Homosexuality in the Past

By Dr. James R. Estep Posted: Thu. Feb 1st 1996
In this first chapter, Dr. Estep traces homosexual behavior in ancient cultures until modern times.

Homosexuality in the Ancient Near East

Homosexuality was practiced in various forms in many ancient civilizations. It is not possible to trace the roots of this behavior to every nation but there were obvious signs of its existence within the societies that neighbored the Israelites in Old Testament times. These societies are a good starting point to follow the development of homosexuality into the present age.

1. Homosexuality in Mesopotamia

Mesopotamia represents a diversity of perspectives and opinions on homosexual conduct. In early Mesopotamia, homosexual conduct apparently received little attention. The earliest legal code known to humanity, the Code of Hammurabi (second millennium B.C.), is from ancient Mesopotamia and makes no mention of homosexual practices. However, later Mesopotamian law is not silent on the subject.

Homosexuality in the City of Sumer: Perhaps the most ancient reference to homosexual conduct is contained in Sumerian legal documents. According to Sumerian law, wives had narrow legal rights in the marriage relationship. For example, adultery could only be committed by the wife against the husband, not vice versa; similarly divorce could only be initiated by the husband (as was the practice of Roman law centuries later). However, one legal document possibly suggests that special provisions were made in the event that a woman's husband was found to be a homosexual. Under such circumstances, a wife was permitted to divorce her husband and receive full benefits.

Homosexuality in Assyria: Homosexuality was indeed present in Assyrian society, but was curiously absent from all Babylonian legal codes.1 Some ancient Assyrian texts contain prayers for divine blessing on homosexual relationships2, while others suggest that homosexual prostitution was permitted, possibly on a ritualistic basis, and homosexual prostitutes were regular participants in public processionals.3 However, as will be demonstrated, homosexual conduct was not always respected in Assyrian culture, and was even considered criminal in some instances.

For example, one Assyrian law deals with the offense of committing homosexual acts with a neighbor. The text considers such an act an offense against the state, and further stipulates that "If he is formally convicted, [he is subjected] to a twofold penalty, namely to be treated in the same way as he has treated his victim and to be made a eunuch."4

The "Dog" in Mesopotamian Ritualistic Culture; Mesopotamian texts also use the word dog as a metaphor for male homosexual prostitution.5 It similarly occurs in Akkadian, Phoenician, Ugaritic, Arabic, Aramaic, Syriac, and Ethiopic texts.6 While some have argued that the term applies to sacred heterosexual prostitution,7 most scholars (including those who support Christian homosexuality) completely reject this interpretation.8

This particular element of Near East culture has direct relevance to the biblical text. Deuteronomy 23:18 (RSV) warns the Israelites not to the pay "the wages of a dog (helebh)," a phrase which is considered to be a euphemism for a sacred male prostitute, 9 which the immediate context would support.10 This understanding is reflected in several other ancient cultures.

Summary of Mesopotamian Homosexuality

Bottero and Peschow, preeminent Assyriologists who did the first serious study of homosexuality in Assyrian legal codes, conclude as follows:

Homosexuality in itself is thus nowhere condemned . . . Anyone could practice it freely, just as anyone could visit a prostitute, provided it was done without violence and without compulsion, and preferably as far as taking the passive role was concerned, with specialists.11

However, this conclusion fails to note one significant factor: While it may have been legal in some cases, it was never fully accepted by Assyrian society. For example, D.S. Bailey comments: "Passive sodomy was evidently regarded as reprehensible, no less than criminal."12 Regardless of the scholars' debates, two conclusions are obvious: (1) Homosexuality was a concern of the Mesopotamian cultures, and (2) Homosexual conduct carried with it a negative social stigma, to some degree, since it was considered slander to falsely accuse someone of committing passive homosexual acts.

2. Homosexuality in Egypt

Homosexual conduct was indeed present in ancient Egypt, as demonstrated by u variety of sources. Gravestones of old friends contain references that seem to indicate homosexual relationships, and their desire for it to continue in the afterlife. 13 Unlike the Greco-Roman culture, the pictographic evidence of homosexuality in Egypt is scant and vague; hence we must rely on the literary sources.14 Herodotus, the Greek historian, noted what he considered to be strange sexual practices in Egypt, including necrophilia and bestiality, but made no mention of homosexuality.15 However, literary evidence does attest to the practice of both male and female homosexuality in Egypt, particularly in military and religious contexts.

