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So Called Ex-Gay Conversions

It's not possible to change someone's sexual orientation, but it is possible to make them miserable over it.

Fundamentalists play on the spiritually and emotionally wounded. Using the tenets of born-again fundamentalism, they try to convince dissatisfied homosexuals - usually young gay men just coming out who are stressed out by family pressure and society's intolerance -that they can change by suppressing their orientation.

The Fundamentalists prey on people who are unhappy. what they can't see or won't admit is that they themselves are the sources of this very unhappiness they claim to be treating.

Countless people have been misled by ex-gay ministries into believing that sexual orientation can be changed, only to find, even years later, that they had found only temporary happiness in the delusion that they had changed. These "ex-gays" no longer call themselves gay but continue to have same-sex feelings, dreams and arousal. Add to that the pain of many spouses of these individuals who thought they had married a heterosexual.

Anyone can suppress one's feelings and live a lie, for a time, but it doesn't work in the long run. Besides, living a lies doesn't seem like much of a Christian ethic. I've known dozens of gay men who at one time or another were pressured or lured into the fundamentalist-run ex-gay movement and all it caused them was more pain. No one I know ever changed. Not only that, no gay person I've ever met has known anyone who changed.

When you look at someone trying to be an "ex-gay" what you find are rather sad, desperate people playing mind games and semantics, no "cures" or lasting changes. The whole motivation behind the movement to change gays is political - fundamentalist and conservative politics dressed up in a lab coat.

The American Psychological Association (750 1st Street NE, Washington DC 20002-4242, Telephone 202-336-5700) has published a free booklet "Answers To Your Questions About Sexual Orientation And Homosexuality" I recommend it highly to anyone who wants unbiased information on this.

The above from: THE DAILY DISPATCH, Moline, Ill. August 3,1995, Guest column by William Stosine

Some so called "ex-gays" claim they have gone straight. However, the research seems clear that trying to change a natural sexual orientation out of fear of God and guilt seldom works. Perhaps it works for the few that weren't really sure or were there orientation was influenced more by emotional issues than biology. It seems clear however, most gays were born that way and trying to change them is forcing them to live a lie.

Some may leave the "gay lifestyle" by altering behavior, but that does not make them heterosexual. They simply become non-practicing gays, that's all. Despite "testimonies" to the contrary, there is not one documented, authenticated case of a actual change in sexual orientation. There has only been change in behavior. Healthy skepticism needs to be exercised of those claiming a heterosexual conversion.

One of many highly documented books on the failure of conversions is "One Nation Under God" which chronicles 40 years of people trying to find a "cure" for being gay. One example is Gary Busse and Michael Cooper the gay couple who founded Exodus, a "ministry" aimed at turning gays into "ex-gays." After a few years of teaching this dubious gospel - spread in pamphlets with titles such as "Unhappy and gay? Join the Exodus" -- they admitted to each other that they had fallen in love, quit their movement and started preaching tolerance and self-acceptance instead. They thus became "ex-'ex-gays.'" "One Nation" exposes many other such attempts of how change groups appropriate terminology of other fashionable therapies - calling themselves a "recovery movement", while actually peddling Victorian values and using fear of God and intimidation to scare people straight, which often leads to suicide, not change. At their most absurd, some suggest that what gay men supposedly ought to do is play football; and for lesbians, what they supposedly need is a makeover and a good manicure. This would be hilarious if it weren't so destructive to so many whose only sin is being just who God made them. Sadly those that turn to Exodus International or the now defunct Quest are only asking for more turmoil and inner-hatred. There are asking for a life of continued guilt and despair. That is all such groups can offer gays who are struggling to come to terms with themselves in a hostile and rejecting world (including, sadly, a church that often joins in the condemnation based on mistranslation and application of the Bible.)

Another example is Kent Philpott's book, The Third Sex, in which he gives the testimonies of six homosexuals who supposedly became heterosexual. Within a year after the book was published, all six of the people written about sent notarized affidavits to the publisher, stating that the book was untrue and that they were all still homosexuals. Nevertheless, the book continued to be printed and sold to an unwary public for eight years afterwards. To this day, people are "praising God" for changes that never took place. The continued publication of that book, along with its promulgation for eight years after having received written denials from the subjects themselves, highlight the extent of deception fundamentalists are willing to go to foster belief in a goal based on illusion rather than reality. With fundamentalism it appears that honesty and truth are expendable items.

The Kinsey Institute has had an open offer for nearly 40 years to report on a single case of a true change in sexual orientation, not just behavior. In 40 years there has not been a single scientifically documented case of changed sexual orientation.

On Prodigy Richard Kennedy Jr:

I worked on a national syndicated TV show. We contacted numerous groups to find individuals who were former homosexuals and were "cured." Getting lists of names, we called each one. One of our first questions was "did you consider yourself homosexual or bisexual before going in for treatment?" everyone of the hundred-plus people we contacted (and remember our names came from the clinics) told us they were bisexual. We never found one who (out of 120 people) was "formerly gay" and "now is straight". We also asked the bisexual "cured" if they still have a sexual desire toward same sex contacts. Almost everyone who had been "cured" claimed to still have such desires. The handful of those "totally cured" were asked when they finished their treatment not one had their "cure" last more than 2 months. We never found a candidate for the "cured" homosexual program, so we had bisexuals instead.

