Updated July 4, 2005

Two recent articles at MSNBC.com offer fairly well-written primers on recent exgay activism — though, in sticking to the basic issues, the articles are kinder to both exgay and pro-equality activists than is, perhaps, deserved.

Two stories cannot reasonably be expected to cover the entire exgay issue. For example, the articles do not mention persistent efforts by organizations such as Focus on the Family and PFOX to obstruct antidiscrimination laws and antiharassment programs in public schools. Nor do the articles mention a recent battle by Warren Throckmorton, the antigay parents/spouses group PFOX, and local and national abstinence-only proponents to compel Montgomery County, Maryland, public schools to provide exgay literature to teen-agers.

Efforts by Focus on the Family to legislatively and socially coerce same-sex-attracted people into pursuing unspecified and unquantified “change” constitute an important component of modern exgay politics. Backlash occurs when tolerant parents move to protect their children from what they perceive to be exgay stereotypes and harassment.

No story can cover every angle, and I do not fault any given set of stories for missing one or two angles. But I do hope that, in time, news media will conduct more analysis of both the antigay political activities and strawman arguments of exgay activists — and periodic lop-sidedness in tolerance advocates’ defense of free speech and scientific inquiry.

–Mike Airhart, July 4

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