By Ontario Center for Religious Tolerance

A Summary
When one compares the original Hebrew and Greek writings with various English translations of the Bible, discrepancies emerge. There are many passages in English Bibles which clearly condemn same-sex activities. But when the original Hebrew or Greek text is studied, the passages are either ambiguous or are unrelated to consentual homosexuality within a committed relationship. Two words which are often mistranslated in many places in the Hebrew Scriptures are:
qadesh means a male temple prostitute who engaged in ritual sex; it is often mistranslated as “sodomite” or “homosexual.”
to’ebah means a condemned foreign Pagan religious cult practice, but often translated as “abomination.”
We have concluded the following:
The Bible has a lot to say about temple prostitution, including homosexual ritual prostitution. This was a common practice within the Canaanite fertility religion; some believe that the practice was also taken up by some ancient Israelites.
God’s destruction of town of Sodom had nothing to do with homosexuality
The Bible says little about homosexual feelings.
It says nothing about sexual orientation; the concept of orientation dates only from the late 19th century.
A number of homosexual relationships are described positively or neutrally in the Bible
Of the many hundreds of Jesus’ instructions and prohibitions, few have a sexual component and none condemn homosexuality.
Paul may have condemned same-sex sexual activities by homosexuals, but the passages are unclear; there are many possible interpretations.
Bible translators must be aware of the errors that have been made in previous versions of the Bible; they are widely discussed in theological literature. But it would probably not be economically possible at this time to produce a translation of the Bible that was accurate. People are so used to expecting homophobic references in a half-dozen locations in scripture that they probably would not buy a Bible that was accurate to the original text, or which admitted that the meanings of certain words are unknown.
Bible References
In Biblical times, same-gender sexual interactions could take many forms. Some were:
kings of conquered tribes were sometimes raped by the invading army as the ultimate symbol of defeat and humiliation. Homosexual rape was also a way of humiliating visitors and strangers. These were acts of power and domination and had nothing in common with consentual sex by gays and lesbians.
some non-Jewish tribes in the area had male prostitutes in their temples who ritually engaged in same-sex activities; this horrified the ancient Israelites. Temple prostitution is no longer found in most areas of the world.
it was common within the Roman Empire for male adults to keep boy prostitutes for the purpose of sexual activity. The boys were often slaves. In modern times, this is considered child abuse, a criminal offense.
it is reasonable to assume that many loving gay and lesbian relationships existed in Biblical times, but these would normally have been conducted in secret.
Only the last type would have any similarity to today’s gay and lesbian consentual, committed, loving relationships.
People’s Beliefs Regarding the Bible
People differ greatly in their view of the Bible:
Generally speaking, Fundamentalists and other Evangelical Christians believe that:
the Bible, as originally written, is inerrent (infallible) and that God prevented the authors from making even a single error
every verse is useful in their understanding of God’s intentions
one should initially attempt to interpret each passage according to its literal meaning
Many conservative Christians believe that certain translations are essentially free of error; e.g. the King James Version and the New International Version. Thus, when they read some of the passages that clearly and unmistakably condemn homosexuality, they are inclined to trust the translators and conclude that God hates homosexuality. Unfortunately, many groups of translators have been heavily biased against certain people, including Witches, gays and lesbians; many have tended to warp their translations accordingly.
More liberal Christians tend to look upon the Bible as containing many translation errors, whose verses should not necessarily all be taken at their face value. Sections which accept and regulate slavery, limit the rights of women and condemn homosexuality are some examples.
Each Bible translation reflects the world view, beliefs and mind sets of its translators. Their personal biases distort their work. There is an additional complexity facing translators: today’s society is very different from that of Biblical times. It is sometimes difficult to find a current English word that closely matches a Hebrew or Greek term.
Same-Sex Relationships in the Bible
The Bible describes three emotionally close relationships between two people of the same gender. They appear to have progressed well beyond a casual friendship:
Ruth and Naomi
David and Jonathan
Daniel and Ashpenaz
Daniel’s relationship appears to have been a committed homosexual partnership; the others may or may not have been sexually active.
There may be as many as three references in the Bible to committed homosexual relationships, none of which was condemned.
Homosexual activity in the temple by male prostitutes is clearly prohibited by the Hebrew Scriptures (Old Testament).
Prostitution, both heterosexual and homosexual is generally condemned.
Sexual abuse of boys by adult males is condemned
St. Paul considered at least some male and female homosexual acts to be forbidden, but it is unclear precisely which acts are included. He may have been referring to:
temple prostitution,
people who are not innately gay, lesbian or bisexual, but who engaged in homosexual acts,
to child sexual abuse, or
group sexual orgies.