Homosexuality in Military Contexts: In Egypt, homosexual intercourse was considered a sign of defeat and humiliation, and was often used to demonstrate superiority over a fallen enemy.16 It was almost expected that the victorious armies would commit homosexual rape on their vanquished enemy as a means of humiliation, since homosexual conduct was regarded as an indignity.17 For example, a death spell of the fifth and sixth dynasty Pharaohs commanded: "Go forth, plant thyself on him [the enemy] that he may not copulate with thee."18 The passive partner was always viewed as being powerless or conquered.19 However, this is not to imply that homosexuality was an acceptable practice in all military contexts. For example, Pharaoh Neferkare was disgraced by spending the night with his generals, possibly due to unequal social status, but definitely due to his sexual exploits with them.20

Homosexuality in Religious Contexts: Homosexuality in Egyptian religion can be attributed to the gods Seth and Horus. Their legendary sexual encounter had a significant influence on the social customs of the Egyptians, since it supplied a religious impetus for homosexual activity.21 In the mythological account of the conflict (first created in 1900 B.C.) between Seth and his younger brother Horus, Seth commits a homosexual act with his arch rival Horus, and later demands the office of ruler claiming he had "performed doughty deeds of war" against Horus.22 The intercourse was obviously anal, given the description in "The Contendings of Horus and Seth."23 It is for this reason that in Egyptian literature the god Seth is always associated with abnormal sexual acts, including homosexuality.24

A second aspect of homosexuality in the religious life of ancient Egypt exists. The Book of the Dead (1550-950 B.C.) records a confessional formula for righteousness which contains two clear references to male homosexual practices:

"I have not had sexual relations with a boy." 25
"O His-Face-Behind-Him, who comes forth from Tep-het-djat, I have not been perverted; I have not had sexual relations with a boy'"26

Obviously the pleas for righteousness are referring to the abstaining from pederasty, i.e., homosexual relationship with a minor. Some view these denials of homosexual behavior as being simply magical or ritual formulas; but some Egyptian cities did in fact have local prohibitions on such activities. 27

Similarly, two references are made to lesbian sexual relations in Egyptian literature, being made in a similar context to those mentioned above, and reflecting the same negative sentiments:

"I [a female] have not had intercourse with any woman in the sacred places of my city god."
"If she dreams that a woman has intercourse with her, she will come to a bad end." 28

The first citations may possibly be referring to ritualistic prostitution, but nonetheless given negative connotations. The second indeed does demonstrate a negative social connotation to one having homosexual thoughts or fantasies.

Summary of Egyptian Homosexuality

Homosexual practices, both male and female, seem to have carried a negative connotation in ancient Egypt, and in fact, based on our discussion of The Book of the Dead confessionals, threatened their afterlife. Even D. S. Bailey concluded: "The ancient Egyptians regarded homosexual practices as in some degree morally objectionable and personally degrading."29 Egypt's attitude toward homosexual conduct was indeed dissenting.

3. Homosexuality in Canaanite and Hittite Cultures

Due to the absence of significant literary or pictographic materials from Palestine and Asia Minor, little is known about the perceptions of homosexuality by their inhabitants. Even the literary discoveries from the ancient city of Ugarit make no mention of homosexual conduct. The Old Testament itself seems to indicate the immoral sexual preferences of the Canaanites in the Mosaic Law, "and if the story of Sodom (Gen. 19) is supposed to illustrate Canaanite practices, the insinuation is even clearer."30 Hence, the attitudes and legal codes regarding homosexuality in ancient Canaanite and Hittite cultures seem to reflect that of their Egyptian and Mesopotamian neighbors.

Hittite laws seem to reflect the same posturing as the Assyrian legal codes. They did not categorically forbid homosexual relations. Rather, they sought to place limitations on them, e.g., homosexual practices were prohibited between a father and a son or between close relatives. Hittite Tablet 2.189 reads: "If a man sins [i.e., has sexual relations] with a son, [it is] an abomination." 31 However, this prohibition may primarily be due to the incestuous relationship, and not the homosexuality.32

Summary of Canaanite/Hittite Homosexuality

In both Canaanite and Hittite cultures, homosexuality was connected to religion and fertility, which were frequently equated. "Homosexual activity and bestiality were considered ways of having intercourse with the gods and thus affecting the course of nature." 33 Occasionally, men would commit sexual acts with other men dressed as women, supposedly to simulate fertility.34 Hence, the Canaanite and Hittite cultures contain the sacred aspect of homosexual conduct similar to that of the Egyptians, but without the negative connotations associated with it.

