The Rev. Irene Monroe (email) writes a regular online column, “Queer Take.”
Last month, Monroe commented at length on Focus on the Family’s October exgay road show in Boston:
Focus on the Family is the largest anti-gay organization on the United States’ evangelical Christian right, with tentacles not only in the church, but also in electoral politics. In fact, Dobson is so influential among George W. Bush’s conservative base that Bush operator Karl Rove called Dobson for approval of both one-time Supreme Court nominee Harriet Miers and Chief Justice John Roberts.
Much of Focus on the Family’s budget is generated by using anti-gay rhetoric in fund-raising letters. They outspend the Human Rights Campaign (HRC) and National Gay Lesbian Task Force, which are the top LGBTQ civil rights organizations, by a margin of four to one.
And with that money, Focus on the Family is able to produce politically and religiously Biased Agenda-Driven (aptly abbreviated as “B.A.D.”) science like “reparative therapies,” attempting to justify them by presenting LGBTQ people as genetically flawed – a charge eerily reminiscent of the scientific racism and sexism that once undergirded treatment of blacks and women morally inferior due to supposed genetic flaws.
However, the truth is that these “ex-gay” reparative therapies have a failure rate of 90 percent, and several “ex-gay” groups have had to shut down when their leaders finally dealt with the reality of their own homosexuality.
When we miss the essential point that human life is varied, precious, and of equal worth, we ignore the unique gifts that each life brings to each other and to the world. “Focus on the Family” doesn’t focus on families, but blurs the distinctiveness that makes us who we are. God created humanity as a tapestry of variety: diminishing that variety diminishes ourselves.