An article in a UK paper, The Guardian, about the ex-gay movement. (hat tip Morgan Fox)
Although part of the article reads like “aren’t those Americans odd”, there were a few quotes worth noting. The first is a story that I wish the local papers would carry:
Jeff Harwood, a gay Christian who spent three years in Love in Action in the 90s, said: “It was very emotional, digging up things you’d done … the more you [could] dig up, the more credit you [got].”
Mr Harwood came out of the programme believing himself “cured”. He dated a woman but the relationship fell apart and former impulses returned. He reached a crisis. “I just said ‘this is it’. God is nothing but a cosmic sadist. I sat in my bathroom with a carving knife, wondering whether it would be better to slit my wrists or cut off my genitals.”
A friend talked him out of suicide and now, aged 41, he is reconciled both to his homosexuality and Christianity.
The second compares Love in Action’s quotes of success to that of “graduate” Harwood:
Of almost 40 “graduates” of the Love in Action programme that he knows of, more than half are still openly gay, and only 12% consider themselves ex-gay, he said.
Love in Action’s figures differ. Gerard Wellman, 24, the ministry’s business administrator – and a “successful graduate” of the programme – said that 70 % of graduates say “it works for them”. He added: “Homosexual describes behaviour, not people.”
Of course, as long as Wellman and LIA/R continue to redefine words like “homosexual”, “successful”, and “works”, it isn’t possible to ever come to an agreement as to how effective these programs are. After all, by LIA/R’s standards, Harwood would be considered a success: he sat through the entire program, renounced his sexuality, and dated a woman. What happened next doesn’t count.