"Ex-Gays" Hub




Virginia Introduces Bill Banning Conversion Therapy For Minors

Conversion Therapy protest

Conversion therapy has been proven time and again to not only be ineffectual in changing an individual's sexual orientation from gay to straight, a sentiment even endorsed by former "ex-gay" leaders, but is instead likely to be harmful, particularly to minors. As this truth has permeated through society, state after state has begun introducing bans on the quackery, forbidding it to be administered to minors. Legislators in Virginia are joining the movement with the introduction of a bill today that - much like in New Jersey, Illinois, and California - forbids enrolling minors in conversion therapy.

The National Center for Lesbian Rights issued a statement on the proposed bill:

“Today, more than ever, it is clear that state legislatures need to step up to the plate to protect LGBT youth from the dangerous and discredited practices of conversion therapy,” said National Center for Lesbian Rights Staff Attorney and #BornPerfect Campaign Coordinator Samantha Ames. “We commend Delegate Hope and Senator Lucas, as well all the local organizers who have worked tirelessly to get this bill introduced and ensure all Virginian children are able to grow up in communities and families where they are loved for exactly who they are.”

A similar bill failed to pass in the state House last year, so Delegate Patrick Hope and Senator Louise Lucas may have a fight ahead of them to get this one through.


Illinois Lawmakers Introduce Bill to Ban Harmful Gay 'Conversion Therapy' for Minors

LGBT advocates in Illinois today announced plans to launch an initiative intended to facilitate passage of a bill introduced on Friday in the General Assembly which would ban gay "conversion therapy" for minors, Equality Illinois reports:

CassidyState Rep. Kelly Cassidy (pictured) of Chicago introduced the bill on Friday. House Bill 217, the Conversion Therapy Prohibition Act, would make it illegal for mental health care providers to engage in sexual orientation change efforts with anyone under the age of 18. A Senate version will be introduced soon, sponsored by Sen. Daniel Biss of Evanston.

“Illinois should be at the forefront of banning this failed and discredited non-therapy that attempts to change the unchangeable, our innate sexual orientation and gender identity,” said Bernard Cherkasov, CEO of Equality Illinois, the state’s oldest and largest civil rights organization advocating for LGBT Illinoisans.

“It is tragic,” said Rep. Cassidy, “that LGBT youth suffer at the hands of so-called experts whose therapies have been refuted by every legitimate medical and mental health organization. That is why my bill would label the therapy as ‘unprofessional conduct’ and subject the perpetrator to disciplinary action.”

Bans on so-called "conversion therapy" have been passed in D.C., New Jersey, and California. An effort to pass one in New York state failed last June after GOP leaders blocked the bill from coming to the floor for a vote.


Former Exodus International VP Comes Out As Gay: 'I Am OK With Who I Am'

Randy Thomas

In another case for the "Well OBVIOUSLY" files, former vice-president of ex-gay group Exodus International Randy Thomas has come out of the closet. In a post on his personal blog, Thomas makes it explicit:

I have read many stories of people who have “come out again” or accepted they are gay after some time in the ex-gay world. Many of their stories are compelling and well-written. But, sometimes I wish they would get to the point right off the bat. Just say it and then tell the story. So that is what I am going to do: I am gay.

The rest of the post goes into the story of where he's been and how he got to where he is today, with religion occupying a substantial part of his psyche. To his credit, he has made public apologies for the hurt that he and Exodus International have inflicted upon the gay community, and for initially opposing gay marriage.

Whether one accepts or rejects said apologies, another ally is always welcome - especially one that further undermines the "ex-gay" myth - and they at least put Thomas leagues ahead of some "ex-gay" wacakadoos.


Company To Take Down Ex-Gay Therapy Billboard In Dallas, Says It Was Misled By Advertiser

Billboard

The president of the advertising company that's hosting an "ex-gay" therapy billboard in Dallas says the company was misled about the nature of the sign or he wouldn't have allowed it to go up.  

Yesterday Towleroad broke the story about the billboard ad paid for by David Pickup, a well-known practitioner of ex-gay therapy in Dallas — and one of the authors of a plank endorsing reparative therapy in the Texas GOP platform. 

Terry Kafka, president of Impact Outdoor Advertising, told Towleroad on Wednesday that Pickup led the company's sales manager to believe the billboard was an advertisement for couples therapy. Kafka said he hadn't even heard of reparative therapy until he began getting complaints about the billboard on Wednesday. 

"We were misinformed," Kafka said. "I'm not a proponent of it. I'm not on that bandwagon. When we have a controversial advertisement, we always discuss it internally, and we didn't even discuss it because our sales person was under the impression it was for couples therapy." 

