In response to the “FORMER HOMOSEXUAL AWARENESS CAMPAIGN” launched in South Africa, Mambaonline diverts the attention from the truth of the campaign to their politicized propaganda.
On Thursday, Mambaonline alerted the gay community via e-mail about the launch of the FORMER HOMOSEXUAL’S AWARENESS CAMPAIGN. In what started as a very factual summary, halfway through turned into a report diverting the attention of the readers away from the facts.
Very conveniently, the reporter mentions only the name of America’s National Association for Research and Therapy of Homosexuality (NARTH) as a reference which was quoted in the article. He then goes on to discredit NARTH. However, he fails to point out that the American Psychiatric Association, American Psychological Association, and even gay rights activist, Peter Thatchel, were also referenced. He also fails to mention that all who were quoted came to the same conclusion: “There is no compelling evidence that anyone is determined from birth to be born homosexual.”
The reporter continues by saying: “Bekker’s latest campaign comes despite warnings from South African and leading international psychiatric groups that efforts to change people’s sexuality can be harmful, especially among desperate people and vulnerable minors.”
He continues: “It is not illegal to offer members of the public a ‘gay cure’ or reparative therapy services, however, the South African Society of Psychiatrists says that it ‘opposes any psychiatric treatment such as ‘reparative’ or ‘conversion’ therapy designed to change a person’s sexual orientation from homosexual to heterosexual. It has also warned that this kind of therapy ‘runs the risk of harming patients by causing depression, anxiety, and self-destructive behavior’.”
The South African Society of Psychiatrists’ warning is not based on the scientific evidence. All they do is echo what the rest of the world is saying. However, it is out of line with the American Psychiatric Associations’ findings in their 2009 Task Force report, entitled “Appropriate Therapeutic Responses to Sexual Orientation,” which contains a prominent section on sexual-orientation change efforts (SOCE). On page 83 of this report they conclude: “There are no scientifically rigorous studies of recent SOCE that would enable us to make a definitive statement about whether recent SOCE is safe or harmful and for whom.”
On July 30, 2013, Dr. Nicholas Cummings, a former APA president, recently wrote an article in USA Today and submitted an affidavit on June 30, 2013 to the New Jersey Superior Court opposing the lawsuit filed by the Southern Poverty Law Center, who is running a hate campaign against ex-gays, confirmed that hundreds of his client’s were successful in changing their sexual orientation and that it is unethical to deprive a client of his freedom of choice.
In his article, Cummings wrote: “Accusing professionals who provide treatment for fully informed persons seeking to change their sexual orientation of perpetrating a fraud is not accurate. Such a tactic serves only to stigmatize the professional and shame the patient. A political agenda should not be permitted to prevent gays and lesbians who desire to undertake sexual reorientation efforts from exercising their right to self-determination.”
To further detract from the point, Mambaonline’s reporter then went on to close with Alan Chambers’ closing down of Exodus as another reason to oppose former homosexuals. For some years it was known that Exodus leadership was heading in the wrong direction. Seeing that Exodus was only an umbrella organization for a multitude of other ministries, these ministries one-by-one withdrew themselves from Exodus. Other Umbrella organization like Restored Hope Network and Hope For Wholeness came into existence to accommodate these ministries. The closing down of Exodus is not a major setback, but rather the ashes of a diminishing organization, with a leader that was not big enough to step down from his leadership, when his views were no longer in line with that of the organization he was leading.
Rather than report the campaign and science correctly, Mambaonline proved itself to be just another propaganda-spewing, pseudo-media outlet with an agenda.
André Bekker is an Advisory Board Member of Voice of the Voiceless and a Theological Counselor with New Living Way Ministry in South Africa, ministering to people with Unwanted Same-Sex Attraction, their families, and loved ones.