When Sexual Identity Leads to Loss of Religious Identity: Jehovah's Witnesses and Homosexuality.

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Bond, Jamie
Although progress has been made in the acceptance of gays and lesbians within some religious groups, individuals who openly identify as gay and lesbian cannot also be active members of Jehovah's Witnesses. Based on their biblical teachings, Jehovah's Witnesses do not accept and are not lenient toward gay and lesbian members. As a result, gay and lesbian Jehovah's Witnesses make difficult decisions; they either follow the teachings of their religion or openly embrace their sexual identity. The two are mutually exclusive; either decision will likely result in significant loss. The nature of this paper is to discuss some issues related to loss experienced by gay and lesbian Jehovah's Witnesses. Implications for sexual work practice and ethical considerations will be discussed. Keywords: Jehovah's Witnesses, homosexuality, loss