Homosexual Conduct in the Greco-Roman Culture

Never has homosexual behavior been so tolerated, accepted, and even institutionalized in Western civilization as it was during the Greco-Roman period (4th century B.C. to 5th century A.D.). In fact, even before the establishment of the Hellenistic world by Alexander the Great in 333 8.C., homosexual activities "had a relatively prominent place in Greek social life" by the sixth century 8.C. 35 Homosexual practices ranged from pederasty (male homosexual intercourse with a male adolescent), adult homosexual conduct, pederastic and adult homosexual prostitution, homosexual religious rituals, lesbianism, homosexual rape, and simply practicing homosexual behavior for sexual pleasure.36

A predominant feature of homosexual conduct in the Greco-Roman world was the incredible openness at which it was done and the public acceptance of it. 37 John Boswell, a history professor at Yale University and self-avowed homosexual, comments:

Gay people were in a strict sense a minority, but neither they nor their contemporaries regarded their inclinations as harmful, bizarre, immoral, or threatening, and they were fully integrated into Roman life and culture at every level. 38

1. Forms of Homosexual Practice in Greco-Roman Culture

As in contemporary American culture, homosexual conduct was not limited to any one fashion or another, but was practiced in a variety of forms. The three most prevalent forms, which will be discussed in this section, are (1) Lesbianism, i.e., female homosexual practices, (2) Pederasty, i.e., homosexual acts with a male minor/adolescent, and (3) Adult homosexual activities.

Lesbianism in Greco-Roman Culture

Traditionally, lesbian behavior is traced to Sappho, poetess of Mitylene, from the island of Lesbos. The island was inhabited by a colony of women who wrote love poetry and "feminist" perspectives on romance, love, and even politics. However, no expressly lesbian conduct is mentioned in the literature of the poetess of Mitylene, nor can lesbianism be directly traced to it. While the word lesbian is derived from the island of Lesbos, that is the extent of the verifiable connection between them.

Greco-Roman literature gave relatively little attention to female homosexual conduct. K. J. Dover, who has done the most extensive study of homosexual conduct in ancient Greece, suggests that little attention was given it because male authors could not understand the attraction of woman-to-woman, or that it was "a reflex of male anxiety." 39

The first reference to lesbian conduct is found in Plato's Symposium, where he refers to women who "have no fancy for men: They are inclined rather to women."40 However, Robin Scroggs maintains that Plato may have alluded to the practice of lesbianism in Laws 636c.41

Plutarch comments that in Sparta, girls became the lovers of older and more admirable women, mimicking the male pederastic practice. 42 The apostle Paul, likewise, commented that in Rome "their women exchanged natural relations for unnatural ones" (Romans 1:26). Perhaps the most complete depiction of lesbian sexual relations is offered by Lucian when describing the affair between Leana, a courtesan, and her live-in lover Megilla.43

Lesbian practices are also noted as having made use of an artificial penis called an olisbos, which one ancient author described as "cunningly contrived instruments of lechery, those mysterious monstrosities devoid of seed."44 In photographic plates R414 and R1071, Dover includes pictures of vases depicting women with a basket full of olisboi. However, lesbian behavior did not always depend on a "substitute male" for sexual arousal or pleasures, as demonstrated by Dover's plates R207, 8271, and 8502, which depicts sexual relations between women without the use of olisboi.

Pederasty in Greco-Roman Culture

Ronald Springett calls it the "most common form of homosexuality among Greek males," and later among the Romans. 45 Pederastic practices involved adult males having sexual relations with both boys (Gk. pais) and adolescents having entered puberty (Gk. meirakion). Craddock writes:

Pederasty was not uncommon, given the prevalence of slavery, the nature of tutor-pupil relationships, and the general opinion that women were inadequate as social and intellectual companions. 46

Pederasty was not intended to be the beginnings of a life-long relationship, nor was it even considered necessarily beneficial for the youth. For example, an ancient teacher, Timarchus, by age forty-five had already had several boy-lovers, "which suggests a rather rapid rate of turnover" be-tween men and their young partners.47 Likewise, pederasty was not to be pleasurable to the adolescent, but only for the adult male. If the youth did in fact consider it pleasurable, he was generally regarded as a prostitute or pervert.48

Pederasty was practiced in numerous contexts and for various reasons. Each form of pederastic conduct creates a new dimension from which to understand the abusive nature of the pederastic relationship.

