I’ll say it from here until forever. The ex-gay movement, which says gays can and should change into heterosexuals, is dangerous. My fervent belief is not stated to disparage anyone who believes that he or she has changed orientation. If this is your story, good for you. A few individuals I know and love say they are no longer gay through the power of God. They should be respected and accepted as should we all. But I have spoken with and interviewed many more people — now happy, healthy, and still gay or bisexual — who say ex-gay ministries (usually run by fundamentalists) and anti-gay “reparative therapy” caused them great pain and suffering. Some who attempted the “change” efforts gave up on God entirely as a result. And some, who only learned to hate themselves, ended up falling into destructive behaviors or committing suicide.
Yes, there are ex-gay enterprises that put their focus on helping gay fundamentalists resist their orientation and live up to their conservative religious beliefs. For these groups, pushing stronger relationships with God is the primary goal; “change” is touted as being possible, but it is not promised. But many of these organizations also push an agenda that seeks to demean and punish GLBT people under secular law. And that, folks, is dangerous, inhumane, and immoral.
Ex-Gay Watch offers very disturbing news about a dangerous new ex-gay endeavor. XGW editor Mike Airhart writes about an Oct. 29 story that appears on a right-wing news site:
Cybercast News Service reports today that a political coalition representing numerous U.S. ex-gay organizations, including hundreds of local affiliate groups, “is developing a legal strategy to litigate on behalf of people who challenge the proposition that individuals are ‘born gay.'”
The coalition members claim to support “personal choice,” “right to know,” “tolerance,” “policy neutrality” and “equal access” — but only for antigay and ex-gay choices, information, and policy. Several member organizations have lobbied
- for discrimination against gays in employment, housing, and public services
- against social and religious tolerance of homosexuality
- against the availability of pro-tolerance or “pro-gay” information in schools and the media, and
- against gay people serving as leaders in church, government, child care, education, and the media.