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Posts for August, 2013

This Is What Ex-Gay Pride Looks Like

Jim Burroway

August 1st, 2013

They had promised the spectacle of “thousands of ex-gays” descendending on Washington, but in the end about ten people — ten! — showed up for what was billed as an “ex-gay pride” demonstration in front of the U.S. Supreme Court to demand “their rights,” or something. Chris Doyle’s group, Voice of the Voiceless, which organized the event, has a longstanding habit of co-opting the language of the civil rights movement, claiming that ex-gays are a persecuted minority in need of special protections under the law. The inherent contradiction of an “ex-gay” minority status — um, wouldn’t that just be straight? — is never explained or resolved. I guess they hoped you wouldn’t see the fundamental flaw in that logic.

But ignoring fundamental flaws in logic is precisely what Doyle was trained for, seeing as he is a protege of Richard Cohen of couch-cuddling and pillow-whacking fame (and, more sinisterly, providing a speaker for the notorious 2009 anti-gay conference in Kampala featuring Scott Lively).

In the video above, you see Chuck Peters, the research assistant for Voice of the Voiceless, condemning gay rights advocates for being “bigoted,” “heterophobic.” “Why can’t I choose who I love?”, he pleads, asking a question no one has ever bothered arguing. But his best domonstration of his heterosexuality came when he schooled the crowd — nope, too small. Group? Fellow taxi-sharers? —  in the signature ex-gay cheer: “Hip hip hurray for ex-gays!” So nineteenth century, guys.

Anyway, despite claiming that there are “tens of thousands of ex-gays,” fewer than tens showed up. According to Right Wing Watch:

Besides Doyle, ex-gay activists Greg Quinlan of Parents and Friends of Gays and Ex-Gays (PFOX), Richard Cohen of the International Healing Foundation and Douglas McIntyre of Homosexuals Anonymous also participated.

Equality is Persecution

Rob Tisinai

November 2nd, 2012

Homosexuals are seeking special rights, blah, blah, blah. We hear this all the time, and all the time it’s the same mistake:

Our opponents are so freaked out by equal treatment under the law that they are unable to read the law.

Today’s example comes from, Greg Quinlan,  president of PFOX (Parents and Friedns of Ex-Gays and Gays), with an editorial on a Christian website:

…homosexuals have now moved beyond equal rights to the “more equal than you” level. As a result, gay organizations are working to ban that practice they fear the most — heterosexual behavior.

Witness the ban on heterosexual therapy successfully pushed by homosexual groups in California.

Personally, I have mixed feelings about this ban, but I’m absolutely clear on one thing: it should be discussed accurately. Quinlan fails. He states:

In short, parents can attempt to change a child’s gender, but they can’t change their child’s sexual orientation unless it is to a homosexual identity.

Wrong. According to the law, here’s what’s actually banned:

Under no circumstances shall a mental health provider engage in sexual orientation change efforts with a patient under 18 years of age.

This is no mere quibble with Quinlan’s language. The entire thrust of his article is the supposed elevation of  homosexuality at the expense of heterosexuality. Yet the law treats them exactly the same.

We see this over and over form our opponents:

  • They claim marriage equality will outlaw traditional marriage.
  • They claim hate crime laws punish anti-gay violence more harshly than anti-straight violence.
  • They claim anti-discrimination law only makes it illegal to discriminate against gays, not straights.

None of these things are true. None of these laws favor gays at the expense of straights. No one who takes a moment to read the language of the law could make such a mistake.

Or so you’d think.

I don’t know whether our opponents’ problem is deception, ignorance, or some psychological inability to read simple words while afflicted with bias. More and more, I suspect it’s an affliction. In any case, your response can always be the same: Show me the language.

If your phone can access Google, then hand it over and watch them flail. You might not convince them — probably won’t convince them — in fact, research indicates you’ll likely leave them more convinced of their error — but if you put them in a tough-enough spot, you might just dampen their enthusiasm for spreading untruth.

Press Release of the Day

Jim Burroway

November 1st, 2012

Less common than emails of the day, but sometimes just as crazy. This one is from PFOX’s Greg Quinlan:

The homosexual push for “equal marriage,” otherwise known as genderless marriage, can only lead to a ban on heterosexual rights. With a President in power who endorses gay causes and readily misuses executive orders, and emboldened by their numerous wins for gay rights at the legislative and judicial level, homosexuals have now moved beyond equal rights to the “more equal than you” level. As a result, gay organizations are working to ban that practice they fear the most — heterosexual behavior.

