Heterosexuals Organized for a Moral Environment (I See What They Did There…)
My sense of morbid curiosity is pretty well-developed, which is pretty much the only reason why I ever go to the AFTAH website. Recently I decided to take a look at the Southern Poverty Law Center’s anti-gay hate group list, and from there clicked on a link to the website of Heterosexuals Organized for a Moral Environment (or ‘H.O.M.E’). Needless to say, my morbid curiosity was not disappointed.
The website is ugly. It’s really, really ugly. There are animated GIF images of doves all over it, for God’s sake. It looks like something from the early ’90s. Unfortunately, that’s nothing compared to some of its content. Most of it is the usual ‘We love gays but they’re all disease-ridden perverts, so become a Christian quick before you get HIV and die’ cultish nonsense, but their ‘Supportive Message To Parents of Homosexuals’ is particularly nauseating. Some of it is actually so unbelievably callous that I had to wonder whether the whole site might not be a carefully constructed ruse – after all, who in their right mind would ever imagine a parent showing one of their children this?
It starts out fairly tame, at least by the standards of the antigay movement:
“Dear daughter (or son),
“Whatever the reason for your homosexual orientation, it is probably not something you chose. We will not criticize you for something you did not choose. We love you and will not reject you for having an orientation you feel you were born with, for example. After all, we were ALL born imperfect. We were all born with somewhat animalistic natures, and we all have immoral desires because of those natures. It is our obligation, however, to NOT act on those immoral desires, even if those desires have a natural or genetic basis. It is our obligation to suppress or ignore immoral desires.
“Now, it is possible to show that homosexual activity is physiologically unnatural. Because of that, it is possible to show that it is also relatively unhealthy and thus costly to society both financially and in human terms. It is also possible to show that homosexual activity is immoral. So, at the least we expect you to abstain from homosexual activity; and at the most, we would like to see you learn to enjoy heterosexual activity.
Well, fair enough. It’s a bit clinical for a message that’s supposed to be going from a parent to a child, and it’s not exactly supportive, but neither is it likely to cleave any relationships in half. (Well, hopefully…) Things get a bit more iffy later on, though:
Modern psychology knows people can be conditioned to enjoy practically anything. We believe you can—via conscious, repeated, and persistent fantasizing about being pleasured by the opposite sex—learn to enjoy heterosexual sex. You may never find it as exciting as you think you would find homosexual sex, but we think you can still learn to find it stimulating and satisfying.
And if for some reason you can never learn to enjoy heterosexual sex, if you feel you must be sexually abstinent, that doesn’t mean you have to be miserable. There are plenty of people out there who aren’t in love with anyone or aren’t having sex, yet they are happy. You don’t need to have sex to be happy. There are other ways to achieve happiness. You can have good friends (even good friends of the opposite sex). You can enjoy good music, or nature walks, or sports, etc., etc. You do NOT have to give up hope of being happy just because you don’t engage in homosexual sex or don’t allow yourself to fall in homosexual love.
Uh…huh. Well, I suppose it wouldn’t be that bad for somebody’s parents to suggest that they never let themselves fall in love or have a romantically meaningful relationship. I mean, if you’re completely batshit crazy, it’s not totally out of the question.
Now, if you feel that you have to engage in homosexual activity, as long as you are living in our house we must insist you don’t. If you go ahead and do so, you will create problems. That is a choice you will have to make. And if you are living outside of our home, and you choose to flaunt the fact that you engage in homosexual activity, that will also create embarrassing problems. No moral family is going to be very welcoming to members of that family who loudly and proudly engage in immoral activity, be it cheating on a spouse or homosexual activity or whatever. You can surely understand that. It will be much easier to include and welcome you in family functions (though it could still be awkward) if you are discreet about your homosexual activity. Needless to say, any homosexual lovers/partners you have will not be welcome at family functions, like weddings for example. Actions have consequences. Choices have consequences.
We must stress that we love you. That will never change. But what form of expression that love takes, however, will be determined by your behavior. Moral, responsible love doesn’t accept any and all behaviors. We hope you will do the right things. If you do, we can love you with open arms. If you choose to do the wrong things, family relationships will become very “complicated” and problematic. Please let moral truths guide your heart and mind, instead of letting your emotions get the better of you. Make us as proud of you in everything you do as we hope we have made you proud of us in everything we’ve done.”
You know, they’d be a lot more honest if the damn thing just said ‘be straight or celibate or we’ll kick you out of the house’. I can feel the love.
What do you think? Is the SLPC being had, or is this actually genuine? (And more to the point, would anybody out there who agrees with HOME’s lofty goals actually give this kind of thing to their children?)