A failed, first attempt to initiate a dialogue on the
orientation & gender identity
On 2011-APR-20, we received an pamphlet, apparently from "Americans for Ex-gay Rights." apparently from a supporter or member of the group.
It deals with the LGBT community: both in relation to sexual orientation and gender identity. A search on Google for the web site of this group returned zero hits.
The pamphlet contains 231 words which, we believe, we can quote fully without infringing on the copyright holder's rights:
The Ex-Gay Way: Truth, Compassion, Justice
- Homosexual and transgender feelings are part of psychological disorders.
- These disorders are rooted in gender self-alienation.
- This self-alienation generally stems from early-life faulty bonding and identification with the same-sex parent.
- Depression, anxiety, narcissism, and rage are part and parcel of this root condition.
- These disorders are preventable and treatable.
- False science has been generated and used in cultural brainwashing since the 1960s.
- More information is available at www.narth.com, www.gaytostraight.org, www.peoplecanchange.com, and www.pfox.org.
- Sick people should be helped to face their sickness and address it.
- Parents of affected children should be helped to face their family problems and correct them.
- True caring means giving support while affected people and families face painful truths and choose hope and healing.
- Justice includes judging some things to be good and some to be bad, some to be healthy and some to be unhealthy.
- Doctrinaire egalitarianism is irrational, harmful, and unjust.
- Justice includes recognizing need, including the need for healing.
- The 14th Amendment of the Constitution does not validate the "gay" identity.
- The 1st Amendment does not invalidate the traditional view of male-female complementarity.
- American liberty rests on the consent of the governed.
- The gay-egalitarian view's growing popularity is the product of false consent manufactured by a corrupt and corrupting government and knowledge industry.
- The forces that should have defended the people against this injustice have been weak.
- But justice will be done.
Our interpretation of the pamphlet:
It important to drill down through the assertions expressed in the pamphlet to arrive at the authors' foundational beliefs:
Their beliefs appear to be:
- On truth: A homosexual sexual orientation is not caused by genetics, perhaps triggered early in childhood by some environmental factor as others claim. It is a disorder caused by poor parenting during childhood. Inherent to this disorder are feelings of depression, anxiety, rage, alienation from one's own gender, etc. The disorder can be prevented, is treatable, and can be reversed. However, all of the major professional mental health/therapy/social worker associations have conspired to spread misinformation about homosexual orientation and gender identity, claiming that it is a normal, natural, morally neutral sexual orientation for a minority of adults.
- On compassion: Lesbians and gays are mentally ill; their families of origin are, to a degree, toxic. Both should be supported and guided to the truth in order to effect healing.
- On justice: Same-gender sexual behavior is immoral and a danger to participants' health. Small sexual minorities may not claim equal treatment and protections from the government. The due process and equal protection clauses in the 14th amendment to the U.S. Constitution do not apply to the LGBT community. The religious establishment and free exercise clauses in the 1st Amendment to the U.S. Constitution does not impact the concept of gender complementarity in opposite-sex relationships and marriages. The wishes of the majority of voters -- for example in a citizen initiative or proposition -- override guarantees of freedom and equal rights in the U.S. Constitution.
- Most American adults now support equal treatment, rights and protections for the LGBT community, including access to same-sex marriage. However, this support is based on falsehoods spread by a conspiracy involving governments and knowledge industries.
Truth will eventually triumph over falsehood.
These beliefs are common among religious and social conservatives, with one exception: the authors appear to define homosexuality in terms of feelings of sexual attraction -- part of what a person is. Most conservatives seem define homosexuality in terms of behavior -- what a person does. This is a major distinction.
We responded to the incoming Email with one of our own:
Thank you for the pamphlet.
What troubles me is that:
1. Religious conservatives and the rest of the population (lesbians, gays, bisexuals, transgender persons, transsexuals, mental health professionals, human sexuality researchers, most social workers etc.) hold almost completely opposite beliefs concerning whether homosexual:
- orientation is chosen or discovered,
- orientation is changeable or fixed,
- orientation is abnormal or normal for a minority of the population;
- orientation is unnatural or natural for a minority of the population;
- behavior is hated or accepted by God;
- orientation is caused by faulty parenting or by genes;.
Further, there is no agreement on whether:
- the high suicide rate of homosexuals is caused by the homosexuality itself or by the nation's homophobia; and
whether reparative therapy is very safe and effective or is extremely dangerous and ineffective; etc.
2. Most of these opposing positions could be resolved and the suicide rate greatly reduced if both sides would start to dialog, drop their preconceived notions, and jointly conduct studies aimed at understanding the true nature of homosexuality.
3. Because the two sides are unwilling to dialog and conduct joint studies, both sides have blood on their hands and are exhibiting depraved indifference towards sexual minorities.
I would recommend that you commit all your energies in launching such a dialog.
There are other areas in which religious conservatives and many others hold mutually exclusive views:
- transgender and transsexual condition,
- evolution vs creation science and intelligent design;
- age of the Earth;
- what is an effective form of sex-education,
- whether abortion rates are best reduced via restricting access to abortion or by reducing unwanted pregnancies, etc.
But in terms of the count of dead bodies, I think that the homosexual question is the most important one to settle.
[The format was changed from the original Email to make it compatible with this web site.]
After some thought, we sent a follow up Email a few hours later:
|After detailed examination of your pamphlet, I was surprised by its reference to ""homosexual and transgender feelings." Most religious and social conservatives refer only to behavior and not to feelings of sexual attraction and gender identity. Perhaps this might indicate some movement on your part.
We posted your pamphlet on our web site at: www.religioustolerance.org/homdialog.htm
As you will gather from my original Email I am seriously troubled by the distress experienced and loss of life through suicide within the LGBT community. My feeling is that the solution of the pain and loss lies not in debate but in honest dialogue. This would require individuals or groups to ditch their preconceived beliefs and biases, to abandon the promotion of their foundational beliefs and conclusions, and earnestly seek the truth about sexual orientation and gender identity, wherever it lies.
My group is having a desperate time trying to maintain a web site with over 5,500 essays and upwards of a half million visitors a week. We don't really have one spare minute to rub against another. However, we would ourselves be exhibiting depraved indifference towards the pain and loss of life in the LGBT community if we didn't at least offer to try to find the time to join with anyone in your group to explore the possibility of a dialogue. And so, we make you that offer.
We received a four word response: "You sound so close-minded."
That would seem to terminate our first attempt to create dialogue.
We decided to:
- Determine what recent attempts at dialog concerning sexual orientation and gender identity has happened between the two solitudes, and
- Investigate the feasibility of creating a continuing dialogue on Facebook.
The following information sources were used to prepare and update the above
essay. The hyperlinks are not necessarily still active today.
- "Fourteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution," Wikipedia, at 2011-APR-18, at: http://en.wikipedia.org/
- "First Amendment to the United States Constitution," Wikipedia, at 2011-APR-06, at: http://en.wikipedia.org/
Initial posting: 2011-APR-25