Below is an open letter from Apex, NC resident Dr. Art Kamm to the N.C. Senate reaches lawmakers as it prepares to debate its version of a job-killing, anti-LGBT amendment today. He hits the nail on the head. The onerous anti-gay discussions we saw/heard from House lawmakers who know better lacked any fact-based reason for denying a group of taxpaying residents civil rights.
For the extreme fundamentalist elements in the community, they simply don’t want to separate church and state; House lawmakers decided to support the non-reality based, time-tested religious bigotry and fear of cultural change to pass this bill, and even at that, refused to allow public debate or testimony from legal experts about the impact of discriminatory amendment.
That says a lot about this bill standing up to any serious scrutiny. If you’re so sure your position on civil rights denial is correct, why try to hide it? Why the need for stealth moves to keep people in the dark and unable to voice concerns in a transparent manner? Yes, NC tax dollars were spent (at the clip of $50K per day for this short session) to display levels of craven politics and ignorance that are shameful. There is a rally today in Raleigh, sponsored by Equality NC. More here.
I issued this to the full NC Senate prior to deliberations on the Amendment banning same sex unions today:
From: Art Kamm
Date: Tue, 13 Sep 2011 06:18:53 -0400
To: Austin.Allran@ncleg.net, Tom.Apodaca@ncleg.net, Bob.Atwater@ncleg.net, Doug.Berger@ncleg.net, Phil.Berger@ncleg.net, Stan.Bingham@ncleg.net, Harris.Blake@ncleg.net, Dan.Blue@ncleg.net, Andrew.Brock@ncleg.net, Harry.Brown@ncleg.net, Peter.Brunstetter@ncleg.net, Debbie.Clary@ncleg.net, Daniel.Clodfelter@ncleg.net, Warren.Daniel@ncleg.net, Charlie.Dannelly@ncleg.net, Jim.Davis@ncleg.net, Don.East@ncleg.net, James.Forrester@ncleg.net, Linda.Garrou@ncleg.net, Thom.Goolsby@ncleg.net, Malcolm.Graham@ncleg.net, Rick.Gunn@ncleg.net, Kathy.Harrington@ncleg.net, Fletcher.Hartsell@ncleg.net, Ralph.Hise@ncleg.net, Neal.Hunt@ncleg.net, Brent.Jackson@ncleg.net, Clark.Jenkins@ncleg.net, Edward.Jones@ncleg.net, Ellie.Kinnaird@ncleg.net, Eric.Mansfield@ncleg.net, Floyd.McKissick@ncleg.net, Wesley.Meredith@ncleg.net, Martin.Nesbitt@ncleg.net, Buck.Newton@ncleg.net, Louis.Pate@ncleg.net, Jean.Preston@ncleg.net, William.Purcell@ncleg.net, Bill.Rabon@ncleg.net, Gladys.Robinson@ncleg.net, David.Rouzer@ncleg.net, Bob.Rucho@ncleg.net, Dan.Soucek@ncleg.net, Josh.Stein@ncleg.net, Richard.Stevens@ncleg.net, Jerry.Tillman@ncleg.net, Tommy.Tucker@ncleg.net, Don.Vaughan@ncleg.net, Michael.Walters@ncleg.net, Stan.firstname.lastname@example.org
Subject: Reasons given for Supporting Ban on Same Sex Unions have no Medical/Scientific Basis
I write to you as an individual who made his living in studying patient populations and designing, and evaluating information from, clinical research studies to evaluate benefit/risk of treatment. Reasons being given in defense of the Amendment have no medical/scientific basis and are further stigmatizing a segment of our population thus reinforcing behavior that contributes to violent crimes against those citizens. This amendment is a civil matter, not a church matter, and our Establishment Clause was created for this very reason.
I refer you two position statements/resolutions made by medical/scientific groups who have studied, evaluated and worked with the population that experiences same sex attractions. My hope is that you will take the time to read these prior to basing a vote on the type of information I heard last night over the television.
The American Psychological Association
The American Psychiatric Association http://www.psych.org/Departments/EDU/Library/APAOfficialDocumentsandRelated/PositionStatements/200001a.aspx
Claims that were issued yesterday in defense of the amendment:
1. Same Sex Attraction Represents a Perversion
THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED, That the American Psychological Association affirms that same-sex sexual and romantic attractions, feelings, and behaviors are normal and positive variations of human sexuality regardless of sexual orientation identity;
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, That the American Psychological Association reaffirms its position that homosexuality per se is not a mental disorder and opposes portrayals of sexual minority youths and adults as mentally ill due to their sexual orientation;
2. Homosexuality Differs from Race in that is not biology, it is Behavior and a Choice
For those of you who are attracted to the opposite sex, could you make a conscious choice to develop a romantic attraction to an individual of the same gender? Of course not. So why is it claimed that individuals having same sex attractions have made a choice to do so? To say that homosexuality is not about biology denies the complex nature of sexual attraction as well as the diversity that is inherent in human beings. Attempts to reverse this ?choice? have been commented on by the American Psychiatric Association (APA):
APA affirms its 1973 position that homosexuality per se is not a diagnosable mental disorder. Recent publicized efforts to repathologize homosexuality by claiming that it can be cured are often guided not by rigorous scientific or psychiatric research, but sometimes by religious and political forces opposed to full civil rights for gay men and lesbians.
APA notes instances of psychological harm in individuals who have undergone ?treatment? to change sexual orientation. APA recommends that ethical practitioners refrain from attempts to change individuals’ sexual orientation, keeping in mind the medical dictum to First, do no harm.
If reasons are to be given in defense of this amendment, let them be something other than bias born from religious belief, for this amendment is a civil matter, not a church matter. What this legislature is doing is further stigmatizing a minority group. By portraying this group as deviant, this legislature is reinforcing ignorance that fosters behavior contributing to hate crimes against this minority population.
Dr. Art Kamm