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Author Topic: 'Ex-Gays' Seek a Say in Schools
snopes
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In response to campus programs supporting homosexuality, critics call for offering an alternative view: that people can go straight.

http://ktla.trb.com/news/la-na-exgay28may28,0,5841536.story

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Canuckistan
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quote:
They argue that schools have an obligation to balance gay-pride themes with the message that gay and lesbian students can go straight through "reparative therapy." In this view, homosexuality is not a fixed or inborn trait but a symptom of emotional distress — a disorder that can be cured.
Is there any credible scientific evidence that such programs work? AFAIK, not only does that evidence not exist, but the evidence shows these "reparative therapy" programs actually do more harm than good.

And if that's the case, they have no place promoting their stuff in schools.

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James D
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quote:
Originally posted by Canuckistan:
quote:
They argue that schools have an obligation to balance gay-pride themes with the message that gay and lesbian students can go straight through "reparative therapy." In this view, homosexuality is not a fixed or inborn trait but a symptom of emotional distress — a disorder that can be cured.
Is there any credible scientific evidence that such programs work? AFAIK, not only does that evidence not exist, but the evidence shows these "reparative therapy" programs actually do more harm than good.

And if that's the case, they have no place promoting their stuff in schools.

According to the American Psychological association:

quote:
Some therapists who undertake so-called conversion therapy report that they have been able to change their clients' sexual orientation from homosexual to heterosexual. Close scrutiny of these reports however show several factors that cast doubt on their claims. For example, many of the claims come from organizations with an ideological perspective which condemns homosexuality. Furthermore, their claims are poorly documented. For example, treatment outcome is not followed and reported overtime as would be the standard to test the validity of any mental health intervention.

The American Psychological Association is concerned about such therapies and their potential harm to patients. In 1997, the Association's Council of Representatives passed a resolution reaffirming psychology's opposition to homophobia in treatment and spelling out a client's right to unbiased treatment and self-determination. Any person who enters into therapy to deal with issues of sexual orientation has a right to expect that such therapy would take place in a professionally neutral environment absent of any social bias.



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FireSpook
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What the hell?

So little can be cured, like autism, and yet homosexually can be?

That insane, But I hope the school does give them a say; just so people with brainds can use that claim, plus some basic facts, to back up the camparne of anti-anti-gayism

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Pogue Ma-humbug
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Can we have ex-Christian groups come in to balance all those prayer societies popping up in public schools?

Pogue

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Canuckistan
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quote:
Originally posted by Pogue Mahone:
Can we have ex-Christian groups come in to balance all those prayer societies popping up in public schools?

[Big Grin]

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Troberg
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quote:
Is there any credible scientific evidence that such programs work?
Well, they would add a lot of credibility to their program if they could also turn a straight person gay.

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/Troberg

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Tarquin Farquart
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quote:
Originally posted by Troberg:
quote:
Is there any credible scientific evidence that such programs work?
Well, they would add a lot of credibility to their program if they could also turn a straight person gay.
[lol] Maybe there should be ex-straight organisations for balance.

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Franny
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The OP talks about adding this sort of crap as 'equal time' to present a contrasting view to homosexuality in sex education.

Why does this argument work with homosexuality but not with creationism?

Apparently the Boulder, CO, school district buys it: " educators are considering including an ex-gay pamphlet in a resource guide to help teachers handle questions about sexuality. The pamphlet states that sexual identity is fluid and that conversion therapy can help some gays and lesbians overcome depression. The district — in one of the most liberal cities in the country — does not endorse that philosophy, but "we're a big believer in providing all viewpoints," spokeswoman Maela Moore said. "It would be negligent to omit." (From OP)

Also a Federal judge in Maryland agrees, "The judge agreed that students should hear other perspectives, and PFOX took a seat on the committee charged with drafting new lesson plans." (also from OP)

FYI: School clubs are governed under the Federal Equal Access Act (20 U.S.C. §§ 4071-74). The Act requires most schools to permit clubs of all religions, and none. Included might be groups which deal with Atheism, Goth culture, Heavy Metal music, Satanism, Wicca, other Neopagan religion, etc. School districts can opt out of the Act by not allowing any non-curriculum clubs. cite from a not necessarily christian religious perspective .

The article cited in the OP seems to have one little problem. The act requires that "the meeting is voluntary and student-initiated" (link to copy of the act). Nothing in the article indicates that any student is looking to form a so-called ex-gay club. It mentions that these 'groups' are trying to recruit students, but mentions no current ex-gay student organizations.

