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News: "On the fence: Do Pagans believe it's OK to be gay?"

June 4, 2009



Q: Are pagans accepting of homosexuals? - Rebecca, 17, atheist bisexual, Jacksonville, Fla.

Replies

I have a friend who is a lesbian and is accepted and very active among her pagan community. - Alaina, 28, Episcopalian lesbian, Cincinnati


Many Wiccans tend to be liberal in thought, while most Asatruar/Odinists tend to be much more conservative - so Wiccans tend to be more accepting, while Odinists tend to view homosexuality as "anti-family." That has been my experience, and I am dating a woman who is a pagan, and all of her friends are pagans. - Tim, 39, straight, Jacksonville, Fla.


Wicca and all the other pagan sects I know of are completely accepting of homosexuals. - Chris, Wiccan male, Seattle


I tend to believe that generally pagans are more accepting of homosexuality than most other faiths, possibly because they themselves have been persecuted for their faith and understand what it means to be discriminated against and hated for who you are. - Shelly, 49, New Age bisexual, Pennsylvania

Expert says
Pagans accepting gays? Sounds like downright Heathenry (the capital H variety, we mean).

Really, for the most part, pagans are welcoming of all types, said M. Macha NightMare, a San Francisco witch and author of "Pagan Pride: Honoring the Craft and Culture of Earth and Goddess."

"America is very diverse. We come together in interesting combinations. Most of our (pagan) working groups are very syncretic."

There's even the gay witchcraft group The Minoan Brotherhood. It began in 1975 "as a response to the heterosexist culture of most forms of traditional witchcraft prevalent in the 1970s," which had held that the polarity of nature meant "magic must be performed between a man and a woman," according to www.minoan-brotherhood.org.

Some pagan groups are still uncomfortable with homosexuality, including some Norse-based ones, NightMare said. (Asatru is also known as "Norse heathenism," though she did not mention it by name.)

"They feel there's a need for balance among males and females," she said.

But generally, a common pagan moral guide is "And it harm none, do what ye will," which basically means "Do unto others ..."

"We tend to be open-minded," NightMare said.

Oh, and there's also a little thing called the Law of Threefold Return, she noted.

"What you put out in the world will return threefold. So you better be careful."


Phillip Milano, author of "I Can't Believe You Asked That!" (Perigee), moderates cross-cultural dialogue at Y? The National Forum on People's Differences. Visit www.yforum.com to submit questions, answers and comments, or mail to Phillip Milano, The Florida Times-Union, P.O. Box 1949, Jacksonville, FL 32231. Include contact information.

Source: http://www.hattiesburgamerican.com/article/20090604/ENTERTAINMENT/906040301

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