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NARTH Goes South Of The Border

Jim Burroway

May 19th, 2008

A. Dean ByrdThe National Association for the Research and Therapy of Homosexuality (NARTH) took their ex-gay message to Mexico a few weeks ago. Sponsored by the Mexican ex-gay group Renacer (“Rebirth”), an “Understanding Homosexuality” conference featuring at least six prominent American ex-gay activists took place May 1-3 at the Sheraton Centro Histórico in Mexico City.

The Spanish language LGBT web site Anodis reported that conference speakers included:

  • NARTH president A. Dean Byrd,
  • NARTH past president Joseph Nicolisi,
  • NARTH president-elect Julie Harren-Hamilton,
  • Desert Hope Ministries founder and director Janelle M. Hallman,
  • Jews Offering New Alternatives to Homosexuality (JONAH) co-director Arthur Goldberg,
  • Venus magazine publisher Charlene Cothran.

According to Anodis, Byrd opened the conference by claiming that he didn’t want to change anyone, and that he respected those who are “defined as openly gay.” He mentioned the 1990 removal of homosexuality from the World Health Organization’s International Classification of Diseases (ICD), but then he went on to describe homosexuality using the clinical sounding acronym SSA, or Same-Sex Attraction, which he describes it as “something [that] happens in the development of the individual.” Byrd then went on to decry the state of research into homosexuality today, claiming that half the research is being conducted by gay people. This, by the way, is a most unscientific claim, one that can be easily disproved by a few quick searches of the PubMed databases on virtually any topic related to homosexuality.

Identifying the hallmarks of sound science is clearly not Dr. Byrd’s strong suit. This is the man who, with Nicolosi, co-authored the recent ex-gay “study” in the pay-to-publish vanity journal Psychological Reports, a paper which reads more like ex-gay propaganda than legitimate social science. In 2002, Byrd cited the work of discredited “researcher” Paul Cameron in a paper published by Regent University.

Meanwhile, other shining examples of “science” include Julie Harren-Hamilton focusing on child sexual abuse as being a critical factor in the development of male homosexuality, and Nicolosi claiming to have treated “hundreds of men” to “reorient their SSA.”

According to Anodis, approximately 300 people paid between 900 to 1,200 pesos (US$87 to $115) for the three day conference.

[Hat tip: Andrés Duque at Blabbeando]

Comments

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Regan DuCasse
May 20th, 2008 | LINK

Fertile ground can be had in desparate countries like Mexico. Forget the drug cartels and violence and economic corruption that plagues that country.
NARTH will convince them that it’s ‘the mariposas’ and ‘maricons’ that are a problem!

This is the sort of predatory nature of the ex gay industry that makes them similar to drug dealers.
They offer a cure all for ‘struggles’ and ‘addiction’ to homosexuality, with no accountability.
Struggle is a part of life, but diverting it to one’s homosexuality is grossly irresponsible and if NARTH doesn’t deliver, their disclaimer will further blame it on who accessed their services to begin with.
Which won’t be cheap in a country with so many poor people.
And it’s a good bet that it’s the gay folks who might be disproportionately among the poor of that country.

They haven’t weighed in on the polygamist revelation in Texas and the Four Corners.
With so many households being WOMAN heavy with mothers and virtually not enough father-you’d think that their own theories about what causes homosexuality would be commented on in this regard.
Wish vulnerability didn’t make people lose their intelligence and put NARTH and every concern like them in their place.
The dustbin of socio political and therapeutic failures.

Lusitanian
May 20th, 2008 | LINK

Well put, DuCasse.

half the research is being conducted by gay people

I believe that was first said by Michael Bailey, that “liberal” self-promoting sex researcher. But I just can’t see what’s wrong with that. If gay people are not to be trusted in talking about gay people, why should we consider straight people to be any more reliable?

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