Tag Archives: homosexuality

Gay conversion therapy debate flares up again

I suffer occasionally from a case of politics-induced heartburn.

It’s flaring up again. The catalyst this time is gay conversion therapy, which is being debated in the Texas Legislature. Some lawmakers want to make it illegal to force someone to undergo the quackery associated with trying to “convert” a gay person into a straight person. Most of them, though, seem satisfied with allowing individuals to endure such nonsense.

House Bill 517 gets scrutiny

A handful of states have made gay conversion therapy illegal. They recognize that a person’s sexual orientation is part of his or her DNA. It’s who they are. Therefore, it is impossible to “convert” someone from one orientation and guide them toward something else.

It’s a belief I have held for a long time, that one does not “choose” to become gay. Nor do they “choose” to become straight, for that matter.

I am nearly 70 years of age. My memory fails me at times, but so help me, I do not ever recall a moment when I was coming of age all those years ago when I gave any thought about whether I preferred to be intimate with women.

Thus, I find it impossible to believe that those who are gay make that choice consciously.

I am left to wonder two things: Why would anyone choose to be vilified by those around them? Why, too, is it often so difficult for those who are gay to “come out” to their loved ones?

Let me clear the air on one key point as well. Even discussing anyone’s sexuality makes me highly uncomfortable. It is a subject that I consider to be no one’s damn business. It is a part of one’s life that should remain utterly, completely and totally private.

Not everyone believes that, apparently. Some legislators in Texas and in many other states believe someone’s sexual orientation should become a matter of public policy.

That’s where this idiocy of “gay conversion therapy” comes into play.

I know I’m going to get grief for stating all this. That’s all right. I get that many Americans feel strongly about gay conversion and believe in their heart and soul that it’s a legitimate psychological therapy. I am not one of them.

Still, the heartburn I suffer from this discussion is real.

There is one constructive way to look at this, though. It is that we’re actually debating this issue in Texas. Maybe that’s a sign of progress.

Republicans join Democrats in disarray

Republicans and Democrats have plenty of things of common. Both parties say they love America; they both say they want what’s best for the country … and they both are in a state of utter confusion and chaos.

Democratic disarray became evident when Hillary Rodham Clinton lost a presidential race in 2016 that she should have won handily. The party is still trying to find its footing moving toward the 2020 presidential campaign.

Now, though, the Republicans have exhibited signs of political schizophrenia. Down yonder in Alabama, the GOP this week nominated a true-blue lunatic as their candidate for the U.S. Senate; GOP nominee Roy Moore is poised to likely win the Senate seat vacated by Jeff Sessions, when he became U.S. attorney general.

Get a load of this: GOP primary voters picked Moore over Sen. Luther Strange, who was appointed to serve in the seat and who had been endorsed by Donald J. Trump, the nation’s Republican in chief.

I know that “lunatic” is a strong term to hang on a politician, but I think Moore fits the bill — politically speaking, of course. He served as ‘Bama’s Supreme Court chief justice but got into trouble twice with the state’s judicial ethics agency, first for refusing to remove a Ten Commandments display from public property and then for encouraging county clerks to disobey federal law after the U.S. Supreme Court legalized gay marriage.

Just the other day he pulled a pistol out of his pocket — in front of a large political rally crowd — to show his support for the Second Amendment and he has said that “homosexual activity” should be deemed an illegal act.

As my dear late Mom would say, the guy is “nuttier than a fruitcake.” 

Moore’s nomination is giving Republican Party establishment types all sorts of heartburn, headaches, apoplexy … not to mention paroxysms of panic.

The president says he’ll campaign all-out for Moore’s election. I am wondering if that means he’ll forgo statements such as when he showed up in Alabama this past week and said he “might have made a mistake” by endorsing Sen. Strange.

Make ‘homosexual activity illegal’? How?

The man whom Alabama Republican primary voters have nominated for the U.S. Senate is truly a frightening individual.

He is Roy Moore, the former chief justice of the Alabama Supreme Court. Just the other day he talked at a campaign rally about his support of the Second Amendment — and then pulled a pistol out of his pocket to prove his point.

That’s not the particular point of this blog post, however.

This one-time jurist believes that “homosexual activity” should be made illegal. I’ll take a leap here and presume he believes that gay couples must not be permitted to engage in any form of intimacy.

I’m now wondering: How does one enforce such a law?

