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redking
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Posted - 10 Jul 2014 :  05:21:13  Show Profile Send redking a Private Message  Reply with Quote  Delete Topic
This is a topic for mature people. If you can't discuss a topic without demanding a banning of others due to being thin skinned, stop reading now.

-------------------

The previous thread got me thinking about FR religions, and homosexuality in the realms.

I try to imagine a fantasy setting as realistic according to its own logic, and as free as internal contradictions as possible. I also like to think that the fantasy setting is diverse in terms of thought, ideologies and practice. I hate to think that the realms is going to be homogenized (excuse the pun) in the sense that there is a company fiat that says the entire realms is tolerant of any lifestyle just because that is the way there are people that want that in the real world. That reminds me of the 1980s hysteria about satanic abuse and the affect it had on our game.

In the forgotten realms why would a fertility god endorse homosexuality? It would seem to be internally inconsistent as being gay makes you five times less fertile than the average person (real world research and hopefully self evident to people here anyway). In that case wouldn't a fertility god be homo-averse (replacing the problematic word 'homophobic' ) ?

By the same token a god of sensuality or new experiences may be homophilic.

Imagine the god of tyranny and inequality. A god like this could possibly be neither home-averse nor homophilic. Instead this god may endorse only certain types of homosexual relationships. For example this god may permit his followers to penetrate, but not be penetrated, based on the tenets of the religion of inequality. (on a side note this is the common practice in many Muslim countries. Only the man penetrated is deemed to be gay and at fault)

Likewise a god of domination or torture may only permit any kind sexuality within the context of painful or dominating sex, and outside that clergy (and perhaps some followers) may be completely chaste.

What would a god of war think? It would depend on how homosexuals are in the battlefield. If homosexuals turn out to be good soldiers, or homosexual battlefield romances turn out to be good for soldier morale, perhaps the god of war supports it. If on the other hand homosexuals in the aggregate make poor soldiers, and morale is damaged, then the god of war may oppose it.

I see this kind of image of the realms as a lot more realistic, diverse, and exciting than the idea that people of the realms are of like mind on a subject like this or any subject for that matter.

Edited by - redking on 10 Jul 2014 05:22:13

Kentinal
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Posted - 10 Jul 2014 :  06:09:23  Show Profile Send Kentinal a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Maybe it is as simple as letting people live their own lives. What does not effect me directly is not my concern.

While a deity of fertility might not care much for people that do not seek children, fertility even from such people can come from farmers. It is not about a deity endorsing a life style. The deity is worshiped for their portfolio. Deities or their clerics of course try to recruit more to select them as their patron deity, however even then some worship will be given to other deities. It is the way it is Zeus and Apollo both received prays and sacrifices from the same people, and Hera at times and so on. There is no monotheism in the Realms, oh there according to Ed might be a very few of any deity that refuse to honor or acknowledge other deities.

A deity of War would not care one bit about the sex life as long as it did not interfere with war.

I am not even going to consider deities of tyranny, inequality, domination or torture, though some of the deities in some respects have aspects of each.

"Small beings can have small wisdom," the dragon said. "And small wise beings are better than small fools. Listen: Wisdom is caring for afterwards."
"Caring for afterwards ...? Ker repeated this without understanding.
"After action, afterwards," the dragon said. "Choose the afterwards first, then the action. Fools choose action first."
"Judgement" copyright 2003 by Elizabeth Moon

Edited by - Kentinal on 10 Jul 2014 06:10:15
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BenN
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Japan
354 Posts

Posted - 10 Jul 2014 :  06:37:44  Show Profile Send BenN a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Regarding deities attitudes to this, I agree with Kentinal.

Following on from this, if deities are indifferent to homosexuality, presumably the clergy are too, and this will influence to some extent how tolerant (or otherwise) the societies will be.

From this we get to the question of how closely the societies of the Realms should mirror the mores & traditions of historical medieval/early modern societies of Earth, upon which many of the Realms' societies appear to be based. If there is no Christian Church promising hell & damnation for the sodomites (as it were), then these societies will be fundamentally different from their historical models. On the other hand, should the Realms reflect the 'enlightened', 'liberal' ideals of our modern society? (Quotes added because many scribes may not agree with these adjectives!).

