Pat Robertson confirmed today that showing compassion for people who are gay means forcing them to endure harmful, ineffective ex-gay therapy. Answering a question from a father with a gay son, he said that to show the son love, the father should convince him to stop doing “whatever he’s doing” and “unacquire” his homosexuality:
ROBERTSON: You want to say, ‘look I don’t agree with what you’re doing but I love you, you’re my son, you came from my body, you’re part of me and I’m with you but I’d like you to get out of this.’ … We’ve had many people who have indeed left the homosexual lifestyle and gone into a heterosexual relationship and have been very, very happy. But all I can say is love the son, love the son, and show him what you consider a better way.
Robertson’s answer confirms the duplicity of a “love the sinner but hate the sin” approach. His facts about the nature of homosexuality and the success of ex-gay therapy are completely wrong and more importantly, family rejection is harmful to young people. Scientific consensus agrees that same-sex orientations are a natural and healthy variation among humans and other animals. To condemn and repress such orientations is the opposite of showing love — it is the reinforcement of harmful stigma.