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Gay rights are human rights. ~ Hillary Clinton
"Unasked by night; I am true Love, I fill
The hearts of boy and girl with mutual flame."
Then sighing said the other, "Have thy will,
I am the Love that dare not speak its name." ~ Lord Alfred Douglas
If it be sin to love a lovely lad
Oh there sin I. ~ Richard Barnfield
Diane sortant du bain by Francois Bouche
Some people are uncomfortable with gays, but your discomfort with my sexuality should not translate into me having less rights as an American. ~ Daayiee Abdullah
Homosexuality is assuredly no advantage, but it is nothing to be ashamed of, no vice, no degradation, it cannot be classified as an illness. ~ Sigmund Freud
Socrates and Alkibiades (Édouard-Henri Avril, 1860)

Homosexuality is romantic attraction, sexual attraction or sexual behavior between members of the same gender.

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  • Ye lads of grace and sprung from worthy stock
    Grudge not to brave men converse with your beauty
    In cities of Chalcis, Love, looser of limbs
    Thrives side by side with courage.
    • Aristotle, Eroticus fr. 98 Rose (= Plutarch, Amatorius 760f), quoted at Cantarella p. 71 and Crompton p. 10 from the translation of F.C. Babbit, Plutarch: Moralia, vol. 9. Loeb Classical Library no. 425 (London, repr. 1961) p. 377.


  • If it be sin to love a lovely lad
Oh there sin I.
  • Pre-World War II prejudices against homosexuals are hard to summarize, because scholars disagree as to when the category of "homosexual" even became recognizable in Europe. It seems evident that in antiquity certain forms of intimacy between people of the same sex did not carry a stigma or preclude sexual relations with members of the opposite se. By the modern era, however, much of this flexibility was gone, although the supposedly prudish society of Victorian England showed considerable tolerance for at least some kinds of same-sex intimacies. For example, many people considered sexual experimentation among boys in boarding schools to be a normal part of development; loving relationships between women who often became lifelong companions were not uncommon either. Nevertheless, by the late nineteenth century many parts of Europe had introduced laws against homosexuality. The German criminal code of 1871 explicitly forbade sexual relations between men. The state prosecuted some cases, and public interest in such "scandals" ran high. For example, it was an enormous sensation when prince Eulenberg, a member of the inner circle of the German Kaiser Wilhelm II (1888-1918), was charged with homosexual activities and forced from public life. Somewhat paradoxically, an increased openness around the subject of human sexuality in the decades after World War I served to make homosexual men and women more visible in Europe and to increase the panic some heterosexuals felt about them.
    • Doris L. Bergen, War and Genocide: A Concise History of the Holocaust (2016), Third Edition, p. 33
  • Political changes in Germany after World War I made it possible for the first time for Berlin to develop a gay scene that included clubs, restaurants, and bathhouses frequented by homosexual men. Lesbians, it seems, tended to attract less public attention, although there were also some clubs popular with homosexual women. Laws against sex between men were still on the books in Germany's first democracy, the Weimar Republic, but enforcement was slacker than it had been before World War I, especially in major cities. Many heterosexual Germans, however, disapproved of what they considered their overly permissive society. Magnus Hirschfeld (1868-1935), a sex reformer and homosexual rights leader in Berlin, made an international reputation for his research in sexology, the new field of studies of sex and sexuality. Hirschfeld regarded homosexuality as the "third sex," a natural and legitimate variant between masculine and feminine. Homosexuals, he pointed out, looked and behaved normally and should be treated accordingly. For many people the work of researchers and activists such as Hirschfeld offered new possibilities for human freedom. For others it seemed to represent the decadence of a society that had abandoned its traditional values. Hitler's Nazis capitalized on such fears as well; they forced Hirschfeld out of Germany, and his research institute was one of the first casualties of the new regime.
    • Doris L. Bergen, War and Genocide: A Concise History of the Holocaust (2016), Third Edition, p. 33-34
  • In Mein Kampf Hitler had made it clear that he planned to "deal with" the Jews. He started his social revolution, however, with attacks on a group that was even less likely to receive public support: homosexual men. In the 1920s and early 1930s, Berlin and other major German cities had become centers of a small but vibrant gay culture. Even before the Nazis came to power, police had sometimes harassed men known or suspected to be homosexual; many Germans regarded homosexuality as deviant and decadent and urged their government to crack down by imposing what they considered moral and sexual order. Since 1871, Paragraph 175 of the German criminal code had outlawed sexual relations between men: "A male who indulges in criminally indecent activities with another male or who allows himself to participate in such activities will be punished with jail." The prohibition did not mention sexual acts between women. Hitler built on this law in early 1933 to ban homosexual rights organizations in Germany. According to National Socialist teachings, homosexuals were an abomination because they opted out of the reproduction of the so-called Aryan master race. Moreover, according to Himmler and others, homosexual men in public positions of any kind were dangerous because they were always vulnerable to blackmail.
    • Doris L. Bergen, War and Genocide: A Concise History of the Holocaust (2016), Third Edition, p. 73
  • It was also politically expedient for Hitler's new government to lash out against gay culture, because opponents of Nazism charged the movement, in particular the Stormtroopers and SS, with fostering and glamorizing intimate relations between men. Communist and Socialist enemies of Nazism had been known to mock those obsessively male organizations as stomping grounds for deviants, and some conservative and Christian critics leveled the same accusations. Antagonistic Nazis focused on gay men; they seemed for the most part not to see lesbian or bisexual women as posing a particular threat, because women did not exercise public power by serving in the military or at high ranks of the bureaucracy. In any case women, some Nazi activists presumed, could always be forced to bear children for the German Volk, regardless of their own sexual orientation. Nevertheless, in individual cases lesbians were persecuted as so-called asocial elements. Leadership from above prompted initiatives by people acting out their own hostilities. In 1933, Nazi Stormtroopers and other thugs raided gay bars and clubs in German cities and forced many of them to close. A few managed to remain open longer- some intermittently until the end of World War II- but under constant threat of raids and violence. In May 1933, a group of Nazi students stormed and destroyed the Institute for Sexual Research in Berlin. Its director was the gay rights activist Magnus Hirschfeld, whom his opponents also vilified because he was Jewish. For the most part the German public was indifferent or cheered such offensives.
    • Doris L. Bergen, War and Genocide: A Concise History of the Holocaust (2016), Third Edition, p. 73-74
  • Die Freundschaft zwischen Geschlechtsgleichen bekommt einen erotischen Ton, der ins Bewusstsein tritt, and der sich auch mitunter bis zur Begierde steigert. Hier begann für die altere Medizin die Pathologie, wie für die ältere Juristik die Kriminalität, ohne dass in dem natürlichen Verhalten irgend ein Grund für einen von beiden gegeben wäre.
    • Friendship between those of the same sex attains an erotic tone, which comes into consciousness, and which also occasionally increases to the point of desire. Here, for older medicine, was where pathology began, for older jurisprudence, where criminality began, without providing any reason for either.
  • For example, when your children are being repeatedly told about the virtues of LBGT behaviors or "same-sex marriage is a civil right," what are you going to say to them? Do same-sex behaviors and marriages present God's vision for His people? A well-informed family chaplain knows enough to say, "Let's talk about this. Because first of all, the Bible is clear about such behavior and second, I don't think you know much about the civil rights era or what a 'civil right' really is." I was around during the civil rights movement and maybe you were, too. But if not, you'll have to do your homework. That way you're able to say, "OK, I've studied this. So, let me explain to you what the civil rights movement was all about. It was about people not being given equal freedoms and opportunities because of the color of their skin. You can explain how those who were deprived of their rights didn't choose to be that color- black, brown, whatever- any more than some of us turned out to be white. But of this we can be sure; we are all made in the image of God- just the way we are.
    • William G. Boykin, Man to Man: Rediscovering Masculinity in a Challenging World (2020), p. 158-159
  • With that in mind, is it okay to say those who are involved in homosexual relationships were created that way and therefore they have a "civil right" to do whatever they feel like doing? No, that's not what the Bible teaches us. The Bible frames homosexual behavior as a choice- and not a good choice. That chosen behavior is not godly, because the Scripture is clear about the sinful nature of homosexuality. By the way, it's no different, and no worse, than the guy who's sleeping with his secretary instead of his wife. It's all sexual sin and it's covered in Romans I and elsewhere in the Bible. Now let me be clear on a couple things at this point, since I know already that I will be criticized for even raising the issue of homosexuality. First of all, sin is sin, period. I know; I am guilty of committing many of them. Christians need to see homosexuality in the context of all the sins listed in the Bible. Some have greater consequences, but all sin is wrong and separates us from the closeness to God that we should be seeking in our lives. If you are a practicing homosexual and I am a fornicator, who has committed the greater sin? Well, I hope you get to the point that we are equally sinners. It is all wrong and displeasing to God.
    • William G. Boykin, Man to Man: Rediscovering Masculinity in a Challenging World (2020), p. 159-160
  • The second point is that while the Supreme Court may have created rights for LBGT couples to marry, that does not mean I am under any mandate to celebrate it. I will not be bullied into compromising on my beliefs about the whole issue of sexual sin or any other kind of sin for that matter. Sin not only break's God's laws, it breaks His heart. As a spiritual leader of my home, I need to communicate how sin not only grieves God, but it grieves me as well because it hurts all involved.
    • William G. Boykin, Man to Man: Rediscovering Masculinity in a Challenging World (2020), p. 160
  • Imagine seeing an attractive girl in the hallway who's in one of your classes, but who you've never really had the chance to talk with. Somehow, you get into a conversation with her. She seems nice, and you like her, and she's laughing and you're starting to get hopeful. Then a couple of football players come around the corner and say, "Hey, what the hell are you talking to her for, faggot? Do you actually think you have a chance with her?" And then they pick you up and push you into a locker, and you look like a pathetic weakling in front of the girl you were trying so hard to impress. Such things were commonplace at Columbine. If a guy was acting in the Columbine drama program, he was immediately labeled a "drama fag." Not only was he not playing sports- which was what all normal guys were supposed to do at Columbine- but he was into that fine arts crap! The bullies found whatever weakness they could and went after it. I was a wuss because I wasn't in sports. I was gay because I liked theatre. Then when I was in debate, it was like, "Ooh, you must be smart, huh huh huh." Apparently, they thought calling someone "smart" was an insult.
    • Brooks Brown, No Easy Answers: The Truth Behind Death At Columbine (2006) with Rob Merritt, 2nd edition, p. 61
  • I repeat my belief: Homosexuals do not suffer discrimination when they keep their perversions in the privacy of their homes. They can hold any job, transact any business, join any organization- so long as they do not flaunt their homosexuality and try to establish role models for the impressionable young people- our children. I will continue to fight the attempts of Metro, and the attempts of a few Congressmen who on February 2 presented a similar type of bill in the Congress of the United States to legitimize homosexuality. Homosexuals cannot reproduce- so they must recruit. And to freshen their ranks, they must recruit the youth of America. I shall continue to fight against that recruitment. Those who do not share my conviction may continue to blacklist my talent- but with God's help, they can never blacken my name.
    • Anita Bryant, The Anita Bryant Story: The Survival of Our Nation's Families and the Threat of Militant Homosexuality (1977), p. 62
  • There are books out now, and there are those making speeches who accuse me of putting down homosexuals and making them out to be second-class citizens. They say I have shown no compassion to homosexuals. We are said to be giving out hysterical misinformation and making judgments and pronouncements without knowing or understanding what we are talking about. They say we are lacking in understanding. We are labeled as generating hatred and using Christianity as a way of discrimination. We are said to have tremendous hostility and hatred for the homosexual. I cannot tell you how this saddens me. I truly do love the homosexual, and all sinners for that matter. It has been said that I am a one-issue person, which is not true. I hate "sins" in the plural just as Billy Graham, Oral Roberts, and other public religious figures have expressed. I have spoken out on the issue of homosexuality because it is the one we were confronted with. I have said it hundreds of times, and I'll go on saying it. I love the homosexual too much not to tell him the truth. I love these people enough to care about where they're going to spend eternity. And I love them enough to want to do something to help them.
    • Anita Bryant, At Any Cost (1978) by Anita Bryant and Bob Green, p. 17-18
  • When I repeat what the Bible says about sin- including homosexual acts- and emphasize that God calls for repentance (which means a feeling of sorrow and changing one's ways), I do so with compassion. Deliberate and unrepentant sin of any kind is contrary to the will of God, and until we admit and forsake our sin we cannot experience the forgiveness of God in Christ. Such statements on my part do not reveal a poverty of compassion. What my critics' statements reveal is the depths of depravity to which the human mind will go to justify and hang onto one's self-centered sexuality. The biblical truths of which I speak do not originate with me. This call for repentance is not my idea. My source book of truth is the Word of God.
    • Anita Bryant, At Any Cost (1978) by Anita Bryant and Bob Green, p. 18
  • There are well-known church leaders who are saying the church must counter my statements. One such woman leader stated: "Society doesn't have enough knowledge about homosexuality to consider it without being judgmental. This is one of those areas that we don't know enough about now. I don't know why, but God makes people feel this way, and I know He loves them, and I don't feel like being judgmental about it... This is a misuse of religion that we have had through all of the centuries about anything we don't like. In terms of loving people, I think it's a terribly unloving way to behave." God makes people this way... What could be more erroneous than to blame God for the sin of homosexuality? No one can lay that charge to the Almighty. Research data consistently shows that homosexuals must make a choice whether to act out their sexual preference or to keep it under control. Jerry Kirk in the book The Homosexual Crisis in the Mainline Church states that righteousness, not research, will decide where the church must stand. As of now the claims of scientists and researchers are contradictory. Either the church stands on the claims of the Word of God and faces up to the fact that God calls for moral responsibility, or it will be held accountable for failure to hold up the standards of righteousness.
    • Anita Bryant, At Any Cost (1978) by Anita Bryant and Bob Green, p. 35
  • If I saw a man drowning, and I had it within my power to rescue that man, but I turned my back and walked away, what kind of a person would I be? That's love in action? Just so, I see the homosexual as a victim who needs help. I have it within my power to hold out to the homosexual, in Christlike compassion, that which will rescue him from eternal punishment. My way of showing love may not necessarily be the same as someone else's, but who is being judgmental when they accuse me of unloving behavior?
    • Anita Bryant, At Any Cost (1978) by Anita Bryant and Bob Green, p. 37


Pan e Siringa.jpg
  • Catholics and other Christians are against abortions and they're against homosexuals. Well who has less abortions than homosexuals? Leave these fucking people alone for Christ's sake! Here is an entire class of people guaranteed never to have an abortion and the Catholics and the Christians are just tossing them aside. You'd think they'd make natural allies! Don't look for consistency in religion.
  • The reason for most violence against gays is that heterosexual men are forced to prove that they, themselves, are not gay. It goes like this: Men in strong male subcultures like the police, the military, and sports (and a few other cesspools) bond very strongly. Hunting, fishing, and golfing friendships also produce this unnatural bonding. These guys bond and bond, and get closer and closer, until finally they're just drunk enough to say, "You know, I really love these guys." And that frightens them. So they must quickly add, "But I'm not a queer!" See the dilemma? Now they have to go out of their way to prove to the world, to their buddies, and to themselves that they don't harbor homoerotic feelings. And it's only a short step from "I'm not a queer" to "In fact, I hate queers!" And another short step to "Let's go kill some queers!" And what they really seek to kill is not the queer outside, it's the queer inside they fear.
  • Yet of old the matter seemed even to be a law, and a certain law-giver among them bade the domestic slaves neither to use ointments when dry (i.e. except in bathing) nor to keep youths, giving the free this place of honor, or rather of shamefulness. Yet they, however, did not think the thing shameful, but as being a grand privilege, and one too great for slaves, the Athenian people, the wisest of people, and Solon who is so great among them, permitted it to the free alone. And sundry other books of the philosophers may one see full of this disease. But we do not therefore say that the thing was made lawful, but that they who received this law were pitiable, and objects for many tears. For these are treated in the same way as women that play the whore. Or rather their plight is more miserable. For in the case of the one the intercourse, even if lawless, is yet according to nature: but this is contrary both to law and nature. For even if there were no hell, and no punishment had been threatened, this were worse than any punishment. Yet if you say they found pleasure in it, you tell me what adds to the vengeance. For suppose I were to see a person running naked, with his body all besmeared with mire, and yet not covering himself, but exulting in it, I should not rejoice with him, but should rather bewail that he did not even perceive that he was doing shamefully.
  • Gay rights are human rights.


