American Psychiatric Association representatives issue statement against Uganda's Anti-Homosexuality Bill

Earlier this evening, the American Psychiatric Association’s legislative body formally condemned the Anti-Homosexuality Bill in Uganda. Their action will now go to the APA Board of Trustees where it is expected to become official APA policy.

Although the bill appears to be finished for this Parliament, it may be back during the next one. The APA reps wanted to make clear to mental health professionals in Uganda that the proposed bill was counter to professional guidance. Here is the action paper:

Action Paper  

Title: Ugandan Anti-homosexuality Bill

Whereas:  The Hon. David Bahati, a member of the Ugandan Parliament, has introduced an Anti-Homosexuality Bill in the Ugandan Parliament calling for:

  1. Seven years of imprisonment for anyone who attempts to engage in homosexual contact
  2. Life imprisonment for anyone who engages in sexual penetration of a member of the same gender;
  3. Death for “aggravated homosexuality” which includes repeated offenses of homosexuality or engaging in a homosexual act while HIV-positive.
  4. Imprisonment of up to three years for failing to report violations of the statute within 24 hours of awareness of the offense

Whereas:  The bill is based on a misguided attempt to “protect” the traditional heterosexual family from corruption and to prevent the corruption of traditional Ugandan concepts of morality by Western influences;

Whereas: the bill is predicated on the assertion that “same-sex attraction is not an innate and immutable characteristic” and that Ugandans can be seduced into homosexuality if Western thought takes hold;

Whereas:  the Ugandan National Association of Social Workers has issued a position paper supporting the concept that homosexuality is pathological drawing from religious concepts and from “scientific” studies of 50 years ago that have long since been discredited by the scientific community;

Whereas:  the death penalty is mandated for HIV positive gay people who engage in same sex contact but a similar penalty is not mandated for HIV positive heterosexual people who engage in sexual relations despite the fact that, in Africa, the primary mode of HIV transmission is through heterosexual sexual contact;

Whereas:  the Ugandan tabloid, the Rolling Stone, called for gays to be lynched and published a list of people alleged to be gay;

Whereas:  at least one gay activist in Uganda has been murdered after being listed in the Rolling Stone — which Ugandan police have attributed to a robbery;

Be It Resolved: That the American Psychiatric Association reaffirms its position that there is no credible scientific evidence that same sex attraction is pathological, chosen, needs “cure,” or entails threat to heterosexual families or to children;

That the American Psychiatric Association condemns societal scapegoating and stigmatization of gay, lesbian, and bisexual people anywhere in the world;

That the American Psychiatric Association condemns criminalization of homosexual behavior and calls upon the Ugandan legislature to reject the Anti-Homosexuality Bill.

Refer to:  Council on Minority Mental Health and Health Disparities

Author or Authors:

David L. Scasta, M.D., DFAPA, AAOL for the Association of Gay and Lesbian Psychiatrists

I helped work on this paper and believe that, once official policy, the APA will use this statement to reach out to Uganda’s mental health and medical communities in the coming months.

  • Bernie

    I find the resolution by the APA to be most poignant. Has this been disseminated to all the hate groups/deluded groups as well, eg;

    Brian Fisher, and the AFA,

    Tony Perkins, Peter Sprigg, FRC

    Focus on the Family,

    Peter LaBarbera, AFT,

    Maggie Gallagher, Brian Brown, NOM.

    And of course, everyone’s favorite, Scott Lively?

    It would be most interesting to hear how they prevaricate this one. I would especially be anxious to hear Tony Perkins spout once more,”Well, the ‘Social Sciences’ have said otherwise…”. And, of course, Mr Perkins will never have a shred of proof to show the world that he is correct. He sounds more and more like Michele Bachman….just getting his sound bite out there, accruing another minute of fame, with no credible evidence. Ah, such good Christians, that they should be exempt from the 9th commandment.

  • Julie

    This is a bit unbelievable that APA thnks it can influence politics in another country!!?? Are we a porfessional organization, or a political activist group? Let us stick to promoting our profession and the professionals we represent!

    And sorry Bernie, but there is “credible evidence” out there for those who are open enough to see it!

  • anteros

    Julie, the credible doctor pastor chairperson of the national task force against homosexuality has been trying to teach Ugandans that all homosexuals consume excrement and that homosexuality is therefore a sickness (worth criminalizing as prescribed in the anti-homosexuality bill). knowledge is power, no matter where that knowledge comes from…

  • Bernie

    @Julie, Please provide me a link to said “credible evidence”. And, please for God’s sake, don’t refer me to some wingnut org like ACpeds.

  • ken

    Julie# ~ May 15, 2011 at 2:59 pm

    “This is a bit unbelievable that APA thnks it can influence politics in another country!!??”

    Probably not alone, but as part of a body of international voices condemning such legislation, hopefully they will.

    “Are we a porfessional organization, or a political activist group?”

    the APA is a professional organization. However, it does issue policy statements regarding psychological/psychiatric issues.

    “And sorry Bernie, but there is “credible evidence” out there for those who are open enough to see it!”

    credible evidence of what? that homosexuality is pathological? chosen? something else?

  • Bernie

    @Ken,

    Julie has no such evidence.

    The key words were,”for those who are open enough to see!”

  • http://www.boxturtlebulletin.com Timothy Kincaid

    “This is a bit unbelievable that APA thnks it can influence politics in another country!!??”

    The APA thinks it can influence positions on mental health in other countries. And as the US is where a significant portion of mental heath study is conducted, that is a reasonable assumption.

    Ugandan mental health professionals will, we hope, provide information to their elected representatives, and the APA’s role is to ensure that it is accurate.

  • Eddy

    Whereas: the Ugandan National Association of Social Workers has issued a position paper supporting the concept that homosexuality is pathological drawing from religious concepts and from “scientific” studies of 50 years ago that have long since been discredited by the scientific community

    I could only find one position paper by the UNASW and the only religious concept I noted was the concept of “body, mind and spirit”. Any allusions to 50 year old studies was a reference to the debunking of the Kinsey studies. Can someone clarify?

  • Eddy

    Did they issue a position paper “supporting the concept that homosexuality is pathological drawing from religious concepts and from “scientific” studies of 50 years ago”? Inquiring minds want to know.

  • David Blakeslee

    Thanks Eddy, good questions on the details.

    I do think there is a place for these kinds of policy statements…but I think their power is weakened by not emphasizing social science research on demonizing and marginalizing vulnerable groups generally.

    By focusing only on ‘homosexuality’ it feeds the polarity.

    Add in all the ways a culture seeks to marginalize the weak and vulnerable by race, religion, gender and the Polarity is annihilated and consensus begins.

    What is happening in Uganda exposes a terrible flaw in human culture generally (which the statement notes: Scapegoating).

    Same Sex Attraction is not innate, or immutable…but it is a very strong human characteristic that is difficult to change; behavioral control is more likely to change, in attractions is rarer, especially for men. Some have reported harm when trying to change (one study, very flawed). Some have reported great benefit (better study, still flawed).

    Warren,

    I think a similar letter could come from the American Psychological Association and the most powerful would come from folks associated with Sociology. Good work.

  • Richard Willmer

    @ David

    I agree with most of what you say here. In the UK, sexual orientation is defined as a ‘protected characteristic’ under the Equality Act 2010, the implication being that, in this country (I am British), the general consensus is that sexual orientation is the result of some kind of ‘innate predisposition’. The same line re. ‘protected characteristics’ is set out in the laws of all our EU partners, hence the stipulations regarding the age of consent and anti hate-crime laws in the European Union Treaty. I doubt that British, and European, lawmakers would have taken the line they have unless the advice they had received was ‘compelling’. I admit that, as a non-expert in the field human psychology, I cannot cite scientific studies to back my contention.

    Your point about broadening the scope of the APA statement is well made. However, anti-gay ideologues would probably say something along the lines of “well, we agree with you when it comes to ‘marginalized groups’ except with regard to LGBT persons.”

  • Richard Willmer

    Apologies. I should have said “pursuant to the stipulations regarding the age of consent and anti hate-crime laws …”

  • Teresa

    @All, Trigger Warning on the following comment for those who view homosexuality as natural, and not in need of being altered, behavior or otherwise. I would like to pursue this topic without being demeaning or threatening to you in any way, shape or manner. You all know where I’m coming from, so I’d like to pursue this with a fellow blogger to gain more insight and help, from my perspective.

    Same Sex Attraction is not innate, or immutable…but it is a very strong human characteristic that is difficult to change; behavioral control is more likely to change, in attractions is rarer, especially for men. Some have reported harm when trying to change (one study, very flawed). Some have reported great benefit (better study, still flawed).

    David, I’m very interested in pursuing your statement above; but, I’m not sure this is the Post to do this. However, I’ll ask my few questions, and if Warren thinks this shouldn’t be pursued here, I’ll be happy to pursue this on some other Post, if possible.

    David, by “innate”, do you mean only a genetic origin? If not, do you think homosexuality is a complex condition that involves both “nature and nurture” … genetic or intrauterine development along with early nurture deprivations or sexual abuse? Given that temperament and personality are very genetic driven; and sexuality certainly resides in both, the “perfect storm”, so-to-speak, is a setup for homosexuality when nurture catastrophes occur. Would you agree with this assessment? Can I assume, David, your take on homosexuality is that “there are no homosexual persons, only heterosexual persons with a homosexual problem” … is that taking your position to far?

    How would homosexuality be accounted for in those persons who seemingly have no nurture developmental deprivations or abuse … where there is no “perfect storm”?

    but it is a very strong human characteristic that is difficult to change

    My thinking on this, is that “difficult to change”, translates to, almost, “immutable” for many of this. It’s not going away, no matter how hard we try. At least, that’s been my experience. What are your thoughts on this, David?

    behavioral control is more likely to change, in attractions is rarer, especially for men

    Agreed. The difficulty comes into play when behavior control damages others. An example, attempting str8 spouse marriage as a means of ‘change’ for oneself, or a cover for oneself as a means of ‘faking’ it.

    Some have reported harm when trying to change

    I, personally, know some who have been harmed by this pursuit.

    Some have reported great benefit

    Again, I, personally, know some who have benefitted.

    So, in my little shoebox world, anecdotal personal study … the “more harm than benefit” is ahead by a small number. Neither here nor there, actually.

    Last question, from your perspective. Knowing what you know now, David, how would you proceed if you woke up tomorrow and found yourself same-sex attracted … with the added fact that you were financially unable to pursue therapy by qualified, licensed Counselors?

  • Richard Willmer

    @ David

    Actually, I mist admit that people who are homophobic are, in the experience of many, usually racist and/or sexist and/or … Bryan Fischer appears to be a case in point. The problem is that such people are rarely able to engage in genuine dialogue (they seem just not the ‘dialoguing type’), so, while in principle, your point about the APA letter was a ‘point well made’, in practice, I’m not that ‘broadening the scope’ of the letter would make much difference.

    I’m afraid this is a vigorous ‘battle/war of ideas’; I don’t see friendly ’round table’ discussions between those of us who are concerned about demonised/marginalised groups and those who favour demonisation of some kind any time soon.

  • David Blakeslee

    Theresa:

    If not, do you think homosexuality is a complex condition that involves both “nature and nurture” … genetic or intrauterine development along with early nurture deprivations or sexual abuse?

    Yes.

    Given that temperament and personality are very genetic driven; and sexuality certainly resides in both, the “perfect storm”, so-to-speak, is a setup for homosexuality when nurture catastrophes occur. Would you agree with this assessment?

    No…although nurture catastrophes intensify and complicate sexual attractions and behaviors for both homosexuals and heterosexuals.

    your take on homosexuality is that “there are no homosexual persons, only heterosexual persons with a homosexual problem” … is that taking your position to far

    No…there are persons with same sex attractions and persons with opposite sex attractions. In the overwhelming majority of cases, operating based upon opposites sex attractions has many positive social and personal implications; it is also consistent with biological design.

    Can I assume, David, your take on homosexuality is that “there are no homosexual persons, only heterosexual persons with a homosexual problem” … is that taking your position to far?

    No.

    How would homosexuality be accounted for in those persons who seemingly have no nurture developmental deprivations or abuse … where there is no “perfect storm”?

    It may be an idiosyncratic, but normal, manifestation of being human.

  • David Blakeslee

    @ Richard,

    Our audience is not Bryan Fischer…hence the larger set of professional associations commenting.

    If we all realize that everyone has been the victim of some trauma by the majority (A Trail of Tears), the polarization with stop and basic agreements will be codified.

    Bryan Fischer needs this to be about homosexuality for it to continue to suit his purposes as a polarizer.

    …it isn’t about homosexuality, it is about brutality.

  • Richard Willmer

    @ Davod

    Unsderstood. I completely agree with you last sentence; it’s also about jurisprudence.

  • Richard Willmer

    That was @ David, not ‘Davod’. Apologies.

    I shouldn’t try doing two things at once!

  • David Blakeslee

    Theresa,

    David, how would you proceed if you woke up tomorrow and found yourself same-sex attracted … with the added fact that you were financially unable to pursue therapy by qualified, licensed Counselors?

