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Watch: Alan Chambers Compares Homosexuality To Obesity

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For every cloud, the popular saying goes, there is a silver lining. And that's no less true than in the case of Michele Bachmann's husband, Marcus, and his "ex-gay" clinic.

As word of Mr. Bachmann's practice spread, mainstream media started taking a closer look at so-called "reparative therapy," a topic more often discussed among LGBT people, and spreading the truth to the American people, as ABC News' Brian Ross did last night.

Intrigued by Bachmann's dubious practice, Ross interviewed Dr. Jack Drescher, a psychiatrist who specializes in debunking "ex-gay" conversion.

Saying that ex-gay theories are "so far outside the mainstream it's practically on Mars," Dr. Drescher contended, "We don't know what causes homosexuality, we don't know what causes heterosexuality, and since we don't what causes it, we don't know how to change it. There is no science that effectively states [reparative therapy] this can work, this can change."

In the interest of keeping his coverage fair and balanced, Ross also interviewed Alan Chambers, leader of the "ex-gay" group Exodus International. And, according to Chambers, he and his peers are just like Weight Watchers.

Asked whether Christian therapy can indeed help people overcome same-sex desires, Chambers insists, "We can look at other organizations who help people dealing with other life struggles. For instance, Weight Watchers... Should we go after Weight Watchers and tell them 'Don't say that there's anything beyond obesity' for people who are struggling with obesity and want an alternative to that?"

While Chambers' remarks is completely off-the-wall, and definitely worth a view, he also said something even more compelling: that when he was a child struggling with his same-sex desires, he thought,"I didn't choose" to be gay and "didn't want" to be gay.

In Chambers' view, then, he was born gay, but it didn't fit into his "life plan," an assertion that implicitly contradicts ex-gay and right wing claims that people "choose" to be gay.

Watch Ross' report, AFTER THE JUMP...

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Comments

  1. WELL ALL I'VE GOT TO SAY IS THAT I WISH MICHELLE OBAMA WOULD GET OFF MY FAT ASS WITH HER OBESITY CAMPAIGN AND TELL HER HUSBAND TO GET EVERYBODY SOME MUCH NEEDED JOBS. IT'S THE ECONOMY DAHLINGS!

    Posted by: THE QUEEN | Jul 16, 2011 10:15:12 AM


  2. "In Chambers' view, then, he was born gay, but it didn't fit into his "life plan," an assertion that implicitly contradicts ex-gay and right wing claims that people "choose" to be gay."

    Not all anti-gay organizations make the claim that people choose to be homosexual. It's a dangerous simplification to suggest there's unanimity on it. Many would view it as akin to something like a predisposition to obesity - always present in a person, but subject to treatment.

    Aome anti-gay groups are modifying their claims for the modern era, where the old fable about gays seducing and recruiting new members is seen as patently false by all but the most ignorant. Now it doesn't matter if people are born gay - they can still deny us rights.

    Posted by: Nat | Jul 16, 2011 10:27:54 AM


  3. Wait, the pro-change therapy guy compares it to obesity control; while the anti-change therapy guy compares it to winning the lottery? Neither of those is a positive message to me....

    Posted by: Dan | Jul 16, 2011 10:55:29 AM


  4. There is something to say about a Queen with crazy eyes!!

    Posted by: Roseann | Jul 16, 2011 10:57:28 AM



  5. "We don't know what causes homosexuality, we don't know what causes heterosexuality, and since we don't what causes it, we don't know how to change it. There is no science that effectively states [reparative therapy] this can work, this can change."

    I hope that all of you will tack this quote to your wall. No, one cannot change one's sexual orientation. True--and these people trying to are both ignorant and despicable.

    On the other hand, the oft-repeated view of some of you that you were "born gay" is also without justification, so you should not only stop claiming it because it sounds (and is) defensive and boxes us into a corner when it comes to encouraging greater freedom of sexual expression for all people, but also because it is just not accurate.


