One would expect on seeing the name "Doctors For Life" that it would be some medical reference, a respectible medical group perhaps - but upon closer inspection of their website and internet trail, you begin to see a trail full of footprints - worrying footprints. A paw-print of anti-abortion activism here, a paw-print of anti-gay activism there - and all the way the menacing sign that the tail of Christian fundamentalism has been dragged through between them.
Doctors For Life International appears to be a solely USA-South African enterprise, patently fundamentalist Christian and clearly anti-gay. Its' attempt to cling to vestiges of credibility and medical or scientific authority are laughable when one reads the "expert" information presented on its website - http://www.doctorsforlifeinternational.com/issues/homosexuality.cfm under the subject heading "Issues:Homosexuality".
‘Doctors for Life International’ represents more than 1000 medical doctors and specialists, three-quarters of who practise in South Africa. DFL was founded as a South African organisation in 1991 and has spread across the globe. DFL is involved in several community projects including orphan care, the care of terminal AIDS patients, malaria treatment and the care of abused women."
How big are they as an organization? I'm not really sure - they have an address listed in South Africa, and one in the USA - and another in the Netherlands - and the first two have exactly the same email address listed on an SA url. I may be wrong but this group may be based here in South Africa (judging by all the SA info on the site and also the donation currency requests in Rands - the only telephone numbers provided are in SA), but it could just as easily be headquartered in the US - which I'm sorry to say is Bigot HQ as far as the gay rights movement is concerned. There seem to be links to a spiderweb of departments and affiliates in South Africa and virtually none overseas. Regardless, the rhetoric and propaganda they peddle against gay people is taken straight from the lips of the US religious right anti-gay groups.
A few years ago they filed a "friend of the court" brief in the legal battle that gave gay people in South Africa same gender marriage - quoting very much the same kind of nonsense as they posted on their website as 'gospel fact'.
In short, they went into battle wearing cardboard armor and waving plastic swords (I might be wrong, but I think the horse's wheels fell off too).
Needless to say, their side lost - and if they were not laughed out of court, then I would gladly have provided them with a peal of hearty laughter at the idiocy clearly evident in their 'argument'. Only a halfwit could accept such blatant, disproved 'pseudo-science' and propaganda as 'evidence' - and as justification to continue to deny people equal rights.
It seems to me that such groups fill the little gap in the Christian fundamentalist front labelled "medical authority to condemn things we do not agree with based on a biblical worldview." And although they are largely quiet today, their website looks up to date and current. They remind me of a slumbering cancer.
Below I include the letter I emailed them:
RE: International Anti-Gay Group In SA Presents Lies And Misleading Disinformation As Medical Truths On Their Website -
"To whom it may concern,
I stumbled onto your website today and found your article on homosexuality (on both your international and local SA sites) to be filled with same the identical blatant lies and false information about the subject. How an organization presenting itself as a source of medical fact can reconcile such ignorance, misrepresentation of fact and pseudo-science with scientific and medical authority is quite beyond me.
I find it to be heavily laden with right wing religious bigotry and malicious lies inspired by the so-called "research" by discredited charlatans such as expelled and disgraced former psychologist Paul Cameron who manufactured many patently ridiculous "studies" about gay people and released them for general use by American anti-gay groups. I quote:
"Homosexuality is an attempt to get a normal need met in an abnormal way. Homosexuality is not about sex, but is about a need for love and acceptance in a person who through circumstances or conditioning often did not receive or perceive to receive love or acceptance as a child and/or was sexually abused as a child. " - Funny that the experts don't agree with you - and "normal" is only what is statistically prevalent or demographically dominant.
"Homosexuality is not genetically based, but nurture-based, and therefore treatable. "- utter nonsense. There is clear overwhelming evidence today that shows sexual orientation is inborn and 100% natural - and not as a result of "nurture" or environment or poor upbringing or trauma. THE ENTIRE MEDICAL / PSYCHOLOGICAL authority (even in South Africa) disagree with you on this - seeing as they have CONDEMNED any and all attempts to change people's sexual orientation as it is dangerous to the individual AND DOES NOT WORK. Also, the APA (and all other western medical groups removed homosexuality from its list of TREATABLE conditions as far back as 1973. So much for your credibility.
"Socially, men who commit homosexual acts have a high incidence of promiscuity, child molestation, and sexually transmitted diseases." Clearly disproved by many medical studies - too many to list here - some even dating back as far as 1909! Every one contradicts this offensive and fantastical claim. In fact heterosexual males account for the highest instance of child molestation, followed by heterosexual females!
