AUTHOR WAYNE BESEN PRAISES TENNESSEE FOR TAKING STRONG ACTION AGAINST 'EX-GAY' BOOT CAMP
Every State In The Nation Should Shut Down Unlicensed 'Ex-Gay' Groups That Harm Clients, Said Wayne Besen
NEW YORK - Wayne Besen, author of Anything But Straight: Unmasking the Scandals and Lies Behind the Ex-Gay Myth, today applauded the state of Tennessee for ordering ex-gay group Love In Action to comply with state guidelines or be shut down for operating two unlicensed facilities. If the ex-gay group does not follow state rules by Sept. 15, the Tennessee Department of Mental Health & Developmental Disabilities will issue a cease and desist order.
"Tennessee sent a strong message that Love and Action is not above the law," said author Wayne Besen. "This dangerous and dysfunctional group should be held accountable and expected to adhere to professional standards like other mental health facilities in the state. Tennessee is rightfully and responsibly protecting its citizens from unscrupulous and unlicensed practitioners posing as genuine mental health professionals. I urge every state in the nation to look at their local 'ex-gay' groups to determine if they meet basic mental health guidelines."
The state of Tennessee released the following statement:
"DMHDD staff met with Mr. John Smid, Executive Director of Love In Action, on August 19, 2005. Based on the meeting, it was determined that Love In Action is operating two unlicensed mental health supportive living facilities in Memphis.
In accordance with DMHDD's licensure procedures, a certified letter was sent to Mr. Smid. The letter dated August 23, 2005, stated licensure staff's determination that Love In Action was operating two unlicensed facilities. The letter further stated that he must stop operating the homes within seven (7) days of receiving the letter, or apply for a license within the same time period.
The Department's Office of Licensure determines the seven day period based on the date the organization receives the letter. This is verified by return receipt from the Post Office. Licensure did not receive a return receipt from the post office, so another letter was sent Thursday, September 8th. If Mr. Smid does not respond by September 15th, licensure staff will revisit Love In Action, to determine if the agency is still operating the two homes. If the homes are still operating, licensure will recommend to the Department's Commissioner that a cease and desist order be issued to Love In Action, in accordance with DMHDD Licensure Law."
In May, 16-year old Zach told his fundamentalist Christian parents that he is gay. Horrified by the news, they vowed to fix him by sending him to Love In Action's "ex-gay" boot camp in Memphis to be reprogrammed. The young man blogged about the incident and it made national news.
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Praise the Lord they finally closed that awful shithole down!
As a former homosexual, I think Love In Action should remain open to help people. This is Christian pursecution. The state doesn't want people changing their lifestyles. You know, it is funny how the Lord always has the final word in these matters. Don't celebrate yet, homosexuals.
Albert, you call that perscuetion of christians, tsk tsk? What about your socalled christianity that persecutes us and has done for millenia supporting systemic discrimination at the government level. You're delusional to ever think you're an ex-homosexual. How many women have you banged lately assuming you could get it up?
Albert, you're not a FORMER homosexual. You're a homosexual who is 'in his place.'
Groups like LIA, Exodus and whatever aren't in it for YOU and you're in it because it's not easy to be gay. I can relate. It's not easy to be a woman, or black. I am both of those... And I'll be goddamned and so will you...if you've EVER let anyone tell you that because you're gay you're not fit to walk the Earth. What does it say about you now that your way of life is in agreement with that? Don't pat yourself on the back... You wouldn't have any respect for black people who'd never committed themselves to getting to facing being burned, beaten, their homes destroyed and their children threatenedd just to be seen as an equal human being. A flat chested woman can go buy a pair of fake breasts. Sure, she'll have a bigger chest. But they won't change the world's view of accepting flat chested women, and her are still fake. Yep...that's you.
posted by Regan, at
9/13/2005 8:59 PM
Robert in Bayside, i like your postings; you generally crack me up. Gary (NJ)
posted by Anonymous, at
9/14/2005 9:24 AM
One of the biggest outrages to me, is that these churches pay NO taxes, but rake in millions; whereas gay people pay the same, if not more (no kids, more disposable income), than most hetero families. And they still have the CHUTZPAH to try to tell us how to live our lives as well as take away our equality and civil rights. They pay shit and we GET all their shit! Gary (NJ)
posted by Anonymous, at
9/14/2005 9:34 AM
Tim, well put! The only way their power is going to be diminished even more is if the republicans are kicked out in the next general election. If it weren't for Bush and his cronyism, these industries wouldn't be flexing their muscle.
