Redefining Normal Is Bad for Your Health

In a quest to redefine normal, The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights has submitted a letter to the Institute for Minority Health and Health Disparities seeking recognition of certain classes of people who engage in homosexual behavior as "a health disparity population."  In other words, the letter contains a list of health problems, mental and physical, common to people who have chosen to engage in this type of behavior, and then uses those problems to justify special categorizations for them that would result in federal monies and subsided medicines and treatments.

Yet what this letter essentially does is admit the truthfulness of an argument that has been made for decades by those concerned for the well-being of their fellow humans: namely, that the practice of homosexual behavior carries with it profound risks not only to one's body, but also to one's mind and emotions as well.

For example, in the letter, the LCCHR draws on various sources to show that "the LGBT population experiences significant disparities in health indicators such as smoking, obesity, experiences of abuse and violence, mental health concerns such as suicide, and HIV infection."

Sadly, the LCCHR does not confront the behavioral aspects of these health problems, but only looks for scapegoats upon which to pin causes: "the report emphasizes that these disparities are frequently exacerbated by other discriminatory social forces, such as racism."

So instead of addressing the cause of these health issues, the LCCHR wants the federal government to:

  1. Develop a robust and diverse research agenda in LGBT health.
  2. Expand researcher training programs to include researchers who are currently working with or who want to work with LGBT populations.
  3. Encourage National Institute of Health grant applicants to explicitly address how and why their proposed research includes or excludes LGBT individuals.
  4. Develop standardized "sexual orientation" and "gender identity" measures for federally supported surveys.

The report actually admits that these steps "would support and strengthen existing initiatives ... such as research into HIV/AIDS prevention for young gay, bisexual, and other men of color who have sex with other men."

Might not the millions of dollars that would be spent in these programs be better used to counsel and encourage these men to actually consider ending the risky behavior itself, as the government all too easily does with other risky behaviors that have an impact upon the nation's health? (Aren't certain political figures already taking similar steps to curb perceived health threats to other segments of our population by banning Big Gulp drinks and eliminating smoking and "junk food"?)

There is a price to be paid for ignoring the fixed natural order of things.  And all the money, along with every program the LCCHR is seeking, cannot change the fact that those who practice homosexual behavior face the consequences of living a life that runs counter to that order.  Sticking one's head in the sand for the sake of not assessing the dangers of one's sexual or political preferences won't actually change how the natural order works.

Those choosing these behaviors should turn from them to regain for their own sakes the healthfulness and longevity that comes with living life in the real world.

Jeffery J. Ventrella is senior vice president of strategic training with Alliance Defending Freedom (