Scandal - A Hypothetical

Suppose that two men live in the same apartment and are clearly best friends. They are quite affectionate with each other, verbally and physically, but there does not appear to be any hint of sexual intention behind their affection. They go many places together, including church. If you get to know them, they will not hide the fact that they are gay, and pretty much everyone knows they live together. They call each other “friends”, and sometimes when they go out, they say that they are going on “dates”.

Are these two men committing the sin of scandal?

What do you mean by ‘verbally and physically affectionate’ without a sexual overtone. Do you mean verbally and physically affectionate only in the way that two non gay men friends or brothers would be. “I love ya, man”. Manhugs. Buy each other rounds.

Or do you mean affectionate in the way of male/female. Hand holding, kissing, ‘honey’s’ and ‘darlings’ sort of things?

No, probably not hand-holding, and definitely not kissing or ostensibly romantic names for each other. But I’m not sure what your meaning of “manhugs” is. Sometimes I hug other men in a gentle and affirming way, not simply a side-hug or gruff and manly hug. This is the sort of thing these two men would feel perfectly comfortable doing. And they might even tell each other “I love you”, without it being some overly masculine showy “I love you, man”.

They would be openly tender to each other, I guess is what I’m saying. I don’t see any sexual overtones in such tenderness, but I suppose some people – if they’re not familiar with this sort of friendship – might only be able to interpret it as sexual. :shrug:

It would be a mixture of scandal and near occasion of sin. Even if they are not engaging in homosexual acts, the world maintains certain perceptions about it, and will make certain assumptions. Such an arrangement also acts as a false confirmation to those who believe there’s nothing wrong with homosexuality.

Even if the two are not actively engaging in sinful actions, they are placing themselves in a situation where temptation is omni-present, much like a man and woman living together before marriage (having done so, I can tell you, it doesn’t matter how dedicated you are to chastity, it’s incredibly, incredibly difficult to resist, and can place strains on the relationship even when you are managing to resist it.) If they truly love each other, it would be better for them to express this love in a healthy and moral way by seeking the best for the other, and by not acting as a constant temptation, regardless of if that temptation is purposeful or not.

Sex they are still in an emotional relationship that should be shared only between a husband and wife. Living together implies a relationship that is far beyond the realm of friendship episecally when you say you are “dating”

Sounds like a bromance between two roommates to me, nothing more, nothing less.

Even I have one with a roommate of mine. Too bad he will not go to church with me, or any one else.

Ever watch Scrubs? Seems pretty comparable to Turk and JD. To quote them, “There’s nothing gay about it, in our eyes.”

I didn’t say that they were dating; I said they were describing times out together as “dates”. My wife regularly goes out on “dates” with her girlfriends, so I wasn’t assuming this wording meant that the two people are romantically involved.

And are you saying men shouldn’t have “emotional relationships” with straight male friends? How can you have a real friendship that is not emotional? :confused:

Yeah, but I think there a lot of people in our culture – especially Catholic culture – that don’t understand how close men can be without being sexually involved. Strangely, they don’t often have the same sorts of objections to affectionate women.

But they aren’t encouraging such perceptions, are they? Or suppose I took away the part where they described going out together as a “date”? Would this change your opinion?

(As for whether this is the near occasion of sin, I think it depends on whether the two men are attracted to each other. I wouldn’t assume they are.)

My thoughts exactly. There was even an article about this on Art of Manliness, stating that when the camera first started to become popular, men would go in together to get their portraits done, often posing affectionate towards one another. There was no widespread “gay lifestyle” or open homosexuality. (If I had time to find that article and share, I would.)

Funny enough, my roommate’s dad is gay, and thinks that my relationship between me and his son is the unnatural one. I thought that was a funny anecdote.

I don’t think so.

For one thing how would anyone really know this had to do with them being gay? Depending on ones culture it would not be unusual for “straight” men to be so friendly and openly affectionate in public. And like, women, men can develop deep friendships that are as close as being brothers. (Like firemen, soldiers and cops.) They rely on each other for their very safety and lives.

The sin might come from observers “assuming” that the closeness is related to homosexuality without really knowing the men in question.

I don’t really think so, unless a line is crossed into clearly “romantic” activities (kissing, holding hands, and so forth.)

I’ve seen plenty of young men (most of whom were clearly straight) engage in this sort of behaviour.

They are living in the same house, close to each other, affectionate, and regularly attend church. I’d be likely to assume they are very close friends who understand what it’s like to be a gay Christian and are helping each other stay chaste by offering non-sexual companionship and closeness.

We say that gay folks should remain chaste rather than commit the mortal sin of sharing homosexual physical intimacies. This is fine. But we’d be cruel indeed to say that sharing your life with a companion non-sexually is scandalous and should be avoided.

It is predominately the mixture of them openly being gay, and then living together which causes the problem, at least on the public end of things. If they were not openly gay, and instead presented themselves as roommates or just friends living together out of convenience, then the public scandal would be removed; but it would not remove the problem of the near occasion of sin such an arrangement would undoubtedly present.

Not necessarily a near occasion of sin. Just because two homosexuals live together doesn’t mean they are attracted to one another. If there is no attraction there is no desire to commit the sin of engaging in homosexual acts.

With what was described I don’t see the sin of scandal. What I anticipate is that some people who would observe this will decide that something inappropriate is happening because it’s not acceptable for two people of the same sex to be affectionate or even live together without the assumption of something sexual. If I decided to get a roommate to help pay rent or mortgage, I would be willing to bet a lot of people would assume we were lesbians even if were never around each other. This isn’t the fault of people who are gay. It’s the problem of people who are homophobic and don’t disguise it or are homophobic and in the closet. Those are the only people who would have a problem with the OP’s hypothetical scenario.

I see something weird happening where some women “ship” relationships between fictional characters or even that actors that play them including same sex. If two men sit very close to each other and look at the other person while they are speaking (to the interviewer) fan girls will squeal “See! They love each other!!!” And I want to say, “Stop it! Didn’t we want men to be more sensitive? Didn’t we want men to be able to hug each other and not worry about the affection looking “gay”? Stop sexualizing every demonstration of affection!” Sheesh.

I didn’t say how they presented themselves. But suppose they aren’t intentionally presenting themselves as a romantic couple.

Simply because they admit, individually, to being gay, does not mean that they are saying they are a couple, or even that they’re sexually interested in one another.


In reference to the last line I think that is based off males being less outwardly emotional

Really, men just tend to channel all their emotions into one emotion: anger. This is not healthy, though.

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