This is not a thread about whether homosexuality is a “sin” or “unnatural.” Rather, it is about the extreme reaction to it, well out of proportion with other things generally thought of as “sinful.”
It wasn’t so long ago that homosexuality was illegal throughout most of the West, and a few generations before that, it was punishable by death. Traditionally, homosexuality has been the only “unmentionable vice” or “the sin that cannot be named” – while murder, cannibalism, and genocide all can be mentioned. That implies, in some sense, that homosexuality was considered worse than those.
Even today, remnants of this attitude still exist in the West. For instance, courtrooms still occasionally accept the “gay panic” defence, thus reducing the sentences of male murderers whose male victims expressed sexual interest in them. The Triangle Foundation’s study of police records in the US found 29 murders believed or known to be at least partially motivated by antigay hate in 1999.
The usual explanation is that traditional Christianity and/or the Bible are to blame, yet these fall far short as explanations. Usury has also been seen as a Christian sin, and yet there are no banker-bashings. Adultery is prohibited by the Ten Commandments, and punishable by death (Leviticus 20:10), and yet there are no teenagers and 20-somethings, stalking outside singles bars, hunting down unfaithful, married men and women. And yet, such gays and lesbians have to worry about being gaybashed.
One occasionally hears about rapists being killed by their victims, or murderers being killed by the family of their victims, but as far as I know, no complete stranger goes out to hunt down a murderer or a rapist. However, antigay murders are often commited by strangers.
So here’s the debate: Why homosexuality, specifically? What is it about a set of perfectly harmless acts between consenting adults that inspires so much hatred?