Stephen Bennett has reacted to the Washington Post article with a press release claiming that it is a “hatchet job.” He says:
Bennett no longer struggles with homosexuality whatsoever and is completely heterosexual – the way he was born.
The Washington Post released a one-sided article on Tuesday saying “people who are ‘homosexual’ CANNOT CHANGE.”
“This article is nothing but a ‘hatchet job,’ one-sided and is simply an OUTRIGHT lie,” said Stephen.
Bennett then goes on to say:
Bennett ended, “No one is born ‘gay’ and COMPLETE change is COMPLETELY possible.”
Stephen Bennett is a gadfly and professional ex-gay and anti-gay activist. Interestingly, his release itemizes broadcasts he’s been on and the first mentioned is the O’Reilly Factor. He doesn’t mention that Bill O’Reilly told him “You’re a religious fanatic, with all due respect.”
Although it’s tempting to ignore him out of hand, he is a frequent representative of Concerned Women for America and American Family Association. So, I’ll address a few of his claims.
First, Bennett makes the “no one is born gay” claim along with claiming that he was born completely heterosexual. Although I’m not willing to state definitively that gay people are born gay, the preponderance of the scientific evidence suggests that biological factors influence (if not control) the determination of sexual orientation. As the Post article explained, many scientists state that sexual orientation is determined (or at least the contributing factors thereto) before birth.
Basically, Bennett is making a claim that has not been substantiated, to my knowledge, by anyone and which is refuted by an ever-increasing mountain of evidence. The most Bennett, or any other ex-gay activist, could claim would be that it has not yet been proven that people are born gay nor has it been proven that the are not.
Second, the Washington Post article did not say “people who are homosexual cannot change”. The Post reported interviews with ex-gay advocates as well as ex-gays and ex-ex-gays but did not make any such claim.
Bennett is simply lying.
Third, Bennett says that he no longer struggles with homosexuality whatsoever. For all anyone else knows, this may be true. However, he seems to be the only one out there making this claim (though I may have missed some). The last testimony I recall claiming complete heterosexuality was John Paulk, whose ministry ended in disgrace.
When Bennett claims that COMPLETE change is COMPLETELY possible, he is saying that conversion from homosexual orientation to heterosexual orientation (complete change) is possible for every gay person (completely possible). To Exodus’ credit, this is not a statement that even they will make. Nor does any other ex-gay ministry of which I’m aware.
Which leaves me with the conclusion that Stephen Bennett is COMPLETELY dishonest.