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LGBT Rights

How can Christians oppose LGBT rights if they’re fornicating?

How can they call Krishna devotees (congregational members, fallen initiates, second-generation devotees, etc.) “dogs” — ignoring the half a dozen different animal words used to describe sinners (dogs, hogs, crows, cows, camels, asses, etc... and with reincarnation in mind!) — for not following the lifelong vows required for discipleship — if as Christians they aren’t even following their own Scriptures?

A meat-eating Christian wrote in to the People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) website aimed at educating Christians on animal issues: www.jesusveg.com

...and asked: "How can you focus only on some parts of Scripture, while ignoring other parts of Scripture?!"

But it seems to me, meat-eating Christians do this all the time!

How can Christians revere the apostle Paul for referring to his previous adherence to the Law as “so much garbage” while they deliberately ignore verses from the Pauline epistles like “flee fornication,” “do not make provisions for the flesh to gratify its cravings, etc…?

Boy, they “believe”!

If species membership alone is their criterion for personhood, how can they deny rights to LGBTs? As I told a net user calling herself "morticia," a pro-choicer on AlterNet in July 2007, last time I checked, LGBTs were still human beings!

Conservative Christians argue LGBTs should not be given "special rights" (whatever that means).

Are laws specifically intended to end discrimination against women and minorities also "special rights" ?

Liberal Christians, LGBT activists and parents and friends of lesbians and gays (like PFLAG) respond, "equal rights are not 'special rights'..."

Years ago, Church & State, the periodical put out by Americans United for Separation of Church and State quoted a conservative Christian as having admitted that once "God's purpose" is removed from the argument, there's no real reason to limit marriage to one man and one woman.

Conservatives do have a point, however, when they argue that if we legalize same-sex marriages, what's to stop us from legalizing incest or polygamy?

Regarding same-sex marriages: in 1995, when I was traveling with a group of activists, protesting the Republicans "Contract On America," I said that although I couldn't support same-sex marriages, I had no problem with civil unions. This is Jimmy Carter's position today.

In 2004, my friend Dave Browning (1959 - 2007), a conservative, pro-life Republican in San Diego, said he opposed same-sex marriages on the grounds that the definition of marriage (an institution that has lasted thousands of years) should not be changed in the name of political correctness.

When I asked him about civil unions, however, he couldn't raise any objections!

A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada opposed same-sex marriage, calling it "most unnatural," on the grounds that the sole purpose of marriage is for God's service, to produce and raise God-conscious children, and not engage in sex merely for sense gratification.

By Srila Prabhupada's definition, contraception, and even masturbation, oral sex, anal sex and many other sexual practices among heterosexuals would also be considered "most unnatural!"

Srila Prabhupada agreed with a Jehovah's Witnesses tract, The Watchtower, which criticized a liberal clergyman for performing a same-sex marriage.

(I'm mildly amused by the idea of Srila Prabhupada, worshipped by millions of Vaishnavaite Hindus worldwide as a shaktya-avesha-avatar, or empowered representative of God, reading a Jehovah's Witnesses tract!)

Beatnik poet Allan Ginsburg, a homosexual, first heard the chanting of Hare Krishna in India, and was chanting Hare Krishna at peace rallies, beginning in Vancouver, Canada in 1963... two years before Srila Prabhupada arrived in the West.

"Like John the Baptist preceding Jesus," commented my friend Rankin, a former Missionary Baptist minister, in our FOLK ("Friends Of Lord Krishna") congregation in San Diego, who also happens to be gay.

(Our "John the Baptist" turns out to be gay! I think Krishna has a sense of humor about these things!)

At a college preaching program at UC San Diego in 1984, the San Diego temple president commented that "if they (mainstream secular American society) can accept gays (and LGBTs in general), there's no reason they can't accept us (Krishna devotees)."

We can't condone same-sex relations, either, but we should be more tolerant in this area, as one's sexual orientation is determined by one's karma from previous lives, and it's wrong to discriminate against others on the basis of bodily identity.

Political activist and Krishna devotee Pariksit dasa said in the '80s that LGBTs can join the Krishna Consciousness movement, but same-sex marriages are not permissible.

He said, however, discrimination against LGBTs in areas like employment and housing are unjust because they are based on the bodily concept of life, and the first lesson in spiritual life is that we are not these bodies: we are spirits in the material world.

Social ills such as racism, sexism, caste-ism, nationalism, speciesism, and even homophobia arise when eternal souls falsely identify with their temporary material bodies.

According to Bhagavad-gita 5.18, on the spiritual platform, we are all equal. (Compare to Colossians 3:11 and/or Galatians 3:28.)

I told my friend Ruth, and I similarly told my friend Greg, who is gay, when he visited me in the SF Bay Area in 2004, that I don't even have any opposition to same-sex marriages, either... as long as they're civil marriages and/or churches and other religious institutions opposed to same-sex relations aren't forced to recognize them.

In one of his broadcasts from 2004, Sean Hannity warned viewers about a future in which churches that refuse to recognize same-sex marriages lose their tax-exempt status.

Greg dismissed Sean Hannity's words as right-wing propaganda, as did my friend Rose.

Democrats For Life of America, 601 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW, South Building, Suite 900, Washington, DC 20004 (202) 220-3066

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