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The argument on rights, be it human, animal, black, white or gray, is always a

difficult one. One should begin by deciding who makes up these rights. Even that in itself

would be difficult enough. If a group of white men made a list of rights for black men, one

could say it would be biased. Fortunately on December 10, 1948 the General Assembly of

the United Nations adopted and proclaimed the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. A

set of standards for each member of the human species. Yet, these standards are not

always accepted or believed by all and are unfortunately not always enforced. One

specific group discriminated against would be the gay community. People who are

attracted to members of their same sex. Throughout this essay, I will do my best to take

an unbiased look on the yes and no argument on whether homosexuals should have the

same rights as heterosexuals.

Firstly, I will discuss the view that homosexuals should not have the same rights

as heterosexuals. A large factor in having this view is the belief that God did not create

homosexuals, and that homosexuality is a sin. Many religious groups interpret passages

from the Bible such as ?thou shall not lie with mankind, as with womankind: it is

abomination? (Leviticus 18:22) This passage would be stating that men are not to be

involved with men the same as they are women. These people believe that homosexuality

is a choice for people. That they find people of the same sex know how to please

eachother and lose their connection with God. An advertisement campaign was run by

Coral Ridge promoting change among homosexuals. It claimed they can change with

help from their faith and help from God. Anne Paulk and her husband John Paulk appeared

in these ads as Ex-Gays. Anne grew up as a tomboy, never feeling a sexual attraction to

men, and began experimenting with women. Paul?s father left at a young age, being raised

by women, and always feeling a little feminine. He also experimented with men, then

becoming a male escort and cross dressing as a woman named ?Candi?. Both felt that

something was missing and turned to God to ask for help.

Anne is quoted as saying ?I was able to finally give all my relationships to God and begin

the real road to healing.? John now chairs for Exodus International and with Anne have

had children and both fulfilled their dream of having a family. Some psychiatrists,

although controversial, do partake in what they call ?reparative therapy? or ?conversion

therapy? which is based on the idea that homosexuality is a mental disorder, and the

patient can change their sexual orientation. This could bring us to the next issue on

whether or not homosexuals or gay couples should be allowed to adopt children. One

could argue that, if homosexuality is considered a mental disorder, these people are not

fit to take care of children. Maybe this mental disorder could somehow affect their

parenting and decision making skills. Others believe that gay couples would influence

their children’s sexuality. If a child, say a girl, was raised by two mothers, the young child

would think this type of relationship, women with women, is natural and would then

follow in this sort of relationship. Figuring out if a girl put in this situation would turn out

to be gay would be a question of whether or not sexuality is learned or innate. Many

homosexuals would argue that their sexuality was innate. They were born with a sexual

attraction to either men or women. Yet people of strong faith must believe that these

people have learned their homosexuality since God forbade this type of behavior. God

could not have created people this way. Therefore, the problem of having homosexuals

raise children and encourage others to follow this type of lifestyle would lead to an

increase in gay people and eventually lead to a sinful and corrupted society. An anti-gay

group FRC?s leader Robert Knight warns that America?s ?man-based culture? could fall

with advent of a sexual revolution brought about by gays. ?As man is reduced in stature,

all hell with break loose,? he says. ?We?ll see a breakdown in social organization, with

more drug use, more disease, more unwanted pregnancies. Your mainstreaming

dysfunction.? Anti-gay activists argue that people of the same sex should not be allowed

to marry, especially in churches since God does not accept this type of intimate

relationship. No state in America allows legal marriage for same sex partners. They also believe that no homosexual has a right to enter, or will be allowed in heaven.

