Wayne Besen on the 'Priest made me gay' story
J. David Enright IV, a New York socialite, recently went public about his molestation at the hands of Catholic priest Rev. Joseph Romano when Enright was a child. Enright told the NY Post that this incident “made him gay.” He’s suing the church for $5 million.
“I believe my life would be very different now. I’d probably be married, living in Greenwich, with four children in boarding school. I had a completely straight life in business, socially on Park Avenue and Fifth Avenue. Then there was this other world, which was slinking around Greenwich Village gay bars, finding mates.”
This story of self-loathing is horribly wrong on so many levels. But let’s first cut Enright some slack, for he is clearly a traumatized victim of child abuse and internalized homophobia. He is spewing nonsense as he tries to make sense of a childhood stripped away by a priest who couldn’t keep his clothes on.
However, his frivolous lawsuit must be addressed because it contains damaging assertions that erroneously tie homosexuality to child abuse. At the very heart of his claim is the notion that homosexuals are simply misbehaving heterosexuals who perform deviant acts because they were screwed up as a result of poor parenting or child abuse.
…The truth is, there is no link between sexual abuse and sexual orientation. The vast majority of child abuse victims grow up to be heterosexual. The myth that abuse leads to homosexuality is kept alive because anti-gay political groups fear losing support if Americans believe that gayness is natural and inborn.