By Casi Herbst
A presentation on homosexuality that was to be aired Wednesday night Jan. 15 on BYU Cable and on KBYU in February has been canceled.
“KBYU made the decision not to carry the program. We felt it might be an oversimplification of a complex issue,” said Jim Bell, KBYU”s marketing director.
The Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation (GLAAD) was pleased the broadcast was canceled. Monica Taher, a media manager for GLAAD, felt the presentation was one-sided and gave information that would harm rather than help.
“Any TV station… needs to have both sides of the story,” Taher said.
On the other hand, the presenter Jeff Robinson believes that the program could have helped many people.
“I”m disappointed at the cancellation of this broadcast,” he said. “I had hoped that it would help many young people struggling with the issue of same-sex attraction as well as increasing the understanding of their families and others who care about them.”
Robinson said the reasons for the cancellation were baffling to him since the presentation was well received at the time of production. Yet, he said that it is up to the university whether to run the program or not.
“I respect the university”s right and responsibility to make decisions regarding what they will or will not broadcast,” he said.
Robinson, a marriage and family counselor in Orem whose caseload is approximately 90 percent homosexual men, tackled in the presentation what works and what doesn”t when men battle with homosexuality. His lecture was presented Oct. 4 in a BYU conference and workshop called Families Under Fire.
Robinson said there are approximately 2 to 3 percent homosexual men worldwide.
Mike Buxton, a counselor at BYU who deals with many of the people on campus with this tendency, said this statistic pertains to homosexual women and the number for men dealing with homosexuality is 4 to 5 percent worldwide.
Both agree the number of BYU students dealing with homosexuality is somewhere around 4 to 5 percent.
In his presentation Robinson gave guidelines for what he has seen work with his clients, including not over emphasizing their problems, building up their spiritual lives and not being so critical of themselves.
Buxton, agrees with Robinson”s ideas and treatment.
What doesn”t work is self-criticism or hating themselves. Many people try to hate themselves into changing, and that does not work either, Robinson said.
“I”d even go further to say hating this problem doesn”t help,” Buxton said. A person needs to acknowledge that they have the problem and work with it.
Robinson relates the problem as a dragon that people need to learn to walk away from, instead of kill.
“Change is not easy,” Robinson said. “[The] person has to be highly motivated.”
BYU”s policy on homosexuality states, “Students with same sex orientation can remain in good standing at the university, as long as they support the teachings and policies of the church and do not act upon same sex attraction.”
But Robinson said there are two mistakes BYU students make when associating with homosexual people. People can be overly judgmental and reject the person, or can react in the opposite way and completely accept them.
This portrays the idea that they are okay the way they are and cannot change, he said.
Robinson said the best way to help someone dealing with homosexuality is to maintain friendships with them and express support in all good desires.
He encourages BYU students to realize that the fact people deal with homosexuality does not mean they are a different kind of a person, but merely means they are struggling with a problem.