François Lemoyne - Woman Bathing - WGA12659.jpg
  • Some people haven't figured it out yet. When it comes to sex, all women are gay. Some men are holdouts.
    • Betty Dodson as quoted in "The Exercise Must Be Free", Jerry Talmer, GayCityNews, October 30, 2008 Archived December 27, 2008, at the Wayback Machine.
  • A purple robe he wore, o'erwrought with gold
With the device of a great snake, whose breath
Was a fiery flame: which when I did behold
I fell a-weeping and I cried, "Sweet youth,
Tell me why, sad and sighing, thou dost rove
These pleasant realms? I pray thee speak me sooth
What is thy name?" He said, "My name is Love."
Then straight the first did turn himself to me
And cried, "He lieth, for his name is Shame,
But I am Love, and I was wont to be
Alone in this fair garden, till he came
Unasked by night; I am true Love, I fill
The hearts of boy and girl with mutual flame."
Then sighing said the other, "Have thy will,
I am the Love that dare not speak its name."
  • There can be little doubt that, as far as they thought of the matter at all, Marx and Engels were personally homophobic, as shown by an acerbic 1869 exchange of letters on Jean-Baptiste von Schweitzer, a German socialist rival. Schweitzer had been arrested in a park on a morals charge and not only did Marx and Engels refuse to join a committee defending him, they resorted to the cheapest form of bathroom humor in their private comments about the affair.
Boucher Leda och svanen.jpg
  • As early as the 1920s leaders of Western Communist parties began to float the idea that the public discussion of homosexuality, and the seeming increase in homosexual activity, resulted from the decadence of capitalism in its death throes. Homosexuality was to disappear in the healthy new society of the future.



Charlie Mitchell by Henry Scott Tuke
  • Homosexuality is assuredly no advantage, but it is nothing to be ashamed of, no vice, no degradation, it cannot be classified as an illness.
    • Sigmund Freud, letter to an American mother's plea to cure her son's homosexuality, April 9th. 1935. quoted in Vernon A. Rosario, Homosexuality and Science: A Guide to the Debates, ABC-CLIO, 2002. Also quoted in David A. J. Richards, Sex, Drugs, Death, and the Law: An Essay on Human Rights and Overcriminalization. Rowman & Littlefield, 1986 (p. 72).


