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Since homosexuality is a complicated issue with many different factors, the following should be able to help you better understand the content on our page.

Conflict Background

Homosexuals are "people who establish a sexual preference for the same sex." (Ball 20) Most of the human population is heterosexual, making homosexuals a minority. 5% of American women and 10% of American men are homosexual or bisexual (Konner 333). The conflict of homosexuality is between the people who have a casual acceptance for it and those who want it to be strictly prohibited. What makes the conflict larger and even more controversial than it is, is that there are no conclusive theories that can explain the cause of homosexuality. For a long period of time, the majority of Christians, Jews, and Muslims frowned upon homosexuals, thus affecting the beliefs of many other people around the world. Homosexuality (also known as sodomy) was considered a sin. This became a traditional belief, leading to a law, then a crime resulting death, and lastly, when the psychiatric field had evolved, it was considered a sickness. From this, it is apparent that throughout most of history, treatment of homosexuals has been very harsh. Various levels of discrimination have been shown as well. Men in Zambia, Africa were allowed to practice some rather subtle homosexual behaviors but as they reached the age of nineteen or twenty, heterosexual marriage was required. On the other hand, in Nazi Germany, the actions were rather radical compared to those in Zambia. Homosexuals were forced to wear pink triangles and were later killed in concentration camps (Money and Lehne 217). The conflict is mostly about human rights, for though homosexuality is no longer considered a mental illness, many homosexuals are still condemned. The topic is extremely serious. A simple way of explaining this is that a large number of homosexuals and bisexuals commit suicide, for their sexual orientation is not accepted by a fair amount of people in the world's society.

Two sides involved

There are two sides to this conflict. One is the side that accepts homosexuality. This side includes liberal churches that talk endlessly about human rights, scientists who believe results from thorough research, and moderates who have decided to accept homosexuality because of their knowledge of the facts. The other side includes religious conservatives, specifically Christians, Jews, and Muslims. However, homophobes are the majority of the people who are against homosexuality. The liberal side has the tendency to believe homosexuality is a biologically given orientation, and the conservative side insists it is a preference. This web page will look at the conflict and carefully explore the different sides of this issue.

Vocabulary (definitions) and important concepts

*homosexuality* sexual attraction to others of the same sex.

*heterosexuality* sexual attraction to the other sex

*bisexuality* sexual attraction to both sexes.

*gay* a positive way to refer to homosexuals

*lesbian* accepted term for female homosexuality

*sodomy* religious and legal term for homosexual acts

*passing* process of concealing a homosexual identity

*come out (of the closet)* to share knowledge about his or her homosexuality initially with others

*homophobe/homophobia* negative behavior towards gay or homosexual people, their lifestyle or culture

 

This webpage is copyrighted by Akiko Abe since 2000