For example, a society based on medieval/early modern Europe (e.g. Cormyr, Sembia, Waterdeep etc) could go either way (so to speak ); on the one hand, you have Edward II meeting his end on a red hot poker; on the other hand, you have James I more or less openly favouring his male courtiers).

I would say that human societies in the Realms would be more tolerant than their historical medieval & early modern models.

For demihuman societies, who knows? It depends on how you feel they should conform to the stereotypes - presumably tough, fierce dwarvish & orc societies would not tolerate homosexuality (although mixing-in the idea of ancient Greek martial mores would be interesting, and provocative I think!).

Should elves, with their skinny physiques, lack of facial hair, love of singing & dancing, automatically mean that they are effeminate, and so therefore tolerant of bi/homosexuality? Case in point: here in Japan, a lot of young guys get their facial hair removed permanently, are into skin care, and generally go for a skinny androgenous look. But that doesn't mean at all that they're perceived as gay; a lot of women here find that very attractive.
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hashimashadoo
Master of Realmslore

United Kingdom
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Posted - 10 Jul 2014 :  08:53:12  Show Profile  Visit hashimashadoo's Homepage  Click to see hashimashadoo's MSN Messenger address Send hashimashadoo a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Bane loves gays, but only if they're tops ;)

When life turns it's back on you...sneak attack for extra damage.

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http://forgottenrealms.wikia.com
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Kyrel
Learned Scribe

150 Posts

Posted - 10 Jul 2014 :  11:41:37  Show Profile  Visit Kyrel's Homepage Send Kyrel a Private Message  Reply with Quote
BenN. You really had to bring up Dwarves in relation with gay activities? Now I have to go scrub out my eyes with steelwool *LOL* Sorry, couldn't resist.

More seriously though, I have to agree with most of what both BenN and Kentinal wrote above. Though I can follow what you are saying Redking, my impression of the Realms is that this really isn't something that people concern themselves with. It's there, but it's no stranger than it was for older men to have sexual relationships with boys back in the Greek/Roman times. It just exists as a normal part of life.

As for gods having an oppinion on sexuality, I actually don't think that they get involved with that, or care either way. If it isn't related to their portfolio or directly have an adverse effect upon their clergy/followers, why should they care? I can easily follow why it could be an interesting thing to add to a campaign that includes "mature" matter, but beyond that I don't really see any reason for giving it much focus in the official sources.
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CorellonsDevout
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Posted - 10 Jul 2014 :  19:11:10  Show Profile  Send CorellonsDevout an AOL message Send CorellonsDevout a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I got the impression that Realmsians, as a whole, are more tolerant of homosexuality than the RW. Oh, you might have individuals who are against it, but I doubt the gods preach sin and retribution for such things. Sune in particular would likely be open to it.

The elven gods are sometimes portrayed as androgynous, and temples often have statues of the gods depicted as both male and female. While gender is not the same as sexuality, it does suggests that elves, and their deities, are not always binary in their gender perception, and if they are open to this, then they are likely open to homosexuality as well.

The drow certainly aren't adverse to it (I've read books with homosexual drow relationships, and while usually female, in a largely male-oriented religion like the Vhaeraunites, it would make sense that homosexuality, or at least men sleeping with men, is quite common). A lot of drow may use it for power, a way to dominate, but amongst Eilistraeens, and perhaps even some Vhaeraunites, it is more than that.

In some ways, the Realms is modeled after medieval Europe, as is a lot of fantasy, but it also polytheistic, which much of Europe in the Middle Ages was not. Many RW polytheistic religions were not against homosexuality. In fact, it was a normal thing, and not just to the Greeks and Romans, but many per-Christain societies. The Realms is a diverse place.

Sweet water and light laughter
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Aldrick
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909 Posts

Posted - 10 Jul 2014 :  22:57:29  Show Profile Send Aldrick a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I'm echoing what CorellonsDevout wrote.

It's not a matter of what one of the clergy of one individual deity here or there thinks. The Realms is a polytheistic society, where people worship all the deities - both good and evil. Very few people are going to worship only one deity.

As a result, it would be strange for someone to go up to a cleric of Tempus and ask for advice on romantic love or sexuality. No, they're going to turn to either Sune or Sharess, because those are the two deities who do such things. Just as they aren't going to go to the clergy of Sune for advice on how to wage a war.

