The Invalidity of Homophobia

The Invalidity of Homophobia

A Story by Knight in Armor

A counterargument against some of the more popular arguments against homosexuality


            At the funeral of Matthew Shepard, a young gay man who was brutally tortured and murdered in Wyoming in 1998, Westboro Baptist Church arrived to show their support of his death. As Romaine Patterson, a close friend of Shepard, said, “What shocked me most was, even as I attended the funeral of someone who had been murdered in a hate crime, I hadn’t realized how deeply some people hate” (Patterson 1). Gay men, lesbians, and bisexuals experience hatred on a daily basis at a level most Americans do not understand. However, as times change and people grow more enlightened, this bigotry has begun to fade. In response to this growing acceptance, however, some groups, like Westboro Baptist Church, have become more vocal in their intolerance of this sector of society. Those who oppose homosexual marriage misjudge the issue because of incorrect usage of the Old Testament, misinterpretation of the New Testament, the claim that it is unnatural, and the belief that it will harm children.

            Westboro Baptist Church and many others claim the rationale for their fanaticism lies in the Old Testament. A thorough understanding of the transition from the Old Testament to the New Testament disproves this idea. The verses most commonly cited against homosexuality are Genesis 19, Leviticus 18:22, and Leviticus 20:13. When considered carefully through the context of the times, however, the verses from Genesis and Leviticus would be no longer applicable to a Christian’s life because, when Jesus died, “At that moment the curtain of the temple was torn in two from top to bottom…” (NIV Mathew 27:51). The tearing of the veil was God’s physical representation that the laws of the Old Testament no longer need to be followed. Quite simply, upon the death of Jesus, the laws of the Old Testament became obsolete; therefore, the verses condemning homosexuality from the Old Testament need not be applied by a modern Christian.

Even Christians who recognize the Old Testament as a history rather than law still misinterpret verses from the New Testament, specifically Romans 1:26-27, I Corinthians 6:9-10, and I Timothy 1:9-10. However, this logic is flawed because a careful reading of the Bible proves this understanding to be incorrect, particularly when considered in the context of the times. For instance, though damning when considered independently, this condemnation fades when the chapter has been read instead of just the verse, “Men committed shameful acts with other men, and received in themselves the due penalty for their error” (NIV Romans 1:26-27). If one has read the entire chapter as Reverend Anita Cadonau-Huesby recommends in her essay Romans I: Read the Whole Chapter Kiddo, an immediate recognition will arise that the original and more important sin of the group was to turn away from God, which caused additional sin. Cadonau-Huesby says, “The people actively chose to engage in one sin, that being idolatry, but from that point on it was God who gave them over to other sins as a penalty for the original great offense” (1).

Similarly, when considering I Corinthians 6:9-10, the similarities between those verses and I Timothy 1:9-10 allow them to be studied together. In her essay I Corinthians 6:9-10/I Timothy 1:9-10: Words Matter, Cadonau-Huesby says she believes, “I Corinthians 6:9-10 and I Timothy 1: 9-10 are lists of vices…Rather than being a random tossing together of sins, vice lists often appear to be in a categorical order as would seem apparent in both I Corinthians 6 and I Timothy 1” (Cadonau-Huesby 1). Cadonau-Huesby then explains that in these lists, homosexuality is listed as an economic vice, not a sexual one, a reference to the status of women as property at the time. In our modern society where women are no longer the property of men, homosexuality can no longer be an economic vice. When one considers the broader context and the times of the Bible, the verses that appear to condemn homosexuality become void.

Many who do not cite Biblical reasons for their bigotry often claim that homosexuality is unnatural. However, the famous case of the Central Park Zoo penguins, the 1,500 additional animal species that engage in homosexual and bisexual behaviors, and the Whiptail Lizards negate that statement. The Central Park Zoo penguins, Roy and Silo were both male, yet they began mating. Emily V. Driscoll relates these penguins to thousands of other species in her article Bisexual Species: Unorthodox Sex in the Animal Kingdom, “Roy and Silo belong to one of as many as 1,500 species of wild and captive animals that have been observed engaging in homosexual activity” (Driscoll 1). Homosexual and bisexual behaviors stretch across all of nature, from humans to penguins to lizards. Even more surprising than the sheer number of species who engage in homosexuality are the species that engage solely in homosexuality. The Whiptail Lizards are an entirely female species that mate and lay eggs by cross-fertilizing. According to Katherine Harmon in her article No Sex Needed: All-Female Lizard Species Cross their Chromosomes to Make Babies, Whiptail Lizards are in good company, since there are “…70 species of vertebrates that propagate this way…” (Harmon 1). Quite frankly, examples of homosexual behaviors abound throughout nature.

