James Mixon : I must admit today that some of the Arabic countries have a jail house mentality in regards
to homosexuality, the person that is doing the raping is not gay but the person that is being raped is gay...
Quiet so! The Romans did not think of the active partner (the penetrator) as doing anything wrong. But they did think that the person who was penetrated wasn't quite a man. A thought that can still influence some.
The Wikipedia entry for 'Homosexuality in Ancient Rome' describes the prevailing attitudes in the Roman Empire:
Male couple on an oil lamp
Same-sex attitudes and behaviors in ancient Rome often differ markedly from those of the contemporary West. Latin lacks words that would precisely translate "homosexual" and "heterosexual". The primary dichotomy of ancient Roman sexuality was active/dominant/masculine and passive/submissive/"feminized". Roman society was patriarchal, and the freeborn male citizen possessed political liberty (libertas) and the right to rule both himself and his household (familia). "Virtue" (virtus) was seen as an active quality through which a man (vir) defined himself. The conquest mentality and "cult of virility" shaped same-sex relations. Roman men were free to enjoy sex with other males without a perceived loss of masculinity or social status, as long as they took the dominant or penetrative role. Acceptable male partners were slaves,prostitutes, and entertainers, whose lifestyle placed them in the nebulous social realm of infamia, excluded from the normal protections accorded a citizen even if they were technically free. Although Roman men in general seem to have preferred youths between the ages of 12 and 20 as sexual partners, freeborn male minors were strictly off-limits, and professional prostitutes and entertainers might be considerably older.
This makes the healing miracle attributed to Jesus in Luke 7; 1-10 of interest to this discussion. As verse 2 says (in the NKJV):
"And a certain centurion’s servant, who was dear to him, was sick and ready to die."
Of course, Jesus is described as healing the boy, which considering that the relationship must have been known, and perhaps can be used to demonstrate that Jesus had a different attitude to gay sex to the masters of the JWs.
Hellenic culture (which had influenced Judah since the mid-fourth century BCE) also saw sex between men as acceptable.
We can never know precisely what happened between the two men we know as 'John the beloved,' and the real (historical) Jesus, we can only say what could have happened (as acceptable among the people of the time). But you can try it out next memorial, take a male friend along and sit next to him with your head on his chest and use the NT description of John and Jesus in your defense at your inevitable trial before the elders.
If you'd like to know more about Hellenic attitudes to male to male sex, may I suggest James Davidson's book, The Greeks and Greek Love: A Radical Reappraisal of Homosexuality in Ancient Greece. Davidson is a Professor of Hellenic studies at the UK's, Warwick University.