Pederastic Prostitution; The Roman moralist and biographer Plutarch refers to "call-boys," adolescent males who prostituted themselves to adult males. 49 Similarly, Strabo comments regarding "a peculiar custom" on Crete, wherein boys are abducted for sexual relations with a nobleman.50 Cato the Elder, a member of the Roman Senate, once commented with outrage that a "pretty boy costs more than a farm."51

Pederastic brothels were common both in Greece and especially in Rome. 52 Brothels were so common that Augustinian Rome "accorded boy prostitutes a legal holiday" and even taxed homosexual prostitution.53 Homosexual brothels need not be considered purely as secular institutions, since some religious rituals required sexual acts "done under the guise of religious ritual... it was customary to use temples in search of love-adventures with men or women."54

Many emperors had boy concubines, including Nero, 55 Domitian,56 and Commodus who had a harem of 300 women and 300 boys.57 Hence, every level of Greco-Roman society had access to pederastic sexual relations.

Military Pederasty: As mentioned in our discussion of homosexual conduct in the ancient Near East, homosexual acts were frequently performed on vanquished foes. However, in Greece it became part of "basic training." Sparta, the most militaristic of the Greek city-states, propagated the idea that homosexual conduct would yield military prowess, and hence was expected during training.58

Slavery: The acquisition of new slaves, whether by birth, purchase, or conquest, frequently resulted in pederasty, in that masters would often require adolescent slaves to dress as women, and as they became adults required them to pluck out their beard so as to remain youthful in appearance. Seneca commented that the adolescent slave "must remain awake throughout the night, dividing his time between his master's drunkenness and his lust; in the chamber he must be a man, at the feast a boy."59 The desire to keep adolescents youthful in appearance, and hence available for their male lovers, frequently resulted in castration, which was employed to prolong youthfulness.60

Educational Pederasty: Just as pederasty was the most common form of homosexual conduct in the Greco-Roman world, pederastic actions in an educational context was the most common form of pederasty until the second century A.D.61

The gymnasium was not only the location for formal education, but a location for teachers to watch naked boys and adolescents play and make their selection with whom they would commit homosexual acts. In fact, Lucian acknowledged that while this practice is abused, the purpose of pederasty in education was to establish a mutual respect between student and pupil. 62 Such acts were committed upon boys due to their "robuster nature and a large share of mind," as compared with women.63

In short, it was expected that teachers would have sexual relations with their youthful students.

Fear of Pederastic Practice: While pederasty was indeed prevalent, it was by no means universally accepted or condoned. According to Josephus,

Herod the Great decided that it would not be safe for him to send Aristobulus [his son], who was then most handsome,being just sixteen, and of a distinguished family, to Antony, who... was ready to use him for erotic purposes and was able to indulge in undisguised pleasure because of his power. 64

Both Lucian and Plutarch demonstrate that while pederasty in the Roman era was prevalent, differences of opinion regarding its legitimacy and morality still remained. Hence, while it was practiced and regarded by many as acceptable, this was by no means a unanimous opinion. Also, while both Lucian and Plutarch may represent opposite perspectives on pederasty, they both close with an affirmation of heterosexuality. 65 In fact, while accepted by some, it was indeed a political liability to have committed kinaidia, "homosexual submission" as a youth.66 Hence, the practice of pederasty was not without its social liabilities.

The foremost educational authority in ancient Rome, Quintilian, likewise voiced his opposition to homosexual practices involving youth and adults in educational and home contexts. M. L. Clarke notes that "Roman Parents and teachers were certainly concerned about" homosexual conduct between older and younger students. 67 Likewise, Quintilian did not believe that "all teachers could be trusted in this respect... [and] throws a lurid light on the home life of some of the wealthier Romans" who expose children and adolescents to homosexual conduct.68

Adult Homosexual Conduct in Greco-Roman Culture

Male homosexual practices were not limited to adult-adolescent sexual relations, but in many cases developed into adult-adult homosexual conduct. In fact, male homosexual relations were oftentimes regarded as being superior to heterosexual love, since it involved men as opposed to involving a woman.

Not only was homosexual coitus regarded in some instances as being superior to heterosexual relations, but in some cases it was given legal favor. A married man could have extramarital sexual relations without being charged with committing adultery if the sex act was performed with either a licensed female prostitute or a homosexual lover. 69 Hence, violating one's marital relation with a homosexual lover was not considered adultery, and thus partially legitimized (if not sanctioned) by the Roman legal system.