Lastly, Alan Chambers, a leading ex-gay activist, recalls how scared and depressed he felt when a high-school counselor advised him to deal with his attraction to other boys by accepting his homosexuality. He had no choice, she told him: He was gay. "It was very damaging," Chambers said. "I didn't want that. I hadn't chosen it."

Isn't that what gay people have been saying for years, that they didn't choose to be gay?

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Ganzfeld
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quote:
Originally posted by Franny:
Lastly, Alan Chambers, a leading ex-gay activist, recalls how scared and depressed he felt when a high-school counselor advised him to deal with his attraction to other boys by accepting his homosexuality. He had no choice, she told him: He was gay. "It was very damaging," Chambers said. "I didn't want that. I hadn't chosen it."

Isn't that what gay people have been saying for years, that they didn't choose to be gay?

What can one person's experience tell about being gay (or about anything)? Nothing. Maybe he was and is gay, maybe he "converted" or whatever -- I can't underastand why this is automatically considered a good thing -- but that doesn't give anyone the right to go in to schools and say, "Don't worry, you can change" without the evidence beyond one person's supposed experiences to back it up. It's a serious issue; I don't think groups that appear to be ideologically motivated and apparently have little or no evidence that their concepts are helpful in general should get any "equal time" at all.
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Malruhn
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"Converted?"

"Y'know, I USED to be straight, but I was converted. All the gay boys I saw had all these fabulous SHOES!!!"

Sorry, that just struck me as way funny... [lol]

Where exactly does the "curer" draw the line that the subject is "cured"?? Is it after one successful romp in the hay with a person of the other gender? Sorry, but that would be so very easy to fake...

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WingedBear
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quote:
Originally posted by Malruhn:
"Converted?"

"Y'know, I USED to be straight, but I was converted. All the gay boys I saw had all these fabulous SHOES!!!"

Sorry, that just struck me as way funny... [lol]

Where exactly does the "curer" draw the line that the subject is "cured"?? Is it after one successful romp in the hay with a person of the other gender? Sorry, but that would be so very easy to fake...

At my college in Louisiana, I heard at least once about a FoF that was gay, but then became "Christian" and is now married. I would believe it a little more than usual FoF accounts, as my friend was complaining about the boy that she had a crush on in high school who turned out to be gay and who was now... you know the story.

Of course, she could have just been joking. Only a few months before, there was a large sandwich-board sign on campus that said, "I used to be gay, but now I'm Christian."

One of the few times I was upset to be at college in the Bible Belt.

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Amigone201
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quote:
Originally posted by Troberg:
quote:
Is there any credible scientific evidence that such programs work?
Well, they would add a lot of credibility to their program if they could also turn a straight person gay.
Try showing him that Kathy Bates hot tub scene in About Schmidt. That nearly did it for me.

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me, no really
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This is all anecdotal, for what that's worth. I have known quite well two people who had lived and identified as gay. They are now both straight, and living as happily married. They both claim no current homosexual leanings/fantasies etc. One is Christian, the other is not. I have also known people who are gay, will openly state that they wish they were straight, due to the persecution they have experienced as gay people, but just can't "do it". I don't know the truth of all this. Maybe my two friends were really bi, and now have chosen heterosexual relationships (although they both would deny that), maybe some can change orientation, while others can't. I don't know.

me

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Mistletoey Chloe
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When they identified as gay, did they find the opposite sex attractive?

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callee
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I'd be happy with such equal time being given from a subjective experiential perspective. That is, this is what some people believe they have experienced....

I've read some about these gay conversion programs, and they seem to have a large number of "graduates" from the program who are willing to testify to its effectiveness. I'm not sure what grounds I have for questioning their experience, and I certainly can't question their belief that they had it.

On the other hand, I wouldn't want to present such a perspective as universally valid, particularly since my only first hand experience with it testifies to the contrary. Not myself, but while in seminary I had a friend who had tried several of these programs, but they just didn't work; despite all his efforts, he was still gay. I've read advocates make responses to such cases along the lines of "he didn't try hard enough" or "he didn't truly want to," etc., but I knew the guy, and I don't believe that was the case. The program simply did not work.

Bottom line then, I'd be willing to say "some people believe this worked for them" and I might even be willing to tolerate "this works for some people" but I would not accept "this is a valid alternative for most or all people."

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Cobra4J
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Are we being a little hypocritical in our society now?

Gay people can stand up all they want and say "we were born this way", offer little or no scientific evidence to support it, and demand that their agenda be taught as absolute fact in schools - but so called "ex-gays" and Christians can't speak in public or teach their point of view in schools?

