Christine O’Donnell In 2006: Homosexuals Suffer From An “Identity Disorder”

The latest Christine O”Donnell quote doesn’t come from 90’s-era Politically Incorrect:

On Friday I noted here that the Wilmington News Journal ran a 2006 profile of O’Donnell which paraphrased her views, claiming she “considers homosexuality an identity disorder.” But the paper didn’t include any direct quote supporting that.

Now the reporter on the story, Victor Greto, who’s now a professor at Wesley College in Delaware, emails over her full quote from his notes on the interview. Here’s what she said:

“People are created in God’s image. Homosexuality is an identity adopted through societal factors. It’s an identity disorder.”

O’Donnell’s suggestion that gays suffer from a psychological disorder is far worse than other comments about gays that have already gotten media attention, such as her claim that the government spent too much on AIDS and her insistence that “gays get away with so much.”


This would appear to put O’Donnell squarely in the camp of those who liken homsexuality to pedophilia and bestiality.

This news led Chris Barron, Chairman of the gay conservative group GOProud to issue a challenge to O’Donnell:

“Here is what I would love to see — someone actually ask Christine O’Donnell if she stands by statements like this, instead of the failed Castle/DSCC approach of attacking her personal financial problems,” said Barron. “I think Christine O’Donnell has made a lot of statements that are troubling to gay conservatives, and should be considered troubling to all conservatives. I would love for O’Donnell to either defend these statements or tell us that her opinions have matured and changed.”

So far, no response from Camp O’Donnell.

FILED UNDER: 2010 Election, US Politics, , ,
Doug Mataconis
About Doug Mataconis
Doug Mataconis held a B.A. in Political Science from Rutgers University and J.D. from George Mason University School of Law. He joined the staff of OTB in May 2010 and contributed a staggering 16,483 posts before his retirement in January 2020. He passed far too young in July 2021.


  1. Jay says:

    Her statements aside, homosexuality is (aside from any possible hormonal imbalance) behavioral. There is not one single shred of verifiable peer-reviewed scientific evidence that shows people are born gay.
    Again, her language aside, she’s also right about government funding for AIDS. It was and still is a “political” disease in that research for a cure gets more funding that research for cancer and heart disease despite far more people dying from those two than AIDS every year.
    Nothing she is saying is all that controversial. It’s merely the WAY she is saying it.

  2. How, exactly, is being attracted to only members of your own sex behavioral ?

    There have been numerous studies establishing conclusively that this is neither a learned nor a chosen behavior, and the idea that it is some kind of mental disorder is an insult to the integrity of every human being, gay or straight.


  3. Jay says:

    Numerous studies? Which ones? Were they peer reviewed and what scientific conclusions were reached? Again, I repeat – there has never been a single study to date that has withstood scientific and peer review scrutiny proving that people are born gay.
    Dean Hamer is the only one who produced a study that came close and he since disavowed his own research.
    Is it a mental disorder? No. But it is not “insulting” to say that a person’s sexual preference is more likely than not the result of complex biological and psychological interactions as well as other social factors.

  4. Here’s one to start:

    Now, why don’t you provide me with similarly peer-reviewed study showing that homosexuality is an “identity disorder” and note that “studies” from Christian fundamentalists generally won’t be accepted unless they come from mainstream sources

  5. john personna says:

    But can you cure it with a hex?  A love potion?

  6. Love Potion No. 9, perhaps

  7. Bruce Majors says:

    I am gay and if O’Donnell will cut my taxes and reduce government spending and debt I do not care about her personal opinions of gays, masturbation, or wicca.
    I don’t remember her saying anything about imposing these beliefs on me.  Meanwhile Obama wants to regulate by force my light bulbs, burgers, cars and investments.
    A teen Christine O’Donnell went on a date with a goth kid into the occult; go on a date with a Democratic Senator you end up dead in the Chappaquiddick, or at the very least with an unwanted, disowned love child.

  8. Bruce,

    O’Donnell represents the fundamental difference between  conservatives and libertarians. You may trust her not to allow her views on social issues to influence her votes, I don’t know that I trust her.

    Besides that, I don’t have alot of confidence in the intellect of a person who believes outmoded disproven theories about homosexuals and Young Earth Creationism

  9. wr says:

    It’s astonishing to me just how irresponsible these Tea Party voters are. O’Donnell is a young earth creationist who believes that Halloween is danger to our youths — and she knows, because she dabbled in witchcraft — who is incapable of managing her own economic life and lives off campaign contributions long after the election… but Bruce says he’ll vote for her as long as he gets another couple of dollars knocked off his taxes. In other words, the hell with electing people with any hope of actually tackling the serious problems we face as a nation, give me a couple hundred bucks and I’ll be happy while our infrastructure crumbles and millions of Americans slip into poverty.

  10. Jay says:

    Doug, the study you cited proves nothing. Dean Hamer himself has said there is no “gay gene.”
    In addition, I never said it was an “identity disorder.” I made clear that it can be a variety of different reasons including biological factors. You can read more about that here:
    Even so, researchers say that it merely plays a role in the sexuality of people. Other factors, particularly societal and psychological are also factored in. So it is a “choice” in that a guy decides one day, “I want to have sex with dudes”? No. But the notion that people are born gay is just not true.

  11. Simon says:

    Doug, as with all these “exposes” on O’Donnell’s supposedly out there views on sexuality, you seem to have striven mightily to discover that O’Donnell, a Catholic, is in fact… a Catholic. See CCC 2357. Bravo.

  12. Piter says:

    I wonder if this is recent enough for all of the O’Donnell apologists to agree that this sort of statement is unacceptable for a politician to make.

  13. Serra says:

    At this point isn’t it probably fair to ask what the hell is wrong with this lady? She obviously has a lot of issues with sex. She’s obsessed with sex yet apparently disgusted by it. This quote is from 2006 while America was in the middle of two wars, a year after Katrina, and the only issues on her mind are gay sex and masturbation? I’m very sorry if she had a rough childhood or has some body issues or something but running for office isn’t a valid alternative to getting help for her psychological problems.
    At this point she should really drop out of the race, take a few years off and get her mind right, and maybe try this again someday. She’s young enough to have a bright career ahead of her. It’s really sad to see someone with obvious mental health issues destroying themselves because they can’t admit they have a problem. It’s almost like she figures if enough people show up and vote for her it validates her views that sex is dirty and wrong. There can’t be anything wrong with her if all these people agree right? Her whole campaign seems to be some narcissistic therapy session.