Well dearly beloved readers, it is clear that democracy, which means the rule and governance of the demos (people) is something that is being gnawed away at by legislators in many countries on a whole range of issues from matters pertaining to finance to immigration to social policies. Within Australia for example, legislators created an issue and forced it upon the Australian public, in order to divert attention and public discourse away from some of the most crucial domestic and foreign policies that would determine the nation’s future. Not surprisingly, the Australian mass-media further reinforced this effort (whether knowingly or unknowingly), by not giving due attention to these considerations of grave national importance.
Instead, they placed greater premium upon the manufactured issue of the day which was in regards to the redefinition of marriage and its subsequent implementation into Australian law. However, the Australian public sought to dismiss this matter as quickly as possible, voice both its disinterest and refusal to accept such changes to the law, and so the proposed legislation was defeated within the national houses of parliament in 2012. To most Australians, this was not an issue at all, since civil unions and de-facto relationships and other similar arrangements, had the same force and rights of marriage, but merely identified alternatives to marriage; for within the Australian mindset, marriage has a clear and defined historical and cultural meaning despite the very secular and atheistic nature of Australian society.
Yet the comments made by Australians were just as revealing as to how they thought and felt about the question of same-sex “marriage”. To many they thought why bother trying to redefine the term, two people will live the way they choose in spite of legislation. Others voiced the thought, that even if parliament redefined the term, it still would not change the substance of the word which defines something very specific; the fact that a group of politicians, who make up a small minority of an entire nation’s populace, seek to change a term’s meaning would not give any validity to any new meanings ascribed to a word, since politicians by nature pursue what is expedient to their interests or personal convictions, particularly in securing votes to remain in power. Then there were those who considered the legal aspects caused by the impact of redefinition; they looked at the legal nightmare created in other states and nations which passed similar legislation. What they found were immense abuse and trespasses against the rights of other citizens or the introduction of more sexually oriented content into primary and secondary education. The legal considerations led to further thought regarding what other sexual or philosophical orientations would demand as their right to marriage.
Then you had the social commentators who looked at the reality of the “gay community”, citing that “stable relationships” were hard to come by in their experience within welfare support, social services or general observation. The general trend they kept on citing was the widespread promiscuity and drug use that pervades the “gay community”, in spite of the fact that in Australia, gays have the same rights as any other people to live in freedom and practice their orientation without hindrance. This of course was another point that Australians highlighted, in that they questioned what was the issue at all with needing “marriage recognition”, when in Australia, everyone is accorded the same freedoms. But in coming back to the social considerations, there were many who made the observation that amongst gays, committed relationships was the exception and not the norm to which questions of culture and psychology would come into the discussion to explain this point.
Then there were those who looked at the ethical dimensions, observing that the effort to redefine marriage was not just about same-sex couples securing some sort of recognition; but that the redefinition would realign the concept of marriage as a personal contract between two individuals, and not a relationship between two people. Furthermore, such a realigned definition would give no reference or consideration to the wider society or family. Thus with this impersonal social contract the very objective of redefining marriage to serve the desires of same-sex couples would invalidate itself, hence offering an empty gift or Pyrrhic victory to the “gay community”.
Whatever the thoughts, arguments and considerations that Australians made regarding their refusal to accept a redefinition; the politicians of New South Wales blatantly ignore public opinion, and seek to bring this non-issue back into the centre of public discourse. We are now threatened with another state government seeking to undermine national legislation and policy by passing its own redefinition of marriage and related legal implications. To the readers, we would like to bring your attention to the previous articles and statements that have been published within this weblog in order to see what is the view of this issue from an Orthodox Christian perspective. And as we have cited previously, this objection to such changes in legislation is not an objection towards other people of differing sexual orientation, but is a principled stand regarding the sanctity and integrity of marriage which has historically, culturally, ethically and communally meant something quite specific. We would suggest that the term and institution of “civil union” would be more appropriate and accurate in serving same-sex couples. For those Orthodox Christians who reside in the state of New South Wales, we would encourage you to support the effort in petitioning the politicians to not to pass such legislation as is before them.
Greg Donnelly urges Christians to speak up and voice their opposition to same sex marriage inquiry in NSW.
February 17th, 2013
LC Greg Donnelly has urged Christians to voice their opposition with an inquiry underway into same-sex marriage law in NSW.
Having failed to secure sufficient support for same-sex marriage in the Federal Parliament in September last year efforts by advocates and supporters are now being directed to state and territory legislatures.
The first cab off the rank was Tasmania. Legislation was introduced into the state parliament by Labor Premier Lara Giddings and The Greens MP Nick McKim in late August.
The bill passed the lower house, but was defeated in the upper house by just two votes.
In November five NSW MLAs and MLCs announced that they were sponsoring a cross-party working group to develop a same-sex marriage bill.
Members of the working group include Trevor Khan MLC (Nationals), Penny Sharpe MLC (Labor), Cate Faehrmann MLC (Greens), Bruce Notley-Smith MLA (Liberal) and Alex Greenwich MLA (Independent).
Notices of motion were given in the Legislative Council on 20 November for a debate on a same-sex marriage bill.
Following this announcement Premier Barry O’Farrell wrote to the Legislative Council’s Standing Committee on Social Issues with a term of reference requesting that the committee inquire into same-sex marriage law in NSW. The inquiry has formally commenced and is progressing.
“It is vitally important that the members of the Committee examining this important matter get a comprehensive and balanced set of views and opinions from across the state,” Mr Donnelly said.
“You should not assume that somebody else who shares your view about marriage will make a submission.
“Submissions to the inquiry do not have a minimum length. They can be lengthy and detailed or short and to the point.
“Expressing your views and opinions about marriage in a few sentences or paragraphs and submitting them is a concrete way that you can participate in the inquiry.
“I strongly encourage participation in the inquiry and the involvement of as many like-minded people as possible.”
Submissions need to be made by Friday, 1 March. The committee has also scheduled public hearings for 6 and 15 March at Parliament House.
Information about the inquiry, including the terms of reference, is available at the committee’s website, www.parliament.nsw.gov.au/samesexmarriage.
The options for making submissions include online submissions, email or by post. Written submissions are to be sent to: The Director, Standing Committee on Social Issues, Legislative Council, Parliament House Macquarie Street Sydney NSW 2000
N.S.W. Governmet announces same sex marriage inquiry – Speak Up Now!
February 20th, 2013
Last year in response to a call from His Eminence, Archbishop Stylianos, thousands of Orthodox Christians voiced their support for the traditional definition of marriage. As a result of your action, and that of many other Australians, the Federal Parliament voted 2 to 1 to preserve the natural definition of marriage. However same-sex marriage activists are now turning to state parliaments to legislate on a state-by-state basis. This year, the N.S.W. Parliament will consider a bill to redefine marriage. A cross-party group of MP’s has been formed to push for change.
Now a parliamentary inquiry has been established to look at the issue of same-sex marriage. The committee are asking for submissions from the public. It is disappointing that we now must defend marriage at a state level.
As such, the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of Australia has established this website about the issue as a vehicle to help the faithful promulgate their voice. For this reason we urge you again to Speak Up for marriage. A change to the definition of marriage will erode the sacredness of marriage, the rights of children and the family as taught by the Christian faith and Greek Orthodox Tradition. His Eminence has previously released an encyclical on this matter, it can be viewed on our website.
You can make a difference by forwarding the letter we have prepared for you to the committee today or by lodging a submission via the form provided on the Parliamentary website. Submissions need to be made by close of business Friday, 1st March 2013.
What is marriage, in human history?
Marriage in Australia is defined in our law as “the union of a man and a woman to the exclusion of all others, voluntarily entered into for life”. This definition aligns with the time-honoured understanding of marriage throughout recorded history. The cultural phenomenon of marriage is present in every society from the earliest recorded history while the concept of “same-sex marriage” is a uniquely post-modern construct. However, marriage is much more than a legal convention or social tradition. Marriage reinforces and disciplines human biology, in the interests of society, and provides a stable, nurturing relationship for both husband and wife and any children which they bear.
To add to this weblog entry, we would like to provide to the reader some food for thought by drawing upon the works of two of America’s eminent experts within the psychological/psychiatric sciences, the late Dr Charles Socarides and Dr Jeffrey B. Satinover:
How America Went Gay
by Charles W. Socarides, M.D.
Charles W. Socarides, M.D., is clinical professor of psychiatry at Albert Einstein College of Medicine/Montefiore Medical Center in New York. He is president of the National Association for Research and Therapy of Homosexuality, and author of Homosexuality: A Freedom Too Far (Adam Margrave Books, Phoenix, Arizona).
For more than 20 years, I and a few of my colleagues in the field of psychoanalysis have felt like an embattled minority, because we have continued to insist, against today’s conventional wisdom, that gays aren’t born that way. We know that obligatory homosexuals are caught up in unconscious adaptations to early childhood abuse and neglect and that, with insight into their earliest beginnings, they can change. This “adaptation” I speak of is a polite term for men going through the motions of mating not with the opposite sex but with one another.
For most of this century, most of us in the helping professions considered this behavior aberrant. Not only was it “off the track”; the people caught up in it were suffering, which is why we called it a pathology. We had patients, early in their therapy, who would seek out one sex partner after another-total strangers-on a single night, then come limping into our offices the next day to tell us how they were hurting themselves. Since we were in the business of helping people learn how not to keep hurting themselves, many of us thought we were quietly doing God’s work.
