PFOX President says Wayne Besen behind threats to his life

In an interview recently with Mark Sagraves of WDCW-TV, PFOX President and lobbyist for the New Jersey Family Policy Council, Greg Quinlan, said (at 10:32 in the interview):

Truth Wins Out if you look further, including Wayne Besen. He’s asked for people, you know, somebody needs to run Greg over. He needs to be hit with a bus. Somebody should inject him with AIDS. Those are the things that Wayne Besen and Truth Wins Out says about me. That’s pretty hateful rhetoric.

Really? Besen has said some critical and dismissive things about ex-gays but I’ve never heard anything like that. Quinlan may soon have to provide proof of that since Besen absolutely denies the charges and may sue for defamation.

There are other questionable aspects to Quinlan’s claims. In the interview, Quinlan says that both APAs say that sexuality is fluid (not really, they say identity can shift but that orientation is pretty fixed). He says he is not paid to be ex-gay (sorry, I know the history there, his reputation is founded on his status as an ex-gay). He says that is acceptable for him to refer to gays as “faggots” because it is acceptable for blacks to use the “N” word referring to themselves (I’ll let readers ponder that one).

When confronted with the fact that Richard Cohen was expelled from the American Counseling Association, Quinlan said at 11:40, “But he hasn’t lost his license.” To my knowledge, Richard never had a license and he certainly does not now. Then he told Sagraves that Richard has a 90% success rate helping people change. If Richard claims that, I have never seen it.

Quinlan misrepresents Bob Spitzer. He says Spitzer says, “people can change, if they choose to change and they are highly motivated.” This is just not right. I know Bob Spitzer and he thinks change is infrequent and that such change is not just a matter of choosing to do so.

Finally, Quinlan wants civil rights for ex-gays but not for gays. He accuses Dean Hamer of lying – probably also an actionable statement if Hamer were so inclined to follow up.

In the culture war, this may be a new low. If Quinlan cannot prove his charges against Besen and Hamer, he has disqualified himself as a spokesperson. He certainly has passed along misrepresentations on the subject he claims to know when he talked about Cohen, Spitzer and Hamer.

The culture war brings out a toxicity from some who claim to be Christian as if winning the culture war at any cost is the mission. I think this story resonates with me because I have been the target of accusations and action of late. Even my children have been the target of lies about them, because of animosity toward me.

In the past, have been attacked by both Besen and PFOX over my views, but, as far as I can recall, the only personal smears about me or my family have come from those claiming to be Christian.

In addition to whatever truth comes out, I also hope that a result is reflection which will lead to a decline in personal vilification.

 

 

  • Richard Willmer

    Well it does appear that untruthful personal attacks are rather the ‘stock-in-trade’ of the ‘anti-gay mob’. Such attacks are also symptomatic of ‘christipartylineanity’.

    Those of us on the Common Lectionary used by Catholics and Anglicans have been hearing Gospel readings from Matthew 25 these past few weeks; these are not about ‘party lines’, but personal responsibility.

  • StraightGrandmother

    Alright alright her comes StraightGrandmother, the movable Middle. Warren you said,

    There are other questionable aspects to Quinlan’s claims. In the interview, Quinlan says that both APAs say that sexuality is fluid (not really, they say identity can shift but that orientation is pretty fixed). He says he is not paid to be ex-gay (sorry, I know the history there, his reputation is founded on his status as an ex-gay). He says that is acceptable for him to refer to gays as “faggots” because it is acceptable for blacks to use the “N” word referring to themselves (I’ll let readers ponder that one).

    Where is the rest of the interview. I only found the clip on Truth Wins Out where GQ (interesting initials don’t you think?) is attacking Wayne Beeson of Truth Wins Out. Where is the rest of the stuff you are mentioning?

    Warrren =

    The culture war brings out a toxicity from some who claim to be Christian as if winning the culture war at any cost is the mission. I think this story resonates with me because I have been the target of accusations and action of late. Even my children have been the target of lies about them, because of animosity toward me.

    StraightGrandmother = Well Warren, maybe since you and your family have been smeared, maybe, just maybe, you can relate a little bit about what life must be like for sexual minorities. They are ridiculed, disparaged, maligned and fired from their jobs every day, every.single.day.They are personally ridiculed and attacked daily.

    Now the accusations towards you may be different and the exact words different but maybe Warren, just maybe, the prejudice (“not Orhodoxy enough” and remember I had to go look up that word) and intolerance for a different life/ or point of view is THE SAME. How does it feel to be on the receiving end Warren? Serious question (not said mockingly but seriously), how does it feel to be on the receiving end?

    I have always understood the gay or lesbian couple fighting for respect for their children. Needing and wanting to legally and physically protect their children. “Hey big boy if you want to fight, take it out on me but leave my children alone.” I get that, I am after all a grandmother.

    I have to admit I was open about PFOX (movable middle), not knowing anything really about them. I read their website and just assumed that they lived the values they expressed on their website. I remember reading, “We are not anti gay” But the leader of PFOX calling people, the gay slur F word. I guess truly we can see that their actions speak louder than their words.

  • StraightGrandmother

    Warren I am in moderation purgatory

  • sam

    Warren, how can you be sure that Quinlan and PFOX don’t want civil rights for gays? Were they advocating for abolishing pride parades and firing openly gay teachers from public schools? Were they calling for recriminalization of sodomy? The only thing I know they are against same-sex marriage, like many other conservative groups. As far as I can see, defining marriage as one man/one woman is not depriving gays of civil rights they already have under our Constitution. I’m assuming you see it differently. If you are supporting same-sex marriage, that’s your right and I can respect that, but I find it very illogical for calling people who are against same-sex marriage being against civil rights for gays.

