Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Pope Doesn't Judge Gays

I have not been very good about keeping up with the news here lately on the Vigilance blog. The local controversies that motivated the creation of this medium have mostly died down. A few years ago, the idea that some people are gay or lesbian or transgender was too controversial for a small cell of radicals in our suburban county. They put up a big fight when the public schools were going to mention sexual orientation, and the rest of us fought back. The anti-gay side lost every time, and finally stopped trying.

In the long run, the school district adopted a quite-conservative curriculum which has quietly loosened up in the intervening years -- it's not so bad now. There are families with same-sex parents, there are people who are attracted to the same sex and some who were assigned the wrong sex at birth, and that's just how it is. Kids can handle it, and at this point their parents have settled down about it. So it is not necessary to blog every day to document the battles.

At the same time, there is a lot of stuff going on in this crazy world, and it seems reasonable to comment occasionally. For instance, the Pope's incredible remarks this week demonstrate just how far civilization has advanced in its acceptance of LGBT people.

The Washington Post:
Pope Francis on Monday continued to recast the Catholic Church’s image by focusing on its inviting, merciful aspects, this time shocking a planeload of reporters by saying of homosexuality: “Who am I to judge?”

“If they accept the Lord and have goodwill, who am I to judge them?” the leader of the world’s 1.2 billion Catholics said in a remarkably candid and off-the-cuff news conference en route to Rome from Brazil. “They shouldn’t be marginalized.” Pope Francis calls for inclusion of gays in society, saying he has no right to ‘judge’
You know the Catholic Church teaches that sex is a means for procreation, and I doubt we will find that the Pope approves of sexual behavior outside of hetereosexual marriage. So on one level, this statement is an acknowledgement that sexual orientiation is not about behavior, as the Nutty Ones like to say, it is about who someone is. You can be gay and celibate, gay and virginal, the Pope didn't elaborate but I think he's all right with that. Which is, it seems to me, an improvement.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

here's another one for you guys: Pat Robertson is saying it's not the place of others to judge transgenders


July 30, 2013 11:39 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"In the long run, the school district adopted a quite-conservative curriculum which has quietly loosened up in the intervening years -- it's not so bad now."

see, that's what I'm talkin' about

the insidiousness of the gay agenda

"I have not been very good about keeping up with the news here lately on the Vigilance blog. The local controversies that motivated the creation of this medium have mostly died down."

dude, this blog was never about homosexuality

it's a liberal attempt to misuse science for political propaganda

just happens that the gay agenda is an excellent example of this

here's a noted psychologist who has seen hundreds successfully change their sexual preference through reparative therapy

"The Southern Poverty Law Centerhas done amazing service for our nation in fighting prejudice. But it has gone astray in its recent New Jersey lawsuit charging JONAH, formerly Jews Offering New Alternatives for Healing, a group that offers to help gay people change their orientation, with committing consumer fraud. The sweeping allegation that such treatment must be a fraud because homosexual orientation can't be changed is damaging. The lawsuit is the opening salvo of a wave of activism intended to discredit therapy offered in 70 clinics across 20 states, according to the SPLC.

When I was chief psychologist for Kaiser Permanente from 1959 to 1979, San Francisco's gay and lesbian population burgeoned. I personally saw more than 2,000 patients with same-sex attraction, and my staff saw thousands more. We worked hard to develop approaches to meeting the needs of these patients.

They generally sought therapy for one of three reasons: to come to grips with their gay identity, to resolve relationship issues or to change their sexual orientation. We would always inform patients in the third group that change was not easily accomplished. With clinical experience, my staff and I learned to assess the probability of change in those who wished to become heterosexual.

Of the roughly 18,000 gay and lesbian patients whom we treated over 25 years through Kaiser, I believe that most had satisfactory outcomes. The majority were able to attain a happier and more stable homosexual lifestyle. Of the patients I oversaw who sought to change their orientation, hundreds were successful."

Nicholas Cummings was president of the American Psychological Association (1979-80).

July 31, 2013 8:29 AM  
Blogger Priya Lynn said...

Even the pope can see its inevitable that gays and lesbians are going to win the culture war.

July 31, 2013 9:43 AM  
Blogger Priya Lynn said...

