Saturday, September 02, 2006
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
In Extending The Welcome Mat, Mayor Oden is In Danger of Becoming A Doormat For Focus on the Family's Slick Public Relations Campaign, Says TWO
Miami Beach -
Truth Wins Out questioned the wisdom today of Palm Springs mayor Ron Oden's enthusiastic greeting of hate group Focus on the Family to his city. While the openly-gay mayor is well-intentioned, he may be giving an undeserved platform to an extremist group that claims he and others like him are mentally ill and morally inferior. TWO is concerned that in cheerily extending the welcome mat, Oden may end up as a doormat in Focus' media savvy enterprise.
Upon finding out that Focus was bringing its ex-gay road show Love Won Out
to town on Sept 23., Oden wrote the group an amiable letter saying he was "so proud" to have the conference in town even though it preaches "the truth that homosexuality is preventable and treatable."
"The mayor made a mistake in helping legitimize one of the most virulently anti-gay and offensive organizations in the country," said TWO's Executive Director Wayne Besen. "The Atlanta Braves baseball team barred Focus
on the Family from 'Faith Day' last month because of its divisive message and we had hoped that Oden would also have stood firm in condemning this intolerant group."
The headliner at Love Won Out
is Dr. Joseph Nicolosi, the president of the fringe group, the National Association for Research and Therapy of Homosexuality (NARTH
). Nicolosi has written that, "I do not believe that any man can ever truly be at peace in living out a homosexual orientation." Last week, he told the Australian Broadcasting Company that, "There is no such thing as a homosexual."
Another speaker at the conference is Alan Chambers
, the leader of Exodus International. On many occasions, he has advocated discrimination against homosexuals. Chambers told one Orlando publication, "As a property owner of Orlando, I wouldn't rent to someone who is gay any more than I would rent to a person who is a practicing witch." Recently, he told Family News in Focus, "I think their long-term goal is to portray themselves as equals, as people who are the same as heterosexuals, that their lifestyle is just as legitimate as heterosexuality."
Additionally, Oden said he would accept an invitation from Focus on the Family to attend the conference. "I definitely want to attend and have the opportunity to share my perspective," he said, according to the local newspaper, The Desert Sun
"Oden should not have welcomed Focus on the Family any more than he would have welcomed a hate group targeting other minorities," added Besen. "Now that he has unfortunately accepted their invitation, TWO urges Oden to use his scheduled 'face time' with Focus on the Family as an opportunity to challenge the group's leaders on their scientifically and theologically inaccurate attacks on gay people."
Love Won Out was founded by "ex-gay" leader John Paulk, who was photographed in a gay bar
in Sept. 2000 by TWO's Besen.Truth Wins OUT
is a non-profit think tank and educational organization that counters right wing disinformation campaigns, debunks the ex-gay myth, and provides accurate information about the lives of GLBT people.
- 30 -
Friday, September 01, 2006
Alan Chambers, president of Exodus International, has a new book
, "God's Grace And the Homosexual Next Door: A Guide to Overcoming Barriers And Misunderstandings, Getting to Know the Real Person, Offering God's New Life."
I can't wait to read the book in the coming weeks and weed out the lies, if only my computer hard drive has enough room to store all of them! Chambers, while a pleasant man, has always had serious character flaws when it comes to truth-telling, honesty and integrity
. In preparing for his new book, I listened to an interview I had with him for my own book, "Anything But Straight
," and found this little gem.
"I used to steal," confessed Chambers. "I was very consumed with and, I loved things, I loved money and I used to steal it."
"Based on his dishonest reign at Exodus, it appears a leopard can't change his spots any more than a gay man can become heterosexual through prayer and therapy," remarked Wayne Besen, Executive Director of Truth Wins Out
, a non-profit organization that counters the so-called "ex-gay" industry.
Thursday, August 31, 2006
After California recently passed a pro-gay law helping children avoid abuse in the classroom, the home school industry didn't take long to exploit the situation. Home School gurus are now working overtime to terrify Christian parents into entering their spooky programs. One tactic is to demand that all fundamentalist families in the state yank their kids out of school.
