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[P]
UK Repeals Law Against "Promoting Homosexuality"

By CwazyWabbit in Op-Ed
Mon Nov 17, 2003 at 04:55:27 PM EST
Tags: News (all tags)
News

This is the beginning of Section 28 of the UK's 1988 Local Government Act:

(1) A local authority shall not--

         (a) intentionally promote homosexuality or publish material with the intention of promoting homosexuality;

         (b) promote the teaching in any maintained school of the acceptability of homosexuality as a pretended family relationship.

This section will be repealed in England and Wales from 18th November 2003, having already been repealed in Scotland in 2000.

In more ways than one, this is a symbolic act.


Section 28 had always been a contentious part of law. However, much of the controversy has come from the common misunderstanding that it "stops the promotion of homosexuality in schools". In fact, schools are legally free to act as they wish; it has only ever applied to local authorities.

The debate over it came down to one question; what does "promoting homosexuality" mean? At a casual glance it seems as though this simply stops people from being encouraged to be homosexuals. This sounds reasonable to most. Broadly, those advocating equal rights by sexuality do not want any sexuality to be encouraged over another and those who are against such equal rights do not want homosexuality to be encouraged at all.

Unfortunately, the belief that it applied to schools meant that the actions of a school and its employees were seen to be legally bound to not "promote homosexuality". The ambiguous wording meant that anything that affected a pupil and that was in some way to do with homosexuality had become a minefield. Representatives of a school would feel they could not offer any form of support to pupils who thought they may be gay or bisexual, as it would be seen to breach Section 28. Pupils who could be given teaching and support on subjects such as drugs, pregnancy and sexually transmitted diseases would have to deal with this issue on their own. As a result, homophobic bullying in schools was dealt with less effectively than other forms of bullying. This bullying has been shown to cause damage to youths of any sexuality.

It is amazing that the mistaken understanding took hold. The government at the time had foreseen some of the potential for confusion and had said that Section 28 must not prevent school staff from providing unprejudiced information about homosexuality, "appropriate to the maturity of the pupils concerned." However, even these guidelines were unclear and could not be used to specify actions a school might take that would or would not be acceptable.

Even though it had been law for fifteen years, nobody has ever been successfully prosecuted under Section 28. Part of the reason for this is that its effect was blunted by a loop hole it contained:

(2) Nothing in subsection (1) above shall be taken to prohibit the doing of anything for the purpose of treating or preventing the spread of disease.

As long as any materials that a local authority distributed contained some reference to safer sex or disease prevention, they could make reference to homosexuality. While meaning that such materials had to always link homosexuality with disease, they could at least be published.

So why is it important that a law with little applicability that had never led to a successful prosecution is being repealed? It is because Section 28 embodied an attitude that said children had to be protected from homosexuality, and by extension that homosexuality was an unacceptable part of society. It has done so for fifteen years, in which it has consistently been the rallying call for campaigning from gay rights activists. Its demise is a symbolic landmark in the issue of equal rights and treatment for people of all sexual orientations.

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UK Repeals Law Against "Promoting Homosexuality" | 85 comments (69 topical, 16 editorial, 2 hidden)
I remember when it was repealed in Scotland (2.86 / 15) (#7)
by Gully Foyle on Mon Nov 17, 2003 at 04:47:12 AM EST

Brian 'First bus' Souter ran a campaign for it to be kept. There were these horrible posters everywhere, especially in the poorer parts of cities. There was cross party support for the repeal (since the Tories aren't the main opposition in Soctland) so he was never going to get them to back down, but he came close to destroying Wendy Alexander's (deputy first minister at the time IIRC) career.

He gained lots of support across Scotland too. Nasty business.

If you weren't picked on in school you were doing something wrong - kableh

We heard some of it down here (3.00 / 8) (#8)
by CwazyWabbit on Mon Nov 17, 2003 at 05:04:31 AM EST

This is like racism thirty years ago, when you would still see B&Bs with "No Dogs, Wogs or Irish" as it was culturally acceptable.  Gay equality is one issue that brings out the worst in people unfortunately.  There were many hateful things by religious and political groups that I considered for inclusion in this piece, but didn't as it is meant to be news and not Op-Ed.

Down South, we knew about the million pound donation to the campaign against repeal, but not the details of what was going on (I confess to not having followed it too closely).  Is he the owner of First?  I know he owns Stagecoach.

(For non-UKians, First and Stagecoach are two of the largest train and bus operators in the UK.  They are not known for the quality of their operations.)
--
"But here's the thing: if people hand me ammunition, what kind of misanthrope would I be if I didn't use it?" - Sarah-Katherine
[ Parent ]

I get them confused (3.00 / 7) (#16)
by Gully Foyle on Mon Nov 17, 2003 at 07:00:42 AM EST

I'm pretty sure he owns First. It's either him or Anne Gloag, but since they're married it hardly matters.

