Sunday, 22 April 2012

Times: Get Over It!

At the moment, London buses are going around sporting an advert with the words ‘Some people are gay. Get Over It.’  
The people behind this campaign are lobbying for gay marriage and more equal rights, but as liberating as this is, in the same forward-looking, super-tolerant city that is London, you can still find organisations like CORE.
CORE is a non-profit Christian organisation which believes that gay people can be ‘cured’.

Just like our very own Pastor Gordon Manche, who last year featured on Xarabank’s panel as a squealing ballerina, CORE claims that they can help gay people "develop their heterosexual potential."
The first thing you see on CORE’s website is this introductory blurb of sadness:
“CORE is a non-profit Christian initiative seeking to support men and women with homosexual issues who voluntarily seek change in sexual preference and expression. It respects the rights of individuals who identify as 'gay' who do not seek change.”
True to their word, they so respect the rights of those who do not seek change, that only last week London’s Mayor Boris Johnson had to personally veto an advert that CORE had booked to appear on 24 London buses. The banned advert said: “Not gay, post-gay, ex-gay and proud. Get Over it!”
Clearly the advert was meant as a kick back to the current campaign which is ultimately fighting for gay marriage but in the eleventh hour, Johnson pulled every string possible to stop what he thought was an offensive, false, and intolerant campaign that portrays homosexuality as an illness.
What’s funny of course is that the same Mayor also chairs the Transport for London (TfL) – the entity responsible for bus advertising, which had already approved the campaign.  
TfL will now be losing £10,000 for rejecting the campaign, and CORE is most likely to play the victimization and persecution cards. They are in fact already taking legal action against Johnson, and drawing as much attention to their ‘cause’ as possible.
The arguments on either side are of course the usual lump of dirty socks, with one side claiming that it is false to promote the idea that therapy can change a person’s sexual orientation, and the other side saying that there is no indisputable evidence that people are born gay and therefore cannot change.
Who cares I ask?
The only reason why one would want to change in the first place is if they are fed a bunch of lies and led to believe that who they are and what they feel is wrong.
If this wasn’t the case, no one would feel that they need therapy, certainly no one would pay for it, and conversion therapists will end up curing those damn giraffes who prefer to be zebras.
Some will argue that banning the advert is plain censorship, and that in itself goes against my belief for freedom of speech.
But, although such a ban might look like intolerance in the name of tolerance, the truth of the matter is that the banned adverts promoted a lie, and ultimately hate, and I sure hope that we all agree that those are two things should never be tolerated.
If homosexuality can be ‘cured’, then so can heterosexuality, but I see no one encouraging youngsters to seek therapy to fulfil their homosexual potential, do you?
That’s because, the belief that homosexuality can be cured or weaned off is simply false, it’s homophobic, and convenient only to those who believe that homosexuality is wrong.  To the rest of us it’s as useful as concrete slippers in a swimming pool.
And this is not just me talking - Medical Associations all over the world, have long warned that any form of therapy to ‘cure’ homosexuality not only doesn’t work, but also helps increase prejudice and discrimination.
It’s been almost 40 years since The American Psychiatric Association removed homosexuality from its list of mental illnesses, so if I could have it my way, the advert on all of London’s and Malta’s buses would say : “Wake up, smell the coffee, Get Over It!”

[Click on the hyperlink above to view the comments on the Times' website.]

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