So, in the Realms, the deities with the most sway over the view of -ALL- love and sexuality (homosexual, heterosexual, and anything beyond or in-between) are going to be Sune and Sharess. They are going to have, by far, more influence than any other church or deity, and even other clergies are likely to take their lead from them. It is abundantly clear that neither Sune or Sharess have a problem with homosexuality, and to the extent that they do have a problem with homosexuality it would be an equal problem with heterosexuality - that such individuals are limited and cutting themselves off from pleasure and potential new and exciting experiences.

To the extent that these clergy speak out against homosexuality, it's to encourage people to try and keep an open mind and experience romantic and sexual intimacy with people of the opposite sex. However, in the same breath, they would be telling heterosexuals to do the same thing, but with people of the same sex.

So, if you're looking at Realm's culture from on high and top down, you have a culture that is radically different than our own when it comes to thinking on sexuality. In effect, you have an active encouragement toward pansexuality, which would likely be viewed as the "ideal" sexuality in the Realms, similar to how heterosexuality is viewed as the "ideal" in Western society.

Any deity who would want their clergy to preach something counter to this message would run face first into both an entrenched cultural opposition as well as the opposition from both those clergies and their deities.

When it comes to a fertility deity such as Shiallia, who is a very minor demigoddess whose primary area of worship is mostly limited to the High Forest and the Neverwinter Wood, things could potentially get a bit more murky.

It depends on whether or not the clergy of Shiallia keep records of births. If so, they likely would have discovered this as it relates to gay men:

quote:
The team discovered that the mothers, aunts and sisters of gay men tend to have more children than those women related to straight men.

And that, they say, is why nature decided to preserve a trait that would normally prevent the genetic line furthering itself through children.

Their findings, published today, show that female maternal relatives of gay men have more reproductive success than their counterparts who are related to heterosexuals.


Source here.

If the clergy of Shiallia discover this then male homosexuality actually becomes a good thing for their efforts to promote fertility.

In fact, if they know this by looking at the numbers of births and comparing it to homosexual men in a family, then it opens up a really bizarre line of thinking for radical followers of Shiallia. Namely, that to promote the most fertility that it makes sense to cultivate the female siblings of homosexual men and encourage them to reproduce more than individuals without homosexual men in their families.

This would ironically result in more homosexual men being born as a result, but due to the increase in fertility and every man not being required to sire children, it actually results in an even greater number of births over time.

So, ironically, it's actually to the benefit of Shiallia to find the sisters and mothers of homosexual men, and encourage them to reproduce as much as possible. This would in turn create more homosexual men, but also lead to greater reproduction over all.

And perhaps even more ironically, if anyone in the Realms actually knows this as a result of study, it would be the cult of Shiallia because they would be the ones most likely to create such records, and the ones most interested and concerned about homosexuality. ...and in turn, could actually find themselves being turned into promoters of it - at least for homosexuality in men.

Even if they don't have this knowledge, however, it's not as if homosexual people are sterile. They can still reproduce as required by the faith if they worship Shiallia.

Of greater concern wouldn't be people who are homosexual, who at worst would likely be encouraged to "do their duty", it would be people who were born sterile. They wouldn't be able to reproduce.

...and there is a potential slippery slope with Shiallia as well, perhaps a darker side. We could easily see some clerics dipping into eugenic-like ideas. Instances where they try to breed humans (and other sentient races) like we breed dogs, in an attempt to get them to have a higher level of survival after birth and childhood and so they become more fertile. So, not only would such individuals live longer, be healthier, they would also likely be fertile longer and produce more children.

You could see some of the clergy of Shiallia being seduced by such an idea.
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Ayrik
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Canada
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Posted - 11 Jul 2014 :  03:14:12  Show Profile Send Ayrik a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Ancient civilizations sometimes fielded entire units composed of paired homosexual lovers. Or, more rarely, entire units composed of unpaired (and presumably promiscuous) homosexual men. A few of these were elite fighting units. The Cataphractoi of ancient Greece were widely respected for their ferocity, skill, and discipline. The much-vaunted Spartans of Hollywood fame had many such soldiers. Various Roman Generals modelled many units after their example, with varying degrees of success (some were dismal, most professional, a few eventually became exclusive Praetorians). Note that homosexuality was more readily accepted, in fact it was quite common and normal, in those societies.

