Queersighted: Imprison conversion therapists

AOL’s GLBT community blog Queersighted has an article by Richard Rothstein this morning that marks tomorrow’s first meeting of the APA Sexual Orientation Task as an important date in gay history. Why? Because he hopes the task force will suggest to the APA that all reparative/conversion therapy should be banned. And what if the APA bans reparative therapy (never defined in this piece)? Well, round up the posse, boys, Mr. Rothstein has the answer:

If the APA does in fact ban reparative or conversion therapy, we will at long last have a solid legal argument for shutting down such groups as Exodus International and Homosexuals Anonymous. This will also mean that under standard and existing malpractice laws, psychologists and therapists who continue to advocate and practice such therapy would be subject to license revocation, hefty fines and even imprisonment.

So if Mr. Rothstein’s vision is realized, reparative therapists and maybe the Exodus crew will be answering questions like: “Hey, doc, what are you in for?”

This is disturbing.

One recent commenter here proposed that what I do under the framework of sexual identity therapy was really reparative. I was fired from Magellan’s Provider Advisory Board in 2005 (and later reinstated) because it was alledged that I was a reparative therapist. People who should know better in the academic community refuse to acknowledge the distinctions I make between what I do and reparative therapy. So should I set up a trust fund for the kids?

The APA may not advocate such strong legal measures, but as the recent AP story made clear, the audience for the APA’s decisions is not only a professional one. PFLAG and the Task Force are ready, presumably with lawyers.

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What Are Your Thoughts?leave a comment
  • Mary

    Scary.

  • Mary

    A new licensing and guidelines board should be organized – afterall it is still a free market. Who is to say that the APA is the only end all and be all of psychology.

  • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/warrenthrockmorton/ Warren

    APA controls the Code of Ethics adopted by state licensing boards.

  • NickC

    Warren-

    Two questions.

    First, you keep insisting that what you do is not reparative therapy. I accept that. But does it follow that you would agree with the APA banning reparative therapy as long as they leave an opening for what you call sexual identity therapy?

    Second, if you are trying to get the APA to recognize a distinction between reparative therapy and sexual identity therapy, then WHY did you round up all the reparative therapists to sign your letter?

  • jag

    I couldn’t be happier if the APA decided to sanction those who practice reparative therapy within its ranks. You have a right to practice anything you like…but the APA, being a scientific organization, do not have to support methods that clearly make false statements that contradict current scientific knowledge.

    Just like as a physician, you will be sanctioned for doing intentional harm, the same should hold true for psychologists. They should know better. The methodology utilized by exodus or similar groups should be held to standard. To be frank, Exodus and groups similar would likely not be too affected…there are few psychologists of reputation who work for them anyway.

    Helping people live more in alignment with their beliefs is an interesting phrase I’ve heard tossed around to support Warren’s newer guidelines…and in theory, I think there is little wrong with that…if, living according to your beliefs means also helping a gay man/woman live happily according to their beliefs as a gay christian…or not as a christian at all.

  • Ivan

    Didn’t Dr. Nick Cummings start up some new psych org similar to the APA? Why doesn’t everyone just leave the APA and join his organization?

  • Mary

    Everything can be changed even if they control the state licensing boards. Other boards can be created. People will be informed and can choose.

  • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/warrenthrockmorton/ Warren

    jag – point me to the scientific knowledge sufficient to extend the current advisories. Currently, therapy that starts from the premise that homosexuality per se is a mental disorder is discouraged. I suppose it could be banned and that would be an extension of application but not content. But what science points to an extension of the types of therapy to be banned?

  • http://www.transformingcong.org Karen Booth

    Wait a minute … isn’t this where JAG, Ex-Gay Watch, et al., should have to distance themselves from Richard Rothstein? That’s what they expect our “side” to do in, say, response to Richard Cohen.

    My prediction … ain’t gonna happen.

  • Chad

    Prison!?!

  • Timothy Kincaid

    PFLAG and the Task Force are ready, presumably with lawyers.

    PFLAG? The Task Force?

    Huh? Just exactly how did we get from Richard Rothstein (whoever that is) to PFLAG? That’s a pretty hefty accusation you’re making and I hope there’s more to back that up.

    If you simply want to pick one person’s opinion and judge all gay organizations by that person, you can hardly object when gay people do the same about all therapy efforts that are not gay supportive.

    Are we to assume that Peter LeBarbera (for example) speaks for you? At least we’ve heard of him before.

  • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/warrenthrockmorton/ Warren

    No, I do not want to be judged that way and have not in this case without evidence. From the AP article by David Crary:

    As the APA planned the policy review, it received input from gay-rights groups, including Parents, Families and Friends of Lesbians and Gays.

    PFLAG’s executive director, Jody Huckaby, said reparative therapy had been particularly harmful for young gays whose parents insisted on trying to change their sexual orientation. His group contends these efforts can cause depression and suicidal behavior.

    Current APA policy stipulates that no therapy should occur without “informed consent” of a gay or lesbian client. Jason Cianciotto of the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force said he hoped the APA would declare that no young person could ever be deemed to have given informed consent, and thus no reparative therapy would be approved for minors.

    and then from the APA’s initial Call for Nominations:

    Several external organizations have recommended that APA update its policy, because of their concerns about the continued visibility of reparative therapy practitioners and treatment facilities and about the role of advocacy for reparative theory in attempts to shape public opinion about the nature of sexual orientation and to support an anti-gay activist role in legislative and judicial arenas.

    Do I know that PFLAG and the Task Force will aggressively apply any blanket condemnation of sexual identity therapy in law and public policy? No, but I really do not want to be naive about it either.

  • NickC

    Warren-

    Don’t mean to bug you, but I would appreciate an answer to the two questions I asked above, especially the first. I honestly do accept that your “sexual identity therapy” is not reparative therapy as such. But, what would you think if the APA tightened sanctions against reparative therapy–by which I mean therapy focused on changing a person’s orientation–while explicitly distinguishing that from an approach like yours?

  • http://www.transformingcong.org Karen Booth

    According to Richard Rothstein’s blog bio, he’s a public relations guy who claims that he lives to get laid.

    And, no, I don’t consider his opinions to be a reflection or representation of all LGBT people. Nor of professionals connected with the APA. In fact, it’s pretty easy to dismiss him as a crank.

  • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/warrenthrockmorton/ Warren

    I think it was the guy who runs the blog that made me think this was a bit more than a lone, cranky blogger…

    NickC — Not bugging me at all. I am going to address your question soon…

  • Eddy

    Forgive me for tying to threads together BUT…when I tried to explain to current Exodus leadership the problems I had with them going political, they informed me that many believed–and had some evidence–that a move was under way to ‘criminalize’ the Exodus message. I laughed it off as hysteria. It appears I was wrong.

  • http://www.wthrockmorton.com Warren

    Second question first: Focus on the Family coordinated the outreach to organizations that might agree with the contents of the letter. It was made clear that the letter was not support for reparative therapy. NARTH has made some independent attempts to oppose the task force on the grounds that the task force is a threat to reparative therapy. They are of course free to do that. However, there are numerous members of NARTH who are not therapists and are not even reparative therapists who have interest in supporting the contents of the letter. I assume that is part of why Dr. Nicolosi signed on but I do not really know. On the whole though, as I look at the letter, it is dominated by religious groups and people who simply want their people to have access to impartial therapists.

    I hope there is some way to oppose harmful interventions without casting doubt on sexual identity therapy. The task force would be required to demonstrate that the interventions they select are indeed harmful. Knowing the research as I do, I believe this would be the daunting task. The APA knows that Attachment therapies have led to injuries, harm in families but they refuse to ban these. I think the APA has a burden to demonstrate that it can articulate a reasonable standard for banning an approach.

    I would prefer they take the approach used in regulating repressed memory therapy. The APA established guidelines for practitioners to work within and information for the public.

    They also call for more research where needed — and I believe much more research is needed before the APA chooses to oppose one religious point of view over another. The attempt at an analogy to extreme religious views (e.g., religiously motivated suicide bombers) is false. It is very clear that suicide bombing is harmful. The existing research does not make anything clear except that some people report harm from some kinds of efforts at reorientation. I suspect I know what some of those things are, but the research on the subject does not allow an empirical basis. A lot of discussion on this topic is going to completely overlook that point.

  • Timothy Kincaid

    Warren,

    You jumped from “hefty fines and even imprisonment” straight to PFLAG and the Task Force. Not Fair.

    Yes PFLAG wants informed consent. I do to. Yes PFLAG is opposed to minors being forced into reparative therapy. I am to. And they would use the law to stop such forced participation. I would at least consider it.

    But neither I nor PFLAG (as best I can tell) is wanting to imprison therapists.

    As for the Task Force, they have become so leftist and extreme that they are edging theirselves into irrelevancy, in my opinion, so I don’t know what they’d advocate. But I see nothing so far that suggests that they have lawyers waiting in the wings to try and imprison therapists.

    I do think that all of those who are skeptical of reparative therapy will take steps to protect minors and to seek to get revoked the license of anyone who does not provide accurate information. In other words, if you offer therapy and don’t tell your client that he is unlikely to change the direction of his attractions, or if you go tell some Senator that gay people can become straight if they go through therapy, then either you prove it or lose your license.

    I think anyone would support this as a matter of ethics. No profession wants to be tarnished by false claims from associates. And I don’t think accuracy and factual integrity is too high of a standard.

    So if you mean that PFLAG will try to keep reparative therapists from offering falsehoods or from coercing minors, then yeah, they probably will. Wouldn’t you?