    Also, I’m sure you are aware of the vile things Wayne Besen has done towards the people from the exgay movement, and in my opinion, he is the mirror opposite of Scott Lively, so I don’t understand why are you abetting him? He has a reputation of using harsh language towards the people who believe that change is possible, so it’s quite possible to assume that he has made personal verbal threats to Quinlan and PFOX, but the latter does not have it on record. Besen is very skillful, you know. Even so, I find it’s premature to think that the PFOX and Quinlan are perpetrators and not the victims. I’ve been following their website and I found more compassion from them instead of so much angry rants and demonization coming from Truthwinsout and other liberal gay rights groups, who claim to be seeking civil rights, but as far as I can see, seeking silencing exgays and Christians. With that being said, I don’t understand, why are you cutting the latter so much slack?

  • http://northdallasthirty.blogspot.com North Dallas Thirty

    Actually, we should also consider the sort of statements considered appropriate by Wayne Besen and his Truth Wins Out organization.

    Such as:

    We all know that the writers at GayPatriot are self-loathing, awful people, indeed, embarrassments to LGBT people everywhere.

    Apparently Nick is either too old and senile to remember the fact the started getting boners looking at the underpants ads in the Sears Catalog at age twelve, or he’s just so eaten up by guilt that he’s bought into the entire Religious Right garbage about sexual orientation that he actually thinks he chose to be a self-hating faggot at age 25.

    When Nick says “gay Left,” understand that he’s lashing out, like Daniel, at all the men who don’t want to have sex with him, or talk to him, and definitely have tricked him into going to several hundred alternate locations in his time.

    Because if these are our emissaries to the conservative movement in the United States, we should sooner let them fester like the boils they are until the movement finally teabags itself into oblivion, because they do nothing but harm for the lives of LGBT people in this country, as they don’t fight for us, but rather, as Tintin said at Sadly, No! (yeah, I’m going to quote part of it, brace yourself if you can’t handle potty words), they

    will sell out other gay people in order to curry the favor of straight Republicans who pat [them] on the head every now but then call [them] cock-sucking heels-in-the-air fudge-packed girlie-[men] behind [their] back[s].

    The interesting thing, Professor Throckmorton, is that you seem quite unaware of the personal smears and lies hat Wayne Besen and Truth Wins Out engage in regularly. Question: will you now tut-tut at them and insist that their use of such lies and smears disqualifies them as spokespersons?

  • William

    Whatever, Wayne Besen has not said that somebody needs to run Greg Quinlan over; that he needs to be hit with a bus; or that somebody should inject him with AIDS. Those things were lies.

    I am, of course, not only shocked but absolutely astonished that the president of an organization like POX should actually tell lies, but there it is.

  • William

    Sorry, I meant PFOX of course, not POX.

  • Mary

    Wayne Besen has said some pretty outright mean things to people. I would not doubt if he said those things about Quinlan. Maybe not on paper or blog but it sure does fit his m.o.

  • http://www.truthwinsout.org Wayne Besen

    Mary and North Dallas Thirty:

    Your commentary is absolutely disgusting and speaks to your lack of integrity and character. I have never threatened anyone, nor called for any of my opponents to be whacked. To spread such smears by innuendo is outrageous.

    In 2011, Truth Wins Out has been threatened by the New Black Panthers, mentioned on a KKK’s website, I was falsely accused by the leader of Homosexuals Anonymous of being HIV+ (I’m not), subjected to a gross fabrication by Greg Quinlan, and had that awful Linda Harvey threaten a lawsuit. I have been trashed in books by Matt “Bam Bam” Barber and that silly Dr. Michael Brown in Charlotte.

    In other years I have won Porno Pete’s “Gay Grinch Award” and been called by Focus on the Family its “most vociferous opponent.”

    I mention this not to play victim — but to say that I am quite proud of the motley collection of undesirables and hate groups that attack me and my organization. When I die I will be judged by the friends and enemies I’ve made. I think when one looks at the two lists I will come out looking quite well.

    The people I go after are hate-mongers and scoundrels that deserve to be held accountable and taken to task. The fact that I am always up for a good rumble and won’t back down from the Religious Right’s bullies has earned me the scorn of certain people. But at no time have I threatened anyone. To suggest otherwise is slander and defamation. Period.

    I think the record of Truth Wins Out is pretty damn good. Perhaps, the only time we got it wrong was with Dr. Warren Throckmorton. While we felt that we had good reason to distrust him at the beginning, it took us way too long to see that we were wrong. I personally regret this and am sorry that I misjudged him.

    But other than Warren’s case, I think we have pretty much been on-target with our commentary.

  • Lynn David

    North Dallas Thirty……. The interesting thing, Professor Throckmorton, is that you seem quite unaware of the personal smears and lies hat Wayne Besen and Truth Wins Out engage in regularly. Question: will you now tut-tut at them and insist that their use of such lies and smears disqualifies them as spokespersons?

    Speaking an opinion in hyperbolic terms is no where near the same as speaking lies about someone. If it were people like Ann Coulter among others would have been bankrupted by lawsuits long ago.

  • http://northdallasthirty.blogspot.com North Dallas Thirty

    Your commentary is absolutely disgusting and speaks to your lack of integrity and character.

    Considering I merely quoted what was written on your own website, Wayne Besen, you perhaps ought to consider what exactly it is you’re putting up there.

    Meanwhile, given your organization’s endorsement and support of this, you are beyond hilarious. Your organization endorsed saying, quote:

    Dan says all this stuff because the probability that any gay man would ever give enough of a shit about Dan to visit him in a hospital, much less to have a relationship with him, is remote — as remote as the possibility that Dan will ever have sex with anyone other than a blind leper in a darkened truck stop in rural Alabama, and even then the leper will have to down a fifth of Jack Daniel’s before he can bring himself to do it. Fuck you, Dan, you wretched, illiterate prick.

    Your organization also stated about this, quote, “suffice it to say that everything he said is true, and then some”.

    The mask is being ripped off, and people are starting to see the disgusting things that you and your Truth Wins Out organization support and endorse, including linking to and praising websites that refer to Barack Obama as the “Negro-in-Chief”.

  • Richard Willmer

    Given all the vitriol chucked at LGB & T people over the years, I think that rights campaigners are generally pretty reasonable in how they oppose those who would wish to harm them and the people they seek to support.

    In a sense, this is war; sometimes unpalatable things are said by both sides. It does seem to me that the kinds of things said by the ‘anti-gays’ are notable for a particularly pernicious brand of ‘vicious falsehood’ (e.g. “gays are a threat to children” … that kind of thing).

  • Mary

    WB,

    I have read with my own eyes some absolutely vulgar statemnts made by you. Think what you want of yourself – because we all prefer to think better of ourselves. I really don’t care. You are vulgar and mean.

  • Richard Willmer

    Maybe those statements are vulgar, Mary, but I suspect that they do not promote hatred in the way that many statements issued by the ‘anti-gay brigade’ can. For me, that is the key difference between them.

  • StraightGrandmother

    Sam, did you listen to the whole interview Greg Quinlan gave? http://www.dc50tv.com/news/newsplus/wdcw-greg-quinlan-full-interview-story-20111007,0,3475797.story

    Near the end of the interview he talks extensively about Civil Rights for sexual minorities. He claims that sexual orientation is not immutable therefore sexual minorities should not have Civil Rights, categorically. He doesn’t go into the word marriage at all.

    Looking at the practical applications of his stance is that it is okay to deny housing, or fire a sexual minority from their job. GQ was pretty clear that there should be NO civil rights for sexual minorities. This is not how they write on their website, they say they are not anti-gay but they sure don’t live out those values I don’t think.

  • Mary

    RW,

    It seems to go with his m.o. He has said some very mean things – not just vulgar.

    I am so sorry that so called christians have said vulgar and mean things to gay people. I expect better. Am exgay and a christian and am appalled at how the christian church can behave at times.

    I don’t expect better from others, certainly not the aforementioned.

  • http://wthrockmorton.com Warren

    Wow, I go away for the better part of the day and look what happens.

    I am not interested in getting into any other disputes so I have deleted some comments which relate to disputes between other people.

    Even if the things said by anonymous posters were true, it is not relevant to what Greg Quinlan has alleged. Quinlan didn’t just criticize or badmouth his opponents, he said they were seeking a way to kill him. This is a serious charge and one which must be addressed by PFOX and the NJFPC.

    An important point for me as an evangelical is not what others do, it is what is done in the name of Christianity. Others can comment on people who do not claim to be in that faith, I will stick to what I feel is important.

    I am moderating most comments on this thread, although I will say that some got though for reasons I cannot figure out.

  • http://Www.truthwinsout.org Wayne Besen

    Mary:

    Want to talk about mean? My “criminal record” consists of two barely over the speed limit tickets more than a decade ago. Yet, you use innuendo to tie me to attempted murder. Classy. A real “Christian.” I’m overwhelmed by your morality.

    Indeed, Mary the so-called “ex-gay”, we are inclined to think better of ourselves. You are living proof.

  • StraightGrandmother

    I think this is pretty nice what Wayne Beeson said,

    I think the record of Truth Wins Out is pretty damn good. Perhaps, the only time we got it wrong was with Dr. Warren Throckmorton. While we felt that we had good reason to distrust him at the beginning, it took us way too long to see that we were wrong. I personally regret this and am sorry that I misjudged him.

    I think that what comes through in your blog articles is that we feel you have scientific integrity. Possibly we won’t agree on political issues like Marriage Equality but as far as the science of sexual orientation you are a man of scientific integrity. It is not any one thing you wrote but a accumulation of thoughtful and researched articles that leads me, and now Wayne Beeson, to believe this way. I am sorry you, and particularly sorry your family, is being attacked for your scientific work. I hope you can withstand the pressure and continue your work.

  • Frank

    Mary, you’re in the habit of judging people you don’t know based on very little evidence. If Wayne Besen ever sues you for defamation of character, your best defense is that no one takes you seriously anyway.

  • Mary

    I did not tie you to attempted murder WB. I said – the language and the comments fits your m.o.

    As far as I know you have not attempted any murder.

  • Boo

    Mary and North Dallas Thiry- saying “mean” thing about people and saying slanderous things about people are quite different. It is dishonest of both of you to try and equate them. Notice that Wayne’s possible lawsuit will involve specifically Quinlan’s false allegations of threats on his life, not Quinlan’s use of “faggot.”

  • http://www.truthwinsout.org Wayne Besen

    Mary says: “the language and the comments fits your m.o.”

    You mean the language and comments that are the subject of this post: That I allegedly want to whack Greg Quinlan.

    Nice try.

    M. — I’m done engaging you on this topic. Quinlan traffics in fabrications. You deal in thinly veiled innuendo. And then you try to spin your nastiness — which no one on here is buying and everyone can see through.

    Finally, who the heck in North Dallas 30 other than an Internet nuisance that gets banned from most sites? Say what you want about my opinions — at least I use my real name when I offer them and have accountability. I don’t not hide behind some obvious hook-up screen name like NorthDallas30. Jesus, grow up and have some class. Pick a screen name that reflects who you really are — instead of cowering behind a fake Internet persona.

    I’m also done dealing with you. I talk to real people, not phantom screen names ft for M4M dating sites.

  • Mary

    Anyhow… WB… I’m not defending Quinlan…nor exgays… nor christians…. nor you.

    And just for the record, I do support gay rights and marriage equality.

  • http://aebrain.blogspot.com Zoe Brain

    Wayne Benson – please consider being kinder. I know it’s hard, I know it’s certainly not fair – but you know what? It might be more effective.

    Are you doing this to rage against the INJUSTICE, to go amok and postal at all the crap, the hypocricy, the cruelty, the malice, the hatred, and everything else that makes me want to scream in inchoate rage too?

    Or are you trying to do something about it? Not merely to vent, but to help?

    I know it’s trite, it’s corny, it’s a nauseating cliche – but I’ve found that if you can transmute your anger into compassion (and that’s a really difficult trick sometimes), then it’s more effective. It helps to have a realistic appraisal of one’s own human fallibility. By forgiving oneself for being merely human, it becomes impossible not to forgive others.

    Oh it’s fun to give them both barrels at times, lashing them (as they so richly deserve), either with The Insult Direct, or subtle wit. It’s not always wrong either, I have been known to use snark myself, but only as a method of communication to penetrate otherwise invincible snobbery. But it’s usually not constructive, and may do harm.

    If you’re just doing this to vent, go ahead, you’re doing a good job of it. If you’re trying to make the situation better though, may I ask you to re-consider. Then do as you see fit, for I have no right to tell you what you should be doing, all I can do is point out consequences, and options you (and only you) may wish to consider.

    Good luck with the lawsuit, by the way.

  • http://aebrain.blogspot.com Zoe Brain

    Warren – sometimes I marvel at your innocence and naivity.

    In the culture war, this may be a new low.

    Not even remotely close. Not within lightyears.

    See for exanple this:

    http://www.lgbtqnation.com/2011/11/they-publicly-prayed-for-my-death/

    The culture war brings out a toxicity from some who claim to be Christian as if winning the culture war at any cost is the mission.

    Well yes, and water’s wet too. Of course they believe that winning is everything, the end justifies the means. It brings out the worst on the other side too, but as they don’t claim Divine Sanction for their actions, there are limits. When you’re just implementing His will, there is no atrocity too abominable, no cruelty that’s unjustifiable – why, if you don’t harden your heart, God will smite you instead.

    That’s part of mainstream Evangelical religious belief, along with belief in the reality of evil spirits, demons, witches, possession etc.

    You may follow Christ’s teachings, but if you don’t buy into all the religious accretion around it, then you cannot in all honesty call yourself an Evangelical Christian, not the way that term is commonly understood both by the majority of Evangelicals, and those outside. Instead, you’re what an Evangelical Christian should be.

    I think this story resonates with me because I have been the target of accusations and action of late. Even my children have been the target of lies about them, because of animosity toward me.

    I’m sorry about that. Not so much about you, you’re a Big Boy who can look after himself (though it’s unjust that you have to). No, it’s the verbal attacks on your children that I’m most upset about.

    Be careful too. I know it’s really unlikely, you have what is called “cis-gender privilege”, but such verbal attacks have been known to escalate into physical ones. Firebombing for example. The risk is probably really low, possibly negligible for you and your family, but please believe me when I tell you that not everyone is in your fortunate position there.

    Be careful, OK? Tell your kids to just be a little more aware of their surroundings, without letting it worry them overmuch. They’re more likely to get harrassed because of anonymous (and completely mendacious) tip-offs to local police or the IRS., petty vandalism, fictitious complaints made to employers etc.

    In the past, have been attacked by both Besen and PFOX over my views, but, as far as I can recall, the only personal smears about me or my family have come from those claiming to be Christian.

    Since it appears we have conflicting views over Trans issues, with your permission I’ll get all of the casting of aspersions towards you over in one hit.

    Ready?

    “Sir, you are an apogenous, bovaristic, coprolalial, dasypygal, excerebrose, facinorous, gnathonic, hircine, ithyphallic, jumentous, kyphotic, labrose, mephitic, napiform, oligophrenial, papuliferous, quisquilian, rebarbative, saponaceous, thersitical, unguinous, ventripotent, wlatsome, xylocephalous, yirning zoophyte.”

    OK, now that’s over, let the debate begin, in a spirit of cameradery, wit, and friendship.

  • Richard Willmer

    Mary

    For me, the point is the difference between ‘vulgar’ and ‘defamatory’ and/or ‘hate-promoting’. Suggesting that someone would need to be drunk to want to sleep with me is ‘vulgar’ (though it may be true, of course!); suggesting that I am a threat to children, or am seeking to bring about someone’s death, would be defamatory and/or hate-promoting.

    Zoe

    I will really have to use some of those lovely words …

    What did they mean again?! :-)

  • http://aebrain.blogspot.com Zoe Brain

    Richard Willmer -

    In plainer terms, the abecedarian insult states:

    “Sir, you are an impotent, conceited, obscene, hairy-buttocked, brainless, wicked, toadying, goatish, indecent, stable-smelling, hunch-backed, thick-lipped, stinking, turnip-shaped, feeble-minded, pimply, trashy, repellent, smarmy, foul-mouthed, greasy, gluttonous, loathsome, wooden-headed, whining, extremely low form of animal life.”

  • http://aebrain.blogspot.com Zoe Brain

    A Parable.

    It’s relevant, because I wish to provide some contrast with the actions described in Warren’s post.

    In the last 24-36 hours, I’ve seen our community come together from different parts of the world to help one of our own, and I am truly thankful.

    Long story short, an 18 year old trans girl, kicked out by her parents, was unsafe and on the streets of a small town in Kentucky. No food, no money, no phone, no friends. She was able to borrow a computer long enough to contact me through email, and what I can only call a blessing began to unfold.

    Through the power of Facebook and online networking, people from all over, including the UK & Mexico, came together to get this young gal onto a Greyhound bus, and enough food & beverages at various bus stops along the way to make it through to Phoenix where she will arrive in the early morning hours tonight to live at H.O.P.E. House.

    This is not the first time we’ve brought someone to Phoenix on a Greyhound, nor even the first time we’ve had people help us; in the past it was with donations to pay for her bus ticket. This time, however, people stepped up and gave their time and energy to continue networking until contact could be made with the girl to get her something to eat during the trip at stops along the way.

    So many of us lose our families and friends simply because we are trans. We reach out to our only true family, our “Chosen Family” – other trans men and women who are there to help support us and give us faith.

    Thank you to everyone who has been, and continues to be through today, involved in making this journey to Phoenix a very special one. Thank you for stepping up and being there for someone in need. You are ALL AWESOME!

    The events described happened less than 72 hours ago. Unlike most parables, which are often allegorical, this one is literally true.

    I leave readers to think on that parable: to add commentary would be superfluous.

  • stephen

    This ‘Help I’m Being Oppressed and Threatened by Evil Gays’ seems to be the new tack being taken by the anti-gay industry, the Catholic church, FRC, and the rest of them. The lavishly-funded anti-gay movement is being ‘rebranded’, as they say, into a fight for religious freedom. This is the reason NOM gives for refusing to release its donor lists, a reason repeatedly denied by courts. Indeed, the anti-gay entrepreneur Maggie Gallagher, has spun off a new group entirely devoted to promoting the idea that gay people are out to harm Christians. In its first couple of months they’ve managed to locate 5 or 6, none of whom have been actually harmed and one of whom is Canadian. The remarks by this Quinlan person fit entirely into this argument.

    I for one have never found anything wrong about the tone or tenor of Mr. Besen’s writing and am deeply appreciative of the vast amount of effort he expends merely keeping himself in the game and wish him nothing but god fortune for the coming year. I would only beg him to think long and hard before taking any legal action against someone who can only stand to gain from any notoriety others can grant him. He and his organization are completely irrelevant. Certainly they’re not worth spending the time and money – to say nothing of the effort – involved that a law suit would bring. I would suggest instead that he might try to think of it as a badge of honor, not unlike Brad Pitt being defamed by supermarket tabloids. That he has taken the trouble to single out Wayne Besen by name for slander means that Mr. Besen is doing something right.

    I’m now off to TWO to see if I can make a donation to help Mr. Besen fight the good fight.

  • Ralph

    Wow! this is really getting to be off the wall. Very sad that Christians are involved in this nasty exchange.

    For the record, Richard Cohen and and those who work for his International Healing Foundation (which is incorporated in the state of Washington not Maryland) practice as “coaches” (Certified Sexual Reorientation Coach, certified by Richard Cohen/ IHF, not the State of Maryland) a category that is not regulated in the State of Maryland and therefore, no license is required. Also, it is highly unlikely that Richard Cohen would be given a license in any of the 50 states or Territories because he was permanently expelled from the American Counseling Association in 2001 for multiple violations of the Ethical Code and all of the state agencies keep this on file.

  • David

    Just wanted to give Wayne Besen some credit for acknowledging that he made a wrong call on Dr. Throckmorton and extending an apology for that. That shows real class, something that is in short supply among culture warriors. Throckmorton is a very rare bird – a man who approaches controversial questions with honesty, integrity and humility.

    99.9% of culture war commentary is nothing more than spin. The participants pretty much say the same thing year after year, and no new study or survey or real world events alter their tune. Rare indeed is the individual who is willing to weigh the evidence and draw conclusions from that evidence, even when such conclusions clash with his expectations. I wonder if GCC fully appreciates him.

    • http://wthrockmorton.com Warren

      David – Thanks, appreciate it. I appreciate Wayne’s comments as well. You outline well why I think the culture war is troubling.

  • StraightGrandmother

    Dave, what is GCC? thx

  • http://www.comingout4christians.net Dave

    SG … FYI: GCC = Grove City College .. the college that Warren teaches at.

  • StraightGrandmother

    Zoe provided a good link to an article on John Shore’s book

    “Wings on a Pig: Why the “Christian” View of Gays Doesn’t Work”

    available at Amazon. It is a Kindle book, I guess it will be paperback next month but if you don’t have a Kindle (I don’t) Amazon has a free app you can download on your computer and read Kindle Books on your computer. The book is only $9.95 and I read it in less than a day today. It is a real good book! It is letters written to John responding to his Wings on a Pig blog article. I commented on that article at the time, boy what a discussion that was. Interspersed are John Shore’s thoughts on the matter of religion and sexual minorities.

    The personal stories people write talk about these subjects on Warren’s blog, the intersection of orthodoxy (I hope I used the term correctly, it is a new word I learned) homosexuality and the ability to change sexual orientation.

    People write about going to therapy, and Exodus is mentioned several times and how that worked for them (NOT!). I am trying to say it is all the players we talk about here, on Warren’s blog but as described in the first person by people who are gay, lesbian and bi-sexual. As a heterosexual I found it very enlightening. I am always willing to learn and the book taught me a lot especially the profound impact religion has on these people’s lives.

  • stephen

    Warren, there is no culture war. There is the vastly funded assault on all kinds of civil liberties and progress from the extreme right which has allied itself with the more extreme Protestant denominations. To have a war you need to have two sides wishing to fight. Gay Americans wish to be left alone. Instead we must endure the daily assaults from Tony Perkins et al. We are the single greatest fund raising tool the extreme rights has. They raise hundreds of millions off our backs. We now have a new kind of entrepreneurship in the US: the anti-gay entrepreneur. The anti-gay extremists declared it to be a ‘culture war’ to make it look as if there are two sides to what is a religion driven mania on the right. The rest of us merely want to get on with our lives without having to listen to Phyllis Schlaffley ranting about whatever it is she thinks will be most profitable.

  • StraightGrandmother

    I dunno Stephen, when attacked people fight back so I too think it is a culture war. I am more inclined to believe that now with the power of the internet sexual minorities (and even people like me) have access to information and are able to join up with each other to fight back for their civil rights. I agree with you that sexual minorities want to be left alone to enjoy their life and pursue personal liberty. The fight is obviously the laws that infringe on the Liberty Rights of sexual minorities. The only way to secure those rights is to fight back.

    I wonder Stephen if you are situated in a state that already has extended significant Liberty Rights (example legal two gay parent child adoptions) or if you are writing from an abysmal rights state like Texas, Mississippi, Alabama, Virginia etc.?

  • StraightGrandmother

    I went back and re-listened to Greg Quinlans interview where he talks about the Netherlands study. I wanted to know if it was the same study I have read about before. It is. In his interview Greg says that in the Netherlands married men had 7 to 8 gay affairs, and the highest rate of AIDS was in partnered men. I wrote down his comments and then searched and this is the same study Box Turtle Bulletin unpacks for us. Thank BTB now I don’t have to go and look up the information

    http://www.boxturtlebulletin.com/Articles/000,003.htm

    The more I listen to the Greg Quinlan interview the more I am certain that he really s against sexual minorities. He is not neutral like PFOX says on their website. Instead of just talking about ex-gays and educating on that topic, his organization, he literally goes after gays tearing them down.

    He didn’t have to do that. He could have said that his focus was not on sexual minorities but rather on people who have changed their orientation to heterosexual. He sure strayed off of his organizations message I thought. He didn’t have to bring up the flawed Netherlands study or talk about constitutional rights for sexual minorities he could have simply re-directed the conversation to what he was there for to talk about his organization. The biggest eye opener to me was when he advocated denying civil rights to sexual minorities. That point of view does not have anything to do with his organization. We have it on video there is no dispute PFOX IS anti-gay.

  • StraightGrandmother

    I am in moderation purgatory.

  • Richard Willmer

    I agree with SG. This is war … on several fronts. One such ‘front’ is the defence of true religion from attacks by those who wish to distort the aforementioned with lies and hatred.

    In war, harsh thing are may be said. The important point that these things are, as far as they can be, just and truthful.

  • Mary

    He didn’t have to do that. He could have said that his focus was not on sexual minorities but rather on people who have changed their orientation to heterosexual. He sure strayed off of his organizations message I thought. He didn’t have to bring up the flawed Netherlands study or talk about constitutional rights for sexual minorities he could have simply re-directed the conversation to what he was there for to talk about his organization. The biggest eye opener to me was when he advocated denying civil rights to sexual minorities. That point of view does not have anything to do with his organization. We have it on video there is no dispute PFOX IS anti-gay

    I totally agree.

  • stephen

    SG,

    I live in NY where my marriage is recognized. In all our years of living here my husband and I have very seldom met with any overt prejudice. When we have we’ve called it out and have almost always been treated with respect. My husband and I are well known at the local hospital, our living wills, etc, are on file, and no one has any problem with that at our Catholic hospital.

    There is no such thing as a culture war if you ain’t got any culture.

  • Jayhuck

    Richard,

    I agree with SG. This is war … on several fronts. One such ‘front’ is the defence of true religion from attacks by those who wish to distort the aforementioned with lies and hatred.

    I agree with this sentiment to an extent, but I would like to think that there is just as much room for people who believe being gay is a “sin” as there is for those who believe otherwise. I think when we make laws protecting gay people we also need to be mindful that those who disagree with us are also protected. Not that that protection extends to them being able to commit hate crimes, or anything of that nature, but that their freedom of conscience is protected, their freedom to believe that practicing homosexuality is a “sin”. All this while all people, all couples, gay and straight, are afforded the same protections and rights.

  • Jayhuck

    SG -

    We have it on video there is no dispute PFOX IS anti-gay

    Was there ever any doubt? ;)

  • http://funfrotfacts.blogspot.com Throbert McGee

    He needs to be hit with a bus. Somebody should inject him with AIDS. Those are the things that Wayne Besen and Truth Wins Out says about me.

    What’s the comments-moderation policy at truthwinsout.org? I mean, are all the comments screened before they appear live on the site, or do comments get auto-posted, with inappropriate stuff removed post hoc, but only if and when someone notices it?

    The possibility occurs to me that Quinlan may be conflating Wayne Besen (as the owner of the TWO blog) with crude remarks left by anonymous visitors to Besen’s website — a common tactic in Internet political wars. And I mean “common” in the British “dead common” sense, too…

  • Patrocles

    My personal objection against Besen is not that he’s aggressive or vulgar, but that he’s a terrible psychologist and that he spreads bad psychology.

    He’s able to explain to you every ex-gay on earth, even without having spoken with him – and most readers will never question his explanations!

    But (different from Warren Throckmorton) he’s not the guy to understand that there is nearly always more than one possible explanation and that we have to make a reasonable choice between different possibilities (I admit that that kind of style would destroy his appeal as a rhetorician).

  • Patrocles

    Warren,

    I don’t doubt the difference between your personal atttacks from gay activists and Christian Right activists.

    But the situations under which you were attacked are hardly comparable. In your “first life” you have done some good work in shattering the scientific claims of Hamer and the like. (I don’t know how you think about that now). But from the view of a gay activist you were hardly one of the big targets.

    But try to imagine that you had once been a worthy member of the gay activist community and then “betrayed” them, “deserting” to the Christian Right. The personal hurt of the people who felt betrayed would have been much stronger and the atttacks more vitriolic.

  • Mary

    And far be it from WB to reprimand someone – unless they said something he disagredd with …..

    His blog ….. his control. He certainly asserted enough on other kinds of comments.

  • Jayhuck

    Patro -

    But try to imagine that you had once been a worthy member of the gay activist community and then “betrayed” them, “deserting” to the Christian Right. The personal hurt of the people who felt betrayed would have been much stronger and the atttacks more vitriolic.

    Really? How do you know they would be more “vitriolic”? This kind of stuff that comes from you has no basis in reality or fact, you just spew them out. Please don’t equate Wayne with a majority of the “Gay Activist” community as you call it either – that’s not honest or fair. So what do you mean by this?

  • Jayhuck

    Patro -

    but that he’s a terrible psychologist and that he spreads bad psychology.

    As far as I know, Wayne is not a psychologist, he’s just someone who used to identify as ex-gay.

  • Jayhuck

    Mary,

    And far be it from WB to reprimand someone – unless they said something he disagredd with …..

    I agree. I become more disenchanted with Wayne the more I read his posts. He’s seems like a smart guy but his posts come across as being nothing more than childish name calling. I appreciate some of the work he does but he needs to quit with the grade-school verbal attacks.

  • http://aebrain.blogspot.com Zoe Brain

    Another contrast to the cruel words being banded about:

    http://youtu.be/_TBd-UCwVAY

  • http://pamshouseblend.firedoglake.com Autumn Sandeen

    I so sorry to hear about the unseemly behavior towards your family and you from your peer Christians. As a trans woman, I know the most unseemly behavior I’m on the receiving end of comes from my peer trans women.

    That seems a commentary about the human tendency to police values that are improperly surmised to be the values of an entire, broader community, doesn’t it?

  • Michael Bussee

    As far as I know, Wayne is not a psychologist, he’s just someone who used to identify as ex-gay.

    I can’t recall that Wayne has ever claimed to be a psychologist or “ex-gay”. Angry at the misinformation, anti-gay politics, bad science, false promises and psychological harm done by the “ex-gay/reparative therapy” industry? Yes. He pulls no punches about that.

  • http://exgaywatch.com David Roberts

    A recent quote from Quinlan:

    “Homo-fascism and sexual anarchy deny real liberty and have zero tolerance for free speech or deeply held religious beliefs. Particularly when real cogent science supports and confirms those beliefs. Homosexuality is not a civil right. Homosexuality is not innate or immutable. For the sake of all children we have to stop the homosexual agenda in government schools.”

    So no, without a doubt, neither Quinlan or PFOX (of which he is President) believe in civil rights for gays. It’s also obvious that they tack the “and Gays” on the end of their name for appearances only, they are not nor have they ever been friends of gays.

    Jayhuck, it’s not my job to defend Besen — he can do that for himself — but I would have to say that his words are normally aimed at those who are actively engaged in deception, fraud, or harm to the LGBTs. The individual who does not want to live according to their sexual orientation, for whatever reason, is not usually on his radar. He may disagree with their motivation, but the real heat is aimed at people like Quinlan who simply do not listen to reason, and use lies in an attempt to slander gays and limit their rights in our society.

    That said, what Besen has or has not said is irrelevant, save what Quinlan accuses him of. The post is about statements by Quinlan, so discussing Besen’s general demeanor does little more than distract from the topic.

  • Mary

    Zoe,

    Yes that is a very good comment!!! It gets the point across that we all need to make connections with people and it doesn’t matter if someone is gay. The feelings to connect are strong.

  • Jayhuck

    David Roberts -

    Jayhuck, it’s not my job to defend Besen — he can do that for himself — but I would have to say that his words are normally aimed at those who are actively engaged in deception, fraud, or harm to the LGBTs.

    I’ve never had a problem with *what* he does, its how he often does it that bothers me at times. I reviewed some of his recent posts on this blog, which I found reminiscent of some of the stuff I’ve read on TWO, and I was less than impressed.

  • Jayhuck

    or “ex-gay”.

    Ah, well, thanks for clearing this up Michael :)

  • http://aebrain.blogspot.com Zoe Brain

    A note about PO Autumn Sandeem, formerly of the USN, a veteran disabled by her service.

    She offered herself up for arrest by DC Police authorities, along with a half-dozen GLB servicepeople, in non-violent protest as part of the successful effort to repeal DADT. The pressure they put on the White House tipped the balance. Had she not done so, DADT would still be law.

    She did this knowing that as a Trans woman, she would likely to be subject to indignities, deliberate humiliation, and overt persecution her fellow protestors would not – as indeed she was.

    She did this knowing full well that Trans and Intersex people would be, and remain, excluded from service. The repeal of DADT did not cover them. Us. There was nothing in it for her.

    She did this because it was the right thing to do.

    Naturally, such an act of courage, self-sacrifice, and principle has not gone unpunished by those who passed by the wayside.

    Please contrast her actions, her deeds, of charity, Caritas, with the words spoken and written by both sides in this spiteful battle.

  • http://exgaywatch.com David Roberts

    The pressure they put on the White House tipped the balance. Had she not done so, DADT would still be law.

    Recognizing what they (and she) did is one thing, but this claim seems overarching and entirely unverifiable. It also tends to minimize the tireless, dedicated, altruistic efforts of so many others in this fight. Suffice to say that they did what they thought was right and at a personal cost. I realize it took guts, but the end of DADT certainly is a necessary step if trans men and women will one day also be able to serve.

    @Jayhuck

    I understand that you disagree with his style — XGW does not write that way either. I’m just suggesting that, like it or not, someone probably has to. There is an element on the anti-gay side that does not respond to anything else. I would have to say that, agree or disagree, I’m glad he is there and doing what he does.

  • StraightGrandmother

    David Roberts, thank you very much for that quote from Greg Quinlan. So I followed your link which took me to his Facebook page and I looked at his Facebook Friends.

    Of course I wasn’t surprised to see that he is buddies with Brian Brown and Maggie Gallagher of NOM then for some reason the Name Carmen Pate caught my eye from Truth In Action and when I googled Truth In Action it says it is formerly Coral Ridge Ministries and I know that Coral Ridge is a designated Hate Group by the Southern Poverty Law Center.

    Other interesting friends are the CEO of World Net Daily Joseph Farah, the State Treasurer of Ohio (a lot of Friends from Ohio)

    Kermit Rainman, I looked him up soley because he listed himself as being from Colorado Springs, yup he is Focus On The (heterosexual Only) Family.

    Matt Barber – Liberty Counsel

    Peter LaBarbera – Americans For Truth About Homosexuality (Another documented HATE GROUP)

    Ralph Reed – Faith & Freedom Coalition

    Randall Terry – Operation Rescue

    Tony Perkins – Family Research Council (Another documented HATE GROUP)

    If you are known by the company you keep, I would say Greg Quinlan and PFOX are certifiably anti-gay

  • http://aebrain.blogspot.com Zoe Brain

    David Roberts – until the protestors started chaining themselves to the White House fence, there was no movement, nor comment, from the Administration. None.

    Afterwards, there was significant “Fierce Advocacy”, and even then, it was just enough, by the narrowest of margins, to get DADT repealed. While many contributed, and many were essential, this is the pivotal event. Had it not happened, no amount of conventional lobbying of Congress would have worked.

  • grantdale

    *PERSONAL COMMENT*

    Even my children have been the target of lies about them, because of animosity toward me. … as I can recall, the only personal smears about me or my family have come from those claiming to be ["my side"]

    Warren, we are both horrified to read that. Absolutely sickened.

    Regardless of all else, even when dealing with another adult and not compromising, there is a point a decent person will not pass. Directing venom straight at their children being one of those points.

    We know you have probably well explained things to them, but you should never have had to. Utterly vulgar, and very upsetting to read. Very.

    If it is any anything to remember what can be, and we hope you can, despite the combat at the time, we laughed ourselves near silly (and still repeat it to this day, when deserved) — you mentioned on this blog R saying something hilarious when refusing to deal with her (younger) brother many years ago: “Never argue with someone without any pants on”.

    Indeed.

    (We hope that bought a chuckle of remembrance.)

    The point?

    Children are out of it. “Your” kids and “our” kids, no child, should ever be condemned or abused — we are all responsible for their welfare. If I ever lose the ability to care about any child, I stand condemned. Using a child to hurt an adult is about as low as one could fall.

    We are truly sorry your children have been a target.

    (On a random side note, our own R is now 19 and at University… just thought we’d mention that; to age all of us.)

  • http://wthrockmorton.com Warren

    grantdale – Good to hear from you all. A chuckle indeed…

    We certainly agree about not bringing kids into the disputes. What was particularly difficult to take about the matter was that the kernel of information which formed the basis for the smears was shared in confidence at a PFOX meeting. And no one who was there will own up to spreading the false information. Also, the information has been used to “explain” why I have changed my views on the prevalence of change of orientation and then to dismiss that change as having any substance.

  • http://exgaywatch.com David Roberts

    While many contributed, and many were essential, this is the pivotal event. Had it not happened, no amount of conventional lobbying of Congress would have worked.

    Zoe, we will just have to disagree reasonably on that I suppose.

  • grantdale

    Likewise and our disgust is heart felt. As far as we know, there’s only one reason why you have “changed my views on the prevalence of change of orientation”.

    We fail to see so what your children had to do with the matter.

    Unless, of course, they have become child adolescent prodigies in our absence and one evening presented you with a 200 page paper with the ominous words “Dad, I think you need to read this….”

    Perhaps, but in the mean time we will stick to a more orthodox explanation.

    (i.e. [shock, horror] you came to your own conclusion on the evidence.)

    That said, we have been delighted to learn your middle name in the process.

    Odd, we had you down as a “Marian”. Good American boy’s name, and all.

    (3am here, and I’m spent with a spreadsheet for work. Goodnight all.)

  • Jayhuck

    David Roberts -

    I understand that you disagree with his style — XGW does not write that way either. I’m just suggesting that, like it or not, someone probably has to. There is an element on the anti-gay side that does not respond to anything else. I would have to say that, agree or disagree, I’m glad he is there and doing what he does.

    I’ve always admired XGW and BTB, you know, for the record. Overall, I’m glad he’s there too, I just feel he needs to handle things differently, but maybe you’re right. Maybe he has to be the way he is in order for people to “listen”. When *I* read him now, I cringe and I can’t bring myself to financially support him.

  • http://exgaywatch.com David Roberts

    When *I* read him now, I cringe and I can’t bring myself to financially support him.

    Understood — and thanks :)

  • StraightGrandmother

    Jaychuck & David Roberts, I went to that article on TWO where they used the f****t in an article directed at some nut case right wing gays. They called a person a self loathing F****t. This really hurts me and bothers me a lot. I wish for that word to never ever be used ever again it is so derogatory. It is the equivalent of the N word, it really is.

    I asked in a comment if they would please remove that one word from their article. WB answered and said that they would not take it out of that old article but they will keep this in mind for the future. That answer makes me really sad but I am hopefully that maybe, hopefully, it will be the last time they ever use that word on their website. I would have looked up to them so much more if they would have taken it out now but it is their website and they are after all free to manage it as they will. It hurts me so bad to see someone on my philosophical side, resort to using that word. It kind of makes us all look bad, everybody on the same philosophical side as they are.

  • StraightGrandmother

    I am in moderation purgatory again.

  • Patrocles

    I know of course that Besen is not a psychologist by profession. But he seems to be so much occupied with giving psychological explanations or descriptions about the inner life of ex-gays that he may well qualify as a kind of amateur psychologist.

    I don’t think that being not a professional makes his writings completely unaccountable. (Or, in that case, you ought to treat non-professionals in the “anti-gay” camp as unaccountable as well.)

    I’m always shocked how easily people ascribe (mostly denigrating) personal motives to other people and how easily those ascriptions are believed. Undoubtedly, Besen believes everything he writes about the motives of ex-gays. But then, those people who ascribed to Dr. Throckmorton personal motives for leaving the “ex-gay” camp probably believe that, too.

  • Jayhuck

    Patro -

    I don’t think that being not a professional makes his writings completely unaccountable.

    I agree with you!

  • David Blakeslee

    Glad I stayed out of this :)

    Wish to further validate Besen’s “jumping to conclusions” about Warren Throckmorton and the relatively short time in political terms, it took for him to change his “politicized” view of him.

    Wish to further validate WT has been repeatedly pressured by various leaders on the Right…and dismissed…WT gave up easy status and power for the right reason.

    As others have noted: Besen is a blunt instrument primarily used for political battle. Devaluing, demeaning and simplifying are the common tools of people on both sides who are these kind of political warriors. Those who align with their views welcome this aggressive stance and justify simplistic views of those who either disagree or outright oppose them.

    It is unChristian…but also intolerant and narcissistic.

  • David Blakeslee

    At least:

    If Quinlan cannot prove his charges against Besen and Hamer, he has disqualified himself as a spokesperson. He certainly has passed along misrepresentations on the subject he claims to know when he talked about Cohen, Spitzer and Hamer.

    The post needs to stay about Quinlan.

    I suppose it is also about Comment Moderation by a blogger (but this is secondary).

    The good news for Besen is that Quinlan’s unproven allegation discredits him further.

  • http://exgaywatch.com David Roberts

    The good news for Besen is that Quinlan’s unproven allegation discredits him further.

    Actually, to follow your advice and keep this thread about Quinlan, it is good news for those who might be misled into further pain and confusion by Quinlan and PFOX’s misinformation.

  • David Blakeslee

    Yeah…absolutely.

  • Lynn David
  • StraightGrandmother

    Does PFOX regularly hold these ex-gay seminars for the family members of sexual minorities?

    PFOX Family First Retreat — Save the dates

    Friday and Saturday, March 16-17, 2012 for a PFOX family and friends weekend.

    http://pfox.org/PFOX-Family-First-Retreat.html


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