Oct 21, 2013 Editorial
Homosexuality is viewed by many in Guyana and the wider world as a curse. The result is that there are many homophobic people around and these make life difficult for the people who, though no fault of their own, must suffer discrimination. And the hostility will never disappear because it is human nature to abhor what is perceived to be the abnormal.
What is most revealing is that people who are believed to be among the intelligent hold such strong views. This is possible because there are the so-called experts who also add to the confusion with findings that actually hold no basis in truth and fiction.
At present, in the United States, there is a legal battle against an organization that professed to cure homosexuality. Chief among the curers of homosexuality are the people who deem themselves to be Christian. And they have a platform. Apple, the computer and Iphone giant is providing a platform.
Mail Online reports, “Computer firm Apple has approved an iPhone and iPad application which claims to ‘cure’ gay people. “The app, called Exodus International, is targeted at ‘homosexual strugglers’ and teaches them that gay people have a choice about their sexuality.
“Its Christian makers claim the app gives them a chance of ‘freedom from homosexuality through the power of Jesus’. The free programme, which is available in Britain, was given four out of five stars by Apple, which means it is deemed to have ‘no objectionable content’.
“But the computing giant is now under pressure after gay rights campaigners started a petition to have it withdrawn.
“U.S. pressure group Change.org said that Exodus’ claims are ‘hateful and bigoted’ and send out an appalling message.”
Then there is another practice called conversion therapy. Conversion therapy has been a source of intense controversy in the United States and other countries. The American Psychiatric Association has condemned “psychiatric treatment, such as reparative or conversion therapy which is based upon the assumption that homosexuality per se is a mental disorder or based upon the a priori assumption that the patient should change his/her sexual homosexual orientation.”
But this is by no means the end of the drive to prove that homosexuals should not exist among us. Four gay men who underwent treatment designed to change their sexual orientation filed a lawsuit in New Jersey on Tuesday accusing their therapists of fraud, in what may be the first suit of its kind against conversion therapists.
Jews Offering New Alternatives for Healing (JONAH), a Jersey City-based non-profit organization, falsely claimed to be able to eliminate the four men’s homosexual desires through a scientifically proven process, according to a complaint filed in the Superior Court of New Jersey.
JONAH clients would pay a minimum of $100 for weekly individual counseling sessions and another $60 for group therapy sessions. This matter is before the courts and there would be some interesting revelations. Doctors and other medical experts would be testifying and in the end there are going to be some interesting rulings which should also have far-reaching effects in Guyana where there is the widely held view that there should be no discrimination.
Recently, a local group, SASOD, published the findings on the treatment of gays in the Caribbean. Guyana is featured prominently. Indeed, policemen have been known to take a course of action when the matter involves gays, sometimes in a manner that would make the most ardent jurist blush.
But it is the action of the church that must come under scrutiny. To discriminate against gays is to do exactly what the Lord does not advocate. Church members believe that homosexuality is a new phenomenon when in fact it is as old as mankind. The church believes that homosexuals are wicked when scientists say that they are just another group of people in the human chain.
And so it is that the national Assembly would be going to vote on the issue. This vote would not be along party lines. It would be a conscience vote. There would be demonstrations and all this would mean is that those who profess to be democratic would be seeking to impose their will on others.
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