|Posted on May 30, 2017 at 1:40 PM|
Wenn man sich für die traditionell-christliche, heterosexuelle Familie ausspricht und für das Recht von Menschen mit gleichgeschlechtlichen Neigungen, einen anderen Weg zu wählen als "es einfach zu tun", ist man also ein "Schwulengegner" und "homophob". Das ist einfach nur billige Propaganda und unter meinem Niveau.
|Posted on February 21, 2017 at 2:00 PM|
Ausgaben der Landeshauptstadt München für homosexuelle Projekte, Veranstaltungen und Organisationen laut Auskunft von Frau Dorothee Schiwy (Sozialreferentin) vom 21.02.2017:
Förderung durch das Sozialreferat/Amt für soziale Sicherung (rosa Alter): 84.645 EUR
Förderung durch das Referat für Gesundheit und Umwelt (Sub e.V.): 14.300 EUR
(Angaben pro Jahr. Diese Beträge wurden zumindest seit 2015 unverändert in dieser Höhe bezahlt).
Es ist mir unverständlich, weshalb hier besondere sexuelle Neigungen mit einem derart hohen Etat gefördert werden, wenn zugleich Schulen, Altenheime, Krankenhäuser und vieles mehr die Unterstützung weitaus dringender benötigen.
Menschen werden gefördert und unterstützt, wenn sie der Förderung und Unterstützung bedürfen. Dabei jedoch besondere Bevölkerungsgruppen wegen ihrer sexuellen Vorlieben hervorzuheben, ist eine Diskriminierung der anderen Bevölkerungsschichten.
Ich fordere deshalb eine Einstellung jeglicher finanzieller oder sonstiger Förderung gleichgeschlechtlicher Projekte durch städtische oder staatliche Stellen.
München, den 21.02.2017
|Posted on December 20, 2016 at 10:15 AM|
Wie kommt es, dass einem niemand im Münchner Rathaus oder von den dortigen Parteien genau sagen kann, wieviel dort Jahr für Jahr für welche schwul-lesbischen Projekte, Organisationen ausgegeben wird? Ich bin Münchner und musste teils mehrmals nachfragen, bevor ich überhaupt eine (ausweichende) Antwort bekommen habe. Fakt ist: das weiß entweder niemand oder will niemand sagen. Zu einer Anfrage im Stadtrat ist auch keiner zu bewegen. Sollte der Haushalt nicht in allen Details online für alle verfügbar sein? Dort findet man zwar Angaben über einzelne Ausgaben, nirgendwo aber das Gesamt-Paket. Möglicherweise aus gutem Grund?
|Posted on November 6, 2016 at 11:50 AM|
Every sick person deserves compassion and necessary care and treatment. This does not mean, however, that you cannot say an open word as to the causes for this sickness.
Men who have sex with men (MSM) are accountable for a high percentage of persons with sexually transmitted diseases (STDs). In Germany, you can check the numbers for yourself here: www.rki.de. Included are not even follow-up diseases like drug addictions, mental problems, physical diseases and so on that result from a high-risk lifestyle only all too common among some of the men with same-sex attractions ("homosexuals"). Obviously, safer-sex campaigns don't work as they should (aside the fact that they do not protect against all STDs, they also start at the end of the chain. Teaching the true meaning of love, marriage and sex might do a far better job). Society has to pay the high costs of the health treatments of those persons then. The same society that is usually blamed for as being "homophobic". However, it is not this society whom you can blame for when you become sick because of irresponsible sexual behavior. It is no other than yourself.
Bringing this up is politically not correct. I will even top it with this: Whoever lives in a monogamous, heterosexual, lifelong Christian marriage will not become HIV or any of the other health problems mentioned above. Some will not like that, but it definitely needs to be said.
We help financing gay public events and the gay movement in general, when the outcome is more than shocking - and oftentimes irresponsible.
|Posted on June 14, 2016 at 2:15 PM|
Sad to see how many people abuse of the drama in Orlando to push their own agenda. While faking emotions, all they seem to have in mind is what else they can wring out of that situation. Shame on you and shame on those who buy that obvious agenda!
|Posted on January 11, 2016 at 8:35 AM|
THE RAINBOW CONNECTION - THE TRUTH ABOUT HOMOSEXUALITY
It started simply enough. She was my friend.
Me, I was shy and very conservative. I was too shy for boys and didn't have any real close girlfriends. I wanted to have a special friend, one in whom I could confide my deepest darkest secrets.
I wasn't a tomboy or a geek. I wasn't ugly or fat or disgusting. I was just me. "Plain old Wonder White Bread," not very interesting, not very exciting. I dated a few guys, but never made that "love connection" like so many other girls that I knew had. I often wondered what was wrong with me, why didn't I feel like other girls? I certainly couldn't have approached my mother with such questions. And, I felt so odd, so different; I certainly couldn't ask any of my casual girlfriends.
When I entered college, I was full of hope and promise. This was the moment I had daydreamed about since the sixth grade. I was going to be just like my favorite teacher. How I admired her. She had long, elegant legs that I often watched and admired. Her makeup was always perfect and she drove the cutest little Mustang. As an adult now, I tried to emulate her, right down to the Mustang I drove.
I secured a full time job that accommodated my class schedule. It was easy, relatively speaking, but the best part of the job was my social interaction: I had found a friend. She was so understanding, attractive and outgoing: everything that I was not. She was tall, had long legs, was blessed with generous endowments. Her manner and dress were well-polished. She was the epitome of class, I revered her and she could do nothing wrong.
When I was in the office, we often spent our breaks together. Sometimes she paid, sometimes I paid; as friends, we didn't need to keep track. She was interested in me; it was so easy to talk to her. It seemed as though she understood everything about me. All of a sudden, I didn't feel so different anymore. I felt accepted and understood. My life was changing, although not for the better. I was too wrapped up in the ecstasy of finally belonging and finally being understood that I couldn't see it.
Then one Friday, she suggested that we go to dinner and a movie, I was so excited that she wanted to be my friend outside of work that I could hardly contain myself. Even though I put in really long hours that week, I looked forward to going out on Saturday night, exhausted, but energized.
She had made all the arrangements. We went to a marvelous movie and even if it weren't, I don't think I would have thought otherwise. I was giddy with glee at actually going out with a friend. I was wanted, I was accepted and I was understood! Finally!
She had chosen quite an expensive restaurant for dinner. Awash in candlelight and expensive food, we had a wonderful dinner, fantastic and interesting conversation and even splurged on souffle for dessert.We had just finished dessert. When I reached for my wallet to pay my share, she put her hand on mine and told me that she would take care of it. While grateful for her generosity, there was something about the look on her face, gentle touch and tone of her voice that just wasn't right. A small alarm went off in my head, but was quickly quieted by the rationalization that as friends, we really didn't keep track and besides, she did choose the place and she did make a lot more money than me.
Basking in the glow of a wonderful evening, my mind barely registered what she was saying to me. She started out by telling me what a wonderful friend I was and how grateful she was that I was a part of her life. She told me that she had never felt such a connection to another woman before, and I was just such an interesting person and so much fun to be around. She then told me that she loved me. This being the 70's, where everybody was telling everybody that they loved them, I responded that I loved her too! After all, she was my best friend and confidant.
And then it happened. She took my hand in hers and looked into my eyes and told me that she knew I felt that way about her, too. It wasn't registering in my brain quite yet, but as she continued talking, my mind began to swirl. I started to lose my breath, and the room began to spin out of control. The words became disjointed, she mentioned dating, love, ecstasy, and the wonderful life we were to share. I needed air! And I needed it fast! I fled the table, but she found me. She was confused about my actions. Didn't I say I loved her too? Wasn't she my type? She thought I was a lesbian! How could she possibly think that? What on earth was she talking about? She tried to persuade me that I was a lesbian by taking everything I had confided in her and turned it around.
First, she talked about how I felt different. Then, she took my admiration of my sixth grade teacher and told me it was sexual attraction. Then, she used my lack of dating and not being sexually active with men to mean that I was not sexually attracted to men. She told me that being a lesbian was natural. And she used what I thought was a great friendship with her to say that I was really in love with her. Then she told me that if we became lovers a whole new world of excitement and sexual fulfillment would open up that I would never otherwise know. I asked her to take me home and told her I'd call her later.
I was dazed and confused. I tried to sleep, but couldn't. I didn't want to think, yet my mind was racing. Maybe she was right, some of the things she said did make sense. Maybe if I gave over to her desires, I would be fulfilled. Maybe it wouldn't be so bad and after I had tried it, if I didn't like it, I could just stop. If I did try it, then maybe it wouldn't repulse me anymore. I fell asleep on the couch.
It seemed that I was not asleep for so long. But when I woke, it was still dark. In reality, it wasn't "still" dark, it was dark "again." I had slept the day away. Fixing myself a snack, I sat down at my desk to work but I found myself unable to concentrate on anything other than the previous night.
I listed on a piece of paper everything she had said that indicated that I was a lesbian. The first thing she said was that I felt different. Yes, I had always felt different. But what did that have to do with sex? Wasn't feeling different a normal feeling? Being different had nothing to do with sexuality. The next thing she said was that I admired my sixth grade teacher because I was sexually attracted to her. Then I thought about what it was that I admired in her. In reality, I admired in her what I myself did not possess.
Thinking about others I admired, I found it was for the same reason, for they all, male and female, had qualities that I wished I had. Then she talked about my lack of dating. I had dated some boys, but it wasn't that I wasn't sexually attracted to boys, it was that I wasn't ready for a sexual relationship. I was still under 20, I was in school, I was working, I didn't have the time, much less the energy for a relationship serious enough to warrant sex.
It finally dawned on me that I was not a lesbian. The lack of close friendships with members of my own sex was my own fault. I didn't allow myself to become a good, close friend. The things I felt and my lack of a sexual relationship with boys were entirely normal. Rather, those who focused their youthful lives on such sex were the abnormal ones, especially since my faith taught that any form of pre-marital sex was wrong; it was a sin. The fact that I didn't date much was my own fault. I didn't make the time to date. Any free time I had, I used on me. And, who on this planet has the right to take a position that the lack of sexual involvement with a man meant I was a lesbian?! After all, no two people develop in the exact same way in the exact same time, not even twins! So my slow development was not caused by my sexuality, it was caused by me.
And then, the reality hit me, and made me sick. This woman, who I considered my friend, had taken everything I had told her and twisted it to meet her personal agenda. Not only did I feel betrayed by that duplicity, but I also recognized that she had used the same techniques on me that cults used to recruit new members.
She preyed on a shy, lonely, impressionable young woman. She took me into her confidence. She took my deepest secrets that I had shared with her and used them to meet her own agenda, all the while preaching unconditional love. She preached that I would find love, acceptance and satisfaction in her lifestyle. I also hadn't realized it, but she had been methodically separating me from the other workers in our office. She was cutting me off from the others who would or could have voiced their opinion had I asked. She attempted to make me emotionally dependent upon her.
The reality was that I was not a lesbian. I was just me. I quit that job immediately and changed my phone number. Two years later, I met the man of my dreams and was married shortly thereafter. I'm 30 years older now and looking back, I can see what could have happened to my life had I believed the messages she and the society around me were giving to me.
I am now active in a homosexual crisis ministry. I see, over and over again, the fraud of the homosexual community. I see young and old, men and women, many of whom are religiously observant, all conflicted in their homosexual lifestyle. I feel their pain and heartbreak at being torn between the only world they know and the world they know that G-d has planned for them. I see time and time again how much they struggle to leave their homosexual lifestyle, only to have their lover use their family and faith against them.