    It would seem like a formidable challenge. I think I would talk with trusted friends or family; I would look on the internet. I would be an anonymous blogger and ask questions. I would read books that were recommended to me.

    I might experiment. It would take time to sort it all out and decide what I thought my best course of action would be.

    In all of that would be the challenge of understanding the SSA in the context of my religious faith; and the knowledge that I am not unique in time or place, and that Christians who came before me had similar sensations and challenges that they had to integrate into their Christianity.

    I might lose my faith, or deny acting out on my impulses. Or I might reinterpret my faith and live out my attractions.

  • Richard Willmer

    The APA might also wish to comment on what is being shown in the photograph accompanying this article. How would we feel if American or British kids were used to ‘campaign’ on such matters? (I’d be ‘hopping mad’!)

    http://sxnews.gaynewsnetwork.com.au/news/uganda-anti-gay-bill-still-on-cards-008877.html

  • Eddy

    I could only find one position paper by the UNASW and the only religious concept I noted was the concept of “body, mind and spirit”. Any allusions to 50 year old studies was a reference to the debunking of the Kinsey studies.

    And yet the APA statement says:

    Whereas: the Ugandan National Association of Social Workers has issued a position paper supporting the concept that homosexuality is pathological drawing from religious concepts and from “scientific” studies of 50 years ago that have long since been discredited by the scientific community;

    Knowing what we know about the fact that our friends in Uganda DO read and are internet savvy…wouldn’t it be wise for a statement such as the one of this topic to speak clearly and to not make leaps of logic. IF I did read the only official statement that UNASW released, ‘drawing from’ is quite an overstatement Their references to studies of 50 years ago were a debunking NOT a ‘drawing from’. This could make it seem to Ugandans that the APA is merely swallowing what they’ve been fed and aren’t actually doing the homework before releasing their conclusions. This fits in with their characterization of us meddling folks of the Western culture and, to me, seems counter-productive.

  • Teresa

    I might lose my faith, or deny acting out on my impulses. Or I might reinterpret my faith and live out my attractions.

    Thank you, David, for your candid honesty. It is a bit of a pickle, isn’t it?

  • Richard Willmer

    Interesting article from today’s Daily Monitor (the main ‘non-censored’ UG daily): http://www.monitor.co.ug/LifeStyle/Relationships/-/691230/1165790/-/dqgdfm/-/index.html

  • Maazi NCO

    Interesting article from today’s Daily Monitor (the main ‘non-censored’ UG daily): http://www.monitor.co.ug/LifeStyle/Relationships/-/691230/1165790/-/dqgdfm/-/index.html

    These stories planted by agents of the gay movement will not sway most people in Uganda. Yes, we are aware that foreign gay lobby groups encourage their agents post sympathetic stories in newspapers. Please allow me to use this forum to tell you that such stories are meaningless and will not change anybody’s mind here in Uganda

  • Richard Willmer

    ‘Maazi’

    You are paranoid, my dear! (And did I say anything about ‘changing minds’ – I simply the article for information.)

    Anyway, I’m still interested to hear your ‘take’ on Clause 13 of the Bahati Bill. You’ve not responded to my question up till now.

  • Maazi NCO

    You are paranoid, my dear! (And did I say anything about ‘changing minds’ – I simply the article for information.)

    LIke I said on the other thread, I am not paranoid. I am level-headed. Nothing will sway the Ugandan people into surrendering their society to deviants who want to transform it into a pan-sexual paradise where gay sex practitioners dressed in weird costumes prance about on the streets in the name of Gay Pride Marches. We are not interested in printing birth certificates, passports and other official documents with extra spaces for someone to self-identify as she-male (i.e. male-to-female transsexual) or he-female (i.e. female-to-male transsexual)

  • Richard Willmer

    ‘Maazi’

    Indeed, my dear: you do tend to say the same thing over and over and over again.

    I have no interest in turning anywhere into a ‘pan-sexual paradise’; I’m more concerned about ‘the Pearl’ not becoming ‘the Bloodbath’. I have many Ugandan friends, you see.

  • David Blakeslee

    Eddy,

    Their references to studies of 50 years ago were a debunking NOT a ‘drawing from’. This could make it seem to Ugandans that the APA is merely swallowing what they’ve been fed and aren’t actually doing the homework before releasing their conclusions.

    This is somewhat problematic, I agree. Especially, as many gay and lesbian affirmative therapists refer to the Hooker (1957) study which asserts non-pathology associated with being gay. Hooker’s conclusion is reasonable, but basing it on the Rorschach is dubious…yet it is cited as authoritative to this day.

    It is even cited as such in the recent APA guidelines for SIT.

    More powerful would be to debunk the clearly wrong and inflammatory and hateful comments associated with this legislation.

    I love the part, though, about heterosexual risks of HIV.

  • David Blakeslee

    Theresa,

    Religious practice creates infinite pickles, sexual orientation is just one of them; wouldn’t you agree?

  • ken

    David Blakeslee# ~ May 20, 2011 at 8:24 pm

    “Especially, as many gay and lesbian affirmative therapists refer to the Hooker (1957) study which asserts non-pathology associated with being gay. Hooker’s conclusion is reasonable, but basing it on the Rorschach is dubious…yet it is cited as authoritative to this day.”

    Hooker’s research was significant not because it was conclusive, but because it was the 1st in a body of work to recognize gays were not mentally ill just because they were gay. Also, Hooker used several standard psych. tests that were in common use at the time, not just Rorschach.

  • Teresa

    Religious practice creates infinite pickles, sexual orientation is just one of them; wouldn’t you agree?

    Yes, I would agree, David. Although, I’d say for me, sexual orientation is quite important. I know this may seem narcissistic; but, being a “minority within a minority within another minority”, doesn’t often leave me with a warm, fuzzy feeling for my co-religionists, whatever pickle their in. :)

  • Eddy

    Yeah, I would have gone to discussion of the other parts of the statement next if I’d gotten any forthright responses to my first observation. Blessed irony, though, is that I think I did get an answer to my question.

  • Ann

    Although, I’d say for me, sexual orientation is quite important. I know this may seem narcissistic; but, being a “minority within a minority within another minority”, doesn’t often leave me with a warm, fuzzy feeling for my co-religionists, whatever pickle their in.

    Teresa,

    Why is sexual orientation (still not sure what that means to any given person) quite important to you? I certainly understand being a minority within a minority within a minority, however, I do not understand placing such an importance on it. What is it about your co-religionists that doesn’t leave you with the warm fuzzies? Their attitude toward homosexuality or you? The first I can understand (in a way), the second, I cannot.

  • Teresa

    Why is sexual orientation (still not sure what that means to any given person) quite important to you? I certainly understand being a minority within a minority within a minority, however, I do not understand placing such an importance on it. What is it about your co-religionists that doesn’t leave you with the warm fuzzies? Their attitude toward homosexuality or you? The first I can understand (in a way), the second, I cannot.

    Hi Ann,

    I suspect my being homosexual takes on importance for me, Ann, only in so far as I may feel “less than”, not “good enough”, being “out not in”, “on guard” in relation to others. I own this as my own problem, not others, which I’m working on. However, often my perception of being “out not in” is correct; and, is not a skewed perception. There are those of my co-religionists, and not few in number, who definitely feel … they’re good, I’m bad … they’re right, I’m wrong … they’re in, I’m out.

    So, it becomes important to me, Ann, when I feel I’m attacked in some way because I’m gay. I’m not left with the warm fuzzies when my co-religionists have a judgmental attitude toward homosexuality, which happens to include me.

  • Richard Willmer

    The notion that a person somehow ‘inferior’ simply because he/she is gay is, in my not-so-humble opinion, … well, silly. Fortunately, there are many parts of the Church that do not fall prey to this nonsense.

  • Ann

    I suspect my being homosexual takes on importance for me, Ann, only in so far as I may feel “less than”, not “good enough”, being “out not in”, “on guard” in relation to others. I own this as my own problem, not others, which I’m working on.

    Teresa,

    I do understand the feelings you are referring to. The part that I initially did not understand was the importance that was/is attached to it. David Blakeslee, who I respect very much, once wrote here something to this effect – “the unfortunate truth about the human condition is that feelings don’t have an I.Q.” I am learning about and working on my feelings as well Teresa – you certainly are not alone. I am starting to recognize how precious time is and how feelings (which are just that – feelings) can monopolize that time.

    However, often my perception of being “out not in” is correct; and, is not a skewed perception. There are those of my co-religionists, and not few in number, who definitely feel … they’re good, I’m bad … they’re right, I’m wrong … they’re in, I’m out.

    I know you are right about this and it so sad that some people have this flaw in their character that judges others by a pre-conceived notion. Martin Luther King Jr. said something about this in a famous speech.

    So, it becomes important to me, Ann, when I feel I’m attacked in some way because I’m gay. I’m not left with the warm fuzzies when my co-religionists have a judgmental attitude toward homosexuality, which happens to include me.

    This is definately understandable – I wouldn’t either. Are these people you know personally or just people who have the same religious beliefs you do? It seems to me like you could mentor them to be better people if they knew you personally. My experience and understanding is that religious organizations consider homosexuality the act of engaging in same gender sex and that homosexual describes an individual. I believe in the sanctity of life and never understood how the church can defend that stance and yet scorn an unmarried mother – often shun her or treat her as an outcast until she gets married. They do not do that with men, do they?

  • Richard Willmer

    @ Ann

    I think you’ve hit on a very important point here about ‘terminology’. What people understand by the term ‘homosexuality’ varies enormously (both inside and outside the Church). There is a lot of ‘sloppy thinking’ (often driven by prejudice) around on this subject. People like Warren take great care with how they use terms, differentiating between ‘homosexual’ (adjective), ‘same-sex attraction’, ‘same-sex activity’ and ‘same-sex relationships’ – all of which terms carry, at the very least, different connotations.

    I object profoundly to the use of the term ‘homosexual’ (noun) to describe a person. ‘Homosexual person’ has been generally substituted for ‘homosexual’ in Catholic dialectic, although ‘LGBT person’ is starting to be used now as well. I do use ‘gays’ as a short-hand to describe LGB people, but sometimes think I shouldn’t.

    Transgendered-ness (itself a very broad term) is a completely different phenomenon; many transgendered persons are actually heterosexual with respect to the sex on their birth certificate, and many – in common with many gay men and lesbians – are in stable. committed and loving relationships.

    Use of terminology is very important, as it shows the ‘thinking’ behind what is being said.

  • Ann

    Richard Willmer,

    As I have said often here – I really, really, really dislike labels that catagorize anyone’s totality by an assumed definition of that label. Just seeing how people here take issue to various definitions to these labels is a good example of why we need to be very careful. Thank you for your post and what it said – I agree.

  • Teresa

    @ Ann and Richard,

    Thank you for your comments. When we are discussing LGBTQI persons, how in fact do you refer to them? I certainly understand the controversy surrounding just the terminology, vocabulary, labels … whatever we want to call it. Usually, when discussing an issue, most often there is a consensus vocabulary; and agreed upon set of terms that have meaning to all parties. With this consensual vocabulary, we can move into proper discussion of the issue at hand.

    If we can’t agree upon a foundational vocabulary that doesn’t offend anyone, how will we move to the next step of a discussion? I understand, Richard, now that you dislike the noun homosexual; and, I understand, Ann, that you dislike labels … but, how do we start a conversation regarding …. gay, lesbian, bi, transgender, homosexual, same-sex attracted , lgbt … if we can’t consensually agree on what we’re talking about?

    When I refer to myself as homosexual or gay, that’s my shorthand way of saying something about myself, not anyone else.

    Is the following less controversial: persons with same-sex attraction? I am a person with same-sex attraction? Is that a consensual vocabulary?

    BTW, Richard, the Catholic Church does not use LGBT, at least not in the U.S. It is moving slowly from the terms homosexual/homosexual person, to same-sex attraction … in the U.S. The CC sees the terms: gay, lesbian, bi, LGBT as connoting being in the lifestyle. Why? I have no idea.

  • Jayhuck

    Teresa,

    If we can’t agree upon a foundational vocabulary that doesn’t offend anyone, how will we move to the next step of a discussion?

    I have to laugh at this. Not because what you say isn’t true, only because we’ve tried to have this discussion on this blog countless times, and the only conclusion we’ve been able to reach is that we can’t all seem to agree on the terms ;) I don’t think you were around for these. Its a difficult and complicated discussion to have on a blog because we all bring our preconceived ideas about what these terms mean in general, and what they mean when applied to people.

  • Teresa

    Not because what you say isn’t true, only because we’ve tried to have this discussion on this blog countless times, and the only conclusion we’ve been able to reach is that we can’t all seem to agree on the terms ;) I don’t think you were around for these.

    Yes, Jayhuck, I wasn’t around for those “countless times” discussing how to describe oneself or the whole foundational vocabulary surrounding sexuality. I know this topic is very sensitive; and, I try to be respectful of others and the terminology that they prefer; but, ultimately in a discussion involving more than a few people, we’re left with no meaningful discussion because we’re stuck with the elementary step of “what is it we’re talking about” … the elementary vocabulary to use for this.

