Press Release - September 6, 2004
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Monday, Sept. 6, 2004
Contact: Wayne Besen
AUTHOR CONDEMNS NEW EX-GAY BOOK URGING GAYS TO GO
BACK INTO THE CLOSET
Gov. James McGreevey and Rep. Ed Schrock Scandals Show the
Closet Destroys Families, Says Besen
FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla.
-- Activist Wayne Besen today condemned a new book by right wing ministers that urges gay people to go straight - and straight back into the closet. "Closing the Closet: Testimonies from Deliverance from Homosexuality", features stories from 23 "ex-gays" who said they prayed away the gay.
The recent coming out of married New Jersey Gov. James McGreevey, D-NJ, and the resignation of married right wing Rep. Ed Schrock, R-Va., after he was revealed to be gay, shows that this misleading book is mean-spirited and anti-family, says Besen.
"The families of James McGreevey and Ed Schrock know that the closet leads only to pain, suffering, shattered lives and broken homes," said Wayne Besen, author of Anything But Straight: Unmasking the Scandals and Lies Behind the Ex-Gay Myth." It is terribly cruel and irresponsible for these 'Closet Assistance Programs' to trick people into believing change is possible when it is not. How many families will have to be destroyed before they stop promoting this devastating, politically-motivated gimmickry?"
Besen was also highly skeptical of the book because of its reliance on recycled 'ex-gays' who are on the dole of right wing political groups or make their living by sharing their testimony.
"Why did this book use a number of ex-gay lobbyists who get paid to say they've changed? Asked Besen. It must be very difficult to find ex-gays who have normal jobs and normal lives and aren't professional flacks for right wing political groups. I question whether ex-gays who are independent of fundamentalist political groups actually exist."
"Closing the Closet" is a knock-off of a booklet of ex-ex-gay testimonials Besen edited for The Human Rights Campaign, "Finally Free: How Love And Self Acceptance Saved Us From the Ex-Gay Ministries."
"I am horrified that this book pilfered 'Finally Free' and twisted the original idea to support ex-gay propaganda," said Besen. "The only thing honest about this book is the title, which reveals its true agenda of sending gay people back in the closet."
More information on the ex-gay myth can be found at, http://www.AnythingButStraight.com