Last weekend Melissa Fryrear was quoted in the Miami Herald:
”You can’t make people want to overcome their sexuality. It must be an individual decision,” said speaker Melissa Fryrear. “Thousands of people have made that decision, though.”
I’ve been on Alan Chambers’ case for questionable statistics for some time now so I figured I’d email Melissa to see what her source is. She was kind enough to respond to my message and offered an explanation today. In the interest of fairness I present Melissa’s reply in its entirety.
In response to your question, my statement that thousands of men and women have successfully walked away from homosexuality is derived from the following sources.
[Letter continues after the page jump]
One, organizations like Exodus International have been in existence for several decades. Currently, for example, there are over 125 member ministries throughout the world. Each of these individual ministries have participants ranging in number of a dozen to hundreds. Given the longevity of Exodus and its breadth of referral ministries, again, thousands of men and women have participated and overcome their struggle with homosexuality.
Other faiths have similar homosexual recovery organizations. For example, within Judaism it is called JONAH and within Mormonism, Evergreen. Again, as these organizations have existed for decades, countless individuals have sought help through them.
As the three major monotheistic religions of the world all see homosexuality as outside of God’s design for human sexuality, they all have sought to provide their adherents with help to overcome that particular proclivity.
In addition to Christian organizations, secular organizations and secular therapists such as Masters and Johnson and the National Association for Research & Therapy of Homosexuality (NARTH) have also been working for decades with thousands of men and women seeking to overcome their same-sex attraction. The therapists and clinicians associated with NARTH alone, for example, have seen over 1,000 clients since its inception.
Two, dozens of books have been written related to a Christian perspective on homosexuality. For example, Desires in Conflict, Restoring Sexual Identity, and Out of Egypt. These three books alone include findings taken from the interviews of hundreds of men and women overcoming a homosexual identity.
Additionally, several years ago Dr. Robert Spitzer conducted a study of those who have overcome homosexuality. Alone he interviewed almost 250 participants. For more about his study access http://www.narth.com/docs/evidencefound.html.
Finally, while you and/or your readers may not hold to a biblical worldview, as Christians our biblical witness of former homosexuals dates back to the first century. 1 Corinthians 6:11 states, “And such were some of you…” referencing men and women who once lived homosexually. Needless to say, in the millennia following, many have followed in those same footsteps.
Thank you for your question.
Note to Ex-Gay Watch readers: Since I’ve gotten someone many of us disagree with to dialogue, I expect commenters to be polite and respectful. I will delete comments that might discourage people from dialoguing with Ex-Gay Watch in the future. That doesn’t mean you have to agree with Melissa, it just means you have to be civil about making your rebuttal.