It's still particularly juicy to savour bad anonymous's loss in the 2012 election. Let's reminice for a moment.

Extra amusing was bad anonymous's comment after the Republican convention when he fatuously claimed Romney was now sure to win because "Clint Eastwood gave everyone permission to mock the president" - LOL! Like Republicans were afraid to mock Obama before Clint Eastwood did so.

And then who can forget the night of the election when bad anonymous cluelessly told us all the election would come out with "popular vote: Romney 52, Obama 48 you heard at TTF first, people" - what a moron!

LOL! Ah, good times. And more to come with the Republican voting demographic continually shrinking and Republicans stubbornly refusing to change the policies that lead to their defeat in 2012.

July 31, 2013 9:52 AM  
Blogger Priya Lynn said...

Bad anonymous refers to Nicholas Cummings who offers his unsubstantiated opinion that some people can change their sexual orientation. Of course Cummings has no research to back up his claim and he represents a very small minority of people in the mental health field who have this well refuted belief. Every major mental and physical health organization opposes "reparitive" "therapy" as it is ineffective and potentially harmful. Here are the positions of a few of those organizations:

The American Academy of Pediatrics in its policy statement on Homosexuality and Adolescence states: Confusion about sexual orientation is not unusual during adolescence. Counseling may be helpful for young people who are uncertain about their sexual orientation or for those who are uncertain about how to express their sexuality and might profit from an attempt at clarification through a counseling or psychotherapeutic initiative. Therapy directed specifically at changing sexual orientation is contraindicated, since it can provoke guilt and anxiety while having little or no potential for achieving changes in orientation.6

The American Counseling Association has adopted a resolution that states that it: opposes portrayals of lesbian, gay, and bisexual youth and adults as mentally ill due to their sexual orientation; and supports the dissemination of accurate information about sexual orientation, mental health, and appropriate interventions in order to counteract bias that is based on ignorance or unfounded beliefs about same-gender sexual orientation.7 Further, at its 1999 World Conference, ACA adopted a position opposing the promotion of "reparative therapy" as a "cure" for individuals who are homosexual.8

The American Psychiatric Association in its position statement on Psychiatric Treatment and Sexual Orientation states: The potential risks of "reparative therapy" are great, including depression, anxiety and self-destructive behavior, since therapist alignment with societal prejudices against homosexuality may reinforce self-hatred already experienced by the patient. Many patients who have undergone "reparative therapy" relate that they were inaccurately told that homosexuals are lonely, unhappy individuals who never achieve acceptance or satisfaction. The possibility that the person might achieve happiness and satisfying interpersonal relationships as a gay man or lesbian is not presented, nor are alternative approaches to dealing with the effects of societal stigmatization discussed.9

July 31, 2013 10:16 AM  
Blogger Priya Lynn said...

The American Psychological Association recently undertook a study of the peer-reviewed literature in the area of sexual orientation change efforts (SOCE) and concluded that, "given the limited amount of methodically sound research, claims that recent SOCE is effective are not supported. Two issues with SOCE claims are that conversion therapists falsely assume that homosexuality is a mental disorder and that their research focuses almost exclusively on gay men and rarely includes lesbian. In its Resolution on Appropriate Therapeutic Responses to Sexual Orientation, which is also endorsed by the National Association of School
Psychologists, states: That the American Psychological Association opposes portrayals of lesbian, gay, and bisexual youth and adults as mentally ill due to their sexual orientation and supports the dissemination of accurate information about sexual orientation, and mental health, and appropriate interventions in order to counteract bias that is based in ignorance or unfounded beliefs about sexual orientation.10

The National Association of Social Workers in its Policy Statement on Lesbian, Gay and Bisexual Issues: endorses policies in both the public and private sectors that ensure nondiscrimination; that are sensitive to the health and mental health needs of lesbian, gay, and bisexual people; and that promote an understanding of lesbian, gay, and bisexual cultures. Social stigmatization of lesbian, gay, and bisexual people is widespread and is a primary motivating factor in leading some people to seek sexual orientation changes.11 Sexual orientation conversion therapies assume that homosexual orientation is both pathological and freely chosen. No data demonstrate that reparative or conversion therapies are effective, and in fact they may be harmful.12 NASW believes social workers have the responsibility to clients to explain the prevailing knowledge concerning sexual orientation and the lack of data reporting positive outcomes with reparative therapy. NASW discourages social workers from providing treatments designed to change sexual orientation or from referring practitioners or programs that claim to do so.13

As these statements make clear, health and mental health professional organizations do not support efforts to change people's sexual orientation through "reparative" "therapy" and have raised serious concerns about its potential to do harm.

