Bishop Gene Robinson could hardly have been clearer about his reason for dropping out of a forum on religion and sexuality that was to be held May 5 in conjunction with an American Psychological Association convention in Washington:
“Conservatives, particularly Focus on the Family, were going to use this event to draw credibility to the so-called reparative therapy movement. It became clear to me in the last couple of weeks that just my showing up and letting this event happen…lends credibility to that so-called therapy.” (The Washington Blade)
Robinson’s exit prompted the forum’s cancellation, but the political biases and oversights of forum organizers and panelists doomed the forum from the start.
In its latest video, Focus on the Family falsely describes the cancelled forum as a debate between “gay activists” and “pro-family leaders” regarding “homosexuality and therapy” — implying that the topic would be ex-gay therapy. Focus then falsely reports that “gay activists” prompted Robinson’s exit. Focus goes so far as to accuse forum critics of silencing Christian voices — as if Bishop Robinson, and the Christian ex-gay survivors who were excluded from the forum, were something other than Christian. Focus quotes Exodus executive vice president and resident cynic Randy Thomas:
“It’s pretty amazing that if if they (unnamed gay activists) want to be as diverse as they claim, they would accept people who have a different perspective on faith with regard to this issue.”
Throckmorton admits that opposition to the forum was motivated by involvement of Albert Mohler, president of the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary. But Throckmorton fails to explain how inclusion of a highly political activist such as Mohler was ever appropriate for a forum about religion, homosexuality, and mental health. Throckmorton continues to sidestep mischaracterizations of the forum by Focus on the Family, as well as the forum’s exclusion of former ex-gays and informed critics of ex-gay therapy that would have balanced out his own presence.