Then again, there have also been feared elite units of eunichs and castradi. Known for their athletism and almost berserk-like aggressiveness, not the sorts you would call girly-men.

[/Ayrik]
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CorellonsDevout
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Posted - 11 Jul 2014 :  03:45:28  Show Profile  Send CorellonsDevout an AOL message Send CorellonsDevout a Private Message  Reply with Quote
You are right, Ayrik. A lot of armies were composed of homosexual male couples, because it was believed you would fight harder for those in your company.

Sweet water and light laughter

Edited by - CorellonsDevout on 15 Jul 2014 16:35:58
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BEAST
Master of Realmslore

USA
1714 Posts

Posted - 11 Jul 2014 :  04:10:01  Show Profile  Visit BEAST's Homepage Send BEAST a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Ayrik

Ancient civilizations sometimes fielded entire units composed of paired homosexual lovers.

All those old Greek pots and vases with pics of bottomless soldiers...erm, pitching tents...would attest to that!

EDIT: Hey, come to think of it, if the Greeks could do that on their pottery, then maybe our modern-day boobmail actually has a historical precedent and a justification?

"'You don't know my history,' he said dryly."
--Drizzt Do'Urden (The Pirate King, Part 1: Chapter 2)

<"Comprehensive Chronology of R.A. Salvatore Forgotten Realms Works">

Edited by - BEAST on 11 Jul 2014 04:11:53
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redking
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Posted - 11 Jul 2014 :  04:18:09  Show Profile Send redking a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Just to be clear since the ancient Greeks have been mentioned, ancient Greek style homosexuality is the only kind of homosexuality that explicitly does not exist in the realms.

Greek style homosexuality is called "paiderastia" in Greek. I think no translation into English is required.

Edited by - redking on 11 Jul 2014 04:18:45
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Jeremy Grenemyer
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Posted - 11 Jul 2014 :  04:44:25  Show Profile Send Jeremy Grenemyer a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Curious: what Realms sourcebook indicates, with no room for doubt, that "Greek style homosexuality" does not exist in the Forgotten Realms?

Look for me and my content at EN World (user name: sanishiver).
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redking
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Posted - 11 Jul 2014 :  06:35:09  Show Profile Send redking a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Jeremy Grenemyer

Curious: what Realms sourcebook indicates, with no room for doubt, that "Greek style homosexuality" does not exist in the Forgotten Realms


Perhaps I should say that Greek style homosexuality is explicitly not accepted in the realms. I suppose it could exist but I don't see many gaming groups having a paedophile PC.

Ed Greenwood said it isn't accepted, FYI. I hope your version of inclusive doesn't include paedophilia.

Edited by - redking on 11 Jul 2014 06:37:36
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Jeremy Grenemyer
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Posted - 11 Jul 2014 :  07:18:32  Show Profile Send Jeremy Grenemyer a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Not wanting to sidetrack the larger discussion, but I'm interested in seeing the post where Ed indicates this, if you have a link to it available.

Note: this post does not support your claim, so I'm wondering where the info came from.

Look for me and my content at EN World (user name: sanishiver).
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xaviera
Learned Scribe

Canada
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Posted - 14 Jul 2014 :  15:28:56  Show Profile  Visit xaviera's Homepage Send xaviera a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Aldrick

So, in the Realms, the deities with the most sway over the view of -ALL- love and sexuality (homosexual, heterosexual, and anything beyond or in-between) are going to be Sune and Sharess. They are going to have, by far, more influence than any other church or deity, and even other clergies are likely to take their lead from them. It is abundantly clear that neither Sune or Sharess have a problem with homosexuality, and to the extent that they do have a problem with homosexuality it would be an equal problem with heterosexuality - that such individuals are limited and cutting themselves off from pleasure and potential new and exciting experiences.

To the extent that these clergy speak out against homosexuality, it's to encourage people to try and keep an open mind and experience romantic and sexual intimacy with people of the opposite sex. However, in the same breath, they would be telling heterosexuals to do the same thing, but with people of the same sex.

[...]

When it comes to a fertility deity such as Shiallia, who is a very minor demigoddess whose primary area of worship is mostly limited to the High Forest and the Neverwinter Wood, things could potentially get a bit more murky.

