I recently heard Lon Mabon, head of the Oregon Citizens
Alliance, being interviewed on National Public Radio. As I
listened, I remembered reading an article that told of an "ex-gay"
group Mabon had helped launch to bring homosexuals out of their
So-called ex-gay ministries are a perverse phenomenon. They are
a by-product of anti-gay outfits, such as Focus on the Family, the
Christian Coalition and the Oregon Citizens Alliance. To obscure
the vile rhetoric that calls for abolishing the homosexual
"menace," these groups have created spinoffs to convert gays to
heterosexuality under the pretext of loving them so much they want
to save them from their sick and sinful ways. The "ex" in ex-gay
undoubtedly stands for exterminate.
Most perturbing about the ex-gay movement is its hypocrisy.
One of the biggest pieces of propaganda promulgated by the anti-gay
movement is that gay people, who do not create families in
conventional ways, must "convert" straight people to keep their
membership up. Yet it is heterosexual people who try to convert
lesbians and gays into being straight, or at least into pretending
to be. All American children are socialized in their homes,
schools, and places of worship to engage in an opposite-sex
lifestyle. Everyone in this country is encouraged through all forms
of media to lust after, date and marry a member of the opposite sex
and produce children. Where this indoctrination fails, ex-gay
organizations like Exodus International attempt to co-opt the ones
who got away.
Compulsory heterosexuality cannot and does not work because
some people just aren't heterosexual. You can put whiskers on a
dog, but you don't have a cat. In a new book, "Coming Out of
Homosexuality," Bob Davies, head of Exodus International, concedes
the futility of trying to alter a person's sexual orientation.
Undaunted, Exodus, like all ex-gay groups, insists that happiness
lies in separating sexual orientation from its natural, healthy
expression. The ranks of ex-gay organizations are full of
heterosexual impersonators. If you're lesbian or gay and you join
such an outfit, you won't change who you are, you'll just get
affirmation for pretending to be someone else.
Even if it were possible to transform gay people into straight
people, I'm dubious about how useful that would be. The nations of
the world just finished converging on Cairo to determine how to
keep the heterosexual "menace" from overbreeding humankind to the
point of extinction. Do we really need more of the heterosexual
In any case, as with all debates, it is possible to find
personal testimony to support both sides of an argument. Most
ex-gay groups try to marry their gay male converts to their lesbian
converts, thus establishing relationships that are difficult to get
out of and ones that depend on the constant supervision of the
group to remain intact.
Some gays claim happiness in this arrangement. …