  • Timothy Kincaid

    Eddy,

    that a move was under way to ‘criminalize’ the Exodus message.

    one man is not a movement

    Further, the “Exodus message” would be very little impacted if indeed the APA were to somehow illegalize any reparative therapy. Mostly Exodus is local support groups of a handful of people in a church basement, right? (I mean the actual ex-gay part, not the political anti-gay part)

    This could, I suppose, hurt the NARTH message.

  • http://www.transformingcong.org Karen Booth

    Warren writes, “I think it was the guy who runs the blog that made me think this was a bit more than a lone, cranky blogger…”

    You’re right, Warren. I didn’t do enough checking before I posted. Rothstein is cited on several other websites as a “distinguished, long time activist” and he has ties to the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force.

    So, not the “unknown” that some have suggested. And obviously, not just a “crank” either.

  • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/warrenthrockmorton/ Warren

    Fair enough, I don’t know what either organization will do, but as I said, I know they want the APA to do something that involves public policy and advocacy. I have written a former PFLAG exec to ask what they might be inclined to do or how they view the legal implications. Given that state licensing laws incorporate the APA (or in the case of counselors – the ACA) code of ethics, what the professions do could impact the legal climate in the states.

  • jayhuck

    Eddy,

    Oh please – you can’t use one article written by one man as a rationalization for a movement to criminalize Exodus!!!!! I know which side you lean towards, but let’s not be that naive about what’s going on.

  • jayhuck

    Ivan,

    If the supporters of Reparative Therapy within the ranks of the APA left, you would see less than 1% of the members leave – there aren’t that many people in the organization who actually condone Reparative Therapy.

  • jayhuck

    Randy,

    You probably should have read the posts above before you posted that.

    If anything, it is Exodus’s involvement in politics that has brought this on, so I’m not surprised. You have been working for years to undermine the rights of others, and its not a wonder there might be a few individuals who want to shut you down because of that.

    I don’t believe its right, and I doubt most do, but look at the things you do that might have caused some people to want this. You aren’t the most balanced or welcoming of individuals – unlike Alan, who, presents himself at least, as a more fair-minded individual.

  • jayhuck

    And Randy,

    For goodness sakes – While I’m sure this feeds your paranoia, this is one guy writing ONE article – that isn’t even a small movement

  • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/warrenthrockmorton/ Warren

    Well, I did not see anything in Rothstein’s post about Exodus and politics; it was the idea of change that seemed to rankle this guy.

    This is clearly an issue you feel strongly about jayhuck, but really we get it. You don’t like the political positions taken by Exodus. Very few commenters here do. We get it. Attacking other commenters is not going to help make your points.

    Regarding Queersighted, I do not think they are the secret holders of the gay agenda or anything, but I do not think they are as insignificant or unrepresentative as you say.

    I tend to take this more seriously because I am in regular contact with people who make no bones about wanting any and all objection to homosexuality to go away. I do not think everyone in the activist community would articulate this but I believe such beliefs are widely held.

  • Lynn David

    You missed the more disturbing bit:

    Self-proclaimed conservative religious leaders are pressuring the APA to show “respect “for religious commitments of clients who have unwanted same-sex desires. This is crap. While I find it difficult to challenge the right of consenting adults to do harm to themselves–like holding a prayer meeting in a pit of rattlesnakes– I do have serious issues when children are involved. When fundamentalists kidnap gay kids and subject them to the horrors of conversion therapy, wire their penises with electrodes and conduct barbaric aversion therapy in the name of some supernatural being, our federal and state governments must stop shrugging their shoulders in the name of religious freedom. An APA ban will allow and even compel them to do so.

    Furthermore, these deeply disturbed and deluded fundamentalists have successfully convinced the media that we’re dealing with competing “theories.” Meddling with a human being’s mental health based on religious beliefs in not a theory, it’s an act of barbarism.

    The Christian Post reports that “Dr. Warren Throckmorton, a noted expert in sexuality counseling,” in partnership with Focus on the Family has petitioned the APA in anticipation of tomorrow’s meeting. “While commending the APA for acting to develop ethical and helpful procedures to assist persons with same-sex attractions, we are writing to express some concern that the mission of the task force may not recognize same-sex attracted persons who also have solid and unwavering religious commitments which lead them to avoid homosexual behavior.

    “We strongly believe that psychologists can offer a valuable service if they respect the religious commitments of their clients to the same degree that they respect sexual orientation diversity.”

    Once again, I say “crap.”

    I questioned you before about how can what you do concerning a person’t guilt cannot enter into the realm of reparative therapy. I spoke from the point of view of the patient. As a patient it would seem that what they want to do is repair themself in some way. From the therapist viewpiont it may not seem to be reparative, but from that of the patient, it may be what he craves (depending upon his deeply-held religious convictions).

  • Mary

    If things really are taken away from the individual’s choice – I really will come out of the closet again (sort of speak) and become active once again for individual freedom of choice, lifestyle, self determination – all the things I marched for way back when.

  • jayhuck

    Warren,

    My apologies – I didn’t mean to “attack” Randy as you put it, but I doubt most people would disagree that Randy Thomas is a less-than-accepting person. He radically censors his blog, and, unlike yourself, rarely allows people who disagree with him to post there. Not to mention all the things he had to say about the Beyong Ex-Gay conference.

    And I’m sorry, but until Exodus and others start changing their ways, I’m not going to stop pointing out their hypocrisy regarding their involvement in politics.

  • jayhuck

    And I’m sorry, I realize I only listen to and read the news every day, but, like Michael Glatz, I’ve never heard of Queer Sighted – who are they? These people must walk in circles that I just don’t happen to read about.

  • jayhuck

    Warren,

    It is interesting that say “I do not think everyone in the activist community would articulate this but I believe such beliefs are widely held.” – putting your faith in your beliefs and not what is articulated, yet when I stated that I believe the source of the feelings for some activists to want to make Reparative Therapists and like-minded organizations go away has to do with their involvement in politics, you state: that is not what was said.

  • jayhuck

    Sigh – I truly am sorry for all the posts. I guess I empathize with those people who feel that opposition to homosexuality must go away – considering what the gay community has to deal with on an almost daily basis, it wouldn’t suprise me at all if you were right Warren, and many individuals did feel this way.

    I highly doubt, though, that most of them would really want to criminalize/jail therapists.

  • Nemario

    People keep mentioning the “Task Force”. I take it this is referring to the NGLTF, whose executive director Matt Foreman said this at their 2006 “Creating Change” conference,

    “The floor of our agenda is, of course, the demise of America’s anti-gay industry and putting an end, once and for all, to their use of us and our families for cynical culture wars and political gains.”

  • Marty

    Yikes!

    This is like saying:

    “Sexual Orientation is not a choice. Therefore, once you make up your mind you’d BETTER NOT CHANGE IT!”

    Else we’ll throw you (and your pastor, and your counselor) in jail.

    Changing your mind is unethical!

  • Mary

    Randy,

    I can say that Exodus’ “policy” or “position” has not helped. Had they taken a live and let live stand rather than a you must live our way stand then perhaps this would not be happening?? Politicking against a group has certianly thrown smoke into a hornet’s nest. We should not be trying to end anyone’s rights and instead be working towards an agreement that respects both sides. Even when threatened now, I can say – I understand how gays have become so angry, defensive, and strong. I don’t like the idea that my rights are threatened – but that does not mean I would agrue to destroy the rights of others with whom I disagree.

  • Ivan

    Jayhuck,

    What is the relevance of the percentage of therapists leaving the APA? I think you’re misunderstanding me.

  • jayhuck

    Ivan,

    Maybe I am misunderstanding. I was just saying that if people are that upset they should leave – but its not going to change anything

  • jayhuck

    Mary –

    Thank you! :) I doubt I could have said that better myself. It is up to us though to continue to fight Exodus, at least politically, so that they stop trying to force their views on everyone through legislation.

    Thank you, again, though!!!!!!!!!!!

  • Clint Cline

    Don’t neglect the court of public opinion. Even if they are unsuccessful in having APA rule against reparative/conversion therapy, they wil NOT stop trying through alternative means to make is into “voodoo” science and discredit it in the public’s eye. Watch for more inferences in television programs, more slams on talk shows, even ridicule in comedy monologues (Leno, etc.), in the future.

    If they are unsuccessful now, it provides a window of opportunity to present stories of successful theraputic conclusions, to the extent those who have been treated are willing to come forward. Pressure on the APA must come from both sides. When they caved to political pressure initially, they invited politics into their boardroom in the future. Part of that process is public pressure.

  • Timothy Kincaid

    Regarding Queersighted, I do not think they are the secret holders of the gay agenda or anything, but I do not think they are as insignificant or unrepresentative as you say.

    I tend to take this more seriously because I am in regular contact with people who make no bones about wanting any and all objection to homosexuality to go away. I do not think everyone in the activist community would articulate this but I believe such beliefs are widely held.

    Count me in as one who wants all objection to homosexuality to go away. But I don’t want to make it go away. And there’s a huge difference. I just want all of y’all to wake up tomorrow with a divine revelation, come to your senses, and agree with me. :)

    But, of course there are those who would illegalize anti-gay activism, throw therapists in jail, and smirk while doing so. But their numbers are few. Truly. I think there are far more anti-gay folk who would jail gays in a heartbeat and praise God while doing so.

    And while I can link you to anti-gay folks – who get recognition and are lauded – who call for the killing of gays, I don’t know of a single gay person who wants to kill anti-gays.

