Here is a man who has called Lesbians and Gay people "self-absorbed hedonists" and when we look at cultures that have embraced and allowed and openly accepted homosexuality he has said that "any society that allows gay people will not last long."
Let's see, Pat, Greek society lasted for over a thousand years and embraced homosexuality to some extent and transmitted its culture to Rome which built on it for another thousand years. And while some scholars dispute the fact that a majority of Greeks were gay, we can at least be sure their upper class were.
Homosexuality while it is not widely accepted has been part of Chinese culture for at least as long. Lesbianism longer.
Now for saying that I hope you do not call for my assassination too, Pat.
Religion and its misuse changed all this, I am not sure exactly when it occurred, but in the west, unlike the Buddhist east, it did. And while many countries no longer consider homosexuality a mental illness, many religious groups still do and even worse in the misuse of religion have abandoned its principles of tolerance and equality.
These healthy principles have been replaced with others that define what is socially acceptable in the narrowest possible sense. Gay people in this strange world view are not only unacceptable but can even be the cause of earthquakes, tornadoes and 9/11. (see Pat Robertson)
"Whereas the biblical Jesus is not known to have ever addressed the subject of homosexuality at all, let alone gay marriage, homosexuality is just about all Republican Jesus ever talks about. Indeed, in contrast to the biblical Jesus' instruction to "love thy neighbor," Republican Jesus specifically commands his flock to "Hate they neighbor, unless thou art sure he is not one of those fucking degenerate ass-bandits. To which the Lord added to the women gathered, "thou art a clam licker, go from me hence into the wilderness and find a man."
Clearly someone has been to the alter of Republican Jesus, you know the one who likes guns and big bucks and will shoot you in the face....oh, sorry that is Dick Cheney.
Specifically the one who is not to be confused with Jesus Marx. You know that hippie loving, commie bastard that the good book tries to fool you with, or the commie bastard one they promote as the Catholic Church in China. All of this, according to Pat Robertson and his minions.
But the root of the problem is that people with a different lifestyle can be intimidating, no matter how intensely two people love each other. The same stereotypes and fears were used in the past to justify the persecution of inter-racial couples and while this occurs less frequently today, it still occurs.
Everyone is xenophobic to some extent, it is simply a matter of degree. With a classical education however, I found a world that was populated with gays, Sappho and the women of the Island of Lesbos and over time realized that "nothing human can be alien to me, because I am human and from the same family as every other person."
One of the many benefits of a liberal and classical education is tolerance, and an understanding that by embracing others, we learn more about ourselves especially when they challenge our assumptions about the world.
Even if those assumptions happen to be about castrati, or lesbians or gays.
I have found that, while society may discriminate against these people for their sexual orientation, through understanding their struggles in life, their hopes their dreams and their loves, we see something of ourselves our own hopes and our own passion reflected in their stories.
Those stories do not need to come from Ancient Greece or China to do so, there are compelling stories about the gay people among us who are as comfortable with their sexuality as any mature person should be; it is people like Pat Robertson and groups like his that are not very comfortable with themselves.