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Marcus Bachmann Defends His Ex-Gay Practice

Jim Burroway

July 15th, 2011

In an interview with The Minneapolis Star Tribune, Marcus Bachmann, husband of GOP presidential candidate Rep. Michele Bachmann, defended his psychological clinics, saying they are not focused on ex-gay conversion therapy. He also denied calling gay people barbarians in a 2010 radio interview.

Late last week, John Becker of Truth Wins Out revealed that he attended Bachmann’s clinic in Minnesota, where he was counseled over the course of five treatment sessions that he could change his sexuality. Counselor Timothy Wiertzema told Becker:

“…it’s possible to be totally free of [same-sex attraction]. For sure.” and that “It’s happened! It really has happened to people.” In the fifth session, Wiertzema says, “…obviously your goal is not to have any feelings of attraction for men…And I really am going to recommend that we start working on how you can develop your attractions towards women.”

…During session 5, Wiertzema advised Becker to “further develop your own sense of masculinity.” Reparative therapy reinforces strict gender roles and works to erase outward appearances of femininity in men and masculinity in women. Because these programs do not genuinely change sexual orientation, much focus is placed on changing behavior so an individual can “pass” as heterosexual, even if the gay person has not changed on the inside.

According to The Star-Tribune:

Marcus Bachmann said counselors at his clinics follow the wishes of patients and don’t force any treatment “This individual came to us under a false pretense,” Bachmann said. “The truth of the matter is he specifically asked for help.”

…He didn’t deny that he or other counselors at Bachmann & Associates have attempted to convert gay patients, but he said it is not a special interest of the business and would only be attempted at the client’s request.

“Will I address it? Certainly we’ll talk about it,” Bachmann said. “Is it a remedy form that I typically would use? … It is at the client’s discretion.”

TWO’s John Becker responds:

Marcus Bachmann wants Americans to believe that giving me reparative therapy was acceptable because I specifically asked for it. This is patently absurd. Responsible counselors refuse to provide ex-gay “therapy” because it is scientifically baseless and morally bankrupt. Bachmann & Associates, though, was more than happy to hold out false promises of change with one hand and collect the cash with the other.

Wayne Besen adds:

The notion that a counselor is required harm a client just because he or she asks is patently absurd, asserts TWO. Similarly, if a bodybuilder had asked a doctor to help him or her inject steroids, the practitioner could refuse. If an African American asked a doctor for a skin bleaching, he or she could decline. If a physician is urged to help manage a model’s anorexia, he or she could turn the model away and instead offer real medical help.

Every major mental health and medical organization opposes therapies intended to change sexual orientation. In an exhaustive review of the professional peer-reviewed literature, the American Psychological Association concluded (PDF: 816KB/138 pages) that “enduring change to an individual’s sexual orientation is uncommon” and that “there was some evidence to indicate that individuals experienced harm” from such therapies.

Bachmann also claimed that the tape of his 2010 interview with a Christian talk radio program “must have been doctored“:

“I was talking in reference to children. Nothing, nothing to do with homosexuality. That’s not my mindset. That’s not my belief system. That’s not the way I would talk,” Bachmann said.

…”I think the strongest myth. … is the myth that I have ever called a homosexual a barbarian,” Bachmann said.

The audio, provided by the Dump Bachmann Blog, includes annoyingly loud sound-effects where edit points occur. Beginning at around the two-minute mark, there is one such edit point, after which the program returns from a commercial break. At that point, the interviewer begins asking Bachmann — “since you pay attention to the culture wars” — about a a letter from the anti-gay front group calling themselves the “American College of Pediatricians” (not to be confused with the legitimate and mainstream American Association of Pediatrics) and a then-recent Wall Street Journal article titled, “What do you say when your teenager says she’s gay?” The interviewer asks Bachmann:

YouTube Preview Image

Interviewer: (at 2:45) What do you say to Christian parents that come up with this?

Bachmann: Well I think you clearly say, what is the understanding of God’s Word on homosexuality? And I think that this is no mystery that a child or pre-adolescent, particularly an adolescent, will question and wonder about sexuality. That’s nothing new under the sun since the beginning of time.

Inteviewer: (laughs) yeah…

Bachmann: But I don’t think we should take that, as because we wonder or we  think or we question, does that take us down the road of homosexuality?

Interviewer: Could you add the word “experiment” to that?

Bachmann: Well certainly, there’s that curiosity. But again, we, like… It is as if we have to understand barbarians need to be educated. They need to be disciplined. Just because someone feels it or thinks it doesn’t mean that we are supposed to go down that road. That’s what is called the sinful nature. We have a responsibility as parents and as authority figures not to encourage such thoughts and feelings from moving into the action steps.

And let’s face it: what is our culture, what is our public education system doing today? They are giving full, wide-open doors to children, not only giving encouragement to think it, but to actually encourage action steps. That’s why when we understand what truly is the percentage of homosexuals in this country, it is small. But by these open doors, I can see and we are experiencing, that it is starting to increase.

There does not appear to be any edit points or tampering with this portion of the interview. Bachmann told the Minneapolis Star Tribune that he was speaking of children generally, but it appears that in the full context of the interview the focus very specifically on gay children when Bachmann uttered his “barbarians” remark.

On Monday, Michele Bachman refused to comment on her husband’s clinic, except to characterize his business as “jobs creation.”