    I love examples/analogies: when in a discussion about religion, I identify as Catholic for the purposes of the discussion. It’s who I am, which immediately allows the discussion to move on. I never have to explain anything further, like why do you label yourself as Catholic, why do you identify as Catholic, isn’t it better to say … a person with Catholic attractions, why not use the term Christian, do I live the Catholic lifestyle, etc. It just isn’t necessary. And, certainly, I don’t spend every waking moment identifying as Catholic, but for a reasonable discussion on religion or religious affiliation, it’s who I am.

    My own perceptions about this, (from having been there, done that, bought the t-shirt) is that accepting one is ‘homosexual’, ‘gay’, ‘same-sex attracted’ is so difficult, painful, fearful, so “othered” to the world … those of us affected (and others trying to be compassionate and helpful) are always seeking terms to distance ourselves from this aspect of ourselves. There’s a hope that if I don’t identify, use a label, try something softer … I won’t be that ‘thing’. Just my perceptions, though.

    As a first generation Italian American, I’m left speechless surrounding this discussion, which for those of you who know anything about Italians, speechless is not in our vocabulary … :) :)

  • Jayhuck

    Teresa,

    My own perceptions about this, (from having been there, done that, bought the t-shirt) is that accepting one is ‘homosexual’, ‘gay’, ‘same-sex attracted’ is so difficult, painful, fearful, so “othered” to the world … those of us affected (and others trying to be compassionate and helpful) are always seeking terms to distance ourselves from this aspect of ourselves. There’s a hope that if I don’t identify, use a label, try something softer … I won’t be that ‘thing’. Just my perceptions, though.

    You are absolutely right! :)

  • Ann

    My own perceptions about this, (from having been there, done that, bought the t-shirt) is that accepting one is ‘homosexual’, ‘gay’, ‘same-sex attracted’ is so difficult, painful, fearful, so “othered” to the world … those of us affected (and others trying to be compassionate and helpful) are always seeking terms to distance ourselves from this aspect of ourselves. There’s a hope that if I don’t identify, use a label, try something softer … I won’t be that ‘thing’. Just my perceptions, though.

    Teresa,

    Most people are tenuous of what they do not know and since there are so many different variations to the noun, homosexual, they can only make assumptions – unfortunately those assumptions are based on what they have been told, which unfortunately again, are more assumptions. I am not sure if people’s reaction to this term and all it’s nuances is because they feel so uncomfortable or if they think it is unneccessary information. My personal favorite is when they act and talk like they understand and accept and then go home or elsewhere and make jokes or disparaging comments – all of which the listener buys into and more assumptions are made. The other part of why I think some people react this way is because they don’t understand it when an individual says they do not want to be homosexual and yet is adament on being able to live openly as one. So while the word or term or label homosexual might be good in a clinical sense, it does not define an individual to the rest of the world. I am wondering if therpaists use the term non-specified when referring to or attaching the noun homosexual – it seems like it would be a good base or foundation that could further define each person’s unique set of circumstances from that point forward. I would venture to say that most people’s understanding of a homosexual is not a woman who holds her religion and faith dear to her and uses critical thought about this subject rather than rationalize it, and lives her life as a chaste woman because her faith and religion is of more value than human desire. Am I right?

  • Teresa

    I would venture to say that most people’s understanding of a homosexual is not a woman who holds her religion and faith dear to her and uses critical thought about this subject rather than rationalize it, and lives her life as a chaste woman because her faith and religion is of more value than human desire. Am I right?

    Thank you, Ann, for your thoughtful reply; and, the willingness to tease out the terminology surrounding this issue. Your questions and probing challenge the issue and myself to look deeper; and, not stick with my own little notions. Do I think you’re right … upon reflection, yes, absolutely. I think that, also, of the term ‘gay’. But, here’s the rub, Ann. I’m willing to be misunderstood for awhile, for the sake of continuing to probe or discuss something that may be more topical.

    If I use the lexicon of ‘gay’ or ‘homosexual’, most people immediately know where I’m coming from … they get that I have sexual attractions to some women. If we’re discussing same-sex marriage, they know I have a personal interest in the topic. If I use the term same-sex attracted, most often I get blank stares or questioning looks. The discussion then gets veered off into another path, which often is not worth the effort.

    But I’m beginning to appreciate the nuance embedded in the term same-sex attractions; although, I’ve been pretty adamantly opposed to it previously. Much to think about, for sure.

    Thanks, Ann, for your willingness and thoughtfulness in pursuing some of these topics. It’s been most helpful.

  • Richard Willmer

    Ann is often very helpful (from what I’ve seen).

    I’m also very interested in terminology. But I’m also a ‘radical’ when it comes to the morality of human relationships, which in my view ultimately has nothing to do with ‘sexuality’. I have fellow church elders who are in committed same-sex relationships; they seem none the worse for it – thus for me it is simply not an issue.

  • Jayhuck

    Ann,

    I am also glad you fleshed out exactly what you mean when talking about these terms. I think you explained the situation well. thank you :)

  • Jayhuck

    Ann,

    I would venture to say that most people’s understanding of a homosexual is not a woman who holds her religion and faith dear to her and uses critical thought about this subject rather than rationalize it, and lives her life as a chaste woman because her faith and religion is of more value than human desire. Am I right?

    The only thing I have a problem with is this paragraph. It sounds like you’re saying that a homosexual woman cannot hold her religion and faith dear to her? Is that what you meant? Just trying to clarify. Thanks

  • Jayhuck

    Teresa,

    But I’m beginning to appreciate the nuance embedded in the term same-sex attractions; although, I’ve been pretty adamantly opposed to it previously. Much to think about, for sure.

    I don’t necessarily object to terms like same-sex attractions, although, in my mind, this sounds far more clinical and cold then the term homosexual. I also think that it tends to remove ideas of love and romance from the “equation”, although for others it may not do that. The fact that so many religious conservatives tend to use the term also makes me a little wary of it.

  • Teresa

    It sounds like you’re saying that a homosexual woman cannot hold her religion and faith dear to her? Is that what you meant?

    Jayhuck, not meaning to step on any answer Ann should give; I believe she meant, most people think that a Christian Homosexual woman is an oxymoron, in fact that person doesn’t exist for them. I’m sure Ann believes that homosexual women can be Christian and take their Faith very seriously. I’m sure that’s what she thinks about me.

    At least, that’s how understood her question.

  • Teresa

    I don’t necessarily object to terms like same-sex attractions, although, in my mind, this sounds far more clinical and cold then the term homosexual. I also think that it tends to remove ideas of love and romance from the “equation”, although for others it may not do that. The fact that so many religious conservatives tend to use the term also makes me a little wary of it.

    Funny how each of us think of these things with different responses. I object to the term same-sex attraction; because I thought it was imprecise. I think str8 persons who have friends are same-sex attracted. They’re attracted by some characteristic that they like about that person. In my mind, I thought the term to more accurately reflect what was going on, should be: same-sex sexually attracted. I now see its usefulness in other ways. I think I’m beginning to appreciate it.

    Jayhuck, I think homosexual is quite clinical; but, I liked it for that reason. In my pea brain, it seemed to have less political baggage associated with it. I’m trying to get beyond the terminology, and let whatever term one wants to use be OK. Knowing a bit where each person is coming from is certainly helpful, don’t you think?

  • Jayhuck

    Teresa,

    Jayhuck, I think homosexual is quite clinical; but, I liked it for that reason. In my pea brain, it seemed to have less political baggage associated with it. I’m trying to get beyond the terminology, and let whatever term one wants to use be OK. Knowing a bit where each person is coming from is certainly helpful, don’t you think?

    Yes, I would agree with you here too. Homosexual does have a sort of “clinicalness” about it as well. I think trying to get beyond the terminology would be a good exercise for us all ;)

  • Eddy

    It might help to simply ‘lighten up’ a bit when we hear or use a term. Although I was normally an A (and some B) student, I’d mess up on tests by taking the words too literally. I learned a great lesson from a friend who advised me simply to ‘consider the source’. If the teacher was known to be a nit-picking hardass, then consider that the nuance of meaning that you’re stumbling over was intended. If they aren’t, then take it to mean what it says on the surface.

    “Same sex attracted” is a case in point. While it is true that people of the same gender are attracted to each other for non-sexual reasons, that’s a given. Hetero boys have lots of male friends and they sought those friends out based on qualities or attributes that they admired (were attracted to); the same is true for females. But THEY would never use the phrase ‘same sex attracted’ to describe that bonding and NO ONE ELSE would either. They’d say ‘admires’, ‘looks up to’, ‘connects with’ but they wouldn’t say ‘same sex attracted. The words ‘same sex attracted’ when used in tandem mean ‘same SEX attracted’. It’s not the nit-picking hardass teacher definition or usage…it’s the colloquial, common usage one.

    BTW: I do get asked occasionally. People find me personable and likable and naturally wonder why, at my age, I’ve never been married and don’t seem to be pursuing it either. The last time it came up, I answered simply “well, basically I’m same sex attracted but I have religious beliefs that steer me away from pursuing those desires”. Yeah, it’s a bit more wordy than a pithy label but then they get two revelations for the price of one…they learn a bit about my sexuality and a bit about my religious point of view.

  • Jayhuck

    Eddy,

    Thank you for that. Since same-sex attracted is by all accounts synonymous with homosexual, why not just say the latter? Its less wordy if nothing else.

  • Richard Willmer

    It’s always good to think about these things. People like ‘Maazi NCO’ use words in a manner that is both careless and loaded and then ends up in a pickle – see other thread.

  • Richard Willmer

    I do think that using ‘same-sex attracted‘ to describe a person sounds rather odd (‘same-sex attraction‘ to describe a ‘phenomenon’ seems fair enough), although this terminology does show an acceptance of the fact that the attractions we all experience are very often ‘beyond our control’ – an important point, given the homophobic fraternity’s tendency to see eveything as a matter solely of ‘choice’.

  • Eddy

    Since same-sex attracted is by all accounts synonymous with homosexual, why not just say the latter?

    I’ve answered this numerous times so it’s odd to hear the question coming from the person who most often says ‘we’ve discussed this’.

  • David Blakeslee

    Checking in late.

    Calling someone “same sex attracted” is as vaguely descriptive as calling someone “religious” or “spiritual.”

    It is meant to be elusive as a means of not controlling the absolute definition of another person. Elusive, but not meaningless.

    It is essentially true without endorsing (through limitation) the identity labels of the persons described.

    It seems to me that being offended and protecting one from being offended can come at the expense of agreeing to a common language about any topic.

    We still, after 50 years of interesting and largely secularly (fair-minded) motivated research, cannot say with authority (specificity) what creates enduring attraction to same gendered folks.

    An amazing mystery…lets honor the mystery, thereby encouraging curiosity to look further and find better answers; while at the same time honoring the personal travels of those with these sensations to make their way in the world.

  • Teresa

    It seems to me that being offended and protecting one from being offended can come at the expense of agreeing to a common language about any topic.

    David B., I certainly agree with this statement. However, what is the “common language we can agree upon” concerning this issue? That “common language” is not for the sole purpose of this Blog, in my opinion; but, should be a “common language” for use in the world at-large. The necessity to always watch our words, watch the audience, what’s OK here and not OK there, exacerbates an already charged topic; and, can lay a further burden of shame and guilt on homosexuals.

    Here’s a personal example. Being Catholic, I went to Confession not long ago; and, timidly and with a significant amount of shame and embarrassment started to discuss that “I’m same-sex attracted”. His response to me: “What’s That?” Someone who I thought should be clued into ‘Christianese” was in fact clueless, which left me amazed and searching for something he’d understand. I believe I stammered out ‘homosexual”. Ah, he got it.

    I’ve occasionally commented on the Catholic Courage Group online (COL), where the terms “gay” and “lesbian” are really, really off-limits; especially, Ladies of Courage (LOC). LOC will not allow comments using these terms, at all. COL is very reluctantly OK with the use of these words; but, you’ll really be taken to task regarding these words. The term, homosexual, as well, is not their real preference … second choice in the hierarchy of acceptable terms.

    So, for my own self, I’ve come to the conclusion that the term “homosexual” says exactly what it means, known by most, and is not quite as politically charged as the rest. However, I’m willing to adapt to circumstances; but, quite frankly, it’s a pain in the neck to be stuck at square one, endlessly debating terminology … and, often being brought-to-task for using a “bad words”.

  • Eddy

    Jayhuck–

    Here’s a more complete answer to your earlier inquiry.

    1) The term/label homosexual has variations in meaning depending on whether one is speaking psychologically or from a religious context. Psychology attaches a mindset or orientation to the word while the religious contexts that I relate to only use the word for something you do. So, if you aren’t doing homosexual acts, the label doesn’t fit. Since I speak to people from both worlds, rather than be misconstrued, I find it’s a far better thing to avoid landmines that have already blown up in my face in the past.

