Homosexual Issues
How America should react to homosexuals? How America should react to homosexuals

Many experts agree that homosexuality has existed as long as human beings
themselves, although the attitude towards them has undergone dramatic changes in
some countries. Accepted by many societies during Greek and Roman era, most of
the time homosexuals were considered to be sinners against nature and even
criminals. In Medieval and modern periods homosexuals were prosecuted.

Enlightenment brought some liberation, substituting death penalty by
imprisonment. In Nazi Germany so-called "doctors" tried to
"cure" gays by the ways of castration and extreme intimidation. Until

1973 attempts to find a cure against homosexuality, what by majority was viewed
as a disease, were continued. Today, when research on twins suggests that sexual
orientation is not a choice, but our genetic predisposition, homosexual acts are
still considered to be immoral and even illegal in majority of countries and in
the eyes of most religious groups homosexuals, probably, always will be the
subjects of anathema. As much as the future may look gloomy for many gays and
lesbians all over the world, there are remarkable changes in public opinion and
officials’ attitudes toward homosexuals in some countries. For example, in

1989 Denmark was the first to allow the same-sex marriage. In the United States
the subject of homosexuality remains controversial. For example, In Hawaii three
homosexual couples asked the court to recognize their right to get married and
the court did. However, the state government refused to legalize this marriage.

Consequently, a new amendment was introduced to the state Constitution. At the
same time, majority of the states are not even considering this option and
homosexuality itself is still illegal there. Still, not only authorities try to
determine the position they should take towards homosexuals, many common

Americans also have no clear understanding of how to react to homosexuality. Why
should we bother to find the answer to the questions: who are the homosexuals
and where do they belong in our society? First of all, it is important to
realize that homosexuals are an integral part of our society. Your neighbor,
your co-worker, your hairdresser, your child and even your spouse can be one of
them. According to Richard D. Mohr "[t]wo out of five men one passes on the
street have had orgasmic sex with men. Every second family in the country has a
member who is essentially homosexual and many more people regularly have
homosexual experiences"(186). Should we avoid them, ignore, express our
anger and disgust? Unfortunately, many people feel that way because they have a
remote idea about people of different sexual orientation. For them homosexuality
is perversion, abnormality or decease. The ignorance may foster fear, which in
its turn leads to hostility. Homophobia is dangerous, because it affects all
groups of people – heterosexuals and homosexuals, grown-ups and children, men
and women. It may lead to violence and even death. There are numerous cases when
people were actually killed because of homophobia. To name few of them –

Matthew Shepard(homosexual), John Braun (heterosexual), Steve Kennedy
(homosexual) and the list can be continued. Prejudice against homosexuality
sharply limits how all men and women may acceptably behave, among themselves and
with each other. It is obvious that we can no longer pretend that the homosexual
issue is none of our concern. In attempt to evaluate our attitude towards people
of different sexual orientation we will be able to understand them better. What
is more important, we may overcome our prejudice, which often results in
discrimination of one group against another. To acknowledge that there are
people who are different and learn to tolerate them means to live in a safer
world. The next question is: Do we have the right to discriminate against
homosexuals? Until recently homosexuals were invisible minority. Therefore, many

Americans were unaware that gays and lesbians were discriminated against. But
homosexuals were and still are treated unfairly on the basis that they undermine
our morality, that they present danger to our children and that they are
transmitters of AIDS far more than heterosexuals. Today many gays and lesbians
come out of "the closet" and demand the same rights that heterosexual
take for granted. We have to admit that some steps have been made to protect
homosexuals. However, many government and public institutions and individuals
still discriminate against homosexuals denying them employment, housing,
insurance, marriage, child’s custody and so on. Why is it allowed to
discriminate against people who have different sexual orientation? Some may put
forward arguments that being gay is immoral, that it is illegal, that it is a
sin against nature and violation of