Thursday, October 27, 2011

Harvey On Openly-Gay Health Care Workers

[Content/trigger warning: homophobia]

Via Rightwing Watch, Linda Harvey of the anti-gay group Mission America recently spoke out against "open homosexuals" working in healthcare settings. A fuller transcript is available here, but I thought this part was interesting:

"Here’s what parents can do: select your pediatrician very carefully, first of all. There are a few homosexual doctors treating kids, there are far more nurses, LPNs, technicians and other health care workers in these lifestyles so you may want to consider writing a letter that you file with your pediatrician that should your child ever be hospitalized, you do not want your child to be treated or cared for by one of these members of the Children’s Hospital gay employees group except in the case of an emergency situation. But for routine in-hospital care where contact with your child would be required, your values should be respected."

1. I love how she's all, "there are a few homosexual doctors treating kids, there are far more nurses, LPNs, technicians" etc. Sure, she's likely right about there being more "homosexual" nurses, LPNs, and technicians than pediatricians just because there are more of the latter than the former, in general. But, since we're not citing statistics or anything, I'm going to go ahead and reckon that more than "a few" lesbian, gay, or bisexual pediatricians exist in the US. (Ooogedy booogedy!)

In her claim, I'm sort of catching a whiff of homophobically classist thinking (is that a thing? I think it is): Of course very few depraved homos in "these lifestyles" have the necessary discipline to become doctors, that's why they're all "just" nurses.

2. Harvey's main complaint seems to be mostly with the "homosexuals" who dare to be open about their sexuality by participating in a "gay employees group." Although she likely still thinks it's icky for workers to be secretly gay too, she expresses concern about the possibility of openly-gay health care workers transmitting some sort of "homosexual" indoctrination into youth during treatment.

The "indoctrination" that threatens her?

The fact that gay people are, oftentimes, law-abiding, responsible, and professional contributors to society.

Likely knowing that actions speak louder than words, I would speculate that people like Harvey know that it's a challenge to indoctrinate kids with a Gays Are Evil message when those same kids see "homosexuals" in the real world who aren't, like, running amok and destroying society.

3. Despite the fact that Harvey makes an exception for emergency care (she'd give the "homosexuals" the privilege of treating her child if it was an emergency situation), I still say she's encouraging parents to elevate their anti-gay animus above the welfare of their children. Rarely, in a healthcare setting, is a provider's sexual orientation hir most relevant characteristic with respect to hir competence, ability, or character. I can think of many non-emergency situations in which it would be poor judgment to exclude a provider solely on the basis of sexual orientation.

What if the only hand surgeon in the area is gay and your child needs non-emergency surgery to fix a break? You're really going to go out of network or choose a less competent person? Okay. What if the bisexual nurse has 15 years of experience in pediatric care and the other nurse available to care for diddums is fresh out of school? What if the straight technician is more rough giving shots than the lesbian one?

The concerns and nuance that go out the window in favor of an Oppose Everything Gay agenda are really just amazing, aren't they?

4. Anyway, we'll patiently wait for all those Totally Nice Not-At-All Bigoted "Marriage Defenders" to condemn Harvey's statements.


5. *tap tap* Hello....?

No comments: