Uneducated opinions on therapy hurt gays

By By By Jonathan Deesing

By By Jonathan Deesing

One of the silliest and most inane things human beings do is argue about morality. In these arguments, no one can ever be right or wrong. Thus, people generally turn to scare tactics, illegitimate arguments or just simple stupidity.

Such is the case with the recent statements made by Bruce C. Hafen, a general authority of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, regarding homosexuality. Last Saturday, Hafen repudiated a finding by the American Psychological Association that said trying to change one’s sexuality through therapy is unhealthy. He did so at the annual conference of Evergreen International, a group dedicated to rehabilitating homosexuals.

Being LDS myself, I will not argue with the church’s stance on homosexuality because, as I previously mentioned, this would be pointless. However, I will argue with Hafen’s approach to a decidedly delicate situation.

Hafen seems to be confused with the difference between taking an aggressive stance on homosexuality and taking an uneducated and poorly informed stance. I am in no way claiming that Hafen is ignorant, but a man with a bachelor’s degree in political science from Brigham Young University is in no position to refute the findings of a 150,000-member association of professionals.

These professionals have no ulterior motives or goals in releasing this study, much like scientists studying global warming. To suggest that an enormous blend of Ph. D-holding scientists is only interested in furthering the cause of homosexuality is absurd and insulting.

Indeed, nowhere in their findings does the APA claim that homosexuality is good, only that trying to change it through intensive therapy can be mentally damaging.

Cathy Martinez, the director of the Lesbian Gay Bisexual Transgender Resource Center at the U said she supports the findings of the APA and offers her own take on the issue.

“I think there is a choice aspect,” she said. “The choice to be happy or to be unhappy.” She explained that organizations such as Evergreen International only encourage gays to suppress their feelings in order to live a more “normal” and acceptable life.

She has drawn her conclusions from APA findings, other studies and her own personal experience as a certified social worker. She explained that in her time working with gay and lesbian people, she found that “this sort of therapy can be very damaging.”

For the rest of our lives there will be hotly debated issues and we as humans will never stop arguing. But while we are in college wrinkling our brains, we have to recognize the findings of our peers or educational superiors. We cannot deny science simply because it clashes with our belief system, or we risk diving into another dark age.

The issues surrounding homosexuality evoke passionate feelings in many people. What we must do as educated individuals is make a conscious effort to keep our arguments logical and within the bounds of our own knowledge.

If you are not educated on an issue, you have two choices: educate yourself or silence yourself. Nothing is more dangerous than an uneducated opinion.

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