Homophobia: Description, Development, and Dynamics of Gay Bashing

By Martin Kantor | Go to book overview

17
Treatment of Homophobes

Homophobes need treatment for two reasons: they cause serious problems for gays and lesbians, and they also cause serious problems for themselves. For example, when they abuse or avoid gays and lesbians they deprive themselves of many of the pleasures of life. As spectators they do not attend certain performances, look at certain works of art, or read certain works of literature by, for, or about gays and lesbians. As bosses they refuse to hire, or they harass or fire, some of their most talented workers because they are homosexual, not only impoverishing their own lives, but also ruining their own companies. As patients they avoid the gay doctor who could make the right diagnosis in favor of the straight doctor who has made the right family. And as neighbors they shun the gays or lesbians who move in next door, though what they gain fighting sin and maintaining their smug morality they lose in the potential friends and helpers they could have otherwise had and enjoyed. And finally, being bigoted and "morally" right diverts them from what they should be doing both personally and professionally because it takes time, effort, and energy away from being effective.

Kenneth Hausman ( 1993) in his article "Military Ban" quotes a letter Melvin Sabshin, then the president of the American Psychiatric Association, wrote to President Clinton, noting that "the military's policy [on homosexuals] is based solely on 'ignorance and bigotry' and 'is a stain on the fabric of America's cherished ethic: All citizens should be judged by their conduct.' " Sabshin adds, referring to the self-destructive nature of this homophobic attitude, "that the annual cost to American taxpayers to discharge gays and lesbians and to train their replacements now exceeds $27 million" (p. 11).

According to Lois M. Rogers ( 1996a) there is hope that Episcopal Bishops who ordain gays and lesbians will not have heresy charges brought against

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