Now, in the opinion of those who make up the so-called cultural elite, our view is “out of date.” The elite say we hurt people more than we help them, and that we belong in one of the century’s dustbins. They have managed to sell this idea to a great many Americans, thereby making homosexuality fashionable and raising formerly aberrant behavior to the status of an “alternate lifestyle.”
You see this view expressed in some places you would least expect. The Pope says same-sex sex is wrong, but a good many of his own priests in this country (some of whom are gay themselves) say the Pope is wrong. Indeed, in much of academe and in many secondary school classrooms gays are said to lead a new vanguard, the wave of the future in a world that will be more demographically secure when it has fewer “breeders” (which is what some gay activists call heterosexuals these days).
How did this change come about? Well, the revolution did not just happen. It has been orchestrated by a small band of very bright men and women-most of them gays and lesbians-in a cultural campaign that has been going on since a few intellectuals laid down the ideological underpinnings for the entire tie-dyed, try-anything-sexual Woodstock generation. In various ways, Theodore Reich, Alfred Kinsey, Fritz Perls, Norman O. Brown, Herbert Marcuse and Paul Goodman preached a new countercultural gospel: “If it feels good, do it.”
It was all part of a plan, as one gay publication put it, “to make the whole world gay.” I am not making this up. You can read an account of the campaign in Dennis Altman’s The Homosexualization of America. In 1982 Altman, himself gay, reported with an air of elation that more and more Americans were thinking like gays and acting like gays. There were engaged, that is, “in numbers of short-lived sexual adventures either in place of or alongside long-term relationships.” Altman cited the heterosexual equivalents of gay saunas and the emergence of the swinging singles scene as proofs that “promiscuity and ‘impersonal sex’ are determined more by social possibilities than by inherent differences between homosexuals and heterosexuals, or even between men and women.”
Heady stuff. Gays said they could “reinvent human nature, reinvent themselves.” To do this, these reinventors had to clear away one major obstacle. No, they didn’t go after the nation’s clergy. They targeted the members of a worldly priesthood, the psychiatric community, and neutralized them with a radical redefinition of homosexuality itself. In 1972 and 1973 they co-opted the leadership of the American Psychiatric Association and, through a series of political maneuvers, lies and outright flim-flams, they “cured” homosexuality overnight-by fiat. They got the A.P.A. to say that same-sex sex was “not a disorder.” It was merely “a condition”-as neutral as lefthandedness.
This amounted to a full approval of homosexuality. Those of us who did not go along with the political redefinition were soon silenced at our own professional meetings. Our lectures were cancelled inside academe and our research papers turned down in the learned journals. Worse things followed in the culture at large. Television and movie producers began to do stories promoting homosexuality as a legitimate lifestyle. A gay review board told Hollywood how it should deal or not deal with homosexuality. Mainstream publishers turned down books that objected to the gay revolution. Gays and lesbians influenced sex education in our nation’s schools, and gay and lesbian libbers seized wide control of faculty committees in our nations’ colleges. State legislatures nullified laws against sodomy.
If the print media paid any attention at all, they tended to hail the gay revolution, possibly because many of the reporters on gay issues were themselves gay and open advocates for the movement. And those reporters who were not gay seemed too intimidated by groupthink to expose what was going on in their own newsrooms.
And now, what happens to those of us who stand up and object? Gay activists have already anticipated that. They have created a kind of conventional wisdom: that we suffer from homophobia, a disease that has actually been invented by gays projecting their own fear on society. And we are bigots besides, because, they say, we fail to deal with gays compassionately. Gays are now no different than people born black or Hispanic or physically challenged. Since gays are born that way and have no choice about their sexual orientation, anyone who calls same-sex sex an aberration is now a bigot. Un-American, too. Astoundingly now, college freshmen come home for their first Thanksgiving to announce, “Hey, Mom! Hey, Dad! We’ve taken the high moral ground. We’ve joined the gay revolution.”
My wife, Clare, who has an unerring aptitude for getting to the heart of things, said one day recently in passing, “I think everybody’s being brainwashed.” That gave me a start. I know “brainwashing” is a term that has been used and overused. But my wife’s casual observation only reminded me of a brilliant tract I had read several years ago and then forgotten. It was called After the Ball: How America Will Conquer its Fear and Hatred of Gays in the 1990’s, by Marshall Kirk and Hunter Madsen.
That book turned out to be the blueprint gay activists would use in their campaign to normalize the abnormal through a variety of brainwashing techniques once catalogued by Robert Jay Lifton in his seminal work, Thought Reform and the Psychology of Totalism: A Study of Brainwashing in China.