  • The origins of the two political movements at the heart of America's culture war are as humble as they are contemporary. The cultural ferment of the 1960s stands as the prelude to the battle to come. The first rousings of the modern gay movement date back to a sultry summer night in June 1969 when a ragtag group of drag queens and teenage hustlers rebelled against police harassment outside the Stonewall Inn, a Greenwich Village gay bar. The gays and lesbians who led the disturbance had little more to rely on than their anger. In a time when police raids on gay bars were the norm, they were largely at the mercy of hostile city officials. Routinely described as freaks and perverts in the press (one newspaper mockingly described the protesters as "Queen Bees"), they had little political organization to speak of, were characterized as mentally ill by the mainstream of the medical profession, and were generally banished from jobs and families if their sexuality was discovered. The political weakness and precarious social position of gays and lesbians at the time of Stonewall remains a fact that the religious right, intent on painting them as privileged and pathological, has been loath to accept.
    • John Gallagher and Chris Bull, The Religious Right, the Gay Movement, and the Politics of the 1990s (1996), Ch. 1
  • The "silent majority," Viguerie determined, was as motivated by a constellation of family issues, exemplified by gay rights and abortion, as the old conservative standard, anticommunism. The transition was a relatively smooth one. The old right had couched its anticommunism in the rhetoric of family values long before it was fashionable. Even though communism both in the United States and abroad was notoriously homophobic, the old right viewed it as weakening the Christian fabric of the nation, which would enable homosexuals to gain a stronger foothold. Homosexuals were often lampooned as limp-wristed "pinkos," and perhaps the staunchest anticommunist of all, J. Edgar Hoover, took to attacking both homosexuals and communists in identical terms. Faced with the reality that communism was a dying ideology even before the decline of the Soviet Union, the new right and the religious right came to depict homosexuals as one of the chief evils of the modern world. It was the homosexual movement, particularly by gaining admission to the U.S. armed services, that would destroy America from within and make it vulnerable to foreign armies. Furthermore, by infiltrating the schools, homosexuals, like communists, had an insidious influence on the nation's most vulnerable commodity, its children. The new emphasis would leave the new right well stocked with new enemies closer to home after the fall of the "Evil Empire" in the mid-1980s.
    • John Gallagher and Chris Bull, The Religious Right, the Gay Movement, and the Politics of the 1990s (1996), Ch. 1
  • The most bitter showdown came in California in 1978, when state senator and gubernatorial candidate John Briggs of Fullerton, armed with Bryant's contributor list, launched a drive to ban open homosexuals, or anyone advocating the 'gay lifestyle," from teaching in public schools. Largely as a result of unexpected opposition from then-governor Ronald Reagan and other prominent conservatives, the Briggs initiative lost by more than one million votes, 3.9 million to 2.8 million. Under intense lobbying from gay activists including David Mixner, who would go on to become a key adviser to President Clinton, Reagan refused to endorse the initiative on libertarian grounds, which should have tipped off his religious right supporters that he was not to be their messiah. The initiative "is not needed to protect our children--we have that legal protection now," Reagan said. "It has the potential of real mischief.... What if an overwrought youngster, disappointed by bad grades, imagined it was the teacher's fault and struck out by accusing the teacher of advocating homosexuality. Innocent lives could be ruined."
    • John Gallagher and Chris Bull, The Religious Right, the Gay Movement, and the Politics of the 1990s (1996), Ch. 1
  • Embittered by the unexpected defeat, Briggs, who once described gay men as women trapped in men's bodies," called San Francisco the "moral garbage dump of homosexuality in this country." The Briggs battle coincided--indeed, helped propel--the first stirrings of urban gay political power. In San Francisco, Harvey Milk was elected to the Board of Supervisors in 1977. In Milk, antigay crusaders like Bryant and Briggs had met their match. The product of a middle-class Jewish family in Woodmere, New York, Milk supported Barry Goldwater's right wing presidential campaign in 1964. Caught up in the radicalism of the 1960s, Milk grew a ponytail, traded in his suit for bellbottoms, and headed off to San Francisco, where he opened a camera shop on Castro Street. By 1973, Milk was already blazing gay political trails, finishing tenth in a field of thirty-two candidates for the Board of Supervisors, despite the gay establishment's warning that it was too soon for an openly gay candidate to seek elected office.
    • John Gallagher and Chris Bull, The Religious Right, the Gay Movement, and the Politics of the 1990s (1996), Ch. 1
  • Male homosexual prostitution having religious significance was an institutionalized feature of the archaic civilizations of the Mediterranean. Most authorities think it was practiced in the Temple of Solomon in Jerusalem, as well as in the worship of neighboring peoples. Yet a few scholars have expressed skepticism.
  • One would hardly expect to see instituionalized male transgenerational homosexuality of the Melanesian variety (described in chapter 2) in the archaic civilizations. The conditions that seem to give rise to it in Melanesia do not exist in the early civilizations. With the pacification of an extended territory, wives are no longer taken from enemy villages, and marriage is not arranged through sister exchange between cross-cousins.
    Yet ritualized, transgenerational male homosexuality was a part of early Greek culture. Dominated from the time of the Dorian invasion (c. 1200 B.C.) by powerful, culturally conservative noble families, the eastern part of Crete kept up ancient customs well into historical times. One of these customs was an initiation rite for aristocratic youths that bears remarkable resemblance to tribal rituals. Boys were taken from their mothers by kouretes (armed male dancers). Under the auspices of the pre-Olympian Mother Goddess cult of Rhea and Zeus, the boys were cleansed of maternal contamination and reborn as men. A men's house figured in the ceremonies, and bull roarers (devices widely used in tribal rituals to simulate the sound of bulls or thunder) were used to terrify the initiates.
    • Ibid, pp. 106-107
Jupiter and Kallisto by Francois Boucher
  • Sparta, too, institutionalized relations between mature men and adolescent boys, as well as between adult women and girls, and gave them a pedagogical focus. The few accounts we have, all written by foreigners, do not claim that the relationships were a part of initiation rites, but the Spartans were secretive about their institutions, and strangers would not necessarily have learned the details. However, many aspects of Spartan homosexuality and marriage customs point to tribal origins. Participation was mandatory for all youths of good character. There were ordeals - a common feature of tribal initiation. At their conclusion, all boys in the same-age grade had to marry - as in many tribes. Even after marriage, men lived in men's houses, not with their wives. Wives and male lovers were shared with age-mates. Like Crete, from whom the Greeks believed Spartan institutions were borrowed, Sparta preserved ancient customs that had disappeared in other city-states.
    • Ibid, p. 107
A Holiday by Henry Scott Tuke
  • Aristocratic warrior societies do seem have had extensive male homosexuality, which was completely accepted. Archeological evidence shows that c. 500 B.C., when they were founding the La Tene culture in France and the northern part of Switzerland, large numbers of Celts were armed for military raids of looting. Their political organization took the form of decentralized chiefdoms, with patron-client relationships linking aristocrats and commoners. According to Artistotle, the Celts esteemed homosexuality. Writing in the first century B.C., Diodorus Siculus found Celtic women charming, and every indicator of their social status suggests that it was quite high. Nevertheless, he added,

    The men are much keener on their own sex; they lie around on animal skins and enjoy themselves, with a lover one each side. The extraordinary thing is they haven’t the smallest regard for their personal dignity or self-respect; they offer themselves to other men without the least compunction. Furthermore, this isn’t looked down on, or regarded as in any way disgraceful: on the contrary, if one of them is rejected by another to whom he has offered himself, he takes offence.

