"Ex-Gays" | News

Watch: Alan Chambers Compares Homosexuality To Obesity


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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  1. "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 cannot ever help but laugh out loud when I encounter the notion that gender is a "construct". Dude, men have penises and big muscles and more testosterone and different cognitive strengths and weaknesses and differ in all kinds of ways from women.....and those differences transcend culture. Men have been warriors and women have been nurturers throughout history in every society that has ever existed and all of those societies INDEPENDENTLY developed that way, despite having been totally isolated from each other for millenia. Because it was driven by natural forces.

    Feminism seeks to deny nature and the result you are seeing in the West is all kinds of social dysfunction that has resulted from its effects--broken families, birth rates that have fallen below replacement level, levels of stress for both genders at historical highs, children that are failing academically and otherwise.

    "Gay" men bought into feminism decades ago because they erroneously believed that the only way they could ever be accepted was to destroy masculinity (even as they worshipped it and were deeply titillated by it)....and feminists were all too happy to enlist their support because their own goal was to weaken men in such a way that they could empower women.

    I guess their notion was that they and straight women would rule the world together and straight men would just become their servants (LOL).

    They had been so convinced of their own inherent lack of masculinity that that was really the only way out that they saw. It never occurred to them that one could eradicate homophobia without denigrating masculinity and that homosexuality could be accommodated by a fully-masculine male culture......despite the fact that the only examples in history of homosexuality being accepted and respected were precisely those in which masculinity and homosexuality were not considered mutually exclusive.

    Those who continue to see feminists as the friends of gay men (and feminism as a philosophy that will benefit gay men) are badly misguided, in my opinion.......an entirely new approach is called for in the 21st century, one that focuses on liberating all men, not destroying their very essence (which is impossible to do anyway)

    Posted by: Rick | Jul 16, 2011 1:21:52 PM

  2. @Dave Exceptionally well-stated. People are afraid of ambiguity because it can be threatening--when ambiguity exists, you have to navigate interpersonal relationships much more carefully than you do when everyone fits neatly into a box and that can lead to a lot less personal security.

    I think this is one reason people who are genuinely bisexual generate so much hostility from just about everybody.....they have options that someone who is "gay" or "straight" don't have and that gives them a certain amount of power in a relationship that the other party does not have. And this is why so many women find it so much more devastating when their husband or boyfriend "cheats" on them with a man than when he "cheats" on them with another woman.....the latter they can at least understand and compete with but the former is completely beyond either their understanding or their control.

    So it should not be surprising if many "gay" people try to hold on to the black-and-white paradigm just as a lot of "straight" people will.

    I personally feel that allowing people to be truly free to express themselves however it suits them would be tremendously liberating and exciting--I guess part of the reason I do is that so many men that I have been attracted to over the years and who I knew were at least bisexual retreated into the "I'm not gay" space when push came to shove.......but also because, more objectively speaking, how could people not be healthier and happier if they do not have artificial constraints being placed on their sexual activities and their emotional lives?

    Seems like a no-brainer to me, but again, I can see why some people are deeply threatened by the idea.....

    Posted by: Rick | Jul 16, 2011 1:44:13 PM

  3. I compare ex-sexuality to anorexia. Look at this man. He was born in 1972 and looks like he's a very starved 55. I agree with Dave, I made a rational self-loving choice to align my identity and behaviors with my attractions. Those who don't do so ...add an immense burden of struggle to an already difficult life.

    Posted by: Josh | Jul 16, 2011 2:08:06 PM

  4. A greater pervasiveness of homophobia is in the white religious community. It is a real problem....LMAO!


    Posted by: CHRIS DACHOCOLATEBEARCUB | Jul 16, 2011 2:41:38 PM

  5. I have no doubt that Mr. Chambers presents himself sincerely; however that is not exactly the burning core question. I note for the public record that Mr. Chambers completely sidestepped the journalist's question about the gruesome damages done when equally sincere people (usually people of some faith, by the way? ... and often just starting out in young adult life?) utterly fail to win the lottery of exgay/reparative services.

    Hat tip to Dr. Drescher for this pertinent analogy.

    Until Mr. Chambers accepts a modicum of clear, overt human ethical responsibility for the majority of deeply hurt exgay consumers who fail, have failed, and no doubt will continue to fail? Chambers is encouraging us all to be intentionally narrow-minded - is there such a thing as urging us all to be narrow-hearted? one wonders listening to Chambers? - as well as of course, straight?