Comments

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Fausto Fernandez
July 15th, 2011 | LINK

Up until sixty years ago many teachers and parents tried to change left-handed children to right-handed. We now know that through very aggresive methods (including physical violence) you may make a child learn to use his/her right hand, but they remain left-handed. That’s what these reparative therapy bigots are doing with sexuality.

Richard Rush
July 15th, 2011 | LINK

John Becker said,

Marcus Bachmann wants Americans to believe that giving me reparative therapy was acceptable because I specifically asked for it.

Okay, I have to assume the clinic would agree to help patients rid themselves of unwanted heterosexuality if they specifically asked for it. So instead of “pray away the gay,” it would be “pray for the gay.” And it’s thoroughly understandable because, after all, we do have much more fabulous lifestyles.

kelly
July 15th, 2011 | LINK

BTB, you guys are bit a more sane than TWO and Besen. When you read the Star Tribune article, is it really that outlandish? Can you really find fault with Bachmann for respecting patient wishes? I understand that you can lean on the APA’s statements regarding unwanted SSA but I’m sure you also recognize that they are not the final word on the matter and are somewhat politically motivated (that’s a charitable statement).

Do you really believe that a person should not be able to go to a therapist and get counseling to help avoid a gay lifestyle? What’s wrong with that? Why should people be forced to be gay? If they don’t want to be? There are very good reasons, religious and not religious, to want to have a wife and kids. Your argument is that it is ineffective and potentially harmful. But let the therapist and patient make that decision. It’s really no more harmful than any other similar treatable situation. Encouraging someone to “come out” isn’t exactly the safest advice either.

Regarding the barbarians comment, it’s easy to interpret that he was referring to kids in general even before he confirms this. You can hear on the tape that he was being circumspect when he made the comment. Now that he has even confirmed he was referring to kids, would you guys ever acknowledge that that was indeed the case? Or will you conintue hammering away at your mis-interpretation?

Surely you guys can bring some sanity to this discussion. You make yourself look bad agreeing with TWO on this case.

Jim Burroway
July 15th, 2011 | LINK

kelly,

No one is being “forced to be gay.” No one.

AS for what Bachmann meant by his “barbarians” comment, I provided the entire transcript in its full context. I think the transcript speaks for itself. The discussion wasn’t just on children generally, but children who may be gay. Any clear-eyed reading of the transcript and hearing of the interview can see plainly what was being said in plain English.

Also, please peruse the link I provided. It wasn’t just the APA. It contains separate statements from:

- American Academy of Pediatrics
- American Association for Marriage and Family Therapy
- American Counseling Association
- American Medical Association
- American Psychiatric Association
- American Psychoanalytic Association
- American Psychological Association
- American School Counselors Association
- National Association of Social Workers

All of these oppose so-called “therapies” to change sexual orientation simply because there is no evidence that the therapies work, while there is substantial evidence to harm to those who are, counter to the way you phrased it, are “forced to be straight.”

Richard Rush
July 15th, 2011 | LINK

Fausto, Perhaps I shouldn’t say this here, but I’m living proof that “change is possible:”

All my life I had been exclusively right-handed, but in my fifties I developed wrist pain from the computer mouse. Then, after initially resisting a neighbors suggestion uttered with a shrug – “why don’t you just use your left hand?” – I started doing just that, and never looked back. Even though the pain is gone from my right wrist, I would never go back unless pain developed in my left wrist (I think mousing with the left hand works better with the keyboard layout). So, I’ve achieved some level of left-handed functioning, and I managed to do it all without prayer!

So, the lesson here is that heterosexuals can achieve some level of homosexual functioning if they want it bad enough. Freedom from heterosexuality is indeed possible. As Alan Chambers might say, “The opposite of heterosexuality is not homosexuality, it’s a fabulous lifestyle.”

Richard Rush
July 15th, 2011 | LINK

I’d bet my life that kelly is the elsa/becky/tom/etc. who has finally been banned over at Truth Wins Out.

Priya Lynn
July 15th, 2011 | LINK

Richard said “I’d bet my life that kelly is the elsa/becky/tom/etc. who has finally been banned over at Truth Wins Out.”.

I’m sure of it. He/she’s posting the same BS here that he/she did there.

JohnAGJ
July 15th, 2011 | LINK

Fausto: It was done as recently as 30+ years ago. I’m left-handed and remember very well my first grade teacher trying to force me to write with my right hand. I was very upset and stubbornly refused, taking the swats with the rule and chucking those stupid rubber things they put on the pencil so I could write with my right hand.

Richard Rush
July 15th, 2011 | LINK

Kelly, to be consistent, I assume you would agree with this edited version of your words:

“Do you really believe that a person should not be able to go to a therapist and get counseling to help avoid a gay straight lifestyle? What’s wrong with that? Why should people be forced to be gay straight? If they don’t want to be? There are very good reasons, religious and not religious, to want to have a wife and kids a fabulous lifestyle.”

Priya Lynn
July 15th, 2011 | LINK

Kelly/elsa/evil becky/tom/omar said “Do you really believe that a person should not be able to go to a therapist and get counseling to help avoid a gay lifestyle? What’s wrong with that? Why should people be forced to be gay? If they don’t want to be?”.

Do you really believe that a black person should not be able to go to a therapist/physician to get help to avoid being black and become white? What’s wrong with that? Why should black people be forced to be black? If they don’t want to be?

Kelly/elsa/evil becky/tom/omar said There are very good reasons, religious and not religious, to want to have a wife and kids.”.

No gay or lesbian needs to pretend to be heterosexual and deceive an opposite sex partner to have kids.

Kelly/elsa/evil becky/tom/omar said “Your argument is that it is ineffective and potentially harmful. But let the therapist and patient make that decision.”.

The facts determine that its ineffective and harmful, not the religious desires of therapists or deceived clients.

“at no time did employees of Mr. Bachmann’s clinics ever educate the client on the dangers of reparative therapy (such as suicidal ideation), its historical lack of success in changing sexual orientation, or that the practice has been denounced by mainstream medical and mental health associations. Additionally, the client should have been informed that reparative therapy is considered “experimental”, he should have been told of the availability of other therapy options, and had the risk and benefits of each option explained.

This “informed consent” is required by the ethics code of the American Psychological Association (Mr. Bachman holds a doctoral degree in psychology) and informed consent is also a requirement of the ethics code of the American Association of Christian Counselors. This latter group mandates written informed consents as well as special written consent prior to initiating therapy when the goal is a change in sexual orientation.”

Kelly/elsa/evil becky/tom/omar said “It’s really no more harmful than any other similar treatable situation.”.

False! In some programs suicide rates are as high as 30%:

http://www.truthwinsout.org/blog/2011/07/17561/#comments

Unlike, for example, treatments for depression where some medications can cause suicide in rare instances, the risk of failing to treat contains a much higher risk of suicide or a severe crippling of a person’s happiness. With “reparitive” “therapy” there is no benefit to be gained that counterbalances the huge risks of the “treatment”. No risk whatsoever is justifiable when there is no benefit to be gained and the risks of this “therapy” are huge indeed.

Kelly/elsa/evil becky/tom/omar said “Encouraging someone to “come out” isn’t exactly the safest advice either.”.

False! All major mental health and medical organizations agree that people who positively accept their gayness are happier and better adjusted than those who do not. The only danger from comming out comes from an anti-gay society that may bully, abuse, assault, and demean someone once it is clear they are gay. The problem is not gayness, the problem is the anti-gay attitudes of people like you. People like you are unconcerned about people killing themselves due to “reparitive” “therapy”. To people like you any price paid to con people into such therapy is well worth the “benefit” it provides of convincing a few bigots that gays don’t deserve equal rights.

justme
July 15th, 2011 | LINK

Oh, kelly, where to begin?

“Can you really find fault with Bachmann for respecting patient wishes?”

So patients are now their own caregivers and they dictate treatment? No matter how unnecessary, harmful and discredited that treatment is, the practitioner has no choice but to provide that treatment for the patient? Or do you make an exception when the practitioner is Marcus Bahcmann, an unlicensed quack and Medicare queen who doesn’t have the degree he’s lied about having?

“I understand that you can lean on the APA’s statements regarding unwanted SSA…”

No, because there aren’t any. “SSA” doesn’t exist in the real world, it’s a slur made-up by right-wing crazies. Therefore the APA has no statement regarding it.

“…but I’m sure you also recognize that they are not the final word on the matter…”

Of course not — why in the world would the country’s professional organization dedicated to psychiatric matters be the final word on psychiatric matters?

“…and are somewhat politically motivated (that’s a charitable statement).”

As opposed to you, for instance.

“Do you really believe that a person should not be able to go to a therapist and get counseling to help avoid a gay lifestyle?”

Is it 1974 again? Please define “a gay lifestyle”. Is that the one where you’re married and raising kids or is it the one where you devote your life to charity or is it the one where you’re a rich and famous celebrity? Because I don’t live any of those gay lifestyles, so I guess they don’t count? You tell me.

“Why should people be forced to be gay?”

I had no idea this was even happening. Neither has anyone else. Because it isn’t.

“There are very good reasons, religious and not religious, to want to have a wife and kids.”

Yes, you could be a lesbian, for instance. If you’re a gay man, though, that’s screwed up. Have a husband and kids instead, you silly goose.

“It’s really no more harmful than any other similar treatable situation.”

Except the “treatable situation” is the patient’s need to deal with his or her self-hatred brought about by his or her toxic — and usually religiously toxic — environment. Because being gay? Not “treatable”. The proof? Not a single person in the history of the planet has ever changed their sexual orientation. Surely you know this?

“Regarding the barbarians comment…will you conintue hammering away at your mis-interpretation?”

Now I know you must be joking. The Bachmanns, both the straight one and the other one, are liars. This is what they do. They lie. About everything. From their education to their jobs to the money they leech off of the taxpayers to their own apparent sexual orientation and even to what they say that there is audio evidence of them having said it. They are bald-faced, shameless, pathological liars who lie for money, for fame, for the hell of it — who knows? They themselves couldn’t tell us without lying about it.

“Surely you guys can bring some sanity to this discussion.”

Oh, the irony.

“You make yourself look bad agreeing with TWO on this case.”

But agreeing with the Bachmanns makes you look good?