It reminds of me a terrible “anti-sodomy law” that once was on the books in Texas. That law gave license, as I read it, for law enforcement officials to raid people’s bedrooms to enforce the prohibition against intimacy involving gay men. It’s no longer on the books.

So, what is Roy Moore suggesting? That law enforcement authorities barge into people’s homes to make sure they’re not engaging in “homosexual activity”?

This is the fellow who was stripped of his judgeship for (a) refusing to remove a Ten Commandments display from public property and (b) encouraged county clerks in Alabama to ignore a U.S. Supreme Court ruling that required the issuance of marriage licenses to same-sex couples.

Now Alabama’s Republican voters have just nominated someone who believes that gay people cannot engage in certain “activities.”

Alabama is a deeply Republican state. This fellow stands a good chance of being elected to the U.S. Senate seat now held by Luther Strange, who was appointed to the Senate after Jeff Sessions left to become U.S. attorney general.

If it comes to pass, I believe Capitol Hill is going to become a significantly loonier place.

Scary, man. Scary.

Does one ‘choose’ to be gay?

Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker has entered the Republican presidential field.

He’s also said he doesn’t know if people choose to be gay.


The columnist Richard Cohen posed what I presume to be a rhetorical question: “At what point did he (Walker) decide to be heterosexual? At what age did he decide that he would not be homosexual or, if he had the energy, bisexual? I know for myself that I am unaware of making such a decision and did not mark it down — as I now would — in my Google Calendar or tweet it to much of America and the ships at sea.”

It’s a question that’s likely to dog the governor as he campaigns for the GOP presidential nomination.

I keep falling back to another question posed by a gay friend of mine. His name was Tim. He died of AIDS-related complications in 1994. After he revealed to his friends and colleagues that he had contracted HIV, he and I discussed his sexual orientation. “Why would I choose to be vilified and condemned?” Tim asked.

Why, indeed?

Tim said he didn’t choose his sexual orientation. He considered it to be part of his DNA, of his character, of his very being

I don’t know when, or if, Gov. Walker will ever reach a conclusion on people’s sexual orientation. He’ll likely have to decide before his presidential campaign gets too far down the road.

Homosexuality gaining acceptance

Homosexuality isn’t the demon among a growing number of Americans, says a study by the Pew Research Center.

The study indicates that in almost all demographic groups, homosexuality is more widely accepted than it was in 2013. Almost all groups.

Who doesn’t think that way? Conservative Republicans, according to Pew.


Does that surprise you? I didn’t think so. It didn’t me, either.

The tide of history is turning against those who continue to harbor ill will toward gay people. We’re seeing a growing acceptance of gay marriage; certainly, more Americans believe gay people should not face discrimination on the basis of their sexual orientation.

As for the Pew figures on conservative Republicans’ continued antipathy toward gay people, I think it speaks to the difficulty the GOP is going to face in future national elections.

The nation is changing in many substantive ways. Many pundits have noted the increasing numbers of ethnic and racial minorities and how those groups tend to vote against GOP candidates.

The conservative wing of that party is continuing to call the shots on how to shape the party’s governing platform — and it doesn’t include a more inclusive outlook toward the LGBT community.

Whether individual candidates adhere to that national platform often is up for discussion. Still, when the party hierarchy, driven by its most conservative members, put anti-gay language on the record, voters will take notice.



Anti-sodomy law still on the books? Get rid of it!

I just learned something today that I probably should have known already.

It’s that a law banning sodomy in Texas remains on the books, even though the U.S. Supreme Court ruled the state’s anti-sodomy law to be in violation of the U.S. Constitution.

Let me stipulate here that I am not comfortable writing about sex, so I’ll be discreet.


The anti-sodomy law was a vestige of the state’s prejudice against homosexual behavior. It banned same-sex intimacy. The Supreme Court then stepped in and said the state cannot ban such behavior, given that what two people do in the privacy of their home is, well, no one’s business but their own.

I thought the court’s striking down of the law meant the end of it. The state couldn’t enforce an unconstitutional law. Silly me. I was wrong.

The Texas Tribune reports that Texas isn’t alone among the states that still have anti-sodomy laws on the books. Eleven other states have these outdated laws.

They all should be repealed.

I find it incredibly hypocritical for legislators who contend that government shouldn’t interfere in people’s lives to retain a law that interferes in the most intrusive manner imaginable.

The highest court in the country ruled in 2003 that states could not punish people for engaging in same-sex intercourse, as Texas did.

The Legislature needs to finish off this law once and for all. Time’s wasting, ladies and gentlemen.