    Posted by: Rick | Jul 16, 2011 11:04:32 AM


  6. Of course people are born gay. For heaven's sake, look at Alan Chambers! Tell me that man wasn't born gay! Of course he was!

    It's not "some" people who "oft-repeat" it, it's such common knowledge that even self-hating Alan Chambers accepts it. It's not defensive, it's accurate. It doesn't box anyone in, it frees everyone -- especially those gay kids in the middle of nowhere who otherwise couldn't understand what's happening to them.

    And I don't know about you, but my "freedom of sexual expression" hasn't been curbed one little bit by accepting the obvious fact that I was born gay.

    If your sexual expression ain't doing so well, I'm afraid you'll have to look for another excuse.

    Posted by: ohplease | Jul 16, 2011 11:13:45 AM


  7. While I wouldn't walk down Mr. Chambers' path myself, I did think he was sincere. I found no hatred in what he said. Whether or not you agree with his views or not, he does deserve respect for that.

    Posted by: Jack | Jul 16, 2011 11:19:35 AM


  8. [Bigotry's] birthplace is the sinister back room of the mind where plots and schemes are hatched for the persecution and oppression of other human beings. --Bayard Rustin

    Posted by: Mark | Jul 16, 2011 11:20:28 AM


  9. Haha! Yeah, it's JUST like Weight Watchers. If you limit your daily cock intake, then you're not gay anymore! Thank geebus for that "points" system. I'm just trying to figure out, is one cock worth more points than another? Does tapping your foot in a restroom with a Republican senator count as one point or two? And how many gay points can I have in a day and still not be gay? Fascinating.

    Posted by: Joseph L. | Jul 16, 2011 11:22:53 AM


  10. It was clear Chambers was born gay when his parents saw his Precious Moments eyes...

    Posted by: Mark | Jul 16, 2011 11:23:23 AM


  11. And, apparently it should also be pointed out, that not knowing what causes sexual orientation obviously doesn't mean you aren't born gay. If we don't know what the cause is, then we don't know that it doesn't happen in the womb. If we don't know what the cause is, then we don't know that it's not genetic. If we don't know what the cause is, then nobody is ruling out possibilities, they're including them.

    That quote you want people to tack on their wall, simply doesn't prove the point you'd like to make. No scientist would ever endorse your point. Because no scientist would ever say that it can be proven you were born this way, but that means they also can't prove that you weren't.

    Nope, nobody can scientifically prove what causes sexual orientation. So then we're only left with the evidence of our own experiences. The vast, vast, vast majority of people who experience ANY sexual orientation -- which is everyone on Earth -- will tell you in an instant that they were born this way. Although nobody can prove why they're right, it's obvious that they're not wrong.

    Posted by: ohplease | Jul 16, 2011 11:25:20 AM


  12. It is interesting to watch Alan navigate the tightrope of not denying "reparative therapy" but also not making the claim of actually changing sexual orientation. Chambers has said repeatedly that he still "struggles" with "same-sex attraction" and it is pretty clear from this interview that he is not claiming he's actually changed his orientation - which is the claim Bachmann and other quacks make.

    Chambers also buries the "ex-gay" movement with his line of reasoning, because he is making it explicit that he's made a religious choice, much like many people have chosen to suppress or direct their sexual impulses for their religion (e.g., priests and nuns who actually remain celibate). But the "ex-gay" movement, along with their allies in the anti-gay hate movement (FRC, AFA, etc) claim that actual change in orientation is not only possible, it is a reason to deny civil rights protections to gays and lesbians. That IMHO is the much more important argument Chambers completely undermines here.

    Posted by: CPT_Doom | Jul 16, 2011 11:26:21 AM


  13. @Jack, Alan Chambers has dedicated his life to destroying the lives of others. Of course he doesn't deserve respect for that. And of course his entire life is motivated by self-hate, and it's his hatred of other people being who he is that defines his entire life.

    Honestly, what other benevolent figure of goodness and light should we respect next? Perhaps John Wayne Gacy? Unlike Chambers, he was not only sincere but also actually free of hate. He just flat-out enjoyed raping and murdering. According to you, it seems, that's worthy of respect.

