Randy Thomas, spokesman for Exodus, testified in favor of a ban on gay marriage in Massachusetts. Here’s his account:
Dr. Satinover mentioned that homosexuality was reversible and the room erupted in laughter. That angered me.
Context is important:
1. Satinover’s research is not widely accepted by the professional community; his methods are flawed and his conclusions do not flow logically from the evidence. Calling homosexuality “reversible,” without even defining what one means by “homosexuality,” would be worse than laughable — it would be thoughtless and simple-minded. Exodus should have invited a reputable doctor to speak on its behalf.
2. Sexual behavior is a choice. Exodus and Satinover treat homosexuality — all different forms of it — as a solitary medical “disorder.” Such a blanket statement is no more valid than a blanket statement treating Judaism as a “disorder.” Neither view should be laughed at. Both views are immoral. Dr. Josef Mengele treated Judaism as a medical disorder; gays sometimes feel they are being treated the same way by Exodus. It’s an exaggerated fear, but one that Exodus has done nothing to discourage.
…Then I said “Until the age of 24 I was a homosexual who identified as gay and very comfortable doing so. I know what it is like to walk into a room and have the homophobic culture around me laugh at my existence. After today I also know what it is like to walk into a state judiciary committee meeting and have the gay community laugh at my existence. They both hurt. I am NOT hateful, ignorant or fearful.”
Well said. Thomas is not hateful. But he is fearful of gay marriage and civil unions.
The last sentence was in response to progay advocates repeatedly calling us hateful, ignorant and fearful to dismiss our position before we even got a chance to present our position.
On the contrary, Exodus’ position had already been broadcast by Focus on the Family, the Family Research Council, the Center for Reclaiming America, and countless other joyous-secular/”religious-right” organizations. The audience did know Exodus’ position.
In truth, the existence of ex-gays is irrelevant to society’s debate over gay marriage. And so Exodus’ presence at the hearing is puzzling. The fact that sexual orientation is somewhat fluid does not make gay marriage, or equality under the law, more or less valid.
I believe it is in society’s interest to promote healthy, monogamous unions and to discourage the relationship breakdowns that harm children.
In Massachusetts, two top Exodus officials used their official capacities to gain access to the podium and then claimed, incredibly, to be speaking not for Exodus, but for themselves — and for their interpretation of God. Then they proceeded to oppose the public, nonreligious affirmation of healthy, lifelong, monogamous relationships.
Under those circumstances, Exodus makes itself difficult to like.
Comments submitted to Ex-Gay Watch’s former blog location:
In Massachusetts, two top Exodus officials used their official capacities to gain access to the podium and then claimed, incredibly, to be speaking not for Exodus, but for themselves — and for their interpretation of God. Then they proceeded to oppose the public, nonreligious affirmation of healthy, lifelong, monogamous relationships.-
okay it’s becoming clear that the Exodus folk are disingenuous. “lifelong” is the only point that seems to be an overstatement in your post.
—silly me (idiot slut) • 5/1/03; 1:55:21 AM
Perhaps. I do think gay couples are as capable of “lifelong” relationships as heterosexual couples. Question is, How many people (Bible Belt Christians included) really want a relationship to last forever?
—Mike A. • 5/1/03; 5:59:47 AM
Of course, Mike. Love is love is love. My monogamous relationship is going on… (wow is it nine already?) 9 years. It’s just the way my partner and I are wired– the only difference is, we happen to be the same sex. Big whoop.
—CJ • 5/1/03; 2:32:47 PM
‘Exodus should have invited a reputable doctor to speak on its behalf.’ And where would they find one? Are there such doctors?
Notice this was a side excursion from their presentation in Detroit. Wonder who paid the air fare. And if the payer is a tax exempt religious org. This speaking as individuals is such transparent kaka, why not just admit Exodus is a right wing agit-prop group.
—Dale • 5/1/03; 7:23:38 PM
Well, I was trying to suggest Spitzer as a semi-reputable doc, but he got burned by both the gay and the ex-gay activists. His study of ex-gays was highly informal; I didn’t get the impression that Spitzer tried to make it sound scientific or conclusive. But the ex-gays certainly did, and the gays got understandably mad that his study was conducted so superficially in the first place.
—Mike A. • 5/2/03; 8:29:10 AM