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This blog is maintained by the Ruth Institute. It provides a place for our Circle of Experts to express themselves. This is where the scholars, experts, students and followers of the Ruth Institute engage in constructive dialogue about the issues surrounding the Sexual Revolution. We discuss public policy, social practices, legal doctrines and much more.
Posted on: Monday, November 23, 2020
“In striking down bans on Sexual Orientation Change Efforts to lessen same-sex attraction, the Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals sided with First Amendment free speech against LGBT dogma,” said Dr. Jennifer Roback Morse, Ph.D., Founder and President of the Ruth Institute.
The court overturned local ordinances of the City of Boca Raton and the county of Palm Beach, Florida. These ordinances prohibited licensed counselors from offering counseling to minors who voluntarily seek their help to “reduce same-sex behavior and attraction and eliminate what they term confusion over gender identity.” (pg. 4)
Morse noted, “Sexual Revolutionary activists, and the professional associations they control, have successfully persuaded local governments to adopt these bans. The activists argue that this type of therapy, based solely on conversation between therapist and client, are psychologically harmful. I am especially pleased that the Court’s majority considered the evidence on this point.”
The Court stated: “[The Defendants] present a series of reports and studies setting out harms of SOCE. But when examined closely, these documents offer assertions rather than evidence, at least regarding the effects of purely speech-based SOCE. Indeed, a report from the American Psychological Association, relied on by the defendants, concedes that ‘nonaversive and recent approaches to SOCE have not been rigorously evaluated.’” (pg. 21)
“Without conclusive evidence, LGBT organizations insist that homosexuality is innate, and that individuals with same-sex attraction must accept their fate -- that they are condemned to be ‘gay,’ whether they like it or not,” Morse explained.
In fact, the majority decision pointed out that the ordinances contain an exception for “counseling that provides support and assistance to a person undergoing gender transition.” But the Court goes on to observe, “No such carveout exists for sexual orientation. The ordinances thus codify a particular viewpoint—sexual orientation is immutable, but gender is not—and prohibit the therapists from advancing any other perspective when counseling clients. That viewpoint may be widely shared in the communities that passed the ordinances, but widespread agreement is beside the point; the question is whether a speaker’s viewpoint determines his license to speak.” (pg. 12)
Morse congratulated Liberty Counsel, which provided representation to the therapists in this case. “I agree with Liberty Counsel President Mat Staver when he said that ‘This is a huge victory for counselors and their clients to choose the counsel of their choice free of political censorship from government ideologues.’”
The Ruth Institute is a global non-profit organization leading an international interfaith coalition to defend the family and build a civilization of love.
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Posted on: Friday, October 16, 2020
October 16, 2020
For Immediate Release
“Judge Barrett did not have to apologize at all for using the expression ‘sexual preference,’” said Ruth Institute President Dr. Jennifer Roback Morse, Ph.D., “Homosexuality is not innate.”
Morse was commenting on an exchange in the course of Amy Coney Barrett’s confirmation hearing. Sen. Mazie Hirono (D-HI) objected to Barrett’s use of the expression (in regard to Obergefell v. Hodges) which she said was “offensive to the LGBT community,” whereupon Barrett apologized.
Morse remarked: “The LGBT community, so-called, can take offense at anything they want. We certainly can’t stop them. However, science has now proven beyond doubt that there is no ‘gay gene.’ Whatever combination of nature and nurture, choice and chance, may be at work for any particular person’s situation, hard genetic determinism is certainly not correct.”
She added: “Self-identifying as ‘gay’ or ‘lesbian’ or ‘transgender’ is certainly a choice. Living a sexually active life with partners of the same sex is a choice, in fact, a whole series of choices.
“Unfortunately, we now have science by interest-group intimidation,” Morse charged.
In a commentary on a study in the August 30, 2019 issue of the publication Science, Fr. D. Paul Sullins, Ph.D., the Ruth Institute’s Senior Research Associate, remarked that the study “explodes the false narrative that being gay is an innate condition that is controlled or largely compelled by one’s genetic makeup.”
Sullins explains: “Rebutting decades of search by LGBT scientists for a ‘gay gene,’ the study’s first author flatly concludes ‘it will be basically impossible to predict one’s sexual activity or orientation from genetics.’” http://www.ruthinstitute.org/ruth-speaks-out/born-this-way-no-gay-gene
Morse added: “But this false narrative of gay at birth, or homosexuality as an innate condition, was the basis for the Supreme Court’s decision mandating same-sex marriage in Obergefell. That’s why the LGBT movement and its apologists become hysterical at the suggestion that homosexual behavior is a choice, implied in the expression ‘sexual preference.’ For the Sexual State, there’s so much at stake here.
“Ironically, the same politicians who say ‘listen to the scientists’ when it comes to COVID, are saying ‘Don’t listen to the scientists; listen to us,’ when it comes to homosexuality,” Morse remarked.