    2) ‘Same sex attracted’ still rings as more of a descriptive phrase than a label box. It’s not “I’m A same sex attracted” but “I’m same sex attracted”…one attribute that doesn’t significantly define the rest of my person.

    3) One could argue that someone can identify as a homosexual and avoid having it define the bulk of who they are but that misses 1) the countless numbers who do and 2) those outsiders who hear the label and feel that it is defining of more than just sexual attraction.

    4) I find it curious, though, that your earlier comments speak to living beyond labels and yet when I give an example of how I’m living beyond the label, you questioned why I don’t simplify and use the common label. Can you explain?

  • http://www.boxturtlebulletin.com Timothy Kincaid

    Same Sex Attraction is not innate, or immutable…but it is a very strong human characteristic that is difficult to change; behavioral control is more likely to change, in attractions is rarer, especially for men. Some have reported harm when trying to change (one study, very flawed). Some have reported great benefit (better study, still flawed).

    I think that this statement is flawed in that it focuses on the exceptions, the rarities, and the outliers and gives them equal prominence. While such statements may be technically true if we parse the words, they can leave an inaccurate impression.

    For example, it is true that some mothers love their children and some mothers drive into lakes to drown their children. But the “some” of one is not equal to the “some” of the other (to give a little accountant’s pun).

    If we wish to give a statement that reflects a reality based on the rule rather than the rare exception, I think we would wish to restate your paragraph as:

    Same Sex Attraction is, for the vast majority of those who experience it, innate and immutable. A miniscule number of people – all women – have reported a full change in their attractions from same sex to opposite sex. In addition, a very small number of persons have reported partial reduction in the occurrence of their same-sex attractions but in this is extremely rare and for most is not accompanied by an increase in opposite sex attraction. While some have reported benefit from efforts to force change of these attractions, more have reported harm. Most of those who seek change report a mix of harm and benefit. The most common result of efforts to change orientation is a rejection of Christian faith.

  • http://www.boxturtlebulletin.com Timothy Kincaid

    As the discussion has returned – yet again – to the meaning of words, perhaps it is useful to recall that outside of the community of those who experience unwanted same sex attraction there is less confusion, ambiguity, and misunderstanding.

    Perhaps the difficultly lies not in the meanings of the words, but in a desire that they really mean something other than they do. Perhaps it is a quest at denying oneself a language by which to engage in self discovery.

    Of course, that is just a possiblity

  • http://www.boxturtlebulletin.com Timothy Kincaid

    Teresa

    If we can’t agree upon a foundational vocabulary that doesn’t offend anyone, how will we move to the next step of a discussion?

    Perhaps you have identified exactly how certain steps of discussion have been blocked in these threads.

  • Teresa

    As the discussion has returned – yet again – to the meaning of words, perhaps it is useful to recall that outside of the community of those who experience unwanted same sex attraction there is less confusion, ambiguity, and misunderstanding.

    Yes, Timothy, this has been my experience. I find within conservative Christian groups, it’s of paramount importance to use only certain words; and, what’s more, to use those words in a particular grammatical order.

    The expression, “I’m a same sex attracted woman”, isn’t how I’m supposed to say it any longer. I’m really supposed to say: “I’m a woman that has same sex attractions”, or “I’m a woman who experiences same sex attractions”. Anything other than that, is considered off-limits, and not conforming to the rules … that again is only my opinion.

    To me, it’s become like some secret handshake, another form of the closet. But, that’s only my take on it. I understand, and actually sympathize with other individuals who see this another way. I’m happy to adjust my terminology to fit the group; but, I can certainly see how it would be a stumbling block for others.

    What’s another side of this coin of terminology is the clear fact that “I don’t experience opposite sex attractions” … to me, that’s really the heart of the matter. Because I am not an opposite sex attracted woman, clearly there’s more going on that just “sensations” (David B.’s word) of same sex attraction.

    It’s certainly a fascinating journey to parse out these terms; and, the existential meaning of choosing certain words or phrases, and not others. So, I’m latching on to my own phrase: “I’m a woman who does not experience opposite gender attractions”. :)

  • Eddy

    Well, it’s time to say goodbye to this discussion. Timothy’s last two comments have turned it into something else.

  • http://www.boxturtlebulletin.com Timothy Kincaid

    Teresa,

    I’m currently reading a book by a professor at a conservative Christian university. It is clear that she very much wants to find a way to reconcile her decency and compassion with her theological beliefs.

    The way she has found to do this is to oppose the concept of sexual identity. It is her contention that identifying with one’s sexual attractions creates a false assumption about ones expectations. And she knows these assumptions to be false because they are not in conformity with her theology.

    I suspect that what you are experiencing is in line with this growing teaching among conservative Protestant (and increasingly Catholic) Christians: that sexual orientation is a false identity. Thus the rigidity of language. Words that reflect sexual orientation as being a real reflection of independently experienced attractions (as opposed to a social construct which assigns false presumptions) cannot be used.

    Of course, the problem with this approach is that regardless of what words become forbidden, you Teresa, the living breathing person, still experience these attractions and once you have confronted that reality, no manner of linguistic gymnastics can make that untrue.

    I believe that it would be both more honest and more respectful to use language that is exact and understood.

  • Eddy

    Teresa–

    I’m trying to understand the flux in your thinking. Recently you commented:

    I object to the term same-sex attraction; because I thought it was imprecise. I think str8 persons who have friends are same-sex attracted. They’re attracted by some characteristic that they like about that person.

    But now you say:

    So, I’m latching on to my own phrase: “I’m a woman who does not experience opposite gender attractions”.

    To be consistent with your earlier comment, wouldn’t you need to say “I’m a woman who does not experience opposite gender sexual attractions” or are you saying that you aren’t attracted to any characteristic of men?

  • http://www.boxturtlebulletin.com Timothy Kincaid

    Teresa,

    When you speak of “opposite gender attractions” and “same sex attractions”, it is quite clear what you mean.

    I don’t think that Eddy is respectful when he pretends not to understand.

  • Teresa

    To be consistent with your earlier comment, wouldn’t you need to say “I’m a woman who does not experience opposite gender sexual attractions” or are you saying that you aren’t attracted to any characteristic of men?

    Eddy, I did give that term some thought before commenting; but, as I was alerted to the fact, I think by you, that same sex attracted, meant SEX attracted implicitly, I didn’t want to belabor the point.

    I am, in fact, not sexually attracted to men. I do, however, find men quite pleasant to be around; and, with many great characteristics. My work environment had by far more men than women, and it was an easy environment to work in.

  • Eddy

    Teresa–

    Thanks. I was thinking that perhaps your ‘take’ on the usage might have shifted in the conversation and the comment did seem to indicate that.

    I’m also glad that you heard it in the manner it was conveyed rather than taking the absurd leap that Timothy did.

    Truth is that I appreciate your honesty and that you don’t come from either of the two mindsets that tend to spar here. It makes me more mindful of your word choices and of my own.

  • Eddy

    Being Catholic, I went to Confession not long ago; and, timidly and with a significant amount of shame and embarrassment started to discuss that “I’m same-sex attracted”.

    This statement was another puzzler for me. I only have two images of Catholic confession: one is the confessional booth ‘Bless me Father for I have sinned…and these are my sins’; the other is more of a one on one sit down session. In the first scenario, I can’t imagine confessing “I’m same-sex attracted” since attractions aren’t sin. I’d be more inclined towards “I lusted after another woman 3x”. In the second scenario, I thought most people set up a time with a priest they already knew and felt comfortable with.

    The primary reason that I belabor the point is your words ‘with a significant amount of shame and embarrassment’. That concerns me as a brother in Christ. There is therefore now no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus. Christ knew you were same-sex attracted when He drew you to Him. He loved you, drew you and accepted you anyway. I don’t understand where the shame and embarrassment comes in. My own theology views shame and embarrassment as guilt feelings that don’t come from God. I view them as ‘condemnation’ in that they tend to push a person away from God rather than draw them closer to Him. It differs from real guilt in that real guilt is connected to a real transgression and the real transgression has a real remedy in the sacrifice of Calvary. If you believe that homosexual behavior and lustful fantasy are sin, then it’s only when you’ve indulged that you’ve sinned and ought to feel any sense of shame. And that shame can be eradicated immediately through confessing and repenting. If there’s some other sense of ongoing shame, I’d question it’s source and then go back to square one: Christ knew when He drew you to Him that you had same-sex attractions and there is therefore NO condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus.

  • Teresa

    Eddy, I wasn’t confessing being same sex attracted as a sin. I referred to it as explanation for ongoing issues. I figured that perhaps being a priest, he would know or prefer the term ‘same sex attracted’. Perhaps, you’ve never gone through the Catholic Confession process as an individual. If not, I think it would be unfair of me to go into the details of the process. It can at times be unnerving. You never quite know how the priest on the other side of the screen will react … sometimes, it’s not quite what you’d expect or are prepared for.

    Thank you for the lengthy explanation, Eddy. I am aware of the difference of attractions and behavior; and, indulging and sin. Actually, Eddy, most times I’m quite happy being same-sex attracted. I’m doing what “I think is right as I’ve been given to see the right” (Abe Lincoln paraphrase); and, that’s all that matters to me. But, I do thank you for your concern and for reaching out. It shows a genuine Christian charity, which I appreciate.

  • Teresa

    As the discussion has returned – yet again – to the meaning of words, perhaps it is useful to recall that outside of the community of those who experience unwanted same sex attraction there is less confusion, ambiguity, and misunderstanding.

    Yes, Timothy, I have found this to be true. But, what I’ve also found to be true is that there’s a whole group of us homosexuals who are in the middle on this … on terminology, etiology, mutability, and on expectations for behavior. Personally, I see virtue “in the middle” (sorry, this is a Scholastic/Aquinas view).

    Where do we homosexuals who find merit and demerit on both sides find a home? Who see at times the usefulness of the word gay/lesbian; and, at other times can appreciate the term same-sex attracted. Who see homosexual etiology as complex and encompassing aspects of both nature and nurture: neither totally innate or totally environmental. Who know that there is some mutability; mainly women … but even so, it is small. Who see homosexual behavior as not for us; but, find that living a chaste life with a same gendered person is quite OK … perhaps, even allowing religious ceremonies, (not marriage), much like they had during the MIddle Ages, before we all became freaked out about committed, chaste same gender unions. (Eve Tushnet and John Heard come to mind).

    The idea that we have to be either “in a bath-house” or “a nun in a cloistered convent” is not at all helpful, in my opinion. Of course, the latter statement is hyperbole; but, I’m sure you get the point.

  • Richard Willmer

    I too think Eddy puts it rather well. Being ‘ashamed’ of who one is never healthy, and is not the same things as a realistic appraisal of ones’ self as a ‘sinner’ (something which each and every one of us is).

    ‘Same-sex attraction’ is simply a ‘phenomenon’ – a ‘fact of life’: some people experience it; many do not. (One can also feel ‘attraction’ for someone without ‘lusting after’ him/her, of course.) The ‘moral status’ of consensual sexual activity (of any kind) is surely dependent upon the effect it has on human relationships. Let’s just turn things ‘on their head’ for a moment: the situation where a person has entered into, say, a marriage, but has secret ‘side dishes’ of the same sex is perhaps behaving in a rather less ‘moral’ manner than someone in a same-sex relationship who deals honestly and openly with their partner. In places like UG (much in our consciousness at the moment), the ‘secret side dish’ phenomenon (a very predictable consequence of homophobia) is a – possibly the – major HIV risk factor,along with the patchy availability of medication.

  • Eddy

    Teresa–

    Just for the record…I’ve had many experiences with the private Catholic confessional. I was raised Catholic and attended Catholic school from kindergarden through 9th grade…then CCD classes for the remainder of my high school years. However, I can’t recall ever going to confession anywhere other than my home parish and ours seemed to be a pretty speedy process for most. You knelt down, said the ‘Bless me Father’, listed your sins, got the penance, said the Confiteor, and then went to a pew to ‘say your penance’. I’m thinking that the difference in our experience may be that confession has evolved since I last went way back in the 1960′s. (Yeah, I’m that old!) If memory serves, that face to face confession experience was a rather new option back then.

    Yikes, in thinking back that far, I don’t think I ever even confessed to a homosexual thought. Although I had ‘feelings’ and ‘attractions’ for other boys, I thought of it as a phase. I chalked up any actual experiences to ‘experimentation’ until I came out in my freshman year of college. LOL. There were four of us who hung out throughout high school. One guy and I had been friends since the second grade; another moved to our school in the 6th grade; the other we met in 9th grade. Although I switched over to public school, the four of us remained close friends. Anyway, we each went off to separate colleges and came home for Christmas with the message “I’ve got something to tell you”.

  • David Blakeslee

    Theresa,

    Being Catholic, I went to Confession not long ago; and, timidly and with a significant amount of shame and embarrassment started to discuss that “I’m same-sex attracted”. His response to me: “What’s That?”

    When I discuss this with others, they have that same odd look, and they assume that the “healthiest identity” is to live out one’s attractions. They assume pathology in those that don’t, or that they are odd.

