NPR logo Open Thread: Religion and the 'Cure' for Being Gay

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Open Thread: Religion and the 'Cure' for Being Gay

On our show today, psychiatrist David Scasta told us about his plans for a panel called "Homosexuality and Therapy: the Religious Dimension."

Scasta, who calls himself a quiet gay activist, says he wanted to address the needs of gay and bisexual patients whose religious beliefs might prompt them to seek some kind of "cure" for their sexual orientation. Scheduled for last week's American Psychiatric Association convention, the forum was to include V. Gene Robinson, the openly gay Episcopal bishop of New Hampshire, and conservative Christians who consider homosexuality a sin.

But after infuriated gay activists complained, Scasta called off his own panel.

"If you literally believe in a literal hell where you are going to burn and fry and be in excruciating pain not just for a moment but for eternity because you're a gay person," Scasta asks, "then how do you go to psychotherapy in which somebody like me would be telling you that to have a happy life, in this life, you need to learn to accept who you are?"

Scasta hoped for a discussion that might begin to bridge the gap between sides with very different opinions on a core issue. Personally, I'm just hoping to hear what you have to say, in the comments.

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