Blogs Jan 9, 2012 at 8:25 am

Comments

1
In other breaking news, the sun still comes up every morning whether you rage against it or not.
2
Oh come on, he's cooking those numbers. Show us the .1%! (Perhaps this .1% is either married to Michelle Bachman or busy engaging the services of strappy young men who lift luggage?)
3
The "we just don't want you guys to squick us out" will still triumph. Now "change can happen" will simply morph into a cheerful "so you're still *experiencing* same sex attraction - just don't act on it!" and then they'll all go make God's eyes in the crafts room.
4
15 years ago, the American Psychological Association issued a resolution regarding homosexuality and so called reparative therapy, stating:
" Homosexuality is not a mental disorder and the APA opposes all portrayals of lesbian, gay, and bisexual people as mentally ill and in need of treatment due to their sexual orientation"

The APA further states that "the potential risks if 'reparative therapy' are great, including depression, anxiety, and self destructive behaviors, since therapist alignment with societal prejudices against homosexuality may reinforce self-hatred already experienced by the patient."

Exodus is specifically mentioned among the so called treatment organizations whose practices are ethically suspect.

Good that they have caught up to the rest of the enlightened world. Does this mean that they will stop knowingly causing harm to good people?
5
I'm a heterosexual male who has been reading Slog for quite a while and I still like women. This shit totally doesn't work.
6
We've got Pope Benedict on the line, sirs! He says he's Catholic!

But still, it's almost comforting that even Exodus International can admit that counseling doesn't change a person's sexual orientation. It's even better that this guy saw something that contradicted his views and was able to process and internalize it. We should encourage this kind of rational thinking whenever we see it.
8
Dan... know of any good orgies tonight in Washington DC? How long will it take me to adopt a kid so I can neglect it.

Want to do my part in the gay war on straight marriage, even if I'm bi!
9
At the link, the comments section has some reasonable interpretations:

>>> I have a feeling that for Mr. Chambers, “being gay” ... means “believing that I will find fulfillment in a relationship with another man” and “being straight” means “believing that I will find fulfillment in a relationship with a woman” >>>

So 99.9% of gay men who try to change will still feel aroused by other men, sometimes -- but they may also find themselves aroused by sex with a woman, and thus be able to build a loving, intimate relationship with a woman. And they may be able to resist the temptation to have sex with guys, the same way that monogamous straight guys usually resist the temptation to have extramarital affairs.
10
And so is my wife! And we swing and do cuckolding. And all this happened after reading your column. Chalk up a big win for your side dude!

Keep up the good work!!!!!!!!
11
And the other 0.1% lie.
12
Also, water is wet! Repeatedly breathing smoke for years on end is harmful! Republican presidential candidates oppose women's rights and gay rights! (Though, to be fair, if we're talking about something like scientific research, proving the obvious IS actually really important.)

@2: I dunno, I'm definitely not attracted to women with the same kinds of characteristics as when I was a teenager, in part because of an ongoing perspective shift on social construction and relationships. Our sexual attractions can change over time, though engineering a specific change is probably impossible, given the vast number of factors (including biological ones and personal history, which can't really be changed) that influence expressed sexuality.
13
@7 - I'm not sure, Ken, whether you are agreeing with Seattleblues or are just playing devil's advocate pointing out what his counterargument is likely to be.

Either way, I'm curious about the question you pose: "does homosexual behavior harm society?" Does it? Is there an intrinsic harm?

I would argue that no, there is no intrinsic harm.
14
Let's be honest here.

Half the slate of candidates for GOP nom for President are gay, pretending to be straight.

I just feel sorry for their (probably) unsuspecting wives.
15
I don't think Perry is pretending very hard. Santorum, on the other hand, feel sorry for the guy.

Don't know about Romney and Huntsman--the Mormonism throws off my gaydar.

Didn't Oscar Wilde manage to get married and have kids? Are they saying Exodus is a success because it can make you straight like Oscar Wilde? The comments section on that article is really depressing.
16
kubkbh
17
Sorry for that last comment, that was an error. My actual comment is this: although most gay and lesbian folks are just that, gay and lesbian, isn't it possible that there are some folks who are bisexual who because messed up things happened to them in their past are not able to have the sorts of heterosexual relationships that they'd like to have? Even though it might be a small percentage, this would appear to me to be the rational kernel in the ex-gay folks' thought.

The notion that people are gay because of trauma, because of bad parenting, etc.. is bullshit, but that doesn't mean that a small number of folks who would want to have more heterosexual relationships are inhibited from doing so because of some of those factors.
18
Well, this perfectly explains all those 'gays' who support Santorum; they're the self-hating gays who've embraced the perverse ex-gay lifestyle by choosing the closet or celibacy or are doing their darndest to behave like heterosexuals.
19
@3 The ultimate goal is for same-sex marriage to be like straight marriage, that is, a soul-sucking institution used to stimulate sales of toys, Disney films, and anything produced by the Hallmark corporation. Believe you me, once marriage has completed this most recent of countless mutations, the war against "promiscuity" (i.e. guilt-free fucking between unwed individuals) will have suffered nary a scratch.
20
Just saw a bear take a massive shit in the woods!
21
Hey! How did Will, Fnarf and Erica earn their merit badges to each become an "awesome person" on the Stranger?
22
@21: I think it's something you get for making a purchase at Strangercrombie, The Stranger's annual charity fundraiser.
23
@21/22, actually, it was something else. There was a push to have Slog readers donate to Northwest Harvest at higher rates than Gawker readers. So they gave these little "Awesome Person" badges if you donated any amount and then forwarded the receipt to slog. I don't know if it's still ongoing, and I don't know how long the "Awesome Person" badge will last.

