On his personal blog, Randy Thomas of the Exodus national office cheers Brown University columnist Carman McNary for protesting alleged “drunken orgies” organized by the campus “Queer Alliance.” Thomas says he wants “these folks” — the “gay identified community” — “held accountable” for failing to speak out against sexual irresponsibility.
McNary self-identifies as a proponent of equality and equal rights, and Thomas applauds this supposedly rare instance of accountability in the equal rights movement.
Thomas’ perception that gay people generally do not uphold accountability and responsibility is based not in fact, but in Thomas’ practice of intentional ignorance. AIDS clinics and gay newspaper columnists of the left and right have chastized sexual irresponsibility for decades, and lifelong monogamy is at the core of arguments made in favor of gay marriage. Thomas is aware of these arguments, through his participation (with me and others) in Bridges Across the Divide. He has also been confronted with accountable gays in gay-marriage debates and in sworn testimony at legislative hearings against gay marriage. (Did Thomas, in fact, ever listen to his opponents at these events?)
Beyond his refusal to see responsible, moral behavior among same-sex-attracted individuals and their defenders, Thomas tiptoes around another issue: Exgay accountability. At different times in the past decade, two prominent voices for exgay movement accountability have been Anthony Falzarano — an exgay activist who publicly condemned Exodus’ addiction to the religious right — and Britain’s Courage Trust, which severed ties with Exodus over the U.S. organization’s misrepresentations about “change” and its refusal to minister compassionately to same-sex-attracted individuals who seek moral co-existence between their Christian faith and their sexuality.
If Thomas is truly in favor of accountability, then I invite him to cheer those who hold Exodus accountable, who uphold established clinical knowledge about sexuality, and who oppose political and financial corruption among Christian conservatives.
Addendum: In a followup message, Thomas calls unspecified criticism of his earlier message “scornful.” In his correspondence with me and with ex-exgay letter-writers over the years, Thomas has been a frequent practitioner of rhetorical silence in response to honest questions about his antigay fundamentalist rhetoric, his smears against people whom he labels “liberals,” and his lobbying for discriminatory legislation. Yet Thomas criticizes this same silent treatment when it is regrettably used upon him (allegedly) by unnamed others.