Stephen
July 15th, 2011 | LINK

I’ve read over Bachmann’s words a few times and I do think that his intention was to refer to children, not just gay children. It’s not well expressed but I think this is akin to reading Michele B’s Satan remark. I don’t think she was directly calling gay people satanic but rather the use of the word. A difference without a distinction? Probably.

They both seem to me to be very unsophisticated people. Not so much stupid as unknowing. As if they’ve lived their lives isolated from any outside influence that might have tempered their certainties.

Timothy Kincaid
July 15th, 2011 | LINK

Kelly,

I would like to address your question with both honesty and sensitivity to your position.

I believe that individuals should be free to live their lives in accordance with their values. And I believe that those who seek therapy to help them access their values and how they can be applied in their lives are to be commended.

But at all times, counseling must be truthful. And any counseling that makes promises or holds out possibilities that are not based on reality should be subjected to harsh criticism. They are unethical.

So this raises the question as to what is true, what is factual.

This is no longer open to question. Programs to change orientation do not work. Not because I say so, but because those who set out to prove that they do work have had to conclude that they do not.

You say that “the therapist and patient” should make the decision as to what is effective or harmful. But I very much doubt that you would apply that to ANY other situation in life. If you went to a doctor for a physical ailment, you would want to know what studies had revealed. You wouldn’t just say “hey, lets try leaches and decide for ourselves if they are effective or harmful” but you would ask about what drugs have been developed, their side effects, their effective rates, etc.

Being a person of faith does not mean that you have to disregard fact. I was raised among people who believed that if faith could move a mountain then it certainly could heal ailments or change reality. As it turned out, God didn’t jump through hoops at their demand.

And God has been quite clear on the issue of reorientation: He has little to no interest in changing anyone’s orientation. It is not only factually incorrect and an ethical violation to ignore the ineffectivity of prayer-based reorientation efforts, but at this point it has become blasphemy.

Mark F.
July 15th, 2011 | LINK

Good post, Timothy. Just like God (if you believe in the concept) is obviously not going to regrow your amputated leg–no matter how hard you pray–he’s also not changing you from gay to straight. Perhaps you might be able to live a celibate life, but that’s all these therapists can ethically promise to help you with.

PLAINTOM
July 15th, 2011 | LINK

Thank you Richard Rush, you solidified the final piece of the analogy for me. If you listen to most of the ex-gay individuals (in their own words),they haven’t lost same sex attraction. They just are celibate. Relating this to your analogy,they don’t gain usage of the opposite hand they lose access to the computer. How can this be a valid therapy?

kelly
July 15th, 2011 | LINK

Timothy, there is plenty of evidence that people with unwanted same sex attractions can live a satisfying non-gay life whether or not they go to counseling or whether or not their SSA changes much. Yardhouse just released more information that demonstrates this clearly.

I see little reason why counselors should be forbidden from helping these people out.

Timothy Kincaid
July 15th, 2011 | LINK

Kelly,

People with “unwanted same sex attractions” can live whatever life they like. This is what I spoke about above.

I too see no reason why counselors should not help these people life according to their values.

But I oppose lying. Do you oppose lying, kelly?

Because that’s what Bachmann’s counseling team engaged in. Lying.

It’s a sin, kelly.

It simply is not true that ANY of the participants studied in the Jones and Yarhouse 7 year study ended up as heterosexual in the commonly understood sense of that word.

Ben In Oakland
July 15th, 2011 | LINK

Kelly– of course they can. but as I asked you in your previous incarnation, why do they need to see a therapist?

If you don’t want to live a gay lifestyle, cut off your gay friends, don’t read gay books or see gay movies, don’t go to gay bars, don’t have gay sex.

Voila, you’re living a non-gay lifestyle.

One without sex, romance, family, and love, but a non-gay lifestyle nevertheless.

If doing those simple things is beyond your same sex attracted person, I suspect that he or she has far more serious problems than living his gay lifestyle.

Simple example. I’m 61 years old, great physical shape, and very happily married to my Big queer husband. younger men, some waaaaaaaaaaayy too young, come onto me all of the time.

As a sexually broken person, according to the exgay mythology, I should be slobbering at the chance for a little younger tail. But I love my husband, i love my life, and I don’t need a younger man of easy virtue to make me happy.

And therein lies the key. i like myself. The problem that those people with SSA (BTW, that’s a clear signal you’re a shill for the anti-ex-gay industry, becauase that is YOUR fixation), is that they have learned not to like themselves, and they have been carefully taught to blame the issues in their lives on their same-sex attractions instead of on the self-esteem issues. People like bachman, rekers, and their ilk are vampires that feed on their victims’ self-hatred like dogs licking up their own vomit.

Sorry for the mixed metaphors. Was that a little strong? Sorry, but i don’t believe any more in their essential goodness any more than I believe you are truly concerned for the well-being of same-sex attracted individuals.

It’s all just a part of your religious-social propaganda mill, feeding the obvious personal issues and political aspirations of the anti-ex-gay industry.