He got skinned and gutted on Newsnight by (I think) Kirsty Wark, wondering why he was poking his nose into other people's morality when he was busily building a transport monopoly, strongarming smaller companies into the ground, putting lots of people out of work, and doubling the pensioners' busfare. Ad hominem admittedly, but it was nice to see.

The posters they used in the keep the clause campaign were awful. I guess I'm more used to seeing homosexual conflated with paedophile now, but at the time the conspiracy theories he was promoting were a bit of a shock.

A nasty piece of work.

If you weren't picked on in school you were doing something wrong - kableh
[ Parent ]

Newsnight was not truly Ad Hominem (2.60 / 5) (#23)
by anonimouse on Mon Nov 17, 2003 at 12:01:04 PM EST

It is a valid point that if you campaign on morality and Christian values you should uphold those values yourself.

A true ad hominem attack, as K5 knows it, totally disregards the issues that the person is campaigning on and goes for the jugular on unrelated matters.
~
Sleepyhel:
Relationships and friendships are complex beasts. There's nothing wrong with doing things a little differently.
[ Parent ]

Sounds like it was (2.50 / 4) (#27)
by ShadowNode on Mon Nov 17, 2003 at 12:38:34 PM EST

The validity of an argument against foo is not affected by it's proponents actions. Any argument refering to the person making an assertion is an ad hominem, even if he's a hypocrite.

[ Parent ]
..but (none / 2) (#29)
by anonimouse on Mon Nov 17, 2003 at 12:58:51 PM EST

I think website comments take it to a new form, where you perform an ad hominem attack regardless of the validity of his point, or whether he/she is a hypocrite or not.
~
Sleepyhel:
Relationships and friendships are complex beasts. There's nothing wrong with doing things a little differently.
[ Parent ]
Yes (none / 3) (#32)
by ShadowNode on Mon Nov 17, 2003 at 01:18:06 PM EST

I don't think the argument was meant to refute his argument, specifically, but rather to discredit him personally.

[ Parent ]
Hello (none / 2) (#42)
by it certainly is on Tue Nov 18, 2003 at 01:51:19 AM EST

Both Gloag and Souter are Stagecoach hoodlums. First is the hellspawn of Employee-owned Grampian Transport. I had great fun publically burning Souter's own little junk mail "referendum".

My favourite related incident is when Pat Buchanan called Scotland "a dark land run by homosexuals" because the Bank of Scotland capitulated to massive protest against their investment in his proposed gay-hating TV channel.

kur0shin.org -- it certainly is

Godwin's law [...] is impossible to violate except with an infinitely long thread that doesn't mention nazis.
[ Parent ]

Ah, thanks. (none / 0) (#56)
by Gully Foyle on Tue Nov 18, 2003 at 08:39:19 AM EST

Having been under the boot of First transport (I lived in Aberdeen when the employees bought it) I gues I should have known that.

If you weren't picked on in school you were doing something wrong - kableh
[ Parent ]

obviously it is (none / 0) (#59)
by Battle Troll on Tue Nov 18, 2003 at 10:22:23 AM EST

a dark land run by homosexuals

Scotland was politically dominated by England for hundreds of years. If the shoe fits, &c.
--
Skarphedinn was carrying the axe with which he had killed Thrainn Sigfusson and which he called 'Battle Troll.'
Njal's Saga, ca 1280 AD
[ Parent ]

Remember the Sun campaign? (none / 0) (#63)
by Gully Foyle on Tue Nov 18, 2003 at 12:25:28 PM EST

About Britain being run by homosexuals (basically cos Mandy's a poof, and Gordon Brown, err, wasn't married)? They didn't mention that half the cabinet at the time was Scottish...

If you weren't picked on in school you were doing something wrong - kableh
[ Parent ]

I certainly don't remember any Sun campaigns (none / 1) (#64)
by Battle Troll on Tue Nov 18, 2003 at 12:31:37 PM EST

I live in New York state.
--
Skarphedinn was carrying the axe with which he had killed Thrainn Sigfusson and which he called 'Battle Troll.'
Njal's Saga, ca 1280 AD
[ Parent ]
You know, (none / 0) (#85)
by it certainly is on Sat Nov 22, 2003 at 01:08:11 PM EST

Ed Slocomb tried that joke years ago. It works so much better as a one-liner than it does as a condescending quip.

kur0shin.org -- it certainly is

Godwin's law [...] is impossible to violate except with an infinitely long thread that doesn't mention nazis.
[ Parent ]

My liberal spleen? (2.71 / 7) (#39)
by stormie on Mon Nov 17, 2003 at 05:52:19 PM EST

Must... decry... homophobia... ... but... can't... disparage... major... religion...

As a godless commie, I feel perfectly comfortable disparaging any and all major religions. Can't imagine why you'd think I wouldn't.



[ Parent ]
bah (none / 1) (#58)
by Battle Troll on Tue Nov 18, 2003 at 10:20:44 AM EST

I disparage Islam all the time, because its conception of God is utterly un-Western and essentially antithetical to freedom and rights.
--
Skarphedinn was carrying the axe with which he had killed Thrainn Sigfusson and which he called 'Battle Troll.'
Njal's Saga, ca 1280 AD
[ Parent ]
How about promoting Islam then? (none / 1) (#55)
by samjam on Tue Nov 18, 2003 at 07:39:23 AM EST

Must... decry... homophobia... ... but... can't... disparage... major... religion... Yeah, but would you be happy with public money being spent on promoting Islam in schools? Be honest, now.

[ Parent ]
How about promoting Christianity then? (none / 0) (#78)
by dublet on Wed Nov 19, 2003 at 09:06:02 AM EST

Yeah, but would you be happy with public money being spent on promoting Christianity in schools? Be honest, now.


Badger. Badger. ←
[ Parent ]
Actual meaning of the law was unimportant (2.77 / 9) (#10)
by signifying nothing on Mon Nov 17, 2003 at 05:13:51 AM EST

Section 28 had always been a contentious part of law. However, much of the controversy has come from the common misunderstanding that it "stops the promotion of homosexuality in schools". In fact, schools are legally free to act as they wish; it has only ever applied to local authorities.

I don't think this is true. As you mention elswhere, the main objection has been to the symbolism of a new, explicitly anti-homosexual, addition to the statute book, not the law itself.

Meant that in two different ways (2.50 / 4) (#13)
by CwazyWabbit on Mon Nov 17, 2003 at 06:06:24 AM EST

The part quoted was about general debate, i.e. includes what people in the pub think about it.  The bit at the end about the symbolism describes why this is important.

I would say that the actual objection campaigners raised was against the explicitly discriminatory law and its consequences rather than what that law symbolised.
--
"But here's the thing: if people hand me ammunition, what kind of misanthrope would I be if I didn't use it?" - Sarah-Katherine
[ Parent ]

Agreed (2.50 / 4) (#17)
by Gully Foyle on Mon Nov 17, 2003 at 07:35:04 AM EST

The Keep the Clause campaign was based almost entirely on the perception that the law was protecting children in the classroom, and defined 'what people in the pub think about it' or at least what the in pub discussion was about.

Hmm... I'm harping on about Keep the Clause now. Guess I had a bigger bee in my bunnet about it than I thought...

If you weren't picked on in school you were doing something wrong - kableh
[ Parent ]

i'm sure this is great news for your kind (1.00 / 36) (#11)
by Dr Michael Hfuhruhurr on Mon Nov 17, 2003 at 05:50:51 AM EST

but this is an op-ed and i will vote -1 unless you set it as such.

Remotely Unbiased News

Why op-ed? (none / 1) (#12)
by CwazyWabbit on Mon Nov 17, 2003 at 05:58:29 AM EST

I was not too sure of the sectioning, but while I am glad it has been repealed I do think the article is just reporting the event and providing some history.

Would op-ed / news be appropriate?
--
"But here's the thing: if people hand me ammunition, what kind of misanthrope would I be if I didn't use it?" - Sarah-Katherine
[ Parent ]

On reflection, I see your point |nt (none / 2) (#14)
by CwazyWabbit on Mon Nov 17, 2003 at 06:15:54 AM EST


--
"But here's the thing: if people hand me ammunition, what kind of misanthrope would I be if I didn't use it?" - Sarah-Katherine
[ Parent ]
I never understood the purpose of the law (2.33 / 9) (#20)
by Herring on Mon Nov 17, 2003 at 10:19:04 AM EST

The conservative rhetoric was about "public money not being used to promote homosexuality". The only purpose I could see was for the tories to make it clear to the tabloids that they were against the lifting of shirts. But didn't they all go to public schools?

Public money could be used though to promote selling nasty weapons to dictators.

Say lol what again motherfucker, say lol what again, I dare you, no I double dare you

Public Schools = Private in UK (none / 1) (#50)
by Cackmobile on Tue Nov 18, 2003 at 05:57:46 AM EST

Public schools here are actually private schools. They are not government funded. Don't know why that is.