    I must also comment on his systemic disclaimer that he is not targeting LGBT folks in particular; they just happen to fall into his exgay crosshairs because they fall outside of being married straights who fit inside his definition of being Christian. Sorry, Mr. C., your moral system is not as comprehensively and common sense ethical as it claims to be, since it establishes a closed set up that discovers LGBT folks to be the sinners the system presumes them to be at the start of inquiry.

    Plus - note this Mr. Chambers? - LGBT sinners are NOT at all like straight sinners in your closed pseudo-moral system. Why not? Simply because no straight sinner is ever, ever, ever asked or told to dramatically change sexual orientation (while of course we all know, LGBT folks are always told to change their sexual orientation?).

    Basically, then Mr. C., we must dig deeper into what you say, only to realize that you are implying that you simply do not credit any of the empirical information that tells us about sexual orientation variance; you leave the presumptive foundations open to an old flat earth legacy notion that simply everybody is born straight, but some pitiful people for unknown reasons experience LGBT aspects of their personality, instead of the preferred nothing but straight ideals.

    Even for believers, marriage is not magic, but a calling? Saying, I do, does not magically transform anybody from immoral to moral. Witness the horrid marital wounds of spousal abuse, spousal rape, child neglect, child abuse, and similar? All of those suffering people said the magical, I do. Why doesn't Mr. C. ask those people to change their sexual orientation?

    I also note that Mr. Chambers backed off from saying that people categorically could NOT follow Jesus due to same gender love or sexual orientation; though he riled up again about how categorically sinful any and all attraction/pairbonding inner life/relationships are.

    Flat earth readings of scripture about LGBT folks do nobody any good service?

    Is Mr. Chambers softening, despite himself? One may wish it so, even pray it be so. Especially if he can get Exodus affiliated services or programs to take common sense ethical responsibility for providing remedial care to all the folks who fail? Where else but exgay services would we blame people for failing our lottery-loaded odds of getting a desirable outcome?

    Should we also dump cancer chemo folks who fail to get ideal outcomes, on the streets, summarily, just like Exodus affiliated services/programs dump all the ex-exgay failures? Don't advise this habit, let alone tag it as ethical.

    Alas, Lord have mercy.

    Posted by: drdanfee | Jul 16, 2011 3:47:56 PM

  6. RICK, your whole post reeks of self-hatred!

    "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 clear to me, from reading your post, that you have internalized shame and misogyny. The fact of the matter is that some men are more effeminate than others and I find nothing shameful in that. It is no threat to my masculinity since it does not depend on the behavior of others. I am my own man and I am not defined by what others do.

    Your position is identical to the "reparative-therapy" thugs. You both want to obliterate those who push triggers in you: "the whole "gay" culture of effeminacy needs to be dismantled and destroyed, including its "born gay" mindset...."

    You and the anti-gay bigots want to destroy those who are different from you because you perceive them to be a threat to your own masculinity. You imply they stop other's from expressing their "true natures" and force them to remain in the closet. What a weak and coward bunch of men those are. You are casting them and yourself as victims...man up!

    The fact that a gay man may be effeminate does not threaten your masculinity anymore than two gay men getting married threatens your neighbors' marriage. And the fact that your post is ignorant and self-hating does not reflect on me. It reflects on you alone.

    Posted by: truthteller | Jul 16, 2011 4:09:07 PM

  7. RICK, Rick, Rick.

    "Men have been warriors and women have been nurturers throughout history in every society that has ever existed and all of those societies INDEPENDENTLY developed that way, despite having been totally isolated from each other for millenia. Because it was driven by natural forces."

    Exempt when they haven't:
    Queen Samsi (Shamsi) of Arabia, 732 B.C.
    The Trung Sisters, A.D. 40
    Queen Zenobia, 3rd century
    Queen Boudicca, A.D.60-61
    Queen Artemisia, Greco-Persian wars.
    Queen Tomyris whose army killed King Cyrus and defeated his kingdom...

    And don't forget the women warriors of the amazon. In fact women developed agriculture and in many societies they do the labor while the men stay at home.

    You are one twisted open-faucet of ignorance.

    Posted by: truthteller | Jul 16, 2011 4:22:35 PM

  8. @Joseph L: Yeah , its just like Weightwatchers! Its called Cockwatchers!

    Posted by: Travis | Jul 16, 2011 4:45:04 PM

  9. rick's testosterone-fuelled, misogynistic warrior fantasy would make it ok for the bi and bi-curious men he wants to sleep with to stay with him instead of forming their meaningful relationships with women. He also denigrates those relationships: men who "cheat" on their female partners are not really doing anything wrong, because the women are less-than.

    he sees his preferred partners being turned off by the possibility of association with effeminate men, with "gays."

    but the "it's cool dude, gay, bi and straight don't exist, we just like cock" worldview is just not an incredibly accurate model of reality. the reality is, being gay is more than just being same-sex attracted, but that's also not to say that everything beyond that attraction isn't also inherent. for most gay guys, it is.

    rick, while i know you don't think that you're "gay," I would also venture that you aren't gay, either. Because if you were, you would sympathise with the interplay of masculinity and femininity in the gay psyche.

    Posted by: flucht17 | Jul 16, 2011 5:41:15 PM

  10. Rick's stereotyped definition of men and women reminds me of a kid I knew (as a kid myself) who told me that the difference is that "girls have long hair and boys have short hair." When I pointed to our short-haired classmate Susan, he was suddenly very confused.

    Posted by: GregV | Jul 16, 2011 7:03:11 PM

  11. We could do better than to have Drescher on our side.

    I wish someone would not only talk about how it's not possible to force a change, but start talking about how unethical it would be to do this, even if it were simple and low risk.

    The comparison of becoming straight to winning the lottery isn't exactly delightful to hear either. It basically casts gay people as miserable people just not lucky enough to be straight. Seriously, this is why we need more gay sex in the movies. Gay love is beautiful to see, and as there are fewer gay people in the world, is actually the true lottery-winner.

    Posted by: Randy | Jul 16, 2011 7:29:35 PM

  12. I think it is high time for the gay community to take the gloves off and start converting straight men to gayness. If it's a choice we should make it easy for them to choose by extolling the advantages of gayness. Take them out, show them a good time and then off to bed!

    Posted by: Conversion therapy anyone? | Jul 16, 2011 8:47:41 PM

  13. @Rick,

    that's absolutely not true. Unless you have some gay creationist version of how the world came into existence you would see that heterosexuality is an evolutionary tool to propagate a species. Homosexuality MAY be an adaption due to overpopulation or some other necessary reason, but there IS a scientific explanation for it. It's just unknown to us and will be unknown to us for some time because of the politics involved in studying this subject.

    To say there is no reason for ovaries, the uterus, a penis, sperm...is ridiculous and unscientific. It's basic biology for those species that don't "bud" or have other asexual reproduction.

    Saying that heterosexuality is not something that Nature determined is just politics. It is not wrong to have gay sex, be gay, do whatever you want with the body you have or to feel those inclinations. That's what people should push--that we're more than evolutionary victims.

    Gay marriage, gay rights, gay people can be born gay or choose to be gay for all I care. If you are happy and life is great, I'm happy for you. It doesn't matter to me how you got to that point.

    @Rick, curious tho...you keep speaking of "loosening the restrictions" of sexual orientation. Does that mean you are going to go fishing anytime soon? Would you loosen your restrictions and have sex with women?

    Are you going to lead the pack on sexual ambiguity?

    Posted by: Rin | Jul 17, 2011 9:44:20 AM

  14. Chambers was not half defensive was he? He is admitting that homosexuality is a permanent feature of his own life and the lives of others. This is not as hard-line as the NARTH position - yet NARTH is not only a Christian organisation. Many Roman Catholic priests have tried to follow the line of thinking of Chambers and we see the fallout from that every week. Memo to Chambers: If you are a homosexual, practising or non-practising makes little real difference. Remember the teaching of Christ - to lust after a woman is already the equivalent of adultery. (Matthew 5:28) The parallels for the homosexual are obvious, BUT only if you take the word of Christ as relevant to your life!

    Posted by: Evan | Jul 17, 2011 5:28:09 PM

  15. " 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? "

    The comparison is completely inappropriate. Obesity is not an identity in the way that homosexuality is. I am using Weight Watchers programme now and through their education and instruction, finding it quite easy to lose some weight. I am addressing a real physical problem - cholesterol - on medical advice.

    We could talk about the obessive disorders - anorexia and bulemia - but homosexuality and heterosexuality are not an addictions or an obessions like those.

    Memo to Chambers: Being obese is about lifestyle and sexuality is about identity - learn the difference.

    Posted by: Evan | Jul 17, 2011 6:40:10 PM

  16. Useful link


    Posted by: Evan | Jul 17, 2011 6:48:20 PM

  17. It's dangerous to tell people not to respect their faith first 'cuz it's un-American?!?! This guy is such a turd. When's he gonna get caught in the bushes with George Michael?

    Posted by: Gigi | Jul 18, 2011 7:46:00 AM

  18. Gender is not a construct. In the 1970s with various, well-intended equality movements it was called that and certain behavioral protocols were created with specific intentions to "disprove" previous gender "characteristics" but those same studies have been redone in a less slanted way and with different results.

    Scientists (not psychologists), but research scientists have also done study after study on chemicals, body construct, brain patterns etc to demonstrate why "feminine" behavior and "masculine" behavior exists.

    If this were "all in your head" then transgender people would not need hormone therapy, they could just walk around in dresses all day or suits. If this was a construct then an absence of testosterone or estrogen would not cause male and female menopause and all the symptoms therein.

    I find it incredibly ironic that all of the so-called progressive, scientific atheists would create a new, non-scientific dogma purely for social protections. That is exactly how religion got its foothold.

    There is nothing wrong with women acting "feminine" or to say that it is "Nature". Estrogen does certain things. Women's brains work certain ways. Saying that does not mean that women can't be presidents, warriors, etc.

    NOR does saying men act a certain way because of their chemicals and brain patterns prevent them from being great, nurturing parents.

    There are even studies that get shoved under the table about why some gay men have effeminate traits and, yes, it has to do with how their brain routes information.

    We shouldn't be afraid of these things, or try to downplay them out of some fear of social stagnation.

    Your sexual preference has nothing to do with your gender, and quite honestly who really cares why anyone is attracted to anyone else?

    If you are happy, if you are living your life to its fullest...I don't think it matters if you have a martian implant that makes you like someone of the same sex. Live in such a way that makes you happy and you hurt no one else.

    Posted by: Rin | Jul 18, 2011 8:42:55 AM

  19. You don't suppose that Chambers was pointing a finger at the obese Marcus Bachmann when he brought up Weight Watchers do you? And, I'm not sure I'd use Weight Watchers as an example of how to change the behavior of people because for the majority of people attending Weight Watchers their success in only temporary - they return, for whatever reason, to the same habits and, if you will, lifestyle that created their weight issues in the first place. Thus, Weight Watchers is about as successful as ex-gay therapy.

    Posted by: Tyron | Jul 18, 2011 10:59:18 AM

  20. You're not born gay. You are, however, born a homosexual. You have to EARN being gay. You have to claim it. You have to embrace it.

    Chambers and Marcus Bachmann are not gay. They're homosexuals. There's a difference.

    They don't have the courage and integrity to be gay.

    Homosexuality exists in so many different species. It has existed, in humans, in every type of family and family dynamic, religious group, culture, ethnic group, country, city, continent, island, all over the world.

    There are ZERO external socializing factors that would "make one a homosexual" - if there were any we'd have found them by now.

    And what, pray tells, makes some animals gay? Did that lion have an absentee father and a smothering mother? Was that little goose molested by a duck? Did the orangutan spend too much time playing with his sisters?


    Posted by: Little Kiwi | Jul 18, 2011 11:15:31 AM

  21. Does this Weight Watchers comparison mean that certain sexual practices have "points," and that gay sex has higher points than bland and tasteless heterosexual sex, and I can cheat every now and then, and still stay on the plan? SCORE!

    Posted by: SteveDenver | Jul 18, 2011 1:32:30 PM

  22. The fact that anyone would think that God cares about who they love is seriously misguided. The Bible is the 'inspired' word of God (aka: things some men wrote a long time ago). God has been around longer than the conventions set up by ancient and modern society. Frankly, I don't think God cares who we love and to waste your life fighting something that is as natural as rain is madness. This guy is living in an illusion of 'morality'. I'm sad to think he will never know the joy of falling in love with his husband over and over again. Also, to be gay is not to be separate from God.

    Posted by: Jack | Jul 18, 2011 2:06:05 PM

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