Several psycologists I know personally absolutely do not believe people are born to be gay (born with a tendency toward homosexuality- maybe, just like some people are born with a tendency for alcoholism - but not born gay), and they do not feel homosexuality is a physically or psycologically healthy lifestyle.

Disagree with me, or disagree with them all you want, but why can't the other side offer their opinions in public without being branded closed minded, oppressive, fear mongers? Why can't some people offer our children and teens the opinion that just because they have a sexual desire for the same gender does NOT mean they HAVE TO follow it?

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F minor
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quote:
Originally posted by Cobra4J:
[QB]Gay people can stand up all they want and say "we were born this way", offer little or no scientific evidence to support it, and demand that their agenda be taught as absolute fact in schools...

Cite?

quote:
Several psycologists I know personally absolutely do not believe people are born to be gay (born with a tendency toward homosexuality- maybe, just like some people are born with a tendency for alcoholism - but not born gay), and they do not feel homosexuality is a physically or psycologically healthy lifestyle.
Several, you say? Well that seals it. Would you elaborate on that last bit?

quote:
Why can't some people offer our children and teens the opinion that just because they have a sexual desire for the same gender does NOT mean they HAVE TO follow it?
Because it's not an opinion, it's a fact. Except it's not a fact, because there's no evidence for it.
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Tarquin Farquart
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quote:
Originally posted by Cobra4J:
Why can't some people offer our children and teens the opinion that just because they have a sexual desire for the same gender does NOT mean they HAVE TO follow it?

Because there's nothing wrong with following it?

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wanderwoman
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From the OP:

quote:
(National Assn. for Research and Therapy of Homosexuality...president, psychologist)... Nicolosi went on to tell them that fathers could help their sons stay straight by bonding through rough-and-tumble games, such as tossing them in the air.

"Even if [the dad] drops the kid and he cracks his head, at least he'll be heterosexual," Nicolosi said, chuckling. "A small price to pay."

I agree with the following quote:

quote:
"There's a fine line between saying 'Change is possible, and I have changed' and saying 'Change is possible, and you better change because something's wrong with you,' " said Eliza Byard, deputy executive director of the nonprofit Gay, Lesbian & Straight Education Network.
The guy in the first quote would present his opinion at my son's school only over my dead body.

Edited because I wanted to make it absolutely clear which quote I agree with.

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Cobra4J
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see- I knew my opinion would be unpopular- because I am in the politically incorrect crowd here- and people are tyring to shut me up by making fun of my argument.
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Cobra4J
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Also, right here in the NFBSK Gone Wild there is another thread about Pedophiles in the Netherlands. Shall we tell them it's perfectly OK for them to follow through on their sexual urges?
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Stoneage Dinosaur
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Cobra4J, I don't see anyone trying to shut you up, quite the opposite - asking for a cite for your claim that gay people "demand that their agenda be taught as absolute fact in schools" as well as an elaboration of your claim that psychologists you know "do not feel homosexuality is a physically or psycologically healthy lifestyle" (I note you say they "feel" rather than "think" it unhealthy, implying a "gut reaction" rather than a professional opinion).

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Tarquin Farquart
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quote:
Originally posted by Cobra4J:
Also, right here in the NFBSK Gone Wild there is another thread about Pedophiles in the Netherlands. Shall we tell them it's perfectly OK for them to follow through on their sexual urges?

And this has what to do with homosexuality?

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wanderwoman
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quote:
Originally posted by Cobra4J:
see- I knew my opinion would be unpopular- because I am in the politically incorrect crowd here- and people are tyring to shut me up by making fun of my argument.

Do you agree with the guy in the article who said that dropping a kid on his head is better than letting him grow up homosexual?(assuming those were the alternatives, which is a whole 'nother subject)

Would you really want a person with that opinion speaking at your kid's school?

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Canuckistan
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quote:
Originally posted by Cobra4J:
see- I knew my opinion would be unpopular- because I am in the politically incorrect crowd here- and people are tyring to shut me up by making fun of my argument.

Good Lord, not another victim.

People are not making fun of your argument. They're finding the holes in it and asking you to clarify. If you don't like people poking holes in your argument, you really shouldn't post them.

And holes there are. From your first post:

quote:
Gay people can stand up all they want and say "we were born this way", offer little or no scientific evidence to support it, and demand that their agenda be taught as absolute fact in schools - but so called "ex-gays" and Christians can't speak in public or teach their point of view in schools?
Here's some evidence that gay animals are born that way.