Members of some churches and groups such as Westboro Baptist Church actively

protest at funerals of homosexuals. Such as that of Mathew Shepard, the teen who was

beaten to death in a hate crime against gays. They believe that these people need to

repent, and protest as a sort of warning for others following this lifestyle. The final right I

will discuss is that involving discrimination in the work force. Randy Tate of the Christian

Coalition met with Republican House leaders who promised to attend to the social

conservative agenda. These House Republicans introduced a proposal to deny federal

housing money to communities that provide benefits for unmarried domestic partners;

another proposal seeks to block President Clinton?s efforts to prevent job discrimination

against gay and lesbian federal employees. As well, many of these people don?t think

homosexuals should have jobs involving children since gay people are always out to

recruit new gays and may have a strong influence on children. According to Knight of the

FRC ?there is a strong undercurrent of pedophilia in the homosexual subculture.? In the

United States only about 18 states have some sort of anti-discrimination laws based on

sexual orientation. And of those 18 only 4 states have full laws protecting public

employment, accommodations, private employment, education, credit and union

practices. Therefore, to conclude on the ?No? side of this argument, homosexuals should

not have equal rights, their sexual orientation could be called a mental disorder, they

should not be allowed to adopt children or work in an environment with them because of

their influence. Also God did not create homosexuals and, consequently, they should not

be allowed to marry and will not go to heaven unless they turn their lives around and

repent for their sins.

At this time I will discuss the view that homosexuals should have the same rights

as heterosexuals. The idea that God thinks homosexuality is a sin was never written in

such a straight forward nature. No where in the Bible does

it say ?thou shall not be a homosexual?. These are simply how people have interpreted

passages from the Bible. One such passage that people literally translate is ??The

unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God. So do not be deceived; neither

fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor homosexuals, nor thieves,

nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor swindlers, shall inherit the realm of God.? (I

Corinthians 6:9) One would think therefor it is quite clear homosexuality is not accepted

by God. But, if one were to take a closer look they would realize this is not so. The word

?homosexual? is a composite word made the Greek term ?homo? (the same) and a Latin

term ?sexualis? (sex). The term ?homosexual? is of modern origin and was not used until

about 100 years ago. There is no word in biblical Greek or Hebrew that is parallel to the

word ?homosexual.? No Bible before the Revised Standard Version in 1946 used

?homosexual? in any Bible translation. Other quotes from the Bible that would contradict

the religious views are ?love thy neighbor?, ?God is love? and ?Accept one another, just as

Christ also accepted you to the glory of God.? (Romans 15: 1, 7) Although no one knows

what part of the brain or what gene determines sexual orientation, the majority of gay and

lesbians agree that they were born being attracted to one sex or the other. For example,

how did you know you were attracted to men, or women. The same logic applies to

homosexuals. Evelyn Hooker’s landmark study in 1957 on lesbian and gay adults aided in

the declassification of homosexuality as a mental disorder finally concluded in 1973.

Soon after case studies began to appear in psychiatric literature in the early 1970?s. More

recently has come the argument on whether or not homosexual couples are fit to be

foster/parents. In the United States only 3 states are left with laws banning gay couples

from becoming adoptive parents, and these laws are slowly being appealed. There is no

evidence that homosexual adults are any less capable of being loving parents than

heterosexual ones. The worry of people arises in the well being on the child, involving

their sexual identity, personal development, and social relationships. Research to this

day is little and highly criticized yet is still

s still managing to draw conclusions. More research has been done on children living in

lesbian parent families than gay male parent families, but one could assume the

statistics would not be far off. Studies have revealed normal development of gender

identity among children of lesbian mothers. With the same result; all children in this

study reported that they were happy with their gender, and that they had no wish to be a

member of the opposite sex. Studies also reported that gender role behavior among

children of lesbian mothers fell within typical limits for conventional sex roles. They

found no differences between children of lesbian versus heterosexual mothers in toy

preferences, activities, interests, or occupational choices. In all studies, the great

majority of offspring of both gay fathers and lesbian mothers described themselves as

heterosexual therefore it does not suggest elevated rates of homosexuality among the

offspring of lesbian or gay parents. Reports by both parents and children suggest normal

development of peer relationships. As would be expected, most school-aged children

