Once again, it is evident that the anti-gay forces of the politicized Religious Right will cling to or glom onto anything that even remotely seems to suggest that their pet theories may have a shred of legitimacy. The APA (American Psychological Association) has published a pamphlet that discusses sexual orientation, and in it the Religious Right organizations are having a field day.
Now, these organizations tend to believe that homosexuality is a psycho-emotional “gender identity” disorder at best or at worst simply wanton and willful engagement in deviant sexual relations by men who are intentionally trying to destroy heterosexuality even if it kills their disease ridden carcasses in the process (that is a bit of exaggeration, but not much for some). Any time a study is released that might suggest a biological determinate, they are quick to condemn it and more often than not attempt to twist the comments of the study’s author(s) in order to support their agenda. They claim that most all pro-gay people or organizations demand a “gay-gene” theory be accepted as fact. This simply isn’t true. I am yet to hear any mainstream gay organization demand such a thing, even though individuals will say that they suspect that when all is said and done they believe a biological link will be found. (Of course, there are gay people who will say that it is all biological, but they are speaking not from fact but from emotion and play right into the hands of the anti-gay Religious Right.)
Here is the paragraph from the APA that is referenced by OneNewsNow.com and commented on by the likes of Peter LaBarbera, Matt Barber, and their compadres:
What causes a person to have a particular sexual orientation?
There is no consensus among scientists about the exact reasons that an individual develops a heterosexual, bisexual, gay, or lesbian orientation. Although much research has examined the possible genetic, hormonal, developmental, social, and cultural influences on sexual orientation, no findings have emerged that permit scientists to conclude that sexual orientation is determined by any particular factor or factors. Many think that nature and nurture both play complex roles; most people experience little or no sense of choice about their sexual orientation.
Interestingly, I don’t see links to the APA’s entire pamphlet on the anti-gay websites, “Answers to Your Questions
For a Better Understanding of Sexual Orientation & Homosexuality,” which presents much that is contrary to the Religious Right dogma. In the OneNewsNow article, Matt Barber states, “It’s irrefutable from a medical standpoint that people can leave the homosexual lifestyle…. Homosexuality is defined by behavior. Untold thousands of people have found freedom from that lifestyle through either reparative therapy or through — frankly, most effectively — a relationship with Jesus Christ.”
This is completely disingenuous. From the very same APA source that is used as a “knockout punch,” comes this:
What about therapy intended to change sexual orientation from gay to straight?
All major national mental health organizations have officially expressed concerns about therapies promoted to modify sexual orientation. To date, there has been no scientifically adequate research to show that therapy aimed at changing sexual orientation (sometimes called reparative or conversion therapy) is safe or effective. Furthermore, it seems likely that the promotion of change therapies reinforces stereotypes and contributes to a negative climate for lesbian, gay, and bisexual persons. This appears to be especially likely for lesbian, gay, and bisexual individuals who grow up in more conservative religious settings.
Helpful responses of a therapist treating an individual who is troubled about her or his samesex attractions include helping that person actively cope with social prejudices against homosexuality, successfully resolve issues associated with and resulting from internal conflicts, and actively lead a happy and satisfying life. Mental health professional organizations call on their members to respect a personâ€™s (clientâ€™s) right to selfdetermination; be sensitive to the clientâ€™s race, culture, ethnicity, age, gender, gender identity, sexual orientation, religion, socioeconomic status, language, and disability status when working with that client; and eliminate biases based on these factors.
Barber’s statement has nothing to do with the orientation of homosexuality, but homosexuals who decide to forgo relationships of an intimate nature – loving or otherwise. To “leave the homosexual lifestyle” means to no longer self-identify as a homosexual (regardless of the feelings anyone may have), to burn bridges to all people or anything that may temp people to consider themselves to be homosexuals or to be sexual engaged, and to life-long celibacy. They declare that Jesus will heal people of their homosexuality and make them into heterosexuals, but again and again it is shown that beyond willful hopefulness at best and self-deception at worst, this “healing” just doesn’t happen.
From this paragraph, comes the OneNewsNow opening line: “The attempt to prove that homosexuality is determined biologically has been dealt a knockout punch.” Now, a generally unbiased read of this paragraph will conclude that the intent is to simply say that we don’t know yet what causes sexual orientation, period. But, the Religious Right will use this as a slam against gay-rights organization and homosexuals who claim that they cannot change into heterosexuals.
I think both paragraphs are true, plainly and simply. What more can be said – we do not have enough information to determine what causes even heterosexuality, let alone other expressions of orientation. It is as equally wrong for a gay person to say that homosexuality is biologically determined, factually, as it is for anti-gay people to say that homosexuals can be changed into heterosexuals, factually.
This certainly is not a “knockout punch,” but because it says nothing about a biological determinate being the cause they consider it a victory for Jesus (or rather their manipulation of Jesus for their own ends). The APA states the truth. I wish these groups could do the same.
Why can’t people simply be forthright and truthful? Honestly, gay people or anti-gay people, just deal with the way things are and not they way you want them to be in the face of evidence otherwise.