Witness the ban on heterosexual therapy successfully pushed by homosexual groups in California. Even though no scientific evidence exists of a “gay gene,” parents in California are now prohibited from taking their children to see a therapist to resolve their child’s unwanted same-sex attractions.

Quinlan has long tried to claim that “ex-gays” are a persecuted minority. It now looks like he’s trying to portray straight people — over 90% of the population — as an endangered species. He calls California’s law prohibiting licensed therapists from offering Sexual Orientation Change Efforts to minors a “heterosexual ban.” Which somehow has something to do with same-sex marriage, even though California currently does not have same-sex marriage. Go figure.

NY Times and NPR on Exodus International’s Change in Direction

Jim Burroway

July 7th, 2012

The New York Times describes the ex-gay movement as being convulsed by Exodus International president Alan Chambers turning away from Reparative Therapy and other forms of Sexual Orientation Change Efforts (SOCE). You can see some of those “convulsions” from NARTH’s David Pickup, who claims that “my homosexual feelings began to dissipate and attractions for women grew” as a result of Reparative Therapy. PFOX’s Greg Quinlan plays armchair psychologist and says, “I think Mr. Chambers is tired of his own personal struggles, so he’s making excuses for them by making sweeping generalizations about others.”

And from a theological standpoint, Robert Gagnon has come forward to denounce Chambers’s move. And you can always tell when Gagnon gets upset that others don’t recognize the sheer genius of his theological insights. (Right Timothy?) He countered Chambers’s move with a 35-page response (PDF: 729KB/35 pages!). I’ll let you read it. Chambers himself hasn’t responded, but in the broken-clock-is-still-right-twice-a-day category, I’ll suggest you look at how Exodus former VP Randy Thomas reacts. I’ve had plenty of disagreements with Thomas on a number of things, but I’ve always enjoyed his wit. He’s in fine form today.

Gagnon’s irritation with Exodus is not insignificant. It was only a year ago when Gagnon gave a Wednesday morning plenary talk at the Exodus conference in Ridgecrest, North Carolina, followed by two workshops. It was his first time spelling at Exodus, and I’m guessing it will probably be his last.

NPR’s All Things Considered also featured a story in Exodus International yesterday. You can find audio and a write-up here. In this interview, Chambers talks about another of the many reasons for his change in emphasis: “I believe we’ve been hypocritical. I believe that we have looked at the issue of same-sex attraction differently than we look at anything else.” He expanded on this theme during his opening night plenary talk at the Exodus Conference, and it became an interesting topic for an informal Q&A the next day, which I will talk more about next week.

My very short take-away from my own first-hand experience at the conference is this: There really are significant changes afoot at Exodus. And having looked around and engaged in some rather significant conversations in St. Paul, I have come to the conclusion that change is possible at Exodus. But it has been neither instantaneous nor complete. And if it does come about, it will only be after a very long struggle.

Ex-Gay Leader Says Wayne Besen Wants to Kill Him

Jim Burroway

November 24th, 2011

PFOX, which they say stands for Parents and Friends of Gays and Ex-Gays, is actually an increasingly unstable and irrelevant organization composed mostly of Greg Quinlan (an ex-gay whose ex-lesbian wife divorced him in 2007) and a motley crew of embittered parents of apparently happy gays who have no interest whatsoever in entertaining the futile fiction of changing their sexual orientation. The group, which was originally founded by Richard Cohen, has become increasingly detached from reality, even by some of the more extremist anti-gay standards. Quinlan’s latest shtick is going round claiming to be abused, mistreated, and discriminated against because he’s ex-gay. Those claims took an absurd turn when, in a bid to add another jewel to his queen of persecution crown, Quinlan appeared on a local Washington, D.C. television talk show, where he said this:

YouTube Preview Image

(at 10:38) Truth Wins Out if you look further, including Wayne Besen. He’s asked for people, you know, somebody needs to run Greg over. He needs to be hit with a bus. Somebody should inject him with AIDS. Those are the things that Wayne Besen and Truth Wins Out says about me. That’s pretty hateful rhetoric.