Adult homosexual practices were prevalent throughout every level of Roman society, including the political and social elite. The Emperor Galba committed homosexual acts with other adults as well as with adolescents. 70 However, he was not the only emperor to engage in homosexual relations.

The sexual exploits of Nero, likewise, included homosexual relations with both adults and adolescents. He is reported to have had homosexual lovers, some to whom he was even married. 71

2. Moral Opinion of Greco-Roman Culture on Homosexuality

As in modern America, the moralists, historians, and philosophers of the Greco-Roman world represented differing opinions regarding the ethical legitimacy of homosexuality in their civilization. For example, Aristotle maintained that homosexual behavior was natural, and hence should be condoned. While Plutarch condoned bisexuality, he could not do so for exclusively homosexual behavior. Plato argued that in a democratic republic, which was his ideal society, homosexual conduct must be tolerated on the basis of freedom of choice. As previously mentioned, Herodotus argued that Greece learned homosexual practices from the Persians, whereas Plutarch argued the exact opposite. 72

While homosexual conduct reached its height of toleration and acceptance in the Greco-Roman world, this was not by far the unanimous opinion of many ancient authorities. As will be demonstrated in this section, many ancient authorities restricted, limited, and even condemned homosexual practices in their culture.

Medical Condescension: The Roman physician Rufus maintained that homosexual activity was more violent than that of heterosexual contact.73 This is primarily due to the nature of homosexual coitus, i.e., anal intercourse.74 In fact, a "familiar medical debate on the causes of this perverse preference" existed in the medical community of the early centuries A.D.75

Legal Condescension: Despite earlier acceptance of homosexual marriage, even by the Emperors, the Theodosian Code (A.D. 342) outlawed homosexual marriages and instituted corporal punishment against anyone who would force a male into homosexual prostitution.76

In fact, prior to the Theodosian Code, a legal decision from 92 B.C. maintained that: "It shall not be lawful for Philiscus to bring in another wife besides Apollonia, nor to keep a concubine or boy, nor to have children by another woman while Apollonia lives . . ." 77 Hence, the adultery laws began acknowledging male homosexual lovers as a violation of marriage troth.

Boswell notes that in the third century A.D., Rome changed its open acceptance of homosexual conduct. While earlier laws did indeed contain a condescending tone toward passive homosexual behavior, Paulus, a Roman lawyer, argued that a passive homosexual should lose half his estate. 78 The trend to reject the legitimacy of homosexual conduct would coincide with the rise of Christianity's influence in the Roman Empire.

From Then to Now: Homosexuality and Modern America

For most Americans, the gay rights movement is a very recent event on the socio-political horizon, and well it should be. When Christianity gained in social, cultural, economic and political fortitude, the tolerance of homosexuality in Roman culture declined. 79 In fact, it is difficult to trace the history of homosexual conduct through the Middle Ages and modern church era for this very reason. Hence, when the modern homosexual revolution emerged on the American horizon, most Christians, churches, and denominations were caught unprepared to effectively respond to the crisis.

1. Homosexuality in America

Just how large is the homosexual community in the United States? Four researchers with the Alan Guttmacher Institute conducted a scientific survey involving 3,321 American men in their twenties and thirties. Only 1% of the men surveyed claimed to be exclusively homosexual. 2.3% of the men claimed to have ever had same-sex experience within the past ten years. Similar studies conducted by France in 1992 concur with these most recent findings. 80

The homosexual population is indeed a minority in America, but is among the most vocal and politically aggressive. Carefully staged events receive both national and international coverage by the American media. In fact 80% of the American media community maintain that homosexuality is a valid and moral alternative lifestyle, and we can only begin to appreciate and comprehend the impact of the liberal media on the American conscience in recent decades. 81 In recent history, the largest homosexual demonstration was the march on Washington D.C. While media would like for us to believe the April 1993 march on Washington D.C. was made of typical Americans who just happen to be homosexual, they must also admit that along with the marchers were "cross-dressers, leather-clad radicals, and topless lesbians."82

2. History of the Homosexual Crisis

In the pre-Clinton era, the homosexual constituency was on the cultural fringe of America. However, with unprecedented swiftness and publicity, the homosexual community during the Clinton administration has raced into the mainstream of American life and to the forefront of American politics. However, the foundations of the current homosexual rights movement began far earlier than the turn of this decade or the last. The following is a brief history of the milestones in the homosexual rights movement in America. 83

1948: Alfred Kinsey's Sexual Behavior in the Human Male argues that 25% of U.S. male population has a degree of homosexual orientation, with 4% being exclusively homosexual.

