Robert A. J. Gagnon Home
Articles Available Online
Response to Book Reviews
Material for "Two Views"
Material for "Christian Sexuality"
Answers to Emails
College Materials Robert Gagnon.htm






Back to the Oppressive Future:

Homosexualist Attempts at Suppressing Rational Debate at Bowdoin College and the Maine “Gay Marriage” Referendum


by Robert A. J. Gagnon, Ph.D.


Nov. 3, 2009

 For printing use the pdf version here


My speaking engagement at Bowdoin College near Portland, Maine, on Friday Oct. 30 presented me with a glimpse into the oppressive future of homosexualist ascendancy. The talk was attended by about 150 persons, including a large contingent of “GLBT”[1] students and staff who, I heard from other students, had been planning how they might derail my presentation. During the Q&A time after my presentation the Director of Student Life, a homosexualist activist named Allen DeLong, called me “a wolf in sheep’s clothing” and made an implicit threat to the Intervarsity staff responsible for bringing me there.  

Before I go into the details, first a little background information. I was invited by the Intervarsity chapter at Bowdoin to give a presentation on the Bible and homosexual practice primarily intended for Bowdoin’s Christian fellowship group but also open to the whole campus. There were pleasant features about Bowdoin College. I found the Bowdoin campus to be aesthetically pleasing. Another nice thing about Bowdoin is the presence of two outstanding Intervarsity staff persons, Robert and Sim-Kuen Chan Gregory, who have committed their lives to helping the Bowdoin Christian Fellowship (BCF) over the last five years. They have done so at considerable financial cost and sacrifice to themselves.  

Yet, if you are thinking of sending your child to Bowdoin, consider this: Bowdoin suffers from a major inhibitor of free speech. Let’s just say that if you want to go to a college where homosexualist ideology reigns supreme at the highest levels, a place where you will be belittled as a homophobic bigot if you express your conviction that homosexual practice is wrong, then Bowdoin is the place for you. Bowdoin has not only the usual “Gay and Lesbian Studies” program but also a special “Resource Center for Sexual and Gender Diversity,” just recently renamed from the more descriptive “Queer-Trans Resource Center.” The Center has its own building and full-time director.  

If you go to Bowdoin’s website, click on “Campus Life,” and scroll halfway down, you will see a prominent reference to this Center that takes you to “Bowdoin Queer Web.” Here one finds prominently displayed a statement from the Bowdoin Student Handbook that forbids “discrimination or harassment of others because of … sexual orientation” and requires “respect for the differences of all.” From what I can gather from my own observations, this statement means: The “GLBT” community can slander at will anybody who declines to pay homage to the homosexualist agenda, while all others have to shut up about that agenda or face dire consequences. I have seen firsthand the very real fear and intimidation that students experience as regards expressing any criticism of homosexual behavior.  

You can link from the “Bowdoin Queer Web” not only to the “Sexual Diversity” resource center, but also to the “Bowdoin Queer-Straight Alliance” and to “Faculty-Staff Advocates.” The latter includes the Director of Student Life, Allen DeLong (mentioned above), who (the site declares) also “holds a monthly dinner conversation for Men who Date Men”; the Director for Career Planning for all students; and, of course, the Director of the “Queer-Trans” Resource Center. In short, homosexualist activists at Bowdoin control all student life activities and all use of career planning resources. 

This, then, is the background for my presentation last Friday night. I should add that the school had the night before brought over Marvin Ellison to give “A Christian Defense of Marriage.”[2] Ellison is a self-professed “gay man” who teaches ethics at Bangor Theological Seminary and has written a book on “same-sex marriage.” Ellison was invited in connection with the citizen referendum on “gay marriage” in Maine, which will be voted on Tuesday, Nov. 3. In talking to students I discovered that the administration had pressured Bowdoin Christian Fellowship to co-sponsor Ellison and to consider Ellison their reliable guide to a proper Christian perspective on homosexuality. In his own research Ellison has shown little understanding of Scripture in its historical and literary context, which makes his attempts at hermeneutical appropriation weak indeed. While wanting an evangelical group to co-sponsor a homosexualist advocate, homosexual administrators were quite unhappy with BCF bringing up an expert to explain and defend the position held by the vast majority of BCF members, namely, the biblical position for male-female sexual prerequisite. 

I decided to focus my presentation on the witness of Jesus. I began, however, by quoting two non-Christian, homosex-affirming psychologists, J. Michael Bailey of Northwestern University and Brian Mustanski of Indiana University, who admit that “no clear conclusions about the morality of a behavior can be made from the mere fact of biological causation, because all behavior is biologically caused.” Then I talked about why we disagree so strongly in the church about this issue. Opposing sides in the church now operate with diametrically opposed “hermeneutical scales”: one side continues with the historic priority of Scripture, followed by philosophical reason, scientific reason, and experience; the other has experience at the top and Scripture last (go here, pp. 19-25, for the argument).[3] I rounded off the introduction by citing Augustine’s phrase “Love, and do what you want,” which Augustine interprets to mean that one can, in love, discipline as a means to turning someone away from sin. “Love not in the person his error, but the person; for the person God made, the error the person himself made” (Augustine). 

From that point on I focused on Jesus. I showed how in Mark 10 and Matthew 19 Jesus’ restriction of the number of persons in a sexual union to two and only two persons, whether concurrently or serially, was predicated on the foundation of a male-female prerequisite to marriage in Gen 1:27 (“male and female he made them”) and 2:24 (“for this reason a man … shall become joined to his woman/wife and the two shall become one flesh”). I noted the comparable example of the Essenes at Qumran, who likewise rejected polygamy on the grounds of Gen 1:27, adding also the Noah’s ark narrative where “male and female” is glossed with “two by two.”  

I showed how the New Testament’s prohibition of polygyny (multiple wives) was thus extrapolated from the self-contained duality or twoness of the sexes in complementary union. As an aside, I explained that the rationale in Leviticus 18:6 for rejecting even adult-consensual forms of incest (i.e., sex with someone who is already one’s own “flesh” and thus too much of a structural same on the level of kinship) is analogically related to the reason behind Scripture’s absolute rejection of homosexual practice (i.e., sex with someone who is too much of an embodied “like” or “same” on the deeper level of sex or gender). I followed up the assessment of Jesus’ views with a brief presentation of nine other arguments from Jesus’ teaching and the historical context to show the historical impossibility of a Jesus open to homosexual practice.   

In an effort to give a full-orbed discussion of Jesus’ ministry, I then examined Jesus’ loving outreach to the biggest violators of God’s ethical demands (tax collectors and sexual sinners) and Jesus’ interpretation of the love commandment. I recalled an important event in my own life when I learned, as in the story of the prodigal son, what it meant to be an “older brother” who did not want to forgive a returning sibling. I showed how love meant for Jesus focusing his ministry on those most likely not to inherit the very Kingdom that he proclaimed. Rather than validating the behavior that leads to exclusion from God’s kingdom, Jesus called violators to repentance and threw a party for those who responded positively to his message.  

I also noted Jesus’ expansive call to discipleship: not an affirmation of our innate biological urges but instead a demand for nothing less than taking up our cross, denying ourselves, and losing our life. (For further study of the witness of Jesus go here, p. 1, and here, pp. 56-62.[4]) I added briefly that the Greco-Roman milieu was well aware of the existence of non-exploitative homosexual unions and even floated a number of theories akin to our modern notions of “homosexual orientation,” making alleged “new knowledge” arguments for dismissing the witness of Scripture not so new after all. I repeatedly emphasized that Scripture’s opposition to homosexual practice, as recast by Jesus and the apostolic witness to him, was not about hate but about the true meaning of love, the kind of love that parents have when their young child is about to touch a hot stove. 

The talk lasted about an hour-and-a-half. The Q&A time that followed lasted about 45 minutes. The questions/comments were almost entirely from the aggressive “GLBT” side of the audience. I think the evangelical Christians were, for the most part, too intimidated to say anything. Throughout my presentation and responses in Q&A there were many from the “GLBT” contingent who behaved rudely: eye-rolling, turning to talk to others while I was speaking, some abortive attempts at ridicule. I think that matters would have been much worse had I shown that I was susceptible to their intimidation or responded in an unintelligent fashion. To be sure, there were other students who acted respectfully. Some attempted to lecture me about the historical and literary context of certain texts, although that stopped when in my responses I was able to show how they had misconstrued that context. There was not a single question or comment the entire evening that posed any problem for what I had presented.  