Paul was certainly aware of sexual orgies in Pagan temples, including both heterosexual and homosexual encounters. He would have been aware of the practice of male adults keeping a boy for sexual purposes. These may have been the only forms of same gender sex that he knew of. He did not appear to make any references in his writings to consentual, committed homosexual relationships. He probably did not know of any.
One should note that Paul also condemned women preaching (1 Cor 14:34) or wearing gold or pearls (1 Tim 2:11). He also accepted and did not condemn the institution of slavery. Many Christians feel that his writings reflect his own prejudices are not a particularly useful guide for ethics and morals in the 20th Century.
Jesus made many hundreds of statements regarding belief and behavior. However He never mentioned homosexuality.
It is the subject of endless debate whether St. Paul’s prohibition of at least some homosexual acts was:
for the people in the vicinity of the Mediterranean during the 1st Century CE, or
for all people, forever.
One can argue that the ancient Israelites were surrounded by warlike tribes. Their fertility was very important if the group was to survive. The early Christian church was persecuted by the Roman government and by the Jewish religious leaders. Homosexuals tend to have few children; thus their presence would be met with opposition. At the end of the 20th Century, conditions are the exact opposite; we are threatened by our excessive fertility. Perhaps Paul’s criticism of homosexuality is no longer valid, like his various prohibitions against women’s behavior.



Soviet Homophobia
by Igor Kon
The Soviet and post-Soviet policies toward homosexuals may be divided into five key periods:
1917-1933: decriminalization of homosexuality, relative tolerance, homosexuality officially labelled a disease
1934-1986: homosexuality recriminalized and severely dealt with by prosecution, discrimination and silence
1987-1990: beginning of open public discussions of the status of homosexuality from a scientific and humanitarian point of view by professionals and journalists
1990 - May 1993: gay men and lesbians themselves take up the cause, putting human rights in the forefront, resulting exacerbation of conflict and sharp politicization of the issue
June 1993: decriminalization of homosexuality; the homosexual underground begins to develop into a gay and lesbian subculture, with its own organizations, publications, and centers; continued social discrimination and defamation of same-sex love and relationships
The initiative for revocation of antihomosexual legislation, following the Revolution of February 1917, had come, not from the Bolsheviks but from the Cadets (Constitutional democrats) and the anarchists (Karlinsky, 1989). Nevertheless, once the old criminal code had been repealed after the October Revolution, the antihomosexual article also ceased to be valid. The Russian Federation criminal codes for 1922 and 1926 did not mention homosexuality, although the corresponding laws remained in force in places where homosexuality was most prevalent - in the Islamic republics of Azerbaijan, Turkmenia, and Uzbekistan, as well as in Christian Georgia.
Soviet medical and legal experts were very proud of the progressive nature of their legislation, lnl930, the medical expert Sereisky (1930) wrote in the Great Soviet Encyclopedia: "Soviet legislation does not recognize so-called crimes against morality. Our laws proceed from the principle of protection of society and therefore countenance punishment only in those instances when juveniles and minors are the objects of homosexual interest" P. 593).
The most important collection of documents and texts on Soviet homosexuality is Kozlovsky (1986).
As Engelstein (1995) justly mentions, the formal decriminalization of sodomy did not mean that such conduct was invulnerable to prosecution. The absence of formal statutes against anal intercourse or lesbianism did not stop the prosecution of homosexual behavior as a form of disorderly conduct. After the 1922 Penal Code was published there were in that same year at least two known trials for homosexual practices. The eminent psychiatrist Vladimir Bekhterev testified that "public demonstration of such impulses ... is socially harmful and cannot be permitted" (Engelstein, 1995, p. 167). The official stance of Soviet medicine and law in the 1920s, as reflected by Sereisky's encyclopedia article, was that homosexuality was a disease that was difficult, perhaps even impossible, to cure. So "while recognizing the incorrectness of homosexual development ... our society combines prophylactic and other therapeutic measures with all the necessary conditions for making the conflicts that afflict homosexuals as painless as possible and for resolving their typical estrangement from society within the collective" (Sereisky, 1930, p. 593).
Although, during the 1920s, a few homosexual intellectuals still played important roles in Soviet culture, the opportunity for an open, philosophical, and artistic discussion of the topic, which had been opened up at the start of the century, was gradually whittled away. By the decree of December 17, 1933, and by the law of March 7, 1934, muzhelozhstvo once again became a criminal offense. The exact reasons for this abrupt change are still unknown, but it was clearly part of the "sexual Termidor" and of a general repressive trend. Criminalizing clauses were inserted into the codes of all the Soviet republics. According to Article 121 of the Russian Federation criminal code, muzhelozhstvo was punishable by deprivation of freedom of up to 5 years and, by Article 121.2, in cases of physical force or threat thereof, or exploitation of the victim's dependent status or involvement of a minor, a term of up to 8 years.
