O’Donnell: Homosexuality is an “Identity Disorder”

September 21st, 2010 at 2:28 am | 30 Comments |

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Greg Sargent reports:

Christine O’Donnell claimed in a 2006 interview that homosexuals are psychologically defective, arguing that they suffer from “identity disorder,” the reporter who conducted the interview tells me.

On Friday I noted here that the Wilmington News Journal ran a 2006 profile of O’Donnell which paraphrased her views, claiming she “considers homosexuality an identity disorder.” But the paper didn’t include any direct quote supporting that.

Now the reporter on the story, Victor Greto, who’s now a professor at Wesley College in Delaware, emails over her full quote from his notes on the interview. Here’s what she said:

“People are created in God’s image. Homosexuality is an identity adopted through societal factors. It’s an identity disorder.”

O’Donnell’s suggestion that gays suffer from a psychological disorder is far worse than other comments about gays that have already gotten media attention, such as her claim that the government spent too much on AIDS and her insistence that “gays get away with so much.”

Also: Last week O’Donnell insisted that her rigid moralistic views represent long-ago youthful excesses. But as late as 2006, she was apparently still suggesting that gays are suffering from some sort of mental illness that has caused them to stray from God’s “image.”

Indeed, this would appear to put O’Donnell squarely in the camp of those who liken homsexuality to pedophilia and bestiality.

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30 Comments so far ↓

  • Rabiner

    Just keeps getting better doesn’t it? The woman isn’t fit for office and hopefully a majority of Delaware residents take note.

  • communists-basher

    Totally agree with O’Donnell. There is no difference between homosexuality, pedophilia and bestiality. Since when any of these became mainstream? Since Liberal Fascists told us so? Like since November 2008? We need people like O’Donnell, a perfect fit for office, to finally put an end to this liberal biased b.s. Let gays go back into their holes where they come from. No one really wants to offend or harass these ill gay people, it’s just that we don’t want them to tell us what’s right and make our children ill too. Now that they got their law they can just quietly descend into their holes …. And by the way, Churches should be allowed to voice against homosexuality, this part of the law must be repealed.

  • Watusie

    There goes the argument that the teabaggers are only interested in fiscal policy and don’t really care about the traditional socon issues.

    In reality, the opposite is true in so far as O’Donnell is concerned – she only really cares about god bothering. There is no way a person with such disastrous personal and campaign finances can be portrayed, with a straight face, as a champion of fiscal prudence. She is, quite clearly, a train wreck as far as money is concerned; yet the Tea Party loves her.

    Says all you need to know about the Tea Party.

    Interesting that the posters who were here last week saying she was a great candidate (she raised a million dollar in out-of-state donations! she’s gonna win!!) have gone silent since the the whole witchcraft thing came out. Proving that they, too, are happy to turn a blind eye to any all financial wrong-doing so long as they think the candidate is a member of their religious tribe.

  • bamboozer

    Did you know her sister is a Lesbian? Said sister claims O’Donnell is not a Homophobe. Perhaps but the rest of her statements are obnoxious, particularly about AIDS as if it is a Gays only disease. And yes! This Delaware resident noticed she’s unfit for office 5 years ago as did most of the state.

  • midcon

    Her human-brained mice and satanic tendencies aside (after all what she does in the privacy of her own home is her business), she simply does not have the experience necessary that would help her in developing positions, making decisions and generally contribute to governing the nation. At 41 her work history is just too slim.

    I don’t often jump into the gutter and will apologize in advance, but there is something odd about an attractive woman, who is 41, never been married – or umm..kissed, and has no children. Some woman may have such a strong calling/avocation that they become driven to the exclusion of all else. Nuns come to mind as an example. But in O’Donnell’s case I wonder that maybe she is not attracted to the same path as most other women. Perhaps she marches to the beat of a different drummer. Or in baseball terms, maybe she bats for a different team.

  • Xclamation

    Midcon – I don’t think we need to jump in to the so-cliched-it’s-boring “the homophobe is actually a closeted homosexual” pool on this one. There’s a much more simple answer as to why O’Donnell’s single. She’s unpleasant and a little crazy.

