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WASHINGTON, DC, November 25, 2011 (LifeSiteNews.com) – Homosexual activists have becoming “increasingly aggressive” in attacking their opponents and in shutting down any debate, but despite their efforts “there are legitimate grounds for debate on the origin, nature, and consequences of homosexuality,” argues a new analysis from the Family Research Council.

Homosexual activists “misunderstand (or misrepresent) the views of social conservatives, in part because of conflicting paradigms for understanding homosexuality,” says FRC Senior Fellow for Policy Studies in a press release announcing the publication of the report, titled, “Debating Homosexuality: Understanding Two Views.”

The conflicting paradigms Sprigg addresses have created a disconnect and fundamental misunderstanding between those promoting homosexuality and social conservatives, who see the homosexualist agenda encroaching upon fundamental freedoms.

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Homosexualist groups “have come to adopt a view of homosexuality we might call the ‘gay identity’ paradigm,” Sprigg observes. He explains that the foundations of the “gay identity” paradigm are beliefs that sexual orientation is an innate personal characteristic, like race, and that there is no harm in being homosexual.

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“Based on these beliefs (or, in many cases, unspoken presuppositions), gay activist groups declare, and some others have come to accept, that for someone to believe that heterosexuality is preferable to homosexuality is equivalent to believing that one race is superior to another, and therefore represents a form of bigotry and even ‘hate’ toward gays and lesbians as individuals,” Sprigg states.

“However, this conclusion about critics of homosexuality cannot be valid unless the presuppositions of the ‘gay identity’ paradigm are empirically true.”

“Yet the empirical case for the ‘gay identity’ paradigm is weak – science has not found that homosexuality is determined by biological or genetic factors, and there is an abundance of evidence that sexual orientation can change.”

The paradigm of social conservatives, on the other hand, is based not on “gay identity” but rather on the “homosexual conduct paradigm.”

“We believe homosexual conduct is harmful,” says Sprigg, “and therefore oppose demands that homosexual conduct and relationships be protected, affirmed, and celebrated. The harms associated with homosexuality include serious physical and mental health problems.”

The paper deals in depth with the origins of same-sex attraction and the evidence of successful treatment of unwanted same-sex attraction an analysis. It also provides evidence of the physical and mental harms, including the specific issue of child sexual abuse, associated with homosexual conduct, and discusses the issue of homosexuality in relation to religion.

Sprigg concludes: “In recent years, and even more so in recent months, public discussions about the issue of homosexuality have taken an ominous turn – those demanding public affirmation of homosexual conduct and relationships have begun to abandon the methods of honest and respectful debate, and demand that no debate on the issue of homosexuality be permitted.

“Yet there are legitimate grounds for debate on the origin, nature, and consequences of homosexuality. That debate should continue, with a respect for honest research and for freedom of thought, speech, and religion.”

The full text of “Debating Homosexuality: Understanding Two Views” is available from the Family Research Council website here.

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