In his groundbreaking book Homosexuality and Civilization Louis Crompton writes “it is an irony of history that the two cultures which have done most to shape Western civilization should have adopted antithetical views on homosexuality at almost the same time”. Greece in the 6th Century BC (we’re stuck with this pejorative dating system) was the cradle of civilization. Art, philosophy, science, and democracy: all these concepts flourished under the most remarkable of societies. “Greek achievements in literature, art and architecture set norms for the Western world for two thousand years,” Crompton waxes lyrical. Homosexuality was an integral part of that culture. And while this was happening a tribal group in the lands of Palestine, oppressed and afraid, forged a rulebook that would, thanks to the accession of Christianity and its adoption as the official religion of the Roman Empire under Constantine I, come to determine how homosexuality was judged in the Western world. Leviticus was that book, and although Christianity dropped its more nonsensical prohibitions, the prohibition on homosexuality remained in place.
There is nothing more dangerous to liberty than a people afraid. Afraid for their livelihood, afraid for their way of life, afraid because the government tells them that terrorists are at the door. As the media practices its own systematic terrorizing of the people in a bid to sell sell sell – from the global economic crisis, rather ironically, to swine flu – there is a marked retreat from the rational and a move toward the tribal. And into the vacuum organizations such as the ex-gay groups rush. In April an organization called the Anglican Mainstream Organisation imported to Britain some American Witch Hunters who call themselves Ex-Gay Practitioners and refer to our diverse flock of LGBT folk as “sexually broken”. Joseph Nicolosi and Jeffrey Satinover were amongst those to speak.
Nicolosi is a clinical psychologist and director of the auspiciously named Thomas Aquinas Psychological Clinic. It makes one shudder with authority. Whisper its name. He practices a form of voodoo called Reparative Therapy. The American Psychiatric Association opposes this so-called therapy. “In the last four decades, ‘reparative’ therapists have not produced any rigorous scientific research to substantiate their claims of cure. Until there is such research available, APA recommends that ethical practitioners refrain from attempts to change individuals’ sexual orientation, keeping in mind the medical dictum to first, do no harm.” Nicolosi does not need proof. God is on his side, and that there Hippocratic oath is from those darned fag-enabling Greeks, godammit!!! And screw those tree-hugging hippies from The National Association of Social Workers, The American Psychological Association, The American Psychiatric Association, The American Counseling Association, the Royal College of Psychiatrists, and the American Academy of Pediatrics, all of whom oppose Reparative Therapy.
Here is a quote from one of his patients that Nicolosi uses as an illustration: “For many years I thought I was gay. I finally realized I was not a homosexual, but really a heterosexual man with a homosexual problem”. Language and sense are out of the window.
Jeffrey Satinover is the author of Homosexuality and the Politics of Truth. One just has to love how the word Truth is used as a diversion. He claims that homosexuality is not innate and that it can be changed. What does he offer up as proof? Not the years of research so ably described in Born Gay: The Psychobiology of Sex Orientation by Glen Wilson and Qazi Rahman. The proof he offers is that the Corinthians engaged in homosexual acts and the Gospel cleansed them. That will be that, then. Apparently homosexuality occurs because people are conditioned that way (by what? Will and Grace?). Or they grow up in dysfunctional families (like the Windsors, the Reagans?).
Unlike America, Britain does not have a tradition that incorporates this extreme level of hokiness. This seems to be changing as the seemingly inexorable march of Americanisation subsumes British culture. Why are these charlatans being asked over here to speak? Yet it is not that simple. In March 2009, the BMC Psychiatry journal published a study in which it was revealed that one in six registered therapist and psychiatrists in Britain have attempted the ‘cure’. What should be done? I don’t recommend quoting the prohibition on mixed fibres in Leviticus. This may be fun but it is just playground politics. The key is education, the support of organisations that oppose the ex-gay junta, and letters to the Press Complaints Commission.
Links & Further Reading
Complaining isn’t just for the uptight, and those who start letters with the words ‘Why oh why oh why’. If there is something in the press that is misrepresentative use this service.
This is not a happy camper, so to speak. Thou shalt not challenge me!
The ideas for Reparative Therapy and a ‘cure’ for homosexuality are tacked on to this.
One in six British therapists reported to have tried to ‘cure’ homosexuality.
A resource for some articles about the ex-gay movement in Britain.
Read this document and tremble … possibly with laughter