1950: Mattachine Society and Daughters of Bilitis formed.

1955: D. Sherwin Bailey publishes Homosexuality and the Western Christian Tradition, creating the foundational work of the new homosexual theological revision.

1968: Troy Perry, a homosexual Pentecostal minister, establishes the first homosexual denomination: Universal Fellowship of Metropolitan Community Churches.

1969: Police raid Stonewall Inn, a New York City gay bar. The incident marks the beginning of the modern gay-liberation movement. Patrick Nidorf, a homosexual Catholic priest, forms Dignity, an organization for homosexual Catholics.

1970: First gay parades in New York and San Francisco, marking the anniversary of the Stonewall riots.

1972: The first mainline American denomination (United Churches of Christ) ordains the first homosexual minister, Bill Johnson.The United Methodist Church describes homosexuality as "incompatible with Christian doctrine."

1973: Amid political pressures and threats of violence, the American Psychological Association (APA) votes to remove homosexuality from its list of mental disorders in Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Illness.

1975: USAF Sgt. Leonard Matlovich discharged for being homosexual, but wins a 1981 case against the Air Force.

1976: Exodus International, the first cooperative effort at ministering to the homosexual community, is formed.

1977: Harvey Milk elected first gay supervisor of San Francisco. He was murdered in 1978.

1981: AIDS, still unnamed, is first reported in the Center for Disease Control's Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report.

1983: Massachusetts R.p. Gerry Studds announces his homosexuality, becomes the first admitted gay congressman. The National Council of Churches tables the UFMCC's application for membership.

1984: San Francisco bathhouses closed during the Democratic National Convention. 100,000 gays march in protest.

Gay activists in the United Methodist and Presbyterian (U.S.A.) churches fail to gain support for the ordination of homosexuals.

Twenty-two states drop their anti-sodomy statutes. 84

1986: U.S. Supreme Court upholds states' rights to outlaw sodomy.

1987: 250,000 homosexuals march on Washington for Civil Rights. AIDS Quilt is unfurled.

1989: ACT UP leads controversial protest against Roman Catholic Church at New York City's St. Patrick's Cathedral.

1992: President-elect Bill Clinton (D) announces his intention to remove the homosexual ban on the military.

1993: Largest homosexual "civil rights" march culminates in Washington, D.C.; estimates range from 300,000 by the American Park Service to 1.1 million by march organizers.

President Clinton appoints a lesbian as the chairperson of Housing and Urban Development (HUD)

1994: Twenty-fifth Anniversary march of Stonewall Riot, which began the modern Gay Rights Movement.85

3. The Current Crisis

In a survey of homosexuals in America, they identified the following items as being "very important" political goals:

  • 77% Health-care and Social Security benefits for gay partners
  • 62% serving openly in the military
  • 42% legally sanctioned gay marriage86

Already landmark cases involving homosexual rights have begun to set a precedent in the American legal and political scene. In July 1989 the New York State Court of Appeals became the first high court to rule that gay couples living together for more than ten years are covered under the family rent control regulations of that state. William B. Rubenstein, a lawyer for the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), regarded this ruling to be "the most important single step forward in American law toward legal recognition of lesbian and gay relationships." 87

Public opinion on the subject is mixed according to a 1989 Time/CNN poll. For example, 65% of those polled maintained that homosexual couples should be legally allowed to inherit one another's property and 54% argued that homosexual couples should be permitted to receive medical or life insurance benefits from the partner's policy; however, 69% maintained that homosexual marriages should not be recognized by the law and 75% argued that homosexual couples should not be allowed to legally adopt children. 88 This shift in public opinion is not isolated to the United States. Canada's response to homosexuals in the role of school teacher, doctor, or senior politician is one of overwhelming acceptance.89

However, the homosexual agenda for America goes even further toward the fringe of American morality. The North American Man/Boy Love Association (NAMBIA) was founded in Boston in 1978, promoting the abolishment of age of consent laws and encouraging sexual relations between adult males, adolescent, and pre-adolescent males. 90 An even more radical group in this regard, the Rene Guyon Society created in 1962, was founded for the express purpose "to actually make it possible for adults to provide sexual stimulation for virtually all children... to convince the public that all laws controlling nonconsensual sex must be abolished."91 In short, it would legalize homosexual child molestation.