    There is a pressure to simplify, to eliminate the ambiguity, to close the open circle.

    Sometimes this is done by demeaning and devaluing those that acknowledge and hold constant the ambiguity.

    Consider the following scientific phrase now being used to eliminate so many assumptions: Men Having Sex with Men (as opposed to homosexuals). It is meant to deal with the data of behavior.

    I am not arguing that you should change your word usage. I am glad you have found something that fits, and I know other Catholics who have concluded the same, “I am gay, or a lesbian and I am a full member of the Catholic Church, which only requires that I stay celibate, not change my attractions.”

  • David Blakeslee

    Teresa,

    Sorry about the “Theresa,” oddly enough, that error is rooted in lost love :).

  • Teresa

    Teresa,

    Sorry about the “Theresa,” oddly enough, that error is rooted in lost love :) .

    No problem, David. The ‘big’ Saint Teresa (of Avila) and the ‘little’ Saint Theresa (Therese, the Little Flower of Lisieux) are quite content with the mix-up. I’m sure they find our tussles on terminology quite amusing. :)

  • David Blakeslee

    Saint Theresa’s Prayer

    May today there be peace within.

    May you trust God that you are exactly where you are meant to be.

    May you not forget the infinite possibilities born of faith.

    May you use those gifts that you have received,

    and pass on the love that has been given to you.

    May you be content knowing you are a child of God.

    Let this presence settle into your bones,

    and allow your soul the freedom to sing, dance, praise and love.

    It is there for each and every one of us.

    I like the part about the bones.

  • Ann

    The only thing I have a problem with is this paragraph. It sounds like you’re saying that a homosexual woman cannot hold her religion and faith dear to her? Is that what you meant? Just trying to clarify. Thanks

    Jayhuck,

    No, not at all. I was referring to assumptions/pre-conceived ideas that people have or make when the word homosexual is used to describe someone.

  • Ann

    Jayhuck, not meaning to step on any answer Ann should give; I believe she meant, most people think that a Christian Homosexual woman is an oxymoron, in fact that person doesn’t exist for them. I’m sure Ann believes that homosexual women can be Christian and take their Faith very seriously. I’m sure that’s what she thinks about me.

    Teresa,

    You are 100% right :-D

  • Teresa

    Teresa,

    You are 100% right :-D

    Ann,

    YIPPEE!! :=

  • Teresa

    Oops. Let’s try this. :) :)

  • Teresa

    @All,

    Something that I’ve been thinking about, spurred by a comment by David B.

    As a general dateline, prior to the mid-20th century (?), no one worried about terminology, no one discussed homosexuality, no one discussed heterosexuality, no one discussed private affairs in public (except movie stars and soap operas), no one therapized themselves ad nauseum. Most persons adapted to life, which was often a tough life.

    Often, worrying about the crops, finding the next meal, working in a factory, tending to more than 2.1 children, living through chronic illness, death, etc., … daily subsistence filled the days. Homosexuals (if they knew something was amiss … even without a name), as well as everyone else, did what they had to do to get on with life.

    Prior to the 20th century, probably most homosexual women got married or went into a convent. No difference in comparison for str8 single women who really didn’t want to marry. They probably never romanticized that marriage was a heaven on earth. A convent, no better. Homosexual men or str8 men: marriage, military, sailors, religious life. Some managed to stay single, because it was somewhat more acceptable to do so.

    People expected life to be tough, simply because it was tough. Society had rules that were generally accepted whether the individual liked it or not. People married people they didn’t ‘love’, because that’s how things worked. It was no bed of roses for men or women. But they managed to create a life, often against unimaginable odds … regardless of what was going on inside their heads.

    I know technology, economics, and education have played an immense part in this change. But, I ask myself the question, are we really any better off in the spiritual order than our forebears?

    Just some thoughts about how, in my own lifetime, when I or my friends hadn’t a clue what the word homosexual meant, gay, sodomy, queer, lesbian, same-sex attracted … the same. How meaningless all those things were for society as a whole.

    Are we any better off now than then?

  • http://www.boxturtlebulletin.com Timothy Kincaid

    Teresa

    Where do we homosexuals who find merit and demerit on both sides find a home? Who see at times the usefulness of the word gay/lesbian; and, at other times can appreciate the term same-sex attracted. Who see homosexual etiology as complex and encompassing aspects of both nature and nurture: neither totally innate or totally environmental. Who know that there is some mutability; mainly women … but even so, it is small. Who see homosexual behavior as not for us; but, find that living a chaste life with a same gendered person is quite OK … perhaps, even allowing religious ceremonies, (not marriage), much like they had during the MIddle Ages, before we all became freaked out about committed, chaste same gender unions. (Eve Tushnet and John Heard come to mind).

    The idea that we have to be either “in a bath-house” or “a nun in a cloistered convent” is not at all helpful, in my opinion. Of course, the latter statement is hyperbole; but, I’m sure you get the point.

    Teresa, I do get the point and I agree that it is a false dichotomy.

    There are many within the gay community and many within the church who have bought into this perception – that one can either be holy or homosexual, but not both. This both saddens and enrages me.

    The church has, on the whole, determined that there is a homosexual lifestyle and that living such a lifestyle is, in and of itself, sinful. All without benefit of Scripture, thought, or even the slightest desire to discover the truth.

    I assert that one can live as a gay person (not just homosexually attracted, but as an openly self-defined gay person who, for that matter, lives in West Hollywood and hangs out only with other gay people wearing t-shirts labeled “Dyke Power”, driving a Harley, and any other stereotype we can think of) and still live a life of holiness.

    This is contradictory to what the church will tell us… but it is nonetheless true. If you believe that chastity is the key to your compliance with sexual purity, then be chaste. But as my friend Dan can attest, chastity can be achieved in a gay bar with a drink in your hand. Or in seminary, where he spends most of his time.

    Because – and this is important to recall – no one expects single heterosexuals to avoid all other heterosexuals and call themselves “people with opposite sex attractions”. No one thinks that there is a sinful “heterosexual lifestyle”.

    What I think you are rebelling against, and rightly so, is a blatant double standard. AND a refusal to see it as a double standard.

    If the only scriptural restriction is to avoid sexuality outside a heterosexual marriage, then why is it that you and Suzy Single have entirely different expectations placed on you? Why don’t they insist on monitoring her labels and word choices?

    It makes one begin to suspect that their claims about us all being children of God and equal in his sight are not quite as sincere as they would like to believe.

    I think that the real issue is not about your celibacy but about your belief. I think the real reason that same-sex attracted Christians are monitored so heavily in what you do, where you go, who you see, what you call yourself isn’t out of fear that you will slip into sin in some weak moment, but rather that you will be exposed to ideas and thoughts and perceptions and spiritual arguments that will lead you to reject those which have been served to you.

  • http://www.boxturtlebulletin.com Timothy Kincaid

    Jayhuck, not meaning to step on any answer Ann should give; I believe she meant, most people think that a Christian Homosexual woman is an oxymoron, in fact that person doesn’t exist for them. I’m sure Ann believes that homosexual women can be Christian and take their Faith very seriously. I’m sure that’s what she thinks about me.

    Fortunately, this is – I believe – beginning to change.

    As a large number of gay persons began asserting their faith – first in separatist churches like MCC, and then in mainstream churches like UCC, Lutheran, Presbyterian, Methodist, etc. – the notion that to be gay was, in and of itself – a rejection of faith has diminished.

    And this visibility gave more conservative gay Christians permission to be gay people without giving up their faith – or the sexual confines of their faith.

    So while it is certainly true that some people – both in the gay community and in the conservative Christian community – still see an oxymoron, for many that no longer is a confusing idea (praise be to God). And with time, I think this trend will continue.

  • Eddy

    I (and a lot of other Conservative Christians) strongly believe that there ARE sinful heterosexual lifestyles. Many disapprove of ANY bar atmosphere but some don’t take issue with your ‘neighborhood bar’ or ‘sports bar’ but maintain strong moral objections to those commonly labeled as ‘single’s bars’…where ‘hooking up’ is what a number of patrons are there to do.

    I take exception also to the conclusion that

    the real reason that same-sex attracted Christians are monitored so heavily in what you do, where you go, who you see, what you call yourself isn’t out of fear that you will slip into sin in some weak moment, but rather that you will be exposed to ideas and thoughts and perceptions and spiritual arguments that will lead you to reject those which have been served to you.

    I realize that ‘going to the gay bar’ isn’t expressed in the conclusion but it was an example in a paragraph leading to the conclusion. I’ve been to a number of gay bars over the years and none were a hotbed of ideas, thoughts, perceptions or spiritual arguments. As to other venues where gay people might connect, I’ve had friends involved in community AIDS centers, in hospice, in theatre, etc. where the likelihood of their connecting with other gays was great…and they were not cautioned away from such involvement. And, in these scenarios, the option for exposure to ideas, thoughts, perceptions and spiritual arguments would be likely. I maintain that it IS the fear that you might slip in some weak moment and not a secret desire to ensure that you only consume what the church spoonfeeds you.

    Hyperbolic overstatements are seldom true: This one counts among them.

    All without benefit of Scripture, thought, or even the slightest desire to discover the truth.

    Does “all” mean “ALL”; does “even the slightest desire to discover the truth” mean just that? Both when I was in active ministry and in the years after I left, I encountered many Conservative Christians who did have a desire to know and understand the gay experience. So, I reject the statement with its absolutes as untrue. I give it though that it followed a sentence about personal rage which I presume explains the overstatement.

  • David Blakeslee

    No one thinks that there is a sinful “heterosexual lifestyle”.

    Huh?!?

    Ask Maria Shriver.

    Standards still exist, although they have been greatly diluted the last 50 years.

  • David Blakeslee

    Teresa,

    Your analysis of our current dissatisfactions and earlier challenges seems likely to me.

    But…different parts of the world had to struggle less to survive than others due to climate advantages.

    I do think the luxury of identity and purpose as something outside work and family is something the “middle class” has only recently been able to explore in the last 300 years.

    Also, seeing sexual behavior as being apart from procreation (or the risks of procreation) has either been taboo, secretive or sinful.

    Nevertheless, we are extraordinarily blessed and how we decide these “luxurious issues” has to have a sense of authenticity to ourselves, our values and our understanding of how the universe is organized (God). All that in keeping with creating a civil and safe society.

  • Eddy

    Adding to that, I believe that identity is formed through our primary sources. As Teresa aptly described it, a person’s world of comparison consisted of their family, neighbors, and church. As we industrialized, it included work to a greater degree than previously. She left out my personal ‘biggie’ though…the media. By virtue of television, examples of what it meant to be a man, a woman, a girl, a boy, a family…those were all dispensed to us in captivating daily doses to the point that for many of us, they exceeded the daily doses that we received from all the other sources combined.

    Little Johnny or Suzie processes a lot more information that may impact their sense of self…their identity…from watching an hour of television than they do from an hour of some childhood activity. Magnify that to the real hours most spend and factor in all the other media outlets that teach us what’s hot, what’s not, what’s expected, what isn’t. I strongly feel that, for most, the media is the primary contributor to any sense of identity and yet most of us simply take it for granted and view it as ‘passive entertainment’.

  • Teresa

    Eddy said:

    I maintain that it IS the fear that you might slip in some weak moment and not a secret desire to ensure that you only consume what the church spoonfeeds you.

    Since we live in a society somewhat different than those of yesteryear, it’s best to appreciate what we have now, and do the best with what we have.

    I think Eddy’s statement quoted above bears looking into. The conservative Christian who has unwanted same-sex attraction is faced with being chaste for a lifetime; although, sometimes wanting to be partnered or be with a same-gendered person ‘in that way’. For lack of a better term, the ex-gay groups who are working to assist these persons, try their best to distance a homosexual from their attractions, and at the same time may attempt to do things to conjure up opposite sex attractions.

    So, part of that whole amelioration process starts with terminology for them. Distancing themselves from their attractions through terms that seem ambiguous to some of us, they feel helps their clients move away from being same-sex attracted. “I’m not my attractions” is a commonly used sentence. “I’m more than my attractions” … “this is not who I really am” … “my real identity is in Christ”, “I’m not gay/lesbian, or homosexual … I’m a person with same-sex attractions”, etc.

    All this sits on the basic premise that homosexuality (the “condition” not the behavior) is disordered. Homosexuals are “really heterosexuals with a homosexual problem”. The goal of ex-gay groups is to repair that homosexual problem so that the heterosexual that you really are, can shine through.

    So, back to Eddy’s statement, of course persons with unwanted same-sex attractions have a certain fear, what would be considered by them, a healthy fear of having those attractions surface again, if they’ve been asleep for awhile, or under good control. Yes, their fear is that they’ll slip.

    I understand this now, far better than before. I don’t necessarily agree with this distancing ourselves from what for most of us will be with us for a lifetime. I think amelioration of attractions is necessary; but, I think use of some terms is really unnecessary, and additionally can be very divisive. Instead of being allies, this tends to foster “I’m not one of those people” … us vs. them … we’re the good ones, they’re the bad ones, etc.