But, I tell my clients, "you have a choice." I came to a fork in the road and fortunately chose the path that has given me a completion and a happiness that is truly consistent with G-d's plan of creation. Based upon my experience, it is clear you do not have to be a homosexual. You were not born a homosexual nor do you need to live as a homosexual and, certainly, do not need to die a homosexual. Through faith, prayer, and the help provided by gender affirming ministries representing different faiths, be it JONAH, Living Stones or others, there is hope and life.
Adapted from the first chapter of an upcoming book: The Rainbow Connection-The Truth About Homosexuality, by Kaelly Langston, which also appeared in a slightly different format in the March 2003 "Bridge Builder," a publication of Living Stones Ministries.
|Posted on January 7, 2016 at 4:10 PM|
HOW THE GAY-RIGHTS MOVEMENT WON
[Note: This article appeared in the Commentary Magazine in November 1996 and JONAH received permission to post this article in 2001.]
A few years ago I listened in amazement as a friend of mine, a prominent social critic, told a group of his fellow conservatives who had gathered to talk about the gay-rights movement that "we're turning this thing around." Normally my friend was so astute an observer of the twists and turns in public opinion on the major issues of the day that I found it hard to understand how he could have gone so far wrong in judging the way this one was moving. Or was it perhaps I who had gone completely off the rails in believing that the great campaign to legitimize homosexuality and to establish it as a fully acceptable "alternative lifestyle" was succeeding beyond even its own wildest expectations? Was he crazy, or was I?
In the ensuing discussion, I based my argument on what seemed to me the almost complete triumph of the gay-rights agenda and its sustaining attitudes in all the institutions of the culture, from the universities and the arts to the media of information and entertainment and even to an incredible extent (considering that the Bible unequivocally prohibits homosexuality as an "abomination") in the churches. He then countered this sketch of the culture with evidence drawn from the polity. He pointed to the retreat that public opinion had forced upon President Clinton when he proposed to end all restrictions on gays in the military, and he also cited a number of recent local referenda in which homosexuals had been denied the protected status they sought through inclusion in antidiscrimination laws.
Those referenda would later be struck down by the courts-but that would neither have surprised my friend nor cut any ice with him. Thanks to their umbilical connection to the universities through the law schools, as well as their relative insulation from the pressures of majority sentiment, the courts in his scheme of things (and in mine, for that matter) were less a part of the polity than a part of the culture; and the culture, he readily stipulated, was for the time being a lost cause from the conservative point of view.
Neither of us, then, was crazy; we just had our eyes on different realities; and the debate was temporarily resolved by a reciprocal concession on my part that he was probably as right about the polity as he acknowledged I was about the culture. This, however, still left open the question of which realm would ultimately prove decisive, and on that question we continued to disagree. His bet was that in an increasingly conservative political climate, the culture would sooner or later either wind up following the election returns where homosexuality was concerned, just as it was already doing on other issues like the family, welfare, and crime; or, short of that, it would prove powerless to resist the pressures of majority sentiment. My guess was that in this area, if not necessarily in all others, the election returns would in the end largely be determined by the culture.
Not having checked back lately, I cannot say whether or not my friend has changed his mind about the balance of forces on this particular front of the ongoing war between the culture and the polity. But assuming that he still holds the same view, he could now justify himself by pointing to the overwhelming congressional vote cast this past September in favor of the Defense of Marriage Act (342-67 in the House and 85-14 in the Senate) and the even more powerful evidence of President Clinton's willingness to sign it. Designed mainly to enable individual state legislatures to outlaw same-sex marriages even if a court in another state sanctions such unions, this bill's passage represented a clear defeat of the culture by the polity. After all, gay marriage was a favorite cause with the institutions of the culture, and yet in this instance they were trumped by majority sentiment expressing itself through the democratically elected institutions of the polity.
My friend could also cite the Senate's rejection, on the very same day, of a bill that would have banned discrimination against homosexuals in the workplace. Even though the vote in this case was as close (50-49) as the other was lopsided, it still amounted to a defeat of the gay-rights movement within the political realm-and on an objective that was, if anything, even more enthusiastically endorsed by the culture than same-sex marriage.
Not having changed my mind either, I can argue that these victories over the gay-rights movement were less impressive than they seemed. Yes, the Defense of Marriage Act passed overwhelmingly, but it was a remarkably timid bill. As the syndicated columnist Maggie Gallagher observes:
It does not ban gay marriage. It doesn't even require that states that adopt gay marriage do so through democratic means. To the citizens of Hawaii, where a handful of lawyers appear poised to impose gay marriage on the majority, the federal government turns its back. . . .
Furthermore, this bill flies in the face of what the New York Times describes as "an accelerating trend among companies and local governments to extend health benefits to employees' gay partners"-that is, to treat them as though they were legally married couples. Thus far, such policies have been adopted by 36 cities, 12 counties, and 4 states. They have also been instituted voluntarily by 313 companies, the largest of which, IBM, ironically extends spousal benefits only to cohabiting homosexual couples, and refuses to accord the same privileges to heterosexual couples living together without benefit of clergy. It is also worth noting that at least two of these companies were founded and until quite recently headed by men closely identified with conservative causes-Coors and Disney. (The latter, following through on the logic of its stand on spousal benefits, also permits special Gay Days at Disney World which are promoted by their sponsors with posters depicting Mickey Mouse and Donald Duck as a hand-holding couple.)
As for the antidiscrimination bill, in falling short by only one vote, it presages the almost inevitable addition, and soon, of homosexuals to the already rather long list of minorities in a position to demand not only freedom from discrimination but the kind of preferential treatment euphemistically known as affirmative action. "Strategically," writes the executive director of the Lambda Legal Defense and Education Fund, "gay people have found far more success in the courts than in Congress," but the closeness of the vote in the Senate on the antidiscrimination bill indicates that Congress is now starting to catch up.
There are other bits of evidence suggesting even more strongly that the polity is now following the culture on the question of homosexuality. Consider, to begin with, the following item, which was published in the New York Times only a day after the two votes in the Senate:
Not so long ago, an openly gay candidate running for office in the Bible Belt or any rural area could expect to end up as political road kill. Times may be changing. In Oklahoma, the Democrats have nominated Paul Barby . . . to face Frank D. Lucas, the incumbent in the Sixth Congressional District. Just before Mr. Barby announced his candidacy, he told Democrats by letter that he is a homosexual. The district is largely rural, taking up the western half of the state, and is full of socially conservative Southern Baptists. But, to the surprise of many of Mr. Barby's supporters, no one has made an issue of his sexual orientation. And Mr. Lucas says he will not make any fuss over it.
This was not liberal Massachusetts, where Congressman Barney Frank managed to win reelection even after the discovery that his Washington residence had been used as a base of operations by a gay prostitute, and where his colleague, Congressman Gerry Studds, also survived politically even after it was revealed that he had been involved sexually with a young boy working as a Senate page. This was Oklahoma, a state where, as the Times reminds us, David L. Boren, running for the Senate in 1978, "felt compelled to swear on a Bible that he was heterosexual" after rumors to the contrary had been brought up by his opponent.
Nor was the new trend confined to Democrats. A day or two after the story about Paul Barby was published in the Times, a leading Republican political consultant in New York was "outed," and when interviewed by a New York Post reporter, nonchalantly confirmed the report with the comment: "Please, I don't want to be rude, but let me stifle a yawn." In a similar vein, one of his clients, Governor George Pataki, remarked: "Somebody must be getting desperate if they think this is a story." And another client, Senator Alfonse D'Amato, asked: "Are we for real here? Please."
A dismissive response like this was perhaps to be expected in New York, even among conservative Republicans. But as the Times also informed us, everything's up to date in Arizona, too. In that traditionally conservative stronghold, there has been no great talk-radio clamor or stump-speech vitriol directed at a six-term Congressman, Jim Kolbe, since he acknowledged a few weeks ago that he is homosexual. Mr. Kolbe, a Republican, . . . now has a wide lead in general-election polls . . . and his decision spurred another Arizona officeholder, Neil Giuliano, the Republican Mayor of Tempe, to announce late last month that he too is gay.
Then there is Congressman Steve Gunderson, who was reelected (albeit with some difficulty) by the people of his rural Wisconsin district even after being outed as a homosexual. Not only that, but Newt Gingrich-whose reputation for homophobia yields nothing to Pat Robertson's or Pat Buchanan's-emphatically turned down Gunderson's offer to resign from the Republican leadership in the House ("I would never ask you to resign over that nonsense"), and later topped things off by putting him in charge of a task force to reform the schools of Washington, D.C. Now Gingrich has also given a blurb to House and Home, the treacly book Gunderson has written with his lover, Rob Morris, about "the political and personal journey of a gay Republican Congressman and the man with whom he created a family."(1)
What all these examples demonstrate is that little by little, but with increasing momentum, the approving attitude of the culture toward homosexuality is overcoming the resistance of majority sentiment as reflected in the polity. To anyone who remembers how different it used to be, this is bound to seem a truly astonishing development. For not so long ago, and even within the most advanced sectors of the culture, it was still taken pretty much for granted that homosexuality was, quite simply, a perversion.
Certainly this was true of the sector I knew best, the literary world. In that world, male homosexuls (but not, so far as one could tell, lesbians) were very prominent, and yet they mostly seemed to share in the almost universally held assumption that there was something wrong with homosexuality.
To be sure, very few literary people, whether straight or gay, thought that it was morally wrong (although some undoubtedly did, in spite of themselves); they saw it, rather, as the symptom of an illness, the product of a neurotic disorder which could in certain cases be cured by psychoanalysis but which in most others was probably beyond the reach of treatment. I cannot recall any speculation such as has become common lately about a "gay gene," but there was a kind of commonsense recognition that some homosexuals were just born that way, and that little or nothing could be done about it. They might, for one reason or another, decide to get married and have children, but their true sexual desires would remain focused on men, and it was with men that they would commit adultery if (or more likely when) they did. We were all familiar with such cases, especially among our friends and counterparts in England. Many of them had been initiated into homosexuality in boarding school and they then, as it were, paid their debt to society by marrying and raising families while continuing to depend for sexual satisfaction on other men, usually the younger and more lower-class the better.
To say, however, that homosexuality was generally regarded as a perversion is to tell only one part of the story. The other part had to do with the striking fact that so many artists past and present-poets, novelists, composers, painters, and sculptors, as well as actors and dancers and instrumentalists and impresarios-were homosexual. Even homosexuals who were not themselves important artists tended to be great appreciators of art. They also tended to be amusing companions, much given to gossip as catty as it was witty and only slightly spoiled by the hearer's strong suspicion that he himself would become its object as soon as he was out of earshot.
It was, then, a complicated attitude: the recognition that homosexuality bred a special talent for what, in that world, was the most highly valued of all human activities coexisted with the belief that it was a perversion. Another complication was that even many of the homosexuals who went along with this latter view of their own erotic appetites simultaneously thought, or professed to think, that all men shared in those appetites if they but knew it. "Try it, you'll like it," they would flirtatiously say in a camp adaptation of a popular advertising slogan of the day. Along the same lines, they would attribute what would later be called homophobia (a word that did not then exist) to "HP" (homosexual panic) or "HD" (homosexual dread)-that is, a defense against the temptation to engage in homosexual activity.