Rubio is right: Sexual orientation is no 'choice'

Sen. Marco Rubio wants to be president. To do that he’s got to sound reasonable.

The young Florida Republican, by golly, is starting to get some traction on the reasonableness bandwagon.


One’s sexual orientation, he said today on “Face the Nation,” is not a choice. It’s who that person is.

Good call, senator.

He stops short of endorsing gay marriage, though. He believes marriage should be a union involving a man and a woman. He says he favors “traditional” marriage.

I am heartened, though, to understand that he does not buy into the tripe being tossed around that someone states a “preference” for being intimate with someone else. I’ve long believed sexual orientation — whether it’s heterosexual or homosexual — is part of a person’s DNA.

I’m glad to see that Marco Rubio understands it, too.

Now, if we can just get him to change his mind about normalizing relations with Cuba …


'Church' to protest at this funeral?

Westboro Baptist “Church” is at it again.

The target of this gang of goofballs this time is the funeral of the late Rev. Robert Schuller, founder of the Crystal Cathedral megachurch in California.

Schuller died this past week.

Seems that Westboro “church” members believed Schuller was too tolerant of gay people. So, to carry their hateful message to this latest extreme, they plan to launch a protest at Schuller’s funeral.


I don’t know what to say, except that these idiotic displays of intolerance go so far beyond what Jesus Christ himself taught that it utterly baffles me that Westboro can even call itself a “church.”

Schuller, in the eyes of the Topeka, Kan.-based Westboro “church” members, had the bad form to preach a sunny form of Christianity. He brought forward messages of hope, not hate. Westboro “church” officials said he should have talked more about going to hell and, perhaps, less about going to heaven.

Westboro has created a lot of notoriety picketing funerals of fallen warriors, men and women who’ve died in battle defending the right of citizens to speak out. Westboro’s agenda, such as it is, is a fervently anti-gay message. LGBT citizens are going straight to hell, says Westboro “church” doctrine.

So, here we go again.

A crackpot cult is going to launch yet another picket.

Let’s all turn our backs on them, shall we?


Good doctor snaps out of it

No one ever should question Ben Carson’s smarts as a neurosurgeon.

He’s one of the best ever, in the world. But the good doctor stepped in it big time during a CNN interview and has actually apologized for some remarks he made about homosexuality and how he thought people “become” gay.


Dr. Carson told CNN’s Chris Cuomo that one needs to look at the prison population to understand that homosexuality is a lifestyle choice. He said prisoners have begun their sentences as straight but come out as gay.

Sexual orientation? The doctor called it a “choice.”

He’s taken it back. Carson, a possible 2016 Republican presidential candidate, still doesn’t believe marriage equality, preferring to support civil unions for gay couples. But he’s said he’s sorry for the offense he caused by using the prisoners-choose-to-be-gay example.

“I do not pretend to know how every individual came to their sexual orientation,” he said on Facebook. “I regret that my words to express that concept were hurtful and divisive. For that I apologize unreservedly to all that were offended.”

Apology accepted, Dr. Carson. Now, let’s stick to the issues that we can control. Sexual orientation isn’t one of them.


Sexuality is no 'lifestyle choice'

Mike Huckabee is entitled to believe what he believes about homosexuality.

I just happen to think he’s mistaken when he compares a person’s sexual orientation to drinking alcohol or cursing in public.


That’s his latest take on an issue that is likely to be a key driver in the upcoming 2016 Republican presidential nomination campaign.

Huckabee is a former Baptist preacher and a one-time Arkansas governor. He told CNN’s “State of the Union” that while he opposes gay marriage he wants to be tolerant of those who choose to marry someone of the same gender. As the New York Post reported: “I accept a lot of people as friends maybe whose lifestyle I don’t necessarily adhere to, agree with or practice. Doesn’t mean that I can’t have a good relationship with anyone or lead them or govern them.”

“We’re so sensitive to make sure we don’t offend certain religions, but then we act like Christians can’t have the convictions that they have had for over 2,000 years,” he said.

I get that, too. I also am a practicing Christian, but I happen to have a different view of the issue than the former governor.

The notion that many folks have that someone’s sexual orientation is a lifestyle choice simply defies logic, as explained to me over many years by my own gay friends. To a person, whenever the subject comes up — and I don’t bring it up myself, ever — about their orientation, they say essentially the same thing: “Why would I choose to be scorned, ridiculed and vilified?”

I haven’t found the answer to that one.