It was towards the end of June 2009 that an activist colleague of mine discovered an anti-gay and ex-gay organisation based in South Africa which purveys junk science under the name Doctors For Life International. After I did some digging in the South African companies’ registry I found that this organisation was truly wholly South African and owned two section 21 companies which provide them with tax exempt status. The two companies were also registered Non Governmental Organisations and the government records provided the names of the fiduciaries.

Several official complaints were lodged at the South African Department of Health and the Health Practitioners Council of South Africa for what I labelled malfeasance. It took considerable and relentless lobbying before action was assumed to be taken though this was kept in camera. I first noticed the completely rewritten statement on homosexuality on the Doctors For Life website on the last day of 2009 as I did some research.

Legally all medical practitioners are bound by a code of conduct and these organisations fall within in the ambit of these conditions. The two companies were in contravention of the Equality Act and the Constitution, and did not keep to proper medical practice by deviating from accepted standards. Note also that Doctors For Life isn’t a statutory body and not at all akin to the South African Medical Association which represents medical practitioners.

The most worrying was that vile propaganda was spread under the auspices of medical credibility when there was really nothing to substantiate the outlandish claims.

Herewith excerpts of the original text:

Homosexuality is an attempt to get a normal need met in an abnormal way. Homosexuality is not about sex, but is about a need for love and acceptance in a person who through circumstances or conditioning often did not receive or perceive to receive love or acceptance as a child and/or was sexually abused as a child. Homosexuality is not genetically based, but nurture-based, and therefore treatable. Homosexuality is unnatural and no society or religion has ever endorsed it as an “acceptable norm’. This behavior pattern is contrary to the God-ordained state of marriage between one man and one woman, and is not conducive to a stable family environment to raise children.

Medically, some homosexual acts are physically harmful because they disregard human anatomy and function. These acts are associated with increased risks of tissue injury, organ malfunction, and infectious diseases. These and other factors result in a significantly shortened life expectancy. Among those involved in homosexual acts, there is an increased incidence of drug/or alcohol dependency, compulsive sexual behaviour, anxiety, depression, and suicide.

Socially, men who commit homosexual acts have a high incidence of promiscuity, child molestation, and sexually transmitted diseases. Homosexual behaviours burden society with increased medical costs, increased disability, and productivity loss. Legalizing or blessing same sex marriage or civil unions is harmful to the stability of society, the raising of children, and the institution of marriage. If the only criterion for marriage were mutual consent or commitment, there are no grounds to prohibit bestial, paedophilic, sodomous [sic] or incestuous unions.

It is thus not uncanny that Doctors For Life was one of the amici curiae in the landmark Constitutional Court case of Fourie v Minister of Home Affairs of 2005 which led to the legalisation of same-sex marriage in South Africa.

Herewith excerpts of the completely rewritten and more politically correct version of the statement on homosexuality (it is still propaganda though):

The discussion of sexual orientation is complex and emotional. It is complex because it encompasses a wide range of scientific fields such as behavioural genetics, neuro-anatomy, psychiatry, psychology, sociology and many others. And it is emotional because sexuality is such an integral part of our identity as individuals. Homosexuality has undoubtedly been one of the most debated socio/political topics in the west over the past few decades.

It is necessary to mention that even though the idea of a so called, “gay gene’ has been popularized by the media, that there is not a shred of scientific evidence showing that homosexuality is genetically determined and therefore immutable (unchangeable). That is not to say that studies to prove a genetic cause have not been undertaken. Many studies have been undertaken by research professionals from respected academic institutions. Here are three famous ones:

1. Geneticist, Dean Hamer, author of the “gay gene’ study tried to link homosexuality to a string of DNA on the X chromosome called Xq28.

2. Simon LeVay, a neuro scientist, studied the differences in the front hypothalamus (INAH3) part of the brain of homosexual and heterosexual males.

3. Bailey and Pillard did studies on identical twins that had 100% the same DNA, non identical twins, siblings and adopted siblings of the same sex.

In reviewing the research, psychiatrist Jeffrey Satinover reported a 52% success rate in the treatment of unwanted homosexual attraction.

Masters and Johnson, the famed sex researchers, reported 65% success rate after a five-year follow-up.

While it is a new toned down piece of propaganda the use of the Masters and Johnson study is truly flabbergasting. Truth Wins Out reported on the refutation of the Masters and Johnson study quite a while ago already.

Laying complaints of medical malfeasance is not a matter of gagging free speech but rather a matter of law enforcement. Medical practitioners have the obligation to steer clear of conjecture, misinformation, propaganda, and prejudice. The Constitution as supreme law of the land may not be subverted and individual liberties have to be protected at all costs especially by those in positions of power or influence, including doctors.