    Evidence that the Celtic love of warriors may have extended to the British Isles (which the Celts invaded c. 200 B.C.) can be found in the Irish saga Tain Bo Caulinge. The hero Cuchulain explains that he does not want to fight his foster brother and former comrade in arms Ferdia:
    • Ibid, p. 111
  • Class-structured homosexuality appears with the dawn of economic stratification. Here the two partners are drawn from different economic strata or classes, the wealthier partner purchasing or commanding the sexual services of the poorer. The partners may differ in age, gender, or preference for particular types of contact, but these differences do not define the relationship. What does is the preference of the wealthier partner. Thus Captain Blight, visiting Tahiti in the late eighteenth century, observed a chief sucking the penis of his attendant. By the usual conventions linking rank and sex role, this transaction should not have occurred. The attendant should have been sucking the chief. However, the chief occupied a social position that enabled him to gratify his personal preference irrespective of conventions about homosexual roles. In societies were social relations are commercialized wealth bestows sexual power.
    Two forms of homosexuality are particularly common in antiquity: prostitution and intercourse with slaves.
    • Ibid, p. 117
Jupiter, in the Guise of Diana, and Callisto by François Boucher.jpg
  • One of the Spanish sources, Bartolome de las Casas, writing in 1542, reported that Mayan parents supplied their adolescent sons with boys to use as sexual outlets before marriage, but that if someone else sodomized them, the penalty was equal to that for rape. Since de las Casas denied the existence of homosexuality in some other Indian groups, his attribution of homosexuality to the Mayans cannot be attributed to a blanket prejudice against Indians. Other missionaries also reported widespread male homosexuality among the Mayans. Young Mayan men lived in men's houses until they married at about age twenty.
  • Father Pierre de Gand, also known as de Mura, found sodomy to be virtually universal among the Aztecs, involving even children as young as six. Cortez also found sodomy to be widespread among the Aztec's, and admonished them to give it up-along with human sacrifices and cannibalism.
  • Ibid, p. 164
  • Some of the people who made up the Inca empire also had institutionalized homosexuality. This includes the Yauyos, who had "public houses filled with men who dressed as women and painted their faces," the Liysacas of Lake Chucuito, and Indians in the vicinity of Puerto Viejo in the north (now Ecuador) and on the island of Puna. In some parts of the empire, boys were dedicated to the temple, where they were raised as girls; chiefs and headmen had ritual intercourse with them on special holidays. The Inca princes themselves, however, did not engage in these practices.
    • Ibid, p. 165
  • That the harshness of Inca and Aztec legislation toward homosexuality involved more than a reaction to indigenous berdaches is suggested by the equally severe penalties imposed on other violations of morals legislation. The Incas punished pimps and prostitutes severely, by death if the offense was repeated. Incest and adultery were capital offenses in both empires. Drunkeness was illegal under the Incas and a capital offense under the Aztecs. Abortion was also a capital offense under the Aztecs. Aztec youths lost their rights to land if they did not marry by a certain age. Inca men were also forced to marry.
    • Ibid, p. 167
  • Ever since the sixteenth century, Western visitors have commented on the pervasiveness of Turkish pederasty. Large numbers of boys were captured or purchased for personal use, placed in brothels, or resold; the demand for them struck all observers as remarkable.
    • Ibid, p. 179
Bathing group (Noonday heat) by Henry Scott Tuke
  • Burton found the cities of Afghan to be "saturated with the Persian vice" at the end of the ninteenth century. Afghan merchants were invariably, "accompanied by a number of boys and lads almost in woman's attire with kohl'd eyes and rouged cheeks, log tresses and henna's fingers and toes, riding luxuriously in Kajawas or camelpanniers. They are called Kuch-i safari or traveling wives, and the husbands tridge patiently by their sides.
    Male homosexuality remains common in Afghanistan, as does harem lesbianism.
    • Ibid, p. 180
  • The Moslem rulers of India often maintained youthful male lovers, and male brothels flourished. Burton visited a number of them in 1845.
    At first glance, the early Mongols appear to have been an exception to the broad pattern. The Great Yassa, a law code issued by Ghenghiz Khan or at his death for the still-pagan Mongol tribes around 1219, to supplement Mongolian customary law, mandated the death penalty for both sodomites and adulterers. This is not what one would expect in a tribe of nomadic pastoralists with a shamanistic religion. It seems likely that this severe penalty reflects the influence of Christians, Jews, or Moslems, to whom Ghengiz extended hospitality. Ghenghiz was himself illiterate, and might well have called on a literate foreigner to prepare a code of laws.
    • Ibid, p.181
  • Zoroastrianism, founded in Iran at an unknown date by the prophet Zoroaster (Zarathura) who reformed the old Aryan religion on, took a far harsher view of homosexuality. The subject is not mentioned in the Gathas (the earliest known Zoroastrian scriptures), which are attributed directly to Zoroaster. However, the later Vendidad, or Code Against the Devas, which contains much of the Zoroastrian moral teaching, places sodomites among the ranks of those who may be killed on the spot, along with brigands, burners of carrion in a fire, and criminals taken in the act. Later texts, from the ninth century A.D., continue to regard homosexuality as heinous.
    • Ibid, p. 186
Les Deux Amies by Lagrenee
  • Perhaps more to the point, the severe penances for homosexual offenses are matched in a number of the penitentials by equally severe penances for heterosexual sins. Thus the Irish Penitential of Cummean calls for seven years' penance for men guilty of habitual homosexual practices (less for a first offense) and seven years' penance for heterosexual adultery. The book of ecclesiastical discipline issued by Region of Prum specifies a penalty of three years for anal intercourse whether the anus is that of a male or a female and also three years for heterosexual fornication. Similarly, the Book of David (c. 500-525) states that those who have committed fornication with a woman who hass been vowed to Christ or a husband, or with a beast or a male "for the remainder of their lived dead to the world shall live unto God" - presumably in perpetual encloisterment. The Penitential of Theodore requires three years' penance if a woman practices vice with another woman - or with herself and also demands equal maximum penalties of fifteen years in cases of heterosexual or homosexual fornication.
    • Ibid, p. 264-265
  • Beginning in the mid-thirteenth century, French secular legislation adopted stiff new measures against homosexual relations. Li livres de jostice et de Plet, probably written around 1260 in Orleans, called for the amputation of the testicles of first-time offenders, the removal of the penis for a second offense, and burning of third-time offenders. Women were to be mutilated for the first two offenses and burned for a third.
  • In addition to this body of national legislation, starting in the mid-twelfth century, the self governing towns of northern Italy, northern France, Flanders, and the Rhine Valley began to enact municipal statutes dealing with sodomy. Many of the laws, such as that adopted in Perugia in 1342, provided fines for first and second offenses and execution by burning for third-timers. Amputation of hands or feet, exile and confiscation of goods were common provisions.
    With time, penalties began to escalate. In a law of 1250, the first statute known to deal with homosexuality, Bologna permitted men banished from the city because of a sodomy conviction to pay a fine and return, but in 1259, banishment was made permanent. Later that year, sodomy was made a capital offense.
    • Ibid, p. 272
  • At the same time that we teach empathy to the bullies, we need to stop sending the victims the message that their own behavior or traits are bringing on the attacks. This requires a fundamental change in the way adults view bullying. A child is not bullied because he is gay or autistic or overweight. A child is bullied because a bully has decided that the target is unacceptably different and less worthy of respect. We must teach the targets how to cognitively frame the bullying so that they do not think the abuse is their fault or something they deserve. Groundbreaking new research by Stan Davis and Charisse Nixon has shown that when a victim learns to think about the bullying in new ways- "This bullying is not happening because I am overweight. It is happening because the bully is choosing to act in a mean and hateful way, and that is his fault, not mine"- then the effects of the mistreatment are greatly diminished. Davis and Nixon's research also shows that many bullied kids find relief when they tell an adult or peer, but many are reluctant to do so.
    • Carrie Goldman, Bullied: What Every Parent, Teacher and Kid Needs to Know About Ending the Cycle of Fear (2012) p. 270-271