Nowadays the radicals within the gay community, and the professors who teach Gay and Lesbian Studies in the universities, like to call themselves "queer." Whatever this may inadvertently reveal, it is intended as a piece of in-your-face bravado, a declaration that homosexuals are rebels against a repressive society, not an admission that homosexuality is a perversion. Two recent cases in point are the books Midlife Queer by Martin Duberman and The MaterialQueer, edited by Donald Morton. There is also Beyond Queer, an anthology edited by Bruce Bawer whose purpose is to challenge the "Gay Left Orthodoxy" represented by the term queer. (Bawer also helped Gunderson and Morris write their book.) Indeed, no homosexual today would be caught dead agreeing that homosexuality is a perversion, or even an illness, and almost the only heterosexuals with the nerve openly to endorse such a retrograde view are conservative Christians.
What set the process in motion through which homosexuality would eventually be legitimated in every sense was its transformation from a private condition into a political movement. The first effort to accomplish this was made in the early 1950's with the founding of the Mattachine Society by a radical leftist named Harry Hay. Will Roscoe, the editor of Radically Gay, a collection of Hay's papers,(2) credits him with originating the idea that "Lesbians and gay men differ from heterosexuals much as African-Americans, Latinos, Japanese-Americans, and other ethnic groups differ from Euro-Americans," and that homosexuals could and should overcome their self-hatred and their shame and take pride in their "lovely sexuality." Around the same time, the same idea was expressed by Donald Webster Cory in The Homosexual in America:
We who are homosexual are a minority, not only numerically, but also as a result of a caste-like status in society. . . . Our minority status is similar, in a variety of respects, to that of national, religious, and other ethnic groups: in the denial of civil liberties; in the legal, extra-legal, and quasi-legal discrimination; in the assignment of an inferior social position; in the exclusion from the mainstream of life and culture.
It would be impossible to exaggerate the importance of this idea to the changes that lay ahead, but it turned out to be premature. In those days, very few people, whether gay or straight, were prepared to see homosexuality as comparable to race or ethnicity, or as something in which to take pride, and so the Mattachine Society soon faded away.
It was only in the late 60's that its animating idea really took hold among homosexuals, and by that time the activists among them could draw on the experience of the various protest movements of the decade just past. Borrowing tactics from the New Left and the counterculture that were, to quote Francis Mark Mondimore in A Natural History of Homosexuality,(3) "aggressive and confrontational," they began by staging boisterous demonstrations against obvious targets like police harassment. But then, Mondimore writes:
Emboldened by their successes in opposing police harassment, gay-liberation activists turned their attention to another historical opponent: the psychiatric profession. In 1970, gay activists stormed the annual meeting of the American Psychiatric Association, confronted psychoanalyst Irving Bieber during a panel discussion on homosexuality, and called him a "motherfucker" in front of his shocked colleagues.
To this the APA responded exactly as the universities had done earlier when they were attacked by student activists: it capitulated. Rather than expressing outrage, "sympathetic psychiatrists" immediately joined the gay liberationists in demanding that the APA's Diagnostic and Statistical Manual be revised to eliminate homosexuality from the list of mental disorders on which it had long been included. Within three years, they got their wish, and in short order the American Psychological Association and the National Association of Social Workers followed suit.
In altering its long-held view of homosexuality as a mental disorder, of course, the APA claimed that it was bowing to the weight of scientific evidence. But such "evidence" had been available for a long time, and it was only when political pressure was exerted that the APA suddenly found it persuasive. Moreover, much of it was drawn from the data compiled by Alfred Kinsey, and yet when his estimate of the incidence of male homosexuality (10 percent) would later be exposed as wildly overblown by a much more rigorous study conducted by the National Opinion Research Center at the University of Chicago (which arrived at a figure of 2.6 percent), and by the even more definitive Sex in America (2.8 percent), the APA would make no move to reverse itself again. Clearly it was politics, not science, that drove homosexuality off the association's list of mental disorders, and it is politics, not science, that keeps it off.
With homosexuality officially certified as a perfectly healthy form of sexual expression, the next step was to get it defined as inborn. Gone were the days when any homosexual would dare attribute homophobia to HD or HP, with the underlying assumption that anyone was capable of becoming homosexual. According to the new party line, homosexuality was in no degree a matter of choice; it was always and entirely an involuntary condition. As such, it was beyond the reach of moral judgment, for how could a person be judged for acting in accordance with his true nature or, as religiously inclined homosexuals would put it, in accordance with the way God created him? (Congressman Gunderson: "I suddenly heard a strong and compassionate voice speak to me. 'Why are you so unaccepting of the person I made you to be?' the voice asked. 'Why, if it's okay with me, isn't it okay with you?'")
Never mind that the same logic would confer moral legitimation on pedophiles, who also could and did claim that they were made that way and were therefore unable to help themselves. This did not prevent the argument from working in connection with homosexuals, just as it simultaneously served to get homosexuals included in the category of oppressed minority groups by defining their condition as no more a matter of choice than race or ethnicity. Thus, in explaining why he meant to vote against the Defense of Marriage Act, Senator Charles Robb of Virginia could bring the two themes of genetic programming and race neatly together:
If homosexuality is an inalienable characteristic, which cannot be altered by counseling or willpower, then moral objections to gay marriage do not appear to differ significantly from moral objections to interracial marriages.
This new definition of homosexuality carried yet another advantage-it meant that children were not at risk of being seduced into homosexuality by homosexual teachers or encouraged into it by homosexual propaganda in the schools. On the contrary: children born straight would be taught tolerance of their naturally homosexual classmates who, instead of being forced as in the benighted past to struggle against their true sexual nature, would learn to accept and live happily with it.
As the psychiatrists were coerced into lending the authority of "science" to the claim that homosexuality was as natural and healthy as heterosexuality, so the biologists and the geneticists now came under pressure to provide scientific proof that homosexuals were all born and not made. Biology and genetics being much harder sciences than psychiatry, a quick and decisive victory on this front such as had been achieved over the APA could not be expected. Besides, it was considered virtually criminal to bring up genes in the case of intelligence-anyone who needed reminding on that score would soon get it in the form of the assault on Charles Murray and Richard J. Herrnstein for emphasizing the role of inheritance in IQ in their book The Bell Curve. So how could the gay-rights movement expect the same idea to be sympathetically received in the case of homosexuality?
The answer, as it turned out, was that in the liberal culture, genetic explanations were considered good or bad not on the basis of their scientific merits, but only on the basis of whether they were deemed to be helpful or harmful to the group in question. No matter how much evidence might be amassed to demonstrate the heritability of intelligence, ways had to be found to discredit that evidence because it was considered bad for blacks. Conversely, however, the scantiest evidence for the existence of a "gay gene" was enthusiastically seized upon because it was thought to be good for homosexuals.
Admittedly, there was also strong resistance to the idea of a gay gene. Plenty of scientists remained unpersuaded by the evidence and said so. Nor did every supporter of the gay-rights movement agree that the discovery of a gay gene would be good for homosexuals. Some worried that it might lead to the aborting of fetuses carrying the gene, or that it could create a demand for genetic surgery to eliminate it in adults. Nevertheless, as can be seen from the breathless account given by Chandler Burr in A Separate Creation: The Search for the Biological Origins of Sexual Orientation,(4) the general disposition was to welcome this research as a hopeful development, and to look forward to the day when the hard sciences would lend their imprimatur to the new party line.
In the meantime, personal testimony was summoned to carry the main burden of persuading the world that homosexuals were born and not made. As more and more homosexuals propelled or found themselves pushed out of the fabled closet in which so many had once concealed their "orientation," novel after novel, play after play, and memoir after memoir poured from the presses, and with few exceptions the authors of these confessionals proclaimed that they had been attracted to other men from as far back as they could remember. Many told harrowing stories of the shame they had felt and the consequent anguish they had gone through in fighting against their own sexual appetites. Many had contemplated suicide (and others they knew had actually committed it). Many had tried various forms of therapy in the hope of being cured. Many had married and fathered children. All in vain. The only hope, and the only salvation, lay in the recognition that there was nothing whatsoever wrong with homosexuality, or with the uninhibited pursuit of happiness through sex with other men.(5)
Before 1980, in the decade or so immediately preceding the outbreak of AIDS, much of this literature was defiant in tone and suffused by the radical spirit of the liberationist 60's. It celebrated "the joys of gay sex" and the promiscuity almost invariably associated with it as superior to the pale and timid pleasures available to the monogamous middle-class couple. And it did this in spite of the fact that even before AIDS had made its appearance, lesser venereal diseases were already spreading at a very rapid rate among homosexuals as a result of promiscuous anal and oral intercourse.
A grim account was given by Randy Shilts, the gay journalist who in And the Band Played On produced the most authoritative early book on the AIDS epidemic (and who would later die of the disease himself). On the eve of its outbreak, Shilts wrote, gay men were being washed by tide after tide of increasingly serious infections. First it was syphilis and gonorrhea. Gay men made up about 80 percent of the 70,000 annual patients to [San Francisco's] VD clinics. Easy treatment had imbued them with such a cavalier attitude toward venereal diseases that many gay men saved their waiting-line numbers, like little tokens of desirability, and the clinic was considered an easy place to pick up both a shot and a date.
None of this deterred a gay paper from running an article in praise of "rimming" (oral-anal sex) as a "revolutionary act." Along the same lines, Edmund White, the co-author of The Joy of Gay Sex, even proposed at a public meeting that "gay men should wear their sexually transmitted diseases like red badges of courage in a war against a sex-negative society." A young homosexual named Michael Callen, who was present at that meeting, who had already had 3,000 sexual partners, and who (like White himself) would eventually come down with AIDS, remembered thinking: "Every time I get the clap I'm striking a blow for the sexual revolution."
Today, by sharp contrast, we have a flood of articles and books whose purpose is to show that homosexuals like White are untypical and that they do not really speak for the gay community. These writers tell us that homosexuality is no more significant than (to cite a much-invoked image) left-handedness; that most homosexuals are ordinary, decent people who differ from heterosexuals only in their manner of expressing love; and that they aspire to nothing more than ordinary decent middle-class lives. Far from being sexual revolutionaries ideologically committed to promiscuity, they are great believers in "family values" and would settle down and enter into loving long-term monogamous relationships if society would but let them. Indeed, we are now told, the radicalism preached and the promiscuity practiced by self-described "queer" theorists and activists are themselves products of social oppression, and upon social acceptance will eventually disappear.(6)
In a recent article in New York magazine, Daniel Mendelsohn laments the trend exemplified by this literature as the "heterosexualization of gay culture." Gay books and plays, he complains, "are less likely to celebrate the initiation into a world of avid sexuality . . . than they are to emphasize the importance of (who knew?) family ties." Even Michelangelo Signorile, who became famous for outing closeted celebrities, has grown tame, Mendelsohn reports: "Recent columns [by Signorile] include thirtysomething meditations on the paradoxes of monogamy ('Sex and the Not-So-Single Guy') and the difficulties of reconciling a gay lifestyle with traditional family life (inevitably, 'Homo for the Holidays')." And, casting an interesting light on the issue of how much choice is involved in homosexuality, Mendelsohn asks: "If you look straight, act straight, and think straight, why bother being gay?"
But even Mendelsohn acknowledges the political benefits that have come from the new party line, which originally emerged in response to the appearance of AIDS. Fearing, reasonably enough, that this horrendous disease-intimately tied as it was to promiscuous anal intercourse and other joys of gay sex-would be a political disaster, gay activists advised (in the words of one handbook) that "In any campaign to win over the public, gays must be portrayed as victims. . . . Persons featured in the media campaign should be indistinguishable from the straights we'd like to reach." These tactics have succeeded brilliantly. Instead of turning homosexuals once again into pariahs, AIDS confirmed and reconfirmed their status as victims, thereby enhancing their claim to be considered an oppressed minority while also guaranteeing them additional sympathy and increasing their political clout.