On June 5, 2020, Morse interviewed Dr. Walter Schumm of Kansas State University on efforts to silence research on gay issues.
Posted on: Thursday, October 15, 2020
Born this way? No, there is no “gay gene”
Rev. Donald Paul Sullins, Ph.D
This article was originally published at https://mercatornet.com/the-gay-gene-myth-has-been-exploded/24683/
The findings of a study of the genetic basis of homosexuality published last year in the journal Scienceexplode the false narrative that being gay is an innate condition that is controlled or largely compelled by one's genetic makeup.
Rebutting decades of search by LGBT scientists for a “gay gene”, the study's first author flatly concludes “it will be basically impossible to predict one’s sexual activity or orientation just from genetics”.
This is putting it gently.
The study found that a person's developmental environment–the influence of diet, family, friends, neighborhood, religion, and a host of other life conditions–was twice as influential as genetics on the probability of adopting same-sex behavior or orientation. The genetic influence did not come from one or two strong sources but from dozens of genetic variants that each added a small increased propensity for same-sex behavior.
A genetic arrangement based on a large number of markers across the genome means that virtually all human beings have this arrangement, or large portions of it. In other words, not only did the study fail to find some controlling gene for gay identity, it also established that gay persons are not genetically distinct from all other human beings in any meaningful sense.
Gay persons, we might say, have a perfectly normal human genome.
Proponents of LGBT normalization, which includes the publishing journal and mainstream media reporters, have tried to put the best face on this result. As if the issue were tolerance of gay people's lifestyle choices, the New York Times quotes one of the authors saying, “I hope that the science can be used to educate people a little bit more about how natural and normal same-sex behavior is”. LGBT activists declared that the study “provides even more evidence that being gay or lesbian is a natural part of human life”.
Indeed, the study found that genetic propensity for same-sex behavior is not very different from that of 28 other complex traits or behaviors and is related to a propensity for other risk-taking behavior such as smoking, drug use, number of sex partners or a general openness to new experience.
But the longstanding and emphatic claim of gay activists in law and public policy has not been that same-sex activity reflects upbringing or lifestyle factors, but is an inborn difference that is discovered, not developed; a distinct and fixed element of a person's nature that is unchangeable.
Emotionally and sexually, same-sex orientation is not a matter of who persons choose to become, they have claimed, but who they already are. To use the colloquial phrase, they were born this way.
A linchpin of the evidential basis for the Supreme Court decision sanctioning same-sex marriage, for example, was that same-sex orientation reflected an “immutable nature [which] dictate[d] that same-sex marriage is their only real path to this profound commitment.” (Obergefell v. Hodges ruling, p. 4).
And the point of conflict for tolerance today is not so much for people who want to identify themselves as gay or lesbian, but for people who want, for themselves personally, to avoid or resist such an identification.
On the grounds that they would be denying their immutable nature, numerous legislative and judicial efforts are currently underway to outlaw voluntary therapy for or deny the legitimacy of adults who experience some level of same-sex attraction but do not want to engage in same-sex relations or identify themselves as gay or lesbian.
In the very jurisdictions where persons with same-sex orientation are now free to identify as gay and to engage in same-sex marriage, LGBT ideologues are working to deny the same persons the freedom to decline to identify as gay and to engage in opposite-sex marriage, on the premise that they would thereby be doing violence to who they really are.
This study pulls the rug out from under such thinking.
If gay and lesbian persons are genetically normal, what basis is there for considering them a distinct, protected class subject to preferential treatment under the law or for prohibiting other genetically normal persons from refusing to engage in same-sex behavior?
The study finds that most persons with the identical genotype as gay or lesbian persons (by an approximate ratio of 2 to 1) end up, for various reasons of social environment or development or personal principle, not engaging in same-sex relations. Shouldn't such persons have equal freedom and legitimacy to do so?
In a free society that values personal autonomy, it is not an appropriate function of law to penalize personal lifestyle choices, no matter how vehemently some may disagree with them or politically incorrect they may be. If it ever did make sense on the premise that gay persons were born that way, in the absence of such a compelling genetic difference, it is impossible to reasonably maintain that tolerance of homosexual behavior requires intolerance of heterosexual behavior.
In light of these implications, some of the scientists involved in the study, who are themselves gay, have publicly opposed its publication. Strikingly unaware of their own bias, they expressed concern that the study findings would be “misconstrued” to “advance agendas of hate”.
In less heated language, they are concerned that it might be interpreted in ways with which they disagree. For them, the benefits of increased understanding of human behavior in this area did not outweigh the perceived negative political implications of the findings for the expression of gay identity.
The lead authors of the study, some of whom are also gay, are to be commended for resisting the impulse to suppress scientific evidence for the sake of political expediency. Although sadly often violated today, the conviction that the dissemination of evidence and ideas should not be censored by political considerations is fundamental to modern science.
Or as a wise man once said, “You will know the truth, and the truth will set you free”.