A US gay rights group has offered to help Republican presidential candidate Herman Cain meet with a scientist to explain to him that being gay is not a choice.
Cain, who is a Baptist minister and believes that homosexuality is a “sin”, told CNN’s Piers Morgan on Wednesday last week that “although people don’t agree with me, I happen to think that it is a personal choice”.
In an earlier interview with The View’s Joy Behar Cain said: “Well, you show me the science that says that it’s not, and I could be persuaded. Right now it’s my opinion against the opinion of others who feel differently. That’s just a difference of opinion.”
In June, Cain also commented: “I believe homosexuality is a sin because I’m a Bible-believing Christian, I believe it’s a sin. But I know that some people make that choice. That’s their choice.”
The Human Rights Campaign (HRC) – America’s largest LGBT rights organisation – responded to Cain’s latest comments by offering to arrange a meeting between him and Dr. Jack Drescher, MD.
Drescher is a Distinguished Fellow of the American Psychiatric Association (APA) and a member of the DSM-5 Workgroup on Sexual and Gender Identity Disorders.
“Herman Cain’s opinion that being gay is a choice has no basis in current scientific thinking,” said Drescher.
“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.”
The HRC warned that Cain’s remarks are particularly dangerous because they give credence to the 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.”