    Please remember these are my thoughts and opinions. I’m not judging anyone’s choices, nor intending to be dismissive of anyone’s experience.

  • Mary

    Instead of being allies, this tends to foster “I’m not one of those people” … us vs. them … we’re the good ones, they’re the bad ones, etc

    I feel that the gay community does this as well, too. Not to place blame, but to bring to light that both sides are guilty of the your bad, I’m not mentality.

  • Jayhuck

    Teresa,

    I understand this now, far better than before. I don’t necessarily agree with this distancing ourselves from what for most of us will be with us for a lifetime. I think amelioration of attractions is necessary; but, I think use of some terms is really unnecessary, and additionally can be very divisive. Instead of being allies, this tends to foster “I’m not one of those people” … us vs. them … we’re the good ones, they’re the bad ones, etc.

    Spot on as usual Teresa! I appreciate what both you and Eddy wrote above. Eddy regarding the media and its effects on kids and what you had to say about orientation and the Church. I do think that some of the ex-gay movement rhetoric fosters an us vs them attitude, which is unfortunate. I grew up in a conservative Christian environment, in college I became slightly agnostic, then an Anglo-Catholic, then Eastern Orthodox (conservative), and now find myself moving back to a position of Agnosticism. I still have great respect for my friends who are religious, but I would like to see that respect extended back to me who, a person who finds himself more spiritual and less religious and definitely more excepting of gay folk. Unfortunately I don’t see that happening – yet

  • David Blakeslee

    @ Jayhuck,

    Fascinating spiritual quest…how many good friends in each community you shared have been able to keep pace with you?

    My own experience is that this is difficult for even the best of friends. Changing world views and religious affiliations seems to trim away what previously had been rudimentary and deeply valued associations.

  • Teresa

    I feel that the gay community does this as well, too. Not to place blame, but to bring to light that both sides are guilty of the your bad, I’m not mentality.

    Yes, Mary, you’re absolutely right. The underlying for both positions is really based in fear, in my opinion. Definitely worth thinking about.

  • Teresa

    Prior comment correction:

    The underlying emotion for both positions is really based in fear, in my opinion.

  • Jayhuck

    I also need to make a slight correction – excepting = accepting above

  • Jayhuck

    David,

    My own experience is that this is difficult for even the best of friends. Changing world views and religious affiliations seems to trim away what previously had been rudimentary and deeply valued associations.

    This is absolutely true, but we have been through so much together, I am hoping that our friendship will weather this change. Christianity was not the bedrock of our friendship.

  • David Blakeslee

    Jayhuck,

    Good Luck…or better yet, God speed.

  • http://www.boxturtlebulletin.com Timothy Kincaid

    Teresa,

    Some others have expressed confusion about my statement that there is no “heterosexual lifestyle” condemned by the church in the same way that the “homosexual lifestyle” is universally condemned. I do think that you knew what I meant in our conversation, but if not, please let me clarify:

    Unlike the conservative church’s common assumption that all homosexual persons live a “homosexual lifestyle” which is by definition sinful, the conservative church does not assume that all single heterosexual persons live a “heterosexual lifestyle” which is by definition sinful.

    I hope that clears up any confusion.

  • http://www.boxturtlebulletin.com Timothy Kincaid

    Teresa

    I think use of some terms is really unnecessary, and additionally can be very divisive. Instead of being allies, this tends to foster “I’m not one of those people” … us vs. them … we’re the good ones, they’re the bad ones, etc.

    This does seem to be evidenced in the language used by the ex-gay movement when it speaks publicly.

  • http://www.boxturtlebulletin.com Timothy Kincaid

    Mary# ~ May 25, 2011 at 9:12 am

    Instead of being allies, this tends to foster “I’m not one of those people” … us vs. them … we’re the good ones, they’re the bad ones, etc

    I feel that the gay community does this as well, too. Not to place blame, but to bring to light that both sides are guilty of the your bad, I’m not mentality.

    I think that the gay community would joyously welcome allies in their quest for civil and social equality. ALL allies.

  • Teresa

    Some others have expressed confusion about my statement that there is no “heterosexual lifestyle” condemned by the church in the same way that the “homosexual lifestyle” is universally condemned. I do think that you knew what I meant in our conversation, but if not, please let me clarify:

    Unlike the conservative church’s common assumption that all homosexual persons live a “homosexual lifestyle” which is by definition sinful, the conservative church does not assume that all single heterosexual persons live a “heterosexual lifestyle” which is by definition sinful.

    I hope that clears up any confusion.

    Timothy, thanks for the clarification. And, yes, I think for many (not all) conservative Christians there is a common assumption that just being a homosexual means “the lifestyle”, whatever conjured notions are associated with that. And, further, I agree that the conservative churches do not engender the same type or amount of opprobrium toward fornication, adultery, porn, artificial birth control, divorce/remarriage and even abortion that is engendered toward homosexuals. Certainly, I know the churches speak to these issues and voice concern and opposition; but, not with the same vigor or with the same level of intense disapproval … at least in my opinion. The old saying, “he’s just sowing his wild oats” certainly displays the accommodation in some ways to what is considered “natural transgression”. A gay man “sowing his wild oats” is partaking in “unnatural transgression”.

    My opinion, gleaned from study of this including the Catechism of the Catholic Church, is that homosexuality (not only the behavior but the ‘being’) is seen “objectively disordered”, meaning “unnatural”, deviant, etc. The conservative churches do not approve of fornication, adultery, etc. (which is certainly clear); but, there’s a naturalness in the ‘sin’ that lessens the response of disapproval. A man having sex with his neighbor’s wife is by no means condoned by the churches, and is definitely seen as transgression; but, the act is understandable in its nature … or it’s a natural sin … one that’s understandable in a ‘natural’ way. A man having sex with the married man next door is in a sense not only transgression; but, a transgression of nature … a violation of the natural order. The transgression or violation is a two-fold one.

    It makes a certain amount of sense that seeing what are considered unnatural acts by certain people; that we move from not only denouncing and decrying the acts, to condemning all persons who have a proclivity for such behavior. Chastity for many of these people doesn’t seem to “cut the mustard” for approval of persons with same-sex attraction.

    It is no wonder and totally understandable that many homosexuals, fearing condemnation, will try to distance themselves from being homosexual: will use terminology that separates themselves from that “thing” that is so condemned. Amelioration is often necessary in the pursuit of chastity; although, balance and lack of fear are also necessary components for a healthy chastity.

    Timothy, as you stated, about Suzie Single (cute expression, btw) vs. Lille Lez and what life they’re leading, and the expectations or acceptations of said life; I think speaks to the whole issue of “disordered” vs “ordered or natural”. Although, truth to tell, not long ago, Suzie Single “sowing her wild oats” was unthinkable; simply because of what was expected of a woman and proper feminine behavior. But, notice the word I used: “proper”. Lillie Lez hanging out with Donna Dyke is not only not proper; but “unnatural”. You get the picture.

    Timothy, many of your comments are very thought provoking containing much truth. You and I disagree in areas; but, I must say you’ve given me some good insights and some fruitful ideas to reflect upon.

  • Eddy

    This comment actually goes to Teresa’s comment from early this morning…I had no time to respond and still make it to work on time…so I sent her comment to myself at work and drafted this in my ‘downtime’.

    All this sits on the basic premise that homosexuality (the “condition” not the behavior) is disordered. Homosexuals are “really heterosexuals with a homosexual problem”. The goal of ex-gay groups is to repair that homosexual problem so that the heterosexual that you really are, can shine through.

    Actually Teresa, it doesn’t sit on that premise. Most of these churches reject the notion that there is a “condition” that is homosexual in nature. They regard the behavior as sinful and, the rejection that you perceive of ‘the condition’ is not unlike their response to other sinful behaviors.

    ALL new Christians, whether hetero or homo, are admonished to steer away from bars. ALL new Christians are admonished to purge their music collection if it endorses sinful endeavors or practices. Those who had used hard-core drugs are admonished to avoid those people and all places or events where they might encounter those people. Those who had issues with gambling are instructed to stop all forms of gambling (including state run lotteries) and might be admonished to stop following the Mega-Lottery results on TV. (NOTE: The Catholic Church tolerates gambling in the form of bingo.) There are other examples but these come to mind as those associated with the word/concept ‘lifestyle’. The behavior isn’t just something you do; it also influences your choice of friends, events, clothing, books and magazines, etc.

    So the ‘ex-gay’ is encouraged to separate from ‘the lifestyle’ but there is no requirement that they never again associate with any gay person. And, the mere existence of groups such as Courage recognizes the need to associate with those who are somewhat like-minded. Sure there are areas where theologies and word usage disagree but I wonder how different that is from other differences that we tolerate without thinking. In one city where I lived, there were so many ‘upscale’ gays that they opened their own bar…not wishing to hang out with the common 9 to 5’ers. (Kind of a gay Yuppie bar.) But consider the word usage when they mixed. “Is that restaurant expensive?” “Oh no, not at all, my partner and I had dinner for less than $100.” LOL. When I say ‘expensive’, I’m asking if it’s over $15 per person; when they say it, the tolerance bar is way higher. Mutual tolerance suggests that I don’t demand that they change their vocabulary nor that they demand I change mine; mutual tolerance prompts me to acknowledge ‘where they’re coming from’ and to consider the impact that might have on the words they use and their meanings. (Around here, people from the West Shore are generally regarded as sheltered suburbanites while those from the East Shore are more citified. But most gay gathering places are in the city. To the West Shore folks, the gay haunts are in what they’d call ‘rough areas’ but the East Shore folks don’t give it a second thought…they reserve the term ‘rough area’ for places where urban decay is rampant and crime is a regular occurrence. Same words, different meanings.

    I happen to be quite literal. (I’m literate too but I’m talking literal.) I always knew that the word ‘nigger’ was offensive so it threw me when black people would use it with each other. I personally preferred (way back when) the use of Negro over black mainly because I never had met a black who was truly black…all were varying shades of brown or tan. Came to realize that Negro wasn’t much better and went with African-American until I met someone from Jamaica who resented the African-American label because it made his Jamaican ancestry, of which he was very proud, invisible. The word ‘brother’, even when used by the same person, can have different meanings depending on its context. It can mean my ‘flesh and blood brother with common parent’; it can be ‘another person of my race’; in a church setting, it could mean any male regardless of race. We understand this and flow with this without objection. I’ve long been persuaded that many of the accusations of word-play and deceitful word usage would actually be explained by considering these contexts.

  • Teresa

    Actually Teresa, it doesn’t sit on that premise. Most of these churches reject the notion that there is a “condition” that is homosexual in nature. They regard the behavior as sinful and, the rejection that you perceive of ‘the condition’ is not unlike their response to other sinful behaviors.

    Actually, Eddy, your first sentence above is exactly what I said in the quote below:

    All this sits on the basic premise that homosexuality (the “condition” not the behavior) is disordered. Homosexuals are “really heterosexuals with a homosexual problem”. The goal of ex-gay groups is to repair that homosexual problem so that the heterosexual that you really are, can shine through.

    Eddy, not to beat a dead horse, deader; either you or I are living on another planet. If you think that Christian Conservative Churches treat homosexuals and homosexual behavior the same way they do fornication or adultery … then we’ll just agree to disagree.

    You’re taking my comment before yours quite out of context; and, seem to want to move it somewhere else. I’m not quite sure where. I understand what you’re saying in your comment, Eddy, and I see merit in it. On the other hand, I’m not quite sure if what you understood in what I said, is actually what I said.

  • http://www.boxturtlebulletin.com Timothy Kincaid

    there’s a naturalness in the ‘sin’ that lessens the response of disapproval.

    There’s an inclination (probably in all of us) to think that my temptations are normal, your temptations are perverse. And, yes, the Catholic church does add quite a bit to that feeling by statements about what is “natural” or “disordered”.

    Timothy, many of your comments are very thought provoking containing much truth. You and I disagree in areas; but, I must say you’ve given me some good insights and some fruitful ideas to reflect upon.

    I am happy about that.

  • http://www.boxturtlebulletin.com Timothy Kincaid

    ALL new Christians, whether hetero or homo, are admonished to steer away from bars. ALL new Christians are admonished to purge their music collection if it endorses sinful endeavors or practices. Those who had used hard-core drugs are admonished to avoid those people and all places or events where they might encounter those people. Those who had issues with gambling are instructed to stop all forms of gambling (including state run lotteries) and might be admonished to stop following the Mega-Lottery results on TV.

    And this is, I believe, Teresa’s point.

    New Christians are not admonished to steer away from other single heterosexual people, even those who might be in an unmarried sexual relationship. But homosexuality is not seen as similar to heterosexual activity outside of marriage. It is seen as akin to hard core drugs or gambling.

    As your comment illustrates.