In January 1936, Nikolai Krylenko, People's Commissar for Justice, announced that homosexuality was a product of the decadence of the exploiting classes who knew no better, but that in a democratic society founded on healthy principles there was no place for such people (Kozlovsky, 1986). Homosexuality was thus tied to counterrevolution. Later, Soviet medical authorities and lawyers described homosexuality as a manifestation of "moral decadence of the bourgeoisie," reiterating verbatim the arguments of German fascists. Typical of this stance was an anonymous article on gomoseksualizm in the Great Soviet Encyclopedia in 1952. References to possible biological causes of homosexuality, which had hitherto been used for humanistic purposes as reasons for decriminalizing homosexuality, were now rejected:
The origin of H[omosexualism] is linked to everyday social conditions; for the overwhelming majority of people indulging in H[omosexualism], these perversions stop as soon as the person finds himself in a favorable social environment.... In Soviet society with its healthy mores, H[omosexualism] as a sexual perversion is considered shameful and criminal. Soviet criminal legislation regards H[omosexualism] as punishable with the exception of those instances where H[omosexualism] is a manifestation of marked psychic disorder. (Gomoseksualizm, 1952, p. 35)
The precise number of persons prosecuted under Article 121 is unknown (the first official information was released only in 1988), but it is believed to be about 1000 a year. Since the late 1980s, according to official data, the number of men convicted under Article 121 has been steadily decreasing. In 1987, 831 men were sentenced (this figure refers to the entire Soviet Union); in 1989, 539; in 1990, 497; in 1991, 462; and for the first 6 months of 1992, 227, among whom all but 10 were sentenced under Article 121.2 (figures are for Russia only) (Gessen, 1994). According to Russian lawyers, most convictions have indeed been under Article 121.2, 80 percent of cases being related to the involvement of minors up to 18 years of age (Ignatov, 1974). In an analysis of 130 convictions under Article 121 between 1985 and 1992, it was found that 74 percent of the accused were convicted under 121.2, of whom 20 percent were for rape using physical force, 8 percent for using threats, 52 percent for having sexual contact with minors and 2 and 18 percent, respectively, for exploiting the victims dependent or vulnerable status (Dyachenko, 1995). These statistics should be viewed skeptically, however, bearing in mind that many of these and other accusations may have been fabricated or falsified and that many confessions have been "beaten out" of accused persons and witnesses.
Article 121 was not aimed just at homosexuals. The authorities frequently exploited it for dealing with dissidents and for augmenting labor camp sentences. Sometimes the KCB was clearly involved in the prosecution, as, for example, in the case of the well-known Leningrad archaeologist Lev Klein: His trial was orchestrated from start to finish by the local KGB in gross violation of all procedural norms (Samoilov, 1993). Typically, the purpose of such actions was to scare the intelligentsia. Application of the law was selective. If eminent cultural figures took care not to offend the authorities, they enjoyed a kind of immunity and a blind eye was turned to their homosexual proclivities, but they had only to fall foul of an influential bigwig for the law to go into high gear. This was the scenario that destroyed the life of the great Armenian filmmaker Sergei Paradzhanov. As late as the latter part of the 1980s, the chief director of the Leningrad Yuny Zritel Theater, Zinovy Korogodsky, was arraigned before a court, fired from his post, and deprived of all his honorary titles. Examples of this kind were legion.
The antihomosexual campaign in the press in the early 1930s was short-lived. By the middle of the decade utter silence on the subject had descended. Homosexuality had become unmentionable in the full sense of the term. The conspiracy of silence even embraced such academic subjects as phallic cults and ancient Greek pederasty.
Its gloomy silence further intensified the tragedy of Soviet homosexuals, who not only feared prosecution and blackmail, but who also could not even develop adequate self-awareness and self-identity. Apart from legal prosecution, widespread and unlimited illegal discrimination and persecution of all kinds have been aimed not only at male homosexuals, but equally at lesbians.
Lesbian relations did not fall under the rubric of any criminal code, and close relations between women have been less visible and less liable to harassment. Public attitudes about lesbians have been just as obdurate as those about gay men. Lesbians have been exposed to ridicule, persecution, expulsion from university, termination of employment, and threats to take custody of their children away from them.
A typical scenario, recounted by more than a dozen young Russian lesbians ages 15-19 who were interviewed from 1991 to 1993 by Masha Gessen (1994), involves a parent or other guardian (such as a teacher at a residential school) finding out about a lesbian relationship and committing one or both of the - usually - very young women. A diagnosis and a relatively brief hospitalization - two to three months - and forced treatment with mind-altering medication followed. After her release from the psychiatric hospital, the patient was to remain registered with a local psychiatric ambulatory clinic, (pp. 17-18)
Soviet punitive psychiatry was one of the main weapons of both legal and illegal repression. Sexologically ignorant psychiatrists were always ready to find some serious diagnosis that enabled persons so stigmatized to be put under lifelong medical and police observation or detained in a psychiatric hospital under conditions often much worse than prison. Even after the emergence in the late 1970s of a more tolerant and better-informed "sexopathology" (the Russian term for a medical sexology suggesting that all sexual problems are pathological), medicine offered little help. In all Soviet books on sexopathology, homosexuality was described as a pernicious "sexual perversion," a disease that must be treated (Vasilchenko, 1977,1983).
In the early 1980s, an antihomosexual campaign was launched in educational publications. In the first, and at the time the nation's only, teachers' manual on sex education (one million copies of which were published and immediately sold out), homosexuality was defined as a dangerous pathology and was said to be "a violation of normal principles of sexual relationships.... Homosexuality challenges both normal heterosexual relationships and society's cultural, moral attainments. It therefore merits condemnation both as a social phenomenon and as a specific persons behavior and mental attitude" (Khripkova & Kolesov, 1982, pp. 96-100). Thus, teachers as well as police and doctors were being warned against homosexuality.
Still today, with rare exceptions, Russian sexopathologists and psychiatrists, even those who supported the decriminalization of homosexuality, regard it as a disease and reproduce in their writings the many absurdities and negative stereotypes prevalent in the mass consciousness. The latest medical reference book on sexopathology, published in 1990, defines homosexuality as a "pathological drive." It states that, in addition to biological causes, "a strong pathogenic factor encouraging the formation of homosexual attraction can be the inculcation by parents and teachers of a hostile attitude towards the opposite sex" (Vasilchenko, 1990, p. 429-430).
In a doctoral dissertation in psychiatry in 1994, prepared under the guidance of Professor A. Tkachenko, not only is homosexual behavior described as "anomalous," but most of the 117 gay men studied by the author are diagnosed as having "psychic, psycho-physical and disharmonic infantilism," "signs of organic defects of the central nervous system," and "overvaluation of the sexual sphere" (Vvedensky, 1994, p. 8).
The AIDS epidemic made the position of gays still worse. When symptoms of the virus had just emerged in the United States, the initial information about it in the Soviet press was roughly as follows: a new and unknown disease has appeared in the USA; its victims are homosexuals, drug addicts, and Puerto Ricans. Brought up in the spirit of official internationalism, Soviet citizens were puzzled at the mention of Puerto Ricans. They could well understand God punishing homosexuals and drug addicts for their sins, but why Puerto Ricans? God surely wasn't a racist!
In 1986 Professor Nikolai Burgasov, then Deputy Minister for Health and Chief Hygiene Doctor for the USSR, publicly announced: "We have no conditions in our country conducive to the spread of the disease; homosexuality is prosecuted by law as a grave sexual perversion (Russian Criminal Code Article 121) and we are constantly warning people of the dangers of drug abuse" (Burgasov, 1986, p. 15). When AIDS did appear in the Soviet Union, the heads of the state epidemiological program, the president of the USSR (now Russian) Academy of Medical Sciences, Professor Valentin I. Pokrovsky, and his son, Dr. Vadim V. Pokrovsky, once again blamed homosexuals, accusing them in public of being carriers of HIV infection and of displaying every kind of vice.
Somewhat later, Alexander Potapov, then the Russian Federation minister and professor of psychiatry, ventured into print in Literaturnaya gazeta, answering questions on drug addicts; for some reason he linked them with homosexuals, adding, "My colleagues in Paris told me of an enraged crowd killing two homosexuals in a Paris park - right in front of the police." This representative of the most humane of professions gave no further commentary on this event, moving on to discuss what the authorities in Belgium were doing to confine the pornography business. He concluded by saying pensively, "You see how life forces one to act."*8 Nobody even remarked on the monstrosities he was mouthing. . . .
When AIDS did appear in the Soviet Union, heads of the state epidemiological program once again blamed homosexuals for everything, accusing them in public statements of being carriers of HIV infection and just about every other vice besides. Such were their sincere convictions, since the educational programs of the Soviet medical institutions had not discussed homosexuality. Even the liberal journal Ogonyok, in the first published profile of an AIDS victim, a gay engineer who had caught the virus in Africa, could not conceal its disgust and condemnation.
All the same, glasnost, plus the threat of AIDS, made possible for the first time more or less frank discussions of sexual orientation problems. initially in the scholarly and then in more popular literature - whether the authorities liked it or not.*9
In the USSR the only nonjudgmental sexological and psychological books on homosexuality were written by the present author (Isayev, Kagan, & Kon, 1986; Kon, 1988, 1989, 1991). It was extremely difficult to get these books published, introduction to Sexology was banned in the USSR for 10 years, even though the book had either completely avoided or merely hinted at the most important legal, social, and human rights issues.