However, that made the Director of Student Life, Allen DeLong, mad. Instead of setting an example for students as regards rational argumentation and civil discourse, DeLong launched into an ad hominem tirade. In a blustery manner he said words to the effect of the following: “This really isn’t a question for Dr. Gagnon or about Dr. Gagnon but a statement to the Intervarsity staff. What does it say about the character of the Intervarsity staff to bring this wolf-in-sheep’s-clothing here?”[5] DeLong went on to rail against me for comparing homosexual unions to incest and polyamory and to intimate that the Student Association Handbook had been violated by having me come speak. I took his comments to the Intervarsity staff as an implicit threat that the latter would be made to recant my teaching and invitation or else be thrown off the campus. We shall see in the next few days whether that interpretation is accurate. 

The charge of me being “a wolf in sheep’s clothing” was absurd. There was certainly nothing deceptive about my presentation. I was very straightforward about what I thought Scripture said about homosexual practice, read responsibly in its context and interpreted responsibly for our own day. Apparently, DeLong was worried that reasonable arguments that I was putting forward were beguiling the audience to think (horror of horrors!) that I might not be an irrational, hateful bigot. My sheep’s clothing was apparently my genuinely rational, caring, and civil manner of discussing the issue. 

I reminded DeLong that my analogies were not to adult-child incest and promiscuous polyamory but rather to adult-committed forms of incest and polyamory. When I challenged DeLong to give me a rationale argument why these were not the best analogues to homosexual practice, he attempted repeatedly to switch the subject. DeLong realized that if it could be shown that adult-committed homosexual unions were more like adult-committed incestuous or polyamorous unions than like heterosexual unions, then support for “gay marriage” and the tarring of opponents with “homophobic bigotry” would quickly evaporate (go here for further discussion of this point).[6] 

When I repeated my request that DeLong answer my question, he had no comeback. Nothing. Ironically, I found out later that Prof. Ellison, in his talk the previous night, had been asked during Q&A if there was anything wrong with close kin or three or more persons entering into a committed sexual union. Ellison responded that he had no problem with such relationships. Indeed, in his book on same-sex marriage Ellison explicitly opened the door to committed sexual unions involving three or more persons concurrently, so long as patriarchal practices were excluded.[7] Since DeLong was strongly supportive of Ellison’s coming, apparently DeLong’s problem with me was not that I made a comparison with adult-committed incest and polyamory but rather that I regarded adult-committed incest and polyamory as bad things. 

The oppressive homosexualist environment at Bowdoin is a good example of why people should oppose “gay marriage” and other “sexual orientation” and “gender identity” laws. Such laws end up treating those who believe in a male-female prerequisite for sexual unions as the moral equivalent of racists, subject to severe societal ridicule, ostracism, and ultimately termination from employment and criminal prosecution. A recent case in point is the firing of a Massachusetts man because he could not support a co-worker’s lesbian wedding. Here is how the organization MassResistance reports it:


Massachusetts man fired from corporation over Christian belief in traditional marriage

"Same-sex marriage is the law" he was told

POSTED: October 30, 2009


A Massachusetts man was fired from a national retail corporation because of his traditional beliefs on same-sex marriage.  Peter Vadala was formally dismissed from his job as second deputy manager of the Brookstone store at Boston’s Logan Airport on August 12, 2009, after a supervisor reported him to Human Resources regarding an incident two days earlier.


As Peter described the incident (see video above), he came to work on August 10 and began his day normally. A female manager from another store was in the store and began talking to Peter about her upcoming marriage.  When Peter asked “where is he taking you for the honeymoon,” she corrected him and said she was not getting married to "he" but to another woman.


Peter did not immediately react, but when the manager sensed Peter’s discomfort with the subject of same-sex “marriage”, the woman apparently continued bringing it up to Peter throughout the day, reiterating that she was getting married to another woman. Finally, after the fourth or fifth time she brought it up, Peter remarked that his Christian beliefs did not accept same-sex marriage. At that point the woman became very angry and bluntly told Peter that he needed to “get over it” and said that she would be immediately contacting the Human Resources department.


A few hours later Peter was notified by a Human Resources representative that he was suspended from work without pay, effective immediately. Two days later, on August 12, after some further interaction with the Human Resources department, he was formally notified that he was terminated from the company.


Brookstone’s termination letter to Peter states that “in the State of Massachusetts, same-sex marriage is legal.” It goes on to describe Peter’s actions as constituting “harassment” and that his comments were “inappropriate and unprofessional.” It further accuses him of “imposing” his beliefs upon others.


In addition, the letter curiously quotes another employee who did not witness the incident, but who says Peter told her that he considers homosexual lifestyle to be “deviant”. Peter strongly denies ever having said that to that to the other employee.


