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Reforming SodomProtestants and the Rise of Gay Rights$
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Heather Rachelle White

Print publication date: 2015

Print ISBN-13: 9781469624112

Published to North Carolina Scholarship Online: May 2016

DOI: 10.5149/northcarolina/9781469624112.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM UNIVERSITY OF NORTH CAROLINA PRESS SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.northcarolina.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright University of North Carolina Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in NCSO for personal use.date: 17 June 2021

Sanctified Heterosexuality

Sanctified Heterosexuality

(p.108) 4 Sanctified Heterosexuality
Reforming Sodom

Heather R. White

University of North Carolina Press

This chapter describes a series of theological skirmishes that took place in the late 1960s between mainline Protestant denominations. It traces the emergence of a heterosexual consensus, where Protestants across the theological and political spectrum adopted modern paradigms for sexuality into both conservative and liberal theological frameworks. The battle pitted defenders of traditional morality against liberals accused of peddling a faithless “new morality.” One conflict emerged from a committee report written by Presbyterians. The debate over this document connected to larger concerns about religion and sex in the late 1960s and early 1970s, a moment at which the “sexual revolution” was at a breaking point. Additionally, a hot-button political issue at this time was sexuality education, and Presbyterians were hardly alone in navigating denomination-wide skirmishes over sexual morality. Similar debates roiled other mainline denominations, and they also surfaced in arguments over local public school sex education curricula.

Keywords:   theological skirmishes, late 1960s, mainline Protestant denominations, heterosexual consensus, Presbyterians, sexual revolution, sexuality education, new morality

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