What should I do if I think that a friend is a practising homosexual?

Find an appropriate time to broach the subject. Here’s what you shouldn’t do: Just walk up to your friend and blurt out, “Hey, you’re gay, right?”1 As ridiculous as this may sound, some well-intentioned people have done this. The damage done by this approach can be irreparable. This is a sensitive topic regardless of whether your suspicions are true, and can humiliate the other person.

Educate yourself. Homosexuality is a manifestation of deeper issues in your friend’s life. Your goal is not to expose your friend’s homosexuality but to unearth and attend to the underlying problems.

Look beyond the behaviour. Your conversation should not focus on homosexuality. Attend instead to the core of the problem. Fixating on homosexuality is like trying to relieve the symptoms but not address the cause.

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How should I relate to a friend who takes an opposing view on homosexuality?

A sincere and humble attitude is a prerequisite to any discussion that you might have about your opposing views. Your friend may have tried to “change” in the past but the same-sex sexual attractions persist; he/ she may have faced or witnessed discrimination on account of being different from others of the same sex. Extend understanding towards their circumstances.

Willingly listen to their point of view. Ask questions in a calm and gentle manner. Avoid being hostile and defensive, or aggressively arguing beliefs. Your role or responsibility towards them is not to change their mind or ways. It is possible to maintain your stand against homosexuality without losing a “pro-gay” or homosexual friend.1

Acknowledge that neither party has all the answers. Prepare to respond to pro-gay interpretation of key bible verses that refer to homosexuality. Stay flexible when discussing theories (e.g., biological basis of homosexuality or ability to change sexual orientation), yet firm when discussing your convictions. Be aware of the complex issues within the discussion.

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