And no one's saying these people shouldn't speak in public. But to present reparative therapy in schools would give it a credibility that, quite frankly, it doesn't deserve.

quote:
Several psycologists I know personally absolutely do not believe people are born to be gay (born with a tendency toward homosexuality- maybe, just like some people are born with a tendency for alcoholism - but not born gay), and they do not feel homosexuality is a physically or psycologically healthy lifestyle.
What exactly does the last part of your sentence mean? And, of course, I see your psychologists and raise you some of my own who will disagree with your group. What's your point?

quote:
Disagree with me, or disagree with them all you want, but why can't the other side offer their opinions in public without being branded closed minded, oppressive, fear mongers?
These are people who are presenting a scientifically dubious plan, in effect telling people that if they're gay, they should change, because that's wrong. Closed-minded? Absolutely. Oppressive? Check. Fear mongers? Possibly.

quote:
Why can't some people offer our children and teens the opinion that just because they have a sexual desire for the same gender does NOT mean they HAVE TO follow it?
Why shouldn't they? Your statement is only true if homosexuality is a bad thing. You have yet to show that.

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trollface
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Cobra4J, your argument is silly.

Not constructive, I know, but I thought someone ought to actually "make fun" of the argument, as nobody has up until now, and it's already been whined about. Kind of balancing out the thread, if you like.

quote:
Originally posted by Canuckistan:
What exactly does the last part of your sentence mean?

I think I get that. Homosexuality could be seen to be physically dangerous because I believe stats show that gay people get more STDs. Of course, saying that that means that being gay is more dangerous is, I think, prejudice. You can be gay and practice safe sex, I'd have thought.

As for the psychologically, I think it's also true that gay people tend to be more depressed and more prone to suicide than straight people. What the reasoning that's been presented seems to miss, however, is that the reason for this is nothing inherant with being gay, rather it's because of the social stigma and prejudice attached to it - it's not something that's wrong with the gay people, but with the people who say things like they'd rather their child be brain-damaged than gay.

Incidentally, being gay might also be more dangerous physically because of the probability of being queer-bashed, but I don't think that's a solid argument against homosexuality for the same reasons as above.

Hey, if you were a black man in America in the 50s, you'd probably be more likely to be depressed and lynched than if you were a white man. Doesn't mean that there's anything wrong with being a black man...

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Amigone201
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quote:
Originally posted by Cobra4J:
Also, right here in the NFBSK Gone Wild there is another thread about Pedophiles in the Netherlands. Shall we tell them it's perfectly OK for them to follow through on their sexual urges?

No, because it's not okay. It's damaging for children to have sex.

But we're not talking about children, we're talking about consenting adults.

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wanderwoman
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I think Cobra4J was a hit and run poster. A troll by any other name...?

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Ganzfeld
Let There Be PCs on Earth


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quote:
Originally posted by Tarquin Farquart:
quote:
Originally posted by Cobra4J:
Why can't some people offer our children and teens the opinion that just because they have a sexual desire for the same gender does NOT mean they HAVE TO follow it?

Because there's nothing wrong with following it?
But it's not just that. It's the fact that it's none of their business what "desires" they do or do not "have to follow". We don't allow groups to come to school to tell them which choices to make in terms of religion or politics or anything else not related to education or health. So even if being gay were a lifestyle choice, it's none of their damn business what choices my child makes. (As I said, as long as they are unrelated to education or health.)
Posts: 4922 | From: Kyoto, Japan | Registered: Sep 2005  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a moderator
mommyrex
Deck the Malls


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This is not about informing kids or giving a balanced viewpoint. This is about using state funding to persecute gay teens and (to greater effect) spread the hatred of the anti-gay doctrines.

Bear with me on a tangent: Suppose another group (based on the same conservative reading of Christian scripture) requested equal access for ex-masturbators. Their speakers insist that they were never comfortable accepting that their own masturbation was healthy and normal. After years of struggle, they learned to quit interferin' with themselves. They're cured! Shouldn't kids hear this side of the story, since the other side is already "in"?

We'll never get this request, because masturbators (despite Onan's biblical notoriety) are in the majority. It's impractical to attack them because (a) the people responsible for these kids could never escape culpability for the harm caused by this "balanced" viewpoint, and (b) attacking the majority doesn't create the critical mass of priggish self-righteousness the bigots are trying to cultivate.

But gays? Any emotional or psychological problems from this message will be lost in the noise (they're a small percentage of the student body, and they're messed up anyway, right?). [Roll Eyes]

It's a provocative subject and a large and impressionable audience. And the message they would deliver is, "There's Us and there's Them. And you know who the bad guys are. They had their chance, but They stubbornly refused to join Us. So, circle the wagons and be glad you're on the inside."

