Title: Gays and Scientology: Clear or Not So Clear? Credit: Craig Young Comment Sunday 1st July 2007 - 3:02pm1183258920 Article: 4623 Rights
Is the Church of Scientology homophobic? Or have its perspectives on LGBT rights evolved over time? There is no doubt that Scientology's founder, L.Ron Hubbard, was a homophobe, as he was born in the right-wing US state of Nebraska, home also to US antigay 'social scientist' Paul Cameron and the site of Brandon Teena's rape and transphobic murder. Initially,early Scientology aligned itself with pro-segregationist white supremacists and neofascist/far right organisations against mental health legislation. Due to the sexual orientation and suicide of his gay son, Hubbard initially regarded homosexuality as a pathology. What does Scientology's recruitment literature have to say about homosexuality, though? In the fifties, early editions of the key text Dianetics and Handbook for Preclears defined homosexuality as a psychopathology, and as a 'sexual perversion', as well as a 'developmental immaturity.' However, Hubbard relented in the seventies, and dropped any mention of Scientology's former homophobic tenets back then. However, that was thirty years ago, although controversy about the new religious movement in question continues to swirl around it. One ex-member of Sea Org, the naval wing of the church, claimed that that wing of the church failed to 'cure' his homosexuality, while current church promotional literature, and a Yahoo egroup site entitled "Clear Rainbow", both indicate that the church has positive views about LGBT participation. So, who are we to believe? If Hubbard held initially homophobic views but then discarded them, that is commendable. While one might have other concerns about the alleged authoritarian leadership and insularity of this new religion, they seem to have recognised the error of their ways. Like Raelianism, its eccentric worldview may not be for everyone, but Scientology today is not a homophobic faith. Craig Young - 1st July 2007    
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