    So if we want to discuss beliefs….

    “The floor of our agenda is, of course, the demise of America’s anti-gay industry and putting an end, once and for all, to their use of us and our families for cynical culture wars and political gains.”

    While Matt Foreman and I seldom see eye to eye, I have to say that I agree with his goal. I would love to see those organizations who make an industry out of attacking gay people for cynical culture wars and political gains come to an end. Absolutely.

    And what’s more, Marty, I think that many credible people who oppose homosexuality from the perspective of morality are also starting to recognize that cynical harassment of one group of “sinners” by lying, cheating, and cruelty is an insult to the Cross. I think ending an anti-gay industry built and maintained to provide political power is a goal all Christians should share.

  • http://mikeensley.vox.com Mike Ensley

    Mary said:

    “Had they taken a live and let live stand rather than a you must live our way stand then perhaps this would not be happening?? … We should not be trying to end anyone’s rights and instead be working towards an agreement that respects both sides.”

    Mary, honestly I don’t think you understand Exodus’ political involvement at all. Do you think all (or even most) pro-homosexual activist groups are adopting a “live and let live” policy toward people with different beliefs? Hardly.

    My focus is entirely on youth and education, and believe me, the lobbying in that field is nothing like “live and let live.” In California, for instance, pro-gay advocates have exclusive rights to what children are taught in public schools regarding these issues. Parents are explicitly kept out of the loop–and if they somehow get in the loop, they have no right to opt their children out of instruction that undermines their values.

    As for “ending people’s rights,” I would just like to know what rights Exodus is helping to end, and for whom?

    Your comment about a “you must live our way” stand really doesn’t have any basis, either. Opposing thought-crimes legislation and education law that excludes every view except a gay-centric one is hardly forcing others to live the way we do.

  • http://realitycubed.blogspot.com Scott

    Mike.

    Cough up the science to back up your claims. Do some follow up studies on the people who have gone through Exodus’ programs. If you can come up with some peer reviewed science that will bolster your case and allow your neutral, non-religious point of view into classrooms then maybe California will let you teach some classes.

    Also, spare me the “Exodus isn’t for ending anyone’s rights”.

    What was said by Exodus’ after sodomy laws fell?

    Why did Randy Thomas go to the White house for a speech on the Federal Marriage Amendment?

    Why do you and your organization continually repeat demonstrable lies about hate crimes laws?

  • Timothy Kincaid

    As for “ending people’s rights,” I would just like to know what rights Exodus is helping to end, and for whom?

    you truly have to be kidding

  • jayhuck

    Mike –

    I hope you know Mary and I would classify ourselves as Ex-Gay, we just don’t agree with Exodus’s politics.

    I also have to echo Timothy’s response above – are you kidding? Exodus works daily to make sure gay people don’t have the rights that straight people do.

    I’d also like to echo Scott’s comments – there is NO scientific evidence to back up the claims made by Exodus and its members. That doesn’t mean I don’t sympathize with some of the things they believe in, but schools are places where, what’s taught shouldn’t be influenced by a few people’s belief system.

  • jayhuck

    Has anyone noticed the Exodus-speak that I seem to hear more of, and that people like Randy Thomas and Mike Ensley use? What do words like gay-centric mean, anyway?

  • Marty

    TK: And what’s more, Marty, … cynical harassment of one group of “sinners” by lying, cheating, and cruelty is an insult to the Cross. I think ending an anti-gay industry built and maintained to provide political power is a goal all Christians should share.

    LOL!

    As if the “pro-gay industry” isn’t built and maintained to provide political power!

    And no. we’re. not. kidding. Please explain what “rights” Exodus (etc) is helping to end. Names, places, and dates please — we’ve heard enough tired old rhetoric.

  • jayhuck

    Marty –

    The “gay industry” as you put it, or rather, gay people have come together to fight for equal rights, while many religious people work to promote their views through legislation.

    Does this list sound familiar:

    – Gay marriage

    – Adoption by gay couples

    – Hate crimes laws

    That’s a short list – admittedly – I know many Exodus leaders who work to undermine these rights that gay people fight for.

  • Nemario

    The premise that that’s actually “equality” could be disputed, but to highlight the current trend of affairs, on April 30, a Pennsylvania Superior Court panel ruled that a child can have three legal parents.

    And who did the case involve?

    Two lesbians who were the legal co-parents of two children conceived via a male friend.

  • Mary

    Mike,

    Exodus has been policking for far too long – well before PFLAG or any other group. PFLAG and other groups were started as a response to EXODUS who’s original message was that people can change and so should everyone who was homosexual and therefore homosexuals did not need any rights or protections.

  • Mary

    Mike,

    For the record, I don’t like the idea tha children are over exposed to sex and sexual behavior well before (in my opinion) they should be. And sexuality is an issue for home and family discussion. I don’t want PFLAG or EXODUS going into schools and advocating for either perspective.

    I want bullying on gay kids stopped. I want the christians kids to realize that just because the bible says so does mean it is so for others. I want the the gays to realize the same thing. Children are being used as puppets to thwart and indoctrinate our own personal beliefs on to. Hmmmm. What a lesson we are teaching?!

    What really seems to upset the religious right is that they are going to have to save the necks of gays if they are going to save themselves.

  • Mary

    I meant save as in the legal sense of saving gay rights to save their own legal religious rights.

  • duston

    warren-

    if i could ask a question that goes back a bit.

    “The existing research does not make anything clear except that some people report harm from some kinds of efforts at reorientation. I suspect I know what some of those things are, but the research on the subject does not allow an empirical basis. A lot of discussion on this topic is going to completely overlook that point.”

    what about the research does not allow an empirical basis? it seems to me that if this can’t be sorted out the whole topic is going to remain a tangle of epistemological and metaphysical questions.

  • Ivan

    Jayhuck,

    It’s not really meant to change anything (like an organizations’ policy), rather, to find an organization that won’t ban RT for those who want it.

  • jayhuck

    Nemario –

    I’d like to see how you can dispute that what I wrote above isn’t about equality. I enjoy hearing how ex-gay groups want all these rights, but then they turn around and prevent others from having the same rights as they do. Its a fact that gay couples are treated as second class citizens and they do not have the same rights as their straight counterparts – no matter how bad the straight/heterosexual parents might be or how good the homosexual parents might be.

    And one court case or even a few court cases around the country only serve to highlight the INEQUALITY that gay couples experience. There wouldn’t need to be court cases if there was equality.

  • http://www.wthrockmorton.com Warren

    Duston – The main studies thus far are essentially qualitative research. Researchers ask people what their perceptions were of their experiences. The researchers write down the answers and then collapse the information into trends or categories of experience. It is a good way to identify factors that may be important. However, qualitative research most often relies on convenience samples, meaning I will interview whoever I can find that fits the criteria established. Shidlo and Schroeder looked for people that were harmed and their results reflect that sample. Spitzer looked for people who said they benefitted and his results reflect the sampling.

    This is what we have. We do not have a representative sample of people who went into change therapy and then were followed long term with percentages of people who were helped and those were not. When we get that, we can talk a bit more intelligently about the impact. But now we don’t have it.

    So yes, metaphysics and values are key. Blustering that science should be accepted over religion assumes that we actually have relevant science.

  • http://mikeensley.vox.com Mike Ensley

    “Ending people’s rights” infers that Exodus seeks to take away rights that people have always had. Marriage has meant one thing throughout history. Thought-crimes laws are unnecessary–pretty much every example I’ve seen of a hate crime that’s supposed to illustrate how we “need” this legislation really shows the opposite; people are already going to prison for assaulting gays. If they’re not, the problem is a failure to enforce laws already on the books.

    You can say “you’ve got to be kidding” all you want… but if you don’t have examples, it’s not very impressive.

    As far as needing “legitimate science” to get into classrooms … I’m not sure GLSEN or similar groups have had to meet that criteria, whether they are giving explicit instructions for sex acts or promoting the “born gay” theory.

    And believe me, I want bullying to stop too–for all students. I know what it’s like to be a gay-identified teen in an environment that can be hostile. The problem is, groups like GLSEN act like the only way to stop bullying is to exclusively promote their views–and their take on other people’s views. That’s wrong. I believe sexuality is a family issue, too, but it’s the pro-homosexual advocacy groups working to keep families out of the loop.

  • Ann

    very well said Mike – thank you!

  • Ann

    shouldn’t all bullying stop for everyone? I think a prostitute, homeless person, orphan, the disabled, the unwed mother, and those living in poverty deserve the same rights in this area as anyone else – why would their label be excluded and sexual orientation be included – isn’t this discrimminatory – do you really think this is fair or right? We are all the same when it comes to protection under law. Please don’t promote one individual over another.

  • http://mikeensley.vox.com Mike Ensley

    Thanks, Ann.

    Also, as for Mr. Rothstein promoting a “one-man cause,” that’s hardly the case. Over a year ago, when the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force released their fictional “report” on Exodus Youth (“The Third Wave of Ex-Gay Activism”) the representative from Lambda Legal (I forget her name) explicitly encouraged people to find a way to shut down ‘ex-gay’ ministries and counselors through law suits and any other means.

