Saturday, January 10, 2009

Checking the box...

On sexual orientation.
When the United States still had the draft for military service, there happened to be a box on the questionnaire one could check regarding the candidate's sexual orientation. A classmate of mine checked it, he later became a woman and looked exactly like Doris Roberts, the actress from "Everybody Loves Raymond". Gosh! What if?
So anyway, there was just one box. For homosexuality. In saner times, homosexuality was pretty much the only recognized variant in human sexuality that might present a problem in military service, as well as the intelligence service I might add. In the business of espionage it was believed a homosexual could be easily compromised by blackmail. I suppose it would have been the case for the FBI as well, even though it is rumored that Edgar wore cocktail dresses - but you see, that was in private.
Other than these instances - which were always kept confidential, I have never heard of anyone in government asking people about their sexual orientation until today. I was reading a post on Fr. Blake's blog about how the Brighton City Council is demanding a health care facility to question its residents every 3 months about their sexuality. (These are rather old people BTW.) Anyway, what follows is Fr. Blake's report:
Brighton and Hove City Council has pulled thousands of pounds worth of funding from a Christian care home because of its religious beliefs on homosexuality.The council withdrew £13,000 of funding when the care home refused the council’s request to ask the elderly Christian residents about their sexual orientation every three months. The home also refused demands from the council that it use images of homosexuals in its promotional literature and show staff a Stonewall presentation on ‘gay rights’. - Read the rest here.
What possible purpose could such questioning serve? Perhaps there is a concern about discrimination against old homosexuals by health care staff or other residents. I suspect that is simply an exaggerated concern. The laws and protections against the abuse of vulnerable adults are quite adequate without requiring persons to disclose their sexual preferences. Unless of course, staying in the closet is now a crime.


  1. There has to be more than this to it, because that doesn't make one bit of sense. Why would a care facility be required to ask any bio. question once every three months? There's some details missing.

  2. Anonymous1:54 PM

    Awwww, that's cute you still think the UK isn't rabidly insane, Thom.

    Seriously, why not have every single resident mark "Other: Trisexual" or "Other: Horselover."

    What are the authorities going to do, ask for a demonstration?


  3. Dear Cathy (btw, I miss you, lady), the UK is no more insane than we are, just in different ways.

    And you know as well as I do that not only do psychiatric professionals make a distinction between homosexuality and "horse loving," but so does the Church.

    And all of that misses my point- I still question the fullness of the story in light of the biographical paperwork every quarter.

  4. Like I said - I don't get it.

  5. michael8:07 PM

    A lot must be missing from this story. Bizarre. I didn't realize that sexual orientation would switch back and forth from one quarter to the next?!?!

  6. Anonymous4:37 PM

    I'm not sure why you'd question it, Thom.
    The UK does some crazy stuff.
    (Yes, so do we. Like pie eating contests. But so far, sexual orientation stays off most US old folks' home applications.)

    MY point is that it's no one's business, so if they're so concerned about your sexuality, give 'em a dose of their own medicine.
    Write something so absurd that they'll shaddup abowt it.

    Why take it to court? Just write in "asexual" or "None - hasn't worked in forty years" - but then, I can't take anything seriously ever, so I'm a bad person to ask.


  7. Ha.

    Cathy, my only point is that we're not getting the whole story about what's going on here. Incomplete information is what has led to the durge of ignorance and complaceny in the modern Western world.

  8. Leslee4:32 AM

    About 10 years ago I was admitted to hospital after breaking my ankle. I was admitted my a lovely nurse who asked me the usual questions about my health, allergies etc, then my religion (which they are not allowed to ask now!) and the asked me about my sexual preferences!! When I asked her what relevance that had to a broken ankle, she said they had to be in a position to meet my needs!!!!!

    I said she should worry about my ankle and my husband and four children would worry about anything else


Please comment with charity and avoid ad hominem attacks. I exercise the right to delete comments I find inappropriate. If you use your real name there is a better chance your comment will stay put.