The dangerous scam of �ex-gay therapies� has been exposed
time and time again. The San Francisco
Chronicle did so in a March 2003 article:
�Ex-gay� therapy claims deceptive
The Conservative Christian
organizations that are increasingly targeting teenagers and young people with
�ex-gay� conferences and therapy are deceiving parents, teens and the public
about the effectiveness of their efforts, according to a report released
Thursday by a gay rights organization.
The report, �Youth in the Crosshairs:
The Third Wave of Ex-Gay Activism,� claims that organizations working to help
people overcome same-sex attraction could be sued because they cause harm
instead of accomplishing what they promise.
�There�s no evidence that conversion
therapy actually works, but there's a growing body of evidence that it can be
extremely harmful and unethical,� said Jason Cianciotto, a study author and
director of research for the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force in New York,
the organization releasing the report.
Even newspapers in less than gay-friendly states have run
stories acknowledging the fraud of �ex-gay therapies� and that every -- that�s every -- medical and mental health
association in America renounces them:
therapy unnecessarily tampers with the mind
Saturday, July 01, 2006
In response to Harlow J. Keith�s June
23 letter, which addressed a June 11 article on the ex-gay ministry Exodus
International, I address a couple of Keith�s misconceptions regarding
homosexuality, reparative therapy and the �only way out� Exodus International
and the evangelical Christian community portray.
Reparative therapy, the
psychotherapeutic process pioneered by Joseph Nicolosi and Charles Socarides,
is widely condemned by the vast majority of mental health professionals,
including the American Psychiatric Association, the American Academy of
Pediatrics, the American Medical Association, the American Psychological
Association and the American Counseling Association. In addition, the National
Association of School Psychologists, the National Association of Social Workers
and the Royal College of Nursing also have renounced it. . . .
The supposed need for reparative
therapy derives solely from this assumption, that homosexuality is a mental
illness and, therefore, in need of treatment. The fact that this assumption is
based on spiritual-scriptural interpretation, rather than on scientific
research and evidence, is apparent in that most reparative-therapy
practitioners and centers are financially backed and supported by conservative
Christian transformational ministries. They maintain that homosexuality is a
socially destructive and undesirable chosen behavior, and that change is
necessary and possible. Despite contradictions with current mainstream research
results, reparative-therapy supporters continue to use biased research to
purport this therapy to be an effective and safe alternative to an unhappy
Reparative therapy is, in short, a
tampering and manipulation of the mind and conscience, the psychological well
being of a human being, something that we as humans do not have the right to
tamper with. It is interesting and peculiar that this segment of the Christian community,
which claims confidence in the power of prayer and the power of the Holy
Spirit, would stoop to and participate in such medically unsound, potentially
psychologically harmful techniques simply to satisfy their own egos and
scriptural understanding. . . .
And now, the head of the nation�s largest �ex-gay ministry�
has also exposed the deception in a June 18, 2007, Los Angeles Times article:
directs Exodus International, widely described as the nation�s largest ex-gay
ministry. But when he addresses the group�s Freedom Conference at Concordia
University in Irvine this month, Chambers won�t celebrate successful �ex-gays.�
he�s not sure he�s ever met one.
With years of
therapy, Chambers says, he has mostly conquered his own attraction to men . . .
[but] he still struggles at times with homosexual temptation. �By no means
would we ever say change can be sudden or complete,� Chambers said.
After �years of therapy� -- that�s very expensive therapy from unlicensed religious �counselors� or
renegade psychologists (the American Psychological Association is currently investigating
�ex-gay therapies�) -- Mr. Chambers is still turned on by other men.
On July 28, 2004, Los
Angeles Times writer Steve Lopez did a background story on Exodus
The Florida-based group was inspired
nearly 30 years ago in Anaheim by charismatic Christian leaders who declared
homosexuality a sin. Just one problem. [The] two men who helped get the
movement started were counseling gays to go straight when, lo and behold, they
fell in love with each other. . . . The two men dumped their wives, abandoned
Exodus, and wore each other�s wedding bands. . . .
Acknowledging and accepting one�s homosexuality are major
steps toward mental health and living an honest life of self-respect. Denying
one�s sexual orientation leads to a disingenuous life of repression, witness
the executive director of Love in Action, another �ex-gay� ministry: �Rev. John
Smid . . . is married to a woman and claims to have left behind �the homosexual
lifestyle,� if not same-sex attractions�
Psychologist Jeffry G. Ford was once the
executive director of Outpost, an �ex-gay� ministry in Minneapolis, Minnesota.
