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HOMOSEXUALS AREN'T 'EMOTIONALLY BROKEN'

I was dismayed to read the Jan. 22 letter characterizing the "lifestyle" of gays and lesbians as "emotional brokenness and confusion." No doubt some who engage in homosexual relations, like some heterosexuals, struggle with distorted fears and needs where some therapy can help.

But throughout years of pastoral ministry, I have served with hundreds of gay and lesbian people for whom the writer's labels are so unfit that one might laugh at the error, were it not for the danger such prejudices harbor.

I'd like to note two facts. First, programs that aim to change the sexual orientation of gays and lesbians have few participants, and their conversions frequently do not last. Second, 10,000 permanent, happy changes would not prove anything about the emotional health of gay and lesbian people as such. Conversions only prove that those now-happy heterosexuals did not have a homosexual orientation -- not in the sense meant and experienced by well-adjusted gays and lesbians.

Those who believe that homosexual relations are always evil, sick or sinful may never change their minds. Perhaps they were born that way. But some do change their minds after a struggle with God. I have seen it. They leave the lifestyle of rejecting gay people. Often they testify to a glad sense of Christian spiritual healing and renewal.

Does the fact that some people finally stop judging gays and lesbians mean that all who don't stop are confused, or need treatment? According to the logic of those who would make every gay straight, there is only one answer.

REV. STEPHEN H. PHELPS

Central Presbyterian Church
Buffalo

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