Regan DuCasse
July 15th, 2011 | LINK

Kelly, apparently you are leaving a very important element from your question.
The origin of why gay people don’t want to be gay.
You posit your question as if there are no coercive, corrosive or systemic circumstances that wouldn’t make a person hate being gay.
You know that anorexia is a result of media and society at large, glorifying thinness. The most successful, rich and famous women ARE thin. That doesn’t mean that curvaceousness isn’t natural or desirable and healthy. IMPOSSIBLE standards of beauty created this tragic problem.
You know that different kinds of people, when faced with the difference between being constantly suspect, dehumanized and physically threatened are given an option that SEEMS the ideal one, it’s no surprise they’d jump at it.
But is it NECESSARY or HEALTHY or POSSIBLE for them?
The ex gay industry does not care about that. Because a society that accepts gay people with no civil laws that discriminate against them and make their lives difficult, wouldn’t PROFIT that industry.
This isn’t altruism, it’s the exploitation and support of a cruel cultural system that deems gay people not only worthless, but dangerous.

I know what Jim Crow did to many blacks, their psyche, their physical perceptions, their understanding of what to expect for themselves.
Dark skinned people, especially women, suffer more economic and social failure because of it. Lighter skinned people are more accepted and coveted.

If a black person could have taken a pill to turn white, they WOULD. Of COURSE they’d choose being white over being black. Systemic bigotry gives them NO CHOICE but to feel that way.
Doesn’t mean that it’s fine for them to feel that way and suffer much expense, physical pain through hair straightening and socializing ONLY with white people to make themselves feel better and more included.

So these are examples of perfectly NORMAL, healthy people becoming less (healthy) secure and hopeful because of the non acceptance and threat to their lives and success in it.
It’s a disgrace, a full on disgrace that a gay person has to DEBATE anyone on their orientation being a choice, while ignoring that PASSING as straight is on condition of not being harmed by what is done to gay people in real world terms.

Gay people don’t need to turn straight. Gay people need to be treated with the same civil rights, full access to the protections that heteros have.
Once that’s done THEN we’ll see.

justme
July 15th, 2011 | LINK

kelly, what are “unwanted same sex attractions”? Is that anything like being gay? Why do you not call anything having to do with being gay by the words that they’re actually called?

Maybe if you didn’t compose your thoughts as if you were the Mad Hatter of hate speech, you would see why you’re wrong and stop believing lies.

Couldn’t hurt! And, seriously, it takes so much less effort to type or say “gay”. You must be exhausted by now from dancing those three little letters.

Priya Lynn
July 15th, 2011 | LINK

Kelly/elsa/evil becky/omar/tom said “Timothy, there is plenty of evidence that people with unwanted same sex attractions can live a satisfying non-gay life whether or not they go to counseling or whether or not their SSA changes much.”.

False! People attempting to suppress their orientation may have up to a 30% suicide rate.

http://www.truthwinsout.org/blog/2011/07/17561/#comments

The head of the largest “Exgay” organization, Alan Chambers says “Every day I struggle to deny what comes naturally to me.”. All the major mental health and medical organizations agree that those who positively accept their gay sexual orientation are better adjusted and happier than those who do not.

http://ukgaynews.org.uk/Archive/08/Jul/0302.htm

http://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2008-09/uom-hnf091708.php

kelly
July 15th, 2011 | LINK

Timothy, I was referring to the more recent Yarhouse study of 250 “mixed orientation mariages” where most were happy.

“why do they need to see a therapist?”

They don’t. But if they want to, that should be their prerogative. And I’m not sure why you feel the need to discourage or belittle that.

“The origin of why gay people don’t want to be gay.”

That’s easy: find an opposite sex mate and have kids. You do know that sexual reproduction is the foundation of all of life, right? That’s kind of good reason, dontcha think?

Priya Lynn
July 15th, 2011 | LINK

Kelly/elsa/evil becky/omar/tom said ““why do they need to see a therapist?”

They don’t. But if they want to, that should be their prerogative. And I’m not sure why you feel the need to discourage or belittle that.”.

Trying to oppress one’s gay sexual orientation diminishes one’s happiness. Gays who positively accept their gayness are better adjusted and happier than those who do not. There is no benefit to suppressing a gay orientation and much potential harm ranging from life long depression to death. There is no such thing as an acceptable level of risk for a “therapy” which has no benefits and only drawbacks.

Just as if a black person said they want to become white one would acknowledge the problem is the social oppression which makes a person not want to be black when a gay person says they don’t want to be gay we must recognize the problem is the social oppression that makes that person not want to be gay. It is the social oppression, not gayness that is the problem and that is what a healthy society needs to focus on changing.

Kelly/elsa/evil becky/omar/tom said ““The origin of why gay people don’t want to be gay.”

That’s easy: find an opposite sex mate and have kids. You do know that sexual reproduction is the foundation of all of life, right? That’s kind of good reason, dontcha think?”

Nonsense. No gay person needs to suppress their sexuality and pretend to be straight to have children. There is no such thing as a gay person who doesn’t want to be gay that isn’t motivated by a desire to avoid social rejection or afraid of religious teachings that they will be eternally tortured for being gay.

Bruce Garner
July 16th, 2011 | LINK

To Mr. Rush,
There is no evidence of anyone ever changing sexual orientation even if they requested such “treatment.” The only change is the response. That can be changed by aversion therapy. But that is not changed orientation.

There is also the issue of women and men who do not realize their true sexual orientation until later in life than most. Consider as well those who are bisexual (equally attracted to either gender, NOT having sex with both genders at the same time). Neither represents changed sexual orientation. In the former, someone who thought she or he was lesbian/gay later realized such was not the case. That is not changed orientation, just realization. In the latter case, someone who functions sexually with either gender isn’t changing orientation.