He spent many years as a national speaker for Exodus International. His
firsthand accounts of the �ex-gay� sham and the damage reparative, conversion
and aversion therapies do have been published in peer-reviewed scientific
journals. His seminal
study, �Healing Homosexuals: A Psychologist�s Journey Through the
Ex-Gay Movement and the Pseudo-Science of Reparative Therapy,� appeared in The Journal of Gay and Lesbian Psychotherapy.
In short, �ex-gay therapies� cause shame, isolation,
physical and psychological harm. And that�s exactly
what a former co-founder and a former president of Exodus International just
Former leaders of
ex-gay ministry apologize for �bringing harm'� and causing shame
June 28, 2007
Three former leaders of a ministry that
counsels gays to change their sexual orientation apologized, saying although
they acted sincerely, their message had caused isolation, shame and fear.
The former leaders of the
interdenominational Christian organization Exodus International said Wednesday
they had become disillusioned with promoting gay conversion.
�Some who heard our message were
compelled to try to change an integral part of themselves, bringing harm to
themselves and their families,� the three said in a statement released outside
the Los Angeles Gay & Lesbian Center.
The statement was from former Exodus
co-founder Michael Bussee, who left the group in 1979; Jeremy Marks, former
president of Exodus International Europe, and Darlene Bogle, the founder of
Paraklete Ministries, an Exodus referral agency.
But �ex-gay therapies� still continue. Their underlying
precept is that homosexuality is a mental illness which can be �cured�: the
profit incentive in misdiagnosis.
Aside from current scientific, medical and genetic research
that refutes the �mental illness� claim, consider this irrefutable fact of history: homosexuals have existed as long as
human beings have. From ancient Greece and Rome, to the Christian saints of the
Middle Ages who left a considerable body of love poetry dedicated to their
partners, from prehistoric rock paintings left by the San people in modern day
Zimbabwe to Native American berdache
who were venerated for their �Two-Spirit� orientation, homosexuals have always
been present. One would naturally conclude, therefore, that homosexuality is
part of �God�s plan� and the specific nature Divinity ordained for some
individuals throughout human history.
But �ex-gay� proponents claim that God goofed when making
all those homosexuals: a Divine error they
can correct. Is that the height of hubris and blasphemy, or what?
The self-righteous with a hate-filled pro-discrimination
agenda have always interpreted �God�s� will and cherry-picked the Bible to
support their own sinister purposes. The Noah story was what bible-thumping
Christian bigots used to justify slavery, as Jon Meacham pointed out in The American Gospel:
Pro-slavery advocates had . . . biblical
ammunition. The central text was Genesis 9:25-27, a [post-flood] bizarre
episode involving a drunk Noah and his grandson. . . . [After some heavy
drinking] the old man passed out in his tent, naked, only to be discovered by
Ham, who told his brothers of it. . . . Once he awoke, Noah was furious to
learn Ham had seen him [naked], and cried, �Cursed be Canaan [a son of Ham]; a
slave of slaves shall he be to his brothers.� A tradition developed that the
�sons of Ham� were dark-skinned, and thus was born one of the roots of the
biblical defense of slavery. In the New Testament, Saint Paul�s admonition for
slaves to obey their masters were singled out as somehow having more force than
the whole weight of the Gospels . . .
The Bible decrees many things, including the stoning to
death of non-virgin brides, people who wear clothes made of two different
threads, and keeping women �in their place� as Saint Paul so clearly stated in
First Timothy: �suffer not a woman to teach, nor to usurp authority over the
man, but to be in silence.�
But you don�t hear the Bible-thumpers calling for the murder
of non-virgin brides, the wearers (or manufacturers) of cotton-polyester
clothing, or for women to be silent and subservient. But they are all calling
for action against gays seeking equal civil
rights. Sadly, that includes many African-American clergy whose own history
seems to have taught them nothing: �Anti-gay
forces in religious black community stray from the message of King.�
The �ex-gay� movement is part of the Christianist
agenda. Dominionist James Dobson�s
Focus on the
Family runs its own program called Love Won Out. But inevitably, Truth Wins Out and exposes more lies,
more deception and more truly bizarre �ex-gay therapies,� such as drinking
large amounts of Gator-Aide (to increase masculinity) and those experienced by
Rev. Mel White.
Who�s Mel White? A thorn
in the side of the �ex-gay� movement:
From the 1960s through the early 1990s, the Rev. Mel
White played a behind-the-scenes role in the resurgence of evangelical
Christianity. While pastoring several West Coast churches and working with
national crusades like Youth for Christ, White produced films and ghostwrote
books for a �who�s who� of evangelical leaders, including the Revs. Billy
Graham, Jerry Falwell, D. James Kennedy and Pat Robertson.
his friends and colleagues, White was also a closeted gay man who was nearly
driven to suicide after two decades of struggling to save his marriage -- and,
he believed, his soul -- with �reparative therapies� including electric shock
As noted earlier, these �ex-gay therapies� have no
scientific or medical basis. In fact, all mainstream scientific and medical
associations uniformly denounce them.
