What's the Big Deal about Ex-Gays?
Paul E. Rondeau
The small, all volunteer organization PFOX (Parents and Friends of Ex-Gays & Gays) is once again making national news. They are supporting a shareholder's resolution at Disney (yes, that Disney) asking the media giant to include former homosexuals under their anti-discrimination policies based on sexual orientation.
PFOX has successfully taken powerful school systems like Montgomery County, MD, ( a suburb of Washington, DC) to federal court for pushing unsafe and untrue sexuality classes on their students.
PFOX brought mega-union National Education Association to the Superior Court of DC for blocking PFOX for years from even exhibiting at NEA national conferences while welcoming gay groups to train teachers.
In order to continue to ban PFOX from the national conferences, NEA argued that they could discriminate against PFOX and ex-gays due to their right to freedom of association. PFOX did not get to exhibit in the future but forced NEA to admit in court what PFOX already knew: the NEA and gay activist groups like GLSN and PFLAG that target K-12 schoolchildren are in bed together.
Something else happened that the NEA forgot to mention in press releases: The Court ruled that ex-gays are also protected from discrimination by the same laws that apply to gays. PFOX forced the Goliath union out of the closet and set legal precedent--not a bad's day's work!
PFOX is the only ex-gay group in the nation to sign-on in support of California's marriage amendment. They participate in press conferences against federal hate crimes legislation. Fox News reported that PFOX also has confronted the mighty American Library Association.
(The ALA vets and recommends books for inclusion in K-12 libraries. They routinely reject anything written by or about ex-gays. Meanwhile, children's books on gay penguins, lesbian mommies, and details of homosexual initiation with an older man get their imprimatur.)
Why is this small Virginia-based group taking on mega-issues, mega-unions, and now Fortune 500 companies when ex-gay ministries like Exodus have walked off the public policy playing field? (PFOX is neither a therapeutic or counseling organization.)
Both the Left and the Right scratch their heads about PFOX. The Left wonders, "Who do they think they are and how can we silence them?" Some on the Right wonder, "Who do they think they are and what are they doing?"
What do marriage amendments, hate crimes, school curricula, and library books have to do with the PFOX mission of supporting and advocating for 'ex-gays?' Most of all, the Right doesn't comprehend this "bizarre idea" that ex-gays should be covered by sexual-orientation anti-discrimination policies.
To answer the first, all the ex-gay ministries and support in the world will not keep up with K-12 schools, library books, and teacher unions that continue to promote homosexuality as normal and healthy to millions of children each day.
Second, gay activists target ex-gays for ridicule, economic harassment, and political silencing. Any discussion of successfully changing one's homosexual attraction blows down the "born that way" Ponzie scheme. Gays unleash a spew of vitriol denouncing the bigotry such 'hateful' speech. What hateful speech? Well, just that ex-gays exist. If ENDA, Hate Crimes, same-sex marriage, and the rest of gay legislative laundry list become law, the next step is hateful speech becomes hate speech. All ex-gays will become legally persona non grata.
And if just saying change of sexual orientation for some is possible becomes illegal hate speech, ex-gay ministries who support change will close-up shop. It's not rocket science. All professional therapeutic or research support to overcome unwanted same-sex attraction will become unethical if not illegal. (Conspiracy theory? Ridiculous? Just check Germany where gay militants fought to revoke an M.D.'s license for just that.)
In the last few years, radicals in the American Psychological Association almost succeeded in banning all therapeutic support for change as unethical--regardless of the patient's expressed desire. Only pressure and threat of litigation from ex-gays and their supporters demanding that a patient's rights to self-determination was more important than APA political ideology defeated the gay gambit.
Not Hard to Imagine: The Future is Already Here.
A Christian photographer passes on doing a 'gay wedding.' A single girl renting out an extra bedroom chooses not to have a lesbian roommate. They are sued, fined and ordered by the court to sensitivity training
Did the gay complainants have ample other choices? Doesn't matter. The constitutionally enumerated right to religious freedom of the defendant? Does not matter. Private property and personal rights of the young woman? Does not matter.
eHarmony offers match-making based based on years of psychological research on successful heterosexual marriage. It is not a generic dating site. It has no research on same-sex relationships. Doesn't matter. Ditto, Ditto. The founder is an evangelical Christian. Doesn't matter. More likely, that is exactly what did matter.
A New Jersey gay filed for discrimination. eHarmony is not found guilty but to finally end months of litigation, the owner agrees to launch a homosexual matching service called Compatible Partners. Sorry, not good enough. Gays in California then filed a class action suit claiming a 'separate but equal [dating site]' is still discriminatory.
What does matter is that these are not future events. They already happened. Pastors in Canada and Europe have already faced hate speech prosecutions. Ex-gay supporters have been dismissed by gay supporters. Obama's 'safe school' czar is a past drug abuser and pro-gay zealot. Oh, didn't hear any of this in the media? Surely just an journalistic oversight on crowded news days for the last decade.
Jurisprudence does not exist in a vacuum. What is the legal trajectory after ENDA, Hate Crimes, and wide spread same-sex marriage? The obvious result would be further forced compliance by the courts to validate homosexuality in every manner .
Where would this leave those who want to leave homosexuality? Or ex-gays? Or un-affirming parents or teachers? Is it so hard to imagine discrimination complaints followed by court ordered therapy to cure 'homophobia'? ( Remember, whether or not charges of homophobia are untrue...doesn't matter!)
That's where public policy and PFOX intersect. The underlying precept to pro-gay policies is that there is no such thing as ex-gays. This implies that anyone, including ex-gays, who believes change is possible are either mentally ill or prejudiced against gays.
Policies that protect the 'right' to be gay must also protect the right to become ex-gay. If leaving homosexuality were mere science fiction, why don't gays ignore protection for ex-gays as meaningless? Instead, they fight tooth and nail against any protection for ex-gays as a conspiracy to discriminate against gays, i.e. ex-gay is discrimination.. Hence, PFOX's strategic advocacy for inclusion of ex-gays in sexual orientation policies. Q.E.D.
Gays are Self-Evident Proof, but Ex-gays are Just Crazy.
Homosexuality is still not proven to exist as anything other than a mental perception. The 'science' that proves the innate nature of gayness is that gays self-identify and behave as gays. We are told that we must accept homosexuality as normal and healthy even for ourselves or loved one and pass pro-gay protections against those less enlightened.
Gays set a little different level of scientific rigor for ex-gays. Ex-gays must prove that they were gay in the first place and then they must also prove that they are no longer gay . That is, ex-gays must first prove what gays have failed to prove in four decades and then prove the null hypothesis to what has not been proven in the first place.
(No-no-no. It doesn't work the same way in case your wondering. It's perfectly fine to claim civil rights status because you say you are homosexual and behaving that way. But self-identifying as ex-gay, claiming to now have less or no same-sex attraction and behaving that way is not proof. That's classified as just ex-gay right wing ignorant crazy talk.)
PFOX fights for policies to keep the road to self-determination open for those who choose it and against policies that threaten it. It's kind of like insurance or a constitutional amendment protecting marriage: you have to have it before you imagine you could ever need it.
Because in spite of being assured that change is impossible and against all odds, thousands of homosexuals do start the journey each year to conquer their unwanted same-sex attraction.
It is a daunting, arduous trek. Some do not reach the life-changing goal they set. Gay activists exploit these most intimate personal disappointments as proof positive of the folly for all.
But many do reach their destination. They leave homosexuality behind. That truth is a lighthouse in the perfect storm of sexual politics. They prove to gays, parents, and lawmakers that self-determination in one's own sexual nature is possible. They prove change is possible.
And that's a big deal.