Why do people have opinions about homosexuality?

When did you most recently look at someone and hope that s/he would express an opinion about homosexuality?  I’m guessing the answer is “never.”  If you have hoped to hear that, then my guess is that you felt isolated and embattled by people who disagreed with your opinion, and you were hoping for someone to  support your views.  Have you ever actually been curious to know what a person thought about homosexuality, or wanted to hear an argument about it that might lead you to change your mind?

When did you most recently hear someone express an opinion about homosexuality?  I’m guessing the answer involves a story about being trapped with some terrible bore.  If it doesn’t involve that, then my guess is that it was some intensely personal encounter.  Have you ever actually found homosexuality a suitable topic for abstract discussion?

When did you most recently express an opinion about homosexuality?  I’m guessing the answer is “when I was being an asshole.”  If not, then my guess is that you were trying to stop the people around you from denouncing those they disagreed with by showing them that you were one of those they are denouncing, and relying on their regard for you as a person to prompt them to behave themselves.  Has anyone ever actually been impressed by the logic of an argument you have presented in support of your opinion about homosexuality?

I mean these questions seriously.  Some friends of mine are currently at odds with each other because they disagree about whether homosexuality is moral.  Mrs Acilius and I were talking about this group the other day, and said that the reason their trouble had come to a desperate pass was that they refused to sit down together and talk about their differences.  If only they could discuss the matter, we agreed, surely they would find a way to go on together, even if they didn’t have the same views.  With a taboo over such a prominent matter, their friendship seemed to be doomed.

Shortly after, we turned on the television and looked for something to watch.  As we flipped, we heard an announcer saying “And now, we take your calls on the question of the day: What should Christians believe about homosexuality?”  We nearly fell off the couch as we raced to change the channel.

If you don’t want to hear anyone else’s opinion about homosexuality and no one wants to hear yours, why bother forming, holding, and expressing such opinions at all?  Granted, there are public policy questions that come before the voters in most democracies nowadays that call for opinions about homosexuality.  But if people didn’t harbor such opinions, would those questions continue to exist?

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