July 31, 2013 10:19 AM  
Blogger Priya Lynn said...

I saw a werewolf drinking a pina colada at Trader Vic's...and his hair was perfect.

July 31, 2013 10:20 AM  
Anonymous svelte_brunette said...

Pat Robertson said:

"I think there are men who are in a woman's body," he said. "It's very rare. But it's true -- or women that are in men's bodies -- and that they want a sex change. That is a very permanent thing, believe me, when you have certain body parts amputated and when you have shot up with various kinds of hormones. It's a radical procedure. I don't think there's any sin associated with that. I don't condemn somebody for doing that."

I’m pretty worried about this statement. Everyone on both sides of the aisle would have been far less surprised if he blamed transsexuals for the Fukushima nuclear meltdown. If he keeps spouting off stuff that actually falls in the “reasonable” category, people are going to start to suspect that someone at “Gay Agenda Headquarters” ordered an extraordinary rendition and replaced the pastor with hitherto unknown Pat Robertson look-alike Larry Melnik from the Bronx.

Have a nice day,


July 31, 2013 10:53 AM  
Blogger Priya Lynn said...

A new Gallup Poll shows 52% of Americans would vote for marriage equality.

In short: only one region of the country is an outlier in not supporting marriage equality, but the South is still over forty percent in support. That number will flip before too long. The only age group that doesn’t support equality is those over fifty-five, and the Religious Right’s belief that the younger age groups will “become more conservative” on the issue as they age is a pipe dream. And of course, Republicans and Conservatives are still way behind, but that’s nothing new. It’s starting to hurt them in elections, too.

WooHoo! Our winning is inevitable!

July 31, 2013 11:07 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

it's nice we live in a country where even someone with six split personalities can have a say

they may be wacky but the Priyas are always good for a laugh

July 31, 2013 2:27 PM  
Anonymous Robert said...

The data on opinions about lgbt people and issues among those under 35 indicate that within only a decade or two, even in the deepest of deep south places, gay marriage and employment non-discrimination will have majority support.

August 01, 2013 4:12 AM  
Anonymous Robert said...

Fairfax County Public School servers block access to the PFOX website, but not HRC, NGLTF, GLSEN, PFLAG or NOM.

August 01, 2013 4:36 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"Fairfax County Public School servers block access to the PFOX website, but not HRC, NGLTF, GLSEN, PFLAG or NOM"

yes, Robert, the gay agenda is totalitarian

August 01, 2013 5:57 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Despite assurance by the International Olympic Committee July 26 that attendees of the 2014 Olympic Games in Sochi would not be held under the jurisdiction of Russia's anti-gay legislation, the law's co-sponsor is now articulating a different set of circumstances. Vitaly Milonov, the politician responsible for the "gay propaganda" ban in St. Petersburg later adopted by the country as a whole, claims that the law cannot be selectively enforced nor suspended.

In an interview with Interfax, Milonov stated:

I haven’t heard any comments from the government of the Russian Federation, but I know that it is acting in accordance with Russian law. And if a law has been approved by the federal legislature and signed by the president, then the government has no right to suspend it. It doesn’t have the authority.

In effect, it seems as if foreign athletes and spectators at the 2014 Olympic Games will, in fact, be subject to the legalities of Russia's recent stream of anti-LGBT legislation. Signed into law by President Vladimir Putin on June 30, the legislation gives the Russian government agency to detain gay or "pro-gay" foreigners up to 14 days before facing expulsion from the country.

Perhaps most notable out of this recent interview with Milonov is the claim that he has "spoken with many American politicians" and that "they support the stance I’ve taken on this issue." He also cites support from German legislators surrounding the anti-gay crackdown.

