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Warren Throckmorton Speaks Out Against Uganda Conference

Jim Burroway

March 5th, 2009

The very same Ugandan online portal which broke the story about the three American anti-gay activists speaking at an anti-gay conference in Kampala has an update featuring comments by American psychologist Warren Throckmorton.

The Uganda Pulse web site originally broke the story on February 22, in an article which was little more than a press release by Stephen Langa of the Kampala-based Family Life Network. That article revealed that Nazi revisionist and Watchmen On the Walls co-founder Scott Lively, Exodus International board member Don Schmierer, and Caleb Lee Brundidge of Richard Cohen’s International Healing Foundation will be conducting a seminar on homosexuality in Kampala beginning tomorrow today. Throckmorton’s response appeared in the same online portal today, in an article whose title appears to identify Throckmorton as a gay activist:

…Throckmorton says that he believes it is a big mistake for these US people to go to Uganda and discuss prevention of homosexuality when they are not scientists and have no training to discuss these matters in a reliable or factual manner. He says people who are involved are not qualified to speak about the causes or change of homosexuality.

“None of them have any research on the topic or scientific qualifications to understand the research on the subject. They will be spreading old ideas about homosexuality which even Christian psychologists in the US and Europe have dismissed as without support,” he says.

He says that one of the presenters has a significant problem with credibility. “Caleb Brundidge is affiliated with Extreme Prophetic here in the US. He leads groups to mortuaries to attempt to raise the dead! He believes God drops jewels and gold dust on worshippers but refuses to gain verification of these claims. He also claims he was gay and changed. Given his other claims, it is difficult to take any of his claims seriously.

I also believe it is dangerous for those who might struggle to admit their struggle in Uganda when it might land them in trouble with the authorities,” he says in a commentary sent to our reporter after we broke the story of the Conference.

“Mr. Schmierer is a board member for Exodus International and he should not be promoting questionable theories of prevention in a country where just admitting being gay can lead to serious consequences,” he adds.

In 2004, Dr. Throckmorton produced the ex-gay video “I Do Exist,” which came about as an outgrowth of his association with PFOX. Since then, he has become increasingly critical of PFOX, NARTH and Exodus, and he has spoken against the particular form of ex-gay therapy known as “Reparative Therapy.” He continues to support “sexual identity therapy” for those who request it, and he supports the right of providers to counsel their clients to “find congruence between religious beliefs and sexual feelings.” Last year, Noé Gutierrez, the star of “I Do Exist,” denounced the ex-gay movement, and said he now considered himself gay and Christian. ”I Do Exist” is still available, Throckmorton says, on a limited basis.

You can read more about Throckmorton’s criticisms of the Kampala conference here and here.

Click here to see BTB’s complete coverage of recent anti-gay developments in Uganda.

Comments

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jOHN
March 5th, 2009 | LINK

This is so scary….Could this just be a ploy by the Uganda government to get gay people to show up only to arrest them or even to identify them and subject them to something in the future?

The whole idea is scary and surly not something to trust.

Richard W. Fitch
March 5th, 2009 | LINK

Throckmorton is a very interesting player in the world of conservative religious commentary. He has his own blog which is frequently reproduced by the group http://www.crosswalk.com. His views seem to sway between right and center, but he has been promptly outspoken when current events completely go off the scale in denigrating LGBT issues. His post regarding the Uganda conference is a good example; even though he would mostly be seen as a member of the Religious Right, he is willing to call them when they are NOT right.

Timothy Kincaid
March 5th, 2009 | LINK

Warren is not pro-gay. But he is pro-honesty.

Ephilei
March 5th, 2009 | LINK

This is why I like Throckmorton. I disagree with him and still respect him.

Side note: Is Yarhouse for reparative therapy or against? His writing with Throckmorton implies he is not, but his writing with Jones implies he is.

L. Junius Brutus
March 5th, 2009 | LINK

Throckmorton is the only one of the ex-gay advocates whom I respect. He’s a true believer, not someone who is using this as a facade to be anti-gay.

Regan DuCasse
March 5th, 2009 | LINK

Throckmorton isn’t someone that those outside of this discussion could differentiate in any way.
He supports being ex gay. And because he does, much of the discriminatory laws on the books and being currently created rest on supporters of being ex gay saying it’s possible, they exist.
Therefore, civil rights and protections are not necessary for gay people.

As Lively and Co go to Uganda for bigger fish and influence, does anybody in Uganda give a shit what Throckmorton thinks?

Regan DuCasse
March 5th, 2009 | LINK

In other words, Throckmorton doesn’t have to use being ex gay or support it to be anti gay. Anti gay laws use ex gays.
Period.

And some here might believe Throckmorton is pro honesty, I’m not so sure about that, he can be infuriatingly disingenuous enough for me to wonder about that.

grantdale
March 5th, 2009 | LINK

Hmmm, let me put something to you. Call me ‘uncivil’ for daring to raise the awkward question.

I don’t think there is anything particularly honest in down-playing or ignoring Exodus’ work with Lively. Whether you regard being disingenuous as a type of dishonesty will colour your view on this.

Note, carefully, that until called on it Warren Throckmorton’s criticism of the conference had focussed on only one of the two non-Exodus people.

The kooky-kounsellor. An easy target. Especially easy given he’s also a disciple of Throckmorton’s (latter-day) bête noire, Richard Cohen.

However, kooky-kounsellors are a dime a dozen in Exodus. They are not news.

More significantly, what is problematic for both Exodus and Throckmorton as an active apologist for Exodus is the connection to Scott Lively: a man who is known to be working to make homosexuality a crime, and a man whose views have been infamous for years.

The fact that Exodus is — once again — specifically involved in a country that already has homosexuality as a crime and in a country where there is a violent public pogrom against gay men and women SHOULD focus attention on the official Exodus sanction of a person like Lively.

It is these types of activities and these types of connections to people like Lively that go directly against the public relations face that Exodus has been attempting to re-structure over the past 2 years.

The PR face that pretends Exodus is simply about ‘helping’ people who ‘chose’ to go to them. The PR face that scrubs long-standing references to Paul Cameron, without apology. The PR face that publicly announces Richard Cohen to be a menace, but then quietly rebuilds connections with him. The PR face that presents Ken Hutchenson as an official speaker, and ignores knowing anything about Watchmen on the Walls (and their activities with, oh hello, Scott Lively).

Throckmorton’s claim to be blindingly unaware of Scott Lively seems at best to be highly implausible. (It’s outrageously false in the case of Exodus itself.) I do note that Warren has shifted from being unaware of Lively to now offering up forgetfulness on his part.

But, one can think, he’d also need to claim some form of deniability if he didn’t want to publicly address a far bigger issue at the very heart of Exodus itself. It’s not about the easily criticised kooky-kounsellors: it’s about the toxic anti-gay environment that Exodus is but one arm of.

I don’t find anything particularly honest about being a PR mouthpiece for Exodus and choosing to suppress, deflect or down-play Exodus’ involvement with people like Scott Lively.

Lynn David
March 6th, 2009 | LINK

Warren Throckmorton is not likely to be a gay advocate because of his religious convictions; however, after reading his blog for some time now, I believe he is coming to a conclusion that homosexuality is biologically-based. He has of late questioned whether homosexuality is based in familial strife, the cause of a lessor feeling of masculinity or even caused by what is termed as ‘abuse’ and seems to be coming to the thinking that homosexuality exists first in a young person.

It might also be interesting to know that concerning views he has expressed in his Crosswalk Blog on homosexuality, some commentors have called likened him to the devil. “Honest” is the best term for Throckmorton.

I think we expect some of what we know from our own ‘need-to-know’ concerning someone such as Lively (such as the acrimony he has riled up against gay people in the Baltic states and among Russian emigres) to be known by all in the “gay biz.” I don’t fault Throckmorton concerning his lack of knowledge about Lively. You cannot expect everyone to know the full lexicon of anti-gay hate-mongers from A-Z.

grantdale
March 6th, 2009 | LINK

Lynn David,

Are you suggesting that Warren Throckmorton apparently invested Caleb Lee Brundidge extensively… but didn’t even bother with Scott Lively?

