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Religious Tolerance logo

Dr. Laura Schlessinger and homosexuality:

Part 1:
"Dr Laura's" counseling, book, radio, & TV careers.
Quotations by and about "Dr Laura."
Her faith & past statements about homosexuality.

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The term "LGBT" refers to the Lesbian, Gay,
Bisexual & Transgender/Transsexual community.
"LGB" refers to the Lesbian, Gay, & Bisexual community.

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Overview of her counseling, book, radio, and TV careers:

Dr. Laura Schlessinger [1947 -] is most commonly referred to as "Dr Laura." She holds a Ph.D. in physiology -- the study of functions and activities of living organisms. She is not a Psychologist as many people have assumed.

She has had three main careers:

  • She has authored over two dozen books, of which the most popular are:

    • The proper care and feeding of husbands;

    • Ten stupid things women do to mess up their lives;

    • The proper care & feeding of Marriage;

    • Ten stupid things men do to mess up their lives;

    • Bad childhood, good life; and

    • In praise of stay-at-home moms.

  • Early in her career developed a part-time practice as a marriage and family counselor which she later phased out in order to concentrate on her talk show activity.

  • She started her radio career in the mid-1970's in a weekly segment on a radio show hosted by Bill Ballance. This led to her own program on radio station KFI, Los Angeles. The radio program was later syndicated nationally in 1994.

    In 1999, she signed a contract with Paramount TV to develop a syndicated daytime television talk show. It was initially called "My Kid's Mom." The name was later changed to "Dr. Laura." By early 2000-FEB, it was already scheduled to be in 85% of U.S. television markets; this rose to 91% by mid-March of that year. The first TV episode was aired on 2000-SEP-11. The TV series had a short life, partly because of controversy over statements she had made, and the terminology she had used, concerning the LGBT community. Her last new TV episode was aired on 2001-MAR-30, although reruns continued until September of that year.

    In 2011, her radio show transferred to Sirius XM Radio where remains active on channel 109 each afternoon. Sirius XM describes her as:

    "One of the most popular talk show hosts in radio history, Dr. Laura Schlessinger offers no-nonsense advice, infused with a strong sense of ethics, accountability, and personal responsibility."

Episodes of her program is also available as a podcast at iTunes and from her own web site. 1

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Past memorable quotations by Dr. Laura concerning the LGBT community:

According to various sources, Dr. Laura Schlessinger has said or written:

bullet "A huge portion of the male homosexual populace is predatory on young boys."2

bullet "If you're gay or lesbian it's a biological error."2

bullet "I call homosexual practices deviant."2

bullet "The First Amendment [to the U.S. Constitution] is not the 11th Commandment. Its protection does not extend to ALL speech."2

bullet "When we have the word 'homosexual,' we are clarifying the dysfunction, the deviancy, the reality." 3

bullet "....[reparative] therapies ... have been successful in helping a reasonable number of [LGB] people become heterosexual." 3

bullet "...I believe that homosexual behavior is deviant; that when homosexuals adopt children, these children are intentionally robbed of a necessary mom and [sic] dad..." 4

bullet "I'm sorry, hear it one more time perfectly clearly: If you're gay or a lesbian, it's a biological error that inhibits you from relating normally to the opposite sex.  The fact that you are intelligent, creative and valuable is all true. The error is in your inability to relate sexually intimately, in a loving way, to a member of the opposite sex. it is a biological error." Quote taken from Dr. Laura's web site on 1998-DEC-8. It has since been deleted from her web site.


Quotation about Dr. Laura:

bullet "Her perorations strongly suggest that many gays are predators, eager to convert new members to the faith.  She urges parents to avoid bringing kids into the company of possibly gay relatives." Reuters/Variety about Dr. Laura, 2000-FEB-13.

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Dr Laura's religious faith and her personal statements about human sexuality:

These statements date back over a decade. Homosexuality is currently not a major topic on her web site. Her home page, for example, has many descriptions of common relationship problems that couples experience, but nothing directed at the LGBT community.

In the past, Dr. Laura:

  • converted to Orthodox Judaism as an adult. Orthodox Judaism is one of the four main traditions within Judaism in the U.S. It is the only one that condemns all same-gender sexual activity. During mid-2003, when she was in her mid 50's, she announced that she was still Jewish but no longer Orthodox.

