Thursday, December 30, 2010


Please read this terrific article in its entirety!

Part of it reads as follows:

Can Gay people really become straight? Only in the imaginations of those who hate Gay people.

And whether it comes from junk-science sources (which are "dishonest and misleading", "unethical" and without real evidence that they work), or junk-Christian sources (which impose human bigotries over the top of God's creation, and proclaim that's what God wanted all along), it's the human idea that Gay people should be different than who and what God created them to be, that needs to change.

Indeed, once the faked and unethical "studies" and mistranslations of the Bible are thrown out, of those who claim to have been "healed" or "brought out" of being Gay, we consistently only ever see:
Bisexual people who have simply decided to not act on one part of their sexual orientation, and,
Gay people who have just decided not to be sexually active, but continue the rest of their lives to have the same emotional and biological same-sex orientation they've always had....

God created you Gay for the same reason He created some people left-handed, and some people brown, and some people female. Because it made Him happy to do so. Because the whole of His creation proves that He loves variety, and that He demonstrates His power and glory in a universe that shows unimaginable diversity of things and life, from all the way down to the submicroscopic to all the way up the meta-universe level. God is an artist like no other.

And who He made you to be, is not only a gift to you, and your friends, and your family -- but also to Himself.

I can't emphasize how important this article really is, and I urge you to please circulate it to as many people and venues as you can.
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Monday, December 27, 2010


UPDATE, 12/29/10. This is the comment I made regarding this cover:

I fail to see how public displays of frivolity, publicly affirming stereotypes that have helped consign Gay people to pariah status devoid of full and equal rights, can do anything but retard the quest for full equality. Anyone who is serious about this civil rights struggle should not be amused!

It seems to me that within the many parts of the LGBT communities there can be culled out two major types: 1. Those for whom being Gay means being ensconced within the mainstream of society, expecting and/or demanding all of the rights and privileges that currently accrue to heterosexuals, and where being Gay is largely based on romantic/sexual affinity; 2. Those who may or may not be content with the status quo, but who see their being Gay as largely, if not solely, based upon their sexuality, often divorced from any romantic attachments.

It is this latter group within the LGBT communities that may be seen to be the major encumbrance to acquiring full and equal civil rights, as all too often they are content with, if not proud of, their being cast as outsiders and sexual outlaws.

The latent conflict between these two groups are seemingly irreconcilable, and it is this latter group that has unwittingly internalized the stereotypes that have been visited upon Gay people for centuries by assorted clergy and others.

Of course, the heterosexual communities also have their hedonists who engage in sexual activity that is divorced from any romantic attachments, but heterosexuals are neither characterized by that fact nor are they denied civil and sacramental rights by appeals to that fact.

On the other hand, the hedonists within the Gay communities can be seen to thwart the quest for civil rights by their seeming contentment with the status quo, and by their often public displays that are virtually guaranteed to prevent the recruitment of potential Straight allies; are also used as seeming justification by strident, often religious, homophobes to engage in rhetoric that seeks to deny all LGBT people full and equal civil and sacramental rights.

I'm delighted that DADT was repealed, but I'm very suspicious that its repeal had far more to do with military needs than it did with any amount of embracing of Gay people or of their civil rights!

The true and only test will be passed when same-sex marriage is nationally recognized and codified into law under the Constitution of the United States!
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Friday, December 24, 2010


A few years ago, I wrote the following post that I'd like to reprint here in a very slightly edited form. I wish you all a very good Christmas and a most blessed New Year:

There is no Resurrection without their first being the Crucifiction! Most of Christendom, particularly in a relatively affluent country like America, focuses on the Resurrected Christ (when they even think about Him at all), and eschew the Crucified Christ and His demonstrated life that required, as it does in all of us, a Crucifiction before our Resurrection!

Our crucifiction can and does take many forms, and occurs in many different forums in, and aspects of, our lives and in our life as a nation that "prides" itself on being a "Christian Nation," without seemingly having the foggiest idea as to what that term really means. Those who bandy this term around, not the least of which are many clergy, evangelists, and their followers, use that term as justification for the enmeshment of most of the organized Church in the polity of society; partaking of the very same political and cultural values of that society (usually the most reactionary values of that society), without acknowledging the essential need to eschew the partaking of "the culture of death," to use the late Pope John Paul ll's telling phrase, by dying to self, and dying to the "death-culture," so as to receive, right here and now, a truly liberated, Resurrected, life!

Embracing the culture of death (or, at least, turning a blind eye to it) by most of the institutional Church has handsomely paid off for it in terms of the world's definition of "success," and has also paid off for its leaders and many of its followers in material, psychological, and political terms. Hence, the very loud silence regarding the institutionalized condemnation of others, particularly those "others" who are viewed as relatively "safe" targets to persecute, God's LGBT children!