Accusations of felonious behavior demands proof, and Besen rightly demands that Quinlan produces it. Besen also adds that he is exploring his legal options.

While that libel was the most egregious lie Quinlan told in the interview, it wasn’t the only one. He also accused noted researcher Dean Hamer of lying about his research which found that the Xq28 marker on the X chromosome may play a role in male sexual orientation. (Hamer’s research was replicated by two other studies, but a third one failed to replicate, leading researchers to conclude that the gene may play a role but probably isn’t’ the cause of men becoming gay.) Hamer has also spoken out against Quinlan:

“As a scientist at the National institutes of Health, the largest and best known biomedical research institution in the world, my research has been extensively peer-reviewed, replicated, and published  in respected journals. It’s ironic to be labelled a “liar” by an ideologue who consistently distorts and misreports scientific findings. While I am sympathetic with Mr. Quinlan’s discomfort and struggle with his own sexuality, that is no excuse for misleading people about how science has informed our understanding of  sexual orientation as a natural and fundamental aspect of human development.”

The Peter’s wackadoodle school exposed

Timothy Kincaid

August 11th, 2010

Last weekend Peter LaBarbera and a host of wackadoodle anti-gay activists held a three day seminar to teach young recruits how to demean, disparage, and fraudulently portray gay people. Hemant Mehta, the Friendly Atheist, sent in two infiltrators to report on Peter’s nonsense.

They provide some interesting information about the speakers and the audience:

Quite honestly, I found that many of these people were not “hateful” in the sense that they don’t actively wish LGBT people harm. They truly believe that if homosexuals would only live the lifestyle and hold the beliefs they themselves hold, those homosexuals would go on to live richer, more fulfilling lives. I experienced many of those attending the conference to be kind, concerned individuals.

By my count, around 45 people attended the conference on any given day. That’s including the speakers and the families of the speakers, so actual attendee numbers on any given day were lower, and some new attendees were there on Friday and Saturday. Of the people attending, a large majority were older. On the first day there were only around five people attending who looked to be under the age of 30.

Also present are synopses of the speakers’ views. For example, this is from a group session:

Barber: We should not be politically correct. It’s natural for gays to be reviled. It’s important to focus on the health risks of homosexuality, but we need to be aggressive and unapologetically loving.

Quinlan: If you Bible-thump or talk about sex, it turns pro-gays off. If you give them the science, you sound like somebody in authority and they don’t know how to respond to that.

Goldberg: We need to use the term “homosexual” instead of “gay” because it has a more negative connotation. No one is gay; they’re only “gay identified.”

Kincaid: This issue of homosexuality affects you because gays are demanding to give blood. The hemophiliacs are outraged by the homosexual lobby saying they have a right to give blood. They want to force themselves into the blood supply in a callous and arrogant manner. Mothers need to speak up. Mothers, your children are at risk!

Quinlan: The church has to be involved in politics. Politics are dirty. Our Founding Fathers were all religious men. They weren’t all just deists. They were Bible-believing men. We do have the truth and the truth is this: a family is made up of a mother and a father because it takes a mother and a father to raise a child.

Higgins: Parents need to remove their children from public schools. Even after doing that, they need to make law changes because our taxes go to the public schools. When we are silent on this issue, we teach our children through role-modeling to be cowardly conformists. We bequeath a legacy of much greater oppression to our children and our grandchildren. At least I can say to my children that I did everything I could.

Lindevaldsen: We need to work to completely eliminate public schools — government schools — and push a Christian/Biblical model of educating our children

Sorba: We need to unify behind common winning talking points. Boycott the term “gay.” They are in no way attached to any kind of identity because it’s not an identity. They’re not functioning in accord with their design. We need to repeat over and over and over again that there is no scientific evidence that people are born gay. There is no study that proves causation. Psychiatrists need to reclassify homosexuality as a mental disorder.

LaBarbera: “Born gay” evidence is unreliable. There was once a pro-gay activist yelling as loud as he could that I was a maniac who wanted to kill gay people. This shows how unstable these guys are.

