June 23, 2005
Insane in Spain
Spain’s increasingly acrimonious debate on gay rights intensified yesterday, as a law allowing same-sex marriage faced a knife-edge vote in the Senate, following contentious testimony from an academic who claimed that homosexuality was “a disease”.
Senators from the conservative opposition Popular Party (PP), backed by three Catalan Nationalists, opposed the marriage bill.
… Yesterday’s debate was overshadowed by earlier testimony from a specialist summoned by the PP who told senators that “homosexuality was a pathology ... that could be corrected by therapy”. The opinions of Aquilino Polaino, a psychology professor, were disowned by PP leaders who feared alienating an estimated one million homosexuals who vote PP.
Professor Polaino told the Senate’s Justice Committee that homosexuality was caused by “a hostile, distant, alcoholic or violent father ... or an overprotective, cold and demanding mother”. Homosexuals, he said, “did not play games as children ... may have suffered sexual abuse within the family ... are more likely to be promiscuous, take drugs and suffer from schizophrenia”.
Amusingly, the PP swiftly disowned Polaino’s testimony, having suddenly realized that it might, just might, alienate the estimated million or so gays who—remarkably—support the party.
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