  • PatrickQuint

    The culture wars are back, and I don’t understand why. It really doesn’t help Republican or Tea Party candidates.

    Stay conservative, people. Live and let live. If you’re really concerned about the souls of your political opponents, make the argument outside of political policy (and let God sort ‘em out).

    Keep to the economic and safety arguments. That’s the strength of conservative policy today.

  • Fairy Hardcastle

    Authentic doctors, such as Enrique Rojas, support her. You are confused about who you are if you are confused about the meaning of your gender. Those who are already living in the darkness of their passions are unable to see the obvious truth of this.

  • jjv

    Exactly how does homosexuality differ from pedrasty or bestiality? Admittedly it does not cause the harm of pederasty but I’m unaware of any scientific information on the inborness v. societal factors on these sexual deviations from homosexuality. What is the big deal of saying that sexual deviations have similiarities across the spectrum but that some are more harmful than others? Is this now not even subject to discussion?

  • medinnus

    Being a Christianist loony toon is a personality disorder.

  • Nanotek

    such a deep-seated discomfort with freedom … her crowd never ceases to try to denigrate others and try to run everyone’s lives though they have failed at their own

    “These matters, involving the most intimate and personal choices a person may make in a lifetime, choices central to personal dignity and autonomy, are central to the liberty protected by the Fourteenth Amendment. At the heart of liberty is the right to define one’s own concept of existence, of meaning, of the universe, and of the mystery of human life. Beliefs about these matters could not define the attributes of personhood were they formed under compulsion of the State.” Lawrence v. Texas

  • Nanotek

    “so-cliched-it’s-boring “the homophobe is actually a closeted homosexual” pool on this one.”

    from experience, its seems true nonetheless… from Ted Haggard on

  • CentristNYer

    Everything about this woman’s demeanor and fixations scream instability. From “dabbling” in witchcraft to her fanatical Christianity to her obsessions with a human sexuality she denies herself, she’s telling the world that she’s desperately needy and searching for something that doesn’t really exist. As with nearly all Bible thumpers, she has an idealized and artificial conception of real life. I’ve known others like her and it never ends well.

    Let her deal with this alone and in private, not in the corridors of power.

  • PracticalGirl

    How is this any different than the mainstream conservative Christian view? That she holds these views-is it really surprising, and is it really “news”?

    I will admit to having some fun at O’Donnell’s expense, but at some point (unless you live in Delaware or unless she hits a national ticket), don’t we just turn away?

  • midcon

    Just to be fair, having fun at some one else’s expense is wrong, regardless of what party they are in, but in all honesty, it just so much fun. There are a great many serious candidates out there on both sides. O’Donnell just happens to be one for which there is so much material that it is simply too hard to resist.

    Even if you live in Delaware, you probably just turn away and if you are a Republican in Delaware you draw the shades and when they knock on the door to give you an “O’Donnell for Senate” sign, you pretend you aren’t at home.

  • parsifal

    Oh goodness, not more of the gay stuff. OK, my two cents worth. The theory that “homosexualty is normal, not a mental illness, and a perfectly viable lifestyle” is a moral judgment and opinion , not a scientific one. The American Psych. Association took “homosexuality” out of the DSM because of internal political maneuvering, not on the basis of overwhelming science.

    Similarly, I think homosexuality made into the DSM in the first place for the same reasons. Not overwhelming science, but moral judgments and opinions. Its understandable, considering that 97% to 99% or so of the population do not go both ways, and it does fly in the face of reproductive reality.

    Personally, I think most homosexuals are born that way. The rest just enjoy sex and ain’t too persnickety about how they get the “ooh-ing and ah-ing” state of pleasure. But, that ain’t science, either. That’s just my opinion. What does get me irritated is the widespread belief in the gay community (particularly the male side) that they are somehow special, and rules of behavior, which require that we heterosexuals inhibit our innate urge to indiscriminately frolick in the hay, do not apply to them.

    There are still psychs who believe that homosexuality can be “cured” and that re-orientation is possible. But, as a matter of power politics, this view is treated like voodoo. Nonetheless, some people persist in studying the issue. It seems to me that if a person can re-orient themselves from arousal via 3 dimensional flesh and blood sexual partners, to arousal by 2 dimensional pictures on a computer screen, to the point where the latter surpasses the former, then re-orientation is not inherently theoretically flawed.

