The Extremists Among Us
An editorial in the latest RI Catholic takes state Democrat Chairman Bill Lynch to task for calling Governor Carcieri a “sectarian extremist” for associating with the Massachusetts Family Institute. More germane, I’d say, are the following paragraphs from an op-ed in the previous issue by Michelle Cretella and Arthur Goldberg:
As for the premises, first there is no “gay gene.” Homosexual attraction is not genetic like skin color. Numerous experts including Dr. Dean Hamer, the openly homosexual “gay gene” researcher and Dr. Francis Collins, Director of the Human Genome Project agree that homosexuality is not hard-wired by DNA. Avowed lesbian, Dr. Anne Fausto-Sterling, Professor of Developmental Biology and Women Studies at Brown University, summarized the situation well 8 years ago, “[Although the claim that homosexuality is genetic] provides a legal argument that is, at the moment, actually having some sway in court, [f]or me, it’s a very shaky place. It’s bad science and bad politics.”
“Bad science” because persons of differing sexual orientation are genetically indistinguishable and sexual orientation can change. Fausto-Sterling herself is an example. She had been married prior to her committed same-sex relationship with playwright Paula Vogel. Regarding her experience of sexual plasticity Fausto-Sterling explains, “The women’s movement opened up the feminine in a way that was new to me, and so my involvement made possible my becoming a lesbian.”
Over 100 studies document change of homosexual orientation. Even Dr. Robert Spitzer, the father of the Diagnostic Statistical Manual, the “Bible of Psychiatry”, altered his lifetime view and now supports the right to re-orientation therapy. In 2003 he published a study confirming that many dissatisfied homosexuals can make substantial long-term changes in their orientation.
I highlight this section because Lynch’s response to the editorial would be that opposition to same-sex marriage is reasonable, but that the MFI goes much farther. His argument, in other words, probably wouldn’t differ very much from the statement by Queer Action RI that the Family Institute “basically wants to eradicate gay people.” But the MFI does not go any farther, in truth, than Cretella and Goldberg, who in turn do not go any farther than the Catholic Church.
I emailed Mr. Lynch with the specific question of how he differentiates between the “sectarian extremists” of his imagination and the church to which so many Rhode Islanders belong, and I received the following response:
Thank you for your recent email sent to me via the RI Democratic Party. While I may not agree with you I appreciate your sincere interest and thank you for taking the time out of your schedule to inform me of your thoughts on this issue. Regards, Bill Lynch
Clearly, the unlikelihood of my supporting Lynch in any way counts against me in his cost-benefit analysis of considered response, but I don’t see how faithful Catholics can support Mr. Lynch in any fashion until he shows enough consideration of their Church to take a moment to explain why they are not “sectarian extremists” of such evil that the governor shouldn’t associate with them in any way.