When there is far more revulsion exhibited by most of the institutional Church toward those who are "liberals," than toward those who engage in hateful rhetoric, as seen by a lack of "church trials" for the proud, haughty, mean-spirited clergy who virtually make a career out of demonizing LGBT people; when there is virtually complete silence by clergy and most professing Christians when hate is geared toward LGBT people, and their denial of full and equal civil and sacramental rights exist, the presumption of those clergy and their followers that they represent Jesus, the Prince of Peace, not only rings hollow, but is a stench in the very nostrils of God!

Indeed, most of the organized Church mimics not only those in the power structure who have a vested interested in the status-quo from which they quite handsomely profit, but it also mimics the power dynamics of the dispossessed who feel they need others to persecute, particularly if those "others" are seen to be in any way "liberated," or even view themselves as having the right to exist as full human beings.

The tragedy of this state of affairs is of special poignancy when it occurs in the "subculture of violence" that often characterizes the lowest social classes, the classes that Marx characterized as the "lumpenproletariat." The poignancy rests on the fact that the oppressed classes, once (to whatever degree) emancipated, frequently engage in the very same oppressive actions against other minories to which they, themselves, were subject in the not too distant past.

Don Charles kindly suggested that I post my writing to him regarding my take on the fact that there is a great deal of misogyny and homophobia in much of the black community; perhaps unequaled in the black community by those on the lowest rungs of the economic ladder; among those who are the subject of the greatest oppression both objectively speaking and/or by their willing embrace of the "victim" role. This is what I wrote that I hope provides some food for thought:

...there is so much self-loathing in the black community, as is represented in much of rap music, that it manifests itself in self-abasement and disrespect to others, creates both a perpetual state of perceived "victimhood," and a permanent subculture and underclass of angry people quick to exact violence against each other and against "the other" (such as Gay people) for merely existing (such as women and Gay people) who would dare threaten their fragility by merely publicly existing and showing themselves to be "liberated": something that threatens those trapped in, and who trap themselves in, the subculture of victimhood and violence. It is not politically incorrect or politically correct to demand that our airwaves and media stop being polluted with terrorist speech, be it in the form of lyrics, art, or any other medium! Beyond the coarsening of the culture, such terrorism creates a climate of violence directed against others, be they women, LGBT people, or anyone who is perceived as "the other," one who can be (and, therefore, perceived as should be) attacked for merely existing. If we are serious about fighting a war against "terror," we begin with the likes of an Imus, a Savage, certain rap music, etc. And we have and enforce laws that terrorist speech directed against any person or group is to be civilly and criminally punished! And that includes clergy! For example, if a clergyperson says that being Gay is sinful, that is not hate speech; it's merely ignorance! However, if a clergyperson says that LGBT people don't deserve full and equal civil rights, that is terrorism, demeaning the legitimacy of LGBT people to fully exist just as any other citizen, and that is not merely hate speech; it's terrorism, and that's what should be recognized, acknowledged, and treated accordingly.
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Monday, December 20, 2010


Obviously, I'm delighted, and also very surprised, that DADT was repealed by Congress, and Obama promises to sign that repeal into law. Now, happily, Gay military personnel can serve openly, and not hide who they are, and not hide their partners or spouses from discussions and from social events.

While we bask in this win for Gay rights, we must recognize that the most important struggle yet lies ahead: the repeal of DOMA, the Defense of Marriage Act! And this struggle is going to make the fight for repeal of DADT look like a cakewalk!

As I've long contended, same-sex marriage, recognized by the federal government, is crucial, in that virtually all other rights that accrue to citizenship in the U.S. will ride on its coattails; the necessary recognition that same-sex love is just as valid as is heterosexual love; same-sex partners who seek to make a lifetime commitment to each other will have their commitment fulfilled civilly and, eventually, sacramentally; the demand for religious institutions to follow the law will mandate that they perform same-sex marriages, if they perform or witness any heterosexual marriages.

President Obama has gone on record as not favoring same-sex marriage, and the likelihood of his successors favoring such marriages is not a cause for optimism.

And the artificial construct of "Civil Unions" is no substitute for the institution of "Marriage," even if all of the civil rights that accrue to "marriage" are enmeshed with this construct. "Civil Unions" connote that same-sex love is somehow inferior or different or deviant, and that connotation must not exist! We must fight for "Marriage" in its truest contemporary form for same-sex couples who wish to make a lifetime commitment to each other!

