The push by Democrat lawmakers to discriminate against people seeking help to leave homosexual lifestyles just went national. Their message: If you don’t want to be gay anymore, well that’s just too bad.
In another example of lawmakers actually creating an environment of intolerance while trying to legislate tolerance, Rep. Jackie Speier (D-Calif.) introduced a resolution in Congress this week, cosponsored by Reps. Ted Deutch (D-Fla.) and David Cicilline (D-R.I.), to discourage and discriminate against young people seeking help with homosexual attraction. Her effort follows a recent state effort in California, the first in the nation, which prevents young people from receiving counseling or therapy to deal with unwanted same-sex attraction, even if expressly desired by the youths. Signed by Gov. Jerry Brown in September, that law is currently being challenged in court.
Rep. Speier believes that “any effort to change sexual orientation is not medicine, it’s quackery,” and that such efforts are “harmful and abusive.” While there are reports that some minors have been forced to undergo sexual orientation therapy against their will, that doesn’t mean the government should punish those actively seeking help.
Let’s forget for a moment that thousands of men and women have chosen to leave their homosexuality behind, and that many sought help when choosing to do so. Let’s also put aside that the California law and the resolution introduced by Rep. Speier puts politicians directly between patients and the care they are seeking from doctors.
What these lawmakers are really doing is creating a climate of discrimination towards religious beliefs and forcing an acceptance of homosexuality on young people.
What’s a young Catholic teenager who may have unwanted homosexual tendencies to do? The Catholic Church is not naïve to the inner struggle between the teachings of the faith and the desire to act on same-sex attraction. The Church calls it a “trial,” but is firm in its teaching that homosexual acts are “contrary to the natural law,” not open to “the gift of life,” “do not proceed from a genuine affective and sexual complementarity,” and are thus “intrinsically disordered.”
The Catholic faith calls homosexual persons to chastity and to seek help through prayer and through friendship to master their desires. Indeed, the Church calls everyone to chastity, which is simply a well-ordered control of one’s sexuality. But the message Democrat lawmakers like Rep. Speier and Gov. Brown are sending is that young people need to just accept their homosexual feelings whether wanted or unwanted.
“Being gay, lesbian, bisexual, or transgendered is not a disease to be cured or a mental illness that requires treatment,” says Speier. Perhaps not, but why force young people to embrace those lifestyles? Who can one turn to for help with unwanted same-sex attraction if medical professionals are no longer allowed to provide the desired care?
If the state shuts the door to a young Catholic seeking medical counsel to change unwanted behavior while remaining faithful, the next viable option for counsel would be a priest. Is the government going to start kicking down doors and dragging priests into court for counseling teenagers on staying true to their Catholic faith?
The Catholic Church teaches that homosexuals “must be accepted with respect, compassion, and sensitivity. Every sign of unjust discrimination in their regard should be avoided.” Bullying and unjust discrimination against homosexuals should not to be tolerated any more than it is to be tolerated against Catholics. But a political solution that will lead to the denial of desired health care, and that sets the stage for religious discrimination, is no solution at all.