This past week we saw Exodus International have their charity status pulled in New Zealand. Well, this week I am asking the same in America. Below is my letter to Douglas Schulman, IRS Commissioner
Douglas H. Shulman
Internal Revenue Service
Department of the Treasury
1500 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW
Washington, D.C. 20220
Dear Commissioner I'm concerned that the activities being performed in the United States by Exodus Global Alliance, a registered charity, do not meet the criteria of a public benefit as defined by the Internal Revenue Service, 501(c)(3) as a charitable organization.There is nothing charitable about this organization as defined in your code as “The term charitable is used in its generally accepted legal sense and includes relief of the poor, the distressed, or the underprivileged; advancement of religion; advancement of education or science; erecting or maintaining public buildings, monuments, or works; lessening the burdens of government; lessening neighborhood tensions; eliminating prejudice and discrimination; defending human and civil rights secured by law; and combating community deterioration and juvenile delinquency”.
Exodus' primary activities include the promotion and treatment of homosexuality as a mental disorder;a misdiagnosis not supported by the medical and psychological community. Since homosexuality has not been listed as a disorder in medical literature since 1972, it does not require treatment as promoted by Exodus.
Several respected medical and psychological associations, including the American Medical Association and the American Psychological Association, have issued official statements attesting that such treatments may even result in serious psychological harm.
The APA's own website at http://www.apa.org/helpcenter/sexual-orientation.aspx specifically states the following
“Can therapy change sexual orientation?
No; even though most homosexuals live successful, happy lives, some homosexual or bisexual people may seek to change their sexual orientation through therapy, often coerced by family members or religious groups to try and do so. The reality is that homosexuality is not an illness. It does not require treatment and is not changeable. However, not all gay, lesbian, and bisexual people who seek assistance from a mental health professional want to change their sexual orientation. Gay, lesbian, and bisexual people may seek psychological help with the coming out process or for strategies to deal with prejudice, but most go into therapy for the same reasons and life issues that bring straight people to mental health professionals.
What about so-called “conversion therapies”?
Some therapists who undertake so-called conversion therapy report that they have been able to change their clients' sexual orientation from homosexual to heterosexual. Close scrutiny of these reports however show several factors that cast doubt on their claims. For example, many of these claims come from organizations with an ideological perspective that condemns homosexuality. Furthermore, their claims are poorly documented; for example, treatment outcome is not followed and reported over time, as would be the standard to test the validity of any mental health intervention.
The American Psychological Association is concerned about such therapies and their potential harm to patients. In 1997, the Association's Council of Representatives passed a resolution reaffirming http://www.apa.org/about/governance/council/policy/sexual-orientation.aspx psychology's opposition to homophobia in treatment and spelling out a client's right to unbiased treatment and self-determination. Any person who enters into therapy to deal with issues of sexual orientation has a right to expect that such therapy will take place in a professionally neutral environment, without any social bias.
Is homosexuality a mental illness or emotional problem?
No. Psychologists, psychiatrists, and other mental health professionals agree that http://www.apa.org/monitor/2009/10/orientation.aspx homosexuality is not an illness, a mental disorder, or an emotional problem. More than 35 years of objective, well-designed scientific research has shown that homosexuality, in and itself, is not associated with mental disorders or emotional or social problems. Homosexuality was once thought to be a mental illness because mental health professionals and society had biased information.
In the past, the studies of gay, lesbian, and bisexual people involved only those in therapy, thus biasing the resulting conclusions. When researchers examined data about such people who were not in therapy, the idea that homosexuality was a mental illness was quickly found to be untrue. In 1973 the American Psychiatric Association confirmed the importance of the new, better-designed research and removed homosexuality from the official manual that lists mental and emotional disorders. Two years later, the American Psychological Association passed a resolution supporting this removal. For more than 25 years, both associations have urged all mental health professionals to help dispel the stigma of mental illness that some people still associate with homosexual orientation.
Exodus' own website at http://www.exodusinternational.org exclaims “The bottom line – you don't have to be gay!” This is a complete contradiction of medical science and it is a chicanery perpetrated on the ignorant and uneducated in order to line the pockets of the quacks who practice this voodoo.
For these reasons, and in the interest of the physical and mental health of all Americans, Exodus Global Alliance's charitable status should be revoked according to the IRSs own definition of charity, specifically, ” eliminating prejudice and discrimination; defending human and civil rights secured by law” According to the Lawrence v. Texas decision eliminating anti-gay laws, your defending the charitable status of Exodus continues the discrimination and violence visited upon the Lesbian, Gay, Bi-Sexual, and Transgender minority community in America through allowing Exodus to continue as a “charitable” organization.
I urge you to investigate Exodus, its quackery, and its charitable status under the tax law and find them ineligible for further tax breaks in the name of American decency.
Second Class Citizen