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The Debate Over Homosexuality and Its 'Treatment' Rages On (- 2p1)

April 13, 1990

Gary and I (a gay couple quoted in the article) want to thank you for your excellent article on the reparative therapy controversy. It was a well-stated and well-balanced report.

It was interesting that you included some quotes from Tricia Hannigan. She was one of the professors in my master's program at Cal State Fullerton. Her class, Sexual Dysfunction and Social Delinquency, was the only time I heard any mention of homosexuality or how to approach therapy with gay clients. Gayness was listed alongside rape, torture, murder, prostitution, fetishism, etc., reflecting the old school of thought that homosexuality is considered a perversion. Tricia never really spoke out on the gay issue in this class or made derogatory comments about gays, but it is interesting to note that she compares reparative therapy with a "priest or nun choosing to be celibate in honor of their religious beliefs." How noble, and how off the point! This comment does not address the question of whether it is possible (or psychologically desirable) for gays to try to become straight. Celibacy is not a change in sexual orientation. Priests and nuns continue to be gay or straight even though they do not act on their desires.

It is also very interesting that the "ex-lesbian" assumes that her dysfunctional family and the trauma of sexual molestation caused her to be gay, and Bill admits that he is still "at war" with his sexual feelings, even though he is "ex-homosexual."

Oh well, the debate rages on. Thanks again for illuminating the issues and for recognizing our relationship as "so compatible, so in sync that the fates seemed to have brought us together." It is warming to know that others see what we feel. Thanks also for including Gary's comment that God didn't leave us and loves us as we are. This is the real message that the world needs to hear and that is so often obscured by all the ex-gay/reparative therapy bickering. Michael Bussee Huntington Beach

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