If there is strong, coordinated, and viable grassroots and organizational demand for same-sex marriage, the institution of same-sex marriage will also, one day, become recognized as an entitlement regarding "the pursuit of happiness" for Gay couples, just as heterosexual marriage is currently viewed.
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Friday, December 17, 2010


I wrote this post a few years ago and would like to reprint it at this time:

The following excerpt is taken from Michelangelo Signorile's Sirius radio program, where he interviewed former Gay rights activist Michael Glatze who says he renounced, and now denounces, homosexuality, having become a professing Christian. Part of what he said is as follows:

"Every time I was tempted to lust, I noticed it, caught it, dealt with it. I called it what it was, and then just let it disappear on its own. A huge and vital difference exists between superficial admiration -- of yourself, or others -- and integral admiration. In loving ourselves fully, we no longer need anything from the 'outside' world of lustful desire, recognition from others, or physical satisfaction. Our drives become intrinsic to our very essence, unbridled by neurotic distractions...Now I know that homosexuality is lust and pornography wrapped into one."

Although he's quite young, he is doing great violence to himself and to so many other Gay people, by spouting the same lies that the "ex-gay" industry has been spouting for years, garnering psychological and/or material gain based on a discredited ideology that does immeasurable harm to countless numbers of Gay people and their families.

First of all, denying one's sexuality is not the same thing as transforming oneself from being Gay to being Straight! So many "ex-gays" have appealed to their celibacy, and their love of Jesus, when asked about such alleged change. I've rarely heard of a case where when one is asked about his/her apparent transformation regarding his/her sexual orientation, who said that his/her erotic and emotional attachments have become deeper with members of the opposite gender than with people of his/her own gender.

Glatze epitomizes this fact when he says, "In loving ourselves fully, we no longer need anything from the 'outside' world of lustful desire, recognition from others, or physical satisfaction." I didn't hear him say here that his primary affectional/sexual interests have shifted from men to women!

Not needing "anything from the outside world" doesn't even come close to even hinting at such a transformation! No longer needing "lustful desire" or "physical satisfaction," is certainly not very healthy in and of itself, to say nothing of them being indicative of anything other than the expressions of one who loathes himself for being who he is, Gay, and substituting renunciation of that label into one, not of becoming "heterosexual," but into one of self-denial, which is a far cry from transformation from being Gay to being heterosexual!

Moreover, he says, when one loves him/herself fully, "Our drives become intrinsic to our very essence, unbridled by neurotic distractions." The implication here is that Gay people can't possibly love themselves fully; only heterosexuals can do that, which, of course, is foolish on its face. And, if many Gay people don't "love themselves fully," it's because of the Glatzes of the world who distort the reality of being Gay, and publicly demean and condemn it every chance they get.

No! When we love ourselves fully, and are emotionally/sexually healthy, be we Gay or Straight, our drives don't "become intrinsic to our very essence, unbridled by neurotic distractions," but we recognize that our drives ARE intrinsic to our very essence, and they are, indeed, unbridled by "neurotic distractions," as such drives are healthy and normal, and should be celebrated as gifts from God!

Finally, he says, "Now I know that homosexuality is lust and pornography wrapped into one." As if heterosexuality isn't frequently just that! Gay people have no more of a corner in their interest in pornography than do Straight people! If anyone doesn't believe this basic fact of life, I have a bridge to sell them!

Healthy heterosexuality and healthy homosexuality and their expression is good for us! It expresses the deepest intimacy possible between two people who love each other. It nurtures the other person and, as such, nurtures ourselves! Expression of our sexuality in the context of love between two adults, be they same gender or opposite gender, is healthy and good, and is truly a gift from God!

Indeed, the expression of healthy sexuality is a profoundly spiritual act! But the confused or twisted Glatzes of the world, not only are deprived of this ability, but impose their own distorted views of love and sex onto others, claiming that they are living godly lives by so doing, when all the while they are denying the very gift that God has given to all of his children, so that in both heterosexuality and in homosexuality loving physical union represents the deep intimacy that God has with each and every one of His children.

There is absolutely NOTHING in a vibrant and healthy expression of one's sexuality that is in any way inconsistent with one's spirituality! Indeed, such expression is a wonderful, fulfilling, manifestation of that spirituality!

If we just stopped listening to the rhetoric of emotionally/sexually warped or confused people who are, unfortunately, given so much media attention, and listened to our own deepest desires placed there by God Himself, we would learn that we are not only expressing emotional/sexual health, but we are listening to God and are to become very grateful for His gift of sexuality (as we are for all the other wonderful gifts He has given us) with which He blesses us, whether we be Gay or Straight!
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Wednesday, December 15, 2010


The following article is reprinted from my weekly column, "Christianity and Society," that appears in the Sacramento Valley Mirror:

Even Sigmund Freud, no stranger to the unconscious drives fraught with all sorts of conflicts and repressed wishes, was shaken to his core during World War l. Not only were his three sons in danger from combat, but he was amazed at the aggressive ferocity of all of the combatants in that war, and the political encouragement of that ferocity that, at the war’s very beginning Freud, himself, had even supported.