We can’t seem to acknowledge that there is a spectrum of sexual orientation. Few are “either/or” but somewhere along the spectrum. One end is completely heterosexual in orientation and the other is completely homosexual in orientation.

None of these discussions hold much water until we really engage in discussions and study about the entire spectrum. Nor do they have validity as long as we literally shame young people into being something they are not. Some throw that off while others commit suicide and others live lies that often have disatrous results. It’s just not as simple as so many want it to be, particularly the Bachman folks who just can’t seem to comprehend that people different from them are perfectly normal and well adjusted, despite not fitting someone else’s mold.

ZRAinSWVA
July 16th, 2011 | LINK

Kelly wrote, “That’s easy: find an opposite sex mate and have kids. You do know that sexual reproduction is the foundation of all of life, right? That’s kind of good reason, dontcha think?”

So you’re advocating that we live a LIE. That we LIE to our opposite-sex spouse? That we LIE to our children? That we LIE to the world around us and ourselves.

Do you really think that’s what God wants? That we live a LIE?

Sorry, but that’s why I came out and came to my senses. I became weary of LYING. It tarnished my soul and my spirituality.

Richard Rush
July 16th, 2011 | LINK

Bruce, WAIT! I’m gayer than gay, so I agree with everything you said. You apparently misinterpreted my comment addressed to Fausto.

While my little story about switching to left-handed use of the computer mouse is true, the rest of it was an attempt to parody the language of our opponents. Here is the last paragraph again:

So, the lesson here is that heterosexuals can achieve some level of homosexual functioning if they want it bad enough. Freedom from heterosexuality is indeed possible. As Alan Chambers might say, “The opposite of heterosexuality is not homosexuality, it’s a fabulous lifestyle.”

My last sentence is a twist on this actual gem from Alan: “The opposite of homosexuality is not heterosexuality, it’s holiness.”

Bruce Garner
July 16th, 2011 | LINK

Oops! Guess my tired eyes didn’t see the “break” in the string…and I don’t even wear bifocals! My apologies.

My remarks should have been addressed to Kelly. Of course subsequent comments have made similar points.

Actually I’m one of those that sees a strong possibility of us LGBT folks as being specially blessed by God. God doesn’t make junk, despite what some have perverted from Scripture.

kelly
July 16th, 2011 | LINK

“There is no evidence of anyone ever changing sexual orientation”

Even my the most favorable definition of “orientation” that is simply false. There may not be mountains of evidence but there is more than “none”. Obviously.

Bruce, are you saying there are three buckets and people can only ever fall into one of them (hetero, homo, bi)?

Don’t you think a continuum or spectrum is more likely?

cowboy
July 16th, 2011 | LINK

I have no attraction to a woman and Kelly/elsa/evil becky/omar/tom thinks I should pretend to have an attraction to a woman. But, I can’t believe a woman would want a sexless life with someone like me. Well, sexless in the fact it wouldn’t be very romantic. My eyes would be closed all during sex.

Priya Lynn
July 16th, 2011 | LINK

Kelly/elsa/evil Becky/omar/tom there has never been a proven case of anyone changing orientation. Not one single “exgay” claiming to have changed has ever submitted to any of the testing procedures which could verify such a change – there’s reason for that, the handful that do claim to have changed are all lying.

Kelly/elsa/evil Becky/omar/tom said “Bruce, are you saying there are three buckets and people can only ever fall into one of them (hetero, homo, bi)?

Don’t you think a continuum or spectrum is more likely?”.

Hetero, gay, bi is a continuum silly girl.

Bruce Garner
July 16th, 2011 | LINK

Kelly, you need to READ what I wrote. I am specific in noting that all of us fall somewhere on the spectrum of human sexuality. By definition, one end is complete same-gender attraction or clinically, homosexuality. The other end is complete opposite-gender attraction or clinically heterosexuality. Those who are EQUALLY attracted to either gender are in the middle and clinically bi-sexual. The degree of bi-sexuality will vary more strongly toward one gender or the other as you move from the middle to either end of the spectrum. It’s simply the classic bell shaped curve.

I stand by my statement that there is no evidence of a change in sexual orientation. Interviews with so-called ex-gays have consistently shown that they are still same-gender oriented, but they do not act on their orientation. They do admit that sexual fantasies are still about their own gender. As I noted, some are genuinely confused about sexual orientation. Their’s is a realization of their true orientation rather than a change. This really isn’t rocket science if you think about it.

I have known I was gay since I was about 8 years old. I didn’t have a name for it. It wasn’t discussed at all since that was over 50 years ago. But there was essentially no discussion of any sexuality back then. I’ve never had a sexual attraction to any woman, despite having dated absolutely gorgeous women. Being gay doesn’t mean I don’t have an eye for beauty, even in women. I have appreciated their beauty and connected intellectually and emotionally in a non-sexual way.

For me to pretend to have a sexual interest in a woman would, in my opinion be sinful and would be an insult to the woman.

The bottom line for me is that Bachman et al are selling bunk. They cause immense pain to so many with their claims and presumptions. They contribute to teen suicide attempts and suicides because they perpetuate the myth that being lesbian or gay means you are broken, incomplete, etc. and need to be fixed. I’m not broken. I don’t need fixing. I’m also right with the God who created me…we have discussed it! I’m working on being the person, the gay man, God created in me.