"'Heck no, our kids won't go!' should be the rallying cry of Christian parents this week as school starts, instead of following the broad road of perversion and destruction that California schools are offering," Charles B. Lowers, the executive director of the anti-family Considering Homeschool organization told WorldNutDaily.
Oh, wouldn't that be a shame, public school without jerks and self-righteous thugs. How will the school system ever survive? Lowers, if you are reading this, please let my readers know where we should send our parting gifts!
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASEAPA Should Censure NARTH's Joseph Berger M.D., For Encouraging Students To 'Ridicule' Peers, Says TWO
Also, NARTH Caught 'Padding Its Petition' to the APA, TWO Reveals
MIAMI BEACH - Truth Wins Out
today condemned Toronto psychiatrist Joesph Berger, M.D., for encouraging students to "ridicule" gender variant children. Berger, who serves on the "Scientific Advisory Committee" for the "ex-gay" group the National Association for Research & Therapy of Homosexuality (NARTH), made his remarks
in response to a San Francisco Chronicle article
that explored gender issues in schools.
"I suggest, indeed, letting children who wish go to school in clothes of the opposite sex -- but not counseling other children to not tease them or hurt their feelings," Dr. Berger wrote on NARTH's website. "On the contrary, don't interfere, and let the other children ridicule the child who has lost that clear boundary between play-acting at home and the reality needs of the outside world. Maybe, in this way, the child will re-establish that necessary boundary."
Earlier today, TWO contacted the Ontario branch of the American Psychiatric Association and the Canadian Human Rights Commission
to inquire about filing complaints against Dr. Berger for inciting potential violence and advocating possible child abuse.
"Joseph Berger has confused therapy with thuggery and he should be censured for unethical and unprofessional conduct," said TWO's Executive Director Wayne Besen. "His comments put children at risk and exposes NARTH's dangerous agenda at a time when the 'ex-gay' industry is attempting to infiltrate public schools.'
"How can NARTH at one location on it's website take the 'principled position' that '[w]e live in a multi-cultural society where tolerance for differences is essential,' and at another location on their website take the unconscionable position that schoolchildren ridiculing gender variant schoolchildren is a good way to maintain 'boundaries?'" asked Autumn Sandeen, Spokesperson for the Transgender Community Coalition of San Diego. "It's hypocritical for NARTH to advocate both 'principled' tolerance and unconscionable ridicule -- there is nowhere on earth where tolerance equates to ridicule."
Aside from supporting harassment in school, Berger used language that was shockingly unprofessional calling statements he disagreed with "absolute garbage" and "poetic stupidity," while mocking gender variant children by saying they wanted to "play dress up." The NARTH leader also engaged in hate speech by falsely linking transgender and gay activists to child molesters with "perverted goals."
"I think that a lot of this is nonsense and is being pushed by people who have an agenda to disrupt society in order to further some perverted goals such as the acceptance of pedophilia, and, of course, the attempted 'normalization' of homosexuality," wrote Berger.
NARTH is an organization on the fringes of the mental health mainstream that uses long outdated and disproved psychological theories about gay people and repackages them as if they were new findings. The group attempts to make male clients more masculine by encouraging them to drink Gatorade and calling other men "dude." The group also believes that heterosexual men can turn gay if they suffer "defeat or failure."
As a result of such bizarre techniques, flawed research and unsubstantiated claims on the efficacy of "conversion therapy," the American Psychological Association released the following statement at their annual convention in New Orleans in August:
"For over three decades the consensus of the mental health community has been that homosexuality is not an illness and therefore not in need of a cure. The APA's concern about the positions espoused by NARTH and so-called conversation therapy is that they are not supported by the science. There is simply no sufficiently scientifically sound evidence that sexual orientation can be changed. Our further concern is that the positions espoused by NARTH and Focus on the Family create an environment in which prejudice and discrimination can flourish."
While in New Orleans
, NARTH unveiled a petition
that aimed to gain support from APA members for "conversion therapy." Embarrassingly, the group only received 75 signatures out of an APA membership of 155,000. This failure was highlighted by the fact that NARTH bussed in 50 professional "ex-gay" lobbyists, meaning the group received less than one signature per protester. Moreover, TWO's research has revealed that of this paltry showing of names, at least one-third of signatories are NARTH members, staff, Board members or conference presenters.
