¨If people are not born gay, as anti-gay activists claim, then it should be possible for individuals to abandon homosexuality. This view is buttressed among religiously motivated anti-gay activists by the idea that homosexual practice is a sin and humans have the free will needed to reject sinful urges.
A number of “ex-gay” religious ministries have sprung up in recent years with the aim of teaching homosexuals to become heterosexuals, and these have become prime purveyors of the claim that gays and lesbians, with the aid of mental therapy and Christian teachings, can “come out of homosexuality.” Exodus International, the largest of these ministries, plainly states, “You don’t have to be gay!” Another, the National Association for Research and Therapy of Homosexuality, describes itself as “a professional, scientific organization that offers hope to those who struggle with unwanted homosexuality.”
“Reparative” or sexual reorientation therapy — the pseudo-scientific foundation of the ex-gay movement — has been rejected by all the established and reputable American medical, psychological, psychiatric, and professional counseling organizations. In 2009, for instance, the American Psychological Association adopted a resolution, accompanied by a 138-page report, that repudiated ex-gay therapy. The report concluded that compelling evidence suggested that cases of individuals going from gay to straight were “rare” and that “many individuals continued to experience same-sex sexual attractions” after reparative therapy. The APA resolution added that “there is insufficient evidence to support the use of psychological interventions to change sexual orientation” and asked “mental health professionals to avoid misrepresenting the efficacy of sexual orientation change efforts by promoting or promising change in sexual orientation.” The resolution also affirmed that same-sex sexual and romantic feelings are normal.
Some of the most striking, if anecdotal, evidence of the ineffectiveness of sexual reorientation therapy has been the numerous failures of some of its most ardent advocates. For example, the founder of Exodus International, Michael Bussee, left the organization in 1979 with a fellow male ex-gay counselor because the two had fallen in love. Alan Chambers, current president of Exodus, said in 2007 that with years of therapy, he’s mostly conquered his attraction to men, but then admitted, “By no means would we ever say that change can be sudden or complete." HERE
Evelyn Schlatter is a research fellow at the Southern Poverty Law Center. She is the author of Aryan Cowboys: White Supremacists and the Search for a New Frontier, 1970-2000.
Robert Steinback is deputy editor of the Southern Poverty Law Center's Intelligence Report magazine and Hatewatch blog. Prior to joining SPLC, he worked for 24 years at The Miami Herald as a reporter, editor and columnist.
¨Ever since born-again singer and orange juice pitchwoman Anita Bryant helped kick off the contemporary anti-gay movement more than 30 years ago, hard-line elements of the religious right have been searching for ways to demonize homosexuals — or, at a minimum, to find arguments that will prevent their normalization in society. For the former Florida beauty queen and her Save Our Children group, it was the alleged plans of gays and lesbians to “recruit” in schools that provided the fodder for their crusade. But in addition to hawking that myth, the legions of anti-gay activists who followed have added a panoply of others, ranging from the extremely doubtful claim that homosexuality is a choice, to unalloyed lies like the claims that gays molest children far more than heterosexuals or that hate crime laws will lead to the legalization of bestiality and necrophilia. These fairy tales are important to the anti-gay right because they form the basis of its claim that homosexuality is a social evil that must be suppressed — an opinion rejected by virtually all relevant medical and scientific authorities. They also almost certainly contribute to hate crime violence directed at homosexuals, who are more targeted for such attacks than any other minority in America.¨
Most days throughout this Holiday Season 2010 my blog will present you and yours with the GIFT OF TRUTH AND REAL FACT regarding 10 key myths propagated by the anti-gay movement, along with the truth behind the propaganda. Truth is a big gift and we give thanks to our blog-world-associates Evelyn Schlatter and Robert Steinback. Leonardo Ricardo HERE
· Thanks to Evelyn Schlatter and Robert Steinback
· Thanks to The Child Molestation Research and Prevention Institute
· Thanks to SPLC INTELLIGENCE REPORT/AlterNet
· Thanks to Flickr Photosharing, Moonjazz
· Thanks to The Reverend Dr. Jerry Maneker HERE · Thanks to Professor Gregory Herek, University of California, Davis
· Thanks to The American Academy of Pediatrics
· Thanks to The American Psychological Association
· Thanks to The American Psychiatric Association
· Thanks to The Child Welfare League of America
· Thanks to A Christian Voice for Lesbian, Gay, Bi and Transgender, sidebar
· Thanks to National Organization on Male Sexual Victimization
· Thanks to Christine Mueller, professor of history at Reed College
· Thanks to Historian Jon David Wynecken
· Thanks to Matthew Shepard Hate Crimes Prevention Act
· Thanks to The Palm Center, University of California at Santa Barbra
· Thanks to Lt. Colonel Victor Fehrenbach
· Thanks to Richard J. Wolitski, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
· Thanks to Flickr Photo Sharing
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