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'Ex-gay' quack reinstated on health care advisory panel

Throckmorton says his reinstatement at Magellan confirms support for his contention that gays and lesbians can become ‘ex-gay’ with recommended ‘therapies.’

Lest anyone doubt the power of social activism, here’s another case of the Religious Reich having an effect — they’ve forced the reversal of a decision by the country’s largest mental health management company, Magellan Health Services, to boot ‘ex-gay’ advocate Dr. Warren Throckmorton from its advisory board.

The AmTaliban marshalled its forces to make hundreds of phone calls and e-mail messages Magellan received from bible-beaters, employers, and ‘ex-gays’ to put pressure on the company. The end result, of course, is that now he feels vindicated and that his policies have merit in the eyes of the general public. From the wingnut propaganda organ AgapePress:

In February, Dr. Warren Throckmorton, Ph.D., was dismissed from his advisory position with Magellan Health Services, the largest mental health management company in the United States. His dismissal came about due to his views concerning sexual orientation and change — specifically, his belief that homosexuals have the ability to leave that lifestyle and the right to seek help in doing so.

…The upshot of all that has happened, the psychologist says, “is that a very positive statement has come out of this from the company — that a person has a right to explore a variety of therapies when they’re grappling with sexual orientation issues.”

…He believes this change of heart sends a message to those the mental health organization exists to serve — particularly those who struggle with unwanted sexual feelings.

“I do think that it’s a great support for people who have changed,” Throckmorton says, “and for people who have often been told that they don’t exist. Here’s a company saying that people in that position have a right to choose that kind of approach if that’s what they desire.” The professor is pleased with Magellan’s decision to invite him back on its advisory panel and notes, “This is a good move to get the focus back on providing quality mental health management.”

These are mental health professionals? This therapy is not about medical science.

The list of resources on Throckmorton’s web site is a laughable one, containing the usual quack suspects — fundamentalist/evangelical ministries: Exodus Youth, New Direction for Life, Regeneration, Parents and Friends of Ex-Gays and Gays. ‘Ex-Gay’ mill Regeneration, for example, is religious program endorsed by James Dobson and Chuck Colson.

Wayne Besen’s excellent Anything But Straight exposed the hypocrisy, scandal and lies perpetuated by these ministries, including details on a professed “cured” leader of the movement photographed by the author cruising in a gay bar. Two of the founders of Exodus, Gary Cooper and Michael Bussee, actually fell in love, divorced their wives, and eventually held a commitment ceremony.

Read earlier posts on this ‘ex-gay’ nonsense:

* “Ex-Gay” and in absolute denial. A post on two articles forwarded to the Blend published in Christianity Today that were deeply disturbing. Both involve people that have felt such self-loathing about their sexual orientation that they have created tortured arguments about what is to blame, and what is the solution. These folks have experienced dysfunction in their families or were in the grips of addictions that overwhelmed them, but they point the finger at their orientation as the root cause or an outgrowth of their negative emotional experiences.

* Head of Mormon church: “Gays have a problem”. The Mormons don’t want you to know that they have unfortunately played a role in practice of “reparative aversion therapy” to rid gay Mormons of their homosexual orientation.

* Crisis line refers gay youth to discredited Exodus “Ex-Gay” ministry. If you’re a teen, scared and calling a hotline for support in coming out, here’s where you don’t want to call. The Right is now using subterfuge to reach out to vulnerable gay people with the “condemnation and conversion” approach, steering them to the discredited “ex-gay” ministry Exodus International

* An “ex-gay” ministry in my own back yard…. I had no idea about this local (Raleigh) crap ministry, Beyond Imagination. It’s Exodus-affiliated as well.

* ‘Ex-gay’ leader expelled from counseling group. Richard Cohen, president of Parents and Friends of Ex-Gays and Gays (P-FOX), has been booted out of the American Counseling Association for unethical conduct.

* ‘Ex-Gay’ & ‘Everstraight’ Student Clubs promoted at schools. P-FOX is attempting to counter gay-straight alliances with this crap. “The purpose of an ex-gay & everstraight club is to provide a safe environment for all students to discuss alternatives to homosexuality and find ex-gay resources. Clubs can be started by students who have never been gay (everstraights), ex-gay students, and those struggling with unwanted same sex attraction.”

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Pam Spaulding

Pam Spaulding