El Holocausto Homosexual
por David Bigorra
Más de 350.000 homosexuales murieron en los campos de concentración nazis durante la II Guerra Mundial. Se acaban de cumplir 60 años de la liberación de Auschwitz, pero hasta el año 2000 no se reconoció nuestro propio holocausto. La persecución ha caracterizado la historia de las personas que por su condición sexual eran distintas a las que los cánones políticos establecían como "normales" y que fueron catalogadas como enfermos y situados en lo más bajo de la escala social. Si de por si solo el Holocausto nazi ha sido la mayor aberración que la humanidad ha tenido que sufrir, la historia de los prisioneros homosexuales durante el régimen del nazismo fue silenciada durante demasiados años. No solo los judíos fueron perseguidos y asesinados. Entre los “otros”, fueron los más de 350.000 homosexuales que murieron en los campos de concentración nazis y de los que casi nunca se ha hablado. Debido que en Alemania hasta finales de los años sesenta la homosexualidad era ilegal, los escasos supervivientes han vivido ocultos, silenciando su propia marginación y el horror vivido. Unas dobles víctimas, ya que han sido marginadas además por las organizaciones – judías en su mayoría – de víctimas del holocausto. Torturados y asesinados por sus verdugos, humillados y repudiados por el resto de supervivientes de aquel horror, tan solo por el hecho de ser personas que aman a personas de su misma condición sexual, por ser homosexuales. Hasta el noviembre de 2000, el gobierno alemán no pidió disculpas por las deportaciones y torturas sistemáticas sufridas por los gays y lesbianas en la época del nazismo. Francia, en abril de 2001 también hizo lo propio y reconoció la persecución sufrida. Han tenido que pasar 55 años para que se reconociera que hubo una persecución, un genocidio aun si cabe mayor, que el sufrido por los judíos.
Con la llegada de Hitler al poder en enero de1933el país comprueba que la tolerancia no es precisamente una de sus virtudes. Los homosexuales, judíos, testigos de Jehová, gitanos, socialistas, personas con alguna disminución física o psíquica son “elegidos” como responsables de la decadencia moral y del desastre económico de la época. En escasos seis meses la maquinaria de exterminio nazi se ha puesto en marcha. En octubre de ese mismo año la Gestapo creó un cuartel general para combatir la homosexualidad. El motivo: eran “socialmente aberrantes” y “anti-alemanes” porque privaban al país de hijos y por tanto de la supervivencia de la raza aria.
El párrafo 175, que pertenece al viejo código penal alemán de 1871 y que fue válido hasta 1969, sancionaba “el acto sexual antinatural cometido entre personas de sexo masculino o entre seres humanos y animales”, debiendo ser castigado con la prisión y pudiendo significar también la perdida de los derechos civiles. Esta ley permaneció totalmente olvidada hasta que en 1935 el régimen nazi de Hitler promulgó una ampliación de dicho párrafo, mucho más riguroso con la prohibición, incluyendo cualquier signo de evidencia de contacto como un beso o abrazo.
Las especulaciones de relaciones íntimas con chicos en la juventud de Hitler y que su íntimo amigo Ernst Röhm, fuera un reconocido homosexual y fundador de las SA (Sturm Abteilung, la fuerza paramilitar del partido nazi), provocó que la SS alertará al fuhrer del peligro que ello comportaba para su futuro. El 28 de junio de 1934 Hitler ordenó la ejecución de Röhm y otros “traidores”, un episodio que se recuerda como “la noche de los cuchillos largos”. La veda quedaba abierta: Había que limpiar de homosexuales el país.
Entre 1936 y 1939 se practicaron miles de detenciones en aplicación del párrafo 175, en su mayoría alemanes y austriacos. Una persecución sistemática que no sólo afectó a homosexuales, sino a judíos, gitanos, disidentes políticos y cualquier persona que estorbara en los planes arios de Hitler.Inicialmente los homosexuales que eran conducidos a los campos de concertación eran marcados con un punto negro o con el número 175 escrito en la espalda. Fue más tarde cuando se designo el triángulo rosa invertido como distintivo para los homosexuales.
Entre 1939 y 1945 en régimen nazi practicó más de setenta proyectos médicos de “investigación”. En ellos eran usados seres humanos contra su voluntad. Los presos homosexuales de los campos de concentración de Buchenwald y Auschwitz eran seleccionados como clase preferente para ser usados en los experimentos médicos. Entre estos experimentos estaban los llevados a cabo por el doctor de la SS Carl Peter Værnet consistentes en el cambio de orientación sexual de hombres homosexuales a través de implantes de la castración y de hormonas. Los nazis estaban convencidos de que la homosexualidad era una enfermedad que podrían llegar a curar, pero para ello – escribió Rudolf Höss comandante de Auschwitz en sus memorias – había que segregar a los homosexuales para evitar que contagiaran con su enfermedad a otros internos. La humillación constante por parte de sus carceleros, el rechazo por parte de los otros prisioneros y el duro trabajo hasta la muerte eran la cura que les habían preparado.
