In an article that attempts to bridge a spectrum of gay, ex-gay, and ex-ex-gay viewpoints, The Advocate asks:
Three years after the furor over a teenage boy who was forcibly sent to one of its camps, the ex-gay movement may be losing steam. Meanwhile, ex-gay survivors are gaining strength. But are the two groups really that different?
While offering a comprehensive range of voices ranging from Exodus’ John Smid and Alan Chambers to ex-gay survivors Peterson Toscano and Christine Bakke, The Advocate article glosses over:
- the exploitation of ex-gay counselees by antigay and GOP-affiliated political organizations
- efforts by ex-gay therapists and activists to scare ex-gays away from friendships and dialogue with gay acquaintances
- the abandonment of counselees by their ex-gay “ministries” when counselees such as Noe Gutierrez reject certain ex-gay political positions or misleading claims about orientation change — or find a way for faith and sexual honesty to co-exist
- deliberate efforts by ex-gay activists to promote discrimination, intrafamily blame games, prohibition of legal gay relationships, and tolerance of antigay violence, as tools to pressure gay people to submit to quack therapy and abusive, politicized distortions of religion
- the tight connections between the Exodus International board of directors and the Arlington Group of religious rightists that strive to replace federal law with fundamentalist reinterpretations of the Bible, science, history, and the rights of non-fundamentalists
- the ongoing false marketing of Exodus and Focus on the Family, promising “change” and a dishonest “heterosexual identity”
Until a substantial number of moderate members of Exodus take responsibility for their leaders’ political and cultural warfare, and act appropriately to interfere with that warfare, there really is no sincere effort toward common ground on the ex-gay side — contrary to what The Advocate suggests.