Homosexual behavior varies greatly in prisons. Sexual contact between inmates, although prohibited, still occurs in prisons today; however, research has found that the majority of this sexual activity is consensual (Saum et al., 1995). Those who engage in such behavior usually claim that they are not homosexuals and plan to return to heterosexual relation­ships exclusively once they are released. This situational homosexuality is also found in situational homosexuality

other places where men must spend long periods of time together, such as on ships at sea. H°m°sexuality ttat occurs because °f a lack °f

heterosexual partners.

Many people think that the majority of homosexual contacts in prisons are rapes. In fact, very few men report being raped in prison (Saum et al., 1995). Still, it depends on what we mean by “rape”; a man who is scared for his life and provides sexual services to a more powerful man for protection may feel coerced by his circumstances (see Chapter 17). On the other hand, same-sex attachments in prison can be strong and jealously guarded; for example, same-sex activity has been found to be the leading cause of inmate homicide in U. S. prisons (Nacci & Kane, 1983). Inmates speak of loving their inmate partners, and relations can become extremely intimate, even among those who return to a heterosexual life on release.

С’"’ HOMOSEXUALITY IN RELIGION AND THE LAW

Religion has generally been considered a bastion of antihomosexual teachings and be­liefs, and these beliefs have often helped shape laws that prohibit homosexual behaviors. We will now discuss both of these powerful influences.

Same-Sex Behavior in PrisonHomosexuality and Religion

There has been a great deal of negativity surrounding homosexuality in religion, and changes in social attitudes toward homosexuality over the last 30 years have provoked conflict over homosexual policies in many religious denominations. Traditionally, both Judaism and Christianity have strongly opposed homosexual behavior.

Подпись:Some Christian religions that are more on the liberal side include the United Church of Christ and the Unitarian Universalist Association. These churches have welcomed gay, lesbian, and bisexual members; worked for equal rights; and or­dained gay, lesbian, and bisexual clergy. They generally view homosexuality as nei­ther a sin nor a choice, and they believe that it is unchangeable. One of the most accepting churches, the Metropolitan Community Churches, promotes itself as the world’s largest organization with a primary, affirming ministry to gays, lesbians, bi­sexuals, and transgendered persons (Metropolitan Community Churches, 2005).

Mainline Christian religions, such as Presbyterians, Methodists, Lutherans, and Episcopalians, have more conflict over the issue of sexual orientation, re­sulting in both liberal and conservative views. In 2003, the Reverend Susan Andrews became the first female ever elected as the Presbyterian moderator. Andrews believes that the church is ready to lift the ban on having gays and lesbians ordained. Also in 2003, the Episcopal Church named its first openly gay bishop (D. Johnson & Nelson,

2003) . Most of the more conservative views, including the idea that homosexuality can be changed through prayer and counseling, come from older members and those living in the southern part of the United States. The conservative churches, such as Catholics, Southern Baptists, and the Assemblies of God, view homosexuality as a sin and work to restrict gay, lesbian, and bisexual rights.

Personal Voices