What causes homosexuality Peter Tatchell? Well it depends on which view is most politically convenient at the time
By Peter Saunders, CMF
Yesterday in Parliament I attended a meeting where four leading figures engaged in a lively debate on therapy for those with unwanted feelings of same-sex attraction.
The debate focussed on the legitimacy of, and freedom to offer, ‘change therapy’ (more accurately SOCEs – sexual orientation change efforts), which is aimed at altering the strength and direction of sexual feelings.
Dr Michael Davidson of CORE Issues (who is about to undergo a disciplinary procedure for using it) and Canadian psychiatrist Dr Joseph Berger (who uses it regularly) were supporting change therapy.
Psychiatrist Professor Michael King (who is its most vehement critic) and gay rights campaigner Peter Tatchell were against it.
Tatchell and King essentially argued that homosexual orientation was biologically caused and fixed, that change was impossible and that change therapies were damaging and unethical.
I will come back to King in another blog but I was particularly intrigued by the hard line position taken by Tatchell.
Tatchell (pictured) summed up his position on the causes of homosexuality by dismissing cultural and environmental factors: ‘The overwhelming mass of scientific and medical evidence shows that homosexual orientation is the product of inheritance and hormonal influences in the womb.’
King, the scientist, wasn’t anywhere as dogmatic about this and suggested that no one really knew the cause. Tatchell, however, firmly stood his ground.
To those who are acquainted with Tatchell’s writings this announcement marked a huge departure from his previous stance. Rather than accept the view that people are born gay, he has actually been one of its chief opponents.
On his own website in an article titled ‘Born or Made Gay?’ he argues as follows:
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