In their book Kirk and Madsen urged that gay activists adopt the very strategies that helped change the political face of the largest nation on earth. The authors knew the techniques had worked in China. All they needed was enough media-and enough money-to put them to work in the United States. And they did. These activists got the media and the money to radicalize America-by processes known as desensitization, jamming and conversion.
They would desensitize the public by selling the notion that gays were “just like everyone else.” This would make the engine of prejudice run out of steam, i.e., lull straights into an attitude of indifference.
They would jam the public by shaming them into a kind of guilt at their own “bigotry.” Kirk and Madsen wrote:
All normal persons feel shame when they perceive that they are not thinking, feeling, or acting like one of the pack….The trick is to get the bigot into the position of feeling a conflicting twinge of shame…when his homohatred surfaces. Thus, propagandistic advertisement can depict homophobic and homohating bigots as crude loudmouths….It can show them being criticized, hated, shunned. It can depict gays experiencing horrific suffering as the direct result of homohatred-suffering of which even most bigots would be ashamed to be the cause.
The best thing about this technique, according to Kirk and Madsen: The bigot did not even have to believe he was a loathsome creature:
Rather, our effect is achieved without reference to facts, logic, or proof. Just as the bigot became such, without any say in the matter, through repeated infralogical emotional conditioning, his bigotry can be alloyed in exactly the same way, whether he is conscious of the attack or not. In short, jamming succeeds insofar as it inserts even a slight frisson of doubt and shame into the previously unalloyed, self-righteous pleasure. The approach can be quite useful and effective-if our message can get the massive exposure upon which all else depends.
Finally-this was the process they called conversion-Kirk and Madsen predicted a mass public change of heart would follow, even among bigots, “if we can actually make them like us.” They wrote, “Conversion aims at just this…conversion of the average American’s emotions, mind, and will, through a planned psychological attack, in the form of propaganda fed to the nation via the media.”
In the movie “Philadelphia” we see the shaming technique and the conversion process working at the highest media level. We saw Tom Hank’s character suffering (because he was gay and had AIDS) at the hands of bigots in his Philadelphia law firm. Not only were we ashamed of the homophobic behavior of the villainous straight lawyers in the firm; we felt nothing but sympathy for the suffering Hanks. (Members of the Motion Picture Academy felt so much sympathy they gave Hanks an Oscar.) Our feelings helped fulfill Kirk and Madsen’s strategy: “to make Americans hold us in warm regard, whether they like it or not.”
Few dared speak out against “Philadelphia” as an example of the kind of propaganda Kirk and Madsen had called for. By then, four years after the publication of the Kirk-Madsen blueprint, the American public had already been programmed. Homosexuality was now simply “an alternate lifestyle.” Best of all, because of the persuaders embedded in thousands of media messages, society’s acceptance of homosexuality seemed one of those spontaneous, historic turnings in time-yes, a kind of conversion. Nobody quite knew how it happened, but the nation had changed. We had become more sophisticated, more loving toward all, even toward those “afflicted” with the malady-excuse me, condition.
By 1992 the President of the United States said it was time that people who were openly gay and lesbian should not be ousted from the nation’s armed forces. In 1993 the nation’s media celebrated a huge outpouring of gay pride in Washington, D.C. Television viewers chanted along with half a million marchers, “Two, four, six, eight! Being gay is really great.” We felt good about ourselves. We were patriotic Americans. We had abolished one more form of discrimination, wiped out one of society’s most enduring afflictions: homophobia. Best of all, we knew now that gay was good, gay was free.
Excuse me. Gay is not good. Gay is not decidedly free. How do I know this? For more than 40 years, I have been in solidarity with hundreds of homosexuals, my patients, and I have spent most of my professional life engaged in exercising a kind of “pastoral care” on their behalf. But I do not help them by telling them they are O.K. when they are not O.K. Nor do I endorse their “new claim to self-definition and self-respect.” Tell me: Have we dumped the idea that a man’s self-esteem comes from something inside himself (sometimes called character) and from having a good education, a good job and a good family-and replaced that notion with this, that he has an affinity to love (and have sex with) other men?
In point of fact, many of my patients had character; they had an education; they were respected ad men and actuaries and actors. But they were still in pain-for one reason and one reason alone. They were caught up in this mysterious compulsion to have sex with other men. They were not free. They were not happy. And they wanted to see if they could change.
Over the years, I found that those of my patients who really wanted to change could do so, by attaining the insight that comes with a good psychoanalysis. Others found other therapies that helped them get to the bottom of their compulsions, all of which involved high motivation and hard work. Difficult as their therapeutic trips were, hundreds and thousands of homosexuals changed their ways. Many of my own formerly homosexual patients-about a third of them-are married today and happily so, with children. One-third may not sound like a very good average. But it is just about the same success rate you will find at the best treatment centers for alcoholics, like Hazelden in Minnesota and the Betty Ford Clinic in California.
