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North Carolina “Doctor of the Day” advocates electroshock for gays, among other anti-gay statements

Originally posted at InterstateQ.com

On July 17, 2007 (of course, while I was out of town and so not even paying attention to NC news), the North Carolina State Legislature honored Rutherford County Doctor Bob Crummie as the state’s “Doctor of the Day,” according to an article from the Charlotte Observer (h/t LegalJuice)

The honor isn’t really news in and of itself, but what is news to me (and what should be news to any person with any ounce of care or interest in LGBT issues) is that the North Carolina State Legislature chose to endorse a doctor who not only is up for review by the state medical board (and who might get his license taken away) and who not only was convicted of driving while intoxicated a few years back…  BUT who also advocates the use of electroshock therapy to cure homosexuality.

In his “Dr. Bob’s Grocery Store Medicine and Healthy Life Anecdotes,” the good Doctor explains how he “put a stop to homosexuality” at a North Carolina prison, along with describing being gay as a “character flaw.”  From the Charlotte Observer article: (more below the fold)

Perhaps his most controversial opinions relate to gays and lesbians.

“There is no such thing as a homosexual. The Gay Movement is a hoax,” Crummie writes. “Individuals who act out homosexually are at best very neurotic and at worst psychotic. Most of them are character disorders.”

In what he describes as “one of my funniest stories,” Crummie tells how he once put a stop to homosexuality at an N.C. prison when, as superintendent, he threatened to give electric shock therapy to anyone caught in the act. With several inmates present, he demonstrated the procedure on one inmate who was severely depressed, he writes.

The American Psychological Association and the American Psychiatric Association have said since the mid-1970s that homosexuality is not a mental illness and is not a choice.

Disgusting. Absolutely disgusting, that my state legislature would see fit to honor a person who shows such obvious disregard and contempt for an entire portion of our state’s citizenry.

The “Doctor of the Day” honor is a volunteer position partially arranged by the North Carolina Medical Society. According to the Observer article, “Together with the Nurse of the Day, he or she helps people in the Legislative Building with maladies ranging from a paper cut to a heart attack.” Doctors are told not to lobby state legislators or engage in any political work.

Obviously, Crummie broke that rule. Mike Edwards, the director of the NC Medical Society says that they have not seen Crummie’s anti-gay book and that the doctor will “have to stand by it.”  Edwards says that the book “does not represent us or any of the other members who are physicians.”

Okay. Okay. Enough damage control. What in the world got in to the folks at the NC Medical Society. For that matter, what crazy bug infiltrated the North Carolina State Legislature and even leaned them toward thinking that honoring this crazy, anti-gay doctor was a good idea?

Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender North Carolinians deserve an apology from our elected officials. They have honored a man who has absolutely no regard for the dignity and inherent worth of all our citizens. They have honored a man who would go as far as performing dangerous, harmful practices such as electroshock therapy on people who are guilty of nothing but being a minority in a state not-so-keen on acceptance of them.

Maybe next time, the State Legislature and Medical Society should be a little more careful of who they chose to honor. Maybe they should make sure that person would truly treat all members of our great state with equal respect and dignity.

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Matt Comer

Matt Comer

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