I suspect that certain deities who were opposed to homosexuality (for whatever reason) might make it known to their clergy (and, by extension, their worshippers) that 'yes, some people say it's okay, but we don't really think so'. So you could end up with a situation where something that is supposed to be generally socially acceptable is frowned upon within a more limited circle (as RL discrimination against LGBTQ people is legally forbidden in many places but still happens nonetheless). This might be overlooked to the degree that one adheres to the other precepts of the religion (i.e. one's fanaticism about other things, e.g. fighting ability for a worshipper of Tempus).

Deities of fertility/family might take a similar line - 'what you do for recreation is fine, and if you want to share your bed with someone of the same sex on a permanent basis that's good too, but you really need to get out there and do your bit for the continuation of the race'. But again, any negativity experienced by LGBTQ people might be reduced to the extent that they uphold the remainder of the deity's portfolio - e.g. take on caregiver duties for extended family members.


Writings on Sharess: Thoughts & Prayers by Xaviera ~ High Priestess of Sharess
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Thrasymachus
Learned Scribe

194 Posts

Posted - 14 Jul 2014 :  21:36:00  Show Profile Send Thrasymachus a Private Message  Reply with Quote
@OP
Oh, boy. I wouldnít do this, because once you have this in the portfolio of a God, then the next shoe to drop is that the god who is diametrically opposed to that god is against that aspect of the portfolio. Now when some player goes all Jihad-Crusade-Inquisition on either side of the subject, I would not consider it fun. YM Will V depending on what views are at your table. But for the sake of argument, or for lack of arguments, Iíll attempt to entertain the OP.

Letís just take the basic Birds and Bees, or in this case the Bees that pollenate and enable reproduction. I could see a god having a place of reverence for bees role in the process as it aids flowers. Likewise midwives, and foster parents that are enablers. The list can go on if you are intending to make this fit.

I see the scroll that brought this about. Iíll go there in a bit.
The needed disclaimer: What you do at your table is your buisness. I really don't care what you do. Really.


Former Forgotten Realms brand manager Jim Butler: "Everything that bears the Forgotten Realms logo is considered canon".
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Thrasymachus
Learned Scribe

194 Posts

Posted - 14 Jul 2014 :  21:46:50  Show Profile Send Thrasymachus a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by CorellonsDevout

Not all homosexual men are girly. Some are, yes, but it is also a stereotype.

I think we have stumbled on the new official drinking game of Candlekeep?

Not all <insert religious group, social group, nationality> are <insert stereotype>. Some are, yes, but it is also a stereotype.
*drink*


Former Forgotten Realms brand manager Jim Butler: "Everything that bears the Forgotten Realms logo is considered canon".

Edited by - Thrasymachus on 14 Jul 2014 21:47:30
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CorellonsDevout
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Posted - 15 Jul 2014 :  16:37:30  Show Profile  Send CorellonsDevout an AOL message Send CorellonsDevout a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I took that sentence out of my post. I meant it as a reminder not generalize, not as a joke. It has now been removed.

Sweet water and light laughter
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The Hooded One
Lady Herald of Realmslore

5054 Posts

Posted - 23 Jul 2014 :  21:49:52  Show Profile  Visit The Hooded One's Homepage Send The Hooded One a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Ahem. redking, Ed's a pretty nice, understanding, kind guy, but one thing that does rub him the wrong way is posters claiming he said this or that when he hasn't.
For the record, so far as I know (after having checked with Ed, mind you!), Ed Greenwood hasn't ever said anything one way or the other about "Greek style homosexuality."
So I, too, am VERY curious as where and when Ed stated what you claim he stated.
love,
THO
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The Arcanamach
Master of Realmslore

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Posted - 23 Jul 2014 :  23:51:16  Show Profile Send The Arcanamach a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Actually I think Ed's statements on the subject make it clear that homosexuality is pretty much accepted everywhere the Faerunian pantheon is dominant. And he's made several comments on the subject. So the 'Greek' style homosexuality issue isn't actually an issue (at least not in HIS Realms). I doubt there's a comment by him out there stating otherwise though something could be taken out of context.