He later came to the conclusion that our desire for the preservation of our lives was met with a counter-force that sought death and destruction. Indeed, the Pleasure Principle that impelled us to affirm life and meet our libidinal needs, not only had to be harnessed through the Reality Principle so that civilization could exist, but that Eros, our need for love and socialization with others, had as its counter-force Thanatos, the desire for death and destruction.

The basic problem of civilization hinged on the need to frustrate and thwart the most basic instincts in human beings, our inherent desire for seeking after pleasure and our inherent aggression, with the repression on the unconscious level of all sorts of wishes and desires, and with suppression of conscious wishes and desires that would be condemned by the current norms of that society. Since those norms were ostensibly designed to protect society from the inclination toward unfettered sexuality, and the natural aggression of individuals, those norms had at the very least to be obeyed on the conscious level so that the individual could avoid punishment and shame.

World War l and, of course, the rise of the Nazis in the 1930’s in Austria where Freud lived, brought into sharp relief the very thin veneer of civilization that most people, then as now, took and take for granted. What Freud viewed as particularly remarkable was how fast anti-Semitism grew, not only in Germany but more particularly in Austria that had before the Nazi arrival far less of it than existed in Germany and France.

People who were hitherto “friends” and neighbors almost immediately turned anti-Semitic and engaged in the most hateful acts once the Nazis came into Austria. It’s like that hate appeared almost instantaneously among people whom no one would have guessed housed that hatred, that aggression, that venom.

Although that venom, and those atrocious acts, were largely, although by no mean solely, directed toward Jewish people, it is very likely that had Hitler or any other leader chosen a different scapegoat, that group would have been the target of similar ferocious attitudes and behaviors by those who were led to believe that they were “superior” to those whom they were repeatedly told were the enemy. The logic of the argument was irrelevant! The only thing that seemed relevant was the permission given by the leadership to release aggression and hostility against a group deemed to be “outsiders,” “the enemy,” “the other,” “the deviants,” “the undesirables.”

So, the veneer of civilization, and of civility itself, were brushed away by mere rhetoric, and irrational rhetoric at that, and man’s basic aggression was all too willingly ferociously and assiduously released because the social structure’s leaders, and thereby the social structure itself, permitted and encouraged that release. And liberation from adherence to norms of civility was even evident among the highly educated. So, university students were largely the instigators of the burnings of books written by Jewish scholars and scientists, and they were active participants, along with many faculty, not the least of which was the famous philosopher Martin Heidegger, in removing Jewish and other “undesirable” faculty from their positions in Universities.

Jewish people were taunted and humiliated by such acts as roving bands of people beating them, having the beards of Rabbis and other Jews shaved off, destroying synagogues and Jewish businesses. The conclusion that one can draw from these, and other atrocities that have occurred throughout the course of human history, is that we can’t count on “the goodness of man” and “the milk of human kindness” to insulate us from the worst aspects of man, from man’s basic aggressive and pleasure-seeking nature.

Moreover, the Holocaust and other historical atrocities teach us that we can’t count on the seemingly civilized norms of a society to not give way to those aggressive and pleasure-seeking impulses or instincts when a charismatic leader and his henchmen are able to use mass communication and other venues to convince the populace that they are fighting for some noble cause, regardless of how irrational and ignoble that cause really is.

As Giovanni Costigan, in his excellent book, Sigmund Freud: A Short Biography, wrote: “Taking as his starting point Gustave Le Bon’s ‘deservedly famous work’ The Psychology of Crowds (1895), Freud accepted that author’s analysis of mass psychology: the lowering of the intellectual and the heightening of the emotional temperature; the abdication of reason and the surrender to instinct; the loss of individuality and the welcoming of anonymity; the abandonment of self-restraint and the license to commit violence….” (p. 230)

The veneer of civilization is, indeed, very thin, and all of us must guard against the fiction that any of us as individuals, or we as a society, are immune from this tragic and frightening fact of social life when we allow any social or political leader to define our realities for us, and/or seek to create “enemies” for their own and/or others’ psychological and/or social and/or economic and/or political and/or “religious” gain.
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Sunday, December 12, 2010


UPDATE, 2/12/10.

In my previous post there is referenced an article dealing with 10 myths used by strident homophobes to seek to justify their disdain for Gay people and their desire to prevent Gay people from acquiring full and equal rights. Homophobes adhere to these myths, despite ample evidence showing their assertions to be false, and one must examine why one would tenaciously adhere to his/her belief system despite ample contradictory evidence.

It seems to me that making a virtual career out of condemning others meets certain psychological needs that must be addressed to show the bankrupt nature of homophobia on the one hand and also highlight the envy that may well lie behind the tenacious adherence to the myths that are shared by so many homophobes.

A mentally healthy person doesn't ridicule or condemn other non-predatory people, nor does he/she obsess over what other people do in bed! Hence, the mere existence of homophobia shows us a psyche that lacks health! Indeed, when one does engage in these activities, it tells us far more about him/her than it does about the people he/she is purporting to describe!

For example, one of the justifications for denying Gay people equal rights is that Gay people recruit others into being Gay. Now, when one says such a thing, he/she is intimating that same-sex activity is seductive and attractive!

After all, these homophobes don't suggest that one can be recruited into eating feces, or standing in front of a truck that is barreling down a highway. Obviously, very few people would see these activities as being seductive or desirable.

However, when one speaks of people being "recruited" into being Gay, they are unwittingly intimating that being Gay is desirable and attractive, and that they, deep down in their psyches, may well view being Gay as desirable and attractive as well.

For example, Alan Keyes, whose daughter is a lesbian, is quoted as having said that homosexuality is "selfish hedonism." "Hedonism" connotes pleasure-seeking!

When one uses "pleasure-seeking" in the same context as homosexuality, it seems to me that that person must at some level view being Gay as pleasurable! Whether or not Alan Keyes feels same-sex activity to be pleasurable, I don't know. However, it is curious to me that he would link homosexuality with pleasure!

Carefully listening to the rhetoric of homophobes can be very instructive regarding the psychological dynamics that lie behind homophobia, and the nature of envy, and the defense mechanism of denial, may not be all that far off the mark, especially when one considers strident homophobes' tenacious adherence to the spewing of rhetoric concerning Gay people that have been shown to be mere myths!

Homophobia tells us far more about the homophobe than it does about anything else! In part, it likely tells us about his or her need to use bankrupt justifications for what envious psychological needs are being repressed or suppressed; envious needs that their homophobic rhetoric and/or actions may well be meeting!
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Thursday, December 9, 2010



The following hateful myths are systematically debunked in the following article, that begins as follows:

Ever since born-again singer and orange juice pitchwoman Anita Bryant helped kick off the contemporary anti-gay movement more than 30 years ago, hard-line elements of the religious right have been searching for ways to demonize homosexuals — or, at a minimum, to find arguments that will prevent their normalization in society. For the former Florida beauty queen and her Save Our Children group, it was the alleged plans of gays and lesbians to “recruit” in schools that provided the fodder for their crusade. But in addition to hawking that myth, the legions of anti-gay activists who followed have added a panoply of others, ranging from the extremely doubtful claim that homosexuality is a choice, to unalloyed lies like the claims that gays molest children far more than heterosexuals or that hate crime laws will lead to the legalization of bestiality and necrophilia. These fairy tales are important to the anti-gay right because they form the basis of its claim that homosexuality is a social evil that must be suppressed — an opinion rejected by virtually all relevant medical and scientific authorities. They also almost certainly contribute to hate crime violence directed at homosexuals, who are more targeted for such attacks than any other minority in America. What follows are 10 key myths propagated by the anti-gay movement, along with the truth behind the propaganda.

[Please read the full article by clicking this link.]
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Friday, December 3, 2010


It seems to me that there are two major types of Gay people: 1. Those who seek, in one way or another, to adapt to the existing social structure and its oppressive demands; 2. Those who seek to change that oppressive social structure and eliminate its homophobic demands.

The first group is largely made up of sexual hedonists who equate being Gay with sexual activity and with acting out according to their self-defined labels of "queer," "fag," "dyke," etc. They are seemingly content with making the best out of their oppression, even to the point of denying the reality of that oppression, and engaging in all sorts of diversionary activities that remove them from having to confront the reality of their own oppression, and their active participation in that very oppression.

The second group evince dignity, demand to be treated as first class citizens, and meaningfully fight to overturn the ignorant and hateful rhetoric and actions of homophobes. Moreover, they see being Gay, like being Straight, as involving romantic love that is inextricably related to their sexual lives.

The first group is largely made up of traitors to the LGBT civil rights struggle, and it is the second group that is largely made up of those who take this civil rights struggle seriously, and don't restrict their activities to self-indulgent displays and self-absorbed feel-good rhetoric as does the first group. It is the first group that is seemingly oblivious to the harm those displays and that rhetoric have on others, on their own psyches, and on the LGBT civil rights struggle.

About three years ago, I wrote the following article entitled, On The Need To Grow Up, that I'd like to reprint here:

As I've written before, I would have my class think of the first word that occurred to them when I said the word "Gay." All of them said that the first thing that occurred to them was the word "sex."

As I told them, let's assume that the average couple has sex three times a week, each session lasting about 15 minutes. That means that only about 45 minutes a week is devoted to sexual activity.