  • David Blakeslee

    Romans 1 is the excuse for the disgust, but they do not have that same disgust for the rest of the sins listed:

    They have become filled with every kind of wickedness, evil, greed and depravity. They are full of envy, murder, strife, deceit and malice. They are gossips, 30 slanderers, God-haters, insolent, arrogant and boastful; they invent ways of doing evil; they disobey their parents; 31 they have no understanding, no fidelity, no love, no mercy. 32 Although they know God’s righteous decree that those who do such things deserve death, they not only continue to do these very things but also approve of those who practice them.

    The church, only in the last few decades has made a place for the divorced; for sexual addictions, for alcohol and drug recovery. Having living and breathing sinners in the church is a new concept.

  • David Blakeslee

    Let’s add this too, Romans 2:

    You, therefore, have no excuse, you who pass judgment on someone else, for at whatever point you judge another, you are condemning yourself, because you who pass judgment do the same things. 2 Now we know that God’s judgment against those who do such things is based on truth. 3 So when you, a mere human being, pass judgment on them and yet do the same things, do you think you will escape God’s judgment? 4 Or do you show contempt for the riches of his kindness, forbearance and patience, not realizing that God’s kindness is intended to lead you to repentance?

    5 But because of your stubbornness and your unrepentant heart, you are storing up wrath against yourself for the day of God’s wrath, when his righteous judgment will be revealed. 6

  • Teresa

    David B., said:

    Having living and breathing sinners in the church is a new concept.

    I thought the Christian idea was everyone in the congregation was “a living and breathing sinner”. Am I mistaken about this? If I am not mistaken, when did it become a new concept?

    Of course, some of us think “our sins” are really not that bad, or as bad, as those persons over there … whomever they are.

  • Eddy

    Teresa–

    I’m pretty sure we disagreed.

    You said:

    All this sits on the basic premise that homosexuality (the “condition” not the behavior) is disordered.

    And I said that they don’t believe in the ‘condition’ in the first place. ve

    Conservative Christians, as a whole, don’t buy into the whole homosexual orientation thing. They believe that we are all sexual…that for some that sexuality either doesn’t evolve completely or gets twisted somehow…like any natural appetite. Parts of the appetite are completely natural and are, in fact, driven by internal mechanisms. There is a natural desire to couple…to complete oneself through union with another…that’s a part of every person’s basic sexuality. They take exception to the idea that it’s a part of a person’s basic HOMO-sexuality.

    The basic sexual urge to couple and complete is with us all. Those of us who have found some sense of fulfillment or gratification homosexually will almost instinctively follow that pattern of response. But, if you liken it to other appetites…say for food…perhaps the distinction will be clearer.

    I have a nephew who rejects all fruits and vegetables. The natural ‘order of things’ says he needs the balance of good nutrition yet he continually feeds his hunger appetite with a diet that is weighted with foods that are essentially unhealthy for him. Nothing is showing up yet but, I’ve watched: the boy consumes NO fruits or vegetables (unless they are somehow masqueraded in a sauce) over meat or pasta. He has an appetite…believe me, he can consume plenty…but his appetite is skewed…it’s off balance…The appetite itself is normal; the choices that he makes to feed that appetite are off. This is what the Conservative Christian sees in the professed homosexual. They don’t see a person with a homosexual condition; they see a person with a sexual condition who has found (or thinks they will find) gratification through homosexual expression.

    A desire to be emotionally close or attached to someone of the same gender is not what the Bible speaks against. (In fact, the Bible has numerous examples of same gender closeness…same gender affinity…same gender love. The capacity to admire or emulate the qualities or attributes of someone of the same gender…that’s not spoken against either. Furthermore, the fact that an individual may have a propensity for confusing those desires with sexual ones…well, that’s not clearly addressed. So we need to ask, are those desires, in themselves, natural? If they are, what is the just cause for denying someone who has difficulty with same sex sexual attraction from pursuing them to the extent that they are natural? AND, if they ARE natural desires, is it possible that the homosexually attracted individual is so because they’ve been obstructed in the fulfillment of those natural desires?

  • Teresa

    They believe that we are all sexual…that for some that sexuality either doesn’t evolve completely or gets twisted somehow…like any natural appetite.

    Eddy, isn’t this just another way of saying: “heterosexual with a homosexual problem” … meaning the heterosexuality became disrupted? I think we’re speaking past each other; but, saying pretty much the same thing.

    They don’t see a person with a homosexual condition; they see a person with a sexual condition who has found (or thinks they will find) gratification through homosexual expression.

    This sounds like more words to say exactly what I said above. A sexual condition … disordered heterosexuality … “a heterosexual with a homosexual problem” … “a heterosexual with a sexual condition” …

    Perhaps, you see the difference, Eddy. I don’t. They simply don’t like using the term homosexual. They prefer “sexual condition”, instead. Similar to using the term, same-sex attracted instead of homosexual.

    If they are, what is the just cause for denying someone who has difficulty with same sex sexual attraction from pursuing them to the extent that they are natural? AND, if they ARE natural desires, is it possible that the homosexually attracted individual is so because they’ve been obstructed in the fulfillment of those natural desires?

    I don’t think any homosexual who pursues chastity and is not fear-based has a difficulty with pursuing proper same-sex friendships. Was that somehow implied, somewhere?

  • http://funfrotfacts.blogspot.com Throbert McGee

    Parts of the appetite are completely natural and are, in fact, driven by internal mechanisms. There is a natural desire to couple…to complete oneself through union with another…that’s a part of every person’s basic sexuality.

    Well… every person EXCEPT for Joseph and Mary, whose extra-special reward for bringing the Son of God into the world was that they should be spared the gross indignity of sharing sexual pleasure as husband and wife, and instead they were given the beautiful gift of living together for decades but never feeling even a twinge of erotic passion for each other.

    At least, that’s what the Catholic Church teaches.

    I expect Teresa might scold me at this point for attacking Catholicism again, but what I’m saying is — No, babydoll, I’m not attacking Catholicism itself; I’m attacking the pernicious and artificial elevation of lifelong abstinence as a condition worthy of special praise. In my view, this is a false doctrine that comes from a highly literal reading of Paul’s advice that “it is good for the unmarried to abide as I do.”

    I would further submit that this elevation of celibacy is distinctly un-Jewish, and that Paul, as a Hellenized Jew, might have absorbed this heretical idea from pagan Greek philosophy.

  • Jayhuck

    So we need to ask, are those desires, in themselves, natural? If they are, what is the just cause for denying someone who has difficulty with same sex sexual attraction from pursuing them to the extent that they are natural? AND, if they ARE natural desires, is it possible that the homosexually attracted individual is so because they’ve been obstructed in the fulfillment of those natural desires?

    Teresa# ~ May 25, 2011 at 11:20 pm

    Do we really need to ask these things? Haven’t these questions already been asked? Haven’t we been talking about these things for decades? It seems, from my perspective anyway, that these are ideas/suppositions that have been discussed at length.

    My priest suggested, one time, that to help quell some of my same sex attraction that I cultivate more male friends and spend more time with them. He did not suggest this as a means for “curing” my same sex attraction, only as a way to possibly lessen the desires. I did that for years without feeling that this was helping me in any way other than cultivating new friends. As time went on I began wondering, how is this supposed to curb my desire to hold hands with someone, or kiss someone, or fall in love with someone, or be physically intimate with someone. Other than provide a poor means of distraction, I came to the conclusion that the priest’s suggestion did not help.

  • Teresa

    I expect Teresa might scold me at this point for attacking Catholicism again, but what I’m saying is — No, babydoll, I’m not attacking Catholicism itself;

    Attack Catholicism all you want, Throbert. It needs no defense from me (it’ll be there long after you and I are pushing up daisies); and, you certainly don’t need to be scolded or chastised for your views … least of all by this babydoll … :)

  • Eddy

    Do we really need to ask these things? Haven’t these questions already been asked? Haven’t we been talking about these things for decades? It seems, from my perspective anyway, that these are ideas/suppositions that have been discussed at length.

    Who is this ‘we’? LOL. I note that the questions have been asked. I hear the suggestion that they’ve been talked about for decades. But what I don’t hear are answers. Even the ‘answer’ that Jayhuck supplied actually misses the two scenarios I presented.

    Does Jayhuck’s failed experiment answer this one?

    what is the just cause for denying someone who has difficulty with same sex sexual attraction from pursuing them to the extent that they are natural?

    Does it answer this one?

    is it possible that the homosexually attracted individual is so because they’ve been obstructed in the fulfillment of those natural desires?

    So, yeah, if people keep asking questions and keep getting answers to questions they haven’t asked, then perhaps we really need to keep asking these things.

  • Jayhuck

    Eddy,

    So, yeah, if people keep asking questions and keep getting answers to questions they haven’t asked, then perhaps we really need to keep asking these things.

    LOL! Fair enough :) I am sorry that I didn’t address your specific questions.

    Furthermore, the fact that an individual may have a propensity for confusing those desires with sexual ones…well, that’s not clearly addressed. So we need to ask, are those desires, in themselves, natural? If they are, what is the just cause for denying someone who has difficulty with same sex sexual attraction from pursuing them to the extent that they are natural? AND, if they ARE natural desires, is it possible that the homosexually attracted individual is so because they’ve been obstructed in the fulfillment of those natural desires?

    Before I go any further I need to make sure I understand what you are talking about. You are asking what the reason might be for denying someone who has problems with SSA from “pursuing” desires to “admire or emulate” those of the same sex, or from being “emotionally close to or attached” to someone of the same sex, right?

    You’re also asking if those desires, to emulate, admire or be emotionally close to are natural, correct? Seems to me that they are natural.

    is it possible that the homosexually attracted individual is so because they’ve been obstructed in the fulfillment of those natural desires?

    This is one that I was addressing, if only in part, when sharing my own experience above. I don’t know if this is true for some gay people, it doesn’t seem to be true for me, and many other gay people, but I obviously cannot speak for all. Its an old idea, one you find touted mainly by conservative Christians, likely as a way of maintaining their own world view. For them, homosexuality IS disordered, there is no question, so they immediately begin looking for causes. It makes sense they would do this, and I don’t have a problem with that necessarily, until their ideas start stepping on my rights.

    Is there ANY evidence out there that suggests this might be true for some gay folk? I don’t know.

  • Richard Willmer

    @ David Blakeslee

    Thank you for putting that ‘fragment’ of the Letter to the Romans in its proper context. I actually did something similar when petitioning Canyon Ridge Church on the matter of their support for Martin Ssempa.

    As for the ‘fragment’ itself (Rom. 1 : 26 – 27): I subscribe to the school of thought that this is not about same-sex relationships per se.

  • David Blakeslee

    Richard,

    Paul’s demands, condemnations and then full blown runs into Grace and Humility seem like a very interesting journey into the soul of a man, raised in a culture, and repulsed by a new culture.

    He carries the terror of God’s holiness with the vastness of His grace.

    If you study him verse by verse…you cannot get his struggle and resignation and relief (too easy to take comforting verses one by one, which advance our preferred view).

  • Eddy

    Jayhuck–

    My question went to cause and your response re the priest’s advice went to cure. :-)

  • Richard Willmer

    Yes, David – I see your point. Saint Paul’s favourite words were ‘and yet …’.

  • Jayhuck

    Eddy,

    My question went to cause and your response re the priest’s advice went to cure

    Right! You already alluded to that above. I thought we were moving on? I asked for some clarification. Did I paraphrase your questions correctly?

  • Eddy

    LOL. I don’t know why you thought we were moving on…I can’t find it in our comments. And I also don’t see where you asked for clarification. (This second part is particularly confusing…did you think we were moving on or were you seeking clarification?)

    Your paraphrases were close enough; it’s everything that followed ‘this is the one that I was addressing’ that I was addressing with my brief comment.

  • Jayhuck

    Eddy,

    You “don’t see where” I asked for clarification? LOL – Ok then, I’ll repost the paragraph:

    Before I go any further I need to make sure I understand what you are talking about. You are asking what the reason might be for denying someone who has problems with SSA from “pursuing” desires to “admire or emulate” those of the same sex, or from being “emotionally close to or attached” to someone of the same sex, right?

  • Jayhuck

    Eddy,

    Your paraphrases were close enough; it’s everything that followed ‘this is the one that I was addressing’ that I was addressing with my brief comment.

    I got that ;)

  • Eddy

    LOL. It was a rhetorical question. I already answered it with the very strong suggestion that some desires were natural and non-sexual…so where’s the justification for denying their pursuit??? (Also strongly implied was that a Christian with gay feelings could and should learn to differentiate between those feelings that are sexual and those that are not.)

    But, really, let’s move on.

    My burning curiosity goes to a question I posed

    Eddy# ~ May 17, 2011 at 10:55 pm

    Whereas: the Ugandan National Association of Social Workers has issued a position paper supporting the concept that homosexuality is pathological drawing from religious concepts and from “scientific” studies of 50 years ago that have long since been discredited by the scientific community

    I could only find one position paper by the UNASW and the only religious concept I noted was the concept of “body, mind and spirit”. Any allusions to 50 year old studies was a reference to the debunking of the Kinsey studies. Can someone clarify?

