TruthWinsOut.org Hopes Haggard Will Come To A Place of Self-Acceptance
NEW YORK - TruthWinsOut.org said Ted Haggard's inability to go from gay to straight was no surprise and indicative of these failed programs. Haggard entered an intensive "restoration" process after he was fired from New Life Church and resigned as head of the National Association of Evangelicals in 2006 amid allegations that he had an affair with a male prostitute.
"As far as predictions go, the failure of Haggard's 'ex-gay' program was not exactly like picking the New York Giants over the undefeated New England Patriots in the Super bowl," said TruthWinsOut.org's Executive Director Wayne Besen."It is pretty much a given that these programs don't work and we hope Haggard comes to a genuine place of love and self-acceptance."
Truth WinsOut.org is a non-profit organization that counters right wing propaganda, exposes the "ex-gay" myth and educates America about gay life. For more information, visit www.TruthWinsOut.org. - 30 -
As the nail biter of a presidential race becomes more uncertain, the only thing guaranteed is a good cry on Inauguration Day. Electing our first woman or black president will bring sobs of joy, just as the election of a Republican will usher in wallowing wails of woe.
However, there is one more issue that is worthy of tears, and that is how few Americans could imagine a gay President of the United States. At the age of 37, if I proclaimed that one day I would run for president, people would offer patronizing or quizzical looks, before they suggested a random drug test. They would say, "We won't see a gay president in your lifetime."
However, if John McCain wins the prize he will be inaugurated at the age of 71. If I ran for president at the same age as McCain, that would mean I could count on 34 more years of social change, which may be enough time for a gay or lesbian American to be a viable presidential candidate.
If this sounds implausible, consider that it was 34 years ago that homosexuality was removed from the American Psychiatric Association's list of mental disorders. The APA decision was only four years after the Stonewall riots. Since this time, we have lived though AIDS, passed a multitude of gay rights laws, have had openly gay members of Congress and witnessed same-sex marriage become a reality in Massachusetts.
Clearly, it is not inconceivable that in 34 years - 2042 - a gay person could theoretically become president. It is likely that our Barack Obama is now in grade school. This gifted gay individual will be charismatic and able to appeal to mainstream Americans to win the greatest prize in politics.
The question is, how are those of us who don't have a snowball's chance in hell of becoming president, paving the way for this young man or woman to achieve his or her dreams?
In order for our Obama to fulfill his or her potential, it is essential that the GLBT movement runs serious presidential candidates in the next election cycle. That's right, "candidates" in the plural -- meaning we run a Democrat and a Republican.
The Democrat would play the role of Jesse Jackson -- a trailblazer that will lose badly, but earn respect and lay the groundwork for the future. This sacrificial lamb will be known as "the gay candidate," so when our gay Obama is finally ready -- he or she can transcend sexual orientation and win -- or lose -- on the merits.
It is also crucial we run a credible Republican, in order to articulate the case for gay rights in front of conservative audiences. This not only would make the other candidates uncomfortable in their gay bashing, but this candidate could serve as a role model.
However, as the old sports cliche goes, "if you stay on the sidelines, you aren't in the game." By not having a gay candidate run, we accede the field to all heterosexual candidates and we are therefore largely invisible. Now, I can understand not running a gay candidate this time around in the Democratic primary, since the field was already crowded with history makers. But in the future, this is unacceptable and we ought to aim for fair representation in the next election cycle.
The bottom line is, that until we first have our Jesse Jackson, we will never have our Barack Obama. Just having an openly gay person on-stage allows young people to dream and imagine a world of unlimited possibilities.
The GLBT political groups ought to make it a priority to find the best Republican and Democratic candidates to run next time around. Aside from the historical aspect, it would be amazing publicity. Each time a gay candidate walked on-stage to debate, it would be worth millions of dollars of free advertising for the GLBT movement. I can't think of a better investment and use of our advocacy dollars.
There are three hundred million people in America, so no on can credibly argue that we can't find at least one gay or lesbian person up to the task. After all, you can't convince me that Rep. Barney Frank or former Human Rights Campaign leader Elizabeth Birch can't do a better job than Gary Bauer or Alan Keyes.
One stereotype is that gay people like theatre - so it is past time we come out from behind the curtain. By playing supporting on-stage roles in the next presidential election, our leaders can set the stage for our leading man or woman in the future.