Nothing seemed to interfere with the progress of this astonishing development. At first it chugged along steadily under the aegis of the dogma (bolstered by the politically manipulated statistics of public-health agencies and the propaganda of the AIDS establishment) that heterosexuals were just as much at risk as homosexuals. But then it flourished equally well when, after a while, most people, just by looking around them, quietly came to the conclusion that insofar as AIDS was a sexually transmitted disease (though it could also be transmitted through the shared needles of drug addicts or through blood transfusions, and though the situation might for some reason be different in Africa or India), in America it was overwhelmingly confined to homosexuals.
Nor did the AIDS epidemic lead to a condemnation of the sexual acts that were a prime cause of it. On the contrary, these acts were now represented as perfectly proper so long as they were practiced "safely" (i.e., with a condom or a dental dam). And most incredible of all, children in the early grades of primary school were even given lessons in the correct techniques.
Finally, there was the effect of AIDS on the idea that homosexuality was an inborn, involuntary condition. Congressman Gunderson once delivered a passionate little lecture on the subject to Newt Gingrich:
"Newt," I said, "you've got to understand that . . . [California Congressman William] Dannemeyer and the far Right are just plain wrong when they say that being gay is a choice. You've got to know that I spent years desperately trying to change my orientation. I don't know a single person who would choose to go through the hell of being a gay person in a society that despises you."
AIDS also gave a great a-fortiori boost to this argument: who would choose the risk of dying an early death in so horrible a manner?
So there, more or less, is where we now are. It is a place in which homosexuality is already so widely accepted that not even the knowledge of its connection with AIDS can tarnish or compromise its new reputation as a normal and healthy "orientation." A few holdouts among the psychoanalysts and psychiatrists still insist that it is a neurotic disorder, and most religious conservatives, whether Christian, Jewish, or Muslim, continue to stigmatize it as a perversion. There is, for example, Jeffrey Satinover, a psychiatrist who writes from a religious perspective. In Homosexuality and the Politics of Truth,(7) Satinover has produced a powerful polemic maintaining that homosexuality is simultaneously a kind of addiction and a sin. Like other addictions, he says, it is treatable if the addict wishes to free himself of it (which to Satinover is the same thing as saying that, like other sins, it can be successfully overcome if the sinner repents).
But the holdouts are all very much on the defensive, and the moral and intellectual confidence they once enjoyed seems to be oozing out of them as the surrounding culture pounds away at and stigmatizes their assumptions and beliefs. Religious opponents of the gay-rights agenda are treated as troglodytes and a menace to liberty; the Supreme Court has found a special "animus" behind an amendment to the Colorado state constitution declining to afford homosexuality the same civil-rights status as race and religion; and gay activists in the APA have been trying to get "homophobia" recognized as a "psychological abnormality." This same group within the APA has also charged that psychiatrists who treat homosexuals wishing to become heterosexuals are "unethical" and guilty of "an abuse or misuse of psychiatry."
The holdouts know full well that the drive to legalize same-sex marriage is mainly aimed at getting the law to make what Andrew Sullivan, one of this campaign's leading proponents, calls "a fundamental statement that our loves are as good as anybody else's." But how long can they resist even this final closing of the gap between the culture and the polity?
In short, I believe even less than I did a few years ago that "we are turning this thing around," and I do not believe that we are likely to do so in the foreseeable future.
Yet for whatever it may be worth-and I fully realize how little it may be worth-I for one will go on withholding my assent from this triumphant march. Though there is nothing I can do to stop or even to slow it down, it will have to proceed on its way without my approval or support. Let me try to explain why.
Having known many homosexuals personally, and having done a good deal of reading on the subject, I do not doubt that some young boys are so driven by the lust for other men, and so erotically repelled by women, that for all practical purposes the only choice they have is between homosexuality and chastity. Nor do I doubt that a biological or genetic factor is at work here. Of course it does not follow from this that homosexuality is healthy; after all, many disabilities, diseases, and self-destructive tendencies are genetically transmitted. Still less does it follow that there is no room for free will, as witness the many people (including those with powerful homosexual inclinations) who have successfully struggled against inborn predispositions.
Yet if I do not doubt that some young boys are in effect doomed from the beginning to a choice between homosexuality and chastity, neither do I doubt that other young boys are what E.L. Pattullo has characterized as "waverers" who are capable of going either way.(8) They can yield to the temptation of homosexuality if they are encouraged or seduced into it-and, pace Congressman Gunderson, in this day and age when feminism has made girls even more formidably intimidating than they have always been to young boys, and especially to young boys of uncertain sexual formation, getting entangled with women can actually seem more frightening even than AIDS. Such boys, however, are no longer helped by the world around them to resist the homosexual temptation and to overcome their fears of a normal life. They are instead being abandoned to the ministrations of a culture that not only legitimizes homosexuality but glorifies and glamorizes it, even to the point of representing those who die of AIDS as martyrs and heroes and even as angels.
I do not regard homosexuals, not even those who fall victim to AIDS, as martyrs and heroes, let alone as angels. Nevertheless my heart goes out to all of them because I believe that-even aside from AIDS-the life they live is not as good as the life available to men who make their beds with women.
The reason is that men tend by nature to be promiscuous, and they only become monogamous when women force them to "settle down" in exchange for the comforts and pleasures of a stable home and the delights and the troubles, the challenges and the anxieties, that together constitute the rich fascination of fathering and raising children. It is because homosexuals have no women to restrain them that they are generally so promiscuous (whereas lesbians, being women, do tend toward monogamy); and because they are so promiscuous they are doomed to an endless series of anonymous and loveless encounters-not to mention the risk of disease and early death.
Homosexuals of a conservative disposition have come to acknowledge this, and they hope to cure it through the legalization of same-sex marriage. Here is an unusually succinct statement of their hope, taken from the jacket of William N. Eskridge, Jr.'s The Case for Same-Sex Marriage(9):
Whether because of the biology of masculinity or the furtiveness of illegality, gay men have been known for their promiscuous subcultures. Promiscuity has encouraged a cult of youth worship and has contributed to the stereotype of homosexuals as people who lack a serious approach to life. It is time for gay America to mature, and there can be no more effective path to maturity than marriage.
And yet Andrew Sullivan, who in his book Virtually Normal makes much the same argument as Eskridge, qualifies it with the proviso that the need for "extramarital outlets" should be recognized by both parties in a same-sex marriage. Why, he asks, should the "varied and complicated lives" of gay men be constrained by a "single, moralistic model"?(10)
It would seem, then (with all individual exceptions noted and acknowledged, here as elsewhere), that it still takes a woman to domesticate a man, not another man. This means that same-sex marriage will in all probability not spell an end to promiscuity and an embrace of fidelity even among those homosexuals who will avail themselves of the right (and by all indications, they are likely to be few in number). After all, as Mark Steyn remarks in a brilliant little piece about Sullivan's book in the American Spectator, "a grisly plague has not furthered the cause of homosexual monogamy, so why should a permit from the town clerk?"
One might add that this grisly plague has not even furthered the cause of avoiding death at its hands. There was a period during which the fear of AIDS seems to have reduced the number of partners among homosexuals from the formerly not uncommon hundreds or even thousands per year-yes, hundreds or even thousands-to an average of eight per year; and during the same period condoms were evidently used in many of these encounters. All this slowed the progress of the epidemic within the gay community. By 1991, however, writes Jesse Green in an article in the New York Times Sunday magazine as highly sympathetic to homosexuality as we would expect from anything appearing in that publication, "it was common knowledge that men who had been safe for at least six years were slipping more and more often, and that many men who had never been safe saw no point in starting now." The result is that, if current trends continue, "more than half of the nation's twenty-year-old gay men will contract HIV during their lifetime." And in San Francisco alone, the rate "even among the population of older, white gay men . . . has nearly doubled in just the last six years." (According to a still appalling but less drastic estimate cited by Satinover, only "30 percent of all twenty-year-old homosexual males will be HIV positive or dead of AIDS by the time they are thirty.")
When Green tells us that homosexuals are "returning to the unsafe practices of the past," he means not only that they are discarding condoms but that (contrary to the new anti-"queer" party line) they are reverting to a life of unrestrained promiscuity. As in the early days of the epidemic, the subject of promiscuity is once more becoming "taboo," and (again contrary to the new party line) anyone who raises it, whether straight or gay, is accused of homophobia. "Why," asks Green, contemplating this bewildering situation, "are gay men-ordinary gay men, who appear to function normally and enjoy the pleasures of life-systematically killing themselves?"
He comes up with no definitive answer. But surely the answer lies in the very fact that so many homosexuals (including Andrew Sullivan himself, as we learned when he announced upon resigning from the editorship of the New Republic that he had contracted the AIDS virus) are willing to court death rather than give up being promiscuous. Surely this fact powerfully suggests that promiscuity is an intrinsic and all but inescapable component of male homosexuality. And surely the same fact also gives the lie to the idea that homosexual promiscuity is the product of social and legal oppression, since the near-disappearance of such oppression seems only to have made matters worse.
George Orwell said that we live in a time when the obvious needs constantly to be restated, and so, to restate what was once self-evident to everyone, including most homosexuals themselves: men using one another as women constitutes a perversion. To my unreconstructed mind, this is as true as ever; and so far as I am concerned, it would still be true even if gay sex no longer entailed the danger of infection and even if everything about it were legalized by all 50 states and ratified by all nine Justices of the Supreme Court.
If that should ever happen, and if I am still around when it does, I hope I will still have the strength to hold on to my own sense of the fundamental realities of life against the terrible distortions that have been introduced into the general understanding of those realities by the gay-rights movement and its supporters. For it is this that is mainly at stake here, and it is this that explains why the issue of homosexuality is of such great moment not just to the proportionately small number of practicing homosexuals, but to all the rest of us as well.
1 Dutton, 327 pp., $24.95.
2 Beacon Press, 366 pp., $27.50.
3 Johns Hopkins University Press, 275 pp., $35.00.
4 Hyperion, 354 pp., $24.95.
5 As will already have been evident, I have been talking all along only about male homosexuality. Lesbianism is now invariably linked with male homosexuality in public discourse, but in my opinion it demands to be treated as a separate phenomenon. Since I cannot do that here, I will restrict myself to observing that lesbianism has achieved perhaps an even greater degree of acceptance than male homosexuality. One sign is the swelling volume of academic studies and popular reports trying to demonstrate that children raised by lesbian couples turn out as well as, or even better than, children in normal families. Recently, in the space of a few short weeks, we had at least one book (In the Name of the Family by Judith Stacey), a long article in U.S. News & World Report, and a network television drama "based on a true story" ("She's fallen in love with another woman. Does that give her mother the right to take her child away?") trying to sell us this highly implausible thesis. Another sign is the appearance of a satirical book by Helen Eisenbach entitled Lesbianism Made Easy ("Some people are born lesbians, some achieve lesbianism, and some have lesbianism thrust upon them."); it seems doubtful that a book taking this tone about male homosexuality would be published today.
6 In the past few months alone, we have had, in addition to those already mentioned above, the following books devoted to making these points (and this is by no means a complete list): Farm Boys: Lives of Gay Men from the Rural Midwest by Will Fellows; A Boy Named Phyllis: A Suburban Memoir by Frank DeCaro; Gay Olympian: The Life and Death of Dr. Tom Waddell by Tom Waddell and Dick Schaap; Becoming Gay: The Journey to Self-Acceptance by Richard A. Isay, M.D.; and American Gay by Stephen O. Murray. Under the heading, "Gay and Lesbian Books for Fall," Publishers Weekly (September 30) lists a "selection" of no fewer than 123 new titles.
