According to a recent article in today’s Daily Mail (Click HERE for online version), Sir John Stanley has stated “homosexuality was a ‘normal phase’ for youngsters before they became heterosexuals in later life”.
Admittedly, I know you can’t always take what’s written in the Daily Mail as 100% accurate, but I did find the same comments on a couple of other websites so I’m taking these at face value.
The Conservative Edenbridge MP was one of the 175 MP’s who voted against legalising gay marriage in England and Wales, and recently issued a letter to his constituents to explain why he did so, including stating his ‘belief that gay marriage would not achieve law’.
Fair enough, that’s his opinion and he’s entitled to it.
The controversy however is over these remarks: ‘Enshrining gay marriage into law will be unhelpful and positively damaging to young people going through the perfectly normal phase of being attracted to other young people of the same sex before arriving at a heterosexual orientation subsequently.’
Hmmm.. so basically he’s saying it’s normal for young people to experiment with the same-sex, but in the end, we’d all end up being straight?
To be honest, for some people growing up, that is accurate. I had several friends when I was younger who’d experimented with the same sex, usually no more than kissing another boy/girl, because they weren’t sure of their sexuality. I’d think it’s a perfectly natural thing to happen.
And so is the opposite.
I ‘experimented’ with girls when I was in secondary school, even having an actual girlfriend for about 4 or 5 months in my senior year. I’m sure a lot of gay people did the same or something similar.. and there are even more who never even experimented.
But for me it was all about trying to fit in because I’d realised when I was younger that I wasn’t like the other kids around me, and that I wasn’t attracted to the girls at school like my friends were. So when an opportunity to date a girl came up, I took it.. but it never felt right. It only felt like I was going through the motions because it what was ‘expected’ of me.
If anything, by dating that girl in school (and yes, even having sex with her), it allowed me to come to the conclusion that I was actually gay.. though that did take a few years to actually accept it to myself, let alone allow other people to know.
I’m not going to sit here and blast Sir Stanley for his comments like some people have been online.. because he is technically partially right, young people do experiment. However his statement is very closed-minded and only addresses one part of the populous, and ignores the other side of that statement.
Of course there’s also the fact that his statement has no facts to back it up. There’s nothing stating how legalising gay marriage will be so ‘unhelpful’ or ‘positively damaging’ to young people…
… Because there are no facts to back it up. He’s just stating his own personal opinion, even if it’s based on beliefs from several decades ago (he’s 71). Sir Stanley has been a member of parliament since 1974 (!?!), and luckily is stepping down in 2015 which will hopefully allow for someone who has a better understanding of the times we currently live in to fill his spot.
I’m just lucky we live in a country where that opinion isn’t widely held, and that the majority of those MP who voted were able to see the vote on gay marriage for what it is –Equality.