Sorba: Genes code for proteins, not for behaviors. The “born gay” thing is a debate that we’re definitely going to win. Nobody’s a meat puppet dangling from the strings of the chemical reactions of their brain. It’s letting your emotions rule instead of your reason. It’s a debate about if you’re able to define reality vs. your ability to intellectually understand the reality of world around you. We should be able to argue for the re-criminalization of sodomy and overturn Lawrence v. Texas — the punishment would just be a fine. It would inhibit gay night clubs from springing up where AIDS is spread. It’ll inhibit pornography. We need to go on the offense. Then we know we’re gonna win. You’re not born gay; it’s a vice. These people need help.

Barber: The reality of ex-gays poses an enormous threat to the homosexual movement. Their entire argument hinges on the immutability of homosexuality.

LaBarbera: [Discussing LGBT protesters] They come there with their hateful signs; this is the level of fanaticism we’re dealing with. It’s just as hard to convey how radical the movement is as how bad the behavior is.

Barber: At gay pride parades, they have sex in the street in front of children.

Kincaid: Left-wing student groups are leading boycotts of blood drives, because they’re “discriminatory.” This movement is expanding. If this keeps getting bigger and bigger, we are going to face a shortage of blood. It’s extortion. I remember when AIDS happened. I remember covering this. You have to be older to understand what was happening at this time. I really don’t think a lot of the young people today remember the panic and catastrophe that enveloped the nation because of AIDS. They don’t understand how it developed. They don’t understand the devastation. We need to educate the young people about this disease as well as new-and-potentially-just-as-deadly diseases that may not be being detected currently through blood tests. It’s not a matter of discrimination. It’s a matter of life.

Sorba: Of course romantic attraction can happen between any two people, but the question is whether it adheres with the “Good.” A thing is Good insofar as it helps actualize the potential for humanity. Man is a rational animal. His final end is to know God and truth; truth means correlation with reality. Absent truth, what’s the point? Absent correspondence with reality, what are we doing here, dreaming? If Eros is the thing by which you define the Good, a man leaves his wife and kids in the name of “love.” Love is not the supreme decision maker for us. The Good is.

Go check out the multi-page report. It is well worth reading

Convicted Wall Street Felon To Speak At Peter LaBarbera’s “Truth Academy”

Jim Burroway

August 4th, 2010

Peter LaBarbera’s so-called “Truth Academy,” which kicks off tomorrow, has an interesting lineup of characters. Among the invited speakers is Arthur Goldberg, of JONAH (Jews Offering New Alternatives to Healing — and what is an alternative to healing exactly? An alternative to something is something other than that something and not including that something, isn’t it? Okay, I digress).

In 1989 Goldberg was convicted of conspiracy to defraud the U.S. Government. The conspiracy, in which he engineered a phony bond and investment scheme, netted him nearly $11 million in illegal fees. U.S. Attorney William O’Connor told the court at his sentencing that Goldberg’s crime was “a fraud of spectacular scope.”

More recently, one of JONAH’s  so-called “life coaches” was accused by two former clients of inappropriate sexual misconduct. Alan Downing, described as a lead therapist for JONAH and who is himself a so-called “former homosexual” who admits he is still attracted to men, essentially instructed his clients through a sort of strip tease as part of their so-called “therapy.” Alternatives to healing indeed.

Speaking of frauds of spectacular scope, another speaker at LaBarbera’s little confab is Cliff Kincaid, of “Accuracy in Media.” Kincaid has vigorously defended Uganda’s proposed Anti-Homosexuality Bill which would impose the death penalty on LGBT people under certain circumstances, and would criminalize any one else knowing or providing services to gay people.

Other speakers include Robert Knight, Coral Ridge Ministries; Ryan Sorba, Young Conservatives of California; Prof. Rena Lindevaldsen, Liberty University Law School; Matt Barber, Liberty Counsel; Laurie Higgins, Illinois Family Institute; and Greg Quinlan, Parents and Friends of Gays and Ex-Gays.

Timothy Kincaid has a great rundown of the other speakers here.

PFOX Prez Greg Quinlan’s dating criteria

Timothy Kincaid

July 21st, 2010

The Parents and Friends of Gays and Ex-gays (PFOX) is tiny, but interesting, anti-gay group. They are mostly disapproving parents of happily gay people who, along with an ex-gay or two, somewhat pathetically fight against the rights and freedoms of their gay children. I’m sure it must make for interesting table conversation at Thanksgiving.

