Paul Scalia is a Catholic priest who's affiliated with Priests for Life. His father is Antonin Scalia, the jurist and egomaniac. Scalia the Elder carries himself, in person and in print, as if he has a monopoly on truth; Father Paul's writing, at least, is a bit less self-satisfied. Nevertheless, this article by Father Paul in First Things makes clear that he also thinks he comes bearing tablets that contain Inviolate Truth.
The article is called "A Label That Sticks." Father Paul's thesis is that we must never, ever do anything to suggest that homosexual feelings on the part of teenagers are in any way valid, because by doing so we'll lock them into a prison house of gaydom that will be harder to escape than Alcatraz:
When I was in high school, the students fell into many different groups: preps, jocks, cheerleaders, punks, deadheads, druggies, geeks, and all the rest. Just about everyone received an unofficial but virtually unchangeable assignment to a particular group.
...While still warning children against stereotypes and labels, high-school administrations increasingly encourage one group of students to label themselves: those who experience same-sex attractions. With the assistance (and sometimes pressure) of such groups as the Gay-Straight Alliance and the Gay, Lesbian, Straight Education Network, high schools across the country now routinely have student organizations dedicated to promoting the tolerance and acceptance of homosexuality.
...And once the label is assigned, it is awfully hard to remove. It lasts past high school and leaves the adolescent at the mercy of our culture’s extremes.... Adolescents legitimately confused or anxious about their sexuality receive the advice to assume the homosexual label, truncating their identities perhaps for their entire lives.
Oh, perfect. Official Catholic thinking in recent decades has held that long-term serial pedophile priests could be cured of their desire for underage boys with a little prayer and a few weeks of R&R; now here's Father Paul Scalia, coming out of the same school of thought, arguing that sexuality is so easy to alter that it can be redirected and fixed for life by membership in a school club.
I don't want to be misunderstood here. Obviously a lot of adolescents are confused about their sexuality, and these kids will believe for a while that their orientation is something other than what it will turn out to be. (Inevitably, a lot more of these kids are going to be gay kids who think they're straight than the other way around.) But a damn school club is not going to lock them into some false sexual orientation for life. If extracurricular activities had such fearsome powers of imprinting, there'd be no ex-Boy Scouts in prison.
Of course, the reason Father Paul believes that outside influences during the teenage years can permanently fix sexuality is that he wants outside influences -- parents, the church -- to lock gay or questioning adolescents permanently into heterosexuality (or, I suppose, permanently celibacy if straightness doesn't take):
In popular usage, the words "gay" and "lesbian" imply a fixed orientation and the living out of a lifestyle.
... Terms such as "same-sex attractions" and "homosexual inclinations" express what a person experiences without identifying the person with those attractions. They both acknowledge the attractions and preserve the freedom and dignity of the person. With that essential distinction made, parents can better oppose the attractions without rejecting the child. (emphasis mine)
Don't want your teenager to be gay? Just tell the kid not to be -- "oppose the attractions." Yeah, that always works.
In certain areas, I wish societal disapproval had more influence than it does. One of these areas is the Catholic Church hierarchy's view of sex. The official church belief is that there's nothing in your pants that can't be prayed away. Rational people, including an awful lot of rank-and-file Catholics, know this is a crock. But the church soldiers on, impervious to influence, as blind and willfully ignorant about sex as right-wing fundamentalist Protestants are about evolution.