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Perspectives

Publication Date

5-1-2009

Abstract

Religion holds a heavy weight in our society; regardless if you are religious yourself, the underlying values of most mainstream religions permeate into our societal values. In this paper, the religions I will discuss as having negative perceptions of Queer people are Christian denominations and Orthodox Jewish denominations since it is what most of the studies looked to reach their conclusions. This is specifically problematic for those who identify as Queer (LGBT) who, under the values of these religions, are seen as going against all moral values. As said by Sherkat, “Americans are conflicted over their core values surrounding the perceived sanctity of family and marriage and their own rising individualism and efforts to tailor their life experiences to their personal choice”(2002:347). In this paper, I wish to cover three main points. First, to discuss how having a religious identity can be both potentially uplifting and cause a lot of grief for Queer people. They often struggle with their own feeling about their identities which are often times conflicting in values. Also, I will search for how the coming out process of Queer people may be more difficult for Queer people who hold more traditional religious values. Next, I will show how, in our society, religion has permeated through our culture and has potentially affected parents who are both religious and not religious; causing them to have trouble accepting their Queer child’s identity. Finally, I would like to look at how the politics of our society are being run by religious values and affecting society’s perceived identities of Queer people. In our society, Queer people have become the symbols of a culture heavily entrenched with religious values as religion has affected their identity, their self acceptance, and the acceptance or rejection from others.

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