Personal opinions of B.A. Robinson the webmaster/main author:
I normally try to be objective when writing for this website, by carefully
explaining the beliefs of others and not letting my own beliefs intrude. But, sometimes, I need to let fly with my own
opinions in order to protect my own sanity.
During the battles over homosexuality between religious conservatives
and progressives, between supporters and opponents of reparative
therapy, etc. reality has somehow become ignored. Within the
religious and the therapeutic communities, "experts" are absolutely
certain that their beliefs are true. Yet it is obvious that many of
their beliefs are mutually exclusive. So, some must be just plain wrong.
Reparative therapy is probably either safe and effective, or dangerous and
ineffective. We don't know for certain because no meaningful study of this form
of therapy has ever been studied and reported upon in a peer-reviewed journal.
The root cause of homosexuality is probably either genetic or a personal choice.
Conservative religious experts say the latter; others say the former.
Poor parenting and/or having been sexually molested as a child,
and/or other environmental events, and/or a person's genes may
or may not have been a principal factor in determining adult sexual orientation.
Some suggest that the higher levels of depression and suicide among gays
is primarily caused
by homosexuality itself. Others suggest that the root causes are the homophobic
culture in which a gay person must live, and the gay person's internalized homophobia
absorbed from others.
At least some religious leaders, mental health practitioners. gays, lesbians, and human sexuality researchers have the ability to dialogue together, tackle some of the diverse
beliefs listed above, and reach some form of consensus. To use one of my favorite
phrases from the Law and Order TV program, to not dialogue is to exhibit "depraved
indifference," towards sexual minorities. Considering the high suicide
rate among gays and lesbians, the stakes are extremely high.
We have a motto in this office: "whenever someone deviates from reality,
others get hurt." I think that it applies, in spades, to homosexuality. All
sides need to work together to determine what reality is. Right now, both
sides generally hide behind their barricades and throw rocks at each other.
In the present situation,
Those who are hated because of their homosexuality,
Those who hate themselves because of their own homosexuality,
Those who dislike homosexuals and are being damaged by their degree of
Parents who wonder if they caused their child's homosexuality,
Those who are aware at some level that they might be teaching
All will continue to suffer until some meaningful effort at dialog
To our knowledge, the only overture to dialogue occurred in the 1990s.
It was proposed by the National Association of Research and Therapy of
Homosexuals (NARTH), a small professional organization of conservative
therapists, and rejected by the much larger American Psychological
Association (APA). The joint effort would have conducted a detailed study
of the effectiveness of reparative therapy. Again, the term "depraved
indifference" comes to mind.