To digress, and as much as I hate to say it, who on earth among the democrats is capable of leading us? None that come to mind even support full civil rights for gays either. Its really scary. What is even scarier is that these extremists don't even want us to have civil unions short of full marriage recognition. These people are clearly hatemongers and not worthy to be called christian. We need our own Rick Santorum type to take them on and fight back, but I doubt if he or she exists, none of them have the courage or conviction to stick their necks out for us. Nobody really speaks about injustice in our own backyard. Its unconscionable that a nation such as ours should blatantly discriminate and deny us our full civil rights while pushing for pseudo democracy in Iraq. Its abominable. Meanwhile, the bigots continue to flourish with tacit support from the idiot in the White House or condemnation from the left.
Gary, I'm so glad I crack you up. We have to maintain our sense of humor in all things I suppose.
Yes, these frauds pay no taxes. As I said some time back, they should be forced to open their books for public scrutiny to just see where there money is coming from and where its going. These are business first, nothing but. I suppose Bush allows the ex-gay ministries to flourish on the pretext that they are faith based and therefore exempt. What a bunch of baloney that is! As long as they meddle in politics, they should be taxed their fair share. I've said it once and I'll say it again, the gay community should be pushing for the elimination of marriage rights for hetero couples if they don't want us to have equal access to marriage. Why should we be funding their breeding habits and schools when all we get is the finger? I'd get rid of that child allowance break once and for all. They want kids, let them pay for them, in full, not out of my tax dollars thank you very much. You'll see how fast they'd respond to that one! They can't have it both ways. Time for action.
Gary, another thing. The catholic church is a vast conglomerate, billions of dollars. Here in NYC, it owns vast amounts of real estate and other investments (all subject to tax exemption), but since the molestation scandal, they've had to sell some of it to offset the lawsuits, some still pending. But they'll recoup their losses sooner or later, again, no taxes paid. Its disgusting isn't it? Its all going to catch up with them. There's a proposal to ban all gay men from the priesthood, fine with me because it will hasten the church's decline. They maintain that having gay seminarians deters heterosexuals from becoming priests. I find it offensive to say the least. They should go after the hetero priest philanderers too and get it over with. There are many to go around. Wouldn't that be justice?
These sorts of discussions, no matter what group is involved, historic context is so very important. I recently had some head butting with a black minister named DL Foster who refused to talk to me directly and leave my posts on his blog. He's one of several black clergy I've had run ins with.
Because I am a straight black woman, they have tried to call me names or keep me from an open forum because of my defense of or support for gay and lesbian concerns.
I will say YES, YES, and YES again that there are HUGE amounts of historical analogies of abuse that gays and lesbians share with blacks and Jews and women of all backgrounds.
The retort we get is that you can't equate color with being gay. That's true and I've NEVER done that. I equate the TREATMENT received, not the physical or behavioral aspects because men and women, black or white, Jew or Gentile, sick or healthy have no equivalents to each other except that all are human beings. And that one group has persecuted the other and created unjustified caste systems in the past, we have yet to recover from in this day and age. I take no offense at comparing the struggles of gays and lesbians with that of blacks or Jews. There are deep and appropriate similarities. Not exact ones, but real and close ones. Sure, maybe not HERE in America, gays and lesbians weren't a part of the slave trade. But their communities preferred execution until the 1880's, THEN gays and lesbians were arrested and subject to hard labor. As far as family was concerned, black kids had their church and extended family for care and support, gay youngsters didn't and don't. So, I can be VERY clear about context and whose struggle is authentic.... The least authentic as far as struggle is concerned since the founding of this country, it's laws and most rural and remote communities: is that a Christian was ever persecuted for being Christian. And any other Christian that dares to say that keeping them from invading and compromising the mental health of a person is persecution, insults the process of civil equality and those who have or continue to struggle for it's real promise.
I have found though, that those avowed Christians (like DL Foster and Jesse Peterson) confronted with these inconvenient facts, tend towards insult and run like the nasty, sniveling, unintelligent bullies they truly are.
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