It has now been nearly a month since the beginning of the controversy over the article by Gerald Schoenewolf (Gay rights and political correctness: A brief history). Apparently, NARTH is finished with the issue since they issued what they are calling an apology.
I have continued to research one of the central tenets of the article and that is that Marxism informed the abolitionist movement and the subsequent civil rights movement. This appears to be revisionist history. Christianity was at the heart of this movement and indeed most likely even of the early feminist movement. Wilberforce in England became invested in abolishing slavery after his conversion to Christianity. We are not talking about a difference of opinion here; this is simply bending facts to reduce complexity to a simplistic theme – the very thing Schoenewolf accuses human rights advocates of doing. There are several other significant problems that could be raised again but I will leave it at that.
There is much troubling about all of this but what continues to escape whoever authorized the apology statement is that the credibility of any movement or organization can be severely compromised by the inability to self-correct. By issuing a statement saying that some readers misconstrued the article, they ask those same readers to suspend rationality. The “apology” feels more like a slap at those who found significant errors and expect a scientific organization to be accountable for them.
A specialty organization devoted to sexual identity issues could provide a significant public service. An organization that I would join or help develop would:
-Develop research-based guidelines to inform clinical practice
-Focus on integrating all research relating to sexual orientation and sexual identity
-Avoid policy/political statements not in keeping with the organization’s mission, and then only when supported by a significant program of research
-Have a much broader focus than homosexuality (e.g., sexual identity)
-Have elections by members for the officers of the organization