Woodworth garnering all the wrong attention

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After Kitchener-Centre Member of Parliament Stephen Woodworth’s failed attempt to reopen the abortion debate in Canada, you might have thought he would gracefully exit the spotlight of hot button social issues. Regrettably, this is not the case.

On Oct.7, Woodworth was a featured guest for an event in Quebec where he appeared alongside Michel Lizotte, an outspoken advocate who believes that gay people can become straight if they simply choose to do so.

Woodworth was criticized in the House of Commons, but has not yet responded to the criticism nor made a public statement disowning what Lizotte advocates.

At the event, Lizotte reportedly delivered a lecture on sexual re-orientation.

Lizotte advocates for gays to learn “how to be freed from thoughts, attractions or unwanted homosexual behavior while taking the path of heterosexuality.”

One of two things could explain Woodworth’s silence.

The MP could actually believe the psychologically-debunked nonsense that Lizotte trumpets.

Or, Woodworth could oppose what Lizotte advocates but refuses to publicly state his disagreement—which is equally detrimental to gay rights.

There is absolutely no psychological basis for Lizotte’s claims.

The American Psychological Association states “there has been no scientifically adequate research to show that therapy aimed at changing sexual orientation is safe or effective.

It seems likely that the promotion of change therapies reinforces stereotypes and contributes to a negative climate for lesbian, gay and bisexual persons.”

Similarly, the Canadian Psychological Association asserts that homosexuality is not a psychological problem and has not been considered so by the professional mental health community for 30 years.

Let’s consider the company of past “cure the gay” advocates.

There was a large group of psychiatrists that believed in conversion theory as a way of converting from gay to straight.

German psychiatrist named Baron Albert von Schrenck-Notzing believed that all gay men needed to do was to see a prostitute and they would magically become straight.

Would we accept for a moment that if Woodworth had appeared on stage with anyone who espoused any of these methods that he wouldn’t have to denounce his company or answer about his own views?

Lizotte is no different.

His advocacy is just as offensive and damaging to the gay men and women who are struggling to come to terms with their sexuality.

With the number of gay and transgendered teens who commit suicide at alarmingly higher rates than their straight peers, it is simply irresponsible and immoral for Woodworth not to tell his constituents that he does not stand for these damaging views.

In his attempt to reopen the debate about when life begins, Woodworth stated that “our 400-year-old definition of a human being says a child does not become a human being until the moment of complete birth, contrary to 21st century medical evidence.”

If Woodworth wants to invoke his conceptions of modern medicine in the abortion debate, he must give equal time to the notion in the gay rights debate.

Woodworth cannot simply turn a blind eye to an activist who is living in 1970s psychology textbooks.

Among the Kitchener-Centre constituents that Woodworth purportedly represents are young men and women who are looking for guidance and acceptance of who they are.

If Woodworth does not have the decency to come out in strong opposition to Lizotte and his views, then perhaps he should reconsider whether he espouses the necessary values to represent the people of Kitchener-Centre.

Or, perhaps better yet, the people of Kitchener-Centre should tell Woodworth that they would like to have a full-time representative instead of one who seems to be more interested in advocating for the social issues that keep him in the national spotlight.

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