was no longer part of the spectrum.

And of course the position of Wes Hill and others opposed to marriage or sexual conduct amongst LGBTIs is well known. It isn't popular because it upsets the views of others in the LGBTI advocacy.

Posted by cseitz at Wednesday, 15 February 2017 at 1:08pm GMT

Comments about the possibility of same-sex marriage remind me all too well of the old story about the woman who asked her bishop if he believed in infant baptism.

"Believe in it?" replied the bishop. "Why, madam, I've seen it done!"

Posted by jnwall at Wednesday, 15 February 2017 at 1:50pm GMT

I would suggest that cseitz, rather than building a case on 'some people I knew at 'Yale' invest in reading the vast and rather more rigorous science around sexual orientation. I'm happy to suggest some references if he'd like that education.

Science is overwhelmingly convinced that sexual orientation is not a choice. Even Yale scientists.

Of course, people can choose which sexual behaviour they engage in, which I would suggest is what is behind the superficial anomaly of the Yale women under discussion. But behaviour is not a synonym for orientation.

Similarly people can choose not to act in ways in concordance with their natural drives, from hunger striking to voluntary celibacy, the latter is the path followed by a minuscule number of LGBT conservatives.

Again, lack of behaviour is not a synonym for lack of orientation.

Posted by Frandrew at Wednesday, 15 February 2017 at 2:14pm GMT

Dear Frandrew

I have spent my entire adult life in liberal university settings. I have no need of further immersion in the daily bread of identity politics. You can take it up with the lesbians who do not like the idea of "being born" this way or that. It is a credible position though not one you like.

"Superficial anomaly" sounds exactly like the tone and content of what we must expect from the gender experts of tribe Y.

Grace and peace.

Posted by cseitz at Wednesday, 15 February 2017 at 3:27pm GMT

"I have no need of further immersion in the daily bread of identity politics"

I was suggesting a better acquaintance with science.

Posted by Fr Andrew at Wednesday, 15 February 2017 at 3:58pm GMT

And the 'anomaly' is from a science perspective not 'identity politics' whatever that is.

From the scientific perspective, it appears anomalous if a person claims to have chosen their sexual orientation when otherwise sexual orientation is not chosen. If the person is referring to choosing their sexual behaviour the apparent anomaly is resolved, therefore it is superficial not deep.

Posted by Fr Andrew at Wednesday, 15 February 2017 at 4:03pm GMT

Even if there is a small minority of people who "live as" gay or lesbian (just as for a long time gay and lesbian people were forced to live as straight) for political reasons (I'm not going to rule out) I don't see how that removes the fact that for the vast majority of people their sexuality is not of their own choice. I couldn't "pass" as gay even if I wanted to, and I struggle to imagine that in the still-homophobic world in which we live that many would want to even if they could. It would be like pretending to be a Muslim in rural Alabama: why on earth would you?

Posted by Jo at Wednesday, 15 February 2017 at 4:21pm GMT

Well, this lesbian did not choose her orientation. In any case, to tar the entire lived experience of the LGBT+ community by the comments of a couple of lesbians one knew at Yale is demeaning.

Here's the thing. I'm married, to another woman. Our marriage was blessed in our Episcopal church. No one died. As our bishop said a while back, we're all past this. There are far more pressing issues, ones that DO involve life and death (like immigration, health care access, etc) , that we need to address.

Posted by IT at Wednesday, 15 February 2017 at 4:30pm GMT

Ah yes, the scientists.

Take your "superficiality definitions" up with those who believe they are choosing their sexual partners and gratifications and have no commitments to essentialist thinking and reject it.

It does track in its own way with those at the other end of politics who believe sexual expression/identity is not the primary marker of who they are.

"From the scientific perspective" -- that uniform phenomenon -- "whatever that is".

I think the safest course is to be dubious about any empiricism claiming to comprehend the mystery of desire, Christian identity and longing, and stable cultural realities in one zone of consumerist modernity in the West.

God bless.

Posted by cseitz at Wednesday, 15 February 2017 at 4:53pm GMT

'It was quiet and dignified — no screaming, no arguments with those entering Church House, no outlandish dress or behavior'

This feels rather homophobic to me. I doubt a straight group would be thus described, somehow....

'no outlandish dress' ? Oh pleease ! :)

Posted by Laurie Roberts at Wednesday, 15 February 2017 at 6:12pm GMT
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