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The Discussion - Part 3B

Here, the other two science-related questions on homosexuality:

Is homosexual behavior unhealthy?
Can homosexuality be cured?

Is homosexual behavior unhealthy?

Again, those who think this is a condition that needs fixing cite numerous “experts” who say that gay people have shorter life spans because of AIDS and other sexually transmitted diseases, increased mental illness, more suicides, etc. It is an “unhealthy lifestyle.” Studies used to back these ideas up are flawed, based on manipulated or insufficient data gathered by discredited scientists, such as Paul Cameron.

My friend, “K,” whom I’ve mentioned in my NYC blogs, is an infectious disease physician. His AIDS patients are roughly 50% black and Latino women these days. That still makes a disproportionate number of patients who are gay men, but the rest of us are not immune. Homosexuality does not cause AIDS, and it isn’t “God’s punishment for their behavior.” Unprotected sex with an infected person, sharing a needle with an infected person, or a blood transfusion from an infected person causes AIDS.

Increased mental illness and suicide – yes this is true, in large part because our government, religion, and society tell us that gay people are not as good – that they can’t get married, that they can be fired for no reason, other than they are gay, that it’s OK to bully and harass people who are gay. This contributes to increased mental stress and self-hatred among the gay community.

It isn’t “homosexual behavior” that is unhealthy. Certain kinds of sexual behavior, among both gays and straights, are unhealthy. The levels of promiscuity and reckless sexual behavior among gays are certainly decreasing as society becomes more accepting. Gays want healthy, loving relationships, and marriage, but have been forbidden to have them by law and by the Church.

Can homosexuality be cured?

Maybe the real question is, why should it be “cured?”

The American Medical Association “opposes the use of ‘reparative’ or ‘conversion’ therapy that is based upon the assumption that homosexuality per se is a mental disorder or based upon the priori assumption that the patient should change his/her homosexual orientation.”

The American Academy of Pediatrics says, “The most important fact about these ‘therapies’ is that they are based on a view of homosexuality that has been rejected by all major mental health professions.

“Such efforts have serious potential to harm young people because they present the view that the sexual orientation of lesbian, gay and bisexual youth is a mental illness or disorder, and they often frame the inability to change one’s sexual orientation as a personal and moral failure.

“Homosexuality is not a mental disorder and thus is not something that needs to or can be ‘cured.’”

The American Psychological Association says, “At most, certain studies suggested that some individuals learned how to ignore or not act on their homosexual attractions. Yet, these studies did not indicate for whom this was possible, how long it lasted, or its long-term mental health effects. Also, this result was much less likely to be true for people who started out only attracted to people of the same sex [as opposed to those who were bisexual].”

More from the American Psychological Association

I’m not aware of any organization that claims to cure homosexuality that is not faith-based. As I stated in part 2, I do not believe in a form of Christianity that is not rooted in and compatible with science. Why do so many Christians feel they must go against science and yes, nature, to tell people that God can fix them? That all they have to do is “pray away the gay.” Who is it that really needs fixing?

Here are three videos from one of the founders of "Exodus International," a faith-based "reparative therapy" organization. He left the "Ex-gay" movement three years after starting it. It shows the brainwashing and the harm that occurs in this kind of "therapy."

My friend spoke up and said that he used to be very homophobic. He did things and said things to hurt gay people. He was ignorant and fearful of what he didn’t understand. Then he got to know someone very well who was gay, and he says he’d rather hang out with a bunch of gay people than a bunch of anti-gay people now.

Can homophobia be cured?

Yes, but only if someone is willing to continue to learn and listen and ask questions.


Galadriel sketch

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