Focus on the Family will shed its controversial Love Won Out program for transforming homosexuals into heterosexuals because of budget troubles, the conservative media ministry said Tuesday.
The Love Won Out conferences on "leaving homosexuality" will be handed over in November to a longtime ministry partner, Orlando, Fla.-based Exodus International.
"The economic challenges led us to this strategic decision," Focus vice president Gary Schneeberger said Wednesday. "Love Won Out is not an inexpensive event to stage, and rarely, in over 50 cities where it's been held, have we ever made back our investment, despite good attendance."
Focus on the Family, which held its first Love Won Out conference in 1998, will lead its last on Nov. 7 in Birmingham, Ala. A $6 million shortfall in the $138 million budget also caused Focus president Jim Daly to send out a fundraising letter to 800,000 donors.
"Right now we're facing a serious budget shortfall that threatens our ability to reach out to parents, families and married couples who count on our help," Daly wrote. "I want to assure you we're committed to good stewardship and living within our means, just as so many families are today."
Schneeberger said one staff position will be eliminated and further cost-cutting measures are under consideration.
Wayne Besen, a gay activist with the group Truth Wins Out, said conference crowds are getting smaller and drawing less media attention.
"There is a shrinking market for their product," Besen said. "This is a very positive development, because it shows Focus on the Family wants to get out of the ex-gay business -- though not completely. But if this were something they were really vested in, they would have kept it in-house."
Even the fools who send these charlatans money have figured out what a big waste of time and money this ex-gay bullshit is. The fact that the millions of dollars they've spent on this could have been used to help people (or animals for that matter) who are really in need, makes it even more heinous and 'sinful'.
posted by gary, at
8/13/2009 11:57 AM
aaaaaaaaaaahhhhhhaaaaa HAHAHAHAHAHHAHAHAHAHAHAH AAAAHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH HAHAHAAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAH oh wait let me have a moment please? Ok. HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAH AHAHHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAH Does anyone else need to be poked in the eyeball to shed a tear?
posted by ewe, at
8/13/2009 2:15 PM
WAYNE..YOU ARE NOT WINNING? This past Sunday at the APA annual convention in Toronto a study was presented showing that sexual orientation is changeable and that attempts to change are not harmful. The research revealed that 23 percent of those participating reported a change in their sexual orientation. Thirty percent noted a dramatic decrease in homosexual attraction. The research also pointed out that those who attempted to change their same-sex attractions were not harmed. And many participants reported a "diminishing of psychological distress" the longer they pursued "reorientation." I also want to mention that the APA recently released a task-force report that shows some patients may want to change, but stops short of giving its blessing to such programs. It is amazing that the APA allowed an ex-gay report to be made at their convention. They even had a man share about coming out of homosexuality. It is very evident that the APA is becoming more balance. No Wayne, you aren't winning.
posted by Monica, at
8/13/2009 3:59 PM
Get over yourself, Monica! I don't give an airborne copulation what you and your ex-gay buddies think. There is nothing wrong with being LGBT--it is every bit as natural as heterosexuality.
I'm not all that surprised that those LGBT people who claim to be changing want it to be so. Hell, if I was from a fundie background and knew that the only way for these bigots to accept me would be for me to turn straight, I would do whatever I need to to get that acceptance. I suspect a lot of this comes from feelings of guilt.
I suspect a lot of those claiming change do so because of all the guilt bigots pile on them because THEY cannot deal with the idea of two men or two women loving one another.
Also I have long thought that many of those who actually "change" are bisexual and have managed to subsume their same-sex attraction in favour of attraction to the opposite sex.
There are thousands of LGBT people out there who have suffered being subjected to the quack science of the reparative therapy nonsense. Some have come out relatively unscathed but many have psychological and emotional damage that will take years to undo.
There is no need to change one's sexual orientation. Although I was never subjected to pressure to change my lesbian orientation, I hated the gay part of myself and wished I had been born straight. I dealt with this needless guilt and sadness until I left Christianity and became Pagan.
Also, my late mother, a staunch Missouri-Synod Lutheran, came to understand in her 90s that to be happy I needed to share my life with the woman I love. She attended our wedding and totally accepted my spouse as her daughter-in-law. Ironically, it was a couple of Evangelical Christians who helped her to see that if someone is LGBT, they are LGBT and that they can be happy and healthy just as they are.
If heterosexuality were the default template for human sexuality, there would not be LGBT people. The fact that we exist is because heterosexuality is NOT the default template for humans. The LGBT orientation is a natural variation in human sexual orientation.
