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Question
should religious officials be forced to agree with homophobia even when it is against their religion?

PFLAG's Answer
Although your wording is slightly confusing, I will assume that you mean to ask, more or less: if the religion of a religious official denounces homosexuals, should said official be forced to personally agree with the view? And the answer is of course not. No individual with a mind and heart of his/her own can be forced to agree with anything. Homophobia, as a term, means the fear of homosexuality. Fear is different than rejection. Countless numbers of people have indeed "overcome" their supposed homophobia through education about the facts of sexual orientation. Not surprisingly, religous officials often have the best grasp on their faith and the main messages of that faith. And oftentimes, the self-thinking religious official does not believe homosexuality to be a "sin." There is a wonderful, although unfortunately slightly outdated, PFLAG resource on this very topic called "Is homosexuality a sin?" The revised version is due to be published online (www.pflag.org or www.pflagdc.org) within the next few months. However, if you would like a copy of the pamphlet sent to you, feel free to write to us again with your mailing address and we can send one along. Another resource that you can access online is called "Faith in our Families" (www.pflag.org, click "Getting Support-Coming Out," then "PFLAG Publications"). Best of luck to you!

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