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Homosexual activist groups long have denied that ex-“gays” exist and have charged those ministries that work with the needs of those desiring to leave the lifestyle are fraudulent. One such activist even recently attributed the crime of rape to the “sickness” of the ex-“gay” movement.
But some attacks on those who have left the lifestyle, or are trying to, go far beyond verbal denigration, according to those who have experienced it, including Joe and Marion Allen. Their son Bart was in the process of leaving the homosexual lifestyle in 2001 when the “gay” with whom he’d shared an apartment strangled and killed him.
The Allens now run a ministry called Hope for the Broken Heart and they have spoken at conferences for the ex-“gay” ministry Exodus International simply because they cannot be silent about the tragedy in their family, and they want to help others avoid a similar result.
“He [Bart] was in the process of trying to come away from this, and was just involved with a sick, sick man,” Mrs. Allen told WND. “He was wanting help. He did not understand his feelings and we certainly did not understand his feelings.
“Thank goodness our child was a believer. He did love the Lord and he was miserable. He knew what the Scriptures said about it,” she said. The family looked for help from a counselor but found, instead, despair.
“When Bart came out of her office, he looked like he had been given a death sentence. I know this lady did not realize what she was doing … but she had told him he was born gay,” she said.
“She told him we were doing him an injustice by telling him this was wrong and he needed to go on back [to the homosexual lifestyle],” she said.
Her son did go back, but still couldn’t accept his own lifestyle choices any longer, and asked the other man to leave the apartment.
“He was trying to make a break and he wanted help. He [Bart] called him from our house, and told him [to move out],” she said. Her son asked the apartment building managers to change his locks, but they declined, assuring him the keys could not be duplicated.
“We don’t know [what happened]. The police told us Bart was asleep. He [the attacker] got in and strangled him to death with his hands and a dog leash,” Mrs. Allen said.
While violence rising to the level of homicide is not reported a great deal, the lower levels of harassment and badgering are growing, according those who have experienced or witnessed it.
Among recent situations that have developed in the ongoing argument over the ‘innateness” on homosexuality:
- Officials at a New England organization have reported that members of a transgender lobby have promised to shadow grandmothers and others who will be collecting petition signatures on a traditional marriage amendment plan this summer.
- Actions by members of the homosexual community recently prompted the American Psychiatric Association to cancel what was to be a discussion of the lifestyle.
- And prominent leaders of the homosexual community have stated that only they benefit from hate crimes laws, those laws that enhance a penalty for crimes already covered by other statutes based on the thoughts that accompany the criminal act.
The Allens connected with the Exodus International Ministry and have been working through that, and their own project, to offer help to those who want guidance by sharing their own experiences.
“I guess you never get over things, of course, but it has been almost seven years. We still cry,” she said.
Regina Griggs, the executive director of Parents and Friends of Ex-Gays, said her organization and staff members repeatedly have been attacked simply because of their message: that there are such individuals as former homosexuals.
Some attacks have been physical, such as the 2007 incident at the Arlington County Fair.
There, police told WND, there was a confrontation between an individual who got upset over the PFOX message about leaving homosexuality and a volunteer at the fair booth.
“One officer told me today he was on patrol at the fair when a woman approached him and told him a man had knocked over pamphlets at the PFOX booth and assaulted another man there. The officer then spoke to the alleged victim. He did not want to press charges and therefore no written report was filed,” said a statement issued by John