Saturday, July 4, 2009

Sasod Attempting to Influence Health Sector Policy in Guyana

Publishing date: May 24th 2008

Dear Editor,

I refer to a letter from Joel Simpson et al (SN 5/17/08) advocating “anti-homophobia” training and would appreciate the opportunity to rebut. The letter is disturbing in many of the issues it pretends to raise.

A phobia is defined as an “irrational fear”, and the Christian community in Guyana and elsewhere have spent a considerable amount of time and effort advocating that opposition to the issue of homosexuality, and moreso of gay militancy as prescribed by Simpson, Kissoon and Sasod, is anything but irrational. Simpson’s last letter cited above represents another opportunity to provide the police, judiciary, national library and health workers with a body of knowledge that will inform a holistic appreciation of the issues. It is training about the realty of the GBLT lifestyle, rather than “anti-homophobia training” that needs to be promoted. It is the truth that will set persons free, not a generous dosage of deception.

First, no less a person than the very liberal Hon. Mr. Justice Michael Kirby AC, CMG, President of the New South Wales Court Of Appeal, Sydney, Australia, during an address to the First South African Conference on Aids and the Law, 25th June 1992) seems to have been misled according to Simpson’s arguments, when he said: "But the paradox is: if we are serious about the containment of the aids epidemic, we must enter their individual minds and get them to change their behaviour which seems central to them to the definition of their being". The issue, we should remind care-givers and health workers, should remain “behaviour modification” rather than “accommodation”. We have addressed some of these issues and arguments in the online summary “A Response to Vikram Seth’s Open Letter”.

Secondly, we should lament the casualness with which Simpson, and apparently (sic) the WHO, alludes to the removal of homosexuality from the list of mental disorders. Our previous efforts have ensured that Simpson is fully aware of the impropriety and downright falsehood that this statement represents. Again, we point the Commissioner of Police and the Minister of Health to Dr. Joseph Nicolosi’s introductory treatment in the article “The Removal of Homosexuality from the Psychiatric Manual” ( ) and Dr. Ben Kaufman’s illuminating law review “Why NARTH? The American Psychiatric Association’s Destructive and Blind Pursuit of Political Correctness” (14 Regent U. L. Rev. 423 (2002) ( ). Both persons, and hopefully by now the WHO, seem to agree that all three great pioneers of psychiatry … Freud, Jung and Adler … saw homosexuality as disordered.

Yet today, homosexuality is not to be found in the psychiatric manual of mental disorders. How did this happen? Simply through gay-militant advocacy of the sort that Simpson/Kissoon/Sasod is advocating.

As with the dispensation of medicine, Psychiatry performs an essential function in the health sector, and is good that Sasod, Simpson and Kissoon must now confront the fact that the entire premise upon which they triumphantly cite the (sic) WHO decision has no basis in health science.

Thirdly, we are not so long down the road from the grisly events of the past year in which several schoolboys at a local school were sexually molested, while yet another establishment in proximity to another high school in the centre of Georgetown promotes same-sex pornographic film “festivals” to students and public alike. It therefore came as no surprise when, deep in Simpson’s/Kissoon’s letter above, we found a thinly-veiled “appeal” to address “male rape” and “consensual same-sex” in the Ministry of Human Services’ pending “Stamp It Out” legislation. We have addressed the folly of this endeavour in the online recommendation to the Minister, the Opposition, the Church and the Press labelled “An Initial Assessment of the Stamp It Out Consultation”. Good law is based on good information, not duplicity or ambivalence.

Guyana’s 1998 Policy Statement on PLWHA adequately addresses non-discriminatory practices in the health sector, and the Ministry of Health would be ill-advised to accommodate Simpson’s and Sasod’s obvious attempt to confuse the legitimate medical needs of PLWHA with their own gay-militant attempts to infiltrate and control health-sector policy.

Yours faithfully
Roger Williams
May 24th 2008

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