reported same-sex best friends and predominantly same-sex peer groups . A personal

concern of some such as Mr.Knight of the anti-gay group is that homosexuals are also

more likely to be child molesters or pedophiles. Results of work in this area reveal that

the great majority of adults who perpetrate sexual abuse are male; sexual abuse of

children by adult women is extremely rare and moreover, the overwhelming majority of

child sexual abuse cases involve an adult male abusing a young female. Legal marriage

as of yet is not allowed by same sex couples because of the church?s view on

homosexuality. However 22 states in the U.S do not have laws preventing the recognition

of out-of-state same-sex marriage laws,; whereas, 28 states still do. Gay people really do

have to wonder if the United States really is the ?land of the free? considering only 4

states have complete anti-discrimination laws, and 18 with discrimination based on

sexual orientation. There is no proving that homosexuals cannot do a job just as well as a

heterosexual. The concern of gay people working in a child environment is an unjust one.

I stated earlier the stats on child molesters, and the fact that

an adults sexual preference is proven to not have an influence on a child?s. A

professional such as a teacher should not be discussing their sexual relationships with

children in any case. Also in many places homosexuals are banned from entering the

military. Therefore, to sum up the ?Yes? side to the argument, God does not condemn

homosexuality, gay people do not have a mental disorder, homosexuals in no way

influence their children’s sexual preference, marriage is still illegal for gay people

because of the church?s views, and that homosexuals are unjustly discriminated in the

work force.

Before I draw any conclusion I would just like to state some facts about

homosexuality in regards to laws in Canada and the rest of the world since most of my

information came from American studies and sites. In Canada gay people are allowed to

be in the army, we have no sodomy laws, 8 of our provinces have anti-discrimination laws

based on sexual orientation and 7 of our provinces have domestic partner laws for same

sex couples. The laws change drastically in different countries around the world. In some

countries homosexuality in accepted, although, in many homosexuality is illegal,

sodomy laws passed and both are enforced by jail time. Some extreme examples are in

Cuba, any display of homosexuality receives jail time, in India homosexuality is

punishable by life in prison, and in Iran, if two men are caught in the act of love making

they have a choice of death. Either by being hanged, stoned, halved by a sword or dropped

from the highest perch.

Any conclusion I could draw would have to be a personal one since there is no right or

wrong concerning this subject. If I were to analyze the information read and used, I would

have to say that both sides have valid arguments, the Yes side a little more than the No. I

would have to say that the No side was very biased. There were no facts in their

arguments, only personal opinion and interpretations. The Yes side proved to be less

biased, having research being done by scientists and so forth with facts and statistics.

If I had to make a decision on whether or not equal rights should be given to

homosexuals I would say Yes. Based on both fact and personal opinion. During my

research for this essay I cam across many religious sites that in my opinion were hurtful

and ignorant. I ended up emailing with a leader from the Westboro Baptist Chruch (a

southern church that picketed Mathew Shepard?s funeral) and there really is no talking

rationally with people who are that set in their views.

They are probably an extreme side, but to compare gay people to child molesters and

murderers I don?t think is fair. I personally don?t have a strong faith in God but I don?t

believe he would encourage this type of hate as they believe he would. I don?t believe

sexual orientation should have anything to do with how well one does a job, or if they

should be able to have a family or not. The only problem I could see with homosexuals

having children is not with them raising children but with how other people deal with it.

Unfortunately, some people still strongly believe these people are dangerous and would

even use violence against them, which is why many who have children try to keep it fairly

hidden. Awareness definitely has to be taught and that homosexuals are people, just like

the rest of us. As for marriage, I doubt it would ever be allowed any time soon in

churches, but they should be allowed to be legally married. If two people are that in love

with eachother and want to spend the rest of their lives together then who are we to

judge. Even now gay people only account for 1 or 2% of the population, so to think if

homosexuality was accepted we would be over run by gays is silly. All I can do is hope

time will pass, awareness will rise, and change will come eventually.

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