A basic fear
Beyond religion, Graber Miller said those unfamiliar with homosexuality may fear the unknown.
“A lot of it is our own fear,” Graber Miller said. “The fear of our sexuality, the fear of the fragility of our marriage. We have been focusing so much in the last 30 years on same-sex sexuality that we’ve ignored other things (like adultery and sexual abuse)... We’ve been paying attention to the wrong things.”
People believe they are doing the right thing, no matter what side of the issue they’re on, according to Graber Miller.
“I do think people at various sides of the issue are trying to be faithful and stay as close to teachings as possible,” he said. “They’re not trying to be malicious. They’re just so different in their interpretation.”
Looking to the future, Graber Miller said he sees a point where homosexuality is accepted within culture as a whole. He cited evidence from younger age groups, even those who lean conservatively, with at least 48 percent acceptance of homosexuality, though sometimes that percentage reaches into the high 70s.
“It’s a shift,” he said. “We’re almost to a point of no return... Overall, in the whole country, a younger generation is growing up asking, ‘Why is this a problem?’”
No matter what a person’s opinion is, he said, they should read broadly and thoughtfully on both sides of the issue to fully understand everything.
“You should include progressive and conservative views of Scripture,” he said. “Think critically of what you’re reading. Talk to people who are gay or lesbian about their journey. Talk to people on both sides about their thoughts... Think about what you’re afraid of, what drives your perspective on the issue. Think of how Jesus would act today.”