Watchtower speaks out strongly against homosexuality, with homosexual desires considered a choice rather than the true substance of a person’s identity. Homosexuals may remain as one of Jehovah’s Witnesses, provided they do not engage in any sexual behavior with a person of the same sex.
It is thus no surprise Watchtower speaks out about same sex marriage.
“Our Creator established rules governing marriage long before governments began regulating the institution. The opening book of the Bible tells us: “A man will leave his father and his mother and he must stick to his wife and they must become one flesh.” (Genesis 2:24) The Hebrew word “wife,” according to Vine’s Expository Dictionary of Biblical Words, “connotes one who is a female human being.” Jesus confirmed that those yoked together in marriage should be “male and female.”—Matthew 19:4.
Thus, God intended marriage to be a permanent, intimate bond between a man and a woman. Men and women are designed to complement each other so they may be capable of satisfying each other’s emotional and sexual needs and of providing children.” Does the Bible Comment on Same-Sex Marriages? (2012-06-26)
“Even when same-sex unions last, they could hardly be a result of the love described in the Bible. Such love “does not behave indecently.”” Awake! 1995 Feb 22 p.14
This is a difficult situation for any Jehovah’s Witness that is homosexual, as they have to accept it is unlikely they will ever form a physical, romantic attachment, or enjoy living with or marrying the person they love. Whilst some gay Jehovah’s Witnesses have entered lasting heterosexual marriages, this introduces an additional layer of issues to a marriage that can become irreconcilable.
A disturbing piece of Watchtower propaganda aimed at children is the cartoon video One Man One Woman, released in May 2016.
Image courtesy of One Man One Woman can be viewed at jw.org/bible-teachings/family/children as of 16 Oct 2019.
In the video, Sophia’s tells her Jehovah’s Witness mother that her classmate Carrie has two mothers. She relays that the teacher said the most important thing is for people to love each other. Sophia does not come across as judgmental of Carrie or her parents.
Sophia’s mother tells her it is Jehovah’s opinion that is important; that marriage is for one man and one woman. She claims “people can change,” and shows that Sophia’s school friend and parents are unwelcome in the New System unless they convert to Sophia’s belief system, which requires the parents separate. In addition to this homophobic diatribe, Sophia’s mother sets up a practice session to teach Sophia what to tell Carrie about paradise. The underlying message is that Sophia should tell Carrie that the only way she can enjoy living forever in paradise is to reject homosexuality and same sex marriage. This is a shocking concept to force upon a school child. Not only does Carrie have to accept Sophia is critical of her family arrangement, it puts Carrie in the impossible situation of thinking she will die at Armageddon if she does not reject her gay parents’ lifestyle. Is it inappropriate for a young child to try and convince her friend that her parents are sinners, particularly when that child has no option but to live with them?
Watchtower’s preoccupation with sexual orientation as a prerequisite to entering paradise makes little sense when it has long taught marriage and childbearing will end in the New System. The video is also dishonest when saying “Jehovah’s standards haven’t changed” regarding marriage being for one man and one woman. The Mosaic Law forced polygamy, dictating a man marry his brother’s wife if the brother died childless. (Deuteronomy 23:5-10) Many men declared as righteous in the Bible had multiple partners, such as Abraham. King David was given Saul’s wives by Jehovah (2 Samuel 12:7-8). King Solomon, whom had over 700 wives and 300 concubines, was blessed with building the temple.
This video is a classic homophobia. It could have shown Sophia being trained to criticize friends with unmarried heterosexual parents, a situation easily rectified if Sophia’s Armageddon death threats sunk in. Instead, Watchtower chose to target the less common scenario of a homosexual couple, where the only possible solution being the breakup of a happy family.