[ Parent ]
Because (none / 2) (#53)
by bigbtommy on Tue Nov 18, 2003 at 06:34:40 AM EST

The governors of the school decide whether or not they wish to stay in or opt out of government funding and LEA control. If they take government funding they must meet the standards set both nationally (such as accepting the National Curriculum and getting kids to take the SAT assesments, then later take GCSE's or whatever they're introducing at the moment - Applied Exams or whatnot). If they decide to opt out from local authority funding they can run the school with far less government rules - they can decide what to teach, what exams to set, entry procedure (many of the grammar schools and other "old boy" schools make students take a test at age 11 to decide whether or not to accept them - this has caused much criticism and debate recently).

The reason they are called public schools is because, a long time back, they used to be schools that took members of the public (as long as parents could afford the fees), which was a new concept as before only members of the church and certain gentry could get their kids educated.

Recent examples of this debate have surfaced around the issue of GCSE's and A-level exams which some critics believe are devalued - state run schools must still conform to whatever the government states are the current set of qualifications (which are GCSE's and A-levels, plus their vocational equivalents - GNVQ's, Applied GCSE's, VCE, AVCE etc.). Meanwhile a number of schools who have opted out of government funding (and therefore control) can set whatever examining regime up - many are offering European or International Baccalaureate qualifications instead of (or as well as) the national qualifications. Others offer vocational qualifications like BTEC and such.

They also can offer other services like exam preparatory courses (for those who've fallen out of the traditional schooling systems - either state-run or privately-run).

They can offer a religious basis if they want - more so than state schools which can have religion up to a certain point and they must give other religions a certain time - I think the list in the curriculum currently has Christianity, Judaism, Islam, Buddhism, Hinduism and Sikhism as the 'main religions' that state schools have to offer.

Sex Ed has to be offered, although parents can, I believe, opt their kids out as well as inspect materials like books, videos and teaching notes before they are used in the classroom (I'm not sure what the current policy is).

To confirm - section 28 only applied to schools that took government (LEA) funding and therefore had to abide by government curricula. Independent schools (aka. 'public' schools) who did not recieve public funding were not affected.
-- bbCity.co.uk - When I see kids, I speed up
[ Parent ]

Cool thanks (none / 0) (#79)
by Cackmobile on Thu Nov 20, 2003 at 08:27:41 AM EST

That cleared it up for me. I guess in oz its different cause we arn't that old so public schools = governement funded and private = private (but disgustingly they get some government funding as well)

[ Parent ]
Wakey. (none / 0) (#54)
by it certainly is on Tue Nov 18, 2003 at 07:31:00 AM EST

Herring is UKian. He's alluding that, having obviously all fagged at public school, all Tories are gay, and therefore hypocrites.

kur0shin.org -- it certainly is

Godwin's law [...] is impossible to violate except with an infinitely long thread that doesn't mention nazis.
[ Parent ]

Public Schools (none / 0) (#70)
by the womble on Tue Nov 18, 2003 at 11:41:46 PM EST

The reason is that they are public in the same way as public transport: anyone can get on as long as they pay the fees (and pass the entrance exams). At the time the term was invented there was no such thing as a state school and the alternative to public schools was private tuition.

[ Parent ]
I think there were reasons at the time (none / 0) (#69)
by the womble on Tue Nov 18, 2003 at 11:33:54 PM EST

As far as I can remember (it was along time ago) the law was a reaction to things lefite local authorities and teachers did: for example telling children that they should experiment sexually to find out what sexual orientation they prefered.

A lot of parents did not like it, and netierh did the government.

As for this preventing the stopping of bullying I do not believe it: the law is about what public money is spent on, and there is no way that it can be reasonably interpreted to mean bullying should not be stopped.

[ Parent ]

"local authority" (2.58 / 12) (#26)
by mlc on Mon Nov 17, 2003 at 12:36:41 PM EST

Would British people know what a "local authority" is? Is it like a school board. To my (American) mind, it means the police, or possibly a city council or something.

--
So the Berne Convention is the ultimate arbiter of truth and morality. Is this like Catholicism? -- Eight Star

Definition (2.90 / 10) (#28)
by CwazyWabbit on Mon Nov 17, 2003 at 12:52:27 PM EST

"Local Authority" means the local government.  For example, London has 33 (known as boroughs).  These are elected separately to central government.

Sorry about that - I'd not thought about the terminology gap.
--
"But here's the thing: if people hand me ammunition, what kind of misanthrope would I be if I didn't use it?" - Sarah-Katherine
[ Parent ]

In practice (none / 2) (#46)
by bigbtommy on Tue Nov 18, 2003 at 05:32:39 AM EST

This law dealt with Local Education Authorities who are regional council services who provide funding and support to the schools under their control (all of the non-independent schools, in essence publicly funded schools). They are based in the county structure (rather than the districts structure). Here's a map of counties for England and Wales
-- bbCity.co.uk - When I see kids, I speed up
[ Parent ]
true but... (none / 1) (#60)
by nrbrookes on Tue Nov 18, 2003 at 11:19:08 AM EST

it also cause all sorts of problems for council funded schemes such as Manchesters LGB Centre, which obviously does not fall under the mandate of the LEA.

