Exodus spokesman Randy Thomas spells out the “core principles” of Ex-Gay Lobby Days.
CHOICE: Many people who experience same-sex attractions choose not to act on those feelings and instead work to affirm and actuate their heterosexuality. We exist to help those people.
This principle avoids a simple acknowledgement that people experience “homosexual” attractions. It also distorts heterosexuality. People do not possess heterosexuality or homosexuality. They possess heterosexual or homosexual attractions.
AWARENESS: We do not seek to impose our viewpoint on anyone, but we work to spread awareness of positive and life-affirming alternatives to same-sex attraction, homosexual identity and homosexual lifestyles.
This claim of non-imposition has already been proven false. On a daily basis, this blog documents efforts by ex-gays to impose their viewpoints, and their constraints upon constitutional rights, unilaterally upon Americans in the workplace, schools, churches, even the bedroom.
SELF-DETERMINATION: Clients of counselors, therapists, psychologists and psychiatrists have the right to determine the course and direction of treatment or counseling they receive relative to SSA and should be made aware of heterosexual-affirmative alternatives. Professional organizations should enhance rather than inhibit the client?s right of self-determination.
No argument from me there — except that NARTH counselors and Exodus ministers do not, in practice, support self-determination. They routinely decline to refer counselees to a mix of alternatives that include gay-tolerant options. They deny counselees the information required to make informed choices.
TOLERANCE: Individuals who are pursuing heterosexual-affirmative counseling, and those who have transitioned out of the homosexual identity and lifestyle, deserve tolerance and acceptance. Their choices should not subject them to discrimination, ridicule, or marginalization.
With this principle, the ex-gay organizations seek to redefine “tolerance” to mean “no disagreement.” They have tended to regard all criticism, no matter how constructive, as “ridicule.” If they seek tolerance both ways, it is not apparent; the principle seeks tolerance of ex-gays, but not tolerance of gays. And the movement has subjected itself to marginalization — they should blame no one but themselves for the movement’s steady erosion of credibility.
POLICY NEUTRALITY: All branches of government should avoid actions or decisions that would inhibit free speech about, or the practice of, heterosexual-affirmative alternatives. Of particular concern are laws regarding hate crimes and sexual orientation that may be construed to make it illegal to promote or even speak about alternatives to homosexuality.
This principle fails to document how U.S. hate crime laws have allegedly been used to inhibit free speech. It also fails to emphasize that violence, discrimination, and harassment are wrong and should be punished.
ACCESS TO PUBLIC FORUMS: We claim equal access to public forums to state our viewpoint and to spread awareness of alternatives to same-sex attraction and the homosexual identity and lifestyle. This is particularly vital in cases where public schools address the issue of sexual orientation.
Yet Exodus opposes equal access to the schools by antiviolence organizations such as the Gay, Lesbian and Straight Education Network. Exodus opposes student awareness of a balance of alternatives.
I agree that public-school programs should be balanced in approach to sexuality. In actual practice, however, Exodus has not demonstrated a commitment to equal access.