  • has described homosexuality as "deviant."

    [Webmaster's note: This statement has an element of truth to it. Any trait that is held by a minority of individuals is, by definition, called "deviant" by sociologists, psychologists, etc. It is precisely that: a deviation from the norm. But "deviant" is a scientific term that is a near-synonym to the more frequently used word "minority." Left-handedness and red hair are other deviant human designs. Unfortunately, by using the words deviant and sex together, and directing the statement to a general audience, the end effect is to generate public animus against sexual minorities. She could have used a neutral term, like "minority sexual orientation," and avoided generating negative emotions among her audience.]

  • has also described homosexuality as "a biological error."

  • has said, according to Eonline.com, that society:

    "... should discriminate against certain behaviors" -- homosexual behavior being one of them. 5

  • has said, according to StopDrLaura.com:

    "... that gays are likely to be involved in pedophilia;" 6

    Unfortunately, the term "pedophilia" is ambiguous. Strictly speaking it refers to a sexual attraction by an adult towards a pre-pubertal child. But much of the public defines it as the as the sexual molestation by an adult towards a child -- that is, as a form of sexual abuse. Dr. Laura's use of the word "involved" might be interpreted as referring to abusive pedophilia.

    The StopDrLaura.com domain name was activated during 2000-FEB when a major LGBT protest was organized against Dr. Laura. As of early 2015, the web site is still online, but has no readable content. This belief about the prevalence of abusive pedophilia by gays is contradicted by leading mental health professional organizations, like the American Psychological Association. 7

  • has been opposed to extending equal rights to gays and lesbian couples who wish to marry. She also has opposed feminism, access to abortion, and hate crimes legislation.
  • has favored censorship of the Internet.

  • has advocated reparative therapy as a method for gays and lesbians to convert their sexual orientation to heterosexuality. Her beliefs are supported by a very small professional organization, NARTH, the (National Association for Research and Therapy of Homosexuality). This belief was also once accepted by most social and religious conservatives. However, reparative therapy has been condemned by all of the leading mental-health professional organizations in the U.S. as being worthless and potentially very dangerous.

    Exodus International was the leading non-profit group that promoted reparative therapy. They realized after more than two decades of promotion that the mental health groups were correct. Reparative therapy was ineffective. Also, it often caused depression when their clients failed to become heterosexual. It sometimes played a major role in suicides. Its only successes were in two areas:
    • Convincing some lesbians, gays, and bisexuals to remain celibate without an intimate partner for the rest of their life.

    • Convincing some bisexuals to avoid sexually active relationships with members of the same sex, and to seek relationships only with members of the opposite sex.

Their success rate at converting persons with a homosexual or bisexual orientation to heterosexual orientation was very small and may have been zero.

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This topic continues in the next essay

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References used:

The following information sources were used to prepare and update the above essay. The hyperlinks are not necessarily still active today.

  1. Laura Schlessinger, "Dr. Laura Podcast Help," 2015-FEB-09, at: https://www.drlaura.com/
  2. StopDrLaura web site is at: http://www.stopdrlaura.com 
  3. Norman Solomon, "Dr. Laura's abuse of power: The doctor as bully," Media Beat, at: http://www.tompaine.com/
  4. Bill Berkowitz, "Dr. Laura's agenda: A missionary for the Christian Right," CultureWatch, at: http://www.tompaine.com/ 
  5. Emily Farache, "GLAAD not happy with Dr. Laura," at: http://www.eonline.com/ 
  6. "Protests announced against Paramount over 'Dr. Laura'," StopDrLaura.com press release, 2000-MAR-10. Once available at: http://biz.yahoo.com/
  7. Evelyn Schlater & Robert Steinback, "10 Anti-Gay Myths Debunked," Intelligence Report Southern Poverty Law Center, 2010, at: http://www.splcenter.org/
  8. Lawrence Morahan, "Dr. Laura Receives Death Threats for Views on Homosexuality," CNSNews, 2008-JUL-07, at: http://cnsnews.com/

 

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Copyright © 2000 to 2015 by Ontario Consultants on Religious Tolerance
Originally written: 2000-MAR-14
Latest update: 2015-APR-08
Author: B.A. Robinson

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