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Counterpunch

Opposing Gay Marriage Doesn't Mean That I'm Homophobic

January 17, 2000|LAURA SCHLESSINGER

Am I anti-gay?

According to several activists quoted by The Times' Brian Lowry in a recent "On TV" column ("Dr. Laura: All Is Fair in Syndication," Jan. 11), the answer would appear obvious. After all, I've spoken out against gay marriage, am on record as

describing homosexuality as a deviant sexual orientation and have spoken favorably about reparative therapy for gays who wish to change their sexual orientation.

Well, the truth is, I'm not. What I am is a serious Jew who has consistently stated my belief that same-sex sexual activity is incompatible with biblical Scripture and, in the same breath, that homosexuals are as entitled to love and respect as all other human beings.

However, Lowry would have The Times' readers believe I'm a phony; that my "pronouncements merely adorn prejudice in a cloak of religion and morality." How insulting!

Opposition to the legalization and sanctification of homosexual unions is not homophobia. It signifies my belief that such unions are forbidden by G-d. And to point out that a homosexual orientation deviates from the norm does not constitute hate speech. It simply means that homosexuality deviates from the biological norm of heterosexuality. There are many human conditions that deviate from biological norms--a subject I know well, having received a doctorate in medical physiology from the College of Physicians and Surgeons at Columbia University.

In response to the charge by the Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation included in Lowry's column, that I advocate reparative therapy, I have received hundreds of letters from homosexuals over the years, testifying to its success. It is clear from these testimonials that reparative therapy can be successful with some homosexuals who wish to change their sexual orientation. I have never said that all homosexuals could or should do this. I am appalled, however, by the fact that the professional psychological associations have declared it unethical for their members to work with clients who wish to change their sexual orientation. As a licensed psychotherapist, I can think of no other source of psychological angst that has been branded as unacceptable for treatment.

Does my opposition to homosexual marriage and my advocacy of reparative therapy make me a bigot? No. But, because of my millions of radio listeners, my beliefs make me a threat to the radical goals of homosexual activists, who send me hate mail and death threats. To my way of thinking, their well-organized campaign against my freedom of speech is rhetorical thuggery at best and religious persecution at worst.

I know firsthand from hundreds of callers and many long-standing, close relationships with gay friends and colleagues that there is considerable disagreement among homosexuals over the issue of legalized gay marriage and reparative therapy. I also know that GLAAD does not speak for all gays, even all gays who work in the entertainment industry in Hollywood.

Laura Schlessinger is host of a nationally syndicated radio show, heard locally on KFI-AM (640), and will be hosting a syndicated TV series in September.

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