Another third of my patients remain homosexual but not part of the gay scene. Now, after therapy, they still have same-sex sex, but they have more control over their impulses because now they understand the roots of their need for same-sex sex. Some of these are even beginning to turn on to the opposite sex. I add this third to my own success rate-so that I can tell people in all honesty that my batting average is .667 out of more than a thousand “at bats.”
Of course, I could bat .997 if I told all my patients in pain that their homosexuality was “a special call” and “a liberation.” That would endear me to everyone, but it would not help them. It would be a lie-despite recent pieces of pseudo-science bolstering the fantasy that gays are “born that way.” The media put its immediate blessing on this “research,” but we were oversold. Now we are getting reports, even in such gay publications as The Journal of Homosexuality, that the gay-gene studies and the gay-brain studies do not stand up to critical analysis. (The author of one so-called “gay-gene theory” is under investigation by the National Institutes of Health for scientific fraud.)
I was not surprised to hear this. My long clinical experience and a sizable body of psychoanalysis research dating all the way back to Freud tell me that most men caught up in same-sex sex are reacting, at an unconscious level, to something amiss with their earliest upbringing- overcontrolling mothers and abdicating fathers. Through long observation I have also learned that the supposedly liberated homosexual is never really free. In his multiple, same-sex adventures, even the most effeminate gay was looking to incorporate the manhood of others, because he was in a compulsive, never-ending search for the masculinity that was never allowed to build and grow in early childhood.
When I tried to explain these dynamics to the writer who helped me put together a kind of popular catechism on homosexuality, I found he had a hard time understanding what this “incorporation” meant. He said, “Your patient would be more manly if he took in the penis of another man? Sounds a little dumb. Would I run faster if I ate the flesh of a deer?”
I told him, “You have to understand that we are talking about feelings that come from deep in the unconscious mind. They are very primitive. In fact, if you have ever read any Indian lore, you may remember that Indians would, in fact, eat the flesh of a deer in order to become faster afoot. To us, that is a very primitive idea. But it had a mythic significance for a young Iroquois brave. And Madison Avenue still makes use of such mythic meanings. The ad people sell us things based on the notion that we will become what we eat or drink or possess.” The point I was making was this: We do not understand same-sex sex until we realize that the dynamics involved are unconscious.
This is one reason why psychoanalysis is the tool that gets us to the heart of everything. Once my patients have achieved an insight into these dynamics-and realized there is no moral fault involved in their longtime and mysterious need-they have moved rather quickly on the road to recovery. Their consequent gratitude to me is overwhelming. And why shouldn’t it be? They were formerly caught up in compulsions they could not understand, compulsions they could not control. Now they are in charge of their own lives.
Their former promiscuity may have looked a lot like “liberation.” But it was not true freedom. It was a kind of slavery. And it was not a lifestyle. With the onset of AIDS, as the playwright and gay militant Larry Kramer said in a 1993 interview, it turned out to be a death style. I have had some patients tell me, “Doctor, if I weren’t in therapy, I’d be dead.”
Testimonials from my recovered patients make me feel my work is worthwhile-despite regular demands from the gay rights community for my silence. What would they have me do? Pack my bags, find a new profession, lock up a lifetime of research and analysis, hide my truth under a bushel? It is not my psychoanalytic duty to tell people they are marvelous when they are out of control, much less ask disingenuous rhetorical questions like, “What kind of God would afflict people with an ‘objective disorder’ in the disposition of their hearts?”
Giving God the credit for their gayness is a persistent refrain in much gay literature today, and I am saddened to see people of evident good will become unwitting parties to the blasphemy. Gays ascribe their condition to God, but he should not have to take that rap, any more than he should be blamed for the existence of other man-made maladies-like war, for instance, which has proven to be very unhealthy for humans and for all other living things. God does not make war. Men do.
And, when homosexuality takes on all the aspects of a political movement, it, too, becomes a war, the kind of war in which the first casualty is truth, and the spoils turn out to be our own children. An exaggeration? Well, what are we to think when militant homosexuals seek to lower the age of consensual sexual intercourse between homosexual men and young boys to the age of 14 (as they did in Hawaii in 1993) or 16 (as they tried to do in England in 1994)? In the Washington March for Gay Pride in 1993, they chanted, “We’re here. We’re queer. And we’re coming after your children.”
What more do we need to know?
[This article first appeared in America (November 18, 1995). Used by permission of the author.]
Dr. Satinover discussed the following claims of homosexual activists, and offered a rebuttal to each of them. The claims he challenged were–
- That homosexuality has been repeatedly demonstrated to be–and is in fact–an innate, genetically-determined condition.
