Sun | Nov 18, 2018

Shirley Richards | Gay advocacy’s dangerous plunge

Published:Wednesday | August 15, 2018 | 12:00 AM

Dr Michael Abrahams attempted, in his Gleaner article published on Independence Day, August 6, 2018, to advocate for the LGBT lifestyle as normal and even commendable. Of note, he refers to research but fails to cite same.

According to Dr Abrahams: "Many people insist that queer folk choose to be the way they are, when research will tell you otherwise. They will insist that 'nobody is born gay' when they really do not know."

LGBT activists have tried for many years to promulgate the falsehood that persons 'are born gay', but this is debunked even by their own and other leading researchers.

For example, Dr Lisa Diamond, a top researcher of the American Psychological Association (APA) and an avowed lesbian activist, states: "... Arguments based on the immutability of sexual orientation are unscientific, given that scientific research does not indicate that sexual orientation is uniformly biologically determined at birth or that patterns of same-sex and other-sex attractions remain fixed over the life course. "(Lisa M. Diamond & Clifford J. Rosky (2016): Scrutinizing Immutability: Research on Sexual Orientation and US Legal Advocacy for Sexual Minorities, The Journal of Sex Research, DOI: 10.1080/00224499.2016.1139665)

 

Most important psychiatrist

 

Drs Lawrence Mayer and Paul R. Mc Hugh (the latter is said to be "arguably the most important American psychiatrist of the last half-century"), in the executive summary of the Special Report of the New Atlantis (Fall 2016), state:

"The understanding of sexual orientation as an innate, biologically fixed property of human beings - the idea that people are 'born that way' - is not supported by scientific evidence.

"While there is evidence that biological factors such as genes and hormones are associated with sexual behaviours and attractions, there are no compelling causal biological explanations for human sexual orientation. While minor differences in the brain structures and brain activity between homosexual and heterosexual individuals have been identified by researchers, such neurobiological findings do not demonstrate whether these differences are innate or are the result of environmental and psychological factors."

Dr Abrahams also appealed to the important concept of 'rights'. There is political logic to this appeal, for once the 'rights' card is played, that is supposed to be the end of the argument! As Professor Yvonne Lee of University of Singapore has so insightfully stated, "By portraying a subjective preference as a 'right', .. .the science of whether this is genetic or a gender identity disorder is insulated from debate."

A claim to a right does not automatically convert such a claim to the status of a 'right'. On what basis is the entry of the penis to the anus being claimed as a right? How do we differentiate between desires and rights? Are outcomes of the LGBT lifestyle relevant to the debate?

 

Threat to rights

 

Further, the 'right' being proposed by Dr Abrahams poses a threat to fundamental human rights of freedom of conscience, expression and religious liberty on which we all rely in a free and democratic society. A number of examples abound in the USA, Canada and in England. For example, Felix Ngole, a second-year master's student at Sheffield University, was delisted when he shared a Facebook post in support of marriage saying, "I stand with Kim Davis." Locally, we must never forget Prof Bain's case against UWI. The court found a "direct and undeniable link" between the testimony which he had given in the Orozco case(Belize) and the termination of his employment.

At this time of the year, we recall the fact that once we were an enslaved people. We then progressed decades later to political independence. 'Freedom' is important to us. However, as we progress as a nation trying to work out for ourselves the meaning of 'freedom' with associated concept of 'rights', it may do us well to always bear in mind the caution of Professor Orlando Patterson in his book, Freedom in the Making of Western Culture "Try as they might ... the brute historical fact remains that we have been unable to transcend the evils that come with the blessings of personal freedom".

The 'right' being pushed by Dr Abrahams amounts to an abuse of the blessings of personal freedom, the evils of which we will reap as a society and as individuals if we fail to take heed.

- Shirley Richards is an attorney-at-law and activist against gay rights. Email feedback to columns@gleanerjm.com and sprichards82@yahoo.com.