Clearly all of us, Gay or Straight, are awake for far more than 45 minutes a week. All of our lives encompass far more than the engaging in sexual activity!

Being Gay, just like being Straight, is about one's whole being: his/her perceptions, sensibilities, and emotional/affectional/sexual preferences. We are all multifaceted, and to restrict oneself or others to being a mere one-dimensional sexual animal does a grave injustice to both logic as well as to Gay people themselves.

The unfortunate fact is that many Gay people, too, have bought into the false notion, inculcated by religious and secular homophobes, their very oppressors, that they are merely sexual beings who are mere "selfish hedonists", and who then, therefore, portray themselves, and view themselves, as just that: one-dimensional people who focus on sexual activity, and who define themselves by their sexuality and by little or nothing else.

Moreover, the appropriation and use of pejorative and hateful self-identifiers, as well as the engagement in frivolous activities that also mark one as an "outsider," as a "deviant," as "the other," and even as "the enemy" to what is considered to be "normal" and "moral," tells us far more about the given person than it tells us about anything else.

There is absolutely nothing wrong with being into BDSM or being a member of the Leather community, for example, but the blatant hostility of the latest Folsom Street Fair, for example, was consciously and/or unconsciously designed to keep LGBT people in their place of being viewed by most of society as justifiable victims to persecute; reinforce LGBT people in taking pride in being in an "outsider" status, as "sexual outlaws," who have no desire to be part of mainstream society.

This activity and its consequences was done by unconscious and/or unconscious design! It seemed to me to be far less a celebration of the Leather community than it was a statement telling others, particularly religious people, "F***k You."

One can blame centuries of discrimination for the unconscious and/or conscious self-loathing that prompts the appropriation of the hateful epithets of the oppressors by which many LGBT people identify themselves, and the sexualization of the self as the major component of one's very being that is held by many LGBT people, but that explanation only goes so far, and gives such LGBT people too much slack when any of us put the onus of self-hate solely on those who discriminate against the oppressed.

There is a point when one has to own his/her dignity, demand the respect due to any human being, demand full and equal civil and sacramental rights regardless of the negative messages and hostility that have been visited on that person in the past, or even in the present.

And those goals will not be realized as long as the minority group accepts its inferior status, and revels in it by referring to its members by the very same terms used by the most virulent homophobes throughout history and in our midst.

No self respecting person, Gay or Straight, stands for being treated as less than fully human; no self respecting person, Gay or Straight, uses negative self-identifiers that have been historically (and contemporarily) used by their oppressors. The slave mentality is blamed on others, but the fact is that it ultimately resides within each human being whether or not to accept that mentality.

On one progressive, LGBT-friendly site, Don Charles and I tried to convince others of that fact. It was remarkable how the venom against our contentions (and sometimes against us) started pouring out from most of those who chose to comment. Deep down I'm convinced that they knew we were right, but they didn't have the guts to overcome and transcend the big lie that they deserve to be treated as second-class citizens.

They really believe that they are "sinners," regardless of whether or not they are religious and, in the case of those who had that message constantly reinforced by "ex-gay therapists," it may well have insinuated itself in their unconscious that drives them to continuous, life-long self hate. With psyches like these, there can be no meaningful activism.

When we throw into the mix political expediency, as seen, for example, with Barney Frank and the ENDA debacle; being grateful for the crumbs of incrementalism in the name of "progress"; "liberals" who go whichever way the wind is blowing; inertia where people are self-satisfied if they perceive their immediate needs are being met, regardless of the cost to their dignity and humanity, meaningful activism falls on deaf ears.

Moreover, such psyches and political anemia only serve to further embolden the homophobes, as they see these factors as signs of weakness, and the tragic conclusion is that they are right about that perception.

So, I say to those who revel in using pejorative and hateful self-identifiers, who are content with being treated as second-class citizens, who are delighted with crumbs of incrementalism, who are self-satisfied as long as their immediate perceived self-interests are being met, who tolerate the indignities attendant upon being treated as "the other," and "the deviant," who allow homophobic clergy and others to demean them with impunity: Grow Up!

When we were children we usually, and for some of us all too frequently, allowed adults to define our realities for us. Now that we're grown, we have an obligation to act our ages and demand to be treated with the same dignity and have the same civil and sacramental rights as anyone else! And not settle for anything less!

Listen to the Apostle Paul: "When I was a child, I spake as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child: but when I became a man, I put away childish things." (1Corinthians 13:11)

To the degree we act like children, either by centering our lives on frivolous and self-destructive activities, or by allowing others to define our realities for us, or by not demanding full and equal civil and sacramental rights, or by using negative and hostile self-identifiers that serve to perpetuate "outsider," "deviant," "abnormal," and "inferior" status, it is to that degree that homophobes are further emboldened; what rights that are currently enjoyed are threatened or may even be rescinded; increasing numbers of decent people will find "justification" for considering LGBT people as "not one of us," and the fight for full and equal civil and sacramental rights will be greatly harmed.