  1. G. R. Driver and John C. Miles, The Assyrian Laws (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1935), p.71.
  2. Wenham, G.J. "The Old Testament Attitude to Homosexuality," Expository Times (September 1991), p. 360.
  3. Ibid.
  4. Driver and Miles, p. 71.
  5. Wenham, p. 362. Cf. Revelation 22:15 for possible reference.
  6. D. Winton Thomas, "Kelebh 'Dog': Its Origin and Some Usages of it in the Old Testament," Vestus Testamentum (1960), p. 410.
  7. Cf. Robin Scroggs, The New Testament and Homosexuality (Philadelphia: Fortress Press, 1983), p. 86; Bailey, pp. 52-53.
  8. Tom Horner, Jonathan Loved David (Philadelphia: Westminster Press, 1978), p. 66; John J. McNeil, The Church and the Homosexual (Kansas City: Sheed, Andrews, and McMeel, 1976), p.57.
  9. Cf. P. C. Craigie, The Book of Deuteronomy (NICOT) (Grand Rapids: Eerdman Publishing Company, 1976), p. 302; S. R. Driver, Deuteronomy (ICC) (Edinburgh: T & T Clark, 1902), pp. 264-265.
  10. G. Ernest Wright, "Deuteronomy," Interpreter's Bible (Nashville: Abingdon Press, 1953), p.473.
  11. Bottero and Petschorv, "Homosexualitat," Reallexicon der Assyriologie, 4.462 as cited in Wenham, p. 360.
  12. Derrick Sherwin Bailey, Homosexuality and the Western Christian Tradition (London: Longmans, Green, and Company, l95b), p.24
  13. Wenham, p. 361
  14. Lise Mannichie, Sexual Life in Ancimt Egypt (New York: KPI, 1987), p. 22.
  15. Herodotus, Histories, 2.46,89
  16. Vern L. Bullough, "Homosexuality as Submissive Behavior: Example from Mythology," The Joumal of Sex Research (November 1973),pp. 283-288
  17. Horner, p. 21; Bailey, p. 31
  18. Utterance p.377 (652a)
  19. Ronald M. Springett, Homosexuality in History and the Scriptures (Washington D.C.: Biblical Research Institute, 1988), P. 36
  20. 20 Wenham, p. 361.2
  21. Springett, p. 39
  22. Bailey, p. 31
  23. Bullough, pp. 285-286
  24. Springett, p. 37
  25. "Book of the Dead," A20 in James B. Pritchard, Ancient Near Eastem Texts (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1969) p. 34
  26. "Book of the Dead," B27 in Pritchard, p. 35 [emphasis added].
  27. Mannichie, p.22.
  28. Ibid.
  29. Bailey, p. 33
  30. Wenham, p. 361
  31. Ibid; Springett, p. 46 and fn. 54
  32. H. A. Hoffner, "Incest, Sodomy, and Bestiality in the Ancient Near East," Orient and Occident (Neukirchen: Neukirchen Verlag, 1973), p. 83.
  33. Springett, p. 48.
  34. Ibid, p. 47-48.
  35. Victor Paul Furnish, The Moral Teaching of Paul: Selected Issues (Nashville: Abingdon Press, 1985), p. 58
  36. Cf. Ronald M. Springett, Homosexuality in History and the Scriptures (Washington D.C.: Biblical Research Institute, 1988), p. 104
  37. William Durant, Life of Greece (New York: Simon and Schuster, 1944), pp.301-302
  38. John Boswell, Christianity, Social Tolerance, and Homosexuality (Chicago: University Press, 1980), p. 87
  39. Cf. K. J. Dover, Greek Homosexuality (Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 1978), pp. 172-172
  40. Plato, Symposium, 19Ie
  41. Robin Scroggs, The New Testament and Homosexuality (Philadelphia: Westminster Press, 1983), p. 141
  42. Plutarch, Lycurgus, 18.4
  43. Lucian, Dialogues of the Courtesans,5
  44. Pseudo-Lucian, Erotes, 28
  45. Springett, p. 87
  46. Fred Craddock, "How Does the New Testament Deal with the Issue of Homosexuality?" Encounter (Summer 1979), p. 204
  47. Scroggs, p. 33. cf. Aeschines, Timarchns, 136
  48. Dover, Greeh Homosexuality, p.52
  49. Plutarch, Lycurgrn, 18.4
  50. Strabo, Geography,10.4.2f
  51. Polybius,31.25
  52. Aeschines, Timarchta, 53, 7 4, 123-124, 188; Diogeneres Laterus, 2. 105; Lucian, Timon, 22.
  53. Boswell, p. 70. cf. Everett Ferguson, Bachgrounds of Early Christianity (Grand Rapids: Eerdmans Publishing Company, 1987), p. 57.
  54. Springett, p. 105. cf. Josephus, Antiquities, 18.65-80; Juvenal, Satire, 9.22-24; O. Kiefer, Sexual Life in Ancimt Rome (London: G. Routledge and Sons, 1934), p. 129
  55. Tacitus, Annak, 15.48.
  56. Suetonius, Liaes: Domitian,22; Dio, Liues,67.6.
  57. William Durant, Caesar and Christ (New York: Simon and Schuster, 1944), p. a47.
  58. Cf. Durant, Life of Greece, p.83; Greg L. Bahnsen, Homosexuality: A Biblical View (Grand Rapids: Baker Book House, 1978), p. 50.
  59. Seneca, Epktles, 47.7-8.
  60. Suetoni us, Liaes: Nero, 28; Dio Chrysosto m, Discourse, 2l .4, 68; Juvenal, Satire, 10.295-309
  61. Cf. Philosophomena, 19.89b; Diepnosophists, 13.563e; Scroggs, p. 31.
  62. Lucian, Erotes,33-36. cf. Plato, Symposium, 181d.
  63. Plato, Symposium, 181c.
  64. Josephus, Antiquities, 15.29.
  65. Cf. Springett, pp. 108-109.
  66. lbid., p. 89; Dover, pp. 20-21, 75.
  67. M. L. Clarke, "Quintilian on Education," Empire and Aftervtath: Siluer Latin II, T. A. Dorey eds. (London: Routledge and Kegan Paul, 1975), p. 105.
  68. Ibid., pp. 105-106.
  69. Lawrence E. Stager, "Eroticism and Infanticide at Ashkelon," Biblical Archaeology Review (July-August 1991), pp. 41, 43.
  70. Suetonius, Liues: Galba,21.
  71. Miriam T. Griffin, Nero: The End of a Dynasry (London: Yale University Press, 1984), pp. 164-165, 168, 180.
  72. Cf . Boswell, pp. 49-59.
  73. Cf. Robin Lane Fox, Pagans and Christians (New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 1986), p. 346.
  74. Cf. Dover, p. 145.
  75. Ibid.
  76. Theodosian Code 9.7.3. cf. Boswell, PP. 123-124; Bailey, p. 70.
  77. Sydney Page, "Marital Expectations of Church Leaders in the Pastoral Epistles,"Journal for the Study of the New Testament (Fall 1993), 118 [Emphasis added].
  78. Sententiae 2.27.12. cf. Boswell, p. 122.
  79. Cf. John Boswell, Same-Sex Unions in Pre-Modem Europe (New York: Villard Books, 1994); Christianity Social Tolerance, and Homosexuality (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1980).
  80. Cf. Jerry Adler, "Sex in the Snoring '90s," Newsweek (April 26, 1993), 55; Kim Painter, "Only 1% of Men say They are Gay," USA Today (April 15, 1993), lD.
  81. Joe Dallas, "Born Gay?" Christianity Today (June 22, 1992),22.
  82. Mimi Hall, "Cover Story: 'You Can't Ignore Us," says Marchers," USA Today (April 26, 1993), 10A.
  83. Based on information gained from Randy Frame, "The Homosexual Lifestyle: Is There a Way Out?" Christianity Today (August 9, 1985), 34; Salholz, "The Future of Gay America," 22-23
  84. William Dannemeyer, Shadow in the Land (San Francisco: Ignatius Press, 1989), p.57.
  85. Cf. Kushner, "Fireworks and Freedom," p. 46-48.
  86. Ibid., p. 48.
  87. "Homosexual Families and the Law," Newsweek (July 17, 1989), p. 48.
  88. Walter Isaason, "Should Gays Have Marriage Rights?" Time (November 20, 1989), pp. 101-102.
  89. Nora Underwood, "Homosexual Rights," Macleans (January 2, 1989), p.22.
  90. Rueda, The Homosexual Network, pp. 177-178
  91. lbid., p. 178 [emphasis added]