"There is valid evidence that gay coupling almost never evolves into a mature love that is defined by quiet consistency, trust, mutual dependency and sexual fidelity." - tell that to the many loving same gender couples who have spent lifetimes together!
"If the only criterion for marriage were mutual consent or commitment, there are no grounds to prohibit bestial, pedophilic, sodomous or incestuous unions." - this in itself smacks of hate speech - with no foundation in fact or even a remote connection to reality. There is in fact no comparison between bestiality (animal abuse), pedophilia (child abuse) or incest. In fact, if incest were an issue then half the royalty in Europe would be in prison today! On what facts do you base such a claim?
"Medically, some homosexual acts are physically harmful because they disregard human anatomy and function. These acts are associated with increased risks of tissue injury, organ malfunction, and infectious diseases. These and other factors result in a significantly shortened life expectancy." - Pure Paul Cameron - and pure horse manure.
"Homosexuality is unnatural and no society or religion has ever endorsed it as an ‘acceptable norm’. " - Tell that to all the gay animals around the world (there is a gay penguin couple in East London Zoo and many other known cases at other zoos around the world - and in nature). At various times in history same gender marriage WAS part of socially accepted society - in ancient Rome, Greece, China, Japan, Africa. Ancient Egypt performed the first recorded marriage rituals in history- and the very first was supposedly a lesbian wedding.
"Among those involved in homosexual acts, there is an increased incidence of drug/or alcohol dependency, compulsive sexual behaviour, anxiety, depression, and suicide." - proven in a recent study in the USA
(2008) to be as a result of anxiety caused by lack of acceptance and also by persecution and prejudice. This study was also taken out of context and twisted (as you have done here) by James Dobson and Focus on the Family.
If in any way, shape or form "Homosexuality is a suicidal lifestyle" - then groups such as yours which encourage prejudice and intolerance are what make it so.
"Homosexual behaviours burden society with increased medical costs, increased disability, and productivity loss." - Based on what, exactly? More pure Paul Cameron and those hateful pieces of fiction "the homosexual agenda" - and "the pink agenda" in SA.
ALL OF IT ONE HUNDRED PERCENT PURE UNADULTERATED RUBBISH!
I wonder how doctors who work in the medical and scientific field - and are supposed to be both INTELLIGENT and COMPASSIONATE healers can seriously believe this load of sheer and utter bovine manure - and then repeat it and promote it to the public dressed up as fact!!
Do you not realize the damage you are doing to the lives of innocent people - or is that your aim?
It is abundantly clear from how this "information" is presented on your site that it is your intent to deceive the public and to promote intolerance against the gay community.
"Doctors for Life (DFL) offers help and counseling with compassion (?) and understanding to those who desire to come out of a homosexual life style. Many who have chosen to reject their homosexual activities have successfully restructured their lives. So can you." - More blatant lies - in fact you go so far as to promote the fallacious "ex-gay" movement which recently lost its one and only cornerstone of pseudo-scientific authority - the 1979 book "Homosexuality in Perspective" - which claimed gay people could be (and should be) made straight through therapy - and which was recently debunked by an investigative journalist who exposed the entire "study" cited was a fraud that was entirely fabricated - as corroborated by one of its authors.
"This behavior pattern is contrary to the God-ordained state of marriage between one man and one woman, and is not conducive to a stable family environment to raise children. " - Yet through your statements you claim to be a "Christian" group even though you persecute innocent people in the name of a loving God whom many of them also serve. I question your sincerity and your motives.
You do so despite the clear risks to these "patients" (victims) and despite explicit warnings by actual credible medical professionals and organizations all over the planet that this so-called "reparitive therapy" can harm them and even result in self-destructive behavior such as suicide.
Your arguments against a natural state of being cannot be supported by actual medical sources, you use lies and distort existing legitimate studies in order to support your views as quoted here. I assume that this is in order to promote ignorance and prejudice against the pink community - while attempting to conceal the real reasons for your clear intolerance of homosexuality - religious bigotry.
Now in addition to the regular causes for concern which gay people face in general life - such as illness, car accidents, assault, hate speech in the media or some anti-gay political party revoking their rights - now they need to worry about whether every doctor, nurse, pharmacist, therapist or medical consultant they encounter is a member of the "over a thousand" professionals that buy into your DFL "world view" - and how they will be treated.
Some doctors! You should all be banned from practicing medicine!
Your organizations' clear lack of moral decency, compassion, humanity - and even Christianity is shocking - you and your members should be ashamed of yourselves."