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Nine Former Ex-Gay Leaders Collectively Condemn Conversion Therapy

BusseIt's amazing that anyone puts any credit behind conversion therapy. Success stories are virtually non-existent; the few that do exist typically are cases of repression, not conversion; credible psychological institutions condemn the practice as harmful; and multiple states are banning the practice for minors. Now another block has been pulled out of the teetering Jenga tower as nine former ex-gay leaders have come out explicitly condemning the practice.

Writing in an open letter posted online, Exodus International co-founder Michael Bussee (pictured), along with eight other prominent ex-gay leaders wrote the following (bolding mine):

We grew up with the repetitive message that LGBT people were not enough — not straight enough, not Christian enough, not manly or womanly enough, not faithful enough, not praying enough. Never, ever enough. “Toxic” probably sums it up best. That message is poison to the soul. Especially a child’s soul. It can take a lifetime to get rid of that old programming and replace it with healthy, non-toxic views of yourself. Recovery from conversion therapy is difficult at best. Some remain forever scarred, emotionally and spiritually.Conversion therapy reinforces internalized homophobia, anxiety, guilt and depression. It leads to self-loathing and emotional and psychological harm when change doesn’t happen. Regrettably, too many will choose suicide as a result of their sense of failure. In light of this, we now stand united in our conviction that conversion therapy is not “therapy,” but is instead both ineffective and harmful. We align ourselves with every major mainstream professional medical and mental health organization in denouncing attempts to change sexual orientation or gender identity. We admonish parents to love and accept your LGBT children as they are. We beseech the church to accept, embrace, and affirm LGBT persons with full equality and inclusion.

The other men and women who signed the letter are: Brad Allen, Exodus International Headquarters; Darlene Bogle, Paraklete Ministries; Catherine Chapman, Portland Fellowship; Jeremy Marks, Exodus Europe; Bill Prickett, Coming Back; Tim Rymel, Love in Action; Yvette Cantu Schneider, Exodus International; John J. Smid, Exodus International Board of Directors.


Christian Ex-gay Org Loses Court Battle Over London Bus Ads

BusCore Issues Trust — a Christianist group that sought to promote ex-gay therapy via London bus advertisements — have lost their appeal of a lower court ruling the absolved London Mayor Boris Johnson of any impropriety in banning their ads.

Making good on his 2008 pledge to make London the most “gay-friendly city in the world,” in 2012 Johnson banned the bus advertisements.

The ads read, “Not Gay! Ex-Gay, Post-Gay and Proud. Get over it!” and were a parody of similar ads placed by the UK LGBT group Stonewall that read, “Some people are gay. Get over it!”

In retaliation, the group sued even going so far to accuse Johnson for banning the adverts to court the gay vote during the 2012 election. In 2013, a judge ruled narrowly in favor of Johnson’s ban


Michigan Democrat Adam Zemke Introduces Bill To Ban Gay Conversion Therapy in the State

Adam zemke

New legislation has been introduced by Michigan Democrat Rep. Adam Zemke which aims to ban gay conversion therapy for minors in the state, reports mlive.com.

Zemke hopes Michigan can join California and New Jersey in banning “ex-gay” therapy for under-18s.  Efforts to introduce bans on conversion therapy in Illinois, Ohio, Pennsylvania and New York state have been blocked or stalled.

Zemke said:

"The evidence shows you cannot change sexual orientation, so the legislation was kind of a no-brainer. We want to make sure children cannot be exposed to situations that are emotionally harmful to them because of their parents' beliefs or desires to try to change their orientation."

In 2009, the American Psychological Association said that attempts to change sexual orientation are ineffective and can have harmful side effects including depression, suicidal thoughts and anxiety.

Zemke has had positive support from some Republicans. However, Republican Rep. Gail Haines, chair of the House Health Policy Committee, said that new laws intervening in the relationship between parents and their children "seems unnecessary."

The “ex-gay” movement has had a number of recent setbacks. Last week, Duane Youngblood was arrested on suspicion of sexually assaulting a teenager. Yesterday, we reported that Yvette Cantu Schneider, one of the most vocal and best known representatives of the ex-gay movement, announced that she no longer wishes to identify with anti-gay groups.


