Yes, but you’re the ones causing the health problems

It’s always struck me as particularly objectionable that those opponents of equality for gays and lesbians regularly cite, as evidence for why homosexuality should be discouraged and therefore gays and lesbians discriminated against, that they often suffer from mental health problems. Because the main mental health problems suffered by gays and lesbians are a result of the discrimination on which the homophobes are insisting that we continue.

Today, Paul Martin at The Punch unpacks the lie behind the homophobes smear:

The mental and physical health of same-sex attracted people is measurably poorer than for the population generally. There are higher levels of substance abuse, depression and anxiety. Same-sex attracted people are five times more likely to have had suicidal plans and four times as likely to have attempted suicide.

These issues are not a result of same-sex attraction. All psychological evidence demonstrates that being same sex attracted is not a disorder.

Poor health outcomes are the result of the high levels of psychological distress experienced growing up surrounded by negative attitudes and behaviours to same-sex attraction.

The link with marriage equality is clear:

The link has been highlighted by the American Psychological Association which recently issued a statement citing the growing number of studies into marriage and the mental health of same-sex attracted people.

According to the statement, which was unanimously endorsed by the APA’s governing body, denying same-sex attracted people the right to marry:

a) excludes them from the many health benefits of marriage,
b) reinforces “minority stigma” against them and their families, and
c) may reduce the longevity of their relationships.

In other words, those claiming to demand discrimination against gays “for their own good” are the cause of most of the damage they cite to justify their stance.

Meanwhile, if the Prime Minister could present some kind of rational reason for her support for legislative descrimination besides the vacuous “but it would require changing the current law!”, she might be less of an object of derision and contempt.

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10 responses to “Yes, but you’re the ones causing the health problems

  1. narcoticmusing

    It is the same bullshit excuse used for eons re: rape – that women are at fault for being enticing, that it has nothing to do with the rapist, they are an innocent victim of her charms.

  2. jordanrastrick

    Because the main mental health problems suffered by gays and lesbians are a result of the discrimination on which the homophobes are insisting that we continue.

    Hear hear.

    In other words, those claiming to demand discrimination against gays “for their own good” are the cause of most of the damage they cite to justify their stance.

    I think its overreaching a little to say political lobbyists cause most of the damage, at least directly – that’s more likely to come from prejudiced family, schoolyard bullies, etc. But they certainly don’t help, and are implicated in the wider perpetuation of the kyriarchy (can I use that word here without SB

    Meanwhile, if the Prime Minister could present some kind of rational reason for her support for legislative descrimination besides the vacuous “but it would require changing the current law!”

    While she’s wrong, her on-the-record reasoning AFAICT is better than this. Its essentially a weakly phrased version of the generic conservative argument against changing anything:

    http://meteuphoric.wordpress.com/2009/11/08/protect-seemingly-useless/

    In this case, it is the anti-change lobby who will often lack an accurate historical understanding of the institution they are trying to preserve in its current state. So the argument certainly doesn’t carry. And a committed, thoughtful conservative will often take the opposite stance – hence “So I don’t support gay marriage despite being a Conservative. I support gay marriage because I’m a Conservative”, from David Cameron.

    But there is more rationality to this then “we don’t have a day of parliament to spare deleting a couple of words from legislation.”

  3. I’ve never heard her give any reason other than “marriage is important and it’s always been between a man and a woman”, which is of course no reason at all. Nobody in this debate is disputing that marriage is important – that’s why they’re arguing about it – the argument is on what conceivable justification can be given for excluding gay people from it. And the pro-discrimination side is yet to give one.

    Jane Galt’s 2005 post linked to from your meteuphoric link above was interesting, but she misses the point, and that is that no-one has demonstrated why the benefits to society that flow from marriage will be reduced if they also extend to gay couples. Who are these “marginal” cases who would decide they won’t get married if gays can do it? Where has that happened? Can anyone even give a single example? Name just one, Jane. Name just one.

  4. narcoticmusing

    Agreed Jeremy – it is as if they think the sacrosanct institution of marriage hasn’t changed.

  5. narcoticmusing

    As a hetrosexual happily married person the only risk to the value of the meaning of marriage is some repugnant belief that it isn’t based on love rather the gender of the parties.

    To elaborate, it diminishes marriages everywhere to refuse marriage to people who love but grant it to others without any care (think arranged marriages for an example) based on the gender of the parties.

  6. Civil Gay Marriage in Australia is inevitable.

    No doubt in the next 30 years a Labor leader will give in.

  7. Of course it is. And religious people can still have their religious marriage, and civil marriage won’t alter that at all, just like it doesn’t now. It’s not like atheists can force the Roman Catholic church to let them get married there now, is it?

  8. Speaking of marriage, two of my friends are getting married and aren’t too pleased with Howard’s paragraph. Does anyone know if there’s any regulations that require it to be audible from more than say, 5 centimetres past the celebrants lips?

  9. narcoticmusing

    I’ve suggested people sing and/or play music over the top of it.

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