Sponsor of Constitutional Amendment: “We Need to Get [Homosexuals] to Change their Lifestyle to the One We Accept”

Sep 10, 2011   //   Tolerance

The proposed NC Constitutional Amendment that would ban same-sex marriage is being considered at a special legislative session on Monday, September 12.  I refer readers to an article I posted within the past day  describing the agenda as being one of hatred borne of ignorance and political manipulation (ref).  However, after reading statements made by Senator James Forrester, NC Senate Deputy President Pro Tempore, as reported in the press, I issued a response to him today with copy to multiple legislators in the General Assembly.  That response is provided below.

Should anyone wish to send their opinion of this Amendment to legislators, I provide the following e-mail addresses: Senator Forrester  James.Forrester@ncleg.net, Senate President Pro Tempore Phil.Berger@ncleg.net, House Speaker Thom.Tillis@ncleg.net, Speaker Pro Tempore  Dale.Folwell@ncleg.net, House Majority Leader Paul.Stam@ncleg.net


Senator Forrester:

I note that you are a physician.  I obtained my research degree at the Medical College University of Arizona and spent my career largely involved with clinical research studies of therapeutic agents, progressing to executive ranks in the pharmaceutical industry.

I came across a piece in the Gaston Gazette that reported on a meeting you attended and spoke at regarding the proposed NC constitutional amendment banning same sex marriage http://www.gastongazette.com/news/marriage-60684-state-one.html.  In that article the following statement is attributed to you:

“We need to reach out to them [homosexuals] and get them to change their lifestyle back to the one we accept”.

My belief is that you must have forgotten the medical dictum ‘First do no harm’, for the statement you made in public is reckless and may actually cause harm.

Both the American Psychological Association and the American Psychiatric Association have taken positions that efforts to change sexual orientation have no scientific credibility and may cause psychological damage to patients.

The following is excerpted from the American Psychological Association’s Resolution on Appropriate Affirmative Responses to Sexual Orientation Distress and Change Efforts http://www.apa.org/about/governance/council/policy/sexual-orientation.aspx

From their Research Summary:

Although sound data on the safety of SOCE (Sexual Orientation Change Efforts) are extremely limited, some individuals reported being harmed by SOCE. Distress and depression were exacerbated. Belief in the hope of sexual orientation change followed by the failure of the treatment was identified as a significant cause of distress and negative self-image (Beckstead & Morrow, 2004; Shidlo & Schroeder, 2002).

From their Resolution

THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED, That the American Psychological Association affirms that same-sex sexual and romantic attractions, feelings, and behaviors are normal and positive variations of human sexuality regardless of sexual orientation identity;

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, That the American Psychological Association reaffirms its position that homosexuality per se is not a mental disorder and opposes portrayals of sexual minority youths and adults as mentally ill due to their sexual orientation;

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, That the American Psychological Association concludes that there is insufficient evidence to support the use of psychological interventions to change sexual orientation;

Additionally the following is excerpted from the American Psychiatric Association’s position statement regarding Therapies Focused on Attempts to Change Sexual Orientation (Reparative or Conversion Therapies http://www.psych.org/Departments/EDU/Library/APAOfficialDocumentsandRelated/PositionStatements/200001a.aspx

1.     APA affirms its 1973 position that homosexuality per se is not a diagnosable mental disorder.  Recent publicized efforts to repathologize homosexuality by claiming that it can be cured are often guided not by rigorous scientific or psychiatric research, but sometimes by religious and political forces opposed to full civil rights for gay men and lesbians.  APA recommends that the APA respond quickly and appropriately as a scientific organization when claims that homosexuality is a curable illness are made by political or religious groups.

2.     As a general principle, a therapist should not determine the goal of treatment either coercively or through subtle influence.  Psychotherapeutic modalities to convert or “repair” homosexuality are based on developmental theories whose scientific validity is questionable.  Furthermore, anecdotal reports of “cures” are counterbalanced by anecdotal claims of psychological harm.  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.

Sometimes it helps to put a face on the matter.  Robbie Kirkland was a 15 year old who was continually subjected to negative ‘homophobic’ social pressures regarding his sexual orientation.  He took a key from his father’s key chain, unlocked his father’s gun and put the keys back.  He climbed up to the attic where he lay down on a mattress.  Then he shot himself in the head.  The suicide note was found in a notebook at his mother’s.  “I am sorry for the pain I have put everyone through…I hope I can find the peace I couldn’t find in my life”.

Robbie Kirkland Picture

It is time that we stop discriminating against our diversity, for real lives are at play.  I ask that this legislature vote down the constitutional amendment banning same sex marriage.

Recent Posts

The Cruelty of NCs House Bill 2

North Carolina’s House Bill 2 is fundamentally flawed. Quite the opposite of legislators bogus claims that public facility non-discrimination laws create safety concerns from sexual predators, the law actually increases the risk of abuse, both verbal and physical, to the already vulnerable transgender population. Further, in the state of NC that houses the Research Triangle Park and multiple world class medical institutions, legislators have pandered to religious factions and organizations that have stigmatized, ostracized and even demonized transgenders, some of whom suffer from a recognized medical diagnosis. The situation for transgendered youth is particularly grave, a population that already suffers a high rate of both abuse and suicide attempts. The law is cruel and untenable from both business and civil/human rights perspectives, and should be repealed.

NC’s Anti-LGBT Law and the Legislature: Little Business Sense

In this published Letter to the Editor (Raleigh N&O), powerful members of the North Carolina legislature have demonstrated little understanding of the importance of customer retention in building the business base of the state.

North Carolina’s LGBT Discrimination Law HB2: Its Folly and Motivation

By using sex on a birth certificate to define sexual identity, NC’s legislature and governor have shown much ignorance about the complexities of biologic diversity. But it is the pandering to LGBT hate groups by ranking members of the GOP at both the national and state level that reveals the underlying discrimination that motivated the law.

Featured Article

The Year the GOPs Con Game was Exposed

The GOP’s decision to reinstate tax cut policy in 2001 exposed their hand. It was not about deficit reduction, growing the economy, or job creation. It was about ideology and, no doubt, special interests. It was a backdoor approach where government revenue was cut in an attempt to curtail spending on popular programs they otherwise could not take head-on. This while obstructing the work of Congress, spinning a web of deceit about the benefits of their policy, and weakening our country’s financial standing. It’s time to play hardball during ‘fiscal cliff’ negotiations and force them to be specific about what spending cuts they are talking about to offset the tax benefits they wish to preserve for the wealthiest. They wouldn’t have the nerve.