I have a dream that one day, all game worlds will exist as one.
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CorellonsDevout
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Posted - 24 Jul 2014 :  00:01:31  Show Profile  Send CorellonsDevout an AOL message Send CorellonsDevout a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I certainly hope homosexuality is more widely accepted in the Realms than it is in the real world. And I don't mean Greek style, I mean homosexuality (and for that matter, the other sexualties) in general. That, of course, is my personal hope as a supporter of the LGBTQ community.

Sweet water and light laughter
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Aldrick
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Posted - 24 Jul 2014 :  01:36:44  Show Profile Send Aldrick a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I want to interject here for a moment and point out that there is no such thing as "Greek style homosexuality". The Greeks were not widely homosexual (as we understand it today), they were engaging in a social and cultural practice known as pederasty.

Pederasty had nothing to do with sexual orientation. In fact, the notion of sexual orientation as we understand it today (thanks to science) is a rather modern concept. (Like most of our modern understanding of certain human conditions.)

What would be understood by someone who lived prior to our modern time is that certain individuals preferred the company of members of the same sex. It would be thought of more as a preference, because there wouldn't be this line dividing people into categories and groups such as heterosexual and homosexual.

Things like sexuality are seen more through a cultural lens. You get married and have children because that's what is expected of you by your family and society. In fact, throughout most of history marriages were arranged so things like sexual and romantic attraction were largely irrelevant. You could be completely straight (through modern understanding) and still end up married to someone who you have zero attraction toward, and you'd still be expected to perform your "duties" as a spouse.

Wide spread marriage on the basis of love alone is a completely modern concept. In fact, it's only because straight people get married based on romantic and sexual attraction that we can even contemplate something like same-sex marriage today. In a society in which most marriages are arranged it just wouldn't make sense as one of the fundamental things that is supposed to be produced by an arranged marriage is children. That's sort of part of the intended contract. Of course, none of that exists today in our modern society.

In the Realms, they may not have an understanding of sexual orientation as we do. However, they would still notice that some people "prefer" one sex over another. And with one of the fundamental deities of the setting being Sune, a goddess of love and romance, it's almost impossible to imagine that relationships built upon love aren't valued in the society. And I think we can all agree that Sune would be completely okay with individuals of the same sex getting married, and it would likely meet with near universal (or as close as you can get) acceptance by her clergy.

So with things like this in mind, we have to realize that the Realms is a fundamentally different culture than the real world. Something like homophobia just doesn't exist there like in the real world, because there hasn't been - at least to our knowledge - a group there pushing that agenda. The thought would be largely alien to them, just as many of the strange practices from other cultures are alien and strange to us today. It just wouldn't be something most people would stop to consider.

I mean, I'm just imagining a newly wed same sex couple walking down the streets of Waterdeep, and someone questioning someone else about them. I can only imagine the typical conversation going something along the lines of, "Oh, them? That's Darshan and Valdorn. They were married about a tenday ago in the Temple of Our Lady Firehair by her Holiness herself, aren't they adorable together?"

They would basically just view them as any other newlywed couple. It would be alien for them to view it any differently, because they haven't been exposed to any different type of thinking.

Now, I'm sure bigotry does exist somewhere in the Realms, and I can think of some places where it's likely. However, those are outside of the areas dominated by the Faerunian Pantheon. Those areas also likely have a different view on women, and see marriage more as a contractual arrangement and may even have (formal or informal) arranged marriages.
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CorellonsDevout
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Posted - 24 Jul 2014 :  03:51:17  Show Profile  Send CorellonsDevout an AOL message Send CorellonsDevout a Private Message  Reply with Quote
@Aldrick: you make a very good point. For some ancient cultures, such as the Greeks, that was a way of life. I think people here (myself included) are using the term "homosexuality" for the sake of the argument.

Sweet water and light laughter
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Ayrik
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Posted - 27 Jul 2014 :  01:53:45  Show Profile Send Ayrik a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Probably my fault for mentioning ancient Greek Cataphractoi, to respond to the OP observation that sexual preference would be of little interest to a war god. Peoples perceptions affect their beliefs, which must invariably mean they affect their gods and interactions with other peoples gods. If homosexuality happens to be viewed as perquisite and nearly-synonomous with become a fearsomely elite soldier (which, in ancient Greece was often the case) then it also becomes a topic of some interest to a god worshipped by soldiers and warriors. Our society and so-called modern understanding of homosexuality (and of war, too, for that matter) may differ from those in the Realms or in ancient Greece - but that doesnt mean, for example, that Tempus would consider our opinions valid or need to abide by them.