    Posted by: ohplease | Jul 16, 2011 11:30:59 AM


  14. @Ohplease People like you equate homosexuality with effeminacy ("For heaven's sake, look at Alan Chambers! Tell me that man wasn't born gay!)

    You do so because you have internalized society's verdict that being attracted to another man makes you unmasculine. And THIS is the real form that self-hatred takes among "gay" men.

    And you try to drag the rest of us down into your sinkhole because you are afraid of facing the prospect of the standards of masculinity that apply to "heterosexual" men being applied to those that are "homosexual" or "bisexual" as well.

    "Gay" is nothing but a cultural construct that did not even exist until the last few decades in the West. It seeks to force individuals to "declare" themselves as belonging to a group on the basis of their sexuality, when such a black-and-white distinction is not appropriate for the sexuality of most people, as Kinsey and others demonstrated.

    And while there might have been a justification for it 30 years ago, today, the effect of it is to discourage the majority of men who have some bisexual tendencies from expressing those--because they don't want to embrace "gay" and the culture of effeminacy that goes along with it--and it causes many "gay" men to remain in the closet because they don't want to be associated with such an embarrassing sub-culture that does not reflect their true natures.

    That is why the whole "gay" culture of effeminacy needs to be dismantled and destroyed, including its "born gay" mindset....because until it is, men will never be liberated fully, regardless of their particular sexual orientation

    It is supported neither by science nor by common sense and it has become a deterrent to progress for us all.....

    Posted by: Rick | Jul 16, 2011 11:32:53 AM


  15. The APA's position since the mid 1970's (before that they were as bad as anyone else) is that gayness is not a disease and therefore did not require treatment, counseling or curing to eliminate. The only therapy would be alleviate depression or anxiety caused by being gay in a anti-gay world. They need to say that instead of saying that there simply is no cure.

    Posted by: anon | Jul 16, 2011 11:44:09 AM


  16. @rick;

    Sure, except for the fact that 90% of gay men show no effeminism, and the fact that just because the term 'gay' didn't exist a century ago doesnt mean that people weren't gay.

    And the fact that science now shows that Obesity is also considered a genetic trait... And some people are ... Born That Way

    Jeez... What a bunch of trolls we have here today!

    Posted by: Mikey Mugglesworth | Jul 16, 2011 11:50:46 AM


  17. "No scientist would ever endorse your point. Because no scientist would ever say that it can be proven you were born this way, but that means they also can't prove that you weren't."

    I know you think this helps your case, but it really doesn't.

    Research into sexual orientation is in its infancy; we have a long ways to go before we can say anything determinative.

    But note that there is a difference between stating that one is 'born' gay and one chooses to be gay

    Posted by: Nat | Jul 16, 2011 12:12:38 PM


  18. One thing that doesn't bother me about Alan Chambers is that he never once claimed to have changed his sexual orientation through his faith. He has, admittedly, simply altered his behavior to not act on his sexual desires. I'm not saying that this is in any way healthy, but it is his decision to make. If he doesn't want to be in love, or have sex, then, so be it. I really don't think he's as dangerous as the Bachmanns or any of the other far right crazies.

    Posted by: Walter | Jul 16, 2011 12:28:45 PM


  19. ""Gay" is nothing but a cultural construct that did not even exist until the last few decades in the West. It seeks to force individuals to "declare" themselves as belonging to a group on the basis of their sexuality, when such a black-and-white distinction is not appropriate for the sexuality of most people, as Kinsey and others demonstrated."

    Gender is also a cultural construct; it's simply older and more elaborate than the modern conception of homosexuality, but it's as much an artificial product as the 'gay' label is.

    I do agree that there are problems in how people align themselves with particular groups, but that's why diversity of expression matters in the real world. It's important for the people we interact with to understand that we don't have universal behavioural traits.

    Posted by: Nat | Jul 16, 2011 12:29:25 PM


  20. Well now *there's* a comparison that leaves me scratching my head. For the sake of variety, why don't I compare heterosexuality with type 2 diabetes?

