OK, kiddo! Here are all the fantastically amazing posts tagged with Ex-gays
Encouraging news coming out of California this week! The state senate is quickly passing some new legislation that would ban the practice of applying the unscientific and discredited practice of gay “conversion therapy” on anyone under the age of 18. The bill would also make anyone over the age of 18 sign a waver acknowledging that the practice is ineffective and harmful before seeking such therapies.
Conservative groups are already up in arms, saying that the ban tramples the rights of parents to “seek appropriate psychological care for their children.” According to the American Psychological Association and the American Academy of Pediatrics, however, there is no circumstances under which such therapy is ever considered appropriate. Both organisations have warned, in no uncertain terms, that sexual orientation is unchangeable, and any attempts to treat being gay as a disorder are likely to result in serious psychological harm.
Canada, incidentally, does not ban conversion therapy. In fact, it’s a registered charitable activity here. Here’s hoping that California’s proposed legislation is signed into law, and that Canada follows suit!
- California may ban gay teen ‘conversion’ therapy [Associated Press]
Here’s another win for science! A controversial study conducted in 2001 that claimed a small minority of gay people were able to change their sexual orientation from gay to straight has been retracted by its author, admitting that the study simply did not survive the peer review process and that its conclusions were unsupported. In fact, no study suggesting that sexual orientation is changeable has ever been successfully reproduced or has survived the rigors of scientific scrutiny. Of course, I’m sure that “ex-gay” organizations, like Exodus, will be updating their promotional material to reflect this retraction immediately.
New Zealand has tossed a purely anti-gay organization to the curb after it had applied for charitable status in the country.
Exodus Global Alliance, an U.S.-based religious organisation whose goal is to keep alive the myth that gay people can be cured through reparative therapy and prayer, was seeking tax benefits through charitable status before it was soundly rejected. The commission reviewing the application was thorough in their justification, noting that since homosexuality was not a recognized mental disorder, it did not need curing. While the commission cited the American Psychological Association in their decision, they could have just as easily added the American Medical Association, the American Academy of Pediatrics, the American Counselling Association, the American Psychiatric Association, and several other well-respected organisations who have all gone on record to say that sexual orientation not only isn’t a disorder, and not only can’t be changed, but that all attempts to treat homosexuality as a disorder can cause significant psychological harm.
Knowing this, Exodus has been very careful recently when advertising its claims. A careful observer will note that they don’t even define what they mean when they say homosexuals can “change” (normally this amounts to promoting lifelong chastity). Still, that doesn’t stop countless people from trying their methods, fed by the bizarre claim that there are tens of thousands of “ex-gays” out there.
In reality, Exodus is doing demonstrable, but incalculable, harm to people everywhere. The ministries’ success stories amount, essentially, to brainwashing. A large number of participants end up confused and depressed after being taught to hate their natural sexual orientation. It’s not a surprise therefore that the group’s failures are spectacular. Michael Bussee and Gary Cooper, two of Exodus’ co-founders, quit the group shortly after they formed it and married each other in a commitment ceremony. In 2007, two other former Exodus leaders joined Bussee and issued an apology for their role in the organisation, saying that they are all openly gay. Just this year, Bussee confessed that he had never seen one Exodus member actually change their sexual orientation.
Given all this, it’s expected that New Zealand would have rejected the application for charitable status, but it’s not a surprise that Exodus was seeking it. Exodus is primarily a religious organisation with a strong political goal that relies on the worldwide spread of their myth. Anti-gay lobby groups use the existence of organisations like Exodus to promote the notion that there is no such thing as gay people—only straight people who are caught in sin. And with no such thing as a real gay person, there’s no need for equal rights such as marriage, employment and housing protections, and so forth.
Good for New Zealand for siding with the medical community and seeing through all of Exodus’ nonsense. It’s too bad Canada isn’t as wise in this respect. Exodus Global Alliance is, sadly, a registered charity in Canada.
- No tax break in work to ‘cure’ homosexuals [The Press]
The idea that homosexuality can be eliminated through prayer is about as old as it is wrong. I like to think that there aren’t many people who still believe it, but just this week a member of the UK’s large Conservative party declared, on record, that homosexuality is “the work of demons,” and can be cured through “the power of prayer.”
You know who else thinks that gays can be turned straight? George Rekers, one of the United State’s most prominent anti-gay activists. He, along with his good friend, James Dobson, founded the Family Research Council, a large anti-gay organization whose initiatives have caused incalculable suffering. He actively sought to end all legal protections for gay citizens ranging from marriage rights and adoption rights to simple protection from hate crimes. He also encourages parents to send their young teens to discredited and harmful rehabilitation camps so they can be “cured” of homosexuality.
Now, this has happened enough times that you can probably just assume where this is going, but guess who was caught hiring a young, male prostitute from one of the web’s most prominent gay escort sites to accompany him on a European vacation? (Here’s a hint: it’s George Rekers.)
Rekers, who was photographed with his rent boy at the airport, claims he simply hired the sex worker to help him carry his luggage. I guess he probably wouldn’t have been satisfied with the complimentary help that most airports provide. Plus, luggage carrying usually requires the sort of “smooth, sweet, tight ass” that Reker’s luggage-carrier advertised on his gay escort website. (You know, the gay escort site where Reker found him… to carry luggage.)
If you want to hear from Rekers himself on the topic of everything gay, be sure to check out his booklet, “Prevention of Homosexuality,” which can be picked up at any of the pray-away-the-gay seminars hosted by Exodus International. (Also available in Portuguese! A Prevenção da Homossexualidade.)
(Hat tip to Wayne Besen over at Truth Wins Out for the story.)
- Homosexuality is the work of demons, says influential UK Tory [Digital Journal]
- Christian right leader George Rekers takes vacation with “rent boy” [Miami New Times]
- Leading Ex-Gay Activist Caught On Vacation With ‘Rent Boy’ [Truth Wins Out]
California is advancing a bill that will repeal a bizarre “gay cure” law from 1950. The law states that “the State Department of Mental Health shall plan, conduct and cause to be conducted scientific research into the causes and cures of sexual deviation, including [...] the causes and cures of homosexuality.”
A bill to strike the ancient law advanced on a 4-0 vote, with three abstentions from members who supported the removal of the homosexuality reference, but would still like the law on the books to research sexual predators.
No word on whether or not the state will next stop its investigations of crop failures due to witchcraft.
- Calif. considers repealing law to study, cure gays [Associated Press]
- Calif. Looks to Change Gay “Cure” Law [NBC Bay Area]
The American Psychological Association has finished a two-year review of their 1997 policy denouncing reparative, conversion therapy for gays. The final verdict: “There is no evidence that sexual orientation change efforts work.”
This latest investigation, launched in 2007, reviewed over 80 studies on the subject of gay conversion therapies published between 1960 to present. The 183-page conclusion, which was released on Wednesday, states that “contrary to claims of sexual orientation change advocates and practitioners, there is insufficient evidence to support the use of psychological interventions to change sexual orientation.”
The APA removed homosexuality from its list of mental disorders in 1973, and has warned that any attempt to change sexual orientation can be harmful to the healthy development of individuals. With this latest report, the APA also condemns non-professionals who portray homosexuality as a developmental disorder, saying that they should instead “increase family and school support and reduce rejection of sexual minority youth.”
While the report is all well and good, this exhaustive review really just reinforces what medical professionals have already known for years: gay conversion therapies don’t work because there’s nothing to cure. Whether you’re gay, lesbian, straight, or anything in-between, you’re every bit as worthy of love as anyone else!
Kari Simpson, an anti-gay activist, has filed a complaint against the B.C. Education Ministry for not doing enough to help students who “suffer from homosexuality and other dysfunctional sexual orientations.”
The bizarre complaint goes on to allege that schools simply aren’t turning enough gay students straight. As Simpson puts it:
Sexual re-orientation therapies have helped thousands of individuals recover from such dysfunctional orientations. School counsellors are being denied the tools to be effective advocates for students in need of sexual re-orientation help and they should have access to resources and training that will equip them to properly counsel students.