7 Baker Books, 266 pp., $17.99.
8 "Straight Talk About Gays," Commentary, December 1992.
9 Free Press, 296 pp., $25.00.
10 For a discussion of Sullivan's book, see James Q.Wilson, "Against Homosexual Marriage," Commentary, March 1996.
Norman Podhoretz, a senior fellow at the Hudson Institute, was the editor-in-chief of Commentary for 35 years and is now its editor-at-large.
|Posted on January 7, 2016 at 3:40 PM|
HOMOSEXUALISTS VS. CONSERVATIVES: ANSWERING THE SPECIOUS SECULAR ARGUMENTS USED TO NORMALIZE HOMOSEXUALITY
Written By: Laurie Higgins
(Posted September 2010)
I worked for eight years in the writing center of a public high school on the North Shore of Chicago and was a member of the English Department. I learned from this experience what ideas and resources students were exposed to and what ideas and resources they were never exposed to. I learned that there was absolute censorship of conservative resources on the topic of homosexuality.
I learned that the commitments of many public educators to diversity and tolerance were empty verbiage. They do not honor or cultivate intellectual diversity, and they are intolerant of those who express conservative views on the nature of homosexuality and the morality of homosexual practice.
They engage in censorship, finding myriad rationalizations for including resources that espouse “progressive” views of homosexuality. For academic ideologues, that's the beauty of teaching English: they can always find ways to rationalize the teaching of controversial texts that undermine traditional values. They simply assert that these texts cultivate higher order thinking skills, or critical thinking skills, or research skills or the teaching of literary terms or that they connect thematically to other texts being taught.
Astonishingly, they can’t seem to find any pedagogical reason for having students study even a single essay from a conservative scholar.
Their pedagogical rationalizations are subterfuges to conceal the true goal in teaching controversial texts which is societal transformation.
As I began to read and think more deeply on the cultural debate surrounding the issue of homosexuality, I learned that the ideas that public educators promote are assumptions for which they have no evidence or justification. They impose their unproven, non-factual beliefs through curricula and their own classroom comments; and they impose them on other people’s children using public resources.
Conservatives need to understand the fallacious, unproven nature of their assumptions and challenge them on them, rather than always being on the defensive. For example, we never ask “progressives” to provide reasons for their claim that homosexuality is by nature like race, which is the assumption upon which virtually their entire house of cards is built.
There is no greater threat to First Amendment speech and religious liberties, to the ethical legitimacy of public education, or to parental rights than that posed by the homosexuality- affirming movement. Our continued fearful silence makes us complicit in these terrible losses.
I had a colleague tell me that he was trying to find a way to address the problem of homosexual-advocacy that was not divisive. I told him that that was not possible. No matter how completely you express your views and no matter how graciously you express them, if you say that you believe homosexual practice is immoral, you will be hated. We need to understand that unity and peace must never trump truth.
In this paper, I will discuss a number of the specious cultural arguments used to normalize homosexuality and silence dissent, pointing out their intellectual flaws in the hope that such a discussion will help prevent people from being either confused or deceived by these arguments and so that people will feel better equipped to engage in this critical public debate.
What is homosexuality?
I would argue that there are very broadly two categories of conditions:
First, there are conditions that have no behavioral implications that can be assessed morally. In other words, these conditions are morally neutral, like skin color or biological sex. Having brown skin has no behavioral and, therefore, no moral, implications.
And then there is the second category of conditions, which includes conditions that are centrally defined by desire or feelings and volitional behaviors. This would include polyamory (which is the romantic and sexual attraction to and involvement with multiple people at the same time), promiscuity, consensual incest, aggression, and homosexuality. The initial impulses or desires may be shaped by biological factors, but the behaviors associated with these conditions are volitional and legitimate objects of moral assessment.
Progressives are plucking homosexuality out of category 2 and treating it like conditions from category 1 without any justification for doing so and apparently hoping no one will notice or challenge them.
But homosexuality is not analogous to race. Race or skin color is 100% heritable; completely immutable; and has no behavioral manifestations that are legitimate to assess morally.
Even if biological factors influenced attraction would not mean that homosexual acts are moral. Biology tells us precisely nothing about morality.
I do not believe that people choose to experience same-sex attraction. I believe they choose how to respond to those unchosen and in many cases unwanted attractions. Those who experience same-sex attraction are no different from any other person who experiences unwanted, powerful, persistent impulses, desires, and attractions. Our task as moral beings is to determine which of our myriad desires are morally legitimate to act upon.
From this attempt to equate homosexuality to race emerges the claim that disapproval of homosexuality is equivalent to racism, or to hatred of persons.
The first mistake in this argument is that homosexuality is not analogous to race, and therefore disapproval of homosexuality is not analogous or equivalent to racism. Instead, disapproval of homosexuality is equivalent to disapproval of other conditions that are centrally defined by volitional acts, like polyamory.
Second, homosexualists (which are homosexuals and those who support their beliefs and goals) emphatically assert that disapproval of homosexual acts constitutes hatred of persons. However, they don’t apply that principle consistently. They don’t argue that disapproval of other volitional behaviors constitutes hatred of persons.
People make moral claims about behavior all the time and are rarely accused of hating people. People say polyamory is immoral, polygamy is immoral, promiscuity is immoral, and gossiping is immoral, and yet no one is ever accused of hating polyamorists, polygamists, promiscuous people, or gossips. And when have you ever heard people who disapprove of polyamory referred to as polyphobes?
In reality, the only thing racism has in common with disapproval of homosexuality is that homosexualists hate both.
Sometimes this argument is tweaked a bit, and homosexualists will say that the expression of the view that homosexual acts are immoral is hurtful.
What they’re suggesting is that the moral legitimacy of speech is determined by the subjective response of hearer. It suggests that if someone is made uncomfortable by hearing a moral claim, it is unethical to make it. This idea, applied consistently, would preclude the expression of any moral claims because someone within earshot is likely to engage in the behavior that we are critiquing. We couldn’t say promiscuity or gossip is immoral because someone listening might be promiscuous or a gossip, and would feel bad. Imagine a culture in which no one could ever make a moral claim publicly.
The moral legitimacy of speech is determined by its content (e.g. is it believed to be true or is it a deliberate lie) and the manner in which it is delivered (e.g. are the words and tone civil). For example, saying “God hates fags,” like Rev. Fred Phelps does is unethical speech, whereas saying that homosexual acts are immoral is perfectly legitimate speech. The fact that homosexuals will hate both statements does not mean both statements are unethical.
We should always remain aware that there is a strategic goal behind accusing people of being haters: the goal is to shame or humiliate them into silence. Homosexualists seek to use fear to compel conservatives into self-censorship. And they’re succeeding.
One of the central stratagems of the homosexuality affirming movement is to manipulate rhetoric, and one set of related terms that are manipulated in the service of normalizing homosexuality includes the terms prejudice, bias, bigotry, and discrimination:
“Prejudice” refers to “an unfavorable opinion or feeling formed beforehand or without knowledge, thought, or reason.” As such, opinions formed, even negative opinions, after careful consideration do not represent prejudice.
“Bias” according to the American Heritage Dictionary means “A preference or inclination, esp. one that inhibits impartial judgment; prejudice.” In its usage note it further explains that “Bias has generally been defined as ‘uninformed or unintentional inclination,’” which is the meaning of prejudice. This definition reveals that informed, intentional, thoughtfully constructed opinions do not constitute bias.
A “bigot” according to the Merriam Webster definition refers to a person who is “obstinately or intolerantly devoted to his or her own opinions and prejudices; especially: one who regards or treats the members of a group with hatred and intolerance.”
Clearly, there is a distinction between bigotry and moral views. Bigotry cannot simply refer to holding opinions or being in possession of moral precepts, for if it did, everyone but sociopaths would have to be considered bigots because everyone but sociopaths holds certain behaviors as moral and others as immoral.
In addition, the word “obstinately” in the definition of “bigot” warrants some discussion. First, “obstinate,” according to The American Heritage Dictionary, connotes “unreasonable rigidity.” I would argue that conservative views on homosexuality are completely reasonable, and that conversely, liberal views are woefully unreasonable. In order to determine whether a tenaciously held conviction reflects obstinacy requires an evaluation of the content of the belief and the justifications for that belief. For example, very few would characterize the act of consistently and enduringly, holding the belief that infantilism, pedophilia, or polyamory is wrong to be a manifestation of obstinacy or bigotry.
With regard to discrimination, an important distinction must be made between appropriate or ethical discrimination and unethical discrimination. Discrimination can refer to making judgments or discriminating between right and wrong in which case it is a good, healthy, and essential personal and civic process.
Illegitimate discrimination, on the other hand, refers to unfavorable treatment of others based on ignorance. Conflating or deliberately obscuring the different meanings of discrimination, or asserting that all negative judgments reflect discrimination, plays on our country’s racial guilt and people’s understandable resistance to being associated with such ugliness.
The culture has communicated the false idea that expressing conservative views on issues related to homosexuality either in school curricula or the polling place is not only bigoted but also violates the separation of church and state:
Far too many Americans have a serious misunderstanding about the relationship between morality and religion. People of faith have been deceived into believing that morality is the same thing as religion, and therefore they mistakenly believe that they should not advocate for policies that reflect their moral beliefs. Basing our decisions about public policies, laws, or elections on values and beliefs (even those that may derive from religious doctrine) does not constitute the establishment of a state religion.
The same people who argue vociferously against the presence of religiously informed political decisions that are conservative in nature are curiously silent with regard to those liberal Catholics, Jews, United Methodists, Presbyterians, Lutherans, Unitarians, and Episcopalians who are politically active in the movement to effect speech codes and revolutionize marital laws.
No one ever charges Catholics who oppose the death penalty because of their religious beliefs of violating the separation of church and state.
No one ever charged Martin Luther King Jr. with violating the separation of church and state when he said,
“How does one determine whether a law is just or unjust? A just law is a man-made code that squares with the moral law or the law of God. An unjust law is a code that is out of harmony with the moral law. To put it in the terms of St. Thomas Aquinas: An unjust law is a human law that is not rooted in eternal law and natural law. . . .”
People who attend churches or synagogues that affirm liberal views of homosexuality and same-sex marriage and who express those views in school or in the polling place are never accused of violating the separation of church and state or of trying to impose their religious views.
One could argue that those who attend houses of worship that support legalized same-sex unions are similarly attempting to enshrine in law their religious beliefs. Consistency would demand that the political efforts of homosexualists who attend liberal churches be considered as suspect as the efforts of those whose religious beliefs lead to opposition to same-sex marriage.
People from diverse faith traditions and no faith could all arrive at the same position on a particular public policy. For example, although Orthodox Jews, Muslims, Catholics, Baptists, and atheists may all oppose abortion because they value human life, the reasons for that valuation of life differ.
If there is a secular purpose for the law (e.g. to protect nascent human life), then voting for it does not violate the Establishment Clause of the First Amendment. The sources of the various parties’ desires to protect pre-born life are not the concern of government. It would be not only absurd but also unethical for the government to try to ascertain the motives and beliefs behind anyone’s opposition to abortion and equally unethical for the government to assert that only those who have no religious faith may vote on abortion laws. Such an assertion would most assuredly violate the Free Exercise Clause of the First Amendment. The same goes for issues related to homosexuality.
All laws reflect or embody someone’s morality. The moral views of people who hold conservative theistic world views are no less valid in the public square than the moral views of those who hold liberal theistic world views or atheistic world views—which, of course, are also faith-based.
The debate over same-sex marriage increasingly occupies center stage, with homosexualists arguing that retaining the traditional definition of marriage is both immoral and unconstitutional.
What is marriage?
What is the purpose of marriage? What are the factors or conditions that determine its legitimacy? Is it a public and legal recognition of companionship, emotional affinity, and sexual attraction only? Or, is it somehow tied to an objective reality integrally connected to sexual complementarity?
Historically, both in this country and around the world, marriage has been understood to be the union of one man and one woman. Societies recognize, celebrate, and legally sanction this particular relationship because it is the type of relationship in which children will potentially be born and raised. Because procreation and effective parenting are essential for the sustenance and continuance of healthy societies, legal recognition of this type of union is a compelling state interest.
Homosexualists tell us that marriage is solely a private institution
If or when private actions or relationships have no impact on the public good, the government must remain uninvolved. If, however, private actions or relationships impact the public and are adjudged harmful, society is not only entitled but obligated to legislate. The reason that our government provides for the legal recognition of any union is that society understands that through such unions, the private impacts the public.
Society has determined that private unions impact society to a sufficient degree to warrant government involvement. Historically, society has determined that since marriage is fundamental to the health of society, it is the right and responsibility of society collectively to define marriage. The fact that society has made mistakes and included a criterion that was not fundamental to marriage (i.e. with anti-miscegenation laws, meaning laws banning interracial marriage) does not mean that society has been wrong on all criteria. Tradition, sociology, biology, psychology, philosophy, natural law, and, religion, many religions, in fact, have held that both men and women are crucial to the fulfillment of children’s needs, and the fulfillment of children’s needs is crucial to the health of society.
If marriage were solely a private institution that was concerned only with the subjective feelings of individuals—as homosexualists claim it is—and if it had no impact on the public good, then there would be no justifiable reason for the government to be involved at all. And if society decides it is an exclusively private institution that is concerned only with the subjective feelings of individuals, there is no justification for prohibiting plural marriages.
Homosexualists also claim that marriage is a civil right.
Homosexualists assert that marriage is a civil right to which homosexuals are entitled, ignoring, however, the fact that as it now stands all homosexual adults enjoy the right and privilege to marry. They simply do not have the right to redefine marriage.
Marriage is an institution, and access to marriage is not a civil right. Our civil rights are very specific rights that are accorded to individuals because of their status as humans. Civil rights are not accorded to couples, but rather to individual persons. These rights are based on universal, objective human characteristics, not on subjective individual feelings, desires, “orientations,” “preferences,” or volitional conduct. Rights are inalienable, which means that the government cannot legitimately grant them or take them away. The government merely protects them.
Our civil rights include the following:
freedom of religion
freedom of speech
freedom of press
freedom of assembly
the right to life
freedom from involuntary servitude
In contrast, the government can legitimately define an institution and limit its membership in accordance with that definition. Marriage is a very particular institution, and access to marriage is a privilege; it is not a civil right.
When homosexuals claim that they prefer only members of their own sex as romantic and sexual partners, they are acknowledging that men and women are fundamentally and significantly different. Many, including experts in the fields of sociology, psychiatry, psychology, theology, and neuroscience, assert that these differences are not exclusively anatomical, but emotional, psychological, and/or spiritual in nature.
Since men and women are fundamentally and significantly different, unions composed of the same sex must necessarily be of a different nature from unions composed of different sexes, and, therefore, it’s reasonable to conclude that each type of union would impact society differently.
Further, society has concluded that the only type of union that truly benefits the public is a union between two unmarried adults of opposite sex who are not closely related by blood. In evaluating the inherent merits of or contributions to the public good that homosexual unions bring, society has concluded that legal recognition is not warranted.
Every adult has the legal right to marry. Homosexuals are not demanding a civil right that is denied them based on a universal, objective human characteristic; they are being denied the right to redefine the institution of marriage by eliminating one of the criteria that society has deemed essential: sexual complementarity.
Homosexuals as individuals are not being denied the right to marry. They are being denied the right to choose the sex of their marriage partner. Others are denied the right to choose the numbers of their partners. Still others are denied the right to choose the age of their partner. And yet others are denied the right to choose the blood proximity of their partner.
Polyamorous people who love more than one person cannot redefine marriage by eliminating the criterion of numbers of partners. Incestuous couples cannot redefine marriage by eliminating the criterion regarding close blood kinship. And pedophiles cannot eliminate the criterion of minimum age. None of these groups of people are being denied their civil rights even though they cannot marry whom they’d like to marry. They are being prevented from unilaterally redefining marriage which is a public institution that affects the public good.
Most of them—with the exception of pedophiles—may pursue emotional intimacy, engage in sexual relations, and set up households together, but society is under no moral obligation to provide legal sanctions or benefits for these relationships simply because those involved experience love and sexual attraction.
Another intellectual sticky wicket for many is the accusation that banning homosexual marriage is the same as banning interracial marriage.
As with most of the secular arguments used to defend and justify the view that homosexual conduct is morally tenable, there are underlying presuppositions implicit in this analogy that are concealed—and flawed. The most salient of these unproven presuppositions is that race is ontologically or existentially equivalent to homosexuality.
That is to say that comparing same sex marriage to interracial marriage requires prior assent to the proposition that homosexuality is a state or condition similar in fundamental ways to race. But that is a false proposition, one with which many African Americans disagree; one with which many theologians disagree; one with which even some “queer theorists” disagree; and one which science has not proved.
Laws banning interracial marriages were based on a deeply flawed understanding of both race and human nature. It was based on a false belief that different races were of fundamentally different natures. As Dennis Prager explains:
There are enormous differences between men and women, but there are no differences between people of different races. Men and women are inherently different, but blacks and whites (and yellows and browns) are inherently the same. Therefore, any imposed separation by race can never be moral or even rational; on the other hand, separation by sex can be both morally desirable and rational. Separate bathrooms for men and women is (sic) moral and rational; separate bathrooms for blacks and whites is (sic) not. . . . a black man's nature is not different from that of a white man, an Asian man, an Hispanic man. The same is not true of sex differences. Males and females are inherently different from one another.
Laws that permit only heterosexual marriages are in no way equivalent to laws that banned interracial marriage because homosexuality is in no way equivalent to race. Laws banning interracial marriages were based on the erroneous belief that whites and blacks are by nature different, when, in fact, whites and blacks are not by nature different. Laws that permit only heterosexual marriages are based on the true belief that men and women are by nature different. Therefore, it is permissible and right for laws that regulate marriage take into account the very real differences between men and women.
Moreover, Thomas Sowell explains that “The argument that current marriage laws ‘discriminate’ against homosexuals confuses discrimination against people with making distinctions among different kinds of behavior. All laws distinguish among different kinds of behavior.”
A black man who wants to marry a white woman is seeking to do the same action that a white man who wants to marry a white woman seeks to do. A law that prohibits an interracial marriage is wrong because it is based on who the person is, not on what he seeks to do.
But, if a man wants to marry a man, he is seeking to do an entirely different action from that which a man who wants to marry a woman seeks to do. A law that prohibits homosexual marriage is legitimate because it is based not on who the person is but rather on what he seeks to do.
Neither homosexual men nor heterosexual men can marry men. Both homosexual men and heterosexual men can marry women. Homosexual men are not denied the right to participate in the unique institution of marriage. They are choosing not to exercise their right.
Marriage currently has four central defining criteria: blood kinship, numbers of partners, minimum marrying age; sexual complementarity. History has seen marriages between family members, marriages of children to adults, and polygamy. In virtually no society, have we seen homosexual marriages (in those very few societies which permitted marriage-like relationships to be ceremonialized, the relationships were primarily temporary unions between adult men and adolescent boys who were expected ultimately to marry woman after this rite of passage.) Polygamy, marriage between adult men and young girls, and incestuous marriages have been fairly common throughout history, while homosexual "marriage" has been extraordinarily rare. Homosexualists are seeking to jettison the one criterion that has been the most enduring throughout time and across cultures. In other words, their efforts are the most radical.
Some argue that traditional marriage constitutes an inappropriate imposition of one segment of the population’s morality on the entirety of society.
In making that argument, however, they fail to acknowledge that legalized same-sex marriage would equally represent the imposition of someone’s moral beliefs on all of society. Same-sex marriage would impose on all of society the beliefs that gender is irrelevant to marriage, that marriage has nothing whatsoever to do with childbearing and child-rearing, and that homosexuality is morally equivalent to heterosexuality.
Legalized same sex marriage doesn’t hurt society or anyone’s marriage:
One could make the argument that a polygamous marriage would not harm my particular marriage or even that an incestuous marriage would not harm mine. But ultimately the disuniting of marriage from procreation, and marriage from gender renders it meaningless as a public institution.
So, how society will be affected:
The belief that same-sex unions are equal to heterosexual unions in their potential to affect children and society positively will proliferate.
The religious and/or speech rights of those who hold traditional or conservative beliefs on homosexuality will be diminished.
The belief that fulfillment of emotional and sexual desires constitutes the fundamental basis for marriage will spread.
The belief that same-sex unions are equal in moral value to heterosexual unions will proliferate.
Schools will be compelled to include homosexual identities and families as normative in curricula.
The view that sexual fidelity is an integral aspect of marital commitment will diminish. Whereas sexual fidelity is an indispensable, integral component of the traditional view of marital commitment, for many homosexual men, sexual fidelity is neither expected nor desired. They hold that extra-marital sexual outlets neither diminish nor attenuate commitment.
The belief that marriage is irrelevant will increase as it has in Scandinavia. Stanley Kurtz, research fellow at Stanford’s Hoover Institution has written a number of articles that analyze the impact of the legalization of same-sex marriage in Scandinavia. According to Kurtz “a majority of children born in Sweden and Norway are born out of wedlock. Sixty percent of first-born children in Denmark have unmarried parents.”
Widespread societal approval of homosexuality through legalized same-sex marriage will increase ethically dubious ways of creating families. Surrogacy, pregnancies resulting from sperm and egg donations or sales, and in vitro fertilization would increase as the numbers of same-sex unions increase.
Demands for legalized polygamy will increase. If society accepts the proposition that marriage is a private institution centrally concerned with emotional feelings and sexual attraction rather than sexual complementarity and procreation, then polygamy is just around the corner.
Another term that is abused in the service of normalizing homosexuality is “judgmentalism.” Conservatives are often asked, “Who are you to judge?”
Charges of judgmentalism are confusing because, although we know that God expects us to make judgments, there is something unseemly about being judgmental.
Since being judgmental can mean forming opinions or making decisions authoritatively or wisely, and in this sense is certainly legitimate, what precisely do critics who level this charge mean?
They mean one or both of the following:
“Don’t tell me something I’m doing is wrong.”
“People should judge only their own behavior, not anyone else’s.” (This is, of course, a moral judgment.)
It’s both legitimate and right to make moral judgments about conduct. Everyone does it all the time, including those who make the judgment that homosexual acts are moral. We forfeit the right to be parents, teachers, rabbis, preachers, or lawmakers, and we forfeit a just and civil society if we forfeit the right to judge between right and wrong.
One rarely hears that society should refrain from judging racism or greed or selfishness or pedophilia or adultery or polygamy or incest between consenting adults. What’s the difference? The difference is that now many have judged that homosexual conduct is moral conduct and demand that everyone else accept that judgment and express that judgment or none at all.
What opponents really find objectionable is not that people make moral judgments publicly, but rather that the particular moral judgment conservatives make about homosexuality is one with which homosexualists disagree.
Homosexualists misapply the "Golden Rule" in their efforts to promote heretical views of the nature and morality of homosexuality. The Golden Rule, which is found in both the Old and New Testaments, properly understood, does not mean that believers should affirm all persistent human desires. Nor does it mean that people of faith should refrain from making public statements regarding the immorality of homosexuality. The Torah teaches "That which is hateful to you, do not do to your fellow. That is the whole Torah.” This means that religious believers should affirm to others God's Word--the entirety of God's Word--in a godly way. It is absurd to suggest that in order to live out the Golden Rule faithfully either Jews or Christians must affirm every desire that another human experiences, including even sinful desires.
Often homosexualists proclaim "Judge not lest ye be judged" as biblical justification for the position that religious believers ought not to state publicly that homosexual behavior is immoral. But this verse means that we are not to engage in unrighteous judgment. We're not to hypocritically condemn the speck in the eye of others while ignoring the plank in our own. We're to recognize the universality of sin and offer forgiveness as we have been forgiven. This verse does not prohibit people of faith from making distinctions between moral and immoral behaviors.
One related point regarding Jewish, Christian, or Moslem expressions of moral disapproval: Some will argue that religious people should remain silent regarding the immorality of homosexual acts. They say, just love homosexuals into the Kingdom, and allow the Holy Spirit to work on their hearts or consciences. But what other sin would we make that statement about. Would we ever say, “Just remain silent about the sin of adultery, polyamory, pornography, or racism,"? Just love adulterers, polyamorists, porn users and racists into the Kingdom and let the Holy Spirit work on their hearts,”?
While the mainstream news media, Hollywood, Madison Avenue, churches, synagogues, public schools, and increasingly, laws promote false and destructive ideas about homosexuality, we must speak the truth in the public square.
One final cultural issue that must be addressed is homosexual adoption:
What are the essential criteria for evaluating the suitability of families seeking to foster or adopt children?
They must have the financial means to support them and be able to provide a clean, nurturing environment.
If it is a couple, they must demonstrate that they have a stable, committed relationship.
But is that all?
If that’s all, then we as a society should cheerfully turn over children to the care of loving, committed, stable incestuous couples who are able to provide a safe, nurturing environment. Incestuous couples could make the case that their desire to adopt reveals their sense of responsibility in that procreation could result in serious birth defects. Shouldn't loving incestuous couples be allowed to have children? Is it fair to allow society's prejudice to prevent them from this basic right?
And we should cheerfully and comfortably relinquish children to the care of loving, stable, committed polyamorous families who are able to provide a safe, nurturing, environment.
Love, commitment, stability, safety, and support are, indeed, essential factors when evaluating the appropriateness of a family seeking to foster or adopt. But so too is the moral nature of the relationship of the adoptive family.
Those who recoil at the idea of incestuous couples or polyamorists fostering or adopting do so out of the same kind of moral evaluation of the nature of incest and polyamory as others do out of a moral evaluation of homosexuality. Those who would prohibit loving, stable incestuous couples or polyamorous partners from fostering or adopting do so for the same kind of reason that those who would prohibit loving homosexual couples from fostering or adopting do: a belief that these kinds of relationships are morally flawed.
Some argue that the belief that homosexual conduct is morally flawed is a prejudice and cannot be imposed on all of society. But then one could reasonably argue that the belief that adult consensual incest and polyamory are immoral is an ignorant, antiquated, provincial prejudice that ought not to be imposed on all of society.
Study after study has revealed that children fare best when raised by both a mother and a father. In addition, children have rights. They have a self-evident right to be raised, when possible, by the biological parents who produced them. If those parents are incapable of raising them, these children deserve to be in homes that closely approximate a natural family.
If we measure harm only in concrete, measurable ways -- dirty house, lack of food, untended infections, emotional detachment -- then we ill-serve the children we purport to care so deeply about. When society and the government that represents it are called on to make decisions regarding the placement of children in families, it is not only appropriate but critical that we take into account the moral nature of the relationships of the potential caretakers.
|Posted on January 7, 2016 at 12:15 AM|
Why Gays Cannot Speak for Ex-Gays
Written By: Joseph Nicolosi, Ph.D.
(Posted April 2014)
This summer, a British television network called to interview me for a show about efforts toward sexual-orientation change. The host of the show, they informed me, was a gay man. I declined the invitation, stating that the host’s gay identity would disqualify him from a fair evaluation of the ex-gay experience.
To refuse participation because the host is gay may seem unreasonable, until we recognize that the adoption of a gay identity typically prevents someone from honestly assessing the experience of the other man who has taken a different developmental route-- i.e., the ex-gay person.
Why would this be true? Let me explain.
According to the literature, the “coming out of the closet” process begins in early adolescence with the discovery of same-sex attraction. The teenager then usually rejects his homosexual feelings because of the negative social values around him. His painful and lonely efforts to suppress, repress and deny his feelings result in guilt and shame, which eventually culminates in self-loathing.
But shortly thereafter, this teenager discovers that there are others like him, and often through the support and encouragement of a gay counselor, coach, teacher or religious leader, he decides that gay is “who he is.” The adoption of this gay identity necessitates the abandonment of any hope that he could ever modify his unwanted feelings and develop his heterosexual potential. He must surrender his earlier wish that he could have a conventional marriage and family. So in order to internalize this gay identity he must mourn the possibility of ever resolving his unwanted homosexuality; i.e., he must grieve the loss of what he yearned for.
It is this process of grieving his own hopes and mourning his own dreams which prevents the person who later identifies as gay from believing that change is possible for others: “If I myself could not change, how could they?” Perhaps on a deeper level, this thought is also rooted in anger: “If I cannot have what I wanted for my own life, neither should they.”
Explaining this inherent bias of the gay-identified person against the ex-gay person’s experience, an Orthodox Jewish friend of mine commented: “It would be like a group of rabbis deciding that they themselves would determine if Jesus really was God.” “Worse,” I responded. “It would be more like a person desperately trying to find God in his life, abandoning the hope and adopting atheism, then setting himself up as the person who determines the reality of God in the lives of others.”
And it is that grieving process, that painful letting-go of one’s dreams, that has biased the gay person’s evaluation of the ex-gay experience.
However, public-policy decisions on homosexual issues are, in fact, typically determined by gay activists who carry this intrinsic prejudice. It is gay teachers who determine policy for homosexual students; gay librarians who determine what books are permitted on the library shelves; and gay mental-health professionals who get to tell the world whether any sort of sexual-orientation modification is possible. For example, anyone who has a comment or question about APA (American Psychological Association) policy is referred to the Office of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Concerns, which does not recognize ex-gays or the concerns of people struggling to change. In fact, the most grievous and damaging example of this prejudice is the recent APA Task Force Report on the treatment of homosexuality, written by a panel that consisted entirely of gay mental-health practitioners -- all of whom admitted, at the start, to being opposed to reorientation therapy. No reorientation therapists who applied to be a part of the Task Force--and there were several distinguished and scholarly psychologists who did apply-- were permitted to join the committee.
This dominance of gay-identified homosexuals on panels that determine policy for non-gay homosexuals is due, in large part, to the larger community’s intimidation and subsequent avoidance of the whole polarizing issue. Faced with policy decisions, the straight person, ignorant of the fact that gay-identified homosexuals are a category that is quite distinct from non-gay homosexuals, readily relinquishes his authority to a gay co-worker, and takes the easy way out. “I don’t know about such things myself, of course; but Steven is gay-- he’ll know the best policy for the library collection.” (Needless to stay, “Stephen” is all too ready to comply.)
An additional result of gay activism’s power to determine public policy is the fact that ex-gays are then marginalized and intimidated into silence. Gays see them as “gays-in-process,” or gays with a small “g,” and not entitled to claim a valid identity in their own right. Ex-gays, they believe, are merely gays who have not yet come out of the closet; they are simply “inhibited by their own homophobia.”
But the emergence of the ex-gay person can change this balance of power. Despite the intimidating influence of gay activism, society is beginning to recognize the ex-gay person’s existence, as ex-gay men and women are telling us about their lives. Further, there is an impressive group of ex-gay websites, such as peoplecanchange.com, restoredhopenetwork.com, and voices-of-change.org, where ex-gay men and women tell their stories.
People Can Change continues to offer its JIM (Journey Into Manhood) Weekends, scheduled in 2013 for several locations in the U.S., as well as one in Israel. The ex-gay person was also recently legally acknowledged by Washington D.C. as a distinct sexual minority. And soon, we will see the first- ever Ex-Gay Pride March in our nation’s capital (scheduled for Summer 2013).
The new support group Restored Hope Network has also emerged, vibrant and powerfully committed, to replace the faltering Exodus Ministries (which recently closed down). Further, the Executive Director of HA (Homosexuals Anonymous), Dr. Douglas McIntyre, is launching a 10-day tour this summer to lobby for freedom of choice for youth to pursue counseling for unwanted homosexuality.
Every social movement has used as a tool toward its success, the shaming and intimidating of others who do not agree with them. Those who disagree with them are stigmatized and excluded from the cultural discourse. As time goes by, I believe this swing to extremism will ultimately right itself. But in the meanwhile, we must look to that core of committed individuals who understand that our bodies tell us who we are-- that humanity was designed and created for heterosexuality, and we must support those men and women who are brave enough to speak out and say, “We have changed.”
|Posted on January 6, 2016 at 2:55 PM|
What Really Motivates The Ex-ex-gay Movement
Written By: Phelim McIntyre
(Posted August 2014)
In recent months the ex-gay movement has, prematurely, been declared by the secular media as dead by emphasizing the shift in position of Alan Chambers of Exodus International and the self-publicity of John Paulk. Alongside this we can see the ongoing campaigns of groups like Ex-gay Watch, Southern Poverty Law Center and others to attack the ex-gay movement whenever they can, aided and abetted by the Society for the Psychological Study of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Issues. But what motivates their bile and anger towards the ex-gay movement?
There is not one single issue that causes these people to be part of the anti-ex-gay movement. While some of these issues may have legitimate roots, that does not mean that the actions that emanate from those root issues are to be sanctioned; however, many of these root issues are not legitimate. So what are these issues?
Firstly, there is the misunderstanding of the nature of what homosexuality is. Recently I had a stand for my counselling life coaching and work at a Christian expo. I had three main reactions to my exhibit. It covered not just my ex-gay work but also the work I do with those addicted to pornography, BDSM and other issues.
The first reaction was a relief that someone in the community was actually talking about these things.
The second, especially about pornography, was an ostrich mentality of "we do not have a problem with this in our church/youth group" -- if only that were true!
The third was the claim that people choose to be gay (I only had a few people who took the "born gay" position. All these souls needed to do was repent of their behaviour.) No, people do not choose to be gay. However, this does not mean that people are born gay - something even the Royal College of Psychiatrists and the World Health Organisation will agree with. What it does mean is that homosexual feelings develop as a result of societal, psychological and sociological factors affecting an individual. Personal choice does not come into it. "Choice" is involved when we speak of two other factors relevant to homosexuality: behaviour and identity. The feelings come about involuntarily but whether one wishes to act upon those feelings or to create a sexual identity as a homosexual, those are choices. Yet this is not what most people hear when listening to the ex-gay message. Because we say (and science backs us up), that there is no evidence indicating that people are born gay (though most of us accept that biological factors such as "sensitivity" influence our feelings), people assume that we are saying that homosexuality is a choice. They confuse the issues of feelings, behaviour, or identity and merge them together.