Kafka said the sign has been up for two-and-a-half weeks and was scheduled to come down Jan. 26 anyway. 

"We're going to attempt to get it down sooner but that's the worse-case scenario," Kafka said, adding that he will not renew the contract or lease billboard space to Pickup again. 

"I have no interest in promoting that," Kafka said. "I have no interest in doing business with him." 

Pickup refused to address Kafka's allegations.  

"I can't comment on that, because nobody contacted me from the company," Pickup said. "I thought that the main thing this sign would do was raise awareness for those people who really want and need this therapy." 

Pickup would not say whether the billboard has generated new business. Asked whether he expected it to be controversial, he said, "I wasn't certain what would happen." 

If you'd like to thank Kafka for his decision, send them an email through the form here.  


Husband From 'My Husband's Not Gay' Compares Being Gay To 'Craving Donuts' - VIDEO

Screen Shot 2015-01-13 at 2.32.55 PM

One of the husbands from TLC's My Husband's Not Gay explained to ABC News that his attraction to men is like the equivalent of eating "Too many donuts." He elaborated that he doesn't think of having sex with a man when he's having sex with his wife, but used the analogy (sic) that he may "love donuts," but then he wouldn't be able to "fit in his pants every day." He ended his statement saying that he would "love to eat donuts every day," but says he "desires to live a healthy lifestyle," and that he's not miserable or denying himself because he truly loves his wife and believes that his relationship with her is "healthy."

Screen Shot 2015-01-13 at 2.26.49 PMThe show follows four gay men, with some of them married to women, in Salt Lake City, Utah and is already garnering criticism from critics and activists saying the show delivers a negative message to LGBT people regarding their identities, especially youth. Josh Sanders, a devout gay Christian and LGBT advocate, spearheaded a Change.org petition to cancel My Husband's Not Gay, receiving 100,000 signatures; the petition ultimately failed to persuade TLC to take the show off the air. Sanders recently appeared on The Meredith Veira Show and spoke with Veira about surviving reparative therapy and how he thinks TLC is being reckless and exploitative with LGBT identities and issues for the sake of entertainment. Watch ABC News' interview with the "donut" craving man and his wife, and Sanders' interview with Veira about the TLC show, AFTER THE JUMP...

Continue reading "Husband From 'My Husband's Not Gay' Compares Being Gay To 'Craving Donuts' - VIDEO" »


LOOK: Dallas Billboard Promotes 'Ex-Gay' Therapy

Billboard

The above billboard promoting so-called reparative therapy has gone up in Dallas.  

Pickup.DavidDavid Pickup (right), a well-known local practitioner of reparative therapy, confirmed Tuesday afternoon that the billboard, which advertises his business, is up along U.S. Highway 75 near the Royal Lane exit.

Pickup is a licensed marriage and family therapist who helped write a plank endorsing reparative therapy that was added to the Texas GOP platform last year. 

The Dallas Morning News interviewed Pickup for a story about the plank in June: 

Licensed marriage and family therapist David Pickup in Dallas said that homosexuality is an attachment issue “based on severe emotional wounds.” He believes unfulfilled needs become sexualized as children grow up.

“What reparative therapy does is it uses psychodynamic processes to access those deeper wounds that are hidden underneath the homoerotic impulses,” Pickup said. “It resolves the male identity wounds and helps the guy get those needs met.”

Also promoting the billboard on Tuesday was Jeremy Schwab (below right), who heads a Dallas ex-gay ministry called Joel 2:25 International and reportedly was the driving force behind the Texas GOP reparative therapy plank. 

Schwab"Hopefully, this will help get the Truth to those who can benefit," Schwab wrote below a photo of the billboard on Facebook. 

Last month, a billboard promoting reparative therapy in Virginia sparked controversy. One of the models whose image was used on the Virginia billboard said he was a proud gay man and local LGBT activists rallied against the sign

One might anticipate a similar response in Dallas, where a sign advertising a sermon titled "Gay Is Not Okay" sparked LGBT protests outside First Baptist Church several years ago.  

Two states, New Jersey and California, in addition to the District of Columbia, have passed laws restricting "ex-gay" therapy for minors. 

After the Texas GOP endorsed reparative therapy in its platform, the state Democratic Party responded with a plank opposing the practice, which has been discredited by virtually all of the relevant medical organizations.

Equality Texas has also submitted petitions seeking to ban reparative therapy to the state's mental health licensing boards. And the issue might very well come up during the state legislative session that began Tuesday. 


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