Gee, that’s just awful. Think of all those thousands of poor, suffering gays that were denied their right to re-orientation by that callous school board.
Odd, though, don’t you think, that this human rights complaint had to be filed by a Christian activist instead of just one of those thousands of suffering students who were denied a gay cure. (Though, frankly, the only suffering I’ve ever endured as a gay person is from people like Kari.)
See, what Kari already knows—but chooses to ignore—is that all peer-reviewed research into reparative conversion therapy for gays has not only shown that it’s completely ineffective, but that it’s demonstrably harmful to one’s well-being. That’s why every respected medical and professional organisation has gone on record to condemn the very idea, including The American Psychological Association, The American Academy of Pediatrics, The American Medical Association, The American Counselling Association, The American Psychiatric Association, etc., etc., ad nauseam.
If I had to take a gander at it—which I don’t, but it’ll be fun—I’d say that Kari is filing the human rights complaint for two reasons. First, the Human Rights Commission has a history of protecting the rights of gays, and a small subset of religious activists feel it’s at their expense. By launching a destined-to-fail complaint she is setting herself up for some kind of hilarious martyrdom for a tiny, but delightfully obsessed group of nuts, which she can then use to further criticize the commission. Second, she gets a venue in which she can repeat the myth that there’s really no such thing as gay people to begin with: just straight people who need help escaping their sin.
Disingenuous compassion has been a failing strategy for these activists for years. This time won’t be any different. It’s just too bad that she has to waste valuable time from the people who have real human rights violations to report.
CTV has pulled an ad for a Christian, ex-gay ministry after it was found to violate the station’s ethical standards.
The ad, which featured an unknown person claiming to have changed his sexual orientation from gay to straight, hinted that recent advancements in equality for gay people has somehow been preventing the public from learning about him:
You hear about gay rights, gay marriage, and the gay lifestyle being taught in our public schools to children. But what many people don’t realize and seldom hear about is that many homosexuals don’t want to be homosexual. What many who are struggling with homosexuality don’t realize and seldom hear is that they can change. I should know. For 13 years I used to be one.
Ex-gay reparative therapy is often promoted by religious organizations and lobby groups, but professional and medical organisations unanimously reject the notion that sexual orientation is something that can and should be changed. The American Psychological Association, American Academy of Pediatrics, American Medical Association, American Counseling Association, and American Psychiatric Association have all gone on record to say that ex-gay ministries are ineffective at best, and psychologically harmful at worst.
CTV has apologised for the ad, noting that they “do not condone, promote or engage in discrimination against anyone based on [...] sexual orientation”.
Terrance Lewis, a 60-year old therapist and former Bible college instructor from Winnipeg, has been found guilty of sexually manipulating a male patient who was seeking therapy to turn from gay to straight.
The 21-year old patient, who began therapy after his parents caught him looking at gay pornography on the Internet, was told that special “touch” sessions would turn him straight:
[The therapy was to] assist me to be straight and to live a straight life.
The scenario was that [Lewis] would be my wife on our honeymoon night. He would say, “When you are kissing me, you are not kissing me, you are kissing your girlfriend,” trying to make me comfortable kissing a girlfriend.
He said I was to tell no one about it because no one would understand.
These special therapy sessions took place in various locations throughout Winnipeg, including the Fun Mountain waterslides, the floodways surrounding the city, and Lewis’ car. This continued until the patient started seeing a different therapist, who immediately contacted the police.
Reparative therapy is often supported by anti-gay and religious groups who believe that sexual orientation is a choice that can be reversed. This attitude is rejected, however, by numerous professional and medical organisations. The American Psychological Association, American Academy of Pediatrics, American Medical Association, American Counseling Association, American Psychiatric Association, National Association of Social Workers, and probably many other professional organizations that start with “American” or “National,” have all gone on record to say that reparative therapy is unnecessary and ineffective at best, and actively harmful at worst.
Hat Tip to Wayne Besen at Truth Wins Out, an organisation that counters and discredits the ex-gay movement.
- Man found guilty in gay “therapy” case [Winnipeg SUN]
- Former Bible college counsellor guilty of sex assaults [Canada.com]