The parents of PFOX wrote to me yesterday to alert me to the “Political and Social Oppression of the Ex-Gay Community.” How horrible, I thought, that the sprawling Ex-Gay Community is treated that way!
I feared for the lives and the rights of my “no – longer – identified – as – anything, free-from-freedom, no – news – here, move – along” friends in the teeming ex-gay ghettoes of Colorado Springs and Orlando. So I tore open the PFOX e-mail envelope and read the following dispatch from suburban Washington, D.C. …
As you can see from the below local ABC news video, many ex-gays are afraid to come out of the closet because of the harassment they will receive — their names, phone numbers and personal information posted on gay websites; attacked at ex-gay exhibit booths; press releases issued against them, etc. The tactics of gay activists are to go after anyone who comes out publicly as ex-gay, force them back into the closet, and then claim that ex-gays don’t exist because there aren’t any out in public:
PFOX radiates fear and paranoia — blaming critics of the ex-gay industry for ex-gay homophobia, prejudice, and fear of legitimate mental-health professionals. These fears result in ex-gays, and the antigay families of gay people, living in fear of their own shadows.
David Fishback, for example, is a former chair of the Montgomery County (Maryland) Public Schools Citizens Advisory Committee for Family Health and Human Development. He also is on the board of Metro-DC PFLAG.
Here are some brief bullet points that I culled from Fishback’s analysis:
1. Antigay book author Ryan Sorba lacks qualifications for attacking scientific consensus that sexual orientation is not chosen. WJLA failed to assess Sorba’s qualifications.
2. WJLA contacted and quoted Peter Sprigg of PFOX while failing to note that PFOX is a de facto shell organization for the Family Research Council and Sprigg is an FRC vice president. WJLA also did not bother to contact Metro DC PFLAG.
3. The piece gives only a “peremptory nod” to the scientific consensus, without even mentioning the recent American Psychological Association’s publication Just the Facts About Sexual Orientation and Youth which lays out the health dangers of ex-gay therapies.
4. WJLA fails to document any number, much less “many” who “still maintain homosexuality is triggered by childhood abuse or poor relationships and people should be freed to choose which path to take.” Fishback notes: “No reputable scientific or medical researcher believes what WJLA says that ‘many still maintain.’”
5. Fishback believes that the piece “entirely misses the key question underlying the controversy: Why do some people want to change their sexual orientations in the face of the reality, confirmed by the mainstream scientific community, that people cannot will themselves to change their orientation?”
6. WJLA’s framing of its report with students at Smith College yelling at Ryan Sorba distracts from the real issues.
Other reactions to WJLA: