500 show up to counter Daddy Dobson's 'ex-gay' conference
Five hundred gay folks and allies held a peaceful, positive rally on Saturday in Palm Springs to counter the sad lies being regurgitated at the “ex-gay” roadshow known as “Love Won Out,” put on by Focus on the Anus and Exodus. (365gay):
Amid signs that read “Welcome to the Coachella Valley: A Hate-Free Zone” speakers from the gay, business and religious communities stressed the importance of coming out and disputed the “Love Won Out” mantra that homosexuality is a matter of choice that can be “corrected”.
One of the speakers was Nancy Heche, the mother of actress Anne Heche, who urged the crowd not to hate gays but to help them overcome their “urges”.
…Another speaker, Joseph Nicolosi, said that homosexuality in part is the result of boys not forming close relationships with their fathers. “If you don’t hug your son, some other man will,” said Nicolosi who is billed as the principal researcher of the National Association of Research and Therapy of Homosexuality or NARTH.
If that wasn’t bad enough, a commenter, Boo, at Wayne’s pad and Ex-Gay Watch discovered that NARTH has an article on its web site that endorsed slavery (or rather it did — see below). The National Black Justice Coalition and Truth Wins Out asked NARTH and Nicolosi to address the issue and to make a statement about the article and whether the organization supports it — it was written by a member of NARTH’s Scientific Advisory Board.
“With all due respect, there is another way, or other ways, to look at the race issue in America,” the article, written by Gerald Schoenewolf, Ph.D. stated. “It could be pointed out, for example, that Africa at the time of slavery was still primarily a jungle, as yet uncivilized or industrialized. Life there was savage, as savage as the jungle for most people, and that it was the Africans themselves who first enslaved their own people. They sold their own people to other countries, and those brought to Europe, South America, America, and other countries, were in many ways better off than they had been in Africa. But if one even begins to say these things one is quickly shouted down as though one were a complete madman.”
Daddy Dobson and Exodus didn’t seem to have a problem with the above statement — they didn’t cancel Nicolosi’s appearance either. That’s outrageous. Oh, and as Daniel at Ex Gay Watch noted, the article in question has been removed.
As the organization did with another article recently highlighted, NARTH has quietly removed the article referenced above with no explanation of why it was published, i.e. do they agree with it or not? You can view a Google Cache version for now, but this will expire soon. We call on NARTH to exhibit some intellectual honesty by not simply erasing this in an attempt to again revise their history.
The NBJC didn’t let the removal of the article go unnoticed.
Dr. Nicolosi, we are particularly disturbed with Dr. Schoenewolf’s comments drawing a parallel between the civil rights movement and the murder of innocent African Americans. Please clarify what message NARTH was trying to impart when Dr. Schoenewolf wrote the following statement?
“The irony is that the Civil Rights Movement has been vehement about pointing out the hysterical lynchings that took place in the Old South, but completely blind to its own hysterical tactics.”
It has been exactly one week since Dr. Schoenewolf’s article has been uncovered and no action has yet been taken on behalf of NARTH to distance itself from this divisive rhetoric. In lieu of such inaction, NBJC can only conclude that NARTH is in concurrence with such sentiments. Taking the offending article down off your website in the dead of night is no substitute for honestly and earnestly addressing this festering issue.
There is also great coverage of the event by The Desert Sun, which also quotes Timothy Kincaid, one of our friends over at XGW:
“I don’t object to having a religious belief,” said Timothy Kincaid of Los Angeles, who protested the event. “What I object to is when you come in and you don’t tell the truth.”
Kincaid said the message of love at the conference is undermined by the Focus on the Family suggestion that people cannot simultaneously be gay and effective Christians.
“That message is so detrimental,” Kincaid said during a telephone interview after the protest. “It pries the gay community away from god.”
Ex Gay Watch has several excellent posts on the conference.