If anything, I might think Tempus might - in his aspect as a brutal warlike ravager - embrace the conflict and dominance generated by his more rapine followers, whether such actions involve same- or other-gender. This is distasteful stuff, and not properly what would be called war, but it is an aspect of war (at least in our world) which occurs with great frequency. It is the warriors, not the war god, who ultimately decide the position of their faith on such details.

I would agree with some of the above posters: this can be a big can of worms, lead to interplayer conflict, heavyhanded imposition of DM bias, and cause all sorts of displeasure. But it wont add any enjoyment to the game. It wont improve the Realms. It wont support any published canon (especially since WotC is carefully inoffensive and, while he has expressed his opinions in past interactions, Ed has always been smart enough to not encourage or respond to such lines of questioning).

Personally, if I had a player who insisted on zealous interpretation of religious doctrine (in the name of his God, of course) which led to sorts of discrimination which arent explicitly present in the game setting, I would have most NPCs respond in a fashion which indicates they view the PC as some sort of unhealthy social deviant, a paranoid fringe extremist who champions nonproductive agendas. The Realms has plenty of charlatans and lunatics (and true priests of charlatan and lunatic faiths) already! Besides, why worry about same-sex couples married in Waterdeep when one should more rightly concern oneself with orcs, dragons, and Red Wizards?

[/Ayrik]
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Eltheron
Senior Scribe

738 Posts

Posted - 27 Jul 2014 :  17:48:43  Show Profile Send Eltheron a Private Message  Reply with Quote
It just seems like an odd question to me. In the Realms, gods are concerned about souls and the beliefs/tenets that promote portfolios/alignments. None of the Realms gods seem all that interested in how mortals lead their daily lives on a minute-to-minute basis. What mortals do with their fiddly-bits doesn't seem to mean a whole lot to the gods.

Now in certain very specific cases, like in Cormyr where royals, nobles, and the very wealthy need to have a clear line of succession (by law, for purposes of inheritance of wealth or titles), mortals might be concerned about "doing your duty" to ensure at least one clear legal heir. But it just doesn't seem like anything that the gods would be concerned about.

As to the question about fertility deities, sure they want people to have babies. But at the end of the day, fertility to a polytheistic deity isn't just about specific individuals making babies, and gods don't focus solely on one of their portfolios/domains. Fertility could be served by making sure the king and queen have excellent nutrition, that they have ample time together for the "duty" to be accomplished, and even smoothing relations between two people in order to get them to like each other better. Wedding planners, courtiers, ladies-in-waiting, servants providing "alone time" and such, they all have their role in supporting the fertility of a royal (or noble) couple.

One thing that comes to mind is the scene in GRRM's Game of Thrones where Renly is hesitant about doing the wild thang with his gorgeous queen and she nonchalantly says something like, "I know you and my brother like each other, so what if we invite him just long enough that we can do the duty?" It's a reflection of real life kings and queens who in some cases were 100% gay but still did their duty and had children.

I think it falls into the category of things mortals care about for very specific reasons, but gods just wouldn't. Sort of like, "does Lathander care what I get my friend for her 32nd birthday?"

Just my $0.02, YMMV.

"The very best possible post-fourteenth-century Realms lets down those who love the specific, detailed social, political and magical situation, with its thousands of characters, developed over forty years, and want to learn more about it; and those who'd be open to a new one with equal depth, which there just isn't time to re-produce; and those repelled, some past the point of no return, by the bad-taste-and-plausibility gap of things done to the world when its guardianship was less careful."
--Faraer

Edited by - Eltheron on 27 Jul 2014 17:50:44
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Nicolai Withander
Master of Realmslore

Denmark
1084 Posts

Posted - 28 Jul 2014 :  19:56:18  Show Profile Send Nicolai Withander a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I would think that attitude towards other religions are as heated as in the real world. Think the crusades. In relation to homosexuality, In our game its nothing unusual. There are lots of diffirent creatures and stuff. Whom you love is just not something that get people roused. It differs from country to country though.

I have never read any canon stuff on the matter, but I would asume that its unusual, but not frowned upon.
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