Also, I have never heard of a heterosexual (a TRUE heterosexual and not your version of a heterosexual who simply has a same sex attraction, which is pretty oxymoronic now that I think of it) developing an LGBT orientation. That speaks volumes right there.
My big question about all the ex-gay bullshit is why people think that LGBT people need to change, be corrected, whatever? Why are they not fine just the way they are? Because bigots are uncomfortable with seeing same-sex attraction/affection? Sorry, but I am not going to try to change my nature to suit them. I do not have an attraction to men and I do not see any reason to try to become attracted to them. Is it because some LGBT people are unhappy with their orientation? If the bigots would let LGBT people be who they are without any need to "change", I think that problem would resolve itself quite quickly.
We here, except for a few trolls, are quite happy with who we are and who we love. If you don't like it, then find some message board or blog where you can piss and moan about being a heterosexual with same-sex attraction.
I believe that I will live to see this ex-gay bullshit eventually go out of business and marriage equality in this country. The tide is beginning to chsnge in our favour and we ARE winning.
posted by Merlyn, at
8/13/2009 6:28 PM
When Monica puts as much of her energy into changing heterosexuals into homosexuals then perhaps we can take her dribble a bit more seriously. You are wasting your time Monica. The people on this blog happen to like themselves. No prey available for you this way. But of course when the ignorant jackass runs out of money, she comes directly to the water source. MONICA: Find someone to love.
posted by ewe, at
8/13/2009 9:44 PM
Monica, the Jones and Yarhouse study is a sham. They produced what the people paying for the study (Exodus) wanted to hear about the people participating in their program. Jones and Yarhouse themselves weren't impartial, they are right wing christians and devoted supporters of "exgay" "therapy" prior to having any evidence about it. They lied about the "success" rate, it was not 23% but 14% as they ignored the 37% of particpants who dropped out of the study so they could fudge those figures. Those who they called "successes" were described as not being free from same sex attractions nor having an "uncomplicated" heteorosexuality - not what any rational person would consider a straight person to be.
The study is further invalidated by the statistically insignificant number of participants and the non-random selection method used to choose participants - they were self-selected and thus the results can at best only represent those motivated enough to participate rather than being representative of the typical participant. Further the study invalidly combined prospective participants and retrospective participants the latter being open to memory errors as to what their initial level of same sex attractions were. Tellingly the prospective subjects (the more scientifically valid participants) reported no change in level of attractions whereas the retrospecitive participants, as would be expected, merely thought they were more gay at the beginning than they likely were.
No objective measures of change were used to measure the "change" of the retrospective participants, they self-reported which again is considered inadequate from a scientific perspective. The study participants were further motivated to exagerate or lie about their "change" by the religious threat of eternal torture for engaging in same sex sex.
All tolled the study is in no way supportive of the idea that anyone can change orientation. The APA not only did not give its blessing to this "therapy", they advised against its use noting there is no evidence to suggest it works and much to suggest that it causes harm including depression and suicidal ideation.
We most definitely are winning Monica. Those who would oppress gays who harm no one are gradually being marginalized as the evil doers they are.
posted by Priya Lynn, at
8/15/2009 12:03 AM
Thanks for posting this, Priya Lynn. I think though, that Monica and others like her would prefer to access only information which bolsters their view, even if it out-of-date or even a complete sham.
It is sad to think that people have so much invested in something or are so fanatic in their religious beliefs that they cannot embrace a simple concept: if they are not hurting anyone, then why this need to change? Unhappy? Why not question those whose opinion you value with a view to finding out WHY they are so adamant that being LGBT is so awful and all?Religious views are the reason? Well, they're free to believe as they wish, but you are also a free American. Sure there might be a few who "change" but when those who do are not bisexual, it is mere wishful thinking. Sure, you can alter your behaviour, but is it REALLY worth the damage to yourself psychologically to attempt to be what you are not?
I am so sick of bigoted people who want everyone to conform to their narrow view of the world and of sexuality. This is mostly an issue of bigots wanting their comfort zone undisturbed and people who are so desparate for love, affirmation, and affection that they will risk psychological damage to get it.
The bottom line is that these programs have been shown not to work. And, despite what jerks like Michael Brown might think, there is absolutely NOTHING wrong in being out and proud LGBT. Sorry it doesn't fit in with their view of the universe, but that is their problem, not the problem of the LGBT community.
posted by Merlyn, at
8/15/2009 6:58 PM
Oh Monica: I gotta give it to ya. That was a great comeback you gave me. You definitely are a lesbian. Now be proud. That was very nice how you responded in humor. I hope you find someone to love but you are not the gender that would fullfill me and i am and always have been perfectly content with that knowledge. Good luck.
posted by ewe, at
8/17/2009 2:47 AM