Eighteen year-old Lance Carroll is now speaking out about his virtual incarceration at Love In Action, an ex-gay boot camp in Tennessee. A year after he was forced to attend the ex-gay ministry, he is working with the group Queer Action Coalition to protest the abusive practice of forcing gay teens into conversion therapy camps. The demonstration will take place on Jun 5.
"I am attending the protest in reaction to my own horrendous experience last summer, and as an opportunity to voice my personal opinions concerning the Love in Action Refuge program...while I was there, it just seemed to make people more depressed and self-loathing than they already were," explained Carroll. "I, myself, went through several of these depressive periods."
QAC and Carroll should be commended for continuing to speak out against these divisive and destructive programs that lead to depression and even suicide. They are surely saving many young men and women from having to endure such a bleak fate.
'Truth Wins Out' to Take on Key Issue In Anti-Gay Campaigns
Washington, DC -- As President Bush and Congress prepare to debate gay marriage, a new organization will launch next Wednesday, June 7th to combat so-called "Ex-Gay" ministries and organizations.
"Truth Wins Out will confront a dangerous lie that has buttressed anti-gay campaigns from coast to coast," said founder and noted activist Wayne Besen. "From school boards to city councils to Congress, a lie is being advanced that sexual orientation is something that can be directed or 'cured. It's false, and Truth Wins Out will strike this pillar out from under anti-gay efforts."
Truth Wins Out will launch at the National Press Club with dramatic personal stories of victims of "ex-gay" programs, and insights into how ex-gay theories are woven into nearly all efforts opposed to equality for gay and lesbian Americans. The press conference will also expose the new Right-wing strategy to force "ex-gay" theories into classrooms.
WHO: Truth Wins Out, presenting victims of "ex-gay" efforts. Wayne Besen, Author, "Anything But Straight: Unmasking the Scandals and Lies Behind the Ex-Gay Myth"
WHAT: A new national organization to combat so-called "ex-gay" efforts and larger Right-wing misinformation campaigns.
WHEN: Wednesday, June 7th, 2006 at 10:00am
WHERE: National Press Club, Zenger Room 529 14th Street NW, Washington, DC 10AM
**NOTE** Truth Wins Out will launch in the same week that Focus on the Family convenes in Washington, DC to support President Bush’s effort to ban gay marriage.
Unfortunately, i just found your website. I wish I had known years ago that Richard Cohen was out spreading the crap therapy he received in the Wesleyan Commune on Vashon. I lived there, and I know the kind of therapy he received. If he indeed is still able to counsel others something needs to be done. Not only were the Wesleyans a cult, they did in fact practice breast feeding therapy, something they called "skin time", and surrogate parenting of adults. All the while physically, mentally and emotionally abusing children. Cohen ...recieved "therapy" from the cult... Cohen himself was possibly a victim of this cult, however, I believe that if he is spreading the Wesleayn disease as a form of therapy, he should be exposed for what his therapy truly is. If I can be of any help with this, please let me know.
Officials in New York and Washington, the two cities targeted in the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks, were anything but happy after learning that Homeland Security was giving them far fewer counterterrorism dollars this year than in 2005.
Next time self-righteous religious groups attack gay parents or adoption by same-sex families consider this:
** In San Francisco, Lashaun Harris is on trial in the murder of her three kids, whom she allegedly threw into the frigid waters of San Francisco Bay in October. Harris believed that God wanted her children as a sacrifice, police said.
** In Houston, a new trial has been ordered for Andrea Yates, a suburban housewife who has admitted to drowning her five children -- ages 7 years to six months -- to save them from Satan.
** In McKinney, Texas, Dena Schlosser was tried for a second time and found not guilty by reason of insanity (after a first jury deadlocked) in the killing of her 10-month-old daughter, Maggie, on orders from God.
** In Tyler, Texas, Deanna Laney was found insane after she crushed the skulls of her three children; she believed she was given instructions, like Abraham, from God.
Obviously, these crazy people do not reflect the vast majority of loving parents of faith. I only point this out to pose two questions: 1) Why are right ring religious fanatics singling out loving same-sex families for scorn and ridicule?
2) Can you imagine the uproar Neo-Puritan groups would have made if a lesbian couple had crushed the skulls of their three children? They would surely have blamed it on their sexual orientation, not the fact the women were insane. There would have been calls to ban same-sex adoption in all 50 states.
