On April 3, I was one of several individuals who received the following email from Sharon Kass, an apparently well-known anti-gay rights activist:
You were all mentioned in the April 2 POLITICO article by Josh Gerstein regarding the replacement of Justice Stevens on the Supreme Court.
Whoever turns out to be the next justice, don't count on the matter of gay marriage to be settled. The Court has been wrong before.
The American people are learning that homosexuality and transgenderism are psychological disorders that are preventable and treatable. They are learning that there is no such thing as a "sexual minority." GayScam will go down in history as an unprecedented corruption of law, of government, and of the public mind.
Man and woman are different and complementary. Their normal psychosexual development is a product of both nature and nurture. While some gender blindness in law is rational and just, some is not. Where the meaning of marriage is concerned, it is not.
Ex-gay information is increasingly suppressed, and advocates such as myself increasingly ostracized, through laws such as ENDA and the skewed thinking that goes with them. This will not stand.
Real facts---not the rubbish from the American Psychological Association and its fellows--is available through:
National Association for Research & Therapy of Homosexuality (www.narth.com)
International Healing Foundation (www.gaytostraight.org)
People Can Change (www.peoplecanchange.com)
Parents & Friends of Ex-Gays & Gays (www.pfox.org)
Contrary to what Justice Kennedy said in his decision in Lawrence v. Texas, the condition of homosexuality is not a state of "autonomy." No mental illness is.
President Obama will continue to play politics with this issue. But justice will be done. Gay-egalitarianism will be eliminated from our culture and laws. The people will see to that.
--Sharon Kass, Washington, D.C.
Now, I generally don't respond to such emails, but this one intrigued me. So, I replied:
Dear Ms. Kass,
I'm curious about your views. Why do you feel so strongly about this? After all, lots of people adopt lifestyles and beliefs that others of us don't particularly approve of, but we don't use the law to compel them to change. People can choose to live as hermits, they can choose to believe in astrology, they can choose to be Socialists, they can choose not to marry, they can choose to skydive, they can choose to believe in witches and goblins, they can choose not to get treatment for physical or emotional disorders, and so on. The basic presumption of a free society is that people can make choices for themselves and the state should not interfere with those choices unless they are harmful to others or extremely harmful to themselves.
I don't see why you think homosexuality is a problem, even if, as you believe, it is either a personal choice or a "disorder." (A belief I do not share.) Some folks may think that those who believe in a personal God who performs miracles to amuse and impress people are suffering from a psychological disorder. Others may believe that those who are overweight, or depressed, or unemployed, or sexually promiscuous, or living alone are suffering from disorders. But we don't tell them they can't make those choices for themselves. Moreover, with respect to marriage, we let unemployed people marry, we let narcissistic people marry, we let rapists marry, we let depressed people marry, we let murderers marry. Why make such a fuss over homosexuals?
So, I'm puzzled why an obviously intelligent person like yourself would be so emotionally invested in this issue. Certainly, you're free to suggest that homosexuals should try to reform themselves and get treatment. But why not limit yourself to that?
Geoffrey R. Stone
It's clear, Prof. Stone, that the whole subject is way, way over your head.