Why is the issue of homosexuality so controversial? Why does it raise such raw emotion and divisiveness? Even if 52% now believe gay marriage should be legal in the U.S., that still leaves 48% who wholeheartedly disapprove. The liberal French have been rioting against the legality of same-sex marriage. The Greeks had no problem with it. It goes back to the very beginning of mankind. It exists and people are born that way, so why the controversy? Let’s start with the first, most basic reason; Religion. In the Old Testament, the Jewish Bible or Torah, (all the same), every Yom Kippur we read about the fact that lying down with one’s own kind, man with man, woman with woman, is an “abomination”, an “unpardonable sin”. That’s simply a statement of fact from an old book that many people still believe today. I do find it curious that gentiles often quote this passage but don’t fast on Yom Kippur and don’t light Chanukah candles. Picking and choosing as long as it supports your argument is a typical way that religious and ignorant Americans make their cases. But I digress. To dispel this text, one either must reject the Torah or simply accept it’s faults; accept that it was written thousands of years ago and follow the good it has to offer. When the Torah was written, there was no civil law. The Hebrews brought law and order to a time of anarchy. They believed that the best way to do this was through the strength of the family, even though they were not yet monogamous. They couldn’t have envisioned stable family units that involved homosexual families anymore than they could have envisioned flight. Unfortuantely there are still those that follow this to the letter and they won’t be, nor should they be swayed. The second reason for the controversy is that homosexual and heterosexual men are often very different and heterosexual men hate those who are different from them, blacks, Jews etc. It begins early in life. For example, when I was in grammar school there was a boy who skipped rope with the girls while the rest of us played punch ball. He was clearly effeminate and is in fact gay. Although he was my friend, many of the other boys called him queer or faggot. It started that young. But even then, boys were acutely aware of the differences and exploited them. Yes it was probably heard in the home but it’s much more than that. Then when I got to high school, no one would have ever dared tell teammates they were gay. The thinking of most of the males was, I don’t need some gay guy checking me out. Now as terrible as that sounds, it was a real fear for some of the straight teens who were probably uncomfortable in their own skin and trying to figure out girls, without wondering if a teammate was interested in them. It may not have been rational, but it was a fact. The third reason is “so-called” flamboyant public displays, such as the New York City Halloween parade. Straight homophobes will point to such public displays and make the point of a wild, crazy, promiscuous “gay lifestyle”; the ruination of society. When in reality, it’s just people having fun. However, it must also be pointed out that there are many gay men and women that don’t enjoy it either. A fourth reason is AIDS. While not a cause of hatred per se, many haters believe AIDS was and is a punishment for their “homosexual lifestyle”. Finally, and perhaps most importantly, there is very little interaction between straight and gay men. Obviously as one gets older and joins the work force there are more opportunities to get to know each other. But for the most part, there are straight bars and gay bars. Single straight men as a rule, don’t hang out with gay men. There’s no reason to, since the primary purpose is to pick up women. The lack of associations is where much of the hatred stems from; simple ignorance. The purpose of writing this piece was to raise issues not often discussed because no one has ever examined the “real” reasons. One might say, who cares why, it’s simply wrong. And that would be correct. But the first step in fixing a society wide problem is to address the causes and then to find the solutions. Ignoring it or simply forcing people to accept it, is not the way to bring harmony and understanding to all or at least a majority of the people.