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Jewish World Review Jan. 4, 2000 /25 Teves, 5760

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Homosexual activists preventing help to confused teens

http://www.jewishworldreview.com -- IN THE LAST FEW WEEKS we've all been reading about yet another educational effort in the schools to promote gay tolerance. Writing about this for The New York Times on Nov. 23, 1999, Erica Good said that "... a coalition of medical, mental health, educational and religious organizations announced it would send the nation's school superintendents a booklet informing them there is 'no support among health and mental health professional organizations for the idea that homosexuality is abnormal or mentally unhealthy."

Does that sound like an initiative to promote "tolerance"? Not to me. To me it sounds like an advocacy position.

Now, don't get me wrong. It is extraordinarily important for children to be taught not to be cruel to anyone -- old people, disabled people, people with different color skin, or those who are too tall, too fat or whose ears are too big. Kids need to be taught not to be cruel. It doesn't come naturally to them to be compassionate and kind. We have to devote time and energy in our homes, churches and synagogues, and in our schools and legislatures, reiterating that we have a standard in society that deplores and rejects hurting other people.

Of course, there has to be some sanity here, as well. There is a playfulness that kids have. They often have nicknames for each other based on a strange last name or someone's freckles or red hair. But most kids are not offended by these "names," because they realize they are said in fun and used as another way to relate to each other. This kind of playfulness makes for bonding.

On the other hand, there ARE things kids say to be mean or ugly to others. They are meant to hurt and exclude. And this is always wrong. I think that calling someone who is homosexual ugly names is outrageous, but no more outrageous than any other slur based on body type, ethnicity or religion. I'm all for a concerted effort to teach tolerance in the schools, but I cannot support an effort to camouflage advocacy under the heading of tolerance.

Even worse, the assertion that there is "no support" among medical and mental health professionals for the idea that homosexuality is abnormal or mentally unhealthy is patently false. The fact is that the sexual "norm" is heterosexuality. In addition, many young homosexual people are in intense emotional turmoil, not just because people are picking on them, but also because they are facing a very difficult future devoid of marriage and family.

The tragedy is that the gay activists' agenda has succeeded in making it impossible for these teen-agers to get any kind of help with sorting through their confusion and concerns. The booklet sent to superintendents, "Just the Facts About Sexual Orientation & Youth," discourages school counselors from referring kids to their clergy or church groups because of the phobic fear of violating separation of church and state. It also claims that therapy to change sexual orientation is "contraindicated," which is not science but propaganda, since there have been NO scientific studies to objectively investigate its effectiveness.

I have received hundreds and hundreds of letters from individual doctors and therapists, as well as from ad hoc groups of mental health professionals, who are frightened to offer any support to homosexuals seeking ways to normalize their sexuality, because of "official" positions from their various professional associations.

You can make up your own mind about who is being cruel to kids who believe they have homosexual tendencies. The educational, medical and mental health so-called "experts" have closed virtually any avenue of help and exploration to them except embracing homosexuality as "normal" and "healthy." And they are surrounded by adults who seek to support (read "encourage") them in proudly claiming that identity.

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