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Sexual orientation is a topic of intense debate within America's religious traditions. These discussions have had a significant impact on the formation of public policy, as speakers who locate themselves squarely within religious traditions have articulated positions on both sides in recent arguments concerning gays in the military, civil rights protections for gays and lesbians, gay marriage, parenting and foster parenting, and benefits for partners of gay and lesbian employees of major corporations and institutions.
This volume, which stems from a 1995 conference at Brown University, aims to promote both academic and public understanding of the different positions that exist on sexual orientation and its public policy dimensions within four major American religious traditions. Writers from within the Jewish community, the Roman Catholic church, Mainline Protestant churches, and African-American churches explore the history and tradition of their communities on same-sex orientation, discuss the moral stance they advocate, and consider the legal and public policy implications of that stance. For each of these traditions, two opposing views are represented, and a respondent frames the issue in a larger context. The book concludes with essays by Michael McConnell and Andrew Koppelman exploring how our society might find a modus vivendi in a state position of neutrality on the moral status of homosexuality.
This book will appeal to a broad range of readers interested in these crucial issues, and in the role the religious communities play in these debates, while helping to foster the climate for a more reasoned and civil dialogue.
|Introduction: Contemporary Jewish Perspectives on Homosexuality||5|
|Religious Communities, Secular Society, and Sexuality: One Jewish Opinion||11|
|Sexual Orientation and Human Rights: A Progressive Jewish Perspective||29|
|Constructing a Jewish Sexual Ethic: A Rejoinder to David Novak and Judith Plaskow||46|
|Introduction to Roman Catholic Perspectives on Sexual Orientation, Human Rights, and Public Policy||57|
|Sexual Orientation and Human Rights: A Roman Catholic View||63|
|Sexual Orientation and Human Rights in American Religious Discourse: A Roman Catholic Perspective||85|
|Response to James Hanigan and Charles Curran||101|
|Mainline Protestant Churches|
|Introduction to Essays Representing Mainline Protestant Churches||113|
|The Prophetic Stand of the Ecumenical Churches on Homosexuality||119|
|Sanctification, Homosexuality, and God's Triune Life||134|
|Response to Max Stackhouse and Eugene Rogers||161|
|Introduction: Three Perspectives on Gays in African-American Ecclesiology and Religious Thought||171|
|Sexual Orientation and Human Rights Discourse in the African-American Churches||178|
|Deadly Silence: Reflections on Homosexuality and Human Rights||185|
|Sexual Orientation and the Language of Higher Law||201|
|Sexual and Religious Pluralism||215|
|What Would It Mean to Have a "First Amendment" for Sexual Orientation?||234|