In a statement released on July 17 to the Windy City Times, the International Olympic Committee attempted to prevent the high-publicity nature of Russia's anti-gay legislation and activity from affecting the 2014 Olympic games.

The International Olympic Committee is clear that sport is a human right and should be available to all regardless of race, sex or sexual orientation,...The Games themselves should be open to all, free of discrimination, and that applies to spectators, officials, media and of course athletes. We would oppose in the strongest terms any move that would jeopardize this principle.

In both a localized and international response to the anti-LGBT sentiments pervading the Eurasian country, boycotts of all things-Russian, including vodka, are being encouraged. In addition, a White House Petition is currently gaining traction to place State Duma Deputy Elena Mizulina and Vitaly Milonov on the visa ban list for "their role in creating Russia's ban on 'gay propaganda.'" The petition must reach 100,000 signatures by Aug. 25 for consideration by Secretary of State John Kerry.

Prior to this recent statement from Milonov, famed U.S. LGBT figure skater Johnny Weir had discouraged a much-discussed boycott of the 2014 Olympic Games, warning that those who would suffer the most from a potential boycott would be the athletes who have "dedicated their lives to possibly having their lone life-changing moment."

August 01, 2013 8:21 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

that's funny!!

if gays go to the Winter Olympics, they will be arrested

August 01, 2013 8:59 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"Nicholas Cummings was the president of the American Psychological Association from 1979 – 1980, but he now believes the organization he once led has been taken hostage by “ultraliberals” beholden to the “gay rights movement,” at the expense of “scientific objectivity.” The people Cummings is describing here sometimes go by the title “licensed therapists” and “accredited medical associations that disagree with Nicholas Cummings.”

You see, Cummings is a proponent and former practitioner of ex-gay therapy, a discredited (except, that is, among right-wing Christian organizations and “ex-gay” practitioners) pseudo-therapeutic practice that seeks to “cure” gay people.

On Wednesday, Cummings defended so-called reparative therapies in an editorial for USA Today, which in part said:

"Whatever the situation at an individual clinic, accusing professionals from across the country who provide treatment for fully informed persons seeking to change their sexual orientation of perpetrating a fraud serves only to stigmatize the professional and shame the patient."

Interesting that Cummings should be so concerned about shaming patients, as the lawsuit filed by the Southern Poverty Law Center against the ex-gay organization Jews Offering New Alternatives for Healing (JONAH) — which Cummings denounces as “damaging” — offers several accounts of abusive practices recipients of “ex-gay” therapies were subjected to, as the SPLC notes:

Customers of JONAH’s services typically pay a minimum of $100 for weekly individual counseling sessions and another $60 for group therapy sessions. The lawsuit describes sessions that involved clients undressing in front of a mirror and even a group session where young men were instructed to remove their clothing and stand naked in a circle with the counselor, Downing, who was also undressed. Another session involved a subject attempting to wrest away two oranges, which were used to represent testicles, from another individual.

Or as one survivor of ex-gay therapy and plaintiff in the lawsuit explained to SPLC: “Sadly, there is no accountability for those who practice conversion therapy,” said Michael Ferguson. “They play blindly with deep emotions and create an immense amount of self-doubt for the client. They seize on your personal vulnerability, and tell you that being gay is synonymous with being less of a man. They further misrepresent themselves as having the key to your new orientation.”

In 2007, the APA commissioned a task force to conduct a systematic review of the peer-reviewed journal literature on so-called reparative therapies and concluded that “efforts to change sexual orientation are unlikely to be successful and involve some risk of harm, contrary to the claims of SOCE [sexual orientation change efforts] practitioners and advocates.”"

August 01, 2013 9:55 AM  
Anonymous David S. Fishback said...

Thought I'd toss this into the mix: http://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/gay-marriage-ruling-was-an-easy-case/2013/07/26/7f35d7c2-f522-11e2-81fa-8e83b3864c36_story.html

Also, re the Olympics, in 1936, as far as I know, Hitler did not go after Jews in attendance. Should the rest of the world have boycotted, anyway? Given the PR embarrassment to the Nazis when Jesse Owens dominated the track events, maybe it was best that the U.S. participated. Maybe not. What do people think about the parallels to the 2014 Winter Olympics in Russia?

August 03, 2013 12:45 AM  

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