Despite the large quantity of homosexuality throughout nature, critics claim that homosexuality harms children because children must be raised in a home with one mother and one father. In fact, some studies, like Mark Regnerus’s study, have agreed with this sentiment. Regnerus’s studied children of lesbian mothers and gay fathers and found that many of the children he studied fared far worse later in life than the children raised in heterosexual homes. Widely cited by conservatives, Regnerus’s study was a triumph for those who suggest being raised in same-sex parent homes harm children.

However, the loose language Regnerus uses to define lesbian mothers and gay fathers allows for children whose parents had, at any point in their life, been with someone of the same gender to be included, which Regnerus himself admitted was a mistake. Similarly, the Huffington Post article Mark Regnerus, Gay Parenting Study Sociologist, Defends Research in New Interview reports that, “Regnerus’ study… was partly funded by the Witherspoon Institute, which has ties to the National Organization for Marriage (NOM)” (1). Likewise, the examples of same-sex parenting in nature above and nearly all non biased studies done on same sex families demonstrate that same-sex parents are capable of raising children as well as heterosexual parents. As reported in USA Today by Sharon Jayson in the article Same Sex Couples can be Effective Parents, Researchers Find, “Children raised by same-sex couples appear to do as well as those raised by parents of both sexes… [This] challenges the long-ingrained belief that children need male and female parents for healthy adjustment” (Jayson 1). Even more surprisingly, a study reported in Time by Alice Park in the article Study: Children of Lesbians May do Better than their Peers states that, “… children in lesbian homes scored higher… on some psychological measures of self-esteem and confidence, did better academically and were less likely to have behavioral problems…” (Park 1). The majority of scientific studies have shown no difference or an advantage to children who have been raised in same-sex households.

Though many reasons have been used to try to claim that homosexuality is wrong, and therefore homosexual marriage should be illegal, these allegations are erroneous. The Bible verses regarding homosexuality are no longer damning once read in the proper context, the thousands of animal species that engage in homosexuality prove it is a natural behavior, and scientific studies have proven that same-sex couples can raise children as efficiently as heterosexual couples. People must be willing to accept change and recognize that homosexual marriage is a valid and acceptable form of marriage and family structure. As long as people continue to deny to newly proven facts regarding same-sex couples, bigotry will foster. 


Works Cited:

Cadonau-Huseby, Anita. "I Corinthians 6:9 / I Timothy 1: 9-10: Words

Matter." Christian Gays. N.p., 2010. Web. 15 Nov. 2012.


Cadonau-Huseby, Anita. "Romans 1: Read the Whole Chapter Kiddo." Christian Gays.

N.p., 2010. Web. 15 Nov. 2012. <>.

Driscoll, Emily V. "Bisexual Species: Unorthodox Sex in the Animal Kingdom." The

Richard Dawkins Foundation. N.p., 9 July 2008. Web. 15 Nov. 2012.



Harmon, Katherine. "No Sex Needed: All-Female Lizard Species Cross Their

Chromosomes to Make Babies." Scientific American. N.p., 21 Feb. 2010. Web. 15

Nov. 2012. <>.

Jayson, Sharon. "Same-sex couples can be effective parents, researchers find." USA

Today. N.p., 21 Jan. 2010. Web. 15 Nov. 2012. <,8599,1994480,00.html>

"Mark Regnerus, Gay Parenting Study Sociologist, Defends Research in New

Interview." Huffington Post. N.p., 31 Oct. 2012. Web. 15 Nov. 2012.



New International Version. Biblica, Inc. 2011.

Park, Alice. "Study: Children of Lesbians May Do Better Than Their Peers." Time. N.p.,

7 June 2010. Web. 15 Nov. 2012.


Patterson, Romaine. "Let Westboro Baptist have their hate speech. We'll smother it with

peace." The Washington Post. N.p., 6 Mar. 2011. Web. 15 Nov. 2012.

< dyn/content/article/2011/03/04/AR2011030406330.html

© 2013 Knight in Armor

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Added on February 24, 2013
Last Updated on February 24, 2013
Tags: Matthew Shepard, homosexuality, Westboro Baptist Church, homophobia, natural, marriage, gay marriage, unnatural, whiptail lizards, penguins, parenting


Knight in Armor
Knight in Armor

Grand Rapids, MI

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