Magazine article The Advocate (The national gay & lesbian newsmagazine)

Conversion Rates

Magazine article The Advocate (The national gay & lesbian newsmagazine)

Conversion Rates

Article excerpt

Profits are the hidden story behind ex-gay ministries

Although the public debate continuous to roil over whether the ex-gay movement is ever successful in changing anyone's sexual orientation, there's no question about the potency of the movement's message as a fund-raising pitch: "Curing" gay men and lesbians is good business.

The 15 national organizations that support the ex-gay movement use it to increase visibility, attract members, and above all, raise funds. The repackaged message of "hope" is every bit as blatant a bid for marketplace success as the 99-cent Big Mac.

CWA IS MAKING HEADLINES & AMERICA IS WAKING UP! shouted a headline in an August fund-raising appeal sent out by Concerned Women for America, one of the organizations that cosponsored this summer's $206,000 national print ad campaign touting the ex-gay movement. The group's pitch included pictures of some of the ads and a timetable of when and in which publications they ran.

"With your financial support, Concerned Women for America constantly monitors the progress of the radical homosexual movement," the fund-raising pitch continued, bragging that "this coalition has been dedicated to stopping the tide of homosexual activism which is sleeping into the nation's mind-set, threatening to undermine the traditional family. …

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