- That homosexuality is an immutable state.
- That the only disadvantages of homosexuality are those caused by social disapproval and discrimination.
- That a society composed of same-sex couples raising children in family-like units will differ in no undesirable ways from a society composed of traditional family units.
Dr. Satinover’s testimony is reprinted below.
Jeffrey Satinover, MD is a Board-Certified Psychiatrist. He holds degrees from MIT (S.B., Humanities and Science), Harvard (Ed.M., Clinical Psychology and Public Practice), the University of Texas (M.D.) and Yale (M.S., Physics.) He completed his residency in Psychiatry at Yale with a year as Fellow of The Yale Child Study Center. He holds a Diploma in Analytical Psychology from the C. G. Jung Institute of Zurich. Dr. Satinover has practiced psychotherapy and/or psychiatry since 1974. He is the author of numerous articles in peer-reviewed journals of psychology and of neuroscience, chapters and books, among them Homosexuality and the Politics of Truth.
The debate over homosexuality is one of the most contentious and divisive in which our society has ever engaged. On the face of it, one might wonder that so intensely personal and private a matter could achieve such public weight, but wonder aside, it has: In this legislation now under consideration by the State of Massachusetts, all the varying points of that debate come into sharp opposition.
As you all know, most keenly, the question before you is not merely one of academic dispute; rather, upon the outcome of your deliberations will depend the foundational social structure, hence direction of the Commonwealth in future, and in significant measure, that of our Nation as well.
It is therefore most urgent that these deliberations be based not only on compassion, and justice, but on the factual truth as well. Indeed, unless resting upon truth, neither justice nor compassion can long endure against shifts in sentiment.
That as a society we strive no longer to condone – rather to condemn –cruelty toward people attracted to members of their own sex is an absolute requirement of both justice and humanity. But we would be short-sighted indeed were we to advance this, as any other, just cause based on fictions: Not only will the inevitable uncovering of those fictions, however delayed, provide an excuse for bigotry to reclaim its unearned place, it will engender beliefs, attitudes and policies that, by flying in the face of reality, will lead to an increase, rather than a decrease in the happiness all are entitled to pursue. Nature (and if you prefer, “Nature’s God”) cannot be fooled.
A number of claims have become central to the argument that the definition and privileged status of marriage ought be expanded to include couples of the same sex. These claims are:
- That homosexuality has been repeatedly demonstrated to be, and is in fact, an innate, genetically-determined condition.
- That homosexuality is an immutable state of an individual.
- That the only disadvantages of homosexuality are those caused by social disapproval and discrimination.
- That a society composed of same-sex couples raising children in family-like units will differ from a society composed of traditional family units in no undesirable ways.
None of these claims are even remotely true, however widely believed they may have become; the evidence of the kind that “everyone knows” simply does not exist; even a cursory examination of the actual sources behind these claims will reveal a very strong preponderance of evidence to precisely the contrary; the claims are simply fiction. I have below assembled a selection of statements from prominent researchers. A far wider and more comprehensive bibliography of scientific references is provided as an attachment. Most of the statements below have been selected according to three basic principles:
(1) They are the general conclusions of prominent scientists whose research is well-respected.
(2) The scientists cited have specifically identified themselves as “gay” or “lesbian” and/or as more generally sympathetic to “gay activist” political positions.
(3) Their research is precisely that widely cited and believed as providing evidence directly contrary to what they themselves found and acknowledge. (It is to the credit of a number of them that they have publicly acknowledged that their own evidence contradicts what they had believed and had hoped to confirm.)
CLAIMS vs. THE EVIDENCE
Claim 1. That homosexuality has been repeatedly demonstrated to be, and is in fact, an innate, genetically-determined condition.
- Dean Hamer of the National Institutes of Health performed and published the research most widely cited as pointing to a “gay gene.” Dr. Hamer testified in the Colorado Proposition 2 court case that he was “99.5% certain that homosexuality is genetic.” He later came to the following conclusions:
“The pedigree failed to produce what we originally hoped to find: simple Mendelian inheritance. In fact, we never found a single family in which homosexuality was distributed in the obvious pattern that Mendel observed…”
- Hamer’s study was duplicated by Rice et al with research that was more robust. In this replication the genetic markers found by Hamer turned out to be of no statistical significance:
“It is unclear why our results are so discrepant from Hamer’s original study. Because our study was larger than that of Hamer’s et al, we certainly had adequate power to detect a genetic effect as large as reported in that study. Nonetheless, our data do not support the presence of a gene of large effect influencing sexual orientation…”
- Simon LeVay, a neuroanatomist at The Salk Institute in San Diego, founded the Institute for Gay and Lesbian Education in San Francisco after researching and publishing the study of hypothalamic structures in men most widely-cited as confirming innate brain differences between homosexuals and heterosexuals, as he himself initially argued. He later acknowledged:
“It’s important to stress what I didn’t find. I did not prove that homosexuality is genetic, or find a genetic cause for being gay. I didn’t show that gay men are born that way, the most common mistake people make in interpreting my work. Nor did I locate a gay center in the brain.”