El encontrar un método efectivo para tratar las quemaduras por fósforo era unos de los proyectos de investigación. Para ello, quemaban previamente con fósforo a los homosexuales asignados al experimento y estudiaban los efectos que les producía en sus ya maltrechos cuerpos. La obsesión por la castración y esterilización de las naciones conquistadas por “métodos científicos”, hizo poner en marcha un sistema de esterilización por radiación masiva. La exposición a la radicación producía quemaduras severas en el vientre y en los testículos. Muchos murieron en las pruebas, otros, tras enfermar por el sufrimiento de las quemaduras eran directamente gaseados o enviados a los crematorios. Los que sobrevivían, para poder comprobar si el esperma era ya estéril, eran castrados para enviar sus testículos a los laboratorios y ser analizados, o se les obligaba a eyacular introduciéndoles unas mangueras por el recto y unas gomas en el pene para estimular su eyaculación y proceder a probar el esperma. Tras la recogida del esperma, eran brutalmente golpeados con las mismas mangueras que les habían introducido por el recto y a los castrados eran dejados desangrar hasta su muerte. Tras estos experimentos, Himmler, comisario del Reich para la defensa y reforzamiento de la raza alemana, descartó este método de radiación por ser de un coste demasiado elevado, ya que la castración directa tan sólo duraba 7 minutos, y era totalmente eficaz.
En el campo de Dachau, el Dr. Agosto Finke y Dr. Sigmund Rascher experimentaban con los efectos de la congelación sobre humanos. Para ello, usaban a presos que bajo narcóticos eran sumergidos en agua bajo cero a la espera de reacción. Los informes relatan “los movimientos defensivos cesaban después de 5 minutos. Surgía un rigor progresivo, que se convertía especialmente fuerte en los brazos. El rigor aumentaba hasta entrar en estado de shock. No hubo resultados acertados en los esfuerzos de reanimación”. La barbarie de los experimentos fueron innumerables, otros que se practicaron a personas portadoras del triangulo rosa fueron observación bajo la carencia de oxigeno, alimentar a los prisioneros únicamente con agua de mar, trasplantes en vivo de huesos y músculos para observar su supuesta regeneración, administración de diversos venenos para observar sus efectos o enfermedades contagiosas como la malaria, el tifus o hepatitis. Una y otra vez, los “voluntarios” ideales para este tipo de experimentación llamada “medica” eran los homosexuales y gitanos.
Los escasos supervivientes homosexuales de los campos liberados por los aliados a finales de 1944 fueron desapareciendo en el anonimato y la confusión de aquella época. Para ellos fue solo una liberación parcial. Terminaron las torturas, malos tratos y humillaciones constantes, pero continuaban viviendo en el mas profundo ocultismo. De hecho, incluso algunos fueron enviados a cárceles ahora “humanizadas” por continuar siendo simplemente homosexuales. Por parte de la sociedad, que tras la guerra quedo convulsionada, el rechazo a los homosexuales era mas que evidente, continuaban siendo consideramos enfermos y delincuentes. Para muchos de ellos, el fin del nazismo fue simplemente un cambio, una posibilidad mas amplia de seguir vivo, pero sin poder recuperar la dignidad como ser humano y sin ningún tipo de ayuda o reconocimiento.En los juicios de Nuremberg nunca se reconoció la persecución homosexual, en un juicio totalmente militarizado, donde la casta militar repudiaba a los homosexuales, no se les podía permitir considerarlos unas victimas mas del nazismo. La Alemania de las post-guerra continuo guardando sus listas actualizadas de “delincuentes del sexo y desviados”. Todos los países afectados por la persecución del nazismo condenaron el tratamiento recibido por las victimas - a excepción de las homosexuales.



By Peter Tatchell
Sexual orientation is largely or entirely determined by our genes and hormonal influences in the womb. It is an innate given, fixed at birth. Forget Freudian theory and all the other psycho babble. Biology is destiny.
This is the central thesis of Born Gay. I disagree. But this book is still fascinating, informative and essential reading for anyone who wants to understand the many complexities of sexual orientation formation.
The writers are respected, authoritative academics. Glenn Wilson is a Reader at the Institute of Psychiatry in London and Qazi Rahman is a lecturer in psychobiology at the University of East London.
Their book brings together wide-ranging evidence from dozens of scientific studies on homosexuality. They conclude that sexual orientation is overwhelmingly innate. Social or family influences have little or no impact. Blaming parents and childhood upbringing for a child?s gayness is mistaken and unfair. The idea that people become gay by seduction or choice is, they say, not supported by scientific research.