[ Parent ]
Sorry (none / 1) (#77)
by bigbtommy on Wed Nov 19, 2003 at 08:13:28 AM EST

I was referring to the law with regards to schools. In other areas, you're correct.
-- bbCity.co.uk - When I see kids, I speed up
[ Parent ]
Is promoting homosexuality like promoting bands? (1.63 / 22) (#31)
by LilDebbie on Mon Nov 17, 2003 at 01:17:28 PM EST

This Saturday, at the Megadome, come one, come all, come everywhere for FAGFEST 2000!

My name is LilDebbie and I have a garden.
- hugin -

I was thinking (2.69 / 13) (#33)
by porkchop_d_clown on Mon Nov 17, 2003 at 01:28:38 PM EST

it was more like, you know, discounts and stuff.

Come on down to Walmart where every item in our Gay department is now 15% off!!!

--
Which way do I go, to get to your America?


[ Parent ]
Walmart, rolling back prices (none / 1) (#44)
by BenJackson on Tue Nov 18, 2003 at 04:20:05 AM EST

I knew that big, yellow smiley-face with a whip was gay.

[ Parent ]
Totally Off-Topic Walmart Article (none / 1) (#62)
by Alfie on Tue Nov 18, 2003 at 12:04:00 PM EST

The Walmart You Don't Know

And, in an attempt to bring it back on topic, I'll mention that the article features lots of juicy pickles, as well as a few CEOs getting screwed.



[ Parent ]
Woohoo! Take that, Thatcherzilla! <nt> (1.30 / 13) (#36)
by Russell Dovey on Mon Nov 17, 2003 at 02:44:39 PM EST


"Blessed are the cracked, for they let in the light." - Spike Milligan

In schools (2.40 / 5) (#40)
by fae on Mon Nov 17, 2003 at 11:12:05 PM EST

They should teach kids to not give a shit about sex. That way none of them grow up identifying themselves solely by their sexual behaviours.

-- fae: but an atom in the great mass of humanity
_ (none / 3) (#41)
by darqchild on Mon Nov 17, 2003 at 11:37:25 PM EST

now ALL YOUR GAY are belong to us cuties?