"NARTH was caught 'padding its petition' and spinning their inaction as traction," said Besen. "It is clear that they have confused momentum with their own membership list and have done virtually nothing to advance the case that conversion therapy is effective. Perhaps, this pseudo-secular organization has spent so much time in churches with Focus on the Family that it no longer knows when it is preaching to the choir."TWO
is a non-profit think tank and educational organization that counters right wing disinformation campaigns, debunks the ex-gay myth, and provides accurate information about the lives of GLBT people. Besen, the group's founder and Executive Director, is the author of "Anything But Straight: Unmasking The Scandals and Lies Behind the Ex-Gay Myth."
Please listen live to columnist Libby Post's commentary on Truth Wins Out
today from 12:30 - 1:00 PM. The show can be heard on WAMC.
Soon, the GOP presidential wannabes will be traversing America, kissing babies and kissing the asses of Iowa farmers in corn fields. In the midst of this frenetic activity, mainstream media reporters will often not look into the histories of the candidates. Lost in the shuffle, are important facts such as candidates with disgraceful records who wink at bigotry.
When Republican Sen. George Allen hits the presidential campaign trail (hopefully he will lose his current Senate race before this happens) he will want us to forget his heavy flirtations with bigotry. Okay, this is my blog so I don't have to be cagey. Allen did not wink or flirt with racists, he went to bed with them more times than a Red Light District prostitute.The Nation Magazine
has a must-read profile on Allen, that we must store in the back of our minds. When the mainstream media, with its frequent amnesia, forgets to tell the whole story of this bigoted opportunist, we can remind them of Allen's entire record. Please read this excellent journalistic work and learn about who George Allen really is.
Former NBA superstar and influential TNT basketball analyst Charles Barkley spoke out in favor
of allowing gay people to marry on Fox SportsNet's "CMI: The Chris Meyers Interview, which will air on Sunday night.
"I think if they want to get married, God bless them," Barkley said. "Gay marriage is probably 1 percent of the population, so it's not like it's going to be an epidemic. Hey, trust me, I'm never going to kiss you and say, 'Chris, you're sexy."'
Barkley, a former MVP of the NBA, was a Republican until recently, saying he switched parties when the Republicans "lost their minds." He said he is troubled by some of the actions of people in the United States in the name of religion.
"Religious people in general are so discriminatory against other people, and that really disturbs me," he said. "My idea of religion is we all love and respect. We all sin, but we still have common decency and respect for other people. So right now I'm struggling with my idea of what religion is."
Barkley is considering running as a Democratic candidate for governor in his home state of Alabama.
Wednesday, August 30, 2006
Ohio's Largest Shrinking Newspaper reports that Cleveland is among four cities in the running to host the next Republican National Convention. One of the issues that will be taken into consideration is local attractions.
The Plain Dealer lists the Rock Hall, Playhouse Square, the Warehouse District, East Fourth Street, and Cedar Point. But it left something out -- the attraction that is sure to put Cleveland over the top. As reported in Scene, Cleveland will soon be home to the world's finest gay bathhouse.
Between National GOP Chairman Ken Mehlman; the White House's favorite gay male prostitute, Jeff Gannon; 12-term Congressman David Dreier; ineligible bachelor Matt Drudge; Rush Limbaugh, who can't maintain a relationship with a member of the opposite sex; Karl Rove, who has never been seen with a woman; Ann Coulter, who has an Adam's apple; Michael Savage, who apparently took his name from a gay porn star; and the tens of millions of Republicans who protest too much when it comes to gay issues, Cleveland should be a shoo-in -- or should I say a swish-in?
Tuesday, August 29, 2006
- Dr. Joseph Nicolosi, Left
The Big Easy proved to be quite difficult for the so-called "ex-gay" industry earlier this month. At the American Psychological Association's annual convention in New Orleans, anti-gay forces choreographed an expensive protest designed to pressure the APA into endorsing "ex-gay" therapy. However, instead of succor, "conversion therapy" leaders got sucker punched with the APA forcefully reiterating that being gay is not a mental illness and efforts to "treat" homosexuality can be dangerous.
