Cindy Rodriguez, columnist for the Denver Post, attended the peace vigil that Soulforce organized to pray for the end of James Dobson’s persecution of gay people. She spoke with Mike Haley, Focus on the Family’s head ex-gay, about his anti-gay activism and his reorientation. Rodriguez was not impressed.
I wonder: If Haley found a man he loved who was willing to commit to him, would be have remained gay?
Rodriguez is dismissive of Haley and his claims. Perhaps this may be because of her particular political or religious views. But what struck me as most interesting is what Rodriguez said next.
He claims that gay men don’t have long-lasting relationships, but I know many gay men who are in long-term relationships.
As there are ever more gay people willing to live their lives openly, it is ever more likely that people like Rodriguez will know and love them. And when they hear Haley and his tales of woe, they have living examples to contradict his stereotypes and hyperbole.
FOTF has bet on the idea that putting forward people to say “I was once a homosexual” will give them credibility in their culture war against the rights and freedoms of gay people. However, with each passing year it becomes clearer and clearer to the public that the extreme claims made by political ex-gays like Haley are not based on truth.
These callous actions on the part of FOTF may have a devestating impact on those non-political supporters of reorientation. Public perception is now fairly established that all ex-gays are also anti-gay activists. And because the bizarre and extreme nature of anti-gay rhetoric, many now have come to believe that all ex-gays are also dishonest. Clearly, neither of these are true.
But as more people publicly mock the obvious lies of Haley and his crew of politicians, those ex-gays who seek nothing other than understanding for their decisions and their struggles become ever more marginalized.