    Have you taken your orange tablet today, Rick?

    Posted by: agcons | Jul 16, 2011 1:03:39 PM


  21. PAY ATTENTION. If you could compare the statements from Exodus International over the last twenty years -- as I have -- you'll see that they've been cautiously, intentionally shifting their tone. They've gone from promising that all people are 'born heterosexual' to an admission that some people may, in fact, be born this way. And they've eliminated comparisons to abusers and pedophiles in favor of kindler, gentler comparisons like overeaters. They're in a losing battle, and they know it.

    Posted by: GMB | Jul 16, 2011 1:11:12 PM


  22. I could maybe see saying that being 'gay' is a social construct, and a relatively modern one. It means that I don't have to sleep with a woman, ever. Culturally, it provides a place for me, someone who has always, my entire life, had same-sex attractions-- maybe being 'gay' didn't exist two hundred years ago, but it's absurd to pretend that people like me didn't exist at that time. And RICK, by your own 'social construct' paradigm, who is to say effeminate traits are effeminate? aren't they just traits? by your reasoning, anything that a man feels and expresses is masculine, so, what's the problem?

    and i bristle at his assertion that there is no justification for saying that we are 'born gay,' because that's just not true. Recent work on sexual orientation in the field of neuroscience-- not politically charged sociology-- implicates the chemical environment of the womb, and the resulting development of the brain in utero, in influencing the sexuality of homosexual men.

    and most of this feel, and know, this innately. we are born this way.

    Posted by: flucht17 | Jul 16, 2011 1:11:15 PM


  23. "In Chambers' view, then, he was born gay, but it didn't fit into his "life plan," an assertion that implicitly contradicts ex-gay and right wing claims that people "choose" to be gay."

    It really doesn't. When our opponents say someone "chooses to be gay", they don't mean that we aren't born with same-sex attraction, only that we choose to engage in same-sex behavior and identify as having a same-sex orientation. They simply don't care who we are attracted to; they assume we can (and should) "overcome" it.

    This is the danger of clinging to an overly simplistic view of sexual orientation that refuses to acknowledge that there's more to sexuality than just attraction, and also the danger of putting all our eggs in the "born this way" basket. Our opponents assume we're saying something we aren't (that we can't control our behaviour), and we assume they're saying something they aren't (that we can control our attractions). Framing the argument this way gets nobody anywhere.

    Instead, we should acknowledge that yes, who we have sex with and what we call ourselves are our choices. We can choose to be like Alan Chambers, force ourselves to have sex with someone we aren't naturally attracted to, call ourselves "straight". That choice really does exist.

    But if our attractions are inborn and immutable, does it make sense to adopt behaviours and identities–which we can choose–that conflict with our attractions–which we can't?

    By acknowledging the whole picture of sexuality–inborn attractions, chosen behaviours and identities–the situation becomes a lot clearer. It's a lot healthier to have all three aspects of your sexual orientation in sync with one another than to adopt an identity and behavior at war with your attractions.

    Even our opponents understand that no one chooses to whom they are attracted. You don't choose to be attracted to redheads, or blondes, or brunettes; no more do you choose to be attracted to the opposite sex, the same sex, or both. They get that.

    We need to focus on the argument that aligning attraction, behaviour, and identity is healthy and natural, rather than quibbling about whether "sexual orientation", which isn't a single thing at all, is or isn't inborn. Acknowledging that our sexual orientation is complex, with no single aspect or origin, doesn't make our argument weaker. It ensures that our opponents are hearing what we mean to say, rather than what they choose to hear.

    Posted by: Dave | Jul 16, 2011 1:11:44 PM


  24. most of US feel, sorry

    Posted by: flucht17 | Jul 16, 2011 1:12:05 PM


  25. Roseann,

    Fla. Gov. Rick Scott has the same crazy gay eyes! He is such a closet case.

    Posted by: Randy | Jul 16, 2011 1:14:10 PM


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