Moreover, such harmful behaviors and self-concepts are inimical to the fire in the belly that is needed to acquire the dignity and civil and sacramental rights that are enjoyed by all other citizens in the U.S.
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Thursday, December 2, 2010


In an article that appeared today entitled, Mercury ‘turns birds gay’, the following is suggested by the referenced study: Consuming high doses of the chemical mercury makes some birds appear to turn gay, scientists say.

It is known that mercury reduces breeding rates in white ibises but scientists in Florida and Sri Lanka were surprised to discover that the higher the dose given to male birds, the more likely they were to try to mate with another male.

[For the full article, see here.]

In reference to another such article, seeking to determine why some people are Gay, I wrote an article a couple of years ago, reprinted below, entitled, The Homophobia That Lies Behind Studies of the Causes of Homosexuality. To directly or indirectly study the causes of homosexuality, by definition, consigns that orientation and behavior to a deviant category.

Why don't we study why some people are heterosexual? Why do we view being Gay to be a subject of interest and study, and not see anything worthwhile in studying why some people are heterosexual?

I am dead set against studying the causes of homosexuality for the above and for the following reasons as seen in the following article:

"Gay men and lesbians are more likely to be left-handed than heterosexuals. The preference for left-handedness isn’t huge. But it's distinct, and it might have a basis in human biology.

"So says Richard Lippa, a veteran Cal State Fullerton psychologist who has been poring over the sex, gender and behavioral data contained in a BBC Internet survey that involved more than 200,000 people. The 'Beeb' used the data as part of its highly praised 2005 documentary 'Secrets of the Sexes.' And it comes amid growing efforts by scientists to examine everything from the length of a person’s fingers to hair patterns for signs of sexual orientation."

[Reference: CSUF study says gays more likely than straights to be left-handed," article by Gary Robbins, "OC Register," April 6, 2007.]

In response to the above cited article, I wrote the following when it appeared:

"This is a very well written column. However, although I haven’t read the original study and checked the methodology, two factors must be addressed:

"1. There is a big difference between correlation and causation. Just because two variables are correlated doesn’t necessarily mean that one causes the other.

"2. The author of the study writes, "You have to look at large numbers of people to see statistically significant associations." That’s the real problem, in that, first of all, there is no indication that this is a random sample. Moreover, "statistical significance" is not necessarily the same as "theoretical significance" or "substantive significance." Also, statistical significance increases in proportion to sample size. The larger the sample size, the greater the "statistical significance," if I remember my methodology courses that I took about 45 years ago.

"Moreover, as a sociologist and LGBT rights activist (please see my blog,, beyond its academic interest, correlates or causes of being gay or lesbian are irrelevant to vitiating discrimination against LGBT people, as the recent remarks from Albert Mohler, President of a Southern Baptist seminary, attest, when he said that if being Gay was biologically caused, medical intervention on the fetus would be advisable and justified to change that fetus to heterosexual, as homosexuality is a symptom of 'original sin.'

"More mileage would be gained by studying the causes of homophobia, and what motivates people who obsess over condemning others’ love and sex lives, than studying the purported causes of sexual orientation."

I continue to reiterate my objections to such studies, the most recent one appearing in the "Los Angeles Times" Health section entitled, "What does gay look like? Science keeps trying to figure that out."

The article by Regina Nuzzo briefly reviews some of the studies as to why some people are Gay, and she suggests, "Finding common biological traits -- things like hair growth patterns, penis size, family makeup -- might one day shed light on the origins of sexual orientation."

We must again ask why it's so important, beyond the intellectual issues involved, to seek to establish why some people are Gay? Why not study why some people are Straight? Why not study why some people like meat and others don't like meat? Why not study why some people love vegetables and others don't? Why not study why someone's favorite color is different from another person's favorite color? Well, you get the point!

The fact that sexual orientation is felt to be deserving of the appropriation of funds and expenditure of time and energy by scientists, as opposed to such questions as the above that any scientist would hardly deem likely to investigate, has far more to do with people's hang-ups regarding sex and sexual orientation than it has to do with the intrinsic importance of that subject.

I can certainly see the validity of studies as to why some people love war and others love peace; why some people are sadistic and others are not; why some people take advantage of others and others don't; why some people prey on others and others don't; why some people are homophobic and others are not, but I can't understand why studies of the causes of sexual orientation are viewed as being so important.