Peter also described one of Brookstone’s required diversity training films (see video above) that gave the clear message that even any informal discussion uncomplimentary of homosexual behavior would be considered “offensive” by the company. 


For picture and video, go here.[8] Another case in point occurred in Maine. The Alliance Defense Fund reports:


Maine counselor's career threatened for support of marriage

ADF attorneys representing man reported to licensing board say complaint is attempt to shut down free speech, silence opposition
Friday, October 30, 2009


AUGUSTA, Maine — A high school counselor who supports marriage between one man and one woman has been reported to a Maine licensing board because of his views.  Attorneys with the Alliance Defense Fund represent Donald Mendell, the subject of a complaint filed with the Board of Social Worker Licensure by a co-worker because he expressed support for marriage and the "Vote Yes on One" campaign.

"No one should have their livelihood placed in jeopardy because they believe marriage is the union of a man and a woman," said ADF Senior Legal Counsel Austin R. Nimocks.  "This threat to Don, his family, and his career makes clear that those in favor of redefining marriage also want to penalize and silence those who don't agree with them.  So, the definition of marriage is not the only thing at issue here.  Free speech, freedom of conscience, and religious liberty are also in danger."

The complaint attacking Mendell, a licensed counselor at Nokomis Regional High School, accuses him of violating the state's code of ethics for social workers because of his expressed position on marriage.

The complaint cites his appearance in a "Vote Yes on One" television ad that encourages citizens to vote in favor of Ballot Question 1, which would allow Mainers to repeal a recent law that imposed a redefinition of marriage on the people.  The complaint fails to mention that the ad was created in response to a "Vote No on One" ad that featured a Nokomis teacher encouraging a "no" vote on Question 1 from a classroom at the high school itself.  The complaint is not critical of that ad or the teacher featured in it.

Mendell has 30 days from the date he received a copy of the complaint to respond to it.



Are these the kind of things that you want to happen to you or to others? This is what “sexual orientation” and “gay marriage” laws inevitably bring.


Bowdoin College gave me a glimpse of the oppressive future coming from legal support for homosexualist ideologies. The example, along with many other examples of homosexualist oppression (go here and here for more),[9] shows how insane it is for anyone who believes homosexual practice to be immoral to support, or fail to vote against, “sexual orientation” laws and “gay marriage,” or even to keep in office those who support such agendas. In effect, such a person would be voting for his or her own cultural and civil oppression.



[1] GLBT = Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, Transgender.

[2] Ellison’s talk was sponsored by the Department of Gay and Lesbian Studies, the Department of Religion, and The Resource Center for Sexual and Gender Diversity.

[3] “Why the Disagreement over the Biblical Witness on Homosexual Practice? A Response to Myers and Scanzoni, What God Has Joined Together?Reformed Review 59 (2005): 19-130 (online:  For a table of contents go to:

[4] “What the Evidence Really Says about Scripture and Homosexual Practice: Five Issues” (Mar. 14, 2009; 7 pgs.; online:; [4] “Why the Disagreement over the Biblical Witness on Homosexual Practice?” (

[5] The words in italics are an exact quote.

[6] “Why Homosexual Behavior Is More like Consensual Incest and Polyamory than Race or Gender: A Reasoned and Reasonable Case for Secular Society” (May 22, 2009; 7 pgs.; online:

[7] Ellison wrote: “Should marriage, as the legal sanctioning of an intimate sexual affiliation, be limited to two and only two persons . . . ? Should religious communities bless multiple coexisting sexual partnerships? Surely one concern with polyamorous affiliations is exploitation, or what feminist critics of polygamy have called an ‘excess of patriarchy.’ But how exactly does the number of partners affect the moral quality of the relationship? This question requires a serious answer. Could it be that limiting intimate partnerships to only two people at a time is no guarantee of avoiding exploitation, and expanding them to include more than two parties is no guarantee that the relationship will be exploitative?” (Same-Sex Marriage? A Christian Ethical Analysis [Pilgrim Press, 2004], 155). He also asks, “How might it be possible to break with compulsory monogamy and make marriage genuinely elective, as a vocation (or calling) for some but not all?” (p. 154).

[9] “Obama’s Coming War on Historic Christianity over Homosexual Practice and Abortion” (Nov. 3, 2008; 8 pgs.; online:; “Why a Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity ‘Hate Crimes’ Law Is Bad for You” (June 2009; 9 pgs.;



  © 2009 Robert A. J. Gagnon