"The APA's concern about the position's espoused by the National Association of Research and Therapy of Homosexuality and so-called conversion therapy is that they are not supported by the science. There is simply no sufficiently scientifically sound evidence that sexual orientation can be changed. Our further concern is that the positions espoused by NARTH and Focus on the Family create an environment in which prejudice and discrimination can flourish."
This statement was unambiguous and all but said that the "ex-gay" hoax was the biggest lie to hit New Orleans since President Bush swooped in following Hurricane Katrina promising to rebuild the city. In addition to the punishing policy statement, Focus on the Family reported in its online magazine, CitizenLink,
that the "ex-gay" contingent was denied a booth inside the convention hall and was refused ad space in The Monitor
, an APA publication.
Trying to save face in light of this professional disgrace, "ex-gay" groups are now desperately trying to spin their New Orleans boondoggle as if it were actually a boon for their cause. Their historical revisionism starts with their failed petition
asking the APA to endorse conversion therapy. NARTH gathered a paltry 75 signatures out of an APA membership of 155,000, with an embarrassing number of the signatories actually belonging to NARTH. This floundering flop had the side benefit of placing NARTH's claim of 1,000 members under deep suspicion, considering they were unable to round up even one-tenth of their membership to sign their ballyhooed document.
Nonetheless, in the typical serial-exaggerating and comically hyperbolic style that defines the "ex-gay" myth, Alan Chambers, the leader of Exodus International
, celebrated this petition disaster and claimed that the vast majority of APA members were supportive of conversion therapy.
"What we found at the protest, is that 80 percent of the attendees - people that were coming off of the buses and walking into the convention center - were supportive of what we said," Chambers told CitizenLink.
I'm not a rocket scientist, but 80 percent of 155,000 does not equal 75. It seems the only busload of people Chambers may have talked to, was one he rolled in on, filled with professional "ex-gay" lobbyists.
The real joke, however, is the cynical spinning of an off-the-cuff remark made by APA President Gerald P. Koocher at a Town Hall meeting only one day after the APA released its scathing statement blasting conversion therapy. After a NARTH member asked a question regarding patient autonomy, Koocher stated, "APA has no conflict with psychologists who help those distressed by unwanted homosexual attraction."
The "ex-gay" industry took this quote grotesquely out of context by hailing it as a groundbreaking policy shift. "This is a historic step for client autonomy and self-determination," quacked NARTH
member Dr. Dean Byrd.
Well, actually it is neither historic nor is it new. It simply reaffirmed the APA's long-standing principle that patients have the right to seek virtually any type of therapy they want, so long as the therapist explains the APA's current position and warns the patient of the potentially harmful consequences such therapy may produce.
His words distorted and appropriated for propaganda, Koocher was forced to make a clarifying statement
which may place NARTH members at risk for malpractice. The APA President stressed that it is "absolutely essential" that conversion therapists are in strict accordance with APA guidelines, including "informed consent" and the obligation to "carefully explore how patients arrive at the choices they make."
The evidence suggests that NARTH practitioners may be flagrantly violating these rules by downplaying the harm done by conversion therapy, while misstating the facts on homosexuality.
"I do not believe that any man can ever truly be at peace in living out a homosexual orientation," NARTH's leader, Dr. Joseph Nicolosi, has written. Last week, he told the Australian Broadcasting Company that, "There is no such thing as a homosexual."
These statements mock the APA's guidelines and fail to adequately explore whether societal pressure is responsible for a patient seeking to "change." These charlatans also appear to wink at "informed consent" by glibly glossing over the very real consequences of "conversion therapy" and inventing phony repercussions for coming out.
If anything, by forcing Koocher to clarify himself, NARTH highlighted how its mind games have run amok of established APA guidelines and why the group should be thoroughly investigated. While "ex-gay" leaders pretend to be drunk on their supposed success in New Orleans, one wonders what they were drinking on Bourbon Street to reach conclusions so dramatically at odds with reality.