The only reason that I can see for its perceived importance, beyond the false belief that if one's sexual orientation can be shown to be beyond one's control there will be fewer reasons for discriminating against Gay people, it seems to me that many people (and scientists are by no means exempted) like to put people into neat boxes, and have people meet their expectations and their requirements within the parameters that they feel should comprise those boxes, and if a group of people call into question those assumptions, expectations, and perceived requirements by their very existence, there is seen to be a pressing need to study "them" and find out why "they" are different from "normal" people; why "they" don't conform to "what I expect" and define as "normal."

A good deal of this interest in why some people are Gay has to do with the fact that being Gay has been considered to be part of one's core identity, both by homophobes, by many Straight people, and by many Gay people themselves. I fail to see why such need be the case!

Each of us is multidimensional, and our sexuality and emotional/romantic interests make up only a fraction of who we are as people. However, when one is historically and constantly discriminated against because of this one facet of a human being, that human being is virtually forced to see his or her sexual orientation as a core part of him/herself, if for no other reason than because that facet has been imposed on him/her as his/her essential essence as a human being. And, in order to seek to defend oneself from these attacks or potential attacks, a concept of self that affirms oneself amidst lack of affirmation by many, if not most, within the larger society, encourages the person to view that aspect that is the cause of one's ill treatment to be defended, if not asserted.

And the desire to both defend one's sexuality and to assert the normality of that sexuality is seemingly bolstered by the desired findings of studies that will "hopefully" show that being LGBT is beyond one's control, and is a normal variant that does not deserve to be in any way condemned; such findings will eliminate or greatly reduce externalized and internalized homophobia.

Clearly, heterosexuals who are sexually and emotionally intact will not condemn LGBT people, as same-sex love wouldn't repel them in any way. Why should it? If one is intact and content in his/her sexual life, what would be the motivation to condemn, or even make a veritable career out of condemning, the sexual/affectional life of another?

The fact that it is the sexually and/or emotionally dysfunctional people who condemn another's sexuality is highlighted by the patently specious and foolish reasons given by these self-styled arbiters of "morality" for their blatant hostility and discrimination against LGBT people.

So, appeal to the Bible, when the Bible does not condemn same-sex love and, actually, affirms it. Or the appeal to "tradition," where such an appeal could also be used to justify the institutions of slavery and segregation (which, of course, did, in fact, occur). Or the appeal that Gay people will prey on children, when the statistics clearly show that it is heterosexuals who are far more likely to be pedophiles than are Gay people. Or the appeal that same-sex parents will likely have more homosexual children when, in fact, virtually all Gay kids are raised by heterosexuals. Or the appeal that children do better when raised with both a mother and a father in the home when, in fact, what studies we have show that kids raised in loving homes with two mothers or two fathers do just as well as kids raised when both a mother and a father are present. And, of course, the list goes on!

And encouraging studies that seek to find out why some people are Gay is implying that there is something "abnormal" or "against the natural order" about being Gay, and we should find out why Gay people exist so that we can better understand this "strange" phenomenon. The fact is that many people fail to realize that God made His Gay children, just as He made His Straight children, with the capacity to love another person, and that capacity and the love that ensues from it are priceless gifts from God that He has graciously given to us.

What deserves study, on the other hand, is what makes it possible for so many people to be incapable of loving another human being? What makes it possible for a human being to despise and condemn the love life of another person? What is the source of such hate that resides in all too many hearts, be that hate justified in the name of "religion" or not, that makes one incapable of loving and not judging and not discriminating against others because of their capacity to love another person of the same sex?

It is these questions that deserve much study, for it is those who hate, especially those who hate in the name of God, who are the ones who really deserve to be studied. They are the aberration, they are the dangerous forces that wreak havoc on society and in the lives of innumerable LGBT people and their families. They are the ones who are directly responsible for parents kicking their Gay kids out of the house and into the streets and disowning them because their children placed their trust in them and that trust was horribly and sinfully betrayed. They are the ones who pervert the Gospel, if they profess to be "Christians," and who provide "justification" for those on the fringe to even kill LGBT people and do so thinking that they are doing God a favor by so doing.

It is the religious and other homophobes who deserve study! Far more mileage will be gotten by studying the causes and dynamics of homophobia and homophobic people, especially homophobes who "justify" their homophobia in the name of the Prince of Peace Who makes it crystal clear that to truly be His disciples we must love and not judge others, than will be gotten by studying the causes and dynamics of same-sex love and attraction!

It is especially the clear disconnect, the clear inconsistency, between homophobic professing Christians who spew hateful rhetoric and engage in discriminatory actions on the one hand, and Jesus' Commandment to those who would be His disciples to love and not judge others on the other hand, that certainly deserves scientific scrutiny for the well-being of society, for the well-being of LGBT people and their families, for the well-being of those who are Christians indeed, and for the well-being of the image of Christianity when seen by many decent, intelligent, and sensitive people!
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