I agree. No one sits down one day and decides to be gay ? or straight. Most queers say they felt ?different? from a very young age, long before any awareness of sexual desire. While this suggests that sexuality is formed unconsciously by early childhood at the latest, it does not necessarily mean we are born with a pre-fixed sexual orientation.
The authors are right. Biological factors play a role. Studies of identical twin brothers show that in 52% of cases where one twin is gay the other twin is also gay. This is a much higher concordance than the 2% to 10% distribution of gay people in the general population, as recorded by various sex surveys. It suggests a significant genetic component in the causality of homosexuality.
Wilson and Rahman argue the other determinant of sexual orientation is hormonal exposure during pregnancy. They document studies showing differences between gay and straight people with respect to a number of physiological traits that are associated with hormonal influences. These include physique, hearing, brain structure, finger lengths, penis size (gay men tend to be better endowed than straight men), and the age of puberty (on average lesbians mature later than straight women, and gay men earlier than heterosexual men).
This is convincing stuff, but not entirely so. If genes determine our sexual orientation we would expect that in cases of identical twins where one was gay the other would be gay too ? in every case. But, in fact, in only just over half the cases are both twins gay. The same lack of complete concordance is found in hormone-associated physical attributes. Not all gay men, for example, have a larger than average penis.
My conclusion? While genes and hormones predispose a person to a particular sexual orientation, they do not determine it. They are significant influences, not the sole cause. Other factors are also at work. Social expectation, cultural values and peer pressure, for instance, push us towards heterosexuality. Without these pro-straight influences, more people might be lesbian, gay or bisexual.
Wilson?s and Rahman?s biological determinist thesis has another major flaw. If we are all born either gay or straight, how do they explain people who switch in mid-life from happy heterosexuality to happy homosexuality (and vice versa)?
The singer Tom Robinson was a happy out gay man who, to his own surprise, fell in love with a woman. He is now equally happy in his straight relationship as he was previously happy in his gay relationship. If he was hard-wired at birth to desire men, how can he now desire women?
The authors have no credible explanation for bisexuality; claiming it barely exists. Some research measuring sexual arousal shows that men who claim to be bisexual are predominantly turned on by other men, not women. But this is highly suspect. Swapping gossip with the girlfriend of a guy who was also my long-term lover, we agree he was definitely aroused by both the male and female form; equally delighted and sexually voracious with a cock or a cunt.
Among women, however, Wilson and Rahman acknowledge there is evidence of a significant degree of genuine bisexuality. Phew!
Much as I would love to go along with the emerging ?born gay? consensus, I can?t. The evidence does not support the idea that sexuality is a fixed biological given.
Wilson and Rahman inadvertently reinforce my doubts. As evidence that people do not become gay by seduction, they cite the example of the Sambia tribe in New Guinea. Cultural expectations dictate that for most of their teenage years all young men have sex with an older warrior as part of their rite of passage to manhood. Once their initiation is completed, they become warriors and initiate the next generation of male youths. Then they become straight and marry.
If sexuality was predetermined at birth by genes and hormones, it would be impossible for young Sambian males to switch to homosexuality and then back to heterosexuality with such apparent ease. This suggests there is an element of flexibility in sexual orientation, and that cultural traditions and social mores are also influential factors. In an enlightened, gay-affirming society, more people might be inclined to explore same-sex desire.
Born gay? No. Human sexuality is too varied and complex to be reduced to a simple equation of genes plus hormones.



Iran’s Anti-Gay Purge Grows
Reports of homosexual executions increase, even as sources live in fear
There have been reports of another execution of a gay man in the city of Arak, Iran, on August 16, and of the execution of four other men, aged 17 to 23, for unspecified “sexual offenses.”
But it has not been possible to confirm these reports with complete certainty because of the climate of fear that prevails in the Islamic Republic of Iran today. The newly elected, reactionary regime of President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has heightened its campaign of repression of gay people since the worldwide protests against the hanging of two gay teens in Mashad on July 19. Iranians—both gay and straight—are afraid to communicate with the outside world on these matters.
Ahmadinejad is slated to visit New York in September to address the United Nations General Assembly and to meet with Iranians living in the U.S. President George W. Bush has indicated that the U.S. will not interfere with his ability to enter the country.
As the beginning of the week, 365gay.com posted an article claiming that a gay man had been executed in Arak on August 16, and cited as its source the British newspaper The Observer. But, when this reporter reached the author of The Observer’s article, the newspaper’s social affairs editor Jamie Doward, he said that the newspaper had no independent source for his article’s one sentence reference to this new execution, and that he obtained the information from a private e-mail he received from the British gay rights group OutRage.