On the other hand, many so-called "evangelicals" (by this I mean very ultra-conservative churches and some which are more right-wing in their attitude to people) also confuse and merge the questions of feelings, behaviour or identity. They dismiss the ex-gay movement as ubber liberals because we say people can refrain from both a homosexual behaviour and a gay identity and in some cases can overcome the feelings. Thus, over simplistically, we choose to not be "gay". Hopefully, they recognize the concept of "repentance", that those with a homosexual past (as a separate group to those who openly embrace what we see as the sinful behaviour of the homosexual lifestyle) will go to heaven. To summarize this first issue: there is a significant misunderstanding of what the ex-gay message actually is.
The second issue involves the question of harm. In a small number of cases - legitimate hurt may be experienced as part of the therapy or discipleship process. Yes, some people have been hurt, but this is true of all therapy. During therapy, one's feelings can opened up. If the person prematurely abandons his therapy, the open wound may not be healed. The question of alleged "harm" has been over emphasized by the various pro-gay professional bodies. They uncritically use studies like Shidlo and Schroeder (who stated that their study should not be used to ban sexual orientation change efforts) as well as more recent studies that unfairly claim that sexual orientation change efforts carry an excessive risk of harm.
I have posted elsewhere on my blog how Shidlo and Schroeder advertised specifically for those who had been harmed - but nevertheless reported that over two thirds of those who responded to their study benefited from the therapy. However, there are three newer studies who are less honest than Shidlo and Schroeder about their statistics.
Flentje, Heck, & Cochran (2013) used listservs to specifically identify ex-ex-gays. In this study, over half of those who went through the ex-gay process (56.1%) received help from "pastoral counsellors". Often these are church leaders with little or no training beyond a session in theological college or are counsellors from a specific "religious" school of thought -- that can range from Nouthetic (also known as True Biblical Counselling) through inner healing/prayer counselling methods such as Theophostics through Gary Collins "Christian Counseling" to the "Biblical Counseling" of Larry Crabb (also the core of the training offered in the UK by CWR and others), and that's just the Christian ones -- some of which are counselling in name only with others offering no training on the underlying psychological issues around sexuality, whether the presenting issue be pornography or same sex attraction. We have no way of knowing what the qualifications, if any, of these pastoral counsellors are/were of if they were actually involved with any ex-gay groups.
Another 16.8% saw peer counsellors, suggestive of self-help groups. However once again we have no indication of what groups these were, or the level of training available to the leaders (some are much better than others) amongst other problematic issues.
This leaves only 34.6% who went to mental health professionals. There are major problems with this study, (which also exists in the Shidlo and Schroeder study). (1) We do not know whether these people actually went through therapy, (2) as to those who went through therapy or attended a support group, we have no idea how many sessions they went to, and (3) we do not know whether they believed the therapy was effective or not after finishing counselling with the mental health professional.
Why are these major questions? Because of the outright falsifications and misrepresentations of many of those who subsequently identify as gay. A few examples will illustrate this point. In New Jersey, a witness for the effort to ban sexual orientation change efforts for minors, whose fraudulent testimony was initially exposed by the ex-gay movement called "Voice of the Voiceless", falsely testified before a legislative body. He claimed he had been sent to a conversion camp which did not exist. His testimony was actually the script of a 1999 RuPaul movie called "But I'm a Cheerleader." No records existed for any aspect of his false testimony after they were checked with state, local, and church officials who were allegedly involved.
Are there other false testimonies out there? Absolutely. In the recent action filed against the ex-gay group, JONAH, one of the plaintiffs erratically attended four sessions with his licensed therapist to whom he was referred by JONAH. Nevertheless, he claimed that neither JONAH nor the referral counsellor was able to help him change his sexual orientation. As all therapists know, such a paltry number of sessions, done erratically, is not a prescription for healing. Another plaintiff, whose attendance was likewise erratic, expressed himself to several witnesses as being satisfied about the counselling he received. He continued to do so for approximately 18 months after he dropped out of his therapy sessions. However, after being recruited to bring a lawsuit, he totally changed his story in the complaint for the court action. In both the Shidlo and Schroeder and Flentje, Heck, & Cochran studies, there is no mention of how many sessions the person attended or whether they actually attended, or even if they regularly attended any therapy sessions or support groups.
Another study, Dehlin, Galliher, Bradshaw, Hyde, & Crowell (2014), looked at individuals who were past members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints (LDS). Here again, most bishops in the Mormon Church are layman. They receive little or no psychological or pastoral care training. This takes us back to the problem seen in the Shidlo and Schroeder and Flentje, Heck and Cochran studies. We do not know the qualifications of the pastoral counsellors or even the mental health professionals who may have been involved with the subjects. (I am a qualified therapist but there are issues -- such as PTSD -- that I do not handle as I am not trained to deal with them). Once again, the participants were not a representative sample; they were recruited through liberal sources. Neither the LDS Church, nor the LDS ex-gay group Northstar, nor NARTH or other more representative groups were contacted for participants. No adverts were put into the LDS press.
This last study (Dehlin, Galliher, Bradshaw, Hyde and Crowell (2014)) dismisses studies such as Jones and Yarhouse (2011) and the several studies of Nicolosi, Byrd et al. They also dismiss the landmark Spitzer study. Dr. Spitzer was the individual primarily responsible for removing homosexuality from the DSM and several years later looked at the question whether change of sexual orientation was possible and agreed that change was possible. Because of pressure from gay activists and his failing health, he ended up apologizing to homosexuals for having done the study that indicated change of sexual orientation was possible. The authors of the 2014 study failed to quote the editor of Archives of Sexual Behaviour (where Spitzer's study was published) who explained that Spitzer's study could not be retracted because his methodolgy was valid. They also neglected to report on the statements from Armelli, Moose, Paulk, and Phelan (2013) all of whom were subjects of the original study. They published a letter declaring that their change of sexual orientation was authentic and that they stand by what was reported by them to Spitzer. The authors further neglect to report on comments by Spitzer's wife concerning the bullying he received from the gay activists, despite his deteriorating physical and mental health (Spitzer is suffering from Parkinson’s disease). All of the above raises serious doubts about the veracity of his alleged retraction.
All the studies that claim to show a high level of harm fail because there is no evidence to prove that the participants actually went through any ex-gay programme. So what about those studies that show evidence of participants going through some form of ex-gay programme or therapy?
The Spitzer study showed little harm. So too does the Jones and Yarhouse study. The only study indicating a "significant" statistic is the study by Nicolosi, Byrd et al which reported a level of harm of 7%. This figure is well below the 10% number generally seen as the level of concern by the American Psychological Association, the British Psychological Society and other mental health organizations. (That is to say, that any therapy where more than 1 in 10 people are at risk of harm is to be used only with caution).
So back to the point of some having been harmed,... but clearly not as many as the ex-ex-gay movement and the pro-gay lobby would like to claim. Those who have been harmed have a legitimate concern - but what is not legitimate is to allow those concerns to be force-fed to the rest of the world as claimed by pro-gay advocates. This strategy comes with the mis-claim of the ex-ex-gay movement that sexual orientation change efforts claim to "cure" homosexuality and that they promise 100% change. This has never been the case! No guarantee of change has ever been provided. Desert Streams, First Stone Ministries, Mastering Life Ministries, True Freedom Trust, NARTH, JONAH and others have always been open and honest about the fact that not everyone will see the complete removal of homosexual feelings, that different people will see differing amounts of change, and that some will see little or no change. They have also been honest that they are not "curing" homosexuality and, despite the reporting of various media outlets, have been careful not to use the term "cure." So while the failure hurts, we must ask where the disappointment comes from? Are those who have been hurt wanting something that the ex-gay movement, and those who provide sexual orientation change efforts do not promise and are then disappointed when their unrealistic hopes are not met?
This leads me onto the third rationale used against the ex-gay movement. It is most often utilized by parents and the family of those who identify as same sex attracted. If people are "born gay", then no fault can be laid at the doorstep of these parents and friends. Stated another way, if people are not born gay then the argument goes that parents, siblings, family members and others must be at fault. But most people do not wish to feel "guilty" or to accept responsibility for the issue faced by a loved one. We see this attitude in ministries such as Canyon Walkers, PFLAG (Parents Friends and Families of Lesbians and Gays) as well as in the book Natures Choice. By accepting this rationale, the ex-gay movement is then seen by these people as blaming people. Yet, as the World Health Organisation is now admitting, upbringing plays a significant role in the development of same sex attraction. However, it is but one variable of many. For example, we have no idea of how an action as simple as leaving a new born child in a hospital too long may affect the child psychologically, which may lead to an infant's feelings of abandonment. To run away from a false guilt by clinging to the "born gay" lie does neither the family nor the individual good. As someone once said, feelings that are buried do not die - they just lie dormant waiting to explode at the most inopportune moment.
The fourth issue, and one I am seeing more and more, is that of narcissistic tendencies of the pro-gay advocates. Narcissism can be defined as "the pursuit of gratification from vanity, or egotistic admiration of one's own physical or mental attributes, that derive from arrogant pride". I see this is the behaviour of Michael Bussee, John Shmid, John Paulk and other ex-leaders of the ex-gay movement as well as"pro-gay activists" such as Wayne Besen and Patrick Strudwick. Those "leaders" have failed to be honest with themselves about their own issues, including for the ex-ex gay, why they failed to see the change they sought (were their expectations realistic?) and their motivations. They have been dishonest about the change seen in other people -- by denying change is possible. They also exhibit great inconsistency. For example, John Paulk calls his ex-wife a liar while at the same time he tells people on Facebook not to attack her. This is a very two-faced approach. Wayne Besen attacks the integrity of anyone with whom he disagrees, including those scientists who promote the fact that people are not born gay. Yet, as his latest website shows, he expects people to "Respect My Research" without question. To call his ministry "Truth Wins Out" while failing to quote research he does not like is dishonest. It is not truth. All this behaviour is classic narcissism - these people see themselves as somehow better than those who want to change but their vanity is so fragile they cannot cope with others who point out their failures. This narcissism recently seen in Paulk and Shmid and long term in Bussee and Peterson Toscano, drives such individuals to be in the public eye. Not only is embracing homosexuality easier (it takes hard work and dedication to overcome homosexual feelings, behaviour, or identity) it gives them the media opportunities to be in the spotlight that they crave as classic narcissists .
It is this narcissism that allows the legitimate hurt to become a rabid crusade,that allows the misunderstanding to become the root of the twisting of emotive terms such as homophobia.
In my dealings with both the ex-gay and ex-ex-gay movements (with the accompanying pro-gay "accepting evangelical" movement of Colin Coward and Changing Attitudes amongst others) through my past involvement with the Anglican Listening Process, I am yet to meet an ex-gay leader who enjoys the publicity, even from the sympathetic media such as Charisma Magazine, as the ex-ex-gay and pro-gay leaders do. The ex-ex-gay courts the media in a way that, at times is sycophantic. Someone once said that you can tell a true prophet because they do not want to be in the public eye and only accept being there because God has called them. This is the spirit that is missing in John Shmid, John Paulk, Michael Bussee, Peterson Toscano and too many others.
Those of us who, because of our testimony and life experiences, have been forced - unwillingly - into the spotlight have learned to live with the failures of former friends, colleagues and loved ones. Recognising the roots does not make it easier to cope with what can feel like betrayal - but it is a reminder of why we need to be true to our testimony and what we have been called to do by the God who heals, saves and restores.