This commentary is in response to Gregory T. Angelo’s opinion editorial, “Gay Rights in the Post Exodus Era” (9/30/2013). In his article, Mr. Angelo opines on a number of issues surrounding the science of homosexuality and Sexual Orientation Change Effort (SOCE) therapy (pejoratively known as ‘conversion therapy’), neither of which he is qualified to do so as a politician. Such misinformation from gay activists, as was seen in Mr. Angelo’s article, is responsible for the present clouding between science and politics.
Mr. Angelo incorrectly cited Exodus International as the “standard-bearer” and Alan Chambers as the “poster boy” for SOCE therapy. However, Exodus International never existed as a therapeutic organization, but rather, a network of faith-based ministries providing support for individuals seeking to leave homosexuality. One must be very careful to distinguish ministerial and pastoral care from professionally trained psychotherapists and psychologists that provide therapeutic services for those who experience unwanted same-sex attractions.
Furthermore, to label Chambers, a man with no therapeutic or psychological training, the “poster boy” of the ex-gay movement, especially in light of the fact that he never received psychotherapy to overcome his own same-sex attractions, is disingenuous. It is no secret that Chamber’s poor leadership and lack of resolve to do his own therapeutic work played a significant role in the implosion of Exodus. Neither can Chamber’s or John Paulk’s personal failures speak for the many that have experienced change from a homosexual to a heterosexual orientation.
Angelo goes on to justify the unprecedented laws in California and New Jersey that are prohibiting the rights of minors to undergo SOCE therapy by citing Dr. Robert Spitzer’s retraction of his 2003 study: “Can Some Gay Men and Lesbians Change Their Sexual Orientation?” But Angelo failed to include a proper context for why Spitzer retracted this study, namely, that the esteemed Columbia University professor had literally been harassed for a decade by gay activists because of this work, and suffering from an advanced stage of Parkinson’s disease, caved to their demands. To read more, click here . . .