I’m sorry if that doesn’t fit someone else’s stereotypes, but that is the way it is. Those who continue to believe what the Bachman’s of the world claim do not have close friendships with lesbian or gay folks….otherwise they couldn’t continue to cling to misinformation.

kelly
July 17th, 2011 | LINK

My bad, Bruce, I was referring to your last post that did not mention “spectrum”. And it sounded like you were suggesting that people could only fall into one of 3 buckets.

I agree that it’s a spectrum which makes it more obvious attractions are not fixed.

That’s a good point that you only knew from age 8. Those previous 8 years were ridiculously formative.

Bachmann is selling what people want that has (or, should have) no bearing on you. Why do you have such a problem with that? The only bearing it has on you is your political objectives.

RainbowPhoenix
July 17th, 2011 | LINK

Elsa/Kelly

Bachmann is selling something with a high risk and a zero-percent success rate. People want all sorts of things that are harmful and have no benefit. Bodybuilders don’t get to have access to non-medical steroids. Supermodels aren’t allowed to have a doctor simply manage their anorexia instead of treating it. Oncologists aren’t allowed to try to cure cancer with leeches and bloodletting. The standards are safety and effectiveness, NOT whatever the patient asks for, and Bachmann and every other quack who provides “ex-gay therapy” fails those standards miserably.

And what he’s selling has a big bearing on us. His quack therapy is used as an excuse to demonize us and deny us what we are promised by the constitution. It is one of the largest factors in creating the enviroment that leaves our youth thinking that the only way out is to end their own lives. It contributes to the enviroment where anti-LGBT crimes are the only hate crimes that are on the rise. But you don’t care about that. You don’t care who suffers and dies for Bachmann’s ego, just so long as you still have an excuse to think you’re bettter than us. Anyone with a shred of human decency would be ashamed of thinking like you do.

Bruce Garner
July 17th, 2011 | LINK

Kelly,

I actually have a memory from the age of one year old. It is a vivid memory about our first move into an apartment. I remember seeing my grandmother carry one of the large floor lamps across across the front yard and into the house.

We are not “immediately” aware of sexuality from birth. It’s part of our development. So if you are being sarcastic about the years prior to 8 for me being ridiculously formative, it fell flat. They were formative but not in the way you might want to think. For what it is worth I came from a very stable, two parent household, enjoyed the love and affection of both parents, didn’t have a weak father or a domineering mother. In other words, the stereotypes used to “prove” that nurture caused me to be gay don’t work.

This has a bearing on me because Backman is selling what is harmful to a great many people, especially youth. It isn’t about politics. It is about preventing the emotional abuse of young people who are different because of sexual orientation.

We are just now beginning to have positive, openly gay role models for teens that dispel the stereotypes many of us were subjected to as we grew up. Neil Patrick Harris, Greg Luganis, etc. are just “ordinary” folks who happen to also be gay. Teens get to see someone in a reasonable light with whom they can identify.

“No man (or woman) is an island” has always been true. When one of us is damaged by ignorance, stupidity, prejudice, fear mongering or anything that diminishes the human spirit, we are all damaged. So yes, it does have a bearing on me.

I am beginning to wonder if you are just poor at sarcasm, nuance and basic communication skills or if you are just a twit whose goal is to create as much damage to others as possible. Perhaps you are confused about your own sexuality. It’s often those who most fear who they are that pose the greatest risk to others. Might that be you? I don’t know. All I can do is observe your words and writing and comment. I leave the honesty part for you to reveal.

kelly
July 17th, 2011 | LINK

Bruce, please point out where I am lacking in nuance, communication or sarcasm.

How can you say that those 8-10 years are not formative in the way that I think? I have a 1.5 year old and am witnessing first hand how his psychology is developing.

It doesn’t take the stereotypical behavior you note to cause same sex attractions to develop.

“It’s often those who most fear who they are that pose the greatest risk to others.”

That’s one of the stupidest ideas constantly put forth by the gay agenda. When something like that is said, I know you are not arguing in good faith.

Am I suppose to retort that you fear that you are wrong, too? Simply because you argue one side? That’s beyond stupid.

Priya Lynn
July 17th, 2011 | LINK

Kelly/elsa/evil Becky/Omar/Tom said “I agree that it’s a spectrum which makes it more obvious attractions are not fixed.”.

That’s willful stupidity on your part, the reality is obvious but you want to pretend it doesn’t exist. Bisexuality is fixed. Whether attracted to one sex more than the other, or equally that person’s attractions are fixed – they are never going to stop being attracted to both sexes, or shift from being 70% attracted to women and 30% attracted to men to entirely attracted to women. While there are variations in levels of bisexality all along the way and that means the species sexuality isn’t fixed, the INDVIDUAL’S sexuality IS fixed. If orientation wasn’t fixed there wouldn’t be zero examples of people changeing orientation as we see today, it would be commonplace.

Kelly/elsa/evil Becky/Omar/Tom said “That’s a good point that you only knew from age 8. Those previous 8 years were ridiculously formative.”.

Despite a generation of searching for societal cause for gayness there is no evidence whatsoever for such a causality. There is however, study after study after study showing a biological cause. From blood type to chromosone deactivation, to hair whorls, to finger length, to brain structure, to congintive abilities, to pheremone reaction, to eyeblink rate to walking and speaking styles to more older brothers causing more gayness.

