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Article: Is continence enough?[Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
ABSTRACT: The ideal of virtue demands not only right choice and right behavior but also right desire in the emotions. Homosexual desire, then, even if it does not result in overt homosexual behavior, is contrary to virtue, and the completion of virtue demands right desire. If a homosexual has no plan to marry, then right desire implies only the removal of homosexual desire and not the revival of heterosexual desire at which reorientation therapy aims. On the other hands, if a homosexual is married or plans to marry, then right desire includes heterosexual desire for one's spouse. If homosexual desire is viewed as an emotional disorder, and not merely as a moral defect, then it may require reorientation therapy to bring about heterosexual desire. The pursuit of virtue, then, may recommend reorientation therapy, but even this recommendation is fairly limited, since reorientation therapy may be burdensome and may not be that effective. In conclusion, married homosexuals or homosexuals planning to marry may have a limited moral obligation to pursue reorientation therapy.