25
Wow, I totally didn't know that both Exodus and GCN have joined the American Catholic bishops in conceding that same-sex attraction is immutable and, in GCN's words, "God calls gay Christians to lifelong celibacy." This is a big step in the direction of shedding these ex-gay ministries. When kids are no longer told that they can be attracted to members of the opposite sex if they just close their eyes and wish hard enough - when kids are told that they'll actually have to be CELIBATE in order to win an all-access Heaven pass - God's will is going to start looking a lot less attractive than just coming out of the damn closet already and buying some leather.
26
Exodus International has historically minimized the existence and relevance of sexual orientation, and Exodus continues to do so among conservative audiences. Exodus views attraction as a form of demonic temptation, and it views the adoption of a phony heterosexual evangelical "identity" as the only moral option.

In other words, Exodus still demands that gay people pretend (to themselves and to the world) to be straight, and have faith that a miracle will happen.

The organization contends that gay people "grow into heterosexuality" through dating and awkward attempts at sexual intimacy. Exodus boot camps still exist to change people's attractions and, barring that, to reinforce denial and self-delusion. In two recent books, Chambers condemned the notion of gay celibacy; in Exodus' view, one must not merely refrain from same-sex intimacy, one must also refrain from any theologically incorrect label or "identity" other than Christian and heterosexual.

So nothing has changed. Exodus is still using doubletalk about attractions vs. "identity" to distract attention from its promotion of deception, support for bullying in schools, lenient prosecution of hate crimes, discrimination in the workplace, opposition to legal relationships, ostracism from church and family, and genocide in Uganda.
27
GCN does not believe that gay people are supposed to be committed to lifelong celibacy. Officially, they don't take a position one way or the other because they're trying to be a safe space for people who are coming to terms with their sexuality and would be scared off otherwise, but the director and the vast majority of members believe that gay relationships are exactly equivalent, morally, to straight relationships.

28
@7(Mr Mehlman), I tend to agree with @13(Kevin) above in asking what the intrinsic harm is that homosexual behavior could bring to society.

Here is a comparison. Given the number of deaths in traffic accidents in the US, it is possible to construct an argument in favor of the idea that driving is too dangerous to be allowed, because 'driving behavior' inexorably leads to an unbearably high number of deaths (more than abortion, for instance). This would logically lead to the need to convince people to give up 'driving behavior' and use public transportation exclusively. Perhaps there should be laws to that effect, or at least perhaps religions should condemn driving at least as strongly as they condemn abortion.

Yet neither usually happens, the main rationale (according to a few texts I've read) being that the danger is not 'intrinsic' to driving, but to being human.

I'd say a case against homosexual behavior would at least have to be more convincing than this case against driving (i.e., the harm to be avoided should be more important than the driving death toll).
29
Ms Erica @9 - Does the last paragraph need rewording? It reads as if you are asserting that most gay men who tried could build successful relationships with women. I believe you think everyone should be open to everything, but that would seem a couple of steps over the line even for you. Or is it what you presume Mr Chambers or the commenter to be stating?

Sorry if I'm just being dense.
30
@29, no, though it may need clarification :-)

First off, I'm just trying to explain a commentator's interpretation of Alan Chambers' words. So these aren't my opinions, just my rephrasing of other people's opinions.

Second, we're talking about gay men who are explicitly trying not to be gay. So already, it's not "most gay men" -- it's "99.9% of gay men who try to change," a much more motivated group.

Third, Chambers' point is that people who hate being gay will find it easier to become bisexual (attracted to both sexes) than to become straight, and more satisfying than staying gay (since they hate being gay).

Which seems reasonable to me. Throughout history, tons of people have been in heterosexual marriages while getting some gay action on the side. Presumably, lots of other people have been in heterosexual marriages while wanting (but not getting) some gay action on the side, due to fear or respect for their marriage vows. I think that's what Chambers is saying is possible: "You'll still want sex with men, but you may be able to withstand the temptation."
31
Ms Erica - Thank you. That's more or less what I thought you were saying, but I could not be sure..

I'd expect that it depends on what they really hate. Obviously this isn't conclusive, but the only cases of which I have any knowledge involving "successful" (full sarcasm implied) lifestyle change concerned subjects who genuinely hated being gay and not just the side effects. This is where I see evil, as the vast majority hate the side effects (at least, in my experience and here at least I do write firsthand) and the deliberate effort is made to convince them that they hate the orientation.
32
Mr Ven, I think that's a very astute observation. Hopefully, in the future, these "pray the gay away" programs will only appeal to those who genuinely hate being gay, as the side effects (not being able to marry, have kids, walk down the street holding hands with one's partner) are diminishing year by year.

Self-hating gays should then become as rare as transsexuals. Hmm, I never thought of those together before. I wonder if there's something to that. Some people feel strongly that they are female in male bodies; maybe some people feel they are straight (or bi) people who inadvertently got gay brains.

Though maybe that's far-fetched, since there are plenty of people with female bodies who feel they are male, but I've never heard of someone straight wishing they were gay.

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