  • Mary

    Mike,

    You sound like a nice guy but terms like gay centric can be equally applied by the gay activist – terms like hetero centric, or christian ethos centric. Yes, everybody sees things from their own chair and we are all blind to some things. Having been a gay activist and being an ex gay I can see both sides – However, I am not a religious follower. I am a christian and believe that Jesus is my savior – but I do not attend any particular church. In addition, unlike most believers in this sense, I also support gay rights – marriage, inheritance rights etc… A historical look at marriage will show you that marriage has been about property rights, wealth accumulation, having children to “grow” your “tribe” , etc… and very little with romance, love, and sex (except for the combining of bloodlines and therefore increasing family ties and populations of those “kingdoms”.) Your biblical perspective may differ from others – as does mine. But does that give me the right to impose it?? Your answer seems different than mine.

    I’m sure you’re angry and feel threatened. Me too. But I am angry at those who would stop the equal access to differing information. Unfortunately, that includes in the same group Wayne Besen, GLSEN, EXODUS, PFLAG, FOTF, etc…

  • Nemario

    Jayhuck,

    To me the argument of equality is unfounded to the start in that I think terms like “orienation” are misguided. The term “homosexuality” wasn’t even coined until, I believe, the 20th century by psychologists.

  • http://realitycubed.blogspot.com Scott

    Mike, you can scream and yell “fictional” about NGLTF’s report all you want but can you show us examples?

    I know you’re young and impressionable. It’s obvious to me that Alan and Randy have taught you all the buzzwords and all the tricks to warp the language (i.e. ‘gay identified’, ‘change’, etc.) but you really need to learn some critical thinking skills before you’re ready for the big time.

    Mike, I’m sad for you, there are groups out there who can help you when you’re ready.

  • jayhuck

    Nemario –

    I don’t see your point – many labels we use today for things we didn’t really understand in the past have only come to us lately – just look at science – my question is, so what?

    You can’t get past the reality that gay people are discriminated against on a daily basis – and that they are treated as second class citizens – you can try to argue around it, as you seem to be doing, but you can’t effectively argue against it.

  • jayhuck

    Mike Ensley –

    Again – your showing just a few people with a very radical agenda. Is it any wonder that some gay people, who are treated as second class citizens, who are told they don’t deserve the same rights as others by many in Exodus, who are attacked physically and verbally on a daily basis would want a group that says they are sinners to go away – I’m sure they do –

    But you haven’t proven that a majority of gay people really want to imprison therapists, and you haven’t spoken to the argument that Exodus’s involvement in politics might actually be bringing some of these attitudes on

  • jayhuck

    Mary –

    Thank you SO much – yes, marriage in the past has been about treating people like objects – and thank you so much for your support for equal rights for gay people.

    You and I are in the same boat – I am celibate for my faith, but I do not believe in villifying gay people or denying them equal rights – Thanks for speaking up :)

  • jayhuck

    Mike Ensley –

    We aren’t talking about Ending People’s Rights – We are talking about preventing people from having EQUAL RIGHTS – Not to long ago many African Americans didn’t have the same rights as the dominate culture and had to fight for them to.

  • Timothy Kincaid

    Mike,

    Thank you for proving my point – that Exodus and its staff place great emphasis on the political effort to deny gay persons an equal legal standing. Rather than dispute whether Exodus has made this their priority, you sought instead to justify your political agenda.

    You may well believe that heterosexuals should be free to marry the person they choose and that gay persons should not. You may believe that racial minorities should be protected from crimes seeking to intimidate a group (hate crimes) and that sexual minorities do not deserve the same protection. You may believe that Christians should be protected from employment discrimination but gay persons should not. You may believe that heterosexual couples should be free to adopt but that gay couples should not. You may believe that “all children” should be free from bullying but refuse to identify the targeted victims and direct recources towards them because you know that such efforts will benefit gay kids. You may believe that heterosexuals should provide health insurance to their families and that gay persons should be banned from doing so. You may believe that books should be provided in libraries that reflect the lives of the heterosexual children reading them but that no books should be provided for gay children. You may believe that it’s “only fair” that if a school allows the message “we tolerate all” it should also allow the message “Sodomy is Sin” because a message of inclusion is equal to a message of condemnation. You may believe that every effort made to make more difficult the lives of gay men and women and youth is justified by your interpretation of Scripture.

    You can seek to justify anything you believe, Mike. But don’t come here pretending that you don’t have a political agenda or that it isn’t intended to harm the lives of gay people.

    Because we’ve all seen it.

  • Timothy Kincaid

    Mike,

    If you’d still like some examples of Exodus’ politics, do the following:

    1. Stand up

    2. Look around for Amanda Banks

    3. Wave at Amanda and if she’s not busy, walk over

    4. Ask Amanda to show you the latest ExodusRoots Action Alert

    And if you really aren’t busy, sit down and discuss with Amanda how the latest alert is about Hate Crimes Legislation which would include sexual orientation to the long list of other hate crimes categories. You may want to discuss how to spin this and lie about it (for example, call it “thought crimes” even though it only effects violent crimes). You can discuss press conferences in which Exodus made the claim that racial minorities need hate crimes protections but gays don’t. You can spin the reports and try to ignore that the third highest category of hate crimes is based on sexual orientation. You can try any way you can to ignore that the only reason you oppose this bill is because it would benefit gay people, and anything whatsoever (yes, ANYTHING, Mike) that benefits a single gay person has to be opposed with all of Exodus’ might.

    And when you’re done, Mike, take a moment and ask yourself this question:

    “When I came to Exodus to seek ways to overcome my same-sex attraction, did I know that I was signing up to be an anti-gay activist? Did I really want to spend my time trying to harm my neighbor and find ways not to treat him like myself?”

  • duston

    warren

    i am confused. if reparative/conversion therapy is being practiced, how is it that we do not have a meaningful data? are those who practice such types of therapy not interested in whether is works or not or is reparative/conversion therapy such a recent development that the studies underway are still in the preliminary phases?

  • jayhuck

    Again – Amen Timothy – so often the truly loving Christian comments I hear on this blog aren’t coming from people deeply involved in Exodus. I hope the rest of the world is listening.

  • Lynn David

    You said it Timothy…. but the basic idea that guides Exodus, Focus on the Family, the AFA, etc… is that since laws, concerning consentual acts formerly known as sodomy between person of the same sex, have been struck down, these organizations have been lobbying anywhere against any law which looks upon gay people in a more positive light. The hate-crimes law is especially worrisome to them because it would enshrine gay people in a positive light in law, especially federal law. They fear that the precedent once set will snowball (let’s hope so!).

    And what Mike Ensley wrote about marriage:

    “Ending people’s rights” infers that Exodus seeks to take away rights that people have always had. Marriage has meant one thing throughout history.

    Is not necessarily true. Marriage for several millenia in America evidently also included that of same-sex marriage.

    It should perhaps be noted that we have come to a point in history in which the population of gay peoples have come to a world-wide tipping point wherein gays can now more easily find each other. It started in 1700s London and seems to be culminating now. “We’re here, we’re queer, get used to it,” comes to mind. Human societies are being forced to deal with a reality which they would previously simply dismiss.

  • Mary

    Oh yeah – I forgot about Amanda’s little note to me about her perspective and why EXODUS has a department for it’s political perspective.

  • Ann

    “We’re here, we’re queer, get used to it,” comes to mind. Human societies are being forced to deal with a reality which they would previously simply dismiss.

    Lynne,

    I really think human societies in general resist any kind of forcing – do you like the feeling that you are being forced into accepting or believing something?

  • Lynn David

    I am not a society. But America is and gee… why are we talking about it here? It certainly seems that homosexuality has been on the pallet of debate for several years running now. Seems that is evidence of a forcing to deal with the issue. If not I know some activists which will gladly force ht American society to do so.

    So what was the problem with my statement, ’cause your comeback was like really weak.

  • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/warrenthrockmorton/ Warren

    Duston asked:

    i am confused. if reparative/conversion therapy is being practiced, how is it that we do not have a meaningful data? are those who practice such types of therapy not interested in whether is works or not or is reparative/conversion therapy such a recent development that the studies underway are still in the preliminary phases?

    Good questions. The studies are costly and would require some commitment to research. Psychodynamic practitioners in general trust case studies more than outcome research and reparative therapists are by and large psychodynamic. However, it must be done for either side to say we know anything. I did one of the few studies on what aspects of therapy people found helpful which can be seen here.

  • http://mikeensley.vox.com Mike Ensley

    I don’t think anybody’s responded directly to what I’ve said. I see a lot of condescension, but no matter what I say, most of you are simply determined to hear your own distortion of my beliefs rather than what I’m actually saying.

    Here’s one more try.

    Crimes against gays are already crimes. We don’t need new laws to make a person’s supposed intentions the crime (and ultimately start policing people’s thoughts and beliefs)–we need to enforce the laws that already are there to protect everyone from criminal actions.

    It also seems our very presence in the political arena is an affront to you. Last I looked, the USA was still something like a Democracy. Those of you who keep lecturing me for “imposing” my beliefs on you simply by using my voice–take a look at what you’re doing.

  • Ann

    Mike,

    I understand what you are saying and agree with you. It all comes down to protecting all, not putting one person’s value ahead of another. Thank you. Also, I just read where Lynn David says “Seems that is evidence of a forcing to deal with the issue. If not I know some activists which will gladly force ht American society to do so.” If this is the case then I believe you and anyone else certainly has the right to say what you feel as well without retaliation.

  • jayhuck

    Mike Ensley.

    YOU don’t seem to be getting it – Everyone has the right to a voice and an opinion – no one on here woudl disagree, what you don’t have the right to do is to prevent others from having equal rights – and to force your religious beliefs on others through politics . – Do you see the distinction?

    And you seem to be avoiding the original discussion – we were initially talking about preventing others from having equal rights – I think you seem to be trying to evade that topic by claiming everyone else is being condescending, but you haven’t addressed it, and that was the original topic.

    You can’t get passed the reality that gay people are discriminated against, that they are treated as second class citizens, and that they don’t get to play on a level playing field – Neither you nor anyone else has the right to force your particular religious beliefs on someone through legislation. Everyone in this country should have the right to enjoy all the rights and privileges of the other –

    J

  • jayhuck

    Mike Ensley –

    Continued…. When I talk about EVERYONE having the same rights as others, I’m talking about law-abiding, consenting adults. I know how Exodus likes to lump law breakers and disordered people like pedophiles or alcoholics in with gay people. Gay people are not disordered, or diseased – the only people who seem to have a problem with them are radically religious people.

    Several recent studies have shown that the children of gay parents grow up no better or worse than the children of straight parents – so why shouldn’t they be parents or have the ability to marry. The religious right is always harping on how some gay male relationships don’t last – well then why not give them the ability to marry – aren’t marriage benefits intended to keep couples together? Its definitely a better solution than the status quo

    I apologize if you think I’m somehow being condescending to you – that is not my intention

  • jayhuck

    Mike Ensley,

    If you are so upset about hate crimes laws for gay people, why aren’t you speaking out against hate crime laws for African Americans????

    What about equal treatment in the workplace or in living situations – where are the laws that protect gay people here?

  • Mary

    MIke – it is not YOU. It is EXODUS. They have a national ministry that is tied to FOTF and other very conservative political groups who have financial resources. Those resources are then used to lobby against gay rights (these include rights of marriage which is a financial institution in this country more than anything else) Then EXODUS makes claims that people can change. So what – some gay people don’t want to change and are happy with themselves.

    As far as “thought crime” goes – you need to find the origin of that phrase – first coined by pedophiles and other sexual predators. So – that in and of itself I find offensive. Secondly, as far as the last time I checked the laws have a little known factor put into crimes and that is called – intent. The intention (a thought by the way) has deep implications into how a crime is charged, prosecuted, and when finally determined – punished and finally executed. Along the lines to the extent of the intention to commit the crime – so will the punishment follow. For example – if your intent was to murder someone then it is prosecuted and punsihed more heavily. If your intent was to murder someone for money or they are killed in the process of stealing money then the crime is punished more heavily. If the murder was unintentional and through carlessness or accident – the the punishment is not as harsh. If the murder victim was not known, he/she was killed only for their social affiliation (sexual orientation, religion, skin color, group affiliation) then it is a crime committed out of hatred for that group and it is prosecuted more and punished more severely. Because you simply discriminated against that minority person and they had no knowledge of your hatred for them. Persons of a minority group cannot be expected to “arm” themselves more while walking down a street where a stranger can stab you anonymously and pretty much get away with murder because there are no other clues (most murders are committed by someone known to the victim). They only arming one can do iis to impose a more severe threat of punishment if caught. Thus the hate crime laws – you will be more severely punished if “you do this crime” is used as a deterrant to stop such crimes. Believe it or not – when the perpetrator and the victim know eachother – the crime is easier to solve. Anonymous murders are harder to solve – thus a detterant law is made. Keep in mind – money makes the world go round. Gays want to keep money in their familes, recieve health care benfits, rights of surviorship/inheritance etc.. – fair enough and communities want to limit the amount of tax payers burdens and not have as many police on the streets.

    Thats how it all comes down – it really isn’t about your god or my god. It is about financial resources and allocation of those resources. By my perspective I want crime to be low, people to be healthy and secure. I’m all for hate crime laws and gay mariiages. It protects the larger community in general. Go to your own church, teach your own children your own values – and hopefully people will follow a more civil, peaceful way of living.

  • Ann

    Isn’t protection under law for all people? Why would one person be considered more important than another when it comes to equal treatment? Should there be a distinction between one person over another when it comes to crime?

  • http://mikeensley.vox.com Mike Ensley

    You can judge whether a person intended to do a specific act (i.e. murder), what I disagree with is asking the government to determine who “hates” who. As I stated before, people have very different opinions about what constitutes hate — especially where the LGBT community is concerned. The preacher who was jailed in Europe had his charge labeled a hate crime simply because of the fact that he used Bible verses when he preached.

    “Go to your own church, teach your own children your own values – and hopefully people will follow a more civil, peaceful way of living.”

    Sounds good to me. However, groups like GLSEN don’t abide by your philosophy. Do you take issue with them?

  • http://realitycubed.blogspot.com Scott

    Ann, Mike Ensley apparently believes that he doesn’t have a “sexual orientation” so he wouldn’t be treated equally under the law.

    At least that’s what the dishonest advertisement he appeared in claimed.

    Nobody in Exodus has a “sexual orientation” so they are worth less under a law protecting everyone (gay, straight, bisexual) who DOES have a sexual orientation.

    Am I reading you right, Mike?

  • Ann

    Hi Scott,

    Thank you for your answer. I do know perception plays a very big role in how we view things. I am not sure what advertisement you are referring to but I am not prepared nor will I villify Mike for his values and beliefs – I admire him for having his convictions. Regarding sexual orientation – I guess everyone has their own perception on the meaning of that too. Do I have a sexual orientation? Not sure. Does it matter if I do or don’t? Can’t I change my mind as my life evolves and I decipher who and what is valuable to me and how I want to live accordingly? Anyway, please forgive me for all the questions – my mind is just thinking as I write this. My question is why does anyone deserve more protection under law than another. You are just as important as I am and visa versa. I cannot think of a worse hate crime than the thousands of pre-born innocent children who are killed every year just because they are considered an inconvenience and yet there is no protection under law for them. Are they not as important as you or I?

  • Timothy Kincaid

    Mike,

    I’m beginning to think that either you are incapable of understanding the point or you are deliberately changing the subject.

    The argument isn’t about whether or not hate crimes legislation is the appropriate response to the targeting of gay people for otherwise-unmotivated violent crime. It isn’t even about whether it’s difficult to identify hate crimes (it isn’t). Nor is it about whether or not Europe has free speech protections (it doesn’t) or if a pastor in the US would be treated like one in Europe (they wouldn’t). It isn’t about whether or not you are “right” on some political issue.

    What the argument is about, Mike, is whether or not Exodus has any business being a political organization at all, regardless of the issue.

    Clearly many here think that it should not. They argue that ex-gays, and strugglers can all have differing political views. And still find useful an organization that is directed to their needs. But what they don’t want is a political organization that fights their values.

    And that is what you have become.

    But you are stuck trying to argue the specifics of your political agenda.

    Why, Mike?

    Is it so important to advance your political agenda that you are willing to throw away people like Mary or Jayhuck and many many other ex-gays who are turned off by your cruel, manipulative, and hostile politics?

    Remember, Mike, God is watching. And the last time I checked, there is not a single Scriptural reference in which He called the followers of Christ to a life of politics and coercive theology.

  • Lynn David

    So if I and a few of my friends get together and go off tagging the buildings of Focus on the Family, lilly-white clapboard Christian churches and the Mormon Temples with bold red paint portraying satanic symbology and praising Satan’s name while degrading the institution of said structure; then all you’re going to do is charge us with spreading graffiti [that is if you catch us]? Said acts would/should not be hate crimes?

  • jayhuck

    Mike,

    You still haven’t dealt with the original issue, which was about legislating your religious beliefs.

    I do know that you are a kind person at heart, and I believe that the intention of Exodus is good – I would belong and support them if they weren’t so steeped in politics. They have no business trying to legislate their religious views. They can’t claim to want certain rights and then turn and prevent others from having them – I hope that makes sense

  • jayhuck

    Ann,

    There is a belief that many minorities deserve extra protection because they are targeted more for violence than the dominant WASP population. There is good evidence for and good evidence against having these – its an old argument – but its not as simple as saying everyone is already equally protected under the law.

  • Eddy

    Why is everybody REFUSING to answer Mike Ensley’s question? No rhetoric, no spin…just some hardcore examples of EXODUS political platform being ‘the taking away of gay rights’. Let’s focus on the ‘taking away rights’ aspect since it is both the challenge against EXODUS and the point where EXODUS sees a pretty clear distinction.

    LOL! I know it’s pointless to bring it up; I know all I’ll see is another diatribe but it IS nice to dream. But, I, too, want to hear some specifics examples so that I can hear his response and then responses to those.

  • jayhuck

    Eddy,

    WHY are you not reading our posts – I’m not talking about TAKING AWAY gay rights, I’m talking about preventing gay people from having EQUAL rights with their straight counterparts.

    The challenge I leveled, and I believe most people take issue with, is not allowing gay people and gay couples to have EQUAL rights.

    I’ve never said anything about TAKING AWAY rights

  • jayhuck

    Eddy – part II –

    Timothy left everyone with plenty of examples of how Exodus tries to prevent gay people from having equal rights – read above –

    I love it that the two people from Exodus won’t address the initial questio/problem and instead choose to slough off the offenses labeled against them by talking about how we all only right diatribes and are only engaging in character assassination – please read ABOVE

  • jayhuck

    right = write – sigh

  • jayhuck

    OK –

    We’ve got three different discussions going on here and it has gotten messy – we are trying to talk about

    1) Hate crimes laws

    2) The assertion someone besides me must have made that Exodus is taking away rights

    3) The problem I think most of us have with Exodus and its politics, and that is their attempt to undermine equal rights for gay people.

    Eddy and Mike – which one would you like to discuss? #3 I think is most important to all of us, but we can evade it and talk about the others if you like – although I still claim #3 is the real issue – we somehow got to hate crimes laws after that

  • Ann

    Timothy, Jayhuck and Lynn,

    ok, here is what I want/need to know – does any gay affirming organization promote any political agenda? I ask because it has been my observation that they do but I could not be perceiving it correctly. If they do, then why is it not ok for any other organization to have the same right with another view? For instance, does the organization have to be classified as a political group to do this rather include it into what they are already representing? Please be kind and simple with your responses – I am just trying to understand what seems like a contradiction to me.

  • Mary

    Mike,

    Get me a copy of that preahcer’s sermon, next get me a copy of that country’s law, finally get me a copy of our hate crime bills. I have as of yet to get my hands on the “sermon” that sent a preacher to jail. Nor have any of the advocates for your perspective been able to provide a copy of the hate crime laws in that country nor one for this country.

    After you get those copies – please read them. And send me one of the sermon. I am very curious as to everything he said.

  • Mary

    Mike,

    Suppose you go to a gay church and you want to belong because you really, really feel that is what God wants you to do. Then they *the gay church) tell you they can help make SOME changes to become more gay. Then they tell you – and by the way – if you do not succeed in becoming gay and you accept your heterosexuality we will still vote against you and your life. We think it is not good for society on the whole and you must understand that this is the country we live in – it has always been this way and we want it to stay this way.

    How would you feel?

  • jayhuck

    Ann,

    We’re not saying that gay people aren’t political – but gay people aren’t going around trying to prevent others from having equal rights –

  • Eddy

    Jayhuck said: (and it was my best laugh of the night)

    OK –

    We’ve got three different discussions going on here and it has gotten messy – we are trying to talk about

    1) Hate crimes laws

    2) The assertion someone besides me must have made that Exodus is taking away rights

    3) The problem I think most of us have with Exodus and its politics, and that is their attempt to undermine equal rights for gay people.

    LOL! But the REAL TOPIC is: The criminalization of conversion therapy. Sure, go ahead, scroll to the top of the page, see it for yourself. Frankly, I’m unwilling to see every thread derailed into this same tiresome rut.

    This thread derailed predictably with all the accusations and pronounced of judgement on EXODUS, Mike Ensley, et al. Timothy wrote most eloquently. However, you are all ignoring one of the basic rules of civility. You are free to challenge or accuse a person. Conversely, that person has the right to ask you ‘to put up or shut up’. Yeah, it’s a gamble. You might come up with one that he’ll have a reasonable explanation for. But you really do need to put out at least one specific example for discussion to allow him to defend his position. It’s called FAIR.

    oh, and then…maybe…could we get back to the topic? 😉

  • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/warrenthrockmorton/ Warren

    Eddy – You are correct. And on topic, here is someone that agrees with Rothstein…

  • Ann

    Jayhuck – thank you for your response – I’m trying to understand and appreciate how you responded. I will say one last thing and then get back on the topic of this thread which Eddy so kindly pointed out and was right about. Everyone is equal under law and we all have the same rights if we live in America – no one is telling anyone else they cannot get married or work for a company and get benefits, etc. – there are eligibility requirements that must be adhered to for everyone that allows these privileges. Exodus and FOTF are just supporting these privileges and have the right to do so. Gay affirming organizations might not be preventing equal rights when it comes to marriage and benefits but they sure are preventing equal rights when it comes to all being protected under law for crimes.

  • Lynn David

    Mary escribe: “ok, here is what I want/need to know – does any gay affirming organization promote any political agenda?

    Uh… si.

    Y también: “I ask because it has been my observation that they do but I could not be perceiving it correctly. If they do, then why is it not ok for any other organization to have the same right with another view?

    Los grupos de homosexuales son un resultado de millenia de la ignorancia, el odio, el temor y activismo contra personas de homosexual. Éxodo y sus aliados procuran extender ese reinado de la ignorancia que es la opresión del homosexual.

    Y también aún más: “For instance, does the organization have to be classified as a political group to do this rather include it into what they are already representing?

    ¡No!

    Y también aún más: “Please be kind and simple with your responses – I am just trying to understand what seems like a contradiction to me.

    Bueno…

  • http://realitycubed.blogspot.com Scott

    Gay affirming organizations might not be preventing equal rights when it comes to marriage and benefits but they sure are preventing equal rights when it comes to all being protected under law for crimes.

    Ann, what part of “sexual orientation” do you not understand?

    If you can read any part of the (soon to be passed by congress) Hate Crimes law that mentions only gay people, I’d love to see it.

    Have you read the law?

  • Mary

    Ann,

    Hope I can interupt here –

    I understand your point that if one group is allowed to politic so should another be allowed – absolutely true.

    The difference is that gays are politicking for rights that were/have/are in the past been denied to them based on their decision to be out & gay and love in the open a person of their choosing. Where as EXODUS is politcking to prevent those people from acquiring those rights based on the idea that people should and ought to change and that they do not need anymore rights.

    It is very difficult for a some to understand that a person who is gay (whether or not change is possible is not the point) but is gay and has a strong passion for another human being in much the same way that you or I would have for a husband. Would you want people to tell you to marry a woman??? That you have all the same rights except you choose to be with a man and therefore are not entitled to rights of inheritance, survivorship, family and guardianship rights etc..???

    And then EXODUS says a person can change and therefore does not NEED that right to marry a person of the same sex. They do not NEED to worry about a hate crime – since we should all be protected under the same law – (except have you noticed that we are not the same people or need the same protections because we are not gay??) Yes, crimes are committed against gays, children and women just because of their sexuality, age, gender. This society in America is a violent one.

    And we as christians and believers should look out for eachother and realize that some are more vulnerable than others and therefore need laws in place to deter the “would be attacker/perpetrator etc..”

    Yes, EXODUS and FOTF have every right to politic but it sounds contradictory to their ministry of bringing the message of christ to those in need. Ministry is more than just pounding out what “ought” to be and providing real answers to what really is happening out there. I for one will stand by my gay brothers and sisters because I will never forget what it meant to be gay in this society.

    Many of those at EXODUS and FOTF are in my opinion paid to tow the same old line, have never really been out & gay and in a vulnerable and potentially life threatening situation, have discounted their experience as a gay person to fit in with their church. Writing these words, I am almost brought to tears recalling the memories of my youth and the christians yelling at us, spitiing on us, telling us we were going to hell. We had police escorts to our cars and were told not to go home right away. WE WERE TOLD NOT TO GO HOME.

    What you see today was fought for long and hard. How can someone like myself support EXODUS and I am ex gay.

    As a ministry who wants to help – it is my opinion that they should stay out of politics and provide a safe place to go for questioning gays.

  • Ann

    thank you Scott, Mary and Lynn for your responses – I unfortunately could not read Lynn’s because it was in another language I only partially understand. I’m going to read them several times over to make sure I understand your perspective. Just for the record, I have never stated any personal religious beliefs or clarified my relationship preferences. Scott, my question about orientation was more of a rhetorical one as it can hold a variety of meanings for any given person throughout the course of one’s life. Mary, I appreciate everything you said and am going to read it again later. Lynn, sorry I couldn’t read too much of what you wrote but want to.

  • jayhuck

    Eddy –

    UM – you are definitely encouraging the derailing of the discussion my friend :)

    As for putting up or shutting up – I’ve been waiting for Mike Ensley to do that since we started this discussion – he has avoided and evaded MY original topic – so please don’t try to put the problem on us – I ask that in the most civil way possible

  • jayhuck

    Mary –

    Thank you SO much – out of everyone speaking on this tangential topic – myself included – you and Timothy have been the most eloquent and helpful :)

    I think you did a great job of summing up the real problem(s) :)

  • jayhuck

    Eddy,

    I understand why you rush to his defense, but in case you hadn’t noticed, Mike leveled just as many accusations and judgements against many of us as well. FYI :)

  • Ann

    Hi Scott,

    No, I have not read the law you are referring to – the only way I know about it is from the posts on this blog. All of the posts I have read seem to be about the protection of gay individuals under a crime bill but does not also include by name or catagory others who I believe deserve the same protection. In other words, the classification for protection of gay individuals or groups seems to be promoted and held in a higher esteem than those of the pre-born child, homeless, unwed mother or father, orphan, those living in poverty, the elderly, the addicted, etc. I do not think that is right or fair. We should all be treated equally as human beings under this law and in my opinion there should be no distinction or classification.

  • jayhuck

    Warren and Eddy,

    I think we did talk the original topic to death didn’t we? Don’t discussions normally turn into other discussions? If everyone is enjoying the topic we are on – even if its changed from the original, is there any real problem with seeing it through?

  • jayhuck

    Ann,

    The problem is, most of those other groups you mention – while they have their own problems – are not targeted for severe physical and verbal abuse like gay people are – gay people are killed every day simply for being gay – Hate crime laws DO protect other minorities as well, like African Americans. Gay people are not the only group these laws are designed to protect.

  • jayhuck

    Ann,

    I think this will help. This is a Wikipedia article that defines Hate Crimes, and cuts through the rhetoric from both sides to talk about the arguments for AND against hate crime laws –

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hate_crime

  • Timothy Kincaid

    Eddy,

    You encouraged me to put up or shut up. I’m not certain what you mean. Are you asking that I itemize the instances in which Exodus and/or it’s leaders used the lives and experiences of strugglers to advocate against rights and freedoms for gay people? Although I find it unfathomable that you would be unaware of such instances, I can certainly list them if you wish.

    Otherwise, please tell me what you are asking.

  • Timothy Kincaid

    Ann,

    There is a great deal of misunderstanding (and deliberate misrepresentation) about hate crimes legislation. Let me set some facts straight.

    1. Whether or not one favors hate crimes legislation (HCL), we can all agree that lying about it is wrong.

    2. HCL is intended to address violent crimes against classes of people. The theory is that such crimes harm not only the person attacked but also harm a community of people through threat or intimidation. In a manner similar to how lynching was not just a crime against a single person but was intended to intimidate all blacks, so too a violent random attack on a person based on their race has victims beyond just the person who is attacked.

    3. HCL does not punish crimes against one race more severely than those against another. If a group of Asians goes out to find a Hispanic to attack because they hate Hispanics, the hate crime enhancement is the same as if a black man attacks a white man because of his race. The enhancement is because of the motivation and intent and is not extra protection based on race (or other factors)

    4. Hate Crimes categories are included because these are the characteristics which have been identified as the motivation for group-intimidation based crimes. Currently Federal law has the following categories: race, color, religion, and nation origin. In other words, currently the Federal government may provide assistance to states to help with the solving of crimes based on religion, such as the burning of Baptist churches that occurred a few years back.

    The law under consideration would add gender, sexual orientation, gender identity, and disability. There do not appear to be crimes against homeless unwed mothers to any significant extent, or else law enforcement would be asking for that category to be added as well.

    http://www.boxturtlebulletin.com/2007/07/16/555#more-555

    5. These are not “thought crimes” (and Mike knows it). The enhancements are to violent crimes. And as for the “thought” part, generally hate crimes are pretty evident from the words screamed at the victim while they are being stabbed or beaten senseless. And in case you were wondering, those words are never “I have a moral objection to homosexual behavior”.

    Quite frequently the law takes motivation into consideration. That’s why we have first degree murder and have also have involuntary manslaughter – because intent matters.

    6. HCL’s do not treat gays better than ex-gays. The same protections that apply to violent attacks on gays would also apply to violent attacks on ex-gays. For example, when Alan claimed that he had been the victim of a hate crime by students with chalk, the same laws apply to him as to me.

    This law would NOT give special status to gays. If you beat up your gay neighbor because he stomped on your rose bushes, that’s not a hate crime. If you take a lead pipe and head to West Hollywood to bash a fag (which occurred a couple years back), that would be a hate crime.

    And if a gay guy set out to bash a redneck, that too would be a hate crime. If you have any doubt about this, the 2005 hate crimes tracking actually list hate crimes based on orientation that were anti-heterosexual.

    http://www.fbi.gov/ucr/hc2005/table4.htm

    Ann, it is perfectly legitimate to declare that you oppose all HCLs. You can take the position that such legislation is counterproductive or that it violates certain principles of freedom.

    But what you cannot do (and continue to claim to be moral) is say that hate crimes legislation should protect me because of my religion but not you because of your orientation.

    The claims that anti-gay activists (including Exodus) are making about the law are not true. Well actually, they are blatant lies. (I seldom accuse others of lying but it’s hard to see any other way to describe things that are simply factually baseless). Jim Burroway has compared the claims to the actual bill – any his analyses are always logical and fair.

    http://www.boxturtlebulletin.com/2007/06/16/444

    Now for the great confession – personally, I don’t favor hate crimes legislation. But I’m not a hypocrit, I don’t favor ANY of it. I don’t pick and choose who I want to be excluded.

    But if it is going to exist, then it is reprehensible to say that the third largest target group should not be included because you don’t like them. That is disgusting and immoral.

    (there, Eddy, was that enough of a put up?)

  • Ann

    Timothy,

    When you write the word “you”, are you referring to me or people in general? I think we completely agree about opposing hate crime legislation and the reasons we state for it. I know so much of these posts have been about groups but I am coming from the place as an individual.

  • Ann

    The problem is, most of those other groups you mention – while they have their own problems – are not targeted for severe physical and verbal abuse like gay people are – gay people are killed every day simply for being gay –

    Jayhuck,

    I guess we see things differently on this matter but I want to know ans learn as much as I can – preborn children are targeted when they are an inconvenience and suffer a severe physical death. No one is held accountable. The elderly are often targets of physical abuse because they become inconvenient, orphans are exploited in unconsciounable ways, prostitutes are beaten or killed for doing what they believe they have no choice about, the homeless are always vulnerable to physical attacks. Also, is there any proof that gays are killed every day just because of who they are. I have not heard of that kind of frequency before. If that is the case, I want to know about it and help more to hold those perpetrators accountable. My heart is with anyone who is vulnerable – I have my own experience with violent crimes and want to protect all of us from them – no person is more important than another.

  • Timothy Kincaid

    Ann,

    I meant “you” in the more general sense, not in the “Ann” sense.

    I think we completely agree about opposing hate crime legislation and the reasons we state for it.

    I’m not sure we do, Ann. Because I believe that if they are to exist then they must include orientation. And I believe that if one opposes them, one can’t do so against orientation but allow race and religion.

    I cannot be principled and say “I oppose hate crimes bills but I’ll grudging accept them for me… I’ll only oppose them when they apply to Ann”. You have to make it level. If you don’t speak out when they are based on race, you do not have the right to speak out when they are based on orientation.

    Unless, of course, one’s real motivation is anti-gay.

  • Timothy Kincaid

    Yes Ann, everyone is vulnerable.

    But not everyone is targeted. Gays are targeted. Orphans are not.

  • Eddy

    Jayhuck,

    I am defending NOBODY! My appeal was only to a sense of fairness…charges were levelled they ought to be backed up by factual evidence. My gut tells me that until we at least make some effort to really talk at that level we’ll continue derailing. I found Mike’s request reasonable and the refusal to respond unreasonable. Just me. Others can perceive it as they will.

    Since this topic was about criminalizing conversion therapy–and since that goes to the very heart of what Exodus represents–then I believe it’s both fair and appropriate to look at the discussion from that side for once. It’s looking like that won’t happen but I make no apologies for trying to steer the conversation back in that direction. I feel you’ve detoured far too many conversations, as soon as the word ‘Exodus’ pops up, down this very same path. This time, with the actual topic decidedly in my favor, I decided to see if it was possible to bring us back to it. You’ve convinced me that I was dreaming an impossible dream.

    Timothy,

    I’ve shared my political views before. Please recognize that I’m neither attacking or defending when I ask for these specifics that Mike Ensley requested. Unfortunately, for me, your last post still wasn’t the ‘put up’. Please cite a SPECIFIC INSTANCE where Exodus made a political statement that was aimed at taking away gay rights. You get to tell how it impacts the gay community and Mike gets to tell how he believes it impacts EXODUS. (I’m hearing loud and clear how legislation can impact the gay community; I’m just not hearing a SPECIFIC INSTANCE that will allow Mike to defend his position fairly.) Sorry for the caps but you said you didn’t understand what I was asking for.

    BTW: I didn’t come here to fight. I came here because I believed it was a place where responsible discussion between people of different viewpoints COULD happen. If you are unwilling to provide one specific instance for discussion, I say let’s drop it right here and move on.

    Jayhuck,

    Please consider the fact that today–on this thread alone–you blogged at 1100, 1102, 1105, 1107, 1124 and 1127. I realize that Warren may have ‘approved’ them all simultaneously but is there a way to pull your comments together into just one or two posts? I’m getting afraid to check the ‘subscribe’ box. No biggie, just asking….

  • Ann

    You have to make it level.

    Timothy,

    This is exactly what I want as well – to make it level. By classifying an individual or group in a hate crime bill and not including all, I think is unfair. As far as I am concerned, religion has nothing to do with it. Why cannot the hate crime bill be for all people – no labels, classes – just people who regardless of their circumstance are entitled to protection by law? I also disagree with you about orphans – I have direct knowledge of that and stand by my statement. It is a well known problem in America and throughout the world. I look at all people and their circumstances, not just a group or individual and their circumstance.

  • Ann

    Timothy,

    Do you feel the thousands of pre-born children killed every year are targeted or just vulnerable? It is my understanding that they have no choice or protection in whether they are killed or not. They are not included in the hate crime bill are they?

  • Mary

    Timothy,

    Yep. Everyone is vulnerable. I can protect my home with a security system. I can lock my car doors. I always have an escort in dark parking lots or dark isolated hallways late at night. I don’t carry a purse – so have nothing to steal. I don’t wear heels when I think I have to walk a distance or may need to run. I wear modest clothing for the most part. But somedays – I still look gay. And I may be chosen for attack simply becasue of that or because my escort is gay, black, jewish, muslim, etc…

    I cannot protect against a person coming up to me in public whom I’ve never met before, and being taken off guard by an attack. Why would someone attack me?? Because some days I still look gay. I am not allowed to carry a concealed firearm. But I can take martial arts classes – I suppose. But I should be able walk with the same confidence as a straight white man through this society – if we are all a protected class?

    Straight white men do not look over their shoulder as much as others. (shaking my head I wonder – – why don’t people understand this?)

  • jayhuck

    EDDY –

    No one is talking about taking away gay rights – How many times do we need to say this??? Exodus is in the business of PREVENTING equal rights for gay people – and it is Mike’s responsibility, or yours, to PUT UP evidence to the contrary!

  • jayhuck

    Ann –

    Did you read the Wikipedia article on Hate Crimes? If not, you really need to. It gets to the heart of what a hate crime is – what it isn’t, and it cuts through all the rhetoric from both sides – before you make a decision either way, please read that article – Here it is again:

    The evidence FOR and AGAINST hate crimes is listed at the bottom of this article – and Timothy makes a good point, if you’re going to prevent gay people from having the protection of hate crimes laws, and if you really care about a level playing field, then you need to remove the hate crimes laws in place for African Americans and others –

    Here is the article:

    Hate Crimes Wiki Article

  • jayhuck

    Eddy,

    If Warren gave us more control to edit our resonses, I probably wouldn’t have had to submit so many – but we can’t on this blog, and I’m sorry, but my mind works in that segmented way – I’ll think of something else I want to say minutes or hours after I have submitted my last message –

    But thanks for asking 😉 – I will try to be more, um, concise

    J

  • jayhuck

    Eddy et al,

    I want to apologize for several things:

    1) Not for being so prolific, because many others write on here a great deal, but for submitting so many separate posts.

    2) For letting my anger show – I try not to do this, but sometimes I write “on the fly” and just don’t take the time to edit myself as I should. I respect the views of almost everyone on here – Eddy, I think you’re an intelligent and well-spoken individual – and you seem to be a person with strong values and beliefs, even if you do rush to Mike Ensley’s defense a little too quickly 😉

    3) I want to apologize to you specifically Eddy – and to others, if I have too often derailed the conversation – I’ve NEVER honestly meant to do this – my opinions are strong, especially when it comes to Exodus and politics – and I feel that if they weren’t so political, and that politics wasn’t so much a part of them now, there would be no need to discuss it, but if my opinions or comments are causing a problem, I’ll try and refrain and make an effort to stick to the topic at hand. Although, I hope you’ll forgive me and others if we can’t separate what Exodus does and what it says.

    I do want to say, before I end though, Eddy, that Mike is the one who hasn’t addressed the real issue, or put up the needed evidence. Wherever the idea came from that Exodus was “taking away” gay rights, the issue isn’t about that, and it never has been – not really – it has been with their (Exodus’) strong and deliberate efforts to undermine equal rights for gay people – not take away rights as someone, somewhere, at some time suggested.

    Well – at least I got this all into one post and not 20 :) Progress, not perfection, right? :)

    Jason

  • Eddy

    Thanks Jayhuck. You really can be quite articulate! Your latest post is a shining example. Keep up the good work. (Sorry, I’m winding down from a karaoke marathon and a ‘beautiful weather’ weekend. Can’t seem to work up any profundities. Maybe manana.)

  • http://www.wthrockmorton.com Warren

    Speaking of winding down, this thread seems to moving in that direction. I appreciate the dialogue here on this topic.

    I was/am ambivalent on the hate crimes direction the thread went. I personally am opposed (as is Timothy) to any hate crimes related extra penalties, so I feel no extra protection because religion is in a list of groups. If someone hates me because of my faith, I do not think an extra few years will deter them from attacking me. Correct me with data, if anyone has it, but that is what I think right now.

    If it is argued that hate crimes laws have some effect on cultural attitudes, I again would like to see some kind of evidence. Sadly, racial hatred seems to be keep the Southern Poverty Law Center in business as much now as ever. I read their report on racist websites on YouTube just days after I reported on them here.

  • Ann

    Hi Jayhuck,

    I do not want to ever exclude anyone from a hate crimes bill – ever. I want it to include everyone. In my opinion, no one is more important than another when it comes to crime. Thank you and Mary for your very articulate and thoughtful responses – I am on your side as well as all the other groups of people and individuals I have mentioned before regarding this. I guess I just think differently about how it should be done.

  • jayhuck

    Ann,

    AGAIN – please read the Wikipedia article and try to understand what a Hate Crime is. There is a pretty clear definition for it – you need to understand that before you go on :)

  • jayhuck

    Warren,

    I would direct you to the same Wiki article that I’ve been directing Ann – if there is any evidence For or Against Hate Crime legislation, it will be there – In fact, I think there is some there.

    Jason

  • Timothy Kincaid

    One last hate crimes comment. I was discussing hate crimes bills with a friend of mine this weekend and he made the argument that is, so far, the most compelling and while he did not convince me, it does make me think.

    He said that the best reason for hate crimes legislation is not for the murder or the beating or the horrific crimes. It is for the little crimes that can terrorize a group.

    Grafitti is not a big crime and does not have much penalty at all. But for the Jewish family that wakes up to find their house painted with Swasticas it can have lasting and horrifying effects. They now live in the shadow of fear, looking over their shoulders, never knowing if the kid bagging their groceries wants to hurt them.

    And if the perpetrator is caught, what do they get? Very little punishment at all for grafitti – certainly not in proportion to the harm they caused.

    Or the black kid in Nebraska that gets pelted with eggs from a car.

    Or anyone else who is subjected to terror for who they are, and not for anything they have done.

    Sadly, the bill being proposed only deals with violent crimes. But some states do recognize that group terrorism is not uncommon and that minorities should not be forced to live in fear while their tormentors go unpunished.

  • Eddy

    Timothy,

    I am glad you got to have that conversation. I’ve been a part of a number of targeted groups throughout my lifetime: very short, inept at contact sports, hippie/peace freak, gay, ‘brainy’, ex-gay, born-again Christian, Pentecostal. Things that ‘flip the triggers’ of the small-minded. Hate and intimidation find so many ways to play out short of actual violence.

  • Ann

    Hi Jayhuck,

    Thank you for being so persistant and doing it in a kind way – I appreciate your patience and will do as you ask and read what you suggested. Don’t think I will make any more comments on this subject though as it seems to have run it’s course – I have only spoken from my heart and from personal experience with targeted hate crime and appreciate everything you have said AND the way you have said it. Thank you.

  • jayhuck

    Eddy,

    I’ve been a part of targeted groups as well – as probably most of us on here have been I’ll bet 😉 – but I have to say, as caucasion man, I’ve never been in a group that is a violently attacked from so many different groups as the gay community is. There are different levels.

  • Mary

    Yeah – I guess that’s it Timothy – it is the terror that is instilled onto the individual who is targeted. That is more damaging than the actual attck sometimes.

    As a woman who was a lesbian – it is frightening. there are still some people out ther who believe that what a lesbian needs is a good —-, and they will take it where they can.

    Sorry, Warren but you are not there to hear the taunting cat calls from strangers on the street, in the store etc… You do not walk in fear.

  • jayhuck

    Ann,

    I don’t know you but you seem to have a genuinely good and inquisitive heart – I apologize if I’ve ever said anything in haste that has offended you :)

  • Ann

    Hi Jayhuck,

    Thank you for your kind and generous comment – no need to apologize – your comments have never been offensive to me as I know they haven’t been personally directed to hurt me in anyway – you have spoken with conviction and from knowledge and I only have respect for you. By the way :-) I read the article that you suggested and found the opposition argument to the proposed law very weak. The argument for it was much stronger. Thank you again for your patience and persistance in having me read it.

  • jag

    Ann,

    You stated

    “shouldn’t all bullying stop for everyone? I think a prostitute, homeless person, orphan, the disabled, the unwed mother, and those living in poverty deserve the same rights in this area as anyone else – why would their label be excluded and sexual orientation be included – isn’t this discrimminatory – do you really think this is fair or right? We are all the same when it comes to protection under law. Please don’t promote one individual over another”

    So, are you advocating that we revoke all protected classes…like those with disabilities, race, religion, sex, etc…?

    Religion is a choice, and yet we protect that group. Why do we do so over others?

    Just so you know, the above you mentioned ARE protected and given special protections…most places in the east coast anyway, have protections for those regardless of “socioeconomic standing” (homeless, prostitute, orphaned, poverty), gender/sex, orientation, religion, disability, etc..

    The laws often protect those who cannot protect themselves. You know, even when the majority believes something is wrong or should be persecuted, the law is instituted to protect them…

    Everyone should indeed be treated equally. Sadly, sometimes you have to legislate that.

  • Ann

    So, are you advocating that we revoke all protected classes…like those with disabilities, race, religion, sex, etc…?

    Hi Jag,

    No I am not advocating that at all.

  • Ann

    Everyone should indeed be treated equally. Sadly, sometimes you have to legislate that.

    Hi Jag,

    Fortunately or unfortunately I come from my heart on this and not from any group or advocacy position. I agree with your statement that everyone should be treated equally – or were you quoting me :-)

  • Steve

    I’d like to get back to the original topic–the APA task force and its potential fallout.

    Warrenwrote in one comment: “This is what we have. We do not have a representative sample of people who went into change therapy and then were followed long term with percentages of people who were helped and those were not. When we get that, we can talk a bit more intelligently about the impact. But now we don’t have it.

    So yes, metaphysics and values are key. Blustering that science should be accepted over religion assumes that we actually have relevant science.”

    and you made note that: “Psychodynamic practitioners in general trust case studies more than outcome research and reparative therapists are by and large psychodynamic.”

    But isn’t it true that case studies are, almost by definition, anecdotal. It’s easy to write case studies of the three “successful” patients and just say nothing about the three or thirty or three hundred or thirty thousand for whom the therapy didn’t work.

    Could the APA task force essentially put reparative therapy on probation–saying “put up or shut up” with the numbers already. Do the outcome studies and show us that this therapy works for most–or even a substantial minority–of patients who undergo it. You have three years to produce the peer-reviewed studies that show that the 100 success stories Robert Spitzer found aren’t all you have to show for the tens of thousands of patients you claim over the past 40 years.