Morning splendour by Henry Scott Tuke
  • We say that homosexuality is a perfectly natural state, a fact, a way of life, and that we enjoy our sexuality, without feelings of inferiority or guilt. We seek and find love, and approach love, as a feeling of loving mutuality.
    • Harry Hay, Statement of Purpose: Gay Liberation Front (Dec. 1969)
  • …I knew that I was gay in every bone of my body. So I did the only thing I could do. I started the movement.
    • Harry Hay, on living a closeted married life in “Meet Pioneer of Gay Rights, Harry Hay” in The Progressive (2016 Aug 9)
  • We do not even know-though we theorise and penalise with ferocious confidence-whether the "normal" sexual relationship is homo-, bi-, or hetero-sexual.
    • Winifred Holtby, Women and A Changing Civilisation, London, John Lane (1934) Quoted in Marion Shaw,The Clear Stream : A Life of Winifred Holtby. London : Virago, 1999 (p.60). Also quoted in Jane Garrity, Step-daughters of England: British Women Modernists and the National Imaginary, Manchester University Press, 2003 (p.79).




The three companions by Henry Scott Tuke
  • In the eyes of Castro and his revolutionary comrade Che Guevara — who frequently referred to gay men as maricones, “faggots” — homosexuality was inherently counterrevolutionary, a bourgeois decadence.
    • Fidel Castro's Horrific Record on Gay Rights, James Kirchick, 27 November 2016, The Daily Beast
  • After two decades of building socialism in the USSR there is no reason for anybody to be a homosexual.
    • Nikolai Krylenko, on the law re-criminalizing homosexuality in 1936. Quoted in David Tuller, Cracks in the Iron Closet: Travels in Gay and Lesbian Russia, University of Chicago Press, 1996


Two boys on a beach by Henry Scott Tuke
  • If a man also lie with mankind, as he lieth with a woman, both of them have committed an abomination: they shall surely be put to death; their blood shall be upon them.


