My "Ex-Gay" Lawsuit? Response
Thanks for your heads up on the Williams Project and their work. We're dealing with a real slippery bunch, that's for sure. I see that "Love in Action" in Memphis has modified it's web site since the Zack incident took place. They've removed any reference to "therapy" for example. If they say, "We're just warning youngsters about the risks inherent in the gay lifestyle," it would be hard to find fault in that.
I agree with your points:
1. Freud had some keen insights, but his speculation that sexual orientation (as we now know it) had something to do with how a child was raised was way off the mark. Rigorous scientific studies showed that there is no correlation between sexual orientation and any factor in the environment in which a child is raised, and these studied established this fact over fifty years ago. Yet proponents of RT still pull out these discarded Freudian theories, throw in some speculation of their own regarding some nebulous "abuse" they assume must have happened and presume that since some societal (family) interaction caused this "disorder" that some societal interaction (therapy) can cure it. What a crock!
2. Religions differ. In its encyclical on human sexuality, the Catholic Church stated, "Homosexuality is not a sin... since in is not freely chosen." Since they consider all sex outside of marriage sinful, they recommend that gays remain chaste throughout life and have support groups to aide in this objective. Many mainline Protestant Churches are coming to grips with the fact that some people are gay "by nature" and are adjusting their approach to gays accordingly. The point being that these churches acknowledge that gays exist. None supposes that one could wave a magic therapy wand and make homosexuality disappear. In contrast, some Islamic and Christian fundamentalists attack gays for their "chosen" behavior and suggest that if they can't control themselves, then they ought to get therapy to "straighten" themselves out. All of which flies in the face of fifty years of medical research which confirms that such therapies are useless.
3. & 5. There is no psychological testing that can distinguish gays as a group from straights as a group. Other than the gender that one is attracted to, gays are in the main just like everyone else. We are all subject to the many pathologies that define the human condition. There is no internal relationship between any of these pathologies and being gay. The difficulties that some gays have are directly related to the abominable way these gays are treated by some in today's society.
4. Counseling professionals have an ethical obligation to provide individual clients with a realistic estimate of the outcome they might expect from their treatment. Unfortunately, the boastful claims these RT proponents make in public are not covered by these professional ethical standards. Many in the RT field avoid these ethical standards altogether by having unqualified non-professionals provide the counseling. A large number of these are "ex-gays" themselves. Yet denying ones own sexuality which is an essential part of ones being is one of the defining characteristics of a mentally ill individual. Even Freud correctly realized that. So we have those who are psychologically crippled in denying their own sexuality advising others to become as psychologically crippled as they are. Religion can never be used as an excuse to harm people like this.
So good luck with your group's efforts to end this madness.