At the same time, a French gay group, Solidarite Internationale LGBT, sent out an alert this week reporting that a gay man had been executed in Arak, but on a later date—August 19—and adding a new detail: that this man was one of the two men who, as Gay City News reported last week, had been condemned to be executed in Arak on August 28 and were “gay” according to gay Iranian sources. The French group cited no sources and no other details, and attempts to reach the group by phone and e-mail were unsuccessful by press time.
When this reporter tried to confirm from Iranian sources the reports that had appeared in The Observer and the French bulletin, an underground Tehran ‘zine for gays published in Farsi—whose editors requested, out of fear, that neither their names nor that of their publication be cited—replied that a man had been hanged in Arak’s public square on August 16, but that they had no information as to his sexuality.
These editors were also the source, OutRage’s Brett Locke said by telephone, for the information his group received about the latest execution in Arak. Since the communications with Iran, both by this non-Farsi speaking reporter and by OutRage, were in English, there may have been a language problem in getting to the bottom of the contradictions between the differing reports all sourced from the Iranian gay ‘zines editors, whose English is far from perfect.
Farshad Hoseini of the Netherlands secretariat of the International Federation of Iranian Refugees (IFIR), when asked about the alleged August 16 execution, said that his group had knowledge of a public hanging, in Arak’s main square, of a 21-year-old man—but said it had taken place two days earlier, on August 14. Hoseini, too, said IFIR had no information about the young man’s sexuality, explaining that the official charge against him was homicide.
Afdhere Jama, editor of the gay e-zine for Muslims, Huriyah, based in San Francisco—who just returned from a lengthy European trip, during which he met with Iranian exiles—told this reporter this week that his Iranian contacts, both inside and outside Iran, were upset with the way some human rights organizations in the West were so readily accepting the official government versions of the crimes for which men thought to be gay were being executed, explanations that included charges of rape.
“Under Islamic law, which has been adopted by the Islamic Republic of Iran’s legal system, it takes four witnesses to prove an act of homosexuality, which is a capital crime,” Jama explained. “That’s why it’s much easier for the Islamic government to invent other criminal charges against gay people to get rid of them.”
In an e-mail to this reporter from the underground gay publication in Iran, its editors expressed a similar view, saying, “The government invents all kinds of charges on gay people that are not true, and are not to [be] believed.” They urged those in the West to be “very careful” before accepting such criminal charges at face value.
On August 23, the new Web site Iran Focus—run by Iranian exiles—posted a story reporting, “Four young men between the ages of 17 and 23 were hanged in public in the port city of Bandar Abbas.” Citing as its source “the ultra-Islamist daily” Kayhan, Iran Focus added, “All four were accused of sexual offences and theft. The daily quoted an unnamed Justice Ministry official as saying that the reason why young men were committing so many sex offences was that ‘they are not aware of the punishment for their offences under Islamic laws.’”
That is what the two gay teens hanged in Mashad in July had said through their attorney, according to multiple published reports—that they were unaware homosexual acts between two consenting people constituted a crime. Thus, the statement by the Justice Ministry official strongly suggests—although this conclusion remains speculative—that the “sexual offences” for which the four young men in Bandar Abbas were executed was homosexuality.
The following day, Iran Focus reported, “Iran’s clergy-dominated Supreme Court has given the green light for the hanging of a 16-year-old schoolboy in Tehran, a state-owned daily reported on Wednesday. The boy, identified only by his first name Mostafa, was convicted of killing a man in a scuffle that began when the boy tried to save a girl who was being harassed by the drunken man… Mostafa, who had no criminal record, told the Islamic judge that when he saw the drunken man insult and harass a young girl near his home in Tehran’s Pars district, he intervened and tried to save the girl, but the foul-mouthed man began to beat him. In the brawl that followed, Mostafa killed the man.”
Iran Focus cited as its source the pro-regime daily Etemaad. Iran is a signatory to two international treaties by which it pledges not to execute minors.
In a related development, the British gay rights group Stonewall this week asked the U.K. home secretary, Charles Clarke, to halt the deportation of a 29-year-old gay Iranian back to his home country, which was ordered by a judge in what Stonewall called an instance of “institutional homophobia.”
In ordering the deportation, the British judge used homophobic language, writing that the Iranian man had been “engaging in buggery” and describing his sexual orientation as a “predilection.”
“I am shocked that this sort of language is still being used in 2005,” Stonewall’s Ben Summerskill said.
The gay man, whose name was not disclosed to protect him if he is deported, said he fled Iran after a gay friend was arrested by police, who seized a videotape of the two men kissing, and asserted that he fears for his life if returned to his home country.
Another Iranian gay man, 26-year-old Hussein Nassen, committed suicide in July two weeks after the U.K. refused his appeal for asylum. Hussein fled from Iran in March 2000 after being imprisoned for three months for his sexuality. Friends said Hussein feared he would be executed in Iran.


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