Thursday, May 02, 2013

American 'Ex-Gay' Movement Exports Global Hate and Harm

Just as Catholicism and religion in general is slowly dying in the developed western world, so too is the marketability of the fraudulent ex-gay industry.  So what does one do in this line of snake oil marketing?  Focus on ignorant undeveloped nations where selling lies and and "faux science" to an ignorant populace is ever so much easier.  The problem is that the American Christofascist exporting of hate involves real threats of physical harm a even death to LGBT individuals.  The Advocate looks at this pernicious phenomenon.  Here are article highlights:

Is the “ex-gay” movement over yet? Certainly not at the global level. Though the movement shows signs of weakening in the United States, international organizations like Exodus Global Alliance still pose a serious threat to public health, human dignity, and human rights. It’s time to take a good look beyond our borders at the widespread influence of the “ex-gay” movement and its impact on the lives of LGBTQ people around the world, with the help of a new report from Political Research Associates, which examines the problems caused by Exodus in Latin America.

The American Psychological Association has made clear that homosexuality is not a disorder and warns that trying to “cure” it can lead to “intimacy avoidance, sexual dysfunction, depression, and suicidality.” Exodus International president Alan Chambers recently denounced the idea of a “cure” for homosexuality. But Exodus International is in fact only the U.S. arm of a global network. Exodus Global Alliance, the umbrella group for Exodus affiliates all over the world, continues to push the harmful idea that “change is possible.”..

Political Research Associates, a think tank devoted to exposing movements that undermine human rights, has been tracking the mutating Christian right’s anti-LGBTQ agenda for some time. In 1998, PRA published Calculated Compassion: How the Ex-Gay Movement Serves the Right’s Attack on Democracy, a report looking at the growing use of the “ex-gay” myth as a “kinder, gentler” face to the Christian right’s anti-LGBTQ agenda.

Since the time that report was written, public opinion has continued to evolve and respect for diversity has increased. But the “ex-gay” movement continues to adapt. In some cases it even has gained more mainstream approval, particularly abroad. In October 2010, Cape Town, South Africa, hosted 4,000 global evangelical leaders from 198 countries for the Third Lausanne Congress on World Evangelization, the biggest gathering of global evangelical leaders in modern history. Endorsed by major evangelical figures such as Billy Graham and Rick Warren, Lausanne mingled all sorts of evangelicals from around the world for a rare convening. Among them were members of Exodus Global Alliance, a network of “ex-gay” groups. And not only as observers. The alliance was tasked with leading a discussion on “Sexuality, Truth, and Grace.”

No doubt organizers knew the “ex-gay” topic could be controversial. One journalist was told that organizers deliberately left sessions on homosexuality off the schedule “to avoid pre-conference publicity” — yet “each of their daily sessions were full.”

Exodus Global Alliance puts the face of “Christian compassion” on homophobia — and by hiding in “ex-gay” ministries, prevents governments and psychological associations from cracking down on their “religious liberty” to help those suffering from unwanted same-sex attraction. However, the idea that they are offering solicited aid is specious at best.  

The claim that gays can and should be “healed” is repeated by such antigay Ugandan pastors as Archbishop Henry Orombi (chair of the Africa Host Committee of the 2010 Lausanne Congress) and Martin Ssempa, and politicians like David Bahati, the sponsor of Uganda’s “Kill the Gays” bill.

As the Christian right’s anti-LGBTQ agenda continues to spread globally, we must have a unified and vigilant approach to stopping it. Cross-border solidarity among those challenging “ex-gay” ministries is vital and worth additional investment. U.S. advocates can challenge the international “ex-gay” organizations and the companies that benefit from them.

Like fundamentalist religion, the "ex-gay" ministries are a vile and dangerous evil that must be stamped out.  The ugliness and hate that underlie these  fraudulent "ministries" need to be exposed and proponents shown to be the political and self-enriching whores that they are in fact. There is nothing nice about these people and they deserve no respect or deference.  The exult in ignorance, hate and bigotry.

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