When Chris Marchant was about 16, he realized that it wasn’t going away.
Marchant thought that a homosexual orientation was something God would heal him from. He thought he could pray about it and maybe eventually, it would go away. But as an openly gay man in his mid twenties today, Marchant said that it wasn’t as simple as praying away his sexual orientation.
“It was a journey and it still is. It’s still something that I deal with every day. Finding out how this works in a Christian lifestyle is still an every day process.”
The Evangelical church is still struggling to come to a consensus on how to deal with the issues that Marchant faces every day. The church is still trying to understand the science behind having a homosexual orientation, what the scriptures say about the issue, and how the church should treat homosexuals. This Evangelical campus will have to deal with these issues as the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer advocacy group visits this April 23.
Marchant, who is openly homosexual, graduated from Malone in 2006 and is currently a bar tender in New York city pursuing theater.
“I’m gay and I’m with gay people all the time,” he said. “I don’t think there should be any differentiation I guess.”
Marchant said that he used to think that having a homosexual orientation was mostly the result of a bad relationship with a father. But after being around many homosexuals who had had good relationships with their fathers, he decided that there had to be more factors involved.
Junior social work major Rodney Long said that one’s homosexual orientation is probably a buildup of situations in one’s life. He said that his brother is gay and that his brother never had a good relationship with his father. Long suspects that the lack of a healthy relationship between his brother and father may be a large contributing factor to his brother’s homosexual orientation.
Despite disagreeing with his brother’s lifestyle, Long said that he and his brother still have a good relationship and that one aspect of his brothers life doesn’t affect every facet of their relationship.
Professor of Psychology David Entwisle said that when it comes to homosexual males, research shows a strong genetic predisposition toward homosexuality.
He said that research regarding lesbians doesn’t point to a genetic predisposition toward homosexuality as research regarding males.
Males that play with girl’s toys when they are children are more likely to be gay, and females that love sports and dressing in boy’s clothing are more likely to be lesbians, according to Entwisle.
Senior History major Ezekiel Jarvis said a person is “absolutely not born” gay and that “it is an abomination.”
However, he said that the sin of homosexual behavior is “just like any other style of sin.” He said that if someone is struggling with temptation it is different from “being gay and proud of it.” He said he would consider those who are openly gay and “proud of it” to be unrepentant.
Sophomore sports management major Jordan Francis disagrees with Jarvis and said that he believes people are genetically predisposed to be homosexual. “Why would you choose to do something that would cause you to be ridiculed by your peers and disowned by your family?”
Having a homosexual orientation doesn’t exclude someone from being a sincere Christian, said Professor of Old Testament Nathan Phinney.
He said that there is a difference between having a homosexual orientation and engaging in homosexual behavior.
If any Christian engages in homosexual behavior on a regular basis without a conscience of guilt, “they should question the sincerity of their faith,” Phinney said.
One scripture that is commonly used by Christians to advocate against homosexual behavior is 1 Corinthians 6:9-10: “Do you not know that the wicked will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived. Neither the sexually immoral, nor idolaters, adulterers, nor male prostitutes, nor homosexual offenders, nor thieves, nor the greedy, nor drunkards, nor slanderers, nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God.”
There are many other passages of scripture that many biblical scholars say proscribe homosexual behavior. Some passages are more disputed than others.
Phinney said that although there are different ways of interpreting scriptures regarding homosexuality, there is still a right and wrong way to interpret them. He said that “at the end of the day, we’re not going to agree with each other,” but that conservative Chrsitians and those that interpret the passages about homosexuality more liberally should always be civil with each other.
Communication Arts Professor Andrew Rudd said that he “is an advocate for full inclusion for people that are gay and living in a faithful in the life of a church.” He said that for some homosexuals, living a life of celibacy was one way of being faithful to the church but also that living in a committed relationship is another way.