Hillary Clinton showed herself to be the candidate to beat in the Democratic presidential primary Tuesday night, winning California and a string of key states across the nation. But Barack Obama, who picked up key victories in a raft of smaller states, remained firmly in the hunt for the nomination. Sen. John McCain won a commanding victory in the Republican delegate race over Mitt Romney on Super Tuesday. Sen. Barack Obama, trailing much of the night, nearly pulled even with Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton in the contest for Democratic delegates.
McCain won 511 delegates to 176 for Romney and 147 for former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee in incomplete results. A total of 1,023 delegates were up for grabs in 21 states.
Overall, McCain led with 613 delegates, to 269 for Romney and 190 for Huckabee. It takes 1,191 to win the nomination at this summer's convention in St. Paul, Minn.
Clinton led with 584 delegates to Obama's 563. A total of 1,681 delegates were at stake in 22 states and American Samoa.
Overall, that gave Clinton 845 delegates, to 765 for Obama, with 2,025 delegates required to claim the nomination in Denver at this summer's convention.
One of Washington's largest black Baptist churches was rocked by a female member of its choir who sent separate e-mail messages to the pastor in December and January outing more than 100 church members as gay, mostly male choir members.
...The e-mail, sent in December, identifies about 45 fellow church members as gay. She sent a second e-mail to Owens on Jan. 2 identifying another 62 church members as gay.
"The following people I am asking you to monitor very closely and my prayer is that you will sit them down from their ministries," she told Owens in the December e-mail. "Because they are ushering in the presence of sin, lies, a spirit of homosexuality and sexual spirits."
She sent a copy of her e-mails to a Yahoo list group that goes to more than 300 church members, the gay former church member said.
The AFA is the most immoral anti-gay group in America. First, they continue to sell an "ex-gay" video, "It's Not Gay," starring Michael Johnston, who had to get shipped off to a sex addiction facility for unsafe Internet orgies. Now, they have a new video that uses irrational fear tactics of gay people taking over towns. What a bunch of unchristian pigs. These lying sacks should be put out of business for fraud and deceit.
In 2004, at the height of the firestorm that was set off by Mayor Gavin Newsom authorizing same sex marriages in San Francisco, previous Mayor Willie Brown held a fundraiser for U.S. Senate candidate Barack Obama. The candidate had a request to Mayor Brown:
"And he said to me, he would really appreciate it if he didn't get his photo taken with my mayor. He said he would really not like to have his picture taken with Gavin."
Videos Featuring 'Ex-Gay' Survivors and Sexual Orientation Experts To Debut Weekly In February NEW YORK --TruthWinsOut.org (TWO) introduced a new Internet video ad today featuring openly gay former Major League Baseball player Billy Bean. In the ad, Bean challenges the long-held "ex-gay" theory that playing sports will help turn gay men into heterosexuals. This innovative ad signals the countdown to the launch of TWO's dynamic new website, featuring an extensive and unprecedented video catalogue of "ex-gay" survivors and sexual orientation experts. Each week leading up to the March 3 debut of the new website - TWO will present its original videos.
NOTE: Video release schedule below. Survivors and experts in videos are available for interviews.
"I am proud to work with TruthWinsOut.org to challenge the harmful myths and misconceptions spread by the 'ex-gay' industry," said Billy Bean, author of 'Going the Other Way: Lessons from a Life in and out of Major-League Baseball.' "The notion that playing sports makes one heterosexual is patently absurd and I am happy to dispute this bizarre notion. It is unfortunate that 'ex-gay' organizations continue to cynically prey on the vulnerabilities of desperate and insecure people."
"TruthWinsOut.org's website will be America's finest resource countering the 'ex-gay' myth," said Besen. "The videos we will introduce over the next month are a snapshot of the depth and expertise we bring to this topic. For decades, 'ex-gay' organizations had a huge advantage because they effectively disseminated their false messages. Our unique videos and website closes this gap by serving as a powerful educational tool that addresses the 'ex-gay' issue from every conceivable angle."
The videos and website highlight an active and robust year, where TWO will challenge the "ex-gay" industry across America. TWO is calling for volunteers nationally to come forward and help us in the places we will counter 'ex-gay' rallies. In 2008, it is also a major priority for the organization to videotape the testimonials of lesbian and minority survivors. If the so-called 'ex-gay' ministries have harmed you, please contact TWO and tell your important story.
TWO urges all news organizations, websites and blogs to consider posting these informative videos to help GLBT people who are still struggling to accept themselves.