Homosexuals still victims of intolerance

PUBLISHED : Saturday, 30 May, 1998, 12:00am
UPDATED : Saturday, 30 May, 1998, 12:00am

I refer to the letter from Chadwick Williams headlined, 'Gay rights no matter for Amnesty' (South China Morning Post, May 19).

I was outraged and angered to read this letter, as Mr Williams' views reflect a very reactionary mentality which does not allow the freedom for people to be themselves.

He is wrong when he says that many educated health professionals hold anti-gay views.

I am a health professional and I certainly don't share such a view. Throughout my academic career, I haven't come across any really educated people (health professionals or otherwise) who have held such anti-gay views.

Mr Williams is also wrong when he says that homosexuality is a matter of choice.

You can choose whether or not you want to be yourself, but, as many psychiatrists and scientific researchers have pointed out, you cannot choose to be or not to be a homosexual.

Who would choose to go through a life of emotional pain, often social abandonment, and being 'stigmatised' for the rest of their lives? He is wrong when he says that homosexuals show a lack of self-control.

If that refers to their sexual activity, then how does that differ from heterosexuals? Like heterosexuals, homosexuals are trying to enjoy their lives.

Anti-gay beliefs like the ones expounded by Mr Williams often ruin the lives of gay people and their families.

They have led to young gay people committing suicide and have damaged irreversibly the psychological well-being of the majority of gay people.

I am sure that Mr Williams is not alone in holding these anti-democratic views. In some countries (not far from Hong Kong), homosexuals get electric shock 'treatment', some serve prison sentences with hard labour, and others have even been executed just for trying to be themselves.

I hope that Mr Williams will agree that these are violations of basic human rights, rights which everyone else in a free society is able to enjoy.