(Don Schmierer we can safely assume he was already on ready terms with).

Doesn’t it strike you as odd that if two (claimed) unknown people appeared on a press release that you would only investigate one person?

I know we’d be checking on both, assuming we knew nothing of either.

Warren would too, we are certain. Why he has therefore subsequently ‘forgotten’ all about Scott Lively is more telling than anything. We’ve already given our reasoning for why he would do that.

Ignore what we or anyone are claiming: think it through for yourself, one step at a time :)

Timothy Kincaid
March 6th, 2009 | LINK

grantdale…

It may well be that Brundidge was the easier participant to ridicule.

It’s like a conference with Rush Limbaugh, Ann Coulter and David Dukes. When writing about such an event, I would probably focus most on Dukes. Not because I approve of Limbaugh or Coulter, but because Dukes is by far the more extreme.

To Throckmorton, Lively’s anti-gay agenda may be excessive, but it is no where near as radical and bizzare of a theological position as is trying to raise the dead or claiming that God is showering people with gold and jewels from Heaven.

grantdale
March 6th, 2009 | LINK

Indeed Timothy, but personally I’d rather have someone foolishly trying to raise people from the dead than be deaded myself or see someone deading other people.

The alive-again loon is no threat.

The you’re-dead loon is.

Sorry, them’s the order of my priorities :)

ps: we did say Brundidge was the soft target. Plainly he’s a sandwich short of a picnic. Not sure if you were acknowledging that, or pointing it out.

John
March 6th, 2009 | LINK

Have to agree with grantdale. I care far less about a loon creaping around mortuaries screaming, “Lazarus,get up and walk!” than I do about a guy like Lively who tries to justify the brutal murder of an innocent man in a park in Sacramento.

Lively is connected to violence, and I have a hard time believing that Throckmorton isn’t familiar with this guy.

Lynn David
March 6th, 2009 | LINK

I’d say that Brundidge, whose association with Cohen, would be someone more on the psychology professor’s mind – someone more associated with his own professional capacities and divergent from his religious viewpoint. Nothing more, nothing less. I don’t expect absolute perfection from him as you seem to do, I realize the guy is simply human with his own priorities.

John
March 6th, 2009 | LINK

Lynn David wrote: I don’t expect absolute perfection from him as you seem to do, I realize the guy is simply human with his own priorities.

Are you suggesting that he places a higher priority on mocking a kook than addressing violence and murder? I guess we really don’t share the same priorities.

Lynn David
March 6th, 2009 | LINK

Did I say that?

I said one was within his professional views as a professor psychology who deals with matters of sexuality. The other is not necessarily so.

‘We’(?) don’t share the same priorities?? You and I? There are days (especially in the last 8 years), that I have had fleeting thoughts about striking back at the likes of Lively – in physical manner. I suspect that is because of the few past physical attacks upon my person because I am gay. But even so I have tried to find allies where I can, or those who would be allies and groom them. So your priorities I’ll leave to those younger than I. I am getting too old to have what seem to be such absolutes.

Lynn David
March 6th, 2009 | LINK

BTW, John… your post concerning Lively and violence wasn’t there when I wrote my previous post. I was answering ‘grantdale.’ So if you thought I was commenting on you, you were mistaken.

Strange, True & Religious : Conference in Uganda by 3 professional anti-gays from U.S. sets off strange feeding frenzy as pastors accuse rivals of gayness, miracle faking and human sacrifices
May 16th, 2009 | LINK

[...] Mar 5: Warren Throckmorton Speaks Out Against Uganda Conference [...]

Ugandan News Blog: “What Makes Someone Gay and Can People Change Orientation?” « Queer Hatred
January 14th, 2010 | LINK

[...] the worst. But then I saw the byline: Warren Throckmorton. He alone among American evangelicals was out front on this issue clear back in March of last year. I hope this article is able to make its way into [...]

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