“Since I looked at adult brains, we don’t know if the differences I found were there at birth, or if they appeared later.”
Also pertinent to the present debate is his observation that:
“…people who think that gays and lesbians are born that way are also more likely to support gay rights.”
- Dr. Mark Breedlove at the University of California at Berkeley, referring to his own research: “[My] findings give us proof for what we theoretically know to be the case – that sexual experience can alter the structure of the brain, just as genes can alter it. [I]t is possible that differences in sexual behavior cause (rather than are caused) by differences in the brain.”
- Prominent research teams Byne & Parsons, and Friedman & Downey, both concluded that there was no evidence to support a biologic theory, but rather that homosexuality could be best explained by an alternative model where “temperamental and personality traits interact with the familial and social milieu as the individual’s sexuality emerges.”
- Richard Pillard, is the coauthor of the two major twin studies on homosexuality most often cited as providing family evidence for homosexuality being inherited. He noted to an interviewer that he, his brother, and his sister are all homosexual and that one of his daughters from a now-failed marriage is bisexual. He speculated that his father was also homosexual. The interviewer, Chandler Burr, comments re Pillard: “Many of the scientists who have been studying homosexuality are gay, as am I.” The interview is part of a book Burr wrote that purports to demonstrate that virtually all reputable scientists consider homosexuality genetic.
This is certainly what Pillard both wanted and expected to confirm by his research: “These studies were designed to detect heritable variation, and if it was present, to counter the prevalent belief that sexual orientation is largely the product of family interactions and the social environment”
But that is not what he found. Rather, he concluded:
“Although male and female homosexuality appear to be at least somewhat heritable, environment must also be of considerable importance in their origins.”
Claim 2. That homosexuality is an immutable state of an individual.
The 1973 decision to delete homosexuality from the diagnostic manual of the American Psychiatric Association has had a chilling effect on scientific objectivity with respect to homosexuality and on both public and professional attitudes concerning its permanence as an individual characteristic. The decision tended to confirm the sentiment that, since homosexuality has been voted out as a formal “disorder,” it need not, cannot and should not be “treated”, regardless of the principle that in a free society individuals should be free to pursue happiness each according to his own lights, consonant with the well-being of others.
But the American Psychiatric Association, like most other professional-practitioner associations, is not a scientific organization. It is a professional guild and as such, amenable to political influence in ways that science per se must not allow itself to be. Thus, the decision to de-list homosexuality was not made based on scientific evidence as is widely claimed. As Simon LeVay (cited above) acknowledges, “Gay activism was clearly the force that propelled the American Psychiatric Association to declassify homosexuality.”
But of far greater import is the fact that whether it is deemed a “disorder” or not, it is undesirable to many, and susceptible to change. The evidence for this fact should not be obscured by the false assumption that homosexuality is either innate and unchangeable, or a “lifestyle choice” and changeable at will. It is neither: It is most often a deeply- embedded condition that develops over many years, beginning long before the development of moral and self-awareness, and is genuinely experienced by the individual as though it was never absent in one form or another. It is, in other words, similar to most human characteristics, and shares with them the typical possibilities for, and difficulties in, achieving sustained change.
- A review of the research over many years demonstrates a consistent 30- 52% success rate in the treatment of unwanted homosexual attraction. Masters and Johnson reported a 65% success rate after a five-year follow-up. Other professionals report success rates ranging from 30% to 70%.
- Dr. Lisa Diamond, a professor at the University of Utah, concludes that, “Sexual identity is far from fixed in women who aren’t exclusively heterosexual.”
- Dr. Robert Spitzer, the prominent psychiatrist and researcher at Columbia University has been the chief architect of the American Psychiatric Association’s diagnostic manual and he was the chief decision-maker in the 1973 removal of homosexuality from the diagnostic manual. He considers himself a gay-affirmative psychiatrist, and a long time supporter of gay rights. He has long been convinced that homosexuality is neither a disorder nor changeable. Because of the increasingly heated debate over the latter point within the professional community, Spitzer decided to conduct his own study of the matter. He concluded:
“I’m convinced from the people I have interviewed, that for many of them, they have made substantial changes toward becoming heterosexual…I think that’s news…I came to this study skeptical. I now claim that these changes can be sustained.”
