Eleventh Avenue South has a picture of the Minnesota “Family” Council using exgay activist Janet Boynes to decorate its booth at a March 21 antigay rally. Ex-Gay Watch is curious to know how, exactly, Boynes believes she is helping same-sex-attracted persons — or anyone else — by promoting discrimination.
The St. Paul Pioneer Press reported on the rally. The text of the antigay constitutional amendment is available on the MFC’s web site. The amendment text does nothing to defend heterosexual couples:
Only a union of one man and one woman shall be valid or recognized as a marriage in Minnesota. Any other relationship shall not be recognized as a marriage or its legal equivalent by the state or any of its political subdivisions.
The text clearly forbids gay civil unions and domestic partnerships. The text offers nothing to exgays such as Boynes.
What prompts Boynes to write antigay discrimination into a state constitution? One might look to her childhood and adolescence for answers — but unfortunately her autobiography evades discussion of obvious gaps in her journey.
One version of Boynes’ personal testimonial is available on the MFC web site. In this testimonial, she cites abuse of, and by, her mother. She claims to have later led a “lesbian lifestyle” — but does not say whether she was strongly sexually attracted to her female partners. Nor does she indicate a particular time when she found men sexually unappealing.
Boynes also has her own freebie website hosted by GeoCities — apparently her religious-right clients do not pay Boynes enough to operate a professional website. In the GeoCities version of her testimonial, she says she was sexually abused by a stepfather, and confesses to having been a tomboy, a bully, a heterosexual molestation victim, and a drug abuser. Boynes says she lived “the” lesbian lifestyle, implying that her abuse and her subsequent irresponsible behaviors were somehow representative of lesbians. Again, Boynes never gets around to assessing the degree to which she was sexually aroused by her partners — or sexually repulsed by men.
Her testimonials suggest that Boynes’ agenda is not simply to promote discrimination, but also to promote a certain stereotype of lesbians’ differing family and sexual histories.
While Boynes’ campaign offers little obvious benefit to church or society, perhaps some good resulted from the antigay rally: The public display of immoral prejudice on March 21 prompted more than 1,000 people to attend a March 23 rally against the constitutional amendment. Most of the gay-tolerant rally’s speakers were clergy. Ware Farms links to several articles and commentaries.