And, as CNN reported
on June 27, 2007, the American public is increasingly cognizant of those
scientific and medical facts:
majority: Gays� orientation can�t change
A majority of Americans believe that
gays and lesbians could not change their sexual orientation even if they wanted
to, according to results of a CNN/Opinion Research Corporation poll released
Wednesday [June 26,2007].
It�s the first time in a CNN poll the
majority has held that belief regarding homosexuality.
Fifty-six percent of about 515 poll
respondents said they do not believe sexual orientation can be changed. In
2001, 45 percent of those responding to a CNN/USA Today/Gallup poll held that
belief. In 1998, according to a CNN/Time poll, the number was 36 percent.
�Ex-gay therapies� are nothing more than a Christianist
expression of the Dominionist agenda. No one or no organization makes that
clearer than Peter LaBarbera and his grotesquely misnamed organization:
Americans For Truth is
joining with two other national pro-family organizations that are working
together to form a multi-state outreach this weekend, designed to confront �gay
pride� parade participants with the truth that Jesus Christ can set them free
from the sin of homosexuality.
�Gay pride� parades in Chicago, Atlanta
and Columbus, Ohio, this weekend will receive the hopeful message.
�The truth is, homosexuality is nothing
to be proud of,� said Americans For Truth president Peter LaBarbera. �Christ
has helped set free thousands of people from this destructive lifestyle . . . and
we hope that those who have not closed their minds to God�s truth will . . . open
their hearts to the life-changing Gospel truth on its pages.�
The Virginia-based Family Policy
Network (FPN), in an alliance with Naperville, Illinois-based Americans for
Truth and the Ohio-based Mission America, will fly airplane banners over
so-called �gay pride� parades in Georgia, Illinois and Ohio this weekend that
read, �JESUS CHRIST: WWW. HOPE FOR HOMOSEXUALS.COM.� [link added]
LaBarbera forgot to mention that one of
�sponsors� is Michael
America. Check the Marcavage and Repent America links. Decide for yourself
. . .
The �Jesus� these Christianist
groups refer to is the one they
created in their own malevolent image. Their claim to be �pro-family� is also a
blatant lie. They take every opportunity to denigrate, stigmatize,
disenfranchise, and hurt gay and lesbian parents, their children and their
families. As one of LaBarbera�s most recent statements illustrates, their
self-righteous bigotry knows no bounds:
A pro-family leader says the wife of
Democratic presidential candidate John Edwards has sent a terrible message to
young people. On Sunday, Elizabeth Edwards kicked off San Francisco�s annual
�homosexual pride� parade by voicing support for same-sex �marriage.�
Mrs. Edwards voiced her stance . . . while
speaking to an influential Democratic organization in San Francisco the morning
of the parade. �I don�t know why someone else�s marriage has anything to do
with me,� Edwards said. �I�m completely comfortable with gay marriage.� . . .
�A sad thing about what Elizabeth
Edwards said is that she is a role model,� says Peter LaBarbera of Americans
for Truth Action. �And young children, for example, look up to what she says.
�The more these liberals talk about
homosexual marriage being okay and [that there is] nothing wrong with it, the
more they�re teaching children that this terrible thing -- the destruction of
marriage, the radical redefinition of marriage to accommodate immoral behavior --
is okay,� he adds.
Mrs. Edwards made perfect sense: �I don�t know why someone
else�s marriage has anything to do with me.� But as usual LaBarbera�s remarks
advocated nothing but malignant hate and ignorance. Apparently the president of
�Americans for Truth� missed the
Real Truth of America�s future:
�Young Americans [ages 17 to 29] are more likely than the general public to
favor a government-run universal health care insurance system, an open-door
policy on immigration and the
legalization of gay marriage, according to a New York Times/CBS News/MTV
poll� [italics added].
And it�s not just those heathen secular humanist young
people who are abandoning the dour dogma of fear-mongering fundamentalism. An
October 6, 2006, New York Times article,
titled �Evangelicals Fear the Loss of Their Teenagers,� noted that �evangelical
Christian leaders are warning one another that their teenagers are abandoning
the faith in droves.�
The ranks of Bible-thumping, evangelical fundamentalists are
dwindling, while Dominionists such as LaBarbera continue to make fools of
for �ex-gay therapies,� caveat emptor.
Enjoy those gallons of Gator-Aide and the electrodes attached to your genitals.
And don�t forget to pay the bill. The profit incentive in misdiagnosis includes
bizarre -- and expensive -- �treatments.