With Us bigots.

This is not about health. This is about dividing society and enabling certain groups to continue to live in their cozy world of non-thinking and absolute rejection of deviation from their concept of "right".

[flame]

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Posts: 240 | From: Kansas | Registered: Oct 2005  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a moderator
erwins
Deck the Malls


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quote:
Originally posted by Ganzfeld:
But it's not just that. It's the fact that it's none of their business what "desires" they do or do not "have to follow".

I totally agree with this. I don't care if it's a choice or not -- and I find it somewhat disturbing that it matters so much, even to our allies.

I'm not sure what made me the way I am, but even if it were a conscious choice, I don't think anything would be wrong with choosing it.

I'm not in favor of school counselors telling kids that it's NOT a choice, and I'm dead set against the school telling kids they can be "cured."

I think that the "some people are left handed, and some people are right handed" approach should be used. Does anyone care how they got that way? Does anyone bother themselves or others about "curing" them these days?

Oh, and Trollface, just a nitpick:
quote:
I think I get that. Homosexuality could be seen to be physically dangerous because I believe stats show that gay people get more STDs.
"Gay people" don't get more STDs. Sexually active gay men get more STDs. Lesbians get far fewer. People often forget that. So "homosexuality" is not physically dangerous.

erwins

Posts: 238 | From: Portland, Oregon | Registered: Apr 2006  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a moderator
F minor
I'll Be Home for After Christmas Sales


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quote:
Originally posted by erwins:

I'm not in favor of school counselors telling kids that it's NOT a choice...

Why not? It isn't.
Posts: 124 | From: London, England | Registered: May 2006  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a moderator
Lainie
Ding Dong! Merrily on High Definition TV


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quote:
Originally posted by WingedBear:
At my college in Louisiana, I heard at least once about a FoF that was gay, but then became "Christian" and is now married. I would believe it a little more than usual FoF accounts, as my friend was complaining about the boy that she had a crush on in high school who turned out to be gay and who was now... you know the story.

Gay people have entered into "straight" marriages for centuries. I have a friend whose father married twice, and had three kids with his first wife. He was still gay.

Homosexuality and marriage to a member of the opposite sex are not mutually exclusive. Even if your FoF remains physically faithful to his wife, he's still gay if he finds men sexually attractive. And only he really knows whether he does or not.

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How homophobic do you have to be to have penguin gaydar? - Lewis Black

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Cobra4J
Jingle Bell Hock


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No- I am not a drive by poster, I come here often- however I have not gotten back to this thread for a few days- and it looks like I have some catching up to do.

First- I have not always been this way. At one time I voted in favor of allowing Homosexuals into ministry (I am Methodist). I have a sister who is gay, a cousin who I believe is gay, a now deceased aunt who I think was the "family secret" and numerous gay friends.

One main reason for my change over is a book I read called "The Bible and Homosexuality" by Robert Gagnon. Most of it was biblical, which I expected. Then the last chapter he started quoting scientific statistics- that was a surprise to me. According to studies he quotes, homosexual men are far more likely to deveolop rectal cancer, infections in their large intestine, and other physical problems.

Psycologically, he quotes studies that show homosexuals to have a much higher rate of suicide, depression, and other mental problems. Yes, I have no doubt societal hatred for them is a major cause- but apparently homosexuals in San Francisco, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, and other countries where homosexuality is far more tolerated also have a much higher rate of depression, suicide, etc.

Another source I look at is the NARTH.com homepage. I believe here it talks about studies done on some animals, but it says the same experiments DO NOT work on monkeys.

One very surprising study in Gagnon's book is from twin studies. When one twin identifies himself/herself as homosexual, there is a very good chance the other will also. However, the numbers he quotes are far from 100%, or even 80%; I believe more like 40-50%. If homosexuality is something you are absolutely born with, then identical twins should show a concordance of nearly 100%, (or as the joke goes- 90%, and the other 10% are lying.) This is not true according to Gagnon.

But, to get back to the original perspective- why can't a "reformed" gay person talk about their experience? Why can't people offer an alternate view? Do we have a first ammendment in this country or not?

I am willing to say I may be wrong about this whole subject- and part of me hopes I am because I do love my gay friends and sister. However, with homosexual marriage becoming legal in some parts of the country, I believe the truth will come out sooner or later. If the homosexual lifestyle is harmless, I am sure we will probably see that in the years ahead. However, if it is not safe, I have a feeling the truth of that will also become apparent, but only after thousands of people get hurt.

Posts: 479 | From: Owosso, MI | Registered: Jun 2003  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a moderator
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