'Ex-Gay' Activist Yvette Cantu Schneider Comes Out In Support Of LGBT Rights

Yvette Cantu Schneider, one of the most vocal and best known representatives of the ex-gay movement, has announced that no longer wishes to identify with anti-gay groups, reports GLAAD.

225050_10150202052319238_2061929_nSchneider is known for her high-profile start at hate group the Family Research Council and her work with California's Proposition 8 campaign.  She is still one of the key people who anti-gay voices cite in order to prove that "change" works. The American Family Association continues to sell a video, It's Not Gay, in which Yvette appears as a talking head. Her "personal testimony" still appears on Ex-gaytruth.com.

However, Schneider has said that she is sorry for the pain she has caused to LGBTI people, is questioning of the idea of "ex-gay" itself and is now fully supportive of LGBT people and their families.

In her recently published book Never Not Broken: A Journey of Unbridled Transformation, Schneider "struggles to heal from difficult events from her childhood, the abuses and hypocrisies of religious leaders, and the effects of her own denial of the feminine divine" and ultimately "discovers her true self."

Writing for GLAAD yesterday, Schneider explained how, following the stress brought on by her five-year-old daughter’s diagnosis with leukemia, she sought the help of psychologist Dr. Diana Wright who taught her mindfulness meditation and guided imagery meditation.

She goes on to explain:

“I had neglected the feminine and the feminine divine when I embraced patriarchal dogma that regarded women as secondary to men...It was only when I embraced this true self that I regained my life. It meant shedding many of the beliefs I had espoused for decades—beliefs about what it means to be gay, and what it means to treat people with dignity and respect.

“This change has cost me friendships and the respect of certain people. But that’s okay. I don’t expect everyone to understand my journey. One thing is for sure: Never again will I deny my authentic self in order to gain the approval and acceptance of others. It isn’t worth it.”

A Q&A with Schneider will be published by GLAAD today.

Schneider's defection is another recent blow for the ex-gay movement after Pennsylvania pastor Duane Youngblood was arrested last week on suspicion of sexually assaulting a teenager.


'Ex-Gay' Pittsburgh Pastor Duane Youngblood Accused Of Molesting Teenage Boy

Duane Youngblood, author of Freedom From Homosexuality: No Longer Living The Lie and owner of the Higher Call World Outreach Church in Homestead, Pennsylvania, has been arrested on suspicion of sexually assaulting a teenager.

YoungbloodThe boy, now aged 21, told police that the pastor sexually abused him between 2009 and 2001 while Youngblood was supposed to be counseling him, reports CBS Pittsburgh. Youngblood is also accused of showing the teen an adult movie on his computer.

The pastor reportedly asked his victim not to tell his mother “because he didn’t want to get into trouble.”

In his 2006 book, Youngblood "shares insights and truth to help anyone struggling with perversions find a place of forgiveness and deliverance in God."

Neighbors say the pastor, who is a registered sex offender, is married with multiple children.

In 2006, Youngblood was sentenced to one year of intermediate punishment and seven years’ probation after he was found guilty of molesting a 15-year-old boy whom he was also counseling.


Zachary Quinto Signs on to Star with James Franco in Film About 'Ex-Gay' Activist Michael Glatze

Glatze_franco

Back in April we reported that James Franco was set to play Michael Glatze, founder of the (now shuttered) gay twink magazine XY and the short-lived publication Young Gay America who went "ex-gay" and became a poster boy for that movement.

QuintoNow Variety reports that Zachary Quinto and Emma Roberts have signed on to the film:

Quinto will play the former boyfriend of Franco’s character. Roberts is set to reteam with her “Palo Alto” co-star as his girlfriend. Chris Zylka (“The Amazing Spider-Man,” “Piranha 3DD”) is also attached to the film as another past love interest.

The script for “Michael” is based on “My Ex-Gay Friend,” a New York Times Magazine article by Benoit Denizet-Lewis (author of “Travels with Casey”) about Michael Glatze, a Christian minister from Wyoming who was so entrenched in gay culture before rejected his homosexuality, he founded a gay youth magazine. Justin Kelly will direct. Gus van Sant is the executive producer, along with producers James Franco, Vince Jolivette, Michael Mendelsohn, Ron Singer and Scott Reeve.


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