  • Jayhuck

    It was a rhetorical question. I already answered it with the very strong suggestion that some desires were natural and non-sexual…so where’s the justification for denying their pursuit??? (Also strongly implied was that a Christian with gay feelings could and should learn to differentiate between those feelings that are sexual and those that are not.)

    LOL! Who has been advocating denying the pursuit of those desires? I’m curious.

    I personally think it would be a good exercise for ALL people to learn to differentiate between desires that are sexual and those that are not. Its part of growing up.

    But, really, let’s move on.

    Yes, let’s ;)

  • Eddy

    LOL! Who has been advocating denying the pursuit of those desires? I’m curious.

    But, really, let’s move on.

    Yes, let’s

    Which did you mean, Jayhuck? Answer your question or move on? Makes me feel that you’re just playing at pithy retorts.

  • Jayhuck

    Eddy,

    I’m torn – I’d love an answer to the question but it might be for the best if we simply move on.

  • Richard Willmer
  • Maazi NCO

    Disturbing report published today: http://www.guardian.co.uk/uk/2011/may/31/ugandan-branded-iron-deportation-sexuality

    Given the lies desperate asylum seekers tell, it would be virtually impossible to confirm her tale. Even injuries can be self-inflicted in desperation to move to the West. Anyways, Richard Willmer, you have your work cut out for you. Go and lobby your government to let her stay in your country with the same vehemence that you used against the 2009 version of the Bahati Bill. I just read in BBC that the South African High Commissioner here in Kampala has been found guilty of “hate speech” NOT for making any blood-curdling speeches asking for gay sex practitioners to be hacked to death, but for daring to write a newspaper column criticizing gay lifestyle. He has now been ordered by a South African Court to pay money to a charity that promotes gayism in the Southern African nation. It is good to know what lies ahead for Ugandans, if we were to stupidly make the mistake of legalizing gayism like the South Africans did in 1994.

  • Richard Willmer

    Hello ‘Maazi’!

    I think Qwelane did rather more than simply ‘criticize gay lifestyles’. He played the old ‘bestiality card’ – one of those favourite dirty propaganda lines of hate-filled loonies.

    I’m not afraid of hard work in a good cause, by the way – just as you are not afraid of hard work in a bad one! Nor am I afraid of the government of my country experiencing a little ‘embarrassment’ now and again. Unlike some people, I don’t subscribe to maxim ‘my country(‘s government), right or wrong’. But then I have the good fortune to live in a (sort of) democracy!

    Are Betty’s claims truthful? Well, we’ll probably find out in time. There is a view that the UK immigration authorities don’t always take some claims as seriously as they should; the courts often do a better job, so let’s hope that, as will soon be the case with another person we were discussing earlier this year, this situation is scrutinized by a court.

  • Maazi NCO

    I think Qwelane did rather more than simply ‘criticize gay lifestyles’. He played the old ‘bestiality card’ – one of those favourite dirty propaganda lines of hate-filled loonies.

    Describing Qwelane as “hate-filled loony” is just your own subjective opinion. The fact is that a man was slammed for simply stating his views in a peaceful manner. He did not call for anyone to be murdered, yet he was declared guilty of a “hate speech” which he never made. This is the only reality that matters not your subjective opinions as to whether he is “loony” or not. It is good that this story is unfolding now because it presents Ugandans with a taste of what will inevitably arrive at their doorstep should we ever allow sex deviants to seize control or have disproportionate influence in the decision making process of our nation.

    I’m not afraid of hard work in a good cause, by the way – just as you are not afraid of hard work in a bad one!

    The talk of “good” and “bad” is merely a subjective viewpoint. The average American thinks it is a good thing for the government to execute killers condemned to death by a court of law. Most Europeans (including most Britons) think it is barbaric for a court of law to condemn a killer to death and for a government to enforce the verdict. You believe that gayism is okay and fight for it to be propagated throughout the world. Myself and most Ugandans state that gayism is an abominable act which contradicts the laws, customs, culture and traditions of our nation.

  • Richard Willmer

    Most people’s viewpoints are subjective, ‘Maazi’ – including yours.

    I didn’t actually say that Qwelane himself is a ‘hate-filled loony’, merely that he used a device that ‘hate-filled loonies’ like to use.

    Bahati has made it very clear that he wants to ‘propagate’ his vision beyond UG’s borders, thus making the massive international response to bahatiism entirely justified on political, as well as moral, grounds.

    (By the way, you really mustn’t take everything I say quite so much at ‘face value’; like you, I use rhetorical devices to make my point.)

  • Eddy

    For the record….

    I asked a rhetorical question and then answered it with the legitimacy for same-sex attracted persons to pursue desires relating to their same gender that were non-sexual. Neither the question or its answer had in mind some person or group that thought such pursuits were not legitimate. The statement was made for the benefit of those who might not see the distinction between legitimate same-sex desires or needs for fellowship or camaraderie and those desires that are sexual. In short, there is no burning question (Jayhuck’s) that needs to be answered.

  • Richard Willmer

    @ Eddy

    I think you’ve hit on an important issue here, and it reminds of us just how complicated this whole area of human identity and psychology is. ‘Extremists’ on both sides of the various arguments around this subject tend to ‘simplify’ things ad absurdum, failing to see the distinctions between people, characteristics, tendencies and behaviours, and all the differences within each of the aforementioned.

    Some people just take a whole load of different things and lump them together under a label such as ‘gayism’; others might do a similar thing, but apply a label such as ‘love’.

  • Richard Willmer

    And on the subject of ‘extremist’ ranting, here’s the very article to which ‘Maazi NCO’ alluded, complete with its hate-inspired cartoon: http://thenewcivilrightsmovement.com/uganda-south-african-ambassador-found-guilty-of-anti-gay-hate-speech/discrimination/2011/05/31/21117

  • Richard Willmer

    Another interesting point: one does notice how homophobic people so often use sexually-related language to make their point (or spice up their propaganda). For instance, Qwelane says, “some day a bunch of politicians will muster the balls …”

    Instructive, I think. (As my mother used to say, “some people have sex on the brain, and it’s the wrong place to have it!”)

  • ken

    Richard Willmer# ~ Jun 1, 2011 at 7:25 am

    I wouldn’t classify Qwelane’s article as “hate-speech”. Certainly he is ignorant about a great many issues regarding sexual orientation, and that sort of ignorance does lead to hate. However, ignorance and hate are not the same thing.

    And his lack of education isn’t limited to sexual orientation. In the 2nd paragraph Qwelane says:

    Rome would not sanction his (Henry VIII) marriage to Anne Boleyn his brother’s widow.

    Catherine of Aragon was Arthur’s widow and Rome did approve that marriage. Rome didn’t recognize Henry’s divorce from Catherine or his marriage to Anne.

  • Richard Willmer

    Well, Ken, he has been convicted of hate-speech and fined, so my ‘assessment’ is in line with that of an African court!

    But I see your point, although the cartoon is clearly designed to ‘promote a very negative attitude’, based on falsehood (viz. that consensual same-sex relationships are someohow equivalent to bestiality), to gay people.

  • Richard Willmer

    On a brighter note, here’s some good sense from two former African presidents who are concerned about the spread of HIV: http://www.africanactivist.org/2011/05/former-presidents-of-botswana-and.html

  • Maazi NCO

    Well, Ken, he has been convicted of hate-speech and fined, so my ‘assessment’ is in line with that of an African court!

    But I see your point, although the cartoon is clearly designed to ‘promote a very negative attitude’, based on falsehood (viz. that consensual same-sex relationships are someohow equivalent to bestiality), to gay people.

    I am sure you are so impressed with the South African Court. Over here in Uganda, it is people who write that gayism is great and draw cartoons exhalting such a lifestyle that will be in the dock. We are working very hard to see the legal framework updated. Now run along and report this comment to Her Majesty’s Government. :-)

  • Maazi NCO

    On a brighter note, here’s some good sense from two former African presidents who are concerned about the spread of HIV: http://www.africanactivist.org/2011/05/former-presidents-of-botswana-and.html

    First of all, these ex-presidents are hypocrites, jokers and flip-floppers who aren’t taken that seriously by any African government. Festus Mogae while president of Botswana asked the Batswana people to tolerate gayism. That statement got the local sex deviants all excited and they decided to push their luck by going to the courts to have sodomy decriminalized. They were baffled when Mogae’s government fought them ruthlessly and defeated them twice in court (2003 and 2006). Ex-Zambian ruler Kenneth Kaunda is a joker. Last year, he was one of those calling for the new Zambian constitution to explicitly ban the misnomer called “same-sex marriage” in the same manner as the Ugandan constitution. In January of this year, he was on record supporting the ban on gay marriage. Then he goes to Malawi and says that same-sex marriage should be legalized. I wonder how much it cost Western donors— who support his anti-HIV/AIDS Organization—- to compel the old man to open his mouth and proclaim the greatness of gay marriage.

    Personally, I do not take seriously NGOs that are heavily funded by Europeans and Americans because such organizations tend to be highly compromised. I know enough about Westerners to know that their donations are always Greek Gifts. Western governments never give you a hand in anything without asking for one thing or another in return. It is either they are blackmailing you to support them in the United Nations to punish another nation that is blocking their geo-political interests or they asking you to open up your economy for massive dumping of goods which are clogging up their domestic markets or they are asking you to legalize gayism to keep their loyal domestic sex deviant voters back in Europe/America happy and grateful for the opening of a new exotic Thailand-style pan sexual paradise in Africa where they can go as tourists to practise their dark arts.

  • Maazi NCO

    .

    …..They are asking you to legalize gayism to keep their loyal domestic sex deviant voters back in Europe/America happy and grateful for the opening of a new exotic Thailand-style pan sexual paradise in Africa where they can go as tourists to practise their dark arts…

    Awww, I can already see myself being led away in chains by the Police in South Africa or most EU nations for making a “hate speech” against something called “LGBT community” !! :D

  • Richard Willmer

    Darling, you’re hysterical! @ ‘Maazi NCO’

  • Maazi NCO

    Darling, you’re hysterical! @ ‘Maazi NCO’

    Why should I be hysterical? I am never hysterical. Not on this subject matter,anyway. But I do love that these events are unfolding before our eyes in Africa. Common think about it—-what was the chances that Qwelane would posted to Uganda (not Kenya, not Congo-Kinshasa, not Congo-Brazzaville, not Botswana) right after he had written his article blasting gay lifestyle? Zuma does have a good sense of humour !

  • Richard Willmer

    Well, ‘Maazi’, I personally wouldn’t describe fanning the flames of ignorance, prejudice and hatred as ‘humorous’. I can’t see what possible good it can do in UG, or anywhere else. It’s really all about misguided nationalism on your part, isn’t it? You have not actually presented any substantive advantages for the Bahati Bill. amended or otherwise. It’s all just theoretical waffle about ‘defending’ so-called ‘culture’; the effects on real people clearly doesn’t seem to figure in your calculations. Mogae and Kaunda, on the other hand, are thinking logically and practically about what might serve the best interests of the greatest number of people.

  • Maazi NCO

    Mogae and Kaunda, on the other hand, are thinking logically and practically……

    ….After receiving huge sums of money from western donors, some of which will help them in their permanent retirement from the corridors of real political power :D

  • Richard Willmer

    And your evidence for these ‘donor-funded retirement plans’, ‘Maazi’?

    (Oh, I forgot, you don’t ‘do evidence’, do you hun? It’s just ‘assertion’ with you … no evidence, no analysis.)

  • Richard Willmer

    I have to admit, I was surprised by Kaunda’s advocacy of ‘same-sex marriage’, something that is a matter of civil, not criminal, law. The abuse and murder (state-sanctioned, a la Bahati, or ‘extra-judicial’) of LGB persons is something that many (myself included) regard as a human rights issue, not a civil rights one. While recognizing stable same-sex partnerships is, IMHO, a desirable thing for ‘society’, the first priority with regard to combatting HIV/AIDS must surely be to deal with the marginalization, dishonesty and hypocrisy that comes in the wake of the per se criminalization LGB persons and of homophobia generally. Let us not forget that, in places like UG, the principal HIV risk factor is almost certainly marital infidelity – something which homophobia probably helps to promote (by encouraging gay people to contract ‘sham’ marriages while having secret ‘side dishes’ of the same sex), at least to some extent.

    Of course, Bahati’s ‘Hang-the-gays’ Bill (and it still is just that – make no mistake about it) is a jurisprudential disaster area of the highest order, confusing as it does activities such as child abuse and rape (which fit the usual ‘perpetrator-victim’ paradigm of genuine crime) with truly consensual relationships (where that paradigm simply doesn’t apply) and ‘same-sex marriage’ (which is a really a matter of civil law).

  • Richard Willmer

    Ken :

    Coming back to your point, this article is interesting (and rather supports your view, in some ways): http://www.africanactivist.org/2011/06/hate-speech-reinforces-climate-of-hate.html

    (I would add that, under UK law, ‘hate speech’ must be shown to be ‘threatening and not just abusive or insulting’ and/or ‘liable to stir up hatred’. Judgments on things like this are very difficult to make.)


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