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Must read: Salon's series on the horrible "reparative therapy" movement

Salon (subscription req’d, or watch a commercial to receive a day pass) is running a four-part investigation into the Christian “reparative therapy” fraud, which is designed to “de-gay” homos, some even professing to fully convert gays into heterosexuals. The first installment of the series, Turning off gays, ran yesterday.

Last month, the Montgomery County Board of Education in suburban Maryland settled a lawsuit over sex education in the county’s public schools, brought in part by PFOX (Parents and Friends of Ex-Gays and Gays). The group is a branch of a national network of “ministries” that claim homosexuality is a chosen and dangerous lifestyle, and that through “reparative therapy” a gay person can be turned straight — into an “ex-gay.”

PFOX won a restraining order in May and successfully halted the county’s new sex ed curriculum, intended, among other things, to promote tolerance toward gays by treating homosexuality as natural and benign. A judge concluded the school curriculum did exclude other views on homosexuality — namely, those of PFOX. Under the settlement last month, the county agreed to pay $36,000 of PFOX’s legal expenses. The group also gets a seat at the table in drafting a new sex ed curriculum for county schools.

These groups are making inroads, and the danger, of course, is the result that misinformation will getting out to vulnerable gay teens, struggling with their sexual identity and self-esteem.

The second part, My gay therapy session, is up now, and author Mark Benjamin goes undercover and actually submits himself for “therapy.” Just reading the first paragraph tells you what kind of deranged thinking we’re up against.

Barry Levy, a Christian counselor and licensed clinical social worker, is explaining to me what causes homosexuality. “Take the young boy who is more sensitive, more delicate, who doesn’t like rough-and-tumble, who is artistic,” he says. “He can’t hit the ball, fire the gun or shoot an arrow. There is a high correlation between poor eye-hand coordination and same-sex attraction.”

Thanks to House Blenders Paul and ‘Bean for the pointers.

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Pam Spaulding

Pam Spaulding