Kelly/elsa/evil Becky/Omar/Tom said “Bachmann is selling what people want that has (or, should have) no bearing on you. Why do you have such a problem with that?”.

Some black people want to become white to avoid racism. As a society we don’t look the other way and say “If doctors want to help them become white its no concern of ours.”, we say “This is a terrible that racism should make some black people want to be white when there is nothing wrong with being black, we must eliminate this racism.” -its no difference with gayness. Its obscene that the oppression of bigots makes some people uncomfortable with their gayness, its not such people’s gayness that needs to be changed, its the social oppression of gay people that needs to be changed.

Every major mental health and medical organization agrees people who positively accept their gayness are better adjusted and happier than those who do not. We have a problem with gays being coerced into wanting to change their orientation because we want the best for all people, including gays – unlike you.

Kelly/elsa/evil Becky/Omar/Tom said “The only bearing it has on you is your political objectives.”.

Unlike you, our concern extends to all people, including gays taught by bigotry to hate themselves. And the “exgay” industry does have a bearing on all LGBTs. Its sole purpose is to justify the oppression of all LGBTs by creating the false impression that gays can choose to be straight and therefor its acceptable to persecute them.

Bruce Garner
July 17th, 2011 | LINK

Kelly,

You make my point for me. You state that it doesn’t take the stereotypes to form sexual orientation. Yes your 1.5 year old is developing his own identity and psychology. But I seriously doubt that he has begun to recognize his sexual orientation. Even if he has, so what? The point is that his sexual orientation is innate and not something he will learn from others.

What he can learn from others is a healthy response to whatever his sexual orientation turns out to be. But if all he learns from others is prejudice, bigotry, self-hatred and the like, that is how he will be molded. If he learns to be who he is without risk or shame, then he has been raised in a healthy environment.

I can only comment on what I observe in your writing…no more, no less. My fear is that if your son turns out to be gay, he will suffer because of your own attitudes. Take that however you wish. I’m just not seeing much that leads me to believe he will be nurtured into being who he is.

As is the case with everyone of us, I could be wrong about a lot of things. Based on my experiences and observations, I’m probably not wrong. If I am, so be it.

But let’s get back to the whole point of all of this discussion: What Bachman is doing is wrong. It is unethical. It is manipulative. It causes people pain for no reason except the prejudices of others. It it results in even one suicide that is grounds for shutting it down completely. Unfortunately, it will be too late for some by then. If you are so supportive, why not let them try and change your sexual orientation. If the orientation of lesbians and gays can be changed, then the same must apply to straight folks. In a broader sense, it does apply: Neither can change sexual orientation.

Bruce

Timothy Kincaid
July 18th, 2011 | LINK

Priya Lynn,

You can add Est and dmitri to your list. They were earlier names used by the person going by “kelly”

Priya Lynn
July 18th, 2011 | LINK

Oh, yeah? I thought he/she had been only using one name here. I guess once a deceiver always a deceiver.

Priya Lynn
July 18th, 2011 | LINK

So Kelly/Est/Dmitri/elsa/omar/evil Becky/tom do you want to claim you were using different names here to “get around censorship” like you did a TWO. If you weren’t trying to appear as a group (a motive you denied at TWO) why were you pretending to be different people here?

Ben In Oakland
July 18th, 2011 | LINK

I still want ot know, Kelly, Whom do you work for?

Richard Rush
July 18th, 2011 | LINK

Ben, I’ve also been wondering about Kelly/Est/Dmitri/elsa/omar/evil Becky/tom’s employer. Could it be the Michele Bachmann campaign, or Marcus’ clinic? Could Kelly (and the other aliases) actually be Timothy Wiertzema, the counselor that met with John Becker of TWO?

Whoever it is, that person has seemed obsessively focused on the word “barbarians” and other issues related to Marcus and his sleazy clinic’s agenda.

Jim Burroway
July 18th, 2011 | LINK

“Kelly”, whoever he or she is, is now on moderation for multiple abuses to our comments policy. Furthermore, “Kelly” provides a fake email address with his/her comments, which indicates that he/she wishes not to be held accountable for his/her actions.

If “Kelly” wishes to post comments which comply with our comments policy — regardless of whether her comments agree or disagree with the posts or with others — we will release those comments from the moderatio queue. Trolling behavior however is not allowed.

Furthermore, by his/her own admission, he/she was also been banned from other web sites for engaging in similar actions and has actively tried various tactics to work around those bans. Attempts to do so here will not be tolerated, and will result in reporting his/her i.p. address to his/her internet service provider for harassment.

Bruce Garner
July 18th, 2011 | LINK

I gather some of you have experience with this “Kelly person” in other contexts? I have always used my real and full name in these situations, even in the most toxic ones. From my perspective, there isn’t much strength of conviction among those who will not own up to their real identies. It seems rather sad that folks want to hide behind fake credentials in order to attack others and their beliefs. If Kelly does have a 1.5 year old child, we might all want to pray or invoke whatever higher power we might feel for that child’s sake.

I do have to admit that I am now curious as to what kind of trash is in the comments being withheld. But I suppose it couldn’t be any nuttier than what we actually did read.

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