Thursday, February 7, 2013

Sharon Slater-Family Watch International voices concern for "serious health problems" if BSA accepts gay scouts

For those unfamiliar with Sharon Slater and Family Watch International, the Arizona non-profit has been linked to Uganda's "kill the gays" bill as well as efforts in other African Countries to undermine gay rights. Now they have written a letter to the Boy Scouts of America claiming:
We are concerned with the potentially serious health problems that young men in the scouting program could incur as a result of the Boy Scouts of America (BSA) changing its policy to allow councils to admit openly homosexual individuals to participate and serve as scout leaders. Our concern is based on a growing body of scientific research and clinical experiences relating to homosexuality that has been carefully examined by accredited health professionals.
Their "accredited health professionals" are members of the right wing Christian American College of Pediatricians. ACP is not the American Academy of Pediatrics. Nor, for that matter is ACP a recognized accreditor. That would be Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education in conjunction with the American Board of Pediatrics and the American Academy of Pediatrics.

The letter then goes into the twilight zone of anti-gay rhetoric.Essentially, they are claiming that the gay is a very unhealthy communicable disease:

The most important fact that should be driving this debate is the science and clinical experience showing that homosexuality is not innate and immutable. Homosexual individuals are not “born that way.” Rather, we know that homosexuality is the result of a complex interaction of some likely genetic predisposition (often referred to as the “nature” component) and a variety of environmental and experiential factors (often categorized as the “nurture” component). Solid research shows that environmental factors play a major role in the development of same-sex attraction.
[...]
Further conclusive evidence that homosexuality is not innate is evidenced by the reality that some people with unwanted same-sex attraction can and do change their sexual orientation. If homosexuality was in fact innate and immutable, like skin color, this would not be possible. However, since most homosexuals have been erroneously convinced that same-sex attraction is genetic, cannot be changed and thus they have no choice but to act out sexually on their attraction, allowing homosexuals to serve as leaders and putting them in positions where they can perpetuate these false beliefs to developing boys is irresponsible and potentially harmful.

Because various nurture factors contribute to the development of homosexuality, the proposed policy change can profoundly affect scouts who may be questioning their sexual identity and thus are vulnerable to developing and acting out on same-sex attraction. Many youth question their sexual 6orientation as a part of the normal maturation process. Homosexual scout leaders likely would be open about their sexual orientation and may even promote it to boys as genetically fixed and healthy, which could encourage some vulnerable young men to self identify as gay.

We are gravely concerned that the BSA has not taken into account the many well documented negative physical and mental health consequences of engaging in homosexual behavior. For example, after reviewing more than 125 years of scientific research and clinical experience, the National Association for Research and Therapy of Homosexuality (NARTH) concluded that, as a group, homosexuals suffer about three times more physical and mental health problems than the heterosexual population.7 Suicide is the most serious health consequence of the homosexual lifestyle, particularly for adolescents, and research has shown that for every year a young boy delays identifying as a homosexual, his suicide risk 8 drops by 20 percent.
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