Sunday, April 22, 2012

A Schism at Exodus International?

The "ex-gay" crowd are facing more and more legitimate scientific evidence that their claims that gays can "change" is little more than self-serving horse shit.  Why self-serving?  Because it gives "ex-gays for pay" a career they'd otherwise be without, it provides snake oil merchants with a source of income, and it provides a tool to Christofascists who seek to dupe elected officials with the "choice myth" in order to oppose LGBT equality under the civil laws.  The most recent blow to the "ex-gay" cause was Robert Sptizer's retraction of his 2003 research that supported the theory that at least a small percentage of reparative therapy participants might actually be able change their sexual orientation.  Sensing the drift of where the science is going, Exodus International president Alan Chambers has modified his claims concerning "change."  This has caused a shit storm with some within the fraudulent "ex-gay" industry as Warren Throckmorton notes.  Here are some highlights:

Apparently, Exodus President Alan Chambers’ recent comments about change of sexual orientation have not been well received by some Exodus ministry leaders. Earlier today, Andy Comiskey posted a link on his website which called for changes at Exodus in light of his disagreements with the Exodus President.

The controversy relates to Mr. Chambers recent statements that “99.9% [of people who have tried] have not experienced a change in their orientation.”

Comiskey’s newsletter comes just days after Robert Spitzer retracted his 2003 paper on change efforts. If anything, Chambers seems to be articulating a stance more in line with where many researchers are moving, without changing his basic theological position. Perhaps, it is inevitable that tension will come between those who continue to promote change and those see Exodus as a support group for same-sex attracted evangelicals. 

I have long argued that these programs need to be shut down for being both fraudulent and dangerous.  Sadly, some in the Christianist set care nothing about the harm that these programs do to participants.  Having known individuals who went through these programs, all the did was truly damage them emotionally.

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