There is clearly a double standard that has to end. Why must gay people defend their basic fitness for parenting when it is clear that sexual orientation has nothing to do with, say, whether or not a parent throws a child into San Francisco Bay?
The Colorado Rockies baseball team has turned the clubhouse into a church. They are apparently playing biblical baseball and the Lord has helped turn around the franchise. Rockies executives make clear they believe God has had a hand in the team's improvement.
"You look at things that have happened to us this year," GM Dan O'Dowd says. "You look at some of the moves we made and didn't make. You look at some of the games we're winning. Those aren't just a coincidence. God has definitely had a hand in this."
If they end up failing, will they blame the Devil? If God is helping the Rockies, then is he actively working against their opponents?
The puritanical players are in denial about the uncomfortable atmosphere they have created for non-believers. However, at least one former player - a person of faith - says he felt pressure to conform.
"They have a great group of guys over there, but I've never been in a clubhouse where Christianity is the main purpose," says San Francisco Giants first baseman-outfielder Mark Sweeney, a veteran of seven organizations who spent 2003 and 2004 with the Rockies. "You wonder if some people are going along with it just to keep their jobs.
"Look, I pray every day," Sweeney says. "I have faith. It's always been part of my life. But I don't want something forced on me. Do they really have to check to see whether I have a Playboy in my locker?"
The fundamentalists don't seem to understand that religion is a personal matter, not a community affair. If a person wants a Playboy, why is it the business of the first baseman three lockers down? If he doesn't like nudity, why does he care if another player does?
Finally, the notion that God prefers Neo-Puritan players is patently absurd. Chicago White Sox owner Jerry Reinsdorf puts it best when he pointed out:
"I do believe character is very important. But only to a point. Does this mean ... Babe Ruth (a Hall of Famer and notorious carouser) could never have played there?"
Personally, I'd like to see God take care of Darfur and Iraq before He worries about the record and the sexual mores of the Colorado Rockies. To believe that God has a special interest in a baseball team is spiritual vanity and religious narcissism.
The Bush administration is out of gas and nobody can afford it, so the President is priming the pump with the same anti-gay fuel that always runs the GOP's engine: Same-sex marriage. But will the parlor trick work again for an administration clunking by on fumes?
According to the conservative magazine, The Weekly Standard, Bush will hold a press conference in the Rose Garden on June 5 to reaffirm his support for a Constitutional Amendment prohibiting gay people from marrying. The following day, the Senate is scheduled to vote on the Amendment.
Of course, this was as predictable as a hot June day in DC. When Karl Rove was put in charge of the GOP's sagging political fortunes in an Election year, you just knew the gay bashing was around the corner. If it were not for guillotining gays, Rove would likely be running school board races in Amarillo or Lubbock.
Rove is often called a political genius, but I have to disagree. True brilliance requires offering people hope for a better tomorrow. In 1992, Bill Clinton stirred the better angels of the nation and people were excited about the future. In the early 80's, Ronald Reagan's political guru, Michael Deaver, displayed the same luminosity. Although Reagan did pander to the Moral Majority, his appeal was primarily built on his sunny optimism.
Bush, under the spell of Rove, has constructed his entire legacy on smearing the opposition and creating a climate of fear among voters. Who can forget when the Bush campaign slimed John McCain in South Carolina in 2000 with underhanded phone calls demeaning the war hero and his family?
And, of course, John Kerry, another decorated Vietnam veteran, was swift boated by Rove's sleaze machine. But always, Rove saves his biggest spit-balls for gay people. Teaming up with conservative organizations in 2004, Rove helped orchestrate eleven referendums on Constitutional marriage amendments. Many were in key presidential battleground states, in an effort to boost conservative turnout.
Smart, for sure, but certainly not brilliant or wise, for it has always been easier to scare than to care. Rendering people blind is simpler than providing a positive vision. To me, Rove is a cheater - the Barry Bonds of politics. Homophobia and hysteria are the steroids and he injects the poison into the body politic at every opportunity.
Like steroids, however, the long term affects of such toxic politics inevitably damage the user. The vice of divisiveness cost America the sympathy of the world after 9-11 and the support of it in our post 9-11 military adventures. Still, Bush is flexing like the muscleman he once was, while he has revealed himself as the biggest 90-pound weakling ever to sit in the Oval Office.
The President's anti-gay Rose Garden press conference is nothing short of a thorny embarrassment. Bush persists on further debasing his legacy by continuing to pander to a base that is largely responsible for him hovering near oblivion.
The right wing is equally deluded if they believe that their close ties to Bush are beneficial. While the rest of American families are suffocating under exorbitant gas prices, the only thing that fuels the right's passion is bashing gay families. While a majority may not be for allowing gay people to marry, they also know that this issue is not a priority.
And, if anything, the Bush Administration -- and by extension the right wing -- is being punished in polls for having its priorities backwards. When Osama was terrorizing, Bush's priority was Saddam. When New Orleans was sinking, Bush was disengaged. With healthcare exploding, the President was preoccupied with dismantling Social Security.
"Instead of addressing the real challenges facing American families, the President will further divide this country and put the far-right extremist's interests ahead of the American people's well-being," Human Rights Campaign President Joe Solmonese said this week.
In six years, Rove has not changed the game plan and Bush is still stumbling through the motions. Gay bashing has been the one play that has consistently saved Team GOP. But as the clock is ticking and Rove desperately throws one last political Hail Mary in the flowery field, one has to wonder if the bloom has finally come off the rose.
Moscow's influential mayor Yuri Luzhkov said on Tuesday the city banned gay activists from holding a parade because it is morally cleaner than the West, which is caught up in "mad licentiousness."
"Our way of life, our morals and our tradition -- our morals are cleaner in all ways. The West has something to learn from us and should not race along in this mad licentiousness," he told Moscow radio, according to local news agencies. We may have a democratic country, but we live in an organized country and an organized city."
What a joke! I can't stop laughing. When a person claims to be clean or a culture pure, it is time to take out the sanitary napkins. I know of several men who go to Russia specifically for the easy sex and cheap prostitutes. After all, homophobia just makes a local gay population easier to exploit.
It is also hilarious to hear Luzhkov discuss morals when Moscow is recognized as one of the most corrupt places to do business in the world. Not only is sex easy to come by, but a western businessman is likely to get screwed when making a deal.
As I have said before, a nation's success and freedom can be easily gauged by looking at how it treats homosexuals. When Russia was headed in the right direction, it liberalized. Now that Russia is looking like an authoritarian pit, it is cracking down on Gay Pride - which essentially is freedom.
The Los Angeles Times wrote a story detailing a new "ex-gay" strategy by the far right to target vulnerable children and place ex-gays in schools. The goal is to sue their way in and intimidate and harass anyone who questions their quack science. But those who saw therapist Richard Cohen banging the pillow on Paula Zahn, got a rare glimpse of the true insanity. Note to activists across the nation: Show the Cohen clip to school boards and the ex-gays won't stand a chance. According to the Times:
Conservative Christians and Jews have teamed up with men and women who call themselves "ex-gay" to lobby and even sue for the right to tell teenagers that they can "heal" themselves of unwanted same-sex attractions.
They argue that schools have an obligation to balance gay-pride themes with the message that gay and lesbian students can go straight through "reparative therapy." In this view, homosexuality is not a fixed or inborn trait but a symptom of emotional distress disorder that can be cured.
In Anderew Sullivan's blog, a former client of Dr. Joseph Nicolosi says that neither he nor any of the 'patients' treated by the leading reparative therapist were "cured." In other words, the quack has a 100 percent failure rate.
"I spent two years of hard work, determination and money to become straight with Nicolosi.(The trick according to reparative therapy is to first find out how your dad mistreated you sometime in early childhood and try to heal and make peace with dad, next develop as many same-gender non-sexual friendships as possible, then get in touch with your masculine side by working out, playing sports and going to a gym! Add lots of pray and church and bang you will be straight!)Needless to say, neither I nor any of the other ten guys in group therapy turned straight."
Nicolosi is such a loser. Here is a storefront psychologist that had nothing going for him. So, he jumped on this issue and formed a cottage quack industry. It is only a matter of time, in my opinion, before his former clients team up and sue him for wasting their time and money. Has he ever helped a single person long-term? In my book, Nicolosi is the lowest of the low.