Commemorating the Anniversary of an Ex-Gay Conference In Uganda

Jim Burroway

March 5th, 2010

Just LoveIt was exactly one year ago today when three American anti-gay activists stepped before a small crowd attending a conference in the posh Triangle Hotel in downtown Kampala, Uganda. Exodus International will, err, commemorate that anniversary by holding a “Love Won Out” ex-gay conference in San Diego, in order to peddle the same junk science they helped to bring to Uganda twelve months ago.

But there will be a better commemoration of that date across town, at St. Paul’s Episcopal Cathedral. I’ll be there, along with former Exodus alumnus Michael Bussee, Truth Wins Out founder Wayne Besen, Straight Spouse Network founder Dr Amity Pierce Buxton, Director of the LGBT Rights Division of Human Rights Watch Scott Long, and many others. And if you’re in the San Diego area, we invite you to join us:

On Saturday, March 6, 2010, a one-day event will be held at St. Paul’s Episcopal Cathedral in San Diego. The 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. which will confront and challenge the “ex- gay movement” – a national movement to “convert” gay and lesbian people to heterosexuality through purported “reparative” therapy efforts. To help educate people about the truth of such claims, and the legacy of harm they leave behind, a day-long conference will be held to expose and counteract this movement.

…Morning sessions, to be held in the Great Hall of the cathedral, will feature authors, psychologists and experts in the field. These will focus on the genesis and subsequent history of the ex-gay movement, the nature of and harm done by reparative therapy, the impact of both on the struggle for the rights of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people, and the ex-gay movement’s connection to the looming human rights disaster in Uganda.

It was on March 5, 2009 when we watched in horror as Exodus International boardmember Don Schmierer and a relatively unknown International Healing Foundation unlicensed “counselor” Caleb Lee Brundidge joined forces with perhaps one of the most notorious anti-gay extremist, Holocaust revisionist Scott Lively. We had no idea what the fruits of that conference would be, but knowing full well the reigns of terror that the Ugandan gay community had suffered in the very recent past, we feared the worst.

But our fears for the worst turned out to be a gross underestimation of what would actually happen as a result of that conference. The “Nuclear Bomb” that Scott Lively and his cohorts delivered that day would leave a devastating fallout: public outings of gay men and women in the press, arrests at at least one suspicious death believed to be at the hands of police, and general threats of mob violence. And all of this culminated in the tabling of the draconian Anti-Homosexuality Bill before Uganda’s Parliament, a bill that calls for the death sentence of gay people under certain circumstances (a penalty which could conceivably be extended to include just about anyone due to the bill’s sloppy language), and the virtual criminalization of anyone who knows or comes in contact with gay people.

A year later, the “nuclear bomb” delivered by American ex-gay activists continues to spread its toxic fallout in that troubled land. We stand committed to confronting that very same danger here. If any moment can crystallize the dangers that the ex-gay movement can so callously and carelessly deliver to an unsuspecting population, this is it. And today is the day to commemorate it.

St. Paul’s Cathedral is located at 2728 6th Ave in San Diego. Just Love will take place on Saturday, March 6, from 9:00 to 5:00. I look forward to seeing you there.

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

Richard W. Fitch

March 5th, 2010

…a bill that calls for the death sentence of gay people under certain circumstances (a penalty which could conceivably be extended to include just about anyone due to the bill’s sloppy language), and the virtual criminalization of anyone who knows or comes in contact with gay people.

Far from the language being sloppy, it is more likely a case of being insidiously ambiguous. On the one hand, it holds up the “honorable” objective of preserving family and culture in Uganda against the invasion of Western moral corruption; and on the other hand, (as the election campaigns of next year rev into full action) it provides a legal means of removing any political or ideological opponents by the current regime.

Grant

March 5th, 2010

Jim – I live in San Diego, and in fact my partner’s elderly mother is a resident at one of St. Paul’s assisted living facilities. It’s a great, supportive church and community (although I do not attend religious services). I’m glad to hear about this – and my partner and I may try to come by tomorrow, although we have a visitor from out of town this weekend so logistics may get in the way.

Quo

March 5th, 2010

About that “junk science” – to judge from Burroway’s earlier post, that’s a reference to the theory about bad relationships with parents causing homosexuality.

Now, I’d admit that the ex-gay movement is not as careful as they could be in dealing with science. Undoubtedly a certain amount of the science they’ve promoted is indeed “junk.”

That can equally well be said of the gay movement, however. The scientific standards of sexual orientation research are in general abysmally low. It happens that one of the best known studies on sexual orientation, still being used by both sides in the debate, is completely worthless. I have something to say about that on my blog.

Priya Lynn

March 5th, 2010

Quo no one cares what you say on your blog and your opinion of the standards of sexual orientation research is of no concern either.

Quo

March 5th, 2010

I thought there was some kind of rule against off-topic comments. I believe the above comment by Priya Lynn definitely counts as off-topic. It’s certainly idiotic.

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