Press Room

October 20, 2011

Category: Coming Out, Federal Advocacy, Elections

Herman Cain Ignores Science, Still Insists Being Gay is a Choice

APA Distinguished Fellow renews his offer to meet with Cain to “show him the science”
10/20/2011 

WASHINGTON – The Human Rights Campaign – the nation’s largest lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) civil rights organization – is calling on GOP presidential candidate Herman Cain to meet with Dr. Jack Drescher, MD, a Distinguished Fellow of the American Psychiatric Association (APA) and a member of the DSM-5 Workgroup on Sexual and Gender Identity Disorders, to learn why being gay isn’t a choice. Last night on CNN, Cain reiterated his belief that people make a conscious decision to be LGBT. HRC first called on Cain to meet with Dr. Drescher after he asked for someone to “show him the science” explaining why being gay wasn’t a choice.

Cain’s remarks are particularly dangerous because they give credence to the roundly disproven practice of reparative therapy, which purports to “cure” homosexuality – and can cause serious harm to those who undergo it. 

“Herman Cain is now one of the leading GOP candidates for President of the United States, and he is making remarks that have no factual basis and spread dangerous falsities about LGBT Americans,” said HRC President Joe Solmonese. “I strongly urge Mr. Cain to meet with Dr. Drescher – an offer he has so far ignored – to learn exactly ‘what the science says’ about being gay, and to develop a deeper appreciation for the very real challenges LGBT people face on a daily basis.” 

“Herman Cain’s opinion that being gay is a choice has no basis in current scientific thinking,” said Dr. Drescher, who also served as a past Chair of APA’s Committee on GLB Issues. “Not only is homosexuality ‘not a choice,’ as most efforts to try and change a person's sexual orientation fail, but some attempts to change can cause harm and damage to an individual’s well-being.”

All leading medical organizations – including the American Medical Association, the American Psychological Association, the American Counseling Association, the American Academy of Pediatrics and the American Psychiatric Association – have spoken out against reparative therapy. Learn more about the dangerous practice.

HRC members and supporters are speaking out to tell Herman Cain they don’t agree with his outdated views as part of HRC’sCall it Out campaign.

The Human Rights Campaign is America’s largest civil rights organization working to achieve lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender equality. By inspiring and engaging all Americans, HRC strives to end discrimination against LGBT citizens and realize a nation that achieves fundamental fairness and equality for all.

 

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