Sunday, November 07, 2010

Ex-Gay Quackes Destroying Lives Around the World

My first real plunge into activism involved exposing "ex-gay" poster boy Michael Johnston to be a fraud. While Johnston was making a comfortable living peddling the lie that he had been "cured" of homosexuality by accepting Jesus, in reality he was sleeping around with men while using a false identity. His "cure" was bullshit and fortunately his career as a high profile "ex-gay" has pretty much been ended. But the Christianists and their allies continue to find "ex-gays for pay" like Johnston to continue their marketing of the "ex-gay" lie. Over this weekend Wayne Besen's Truth Wins Out and other groups have gathered in Philadelphia to counter the fraudulent "ex-gay" myth cynically promoted by NARTH, Focus n the Family's "Love Wins Out," Exodus International, and ex-convict Arthur Goldberg's "Jews Offering New Alternatives to Homosexuality (Jonah)."
All of the legitimate medical and mental health associations condemn the reparative therapy snake oil that is the stock and trade of these organizations. So why do these lies continue? Because these slime bags (1) use the "ex-gay" myth to dupe politicians into believing that sexual orientation is a choice and (2) rake in lots of money for themselves. In my view, the most nasty and tawdry whore has more moral integrity than these frauds who wrap themselves in the banner of religion. With the "ex-gay" sales pitch becoming more difficult to peddle in America, the parasites of the "ex-gay" movement are increasingly taking their poisonous message overseas to prey on the ignorant and uneducated. Here are some highlights from The Advocate:
It’s the modern version of snake-oil, or to put it in a more modern context, those electrodes that promise you six-pack abs with no exercise. And while we may laugh, these folks are not only still taken seriously in some quarters –popping up on cable television with regularity or trotted out as “balance” in coverage of LGBT issues and religion – they are no joke to be taken lightly. They continue to destroy lives here and are taking the show on the road in other countries around the world. As you can see, the pernicious message of these groups cuts across religious denominations and it will take a diverse coalition to stop the suffering they cause.
And while scientists have utterly discredited the “ex-gay” movement, and these organizations have become laughingstocks for many in our community, much of the harm done by the “ex-gay” movement goes underreported – and it has a far broader reach than one might think.
Just as we see the “ex-gay’ industry waning in the United States, it is rearing its ugly head in Asia, Africa, Brazil, China, Europe, the Middle East, India, Latin America and Canada. One organization, Homosexuals Anonymous, has chapters in El Salvador, New Zealand and Germany. A horrified French journalist recently asked me how this harmful industry could be growing in the 21st century outside the United States. My answer is simple: Follow the money and follow the fear.
Satellite broadcasting has made it possible to spread the “ex-gay” message to more countries than ever before, and evangelical TV networks such as Trinity Broadcasting Network and Daystar Television Network have taken up the initiative in doing so. Africa, where many countries criminalize homosexuality, has proven particularly fertile ground – with viciously hateful consequences.
[Many] religious leaders have no qualms whatsoever about instilling the
message that homosexuality is nothing more than a “lifestyle choice.”
Why wouldn’t many of our children and teenagers, having been taught that LGBT kids are choosing to embrace a sinful “lifestyle” that is despised by God, seek to punish their LGBT peers for their “decision” through acts of cruelty? Why wouldn’t they see them as “other” and “less than?” The evidence is clear: the message that homosexuality can be “repaired” does not just ruin lives – it ends them.

1 comment:

libhom said...

So much of what the Christian Taliban does is fraudulent. This certainly is the most extreme example, though.