Youth on a beach by Henry Scott Tuke
  • Men usually remain unmarried for three reasons: either because they cannot afford to marry or there are no girls to marry (neither of these factors need have deterred Jesus); or because it is inexpedient for them to marry in the light of their vocation (we have already ruled this out during the ‘hidden years’ of Jesus' life); or because they are homosexual in nature, in as much as women hold no special attraction for them. The homosexual explanation is one which me must not ignore. ... All the synoptic gospels show Jesus in close relationship with the ‘outsiders’ and the unloved. Publicans and sinners, prostitutes and criminals are among his acquaintances and companions. If Jesus were homosexual in nature (and this is the true explanation of his celibate state) then this would be further evidence of God's self-identification with those who are unacceptable to the upholders of ‘The Establishment’ and social conventions.
    • Hugh Montefiore (Bishop of Kingston from 1970 to 1978 and Bishop of Birmingham from 1977 to 1987), “Jesus, the Revelation of God,” in Christ for Us Today: Papers read at the Conference of Modern Churchmen, Somerville College, Oxford, July 1967, edited by Norman Pittenger (SCM Press, London: 1968), pp. 109-110.


  • There is probably no more powerful source of stigma for an adolescent boy than being labeled gay. The risk to a boy's reputation is immeasurable, and his place on the social ladder is utterly compromised if even a smidgeon of it sticks.
    • Katherine S. Newman, Rampage: The Social Roots of School Shootings (2004), p. 145
  • The power of this epithet has grown so much that it now covers a much wider range of behavior than the purely sexual reference that it connoted in the past. The term "gay" is now used as a slang term for any form of social or athletic incompetence. Students routinely say to one another "that's gay" when they are talking about a wide array of mistakes or social failures. If someone fails to make the right move on a soccer field or drops a lunch tray in the cafeteria, the kid behind him is quite likely to say, "That's really gay." Why? one fifteen-year-old girl provided an explanation: "Boys have a fascination with not being gay. They want to be manly, and put each other down by saying 'that's gay.'" Thus for boys, the struggle for status is in large part competition for the rank of alpha male, and any loss one boy can inflict on another opens up a new rung on the ladder that he might move into.
    • Katherine S. Newman, Rampage: The Social Roots of School Shootings (2004), p. 145-146


Youth in white trousers by Henry Scott Tuke
  • Because that, when they knew God, they glorified him not as God, neither were thankful; but became vain in their imaginations, and their foolish heart was darkened. Professing themselves to be wise, they became fools, And changed the glory of the uncorruptible God into an image made like to corruptible man, and to birds, and fourfooted beasts, and creeping things. Wherefore God also gave them up to uncleanness through the lusts of their own hearts, to dishonour their own bodies between themselves: Who changed the truth of God into a lie, and worshipped and served the creature more than the Creator, who is blessed for ever. Amen. For this cause God gave them up unto vile affections: for even their women did change the natural use into that which is against nature: And likewise also the men, leaving the natural use of the woman, burned in their lust one toward another; men with men working that which is unseemly, and receiving in themselves that recompence of their error which was meet.
  • Or do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: neither the sexually immoral, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor men who practice homosexuality, ... will inherit the kingdom of God.
  • ...he would prefer to die many deaths: while as for leaving the one he loves in a lurch, or not succoring him in peril, no man is such a craven that the influence of Love cannot inspire him with a courage that makes him equal to the bravest born.
    • Phaedrus in Plato, Symposium 178e–179a.
  • Homer's Nestor was not well skilled in ordering an army when he advised the Greeks to rank tribe and tribe ... he should have joined lovers and their beloved. For men of the same tribe little value one another when dangers press; but a band cemented by friendship grounded upon love is never to be broken.
    • Plutarch, Pelopidas 18.2; discussed by K.J. Dover, Greek Homosexuality (Harvard University Press, 1978, 1989), p. 192, and Louis Crompton, Homosexuality and Civilization (Harvard University Press, 2003), p. 74.




Figure study for Aquamarine by Henry Scott Tuke
  • In English-speaking countries, the connection between heresy and homosexuality is expressed through the use of a single word to denote both concepts: buggery. ... Webster’s Unabridged Dictionary (Third Edition) defines “buggery” as “heresy, sodomy.”
    • Thomas Szasz, The Manufacture of Madness: A Comparative Study of the Inquisition and the Mental Health Movement (1997), p. 165





Boys bathing on rocks by Henry Scott Tuke
  • Biological determinism works as a phenomenon that normalizes same-sex desire while leaving heterosexism in place and disenfranchising certain queer people from fully participating in an accurate articulation of their experiences in political and popular discourse.
    • Shannon Weber, What's Wrong With Becoming Queer Biological Determinism as Discursive Queer Hegemony, as quoted in Ages of the X-Men: Essays on the Children of the Atom in Changing Times, "Mutating Metaphors: Addressing the Limits of Biological Narratives of Sexuality" by Christian Norman, p.170


Aquamarine by Henry Scott Tuke
  • They sleep with their loved ones, yet stations them next to themselves in battle ... with them (Eleians, Thebans) it's a custom, with us a disgrace ... placing your loved one next to you seems to be a sign of distrust ... The Spartans ... make our loved ones such models of perfection that even if stationed with foreigners rather than with their lovers they are ashamed to desert their companion.


Under the western sun by Henry Scott Tuke
  • Citizens with this kind of homosexual inclination, who renounce women and can do without them willingly because they love one another, get married together, bound by a deep and trusting friendship.
    • Yashodhara, Jayamangala (twelfth-century commentary on the Kama Sutra), in Tritiya-Prakriti: People of the Third Sex (2010), p. 22


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