The Challenge Of Homosexuality For Gender Roles -- By: Evan Lenow

Journal: Journal for Biblical Manhood and Womanhood
Volume: JBMW 17:2 (Fall 2012)
Article: The Challenge Of Homosexuality For Gender Roles
Author: Evan Lenow

The Challenge Of Homosexuality For Gender Roles

Evan Lenow

Assistant Professor of Ethics
Associate Director of the Richard Land Center for Cultural Engagement
Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary
Ft. Worth, Texas

On July 13, 2011, California governor Jerry Brown signed into law a requirement that gay history be taught in the social studies curriculum of California’s public schools. Proponents of the new bill argued that the goal was not to teach sex education in the social studies classroom, but instead they wanted to see sexual identity recognized. Will Grant, a California teacher and proponent of the new law, stated in an interview, “Sex is something that you cover in health class. Sexual identity is this idea of who does your sexuality make you into, and how does that affect a person’s—and a group of peoples’—social position and the way society looks at them, and the way they look at society. That’s what we cover.”1 Opponents of the law believe that teaching gay history will be a distraction to the learning environment and will promote the agenda of the LGBT community over that of the rest of society. One of the biggest effects of the new law relates to the writing and purchasing of textbooks. National Public Radio reports, “The new law means California will begin buying new textbooks that include gay and lesbian history once the state budget improves. California is one of the biggest buyers of teaching materials in the U.S. That means these textbooks will most likely be offered to other states as well.”2

For those hoping to push the discussion of homosexuality back into the closet, the California law is a reality check. No longer can this discussion be reserved for political and social debates among adults. Children in California and across the country will address the issue of homosexuality in social studies classrooms from elementary school onward. While much of the current debate has centered on gay rights and same-sex marriage, it is imperative to understand how the issue of homosexuality impacts a biblical understanding of gender roles. By its very nature of describing a relationship between two members of the same sex, homosexuality seems to make the question of gender roles irrelevant. Thus, there are vast challenges that homosexuality creates for a biblical discussion of gender roles. If believers are going to address these challenges both within the church and in the culture, they must first understand the impact that homosexuality has on a complementarian view of the sexes. Homosexuality denies the God-ordained nature of gender roles as revealed in Scripture by rejecting the complementary nature of sex, by subv...

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