Saturday, November 17, 2007

Acceptance helps gays, psychiatrists inform Anglicans

I picked this from a list that I peep into. What can I comment? I wish I could send it to Pastor Martin Ssempa, and Archbishop Lwanga, and Archbishop Luke Orombi of Uganda. It is precisely this kind of information that is not 'allowed' in Uganda. Virtually censored out of the knowledge of people. And even doctors.

Yet, how much higher a medical opinion can one seek than this? The Royal College of Psychiatrists. There is a PDF version of the full report.

Church Times - 15 November 2007
Acceptance helps gays, psychiatrists inform Anglicans
by Bill Bowder

The Royal College of Psychiatrists has challenged Anglican bishops to support gay clergy and laity as an example to parents struggling to come to terms with having gay or lesbian children. “The Church has a wonderful opportunity to lead rather than to be dragged along kicking and screaming. Christianity is such an inclusive religion,” said Professor Michael King, an executive
committee member of the College’s special-interest group of 200 to 300 psychiatrists who work with lesbians, gay men, and bisexual and transsexual people.

His committee has submitted a report to the Church’s Listening Exercise on Human Sexuality, to inform a study guide for next year’s Lambeth Conference. The report, endorsed by the full College from the President down, said that there were no scientific or rational grounds for treating lesbian, gay, and bisexual people differently, Professor King said on Monday.

If there were theological reasons for treating lesbian, gay, or bisexual people differently, that was for the Church to decide; but the Church had already changed its mind over slavery and the position of women in society. “It is odd to see why this should be a sticking point.” Professor King said that he no longer attended church because of its “disappointing attitude” to this
issue (and to that of women bishops), which had contributed to social exclusion.

Research showed that lesbian, gay, and bisexual (LGB) people suffered stress because of the rejection and discrimination that they experienced. This resulted in the same kinds of mental-health issues, destructive behaviour, alcoholism, and substance abuse as people subjected to racism also experienced. Both groups also experienced a kind of ‘internal form of stigma’, he said.

“What we know is that greater openness leads to self-acceptance. If the message of acceptance comes from people placed high in the Church that LGB people can lead ordinary lives then this does a huge amount for families who are struggling to come to terms with an LGB son or daughter. The message that LGB people should not be discriminated against could be a message to society that they were all equal before God.”

The report says that LGB people should have the right to protection from therapies purporting to change their sexual orientation. There was no evidence that treatment of this kind worked, but considerable evidence that it did a great deal of harm, Professor King said.

Sexual orientation was a spectrum. “In nature, there are spectrums: they can’t be cut into neat joints”. At one end would be someone who was predominantly heterosexual, and at the other someone who was predominantly LGB. It would be “impossibly difficult” to try to change someone at either end of the spectrum.


WhozHe said...

“What we know is that greater openness leads to self-acceptance." Amen!! The greatest commandment of all is "love," so why doesn't the church just follow that commandment when it comes to lesbians and gays?

gayuganda said...

Shall we say that it is applied selectively?

Not all of the church accepts us. Not all of them hate us.

I have just been listening to one FM station here in Uganda (a rarity) talk about Desmond Tutu's criticism of the church. He is very critical of the anglican fellowship, and his fellow african church leaders. Surely there are other things to focus on in Africa than sexuality? Surely there are more important things to deal with than making sure that the church does not accept homosexuals?

He almost makes me forget that he was an Archbishop in the church that he so critically assesses.

Here is the link Tutu chides Church stance on gays

Anonymous said...

Hello. An interesting post. I can tell from the image on your site that you are a friend of Orokie. "Love is applied selectively". Though, of course, Love, allows no such selection. That comes when the Church stands in front of the Divine with a winnowing basket and decides to split the good from the bad. Your blog is very thoughtful.

gayuganda said...

Thanks eshuneutics.

Must own to not knowing the meaning of the word, but then you are a teacher (of English?) and writer. And a real living poet!

The painter I know. Sort of. Has dropped out of contact.


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