Their current ex-gay is Greg Quinlan, a rather colorful fellow, who serves as their President. Quinlan’s shtick is going about claiming to be abused, mistreated, and discriminated against because he’s ex-gay. His latest amusing – but decidedly wackadoodle – effort was a disastrously unsuccessful attempt to get Pepsi to change it’s non-discrimination policy to specifically include ex-gays.

Well PFOX doesn’t do much and can’t be too time consuming. And Greg has had plenty of time on his hands since his ex-lesbian wife divorced him three years ago after a short marriage. So he thought he’d go do a little companion shopping at the National Organization for Marriage’s grand tour of empty city plazas, where Courage Campaign’s video camera caught up with him.

Quinlan shows up at the 4:39 point.

YouTube Preview Image

My name is Gregory Quinlan, and I’m uh.. this is PFOX, Parents and Friends of Ex-Gays and Gays. We advocate for the rights of former homosexuals.

If you can change from straight to gay, why can’t you change from gay to straight. That’s what I did nearly 19 years ago.

It’s a matter of choice. Now choices can be hard, choices can take a lot of effort. It did for me. But, it’s still a choice.

[videographer: Are you married?]

No.

[videographer: Why did you make that choice?]

Well, uh the choice?

[videographer: of not being married?]

Of not being… oh, it’s not that I’ve made that choice. It’s just that if you know of anybody, send them my way. I live right here in Roxbury Township, up in North Jersey. I’ll give you my name and number afterwords, if you know of anybody who’s available.

[videographer: What does that person look like?]

Female. And breathing.

Yeah… good luck with that, Greg.

Did God Smite Jesus Statue In Blatant Act of Ex-Gay Discrimination?

Jim Burroway

June 15th, 2010

That might be one explanation for last night’s Act of God, who destroyed a statue of His Only Begotten Son at Solid Rock Church in Monroe, Ohio. Church members were already trying to discern what it was that God was trying to tell them. Our own commenters have been helping out in that thread. BTB’s Timothy Kincaid and I wonder if maybe this might be a clue:

Then, in 1998 I founded Pro-Family Network, which is a Christian Family Advocacy organization…Also during this time I started, with the help of my pastor’s wife, a ministry at Solid Rock Church in Monroe, Ohio. Living Free Ministries helps those who want to leave the homosexual lifestyle deal with the issues that brought them to gender identity confusion. We have helped scores of people to follow the Manufacturer’s guidelines for successful living. [Emphasis added]

“I” in the above quote is Greg Quinlan, speaking before an Ohio committee considering a marriage discrimination bill. Quinlan knows a little bit about discrimination rhetoric, even if he doesn’t understand what discrimination really looks like. He is now head of PFOX, where he regularly tries to claim that “ex-gays” — otherwise known as straight people, if you believe their propaganda — are being discriminated against by the LGBT community and society. That’s a claim that is too bizarre even for Exodus International vice president Randy Thomas. But it may not be too bizarre for God. Apparently.

Also, it looks like God has also smote Solid Rock Church’s web site.

Learn to be a Wackadoodle

Timothy Kincaid

June 9th, 2010

It looks like Peter LaBarbera is seeking to put more seats in his Wackadoodle Express and he’s looking for fresh young bodies to fill them. Yes, the Peter has started a “school” and is now out recruiting children.

We’re delighted to announce the debut of our ongoing “Americans For Truth Academy,” designed to train young people (as well as older pro-family advocates) how to answer “gay” activist misinformation and fight the homosexual-bisexual-transsexual agenda.

And from the folks he’s lined up as “teachers”, it’s clearly a Wackadoodle School:

  • Robert Knight, Coral Ridge Ministries
  • Peter LaBarbera, Americans For Truth About Homosexuality
  • Ryan Sorba, Young Conservatives of California
  • Prof. Robert Gagnon, Pittsburgh Theological Seminary
  • Prof. Rena Lindevaldsen, Liberty University Law School
  • Matt Barber, Liberty Counsel
  • Laurie Higgins, Illinois Family Institute
  • Greg Quinlan, Parents and Friends of Gays and Ex-Gays

I could not have hand-picked a more extreme group than this one. Wackadoodles, one and all. But don’t get your hopes up, this is a double triple super secret Wackadoodle School.

Prospective attendees will need to be approved with references; this is not open to pro-homosexual activists but only to those who share AFTAH’s belief that homosexuality is immoral and that the GLBT movement is destructive to America and a direct threat to our religious freedom.

And what will they learn?

I know it’s all secret-secret, but I’ve taken the liberty of imagining a syllabus.

Robert Knight may open off by sharing that Matthew Shepard is burning in Hell and then may go on to quote a little of Paul Cameron’s work before defending racist and homophobic violence.

Matt Barber will teach them that homosexuality is one man violently cramming his penis into another man’s lower intestine and calling it love. And Laurie Higgins will tell the kiddies that it is their Christian duty to support the culture of disapproval and condemnation towards their gay classmates.

Robert Gagnon will provide the scholarly religious perspective by insisting that because the gospels are actually a retelling of an earlier writing, therefore the Roman Centurion who asked Jesus to heal his “pais” was actually a Jewish administrator asking about his son… but any Scripture that might possibly condemn homosexuality is to be taken literally and applied as condemnation of today’s gay and lesbian community. (Students may not wish to sit in the front, Gagnon is inclined to angry ranting.)

Next Greg Quinlan will give a personal touch by telling how he once was a homosexual but now he is a very heterosexual man who out of Christian conviction is living celibately since his wife divorced him. And Ryan Sorba will support him by declaring that reparative therapy is a proven success, regardless of what pro-sodomy activists say. Quinlan may also spend some time arguing that ex-gay is an orientation and that Disneyland is the devil’s playground. (Students are advised not to ask questions to either of these presenters as they might incite confrontation and claim martyrdom.)

Finally Rena Lindevaldsen will give you secret tips on how kidnap the children of militant gay activists and flee the country to South America – all without a job or speaking Spanish – so as to make sure those children have a stable normal life.

And before breaking at the end of the weekend to return to fight the good fight, Peter LaBarbera will announce the much anticipated 2009 Grinch Award winners, followed by an exciting slide show of sodomites in action. This will have much nudity and will emphasize kink and S/M so it should be very stirring and uplifting. LaBarbera will be on hand to model the leatherman outfits he uses to infiltrate sex parties and to discuss in detail the exact mechanics of specific sexual acts for a select few; be sure to apply for this very special presentation.

Pro-Ex-Gay Preacher’s Daughter Speaks Out

Timothy Kincaid

September 4th, 2007

It’s a ‘chicken or the egg’ question; what comes first, anti-gay extremism or a child’s sexual orientation?

It seems almost more than coincidental that there are so many anti-gay activists with gay children ranging from Eagle Forum’s Phyllis Schafly and Operation Rescue’s Randall Terry to ex-gay proponants like PFOX’s Regina Griggs and NARTH’s Charles Socarides. Oddly, none of the anti-gay or ex-gay leaders have ever had a child that succeeded in changing their orientation.

We recently told you about Sal Roggio, the Cumberland County, NJ, preacher who is bringing in ex-gay Greg Quinlan to “explain that homosexuality is a changeable behavior”. Rev. Roggio wanted “folks to come in and know there’s hope.”

I guess it’s really not all that surprising that Sal Roggio’s daughter Sharon is a lesbian. As reported by NBC10 she just couldn’t remain silent in the face of her father’s public crusade.

“I love my father and want only happiness for him,” Sharon Roggio said. “But I cannot stand silent and allow false statements against gay and lesbian people to be made any longer.”

Greg Quinland Takes Message To NJ Church As Promised

Daniel Gonzales

August 28th, 2007

Last November Timothy Kincaid reported at Ex-Gay Watch that Greg Quinlan planned on taking his ex-gay and anti-gay political message to the churches of New Jersey.

PressOfAtlanticCity.com reports Quinlan will take his message to Cumberland County Community Church this weekend.

Since the Ex-Gay Survivor’s Movement has begun there has been a sea-change in how ex-gay issues have been phrased and debated. Cumberland’s paster, Sal Roggio, seems to have picked up on the new and admittedly weak party being used by people pushing ex-gay therapy saying:

“When you lie to someone, you take away their hope,” he said. “I want folks to come in and know there’s hope.”

This “deny people hope” line appears to have been first employed by Randy Thomas and (speaking from personal experince) was met with laughter by ex-gay survivors.

Really guys, come up with a better angle than that.

(via Good As You)