actually, no, i'm sorry.. that was probably the worst thing i have ever written. i take it back

~~~
Death is God's way of telling you not to be such a smartass.
[ Parent ]
Schools Should't Encourage Any Sexual Behaviour (none / 1) (#57)
by freestylefiend on Tue Nov 18, 2003 at 09:36:11 AM EST

Schools should't encourage any sexual behaviour, but teaching children not to give a shit about sex would be futile.

Information about sex that could serve children's well-being should be made available to them. I believe that children should be told what the law is, what health dangers there are and what support there is for them (e.g. where they can find it, what purpose it has and what legal right they have to privacy).

None of this should be branded as 'promoting homosexuality' (not that I expect that it would be). If I claim that the facts are gay propaganda, then I my position is silly.

I had thought that most of the controversy surrounded Jenny Lives with Eric and Martin and accepting homosexuals, which doesn't really concern sex education.

[ Parent ]

Huzzah. (none / 2) (#43)
by it certainly is on Tue Nov 18, 2003 at 01:57:08 AM EST

So it's out. The clause, that is.

Why has there been very little fanfare over this? I'd at least expect Tatchell all over TV and radio. Is it just because it was a sure thing, already done and dusted in 2000?

kur0shin.org -- it certainly is

Godwin's law [...] is impossible to violate except with an infinitely long thread that doesn't mention nazis.

The debate is over (none / 1) (#45)
by CwazyWabbit on Tue Nov 18, 2003 at 05:08:01 AM EST

The vote was on 10th July this year, and all of the campaigning has finished.

I think people are quite honestly sick of it.  It's one of those issues where people don't change their mind very easily.

While the LGB community has certainly marked this day, it's effect has been more spread out - there is no instant change to make.  Contrary to the belief of some, schools aren't going to be holding lessons on "How to avoid mutual beard burn when kissing" this morning.
--
"But here's the thing: if people hand me ammunition, what kind of misanthrope would I be if I didn't use it?" - Sarah-Katherine
[ Parent ]

Some follow up (3.00 / 4) (#47)
by CwazyWabbit on Tue Nov 18, 2003 at 05:39:54 AM EST

More links:

The Guardian yesterday - Note that this contains a reference to Jenny Lives with Eric and Martin, a book that played a key role in the introduction of Section 28 as it shows a girl in bed with her father and his boyfriend.  It was used as "evidence" in the tabloid hysteria at the time, but there is contention about its actual availability in schools.  There seems to be a more subtle modern equivalent.

What appear to be a Sunday Times article from the time which notes that the government guidelines described above were unpublicised which explains why there is little mention of them generally.

I am sorry for the selection of links in this story and this comment - since this is such a polarising issue it is hard to find sources which are not rabidly one way or the other.  While the links chosen are neutral or pro-repeal I could not find a moderate anti-repeal link.

A point for debate: talk of family values as usual equates family with the post-industrial small family unit.  When considering an extended family such as in eastern cultures and western history, surely homosexual family members are good for the family as there is more support for any individual child within the group?
--
"But here's the thing: if people hand me ammunition, what kind of misanthrope would I be if I didn't use it?" - Sarah-Katherine

Various musings... (3.00 / 5) (#48)
by slashcart on Tue Nov 18, 2003 at 05:45:38 AM EST

As an American, I always had an impression of the UK as being more civilized than the US. When I visited England and watched a political debate on television (on one of four channels!) I was impressed by how high was the level of argumentation.

I'm shocked, therefore, to learn that there was such legislation recently in the UK. Apparently the absurd rumor of "THEY RECRUIT" has gone so far as to become law there.

The debate over it came down to one question; what does "promoting homosexuality" mean? At a casual glance it seems as though this simply stops people from being encouraged to be homosexuals. This sounds reasonable to most.
It certainly doesn't sound reasonable to me. The implicit assumption is that people become homosexual because they were encouraged during adolescence to do so. This propagates a view of homosexuality as a communicable illness that threatens both society and the young. Do people actually believe this?

As a student of psychology, I remember reading research from the 1950's where homosexuals were subjected to radical aversive therapy (imagine "clockwork orange" here) in an attempt to cure them of their sexual orientation. But despite every effort, nothing could be done to discourage them from being homosexuals, even if they desperately wanted not to be, and even if they were "treated" very early on.

I'm tempted to psychoanalyze here. What is the implicit assumption behind protecting the young from discussions of homosexuality? That heterosexuality is terribly fragile, so we must prevent even the mention homosexuality, lest it prevail. That is an interesting theory.

</freud>

"Cures" still attempted (none / 3) (#52)
by CwazyWabbit on Tue Nov 18, 2003 at 06:21:10 AM EST

Those experiments still go on.  I have an Indian friend who was subjected to aversion therapy (I think it was electrical shock treatment) within the last few years.
--
"But here's the thing: if people hand me ammunition, what kind of misanthrope would I be if I didn't use it?" - Sarah-Katherine
[ Parent ]
more details from that article (none / 1) (#72)
by bolthole on Wed Nov 19, 2003 at 12:42:33 AM EST

Interesting final bits from the article you quoted:


 The organisation points to controversial research by psychiatrist Robert Spitzer, who claims 78% of gay men reported a change in their sexuality after undergoing therapy.

Professor Spitzer, who helped have homosexuality removed from the American Psychiatric Association's list of mental illnesses in 1973, has had his work dismissed as "dangerous nonsense" by gay groups and some psychiatrists.

He says: "The current politically correct view is that this therapy never works.

I think it doesn't work a lot of the time, but in some people it does."

So, shock treatment doesnt work, and "gay rights activists" promote that all over the place. but when other, more orthodox treatment shows success, they bury it.


[ Parent ]

Treatment success (none / 1) (#74)
by slashcart on Wed Nov 19, 2003 at 05:48:29 AM EST

So, shock treatment doesnt work, and "gay rights activists" promote that all over the place. but when other, more orthodox treatment shows success, they bury it.
The nice thing about Psychology is that you can pronounce a person "cured" based on how he looks to you when he leaves your office. I find it extremely questionable when any psychologist claims as 78% "cure" rate for any longstanding personality trait, whether congenital or not.

The reason radical aversive therapy was tried, was because all conventional therapies had failed. Homosexuality had been considered (since the early 20th century) as particularly difficult, if not impossible, to cure. But with aversive therapy, you can get a rat to stop eating and starve itself to death; so they figured that if anything work, that would.

Enormous and well-designed studies have been caried out on the efficacy of treatment for homosexuals, and those studies have concluded that treatment is not effective.

[ Parent ]

Hmmm, only the naive ... (none / 1) (#76)
by suquux on Wed Nov 19, 2003 at 07:04:58 AM EST

... colleagues (polite form) tend to do so.

If one is honest, one looks at the clients somewhat later as well.

CC.
All that we C or Scheme ...
[ Parent ]
rats vs humans (none / 1) (#81)
by bolthole on Thu Nov 20, 2003 at 03:51:44 PM EST


 But with aversive therapy, you can get a rat to stop eating and starve itself to death; so they figured that if anything work, that would.

However, various other similarities not withstanding, thankfully, humans are different than rats.

You're not going to get any reasonably intelligent human to stop eating, when they know they will die if they dont eat.

So, it's not too surprising that humans will resist shock therapy in other areas, too.


[ Parent ]

Look it up (none / 2) (#75)
by CwazyWabbit on Wed Nov 19, 2003 at 05:48:30 AM EST

There is a difference between "bury" and "refute".

Link "Not a random sample nor a controlled study. Also, 78% of the subjects had spoken or written publicly in favour of efforts to change. The results can therefore not be applied to same-sex-attracted people in general, nor is one able to determine the effectiveness of different types of therapy. Dr. Spitzer had neither of these as his goals in doing this research, and they do not affect the validity of the results."

Link "For example 1/4 of those who had been through the treatments had been pressured into joining, almost none of those who felt it wasn't working were given advice on alternative counseling, and most were misled about the position of the APAs and about the supposed success rates of 'ex-gay' treatments."

Link "For the study, 200 subjects were selected "with great difficulty" from "ex-gay" ministries and the National Association for Research and Therapy of Homosexuality, according to Spitzer."

It is not 78% of homosexuals who undergo any therapy but 78% of those interviewed from his sample of people.  Do you think that the sample is fair?

There are further refutations one Google away.
--
"But here's the thing: if people hand me ammunition, what kind of misanthrope would I be if I didn't use it?" - Sarah-Katherine
[ Parent ]

psychology is fuzzy (none / 0) (#82)
by bolthole on Thu Nov 20, 2003 at 04:04:39 PM EST


There is a difference between "bury" and "refute".

"Not a random sample nor a controlled study. Also, 78% of the subjects had spoken or written publicly in favour of efforts to change. The results can therefore not be applied to same-sex-attracted people in general, nor is one able to determine the effectiveness of different types of therapy. Dr. Spitzer had neither of these as his goals in doing this research, and they do not affect the validity of the results."

 ...

It is not 78% of homosexuals who undergo any therapy but 78% of those interviewed from his sample of people.  Do you think that the sample is fair?

Interesting points. I'd definately say that the guy misrepresented the numbers. However, as to the overall issue relating to the subjects having a previous inclination to want to change:

It is virtually impossible to get an alchoholic to stop drinking, unless they want to stop.
I'd say sexual drive and achoholic addition can be on a pretty similar level of psychological motivation. So, it should not be surprising that a key factor in having homosexual therapy work, is that the person involved wants to change.

And then presumably just like alchoholism, there is 'I "want" to change', and then there is 'I want to change'.

The more an alchoholic hangs around in bars, and with other alchoholics, the less likely he is to quit.
The more a homosexual hangs around in "the scene", and has lots of gay friends, the less likely he is to want to quit.
(oo, look! an environmental factor! ;-)

oh: and I picked my subject line to remind folks that psychology is not a "hard" science: it's rather a fuzzy one ;-)


[ Parent ]

Why encourage at all? (none / 3) (#61)
by smithmc on Tue Nov 18, 2003 at 11:22:44 AM EST

The debate over it came down to one question; what does "promoting homosexuality" mean? At a casual glance it seems as though this simply stops people from being encouraged to be homosexuals. This sounds reasonable to most.

It certainly doesn't sound reasonable to me.

It does to me. Government should not be encouraging people to be homosexual. Meanwhile, it shouldn't be encouraging people to be heterosexual, either. Goddamnit, people, are we so reliant on government these days that we need them to tell us what our sexual orientation should be?

[ Parent ]

Conservative closets (none / 2) (#65)
by cr8dle2grave on Tue Nov 18, 2003 at 01:24:08 PM EST

