In a letter to the Palm Springs Desert Sun about the Love Won Out conference in Indian Wells, Focus on the Family’s Bill Maier managed to be untruthful in nearly every paragraph. Considering the extent of the deception, it is difficult to be charitable and assume it was unintentional.
We’ll admit, our conference offers a perspective on homosexuality that is in stark contrast to that which is touted by America’s major gay organizations. While they claim that homosexuals are “born gay,” we agree with the official position of the American Psychiatric Association that homosexuality develops across a person’s lifetime and is likely caused by a complex combination of factors.
Deception One: most gay organizations do not claim that homosexuals are “born gay”. Offhand, I can’t think of any that do.
I am not aware of any APA claim that homosexuality develops across a person’s lifetime. Nor could I find anything at the APA site that supported such a bizarre and observably incorrect notion. That appears to be a complete fabrication on Maier’s part. UPDATE: It does appear that the American Psychiatric Association does say that “sexual orientation develops across a person’s lifetime”. It is important to note that it also says later on the same page:
The American Psychiatric Association opposes any psychiatric treatment, such as “reparative” or “conversion” therapy, which is based upon the assumption that homosexuality per se is a mental disorder, or based upon a prior assumption that the patient should change his/ her homosexual orientation.
but Maier was correct in the wording of the quote he took out of context.
Our purpose is to reach out with compassion to those struggling with unwanted same-sex attraction and their family members, debunking the myth propagated by gay activists that sexual orientation is fixed for life and cannot be modified.
Deception Three: If that is your purpose, then why is so much of your budget, time, efforts, and language directed to social and political activism? And why are the attendees at your events overwhelming not same-sex attracted? Based on all measures, LWO’s purpose has little whatsoever to do with reaching out with compassion to those struggling with same-sex attraction. This seems to just be something Maier says to impress or influence the public.
So what will those who attend hear? Courageous men and women like my ex-gay friends Mike, Melissa, Alan and Randy, delivering a message of hope and healing to those living with unwanted same-sex attraction.
Deception Four: What attendees will hear will also include political activism, lies about “the homosexual lifestyle”, bizarre statements about “all gays were molested”, and demonization of gay people. And what little hope or healing is offered will be based on claims that “change is possible” even if it consists solely of a religious conversion and a change of self-administered labels. In fact, Maier portion of the program will be dedicated to political activism and vilification of gays and lesbians. Yet Maier omits all of the anti-gay rhetoric that he plans on spewing out of his definition of the program.
Press them, and they might tell you how gay activists often confront them in public and scream “You don’t exist!” in their faces.
Deception Five: Oh really. Maier actually claims that someone has confronted Mike, Melissa, Alan and Randy and screamed “You don’t exist” in their faces. Well that’s the first time we’ve heard of it and frankly, Bill, I think you’re lying. Not only does this not happen “often”, but I doubt it has ever happened once.
Although gay organizations have tried to suppress it, recent scientific research confirms that permanent change is indeed possible. Just ask psychiatrist Robert Spitzer…
Deception Six: OK, let’s ask him. The last time anyone did his response was: “Unfortunately Focus on the Family has once again reported findings of my study out of context to support their fight against gay rights,”
Spitzer conducted a five-year study of 200 gay men and women who had sought “reorientation” therapy. He found that most of them have achieved fulfilling, long-term heterosexual relationships.
Deception Seven: No, Spitzer conducted a study of 200 gay men and women who were convinced that they had successfully reoriented. The vast majority of gays and lesbians who sought “reorientation” therapy were not part of the study precisely because it failed abysmally. In fact, a huge percentage of those who told Dr. Spitzer on the telephone that they had achieved fulfilling, long-term heterosexual relationships worked for ex-gay organizations and had employment or status that was dependent upon convincing themselves and others of exactly that.
Deception Eight: Spitzer’s study was not five years because he studied the participants for that long. It was five years because it took that long to find 200 people who thought they had reoriented. Buy Maier makes it sound like Spitzer spent more than 45 minutes per subject. Not true Maier, not true.
Our hope is that some who come to protest us will set aside their picket signs and give the speakers a fair hearing.
Deception Nine: Really? Does that mean that when I show up you’ll let me attend for free? Will you let me ask questions about some of the more incredible claims? Or is a “fair hearing” one in which I can pay your fees, sit quietly, and ask no questions?
Now I have one more question for Bill Maier: How do you sleep at night?