Lee Sinclair on Prodigy in a public posts states:

"I spent 4 years in the ex-gay movement. I worked with the original founder of the Exodus movement. I am thankfully set free and gay through much therapy and spiritual awakenings. It was a devastating experience. It taught me at the time, to hate myself and others. There was very little 'love' involved with the direction of that church of thought. I now feel good about myself again when I quit trying to change into someone I'm not."

Thousands of gay and lesbian Christians who previously sought any means to change have now found healing from the self loathing society and the church has taught them to feel. They have gone on to develop Gay Christian organizations such as Dignity, Integrity, Affirmation, Evangelicals United, and the Universal Fellowship of Metropolitan Community Churches where they can truly share the Good News of God's love for all his people. They have further helped Gays and Lesbians learn to life lives of honesty and integrity, something which Exodus and the other "lie about who you are for the sake of acceptance: organizations can never do. No wonder 30% of gay teenagers attempt suicide when faced with this kind of guilt-instilling and self-loathing education. May God save His suffering gay children from the abuse and despair brought on by the well-intentioned, albeit ignorant and destructive, efforts of uninformed Christians and groups like Quest and Exodus International.

Here is a bibliography of even more material that debunks the "ex-gay" claims of groups like Exodus.

"Ex-Gays? There Are None" by Sylvia Pennington, Lambda Christian Fellowship, PO Box 1967, Hawthorne, CA 90250; Pennington worked for a "deliverance" ministry, but became convinced that it doesn't work nor does God demand it. The book is documented in great detail and discusses the Colin Cook/Homosexuals Anonymous scandal.

Colin Cook, a Seventh-Day Adventist pastor, lived a secret life as a homosexual. He later claimed he had been "changed" and set out to operate a "change ministry" called Quest, out of Reading, Pa. This farce of a ministry attracted desperate parents of gays. guilt-ridden young gay men, and closeted married gay men, taking thousands of dollars for a "program" that turned out to be nothing more than a way for Colin to continue to satisfy his own homosexual needs. One young man wrote, "To those Adventists who would damn me to hell for being gay, I'll look you straight in the eye and say I've already been there. It was a place called Quest." The sad thing is that this program was supported, promoted, and funded by the SDA Church. At the same time, the SDA Church was attempting to sue Kinship International, a legitimate support group which truly ministers to the spiritual, emotional, social and physical well-being of SDA lesbians, gays, bisexuals and their families and friends. SDA Kinship facilitates and promotes an understanding and affirmation within the SDA community through education, advocacy and reconciliation. SDA Kinship believes the Bible does not condemn, or even mention, homosexuality as a sexual orientation. Ellen G. White does not parallel any of the Biblical texts, which are often used to condemn homosexuals. Most of the anguish imposed upon God's children who grow up gay or lesbian has its roots in a serious misunderstanding of what the Bible says. Anyone wanting more information can call their hotline 1-800-4-GAY-SDA or write to Kinship, P.O. Box 3840, Los Angeles, CA 90078 (info posted by Juliana Harvard on Prodigy SDA Topic.)

"Can Homosexuals Change?" by Letha Dawson Scanzoni article in "The Other Side" magazines reprint of a wide array of articles dealing with Christianity and homosexuality. TOS, 300 W Apsley St.,Philadelphia, PA 19144. Not only deals with religious claims, but also psychological claims.

"The REAL Changes Taking Place" by Ralph Blair article in "Open Hands" the journal of the Reconciling Congregations Program of the United Methodist Church (Vol 2,#2, Fall 1986). Documents the failure of the ex-gay movement, noting that most of the founders of these groups (including those that founded Exodus) ultimately return to the gay lifestyle. Dr. Blair has done a lot of work in this area for many years, and published "Ex-Gays" in 1982. Can write Evangelicals Concerned, 311 E. 72nd Street., New York, NY 10021.

Change Minister Convicted of Manslaughter

Rev. T.V. Moreland, pastor of Suburban Baptist Church of Glendale Calf, was convicted 6/22/94 of involuntary manslaughter for the death of Michael

Larkin, who died of a self-inflicted gunshot wound. Larkin had been under pastoral counseling from Rev. Moreland for several months prior to his suicide. Notes and diaries found in Larkin's home and testimony from his friends and family revealed that Rev. Moreland had attempted unsuccessfully to change Larkin's homosexual orientation. According to Reinzi Page, Los Angeles Country Assistant District Attorney, this counseling caused Larkin to fall into a deep depression and was the direct, material cause of his taking his own life.

And more research:

After more than 40 years of research on gender identity and sexual orientation, John Money, director of the Psychohormonal Research Unit of the John Hopkins School of Medicine, has observed that "it is no more possible to change a homosexual orientation into a heterosexual one than it is to change a heterosexual orientation into a homosexual one." He reports that claims of change in orientations when carefully examined turn out to be those of "persons who are bisexual to some degree, but are not 100% homosexual, nor 100% heterosexual."

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