I'm tempted to psychoanalyze here. What is the implicit assumption behind protecting the young from discussions of homosexuality? That heterosexuality is terribly fragile, so we must prevent even the mention homosexuality, lest it prevail. That is an interesting theory.

I've often had similar thoughts about those who adamantly insist homosexuality is a choice.

---
Unity of mankind means: No escape for anyone anywhere. - Milan Kundera


[ Parent ]
Nature vs nurture (none / 1) (#66)
by CwazyWabbit on Tue Nov 18, 2003 at 01:35:52 PM EST

People who believe that sexuality is learned seem to be tacitly saying that heterosexuality needs to be taught.  You sometimes see this argument used in the gay adoption issue when a child's role models are discussed.
--
"But here's the thing: if people hand me ammunition, what kind of misanthrope would I be if I didn't use it?" - Sarah-Katherine
[ Parent ]
choices (none / 1) (#71)
by bolthole on Wed Nov 19, 2003 at 12:34:08 AM EST

I've often had similar thoughts about those who adamantly insist homosexuality is a choice.

"homosexuality" is somewhat ambiguous. If someone is "a homosexual", it can either mean, "they prefer someone of the same gender", or "they engage in sex with someone of the same gender", or both.

"sexual preference" is... well, there are multiple factors, some of which are genetic/biological, and some of which are nurture based.
This is the trouble. Some people are fixated on "it's only generic/inherent", and they can be shot down by {abc}. Other people are fixated on "it's nurture only!" and they can be shot down by {xyz}. They're both wrong. Both sides are a factor.

but reguardless of what are the primary factors in sexual preference,  "sexual practice" is a choice.

eg: someone gets really turned on by 14 year olds. thats.. well, whatever it is. But they have a choice on whether or not they're going to DO anything about it.
And in some places, doing something about it is fine, and in other places (like most of the US, UK, and canada) it is not.


[ Parent ]

Please provide evidence (none / 1) (#73)
by CwazyWabbit on Wed Nov 19, 2003 at 05:39:55 AM EST

Your first paragraph is excellent.  I shall try to be clearer about this in future.

They're both wrong. Both sides are a factor.

Care to back that up?  I am honestly interested in the research.
--
"But here's the thing: if people hand me ammunition, what kind of misanthrope would I be if I didn't use it?" - Sarah-Katherine
[ Parent ]

research (none / 1) (#80)
by bolthole on Thu Nov 20, 2003 at 03:39:49 PM EST

Sorry, I dont keep references around :-)
But if you really want to dig, I'm sure you can dig up case histories of sexual abuse/rape victims, who were heterosexual before being abused, and ended up in homosexual relationships only AFTER the trauma.

So that's clear evidence that homosexuality can be induced by environment.

Then on the flip side, I've recently been exposed to "in-laws" where certain male children were decidedly effeminate from a very early age.

Now, on the flip side, their family situation was a bit odd as well. Plus, "effeminate" shouldnt neccessarily mean "homosexual". I suspect there are certain environmental(sociological) factors at play there as well. But those situations certainly open the door to some kind of genetic factor potentially at work as well.

[ Parent ]

Basically this law was substanceless (3.00 / 4) (#49)
by bigbtommy on Tue Nov 18, 2003 at 05:55:10 AM EST

The schools clause did absolutely nothing other than promote intolerance, due to the fact that the LEA (local education authorities) had no control over the curriculum taught since the Conservative government introduced the National Curriculum in 1988, and local government has no control over the curriculum because it's decided nationally.

The legislation banned local government from teaching something they're not allowed to teach anyway (because the curriculum is set nationally by the government of the time).

There isn't, to the best of my knowledge, 'promotion' of any type of homosexuality in sex education in Britain - it's usually plain facts about what sex is, as well as about contraception.

There's no 'promotion' of any type of sexual lifestyle in sex education in Britain - the kids are too busy colouring in penis and vagina diagrams...

If a teacher decides to reject the National Curriculum, they don't get reprimanded under section 28, they get punished normally by the LEA - and that doesn't matter whether it's mathematics, geography, science or sex ed.

Of course, this also never applied to independent schools.
-- bbCity.co.uk - When I see kids, I speed up

The concern wasn't curriculum (none / 0) (#67)
by caek on Tue Nov 18, 2003 at 06:21:11 PM EST

The concern wasn't its affect on the curriculum used in normal classroom teaching. The concern was how it affected teachers behaviour when approached by an individual student with a question outside the scope of tha national curriculum. And in that respect, it undoubtedly affected what teachers could and couldn't say.

[ Parent ]
Seems unlikely (none / 0) (#83)
by KrispyKringle on Fri Nov 21, 2003 at 11:59:36 PM EST

It seems unlikely to me that a) a teacher, who has been approached privately, outside of class, would refuse to counsel a student (which isn't really the same as `promoting homosexuality') and that b) a teacher who did this would be held in violation of the law.

Then again, two grown men have been arrested for having consensual sex in their own home.

[ Parent ]

You're right (none / 0) (#84)
by caek on Sat Nov 22, 2003 at 10:09:22 AM EST

The law was almost never enforced, which was what made it so insiduous, and its repeal such a good thing.

[ Parent ]
UK Repeals Law (none / 0) (#68)
by mcgrew on Tue Nov 18, 2003 at 08:24:24 PM EST

UK Repeals Law Against "Promoting Homosexuali
Finally, private Dunlap of Her Majesty's Royal Mounted Navy can be promoted to private first class. And I'm sure "she" can use the money, too!

"The entire neocon movement is dedicated to revoking mcgrew's posting priviliges. This is why we went to war with Iraq." -LilDebbie

UK Repeals Law Against "Promoting Homosexuality" | 85 comments (69 topical, 16 editorial, 2 hidden)
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