When he presented his results to the Gay and Lesbian committees of the APA, anticipating a scientific debate, he was shocked to be met with intense pressure to withhold his findings for political reasons. Dr. Spitzer has subsequently received considerable “hate mail” and complaints from his colleagues because of his research. Douglas C. Haldeman, Ph.D., an independent practitioner in Seattle, WA, is a prominent gay-affirmative theorist. He comments, “From the perspective of gay theorists and activists. . . the question of conversion therapy’s efficacy, or lack thereof, is irrelevant. It has been seen as a social phenomenon, one that is driven by anti-gay prejudice in society…”
- Regarding change and the right to treatment, lesbian activist Camille Paglia states the following, in terms considerably sharper than most of us feel comfortable with:
“Is the gay identity so fragile that it cannot bear the thought that some people may not wish to be gay? Sexuality is highly fluid, and reversals are theoretically possible. However, habit is refractory, once the sensory pathways have been blazed and deepened by repetition – a phenomenon obvious in the struggle with obesity, smoking, alcoholism or drug addiction…helping gays to learn how to function heterosexually, if they wish, is a perfectly worthy aim.”
Furthermore, just as locking onto a “choice versus genetic” dichotomy obscures reality, so, too, does locking onto “unchangeable versus therapeutic change.” For it is also the case, well-documented but unobserved and unremarked upon, that the majority of “homosexuals” become “heterosexual” spontaneously, without therapy.
By way of introduction to the scientific evidence for this, it’s worth citing Paglia again:
- “We should be honest enough to consider whether homosexuality may not indeed be a pausing at the prepubescent stage where children anxiously band together by gender…”
The scientific evidence is as follows:
The most comprehensive, most recent and most accurate study of sexuality, the National Health and Social Life Survey (NHSLS), was completed in 1994 by a large research team from the University of Chicago and funded by almost every large government agency and NGO with an interest in the AIDS epidemic. They studied every aspect of sexuality, but among their findings is the following, which I’m going to quote for you directly:
- “7.1 [to as much as 9.1] percent of the men [we studied, more than 1,500] had at least one same-gender partner since puberty. … [But] almost 4 percent of the men [we studied] had sex with another male before turning eighteen but not after. These men. . . constitute 42 percent of the total number of men who report ever having a same gender experience.”
Let me put this in context: Roughly ten out of every 100 men have had sex with another man at some time – the origin of the 10% gay myth. Most of these will have identified themselves as gay before turning eighteen and will have acted on it. But by age 18, a full half of them no longer identify themselves as gay and will never again have a male sexual partner. And this is not a population of people selected because they went into therapy; it’s just the general population. Furthermore, by age twenty-five, the percentage of gay identified men drops to 2.8%. This means that without any intervention whatsoever, three out of four boys who think they’re gay at age l6 aren’t by 25.
Claim 3. The only disadvantages of homosexuality are those caused by social disapproval and discrimination.
To mistakenly support three out of four gay identified men in their identification with homosexuality is not a benign mistake. Bailey (of the twin study) recently examined the question as to whether homosexuality is associated with a higher level of psychopathology. He concluded:
- “Homosexuality represents a deviation from normal development and is associated with other such deviations that may lead to mental illness.. [ or, another possibility]… that increased psychopathology among homosexual people is a consequence of lifestyle differences associated with sexual orientation.”
He specifically cited “behavioral risk factors associated with male homosexuality such as receptive anal sex and promiscuity.” He noted that it would be a shame if “sociopolitical concerns prevented researchers from conscientious consideration of any reasonable hypothesis.”
The specific concern in supporting young men in a gay identification is that innumerable studies from major centers around the US and elsewhere note that a twenty-year-old man who identified himself as gay carries 30% (or greater) risk of being HIV positive or dead of AIDS by age 30. A recent Canadian study published concluded that in urban centers gay male identification is associated with a life expectancy comparable to that in Canada in the 1870’s.
Claim 4. A society composed of same-sex couples raising children in family-like units will differ from a society composed of traditional family units in no undesirable ways.
There has recently been an attempt to demonstrate that raising children in a same-sex household has no ill effect. These studies are few in number, none have ever looked at those areas where difficulties would be expected and one of the most repeatedly cited researchers was excoriated by the court for her testimony when she refused to turn over her research notes to the court even at the urging of the ACLU attorneys for whom she was testifying.
What is known, from decades of research on family structure, studying literally thousands of children, is that every departure from the traditional, stable, mother-father family has severe detrimental effects upon children; and these effects persist not only into adulthood but into the next generation as well.
In short, the central problem with mother-mother or father-father families is that they deliberately institute, and intend to keep in place indefinitely, a family structure known to be deficient in being obligatorily and permanently either fatherless or motherless.