    In the meantime, the studies fly back and forth on both. I distrust nearly all of them, whatever the source. But, if you are interested in alternative views, try this:


  • Rabiner


    You should really look to a reliable source since NARTH is not. If homosexuality could be ‘cured’ as you say then heterosexual people should be able to have to reverse done to them to become homosexual?

  • parsifal

    Actually, I have known a few heterosexuals who were “cured”, or at least “re-oriented.” Two both started out in life with wives. One had kids, indicating to me he was able to achieve the necessary physical state of arousal and performance. Either that, or a turkey baster was employed. Both men left women, as a general proposition, and started off on the Yellow Brick Road to Gay City. (An Elton John allusion).

    They arrived, eventually hooked up together and fell in love. They got married, bought a house together, and swore perpetual fidelity. Said oath apparently did not preclude various threesomes and other arrangements with friends and strangers. This was pretty risky since one of the two had full blown AIDS. Anyway this lasted for about 3 years, until “hubby” got fed up with “wife’s” perpetual emotional dramas, and they split. Except for occasional hookups.

    From knowing them, neither was happy. One has a lifetime contract with a therapist friend of mine for all sorts of issues. The other is, and was an emotional wreck, and the AIDS doesn’t help. Nonetheless, I like the dude and feel very sorry for him.

    But what goes one way, could probably go the other way, too. It probably would not require reparative therapy. Liquor, a rufie, or a really good case of Azurus Testicallus would probably work as well. Or, one could also lose a bet.

  • CentristNYer

    NARTH is dominated by religious-minded directors with an automatic bent towards “reparative” therapies, which have an extremely high failure rate. While I don’t think their intentions are as plainly destructive as some Christian right groups that want to demonize gays, I believe their heavy reliance on faith over fact is reason enough to remain highly skeptical of their conclusions.

  • parsifal

    And the Gay Advocacy groups probably have the same biases, going in the opposite direction. Hence we hear of canine pelvic thrusting behavior being equated with the conclusion “homosexuality is common and normal in the animal kingdom.” Nonsense and tripe.

    Most studies seem to me to be designed for two reasons. One, get a grant for the study so one can quit flipping burgers or doing some other form of useful work. Two, coat whatever agenda you are promoting with a veneer of science.

    Thus it has been since Margaret Mead first informed us of those “Samoan Shore” girls.

    “Her role as an anthropologist and a champion of broadening sexual mores is a conflict of interest. Some academics like Professor Steven Pinker, to criticize her work as very inaccurate perhaps even naive. In Professor Pinker’s 1997 book How the Mind Works he noted that:

    “The Woodstock nation was not the first utopian dream to be shattered. The free-love communes of the nineteenth-century America collapsed from sexual jealousy and the resentment of both sexes over the leaders’ habit of accumulating young mistresses. The socialist utopias of the twentieth century became repressive empires led by men who collected Cadillacs and concubines. In anthropology, one South Sea island paradise after another has turned out to be nasty and brutish. Margret Mead said that nonchalant sex made the Samoans satisfied and free of crime; it turned out that the boys tutored one another in rape techniques. She called Arapesh ‘gentle’; they were headhunters. She said that the Tshambuli reversed our sex roles, the men wearing curls and makeup. In fact the men beat their wives, exterminated neighboring tribes, and treated homicide as a milestone in a young man’s life which entitled him to wear the face paint that Mead thought was so effeminate.

    There are many criticisms of early ethnographers (for example: rewards of western goods for participating), like Naploeon Chagnon, and as such effort should be made to separate Margaret Mead’s political views from her actual anthropological work.”


    I think I still have a copy of the Freeman book laying around somewhere. Sehr interessant!

    Nonetheless, it is fun to ponder whether or not Betty Broderick should get a new trial since female black widow spiders often kill the male, after mating.

  • CentristNYer

    parsifal // Sep 21, 2010 at 3:03 pm

    “And the Gay Advocacy groups probably have the same biases, going in the opposite direction.”

    There’s some truth to that, certainly.

    The bottom line is that gay people are here, have always been here and always will be here. The cause really doesn’t matter all that much (although I think there’s overwhelming evidence that it’s a combination of nature and nurture). You can marginalize and ostracize homosexuals — as O’Donnell’s words have the effect of doing — or you find a way to incorporate them into the fabric of society so that everyone benefits (except small-minded homophobes). Let gays serve in the military without fear of disclosure. Extend the right to marry a beloved partner. Allow homosexuals to do their jobs without being harassed or intimidated.

    Furthermore, this is a solidly conservative position — despite the socons efforts to twist reality by imposing a Christianist spin — and I think people like O’Donnell do the nation great harm by pushing such a divisive agenda.

  • parsifal

    I agree that gays have always been here, and probably always will. Thus, it is my OPINION most are born and probably not made. Like someone said, a normal deviation. A normal abnormality.

    But, I also believe gays, and particularly the males, bring a lot of this criticism on themselves by grossly irresponsible behavior. And bizarre behavior. Far more irresponsible than the heterosexuals, who are far from winning an “I’m A Grownup!” prize themselves. Far more bizarre than the Real Housewives of Hunk, Texas (pop. 234).

    It is my guess that the more conservative gays, would love to address this issue, and cringe every time they see a shot of bare-bottomed Bears in leather chaps prissing around and whining that no one takes them seriously. Or when Code Pink activists throw some histrionic public fit about medicare not paying for foreskin reconstructive surgery. But they feel they must not do or say anything to derail the Equality Train, until well after it has pulled into the station.

    So in the meantime, we must all pretend that whatever occurs in the gay community is normal and good, lest we be labeled bigots, homohobes, and looney Christians. Meanwhile, as the gays rise up with fists. . ..

  • CentristNYer

    parsifal // Sep 21, 2010 at 3:56 pm

    “But, I also believe gays, and particularly the males, bring a lot of this criticism on themselves by grossly irresponsible behavior. And bizarre behavior.”

    We’re in total agreement. I make no defense of stupid gay behaviors, including promiscuity and, yes, even wearing leather chaps. I think the gay pride parade is one of the worst PR debacles ever created, as it reinforces every horrible stereotype out there and provides an easy target for homophobes.

    The only thing I will say is this: I believe that a significant amount of this juvenile behavior is the result of decades of society telling gays that they should stay on the margins and hide their identity. You can’t ostracize an entire subset of society and expect that it won’t have consequences. Much of this behavior would evaporate if homosexuals were incorporated into society in full, healthy, meaningful ways, including doing away with DADT and marriage equality.

    That means that straights have to treat gays like fully formed adults and gays have to act accordingly.

  • parsifal

    I hope that you are right and I hope that I am wrong, and that the gays, as a group, do act accordingly. ‘Cause I got a feeling this stuff is going to pass. And the current reality, as you and I see it, may be a target for the homophobes, but it should also be a target for the responsible gays, and for people who genuinely care about gays, as human beings. By the statistics, another 80 gay or MSM dudes got infected by HIV yesterday.

  • Rabiner


    “And the Gay Advocacy groups probably have the same biases, going in the opposite direction.”

    Gay Advocacy groups don’t try to say they’re a scientific group like NARTH does. That is a huge difference!

  • parsifal

    Seems like some people here say homosexuality is normal, because you know a whole bunch of different animals supposedly do it. Therefore it is normal, more or less. That has the ring of science to me. You know, studying animal behavior and such. And putting out studies that Heather of the Two Mommies is just peachy, thank you, and needs not a male daddy. Hmmmm.

    Plus, I’m confused. I hear all the time that human sexuality is a continuum and we all kinda move along the spectrum. Therefore there is nothing wrong with gayness, since it is normal. So some guy lives with a wife and has kids, then comes out of the closet when he’s 40 and says he gay. No problemo. Ya know, we all kinda exist on a continuum and there are no discreet differences between a homosexual and a heterosexual. .

    Yet, when someone says that it is possible for a homosexual to re-orient, and tries to go back the other way on the spectrum, then the Gay Inquisition opens for business and all gays are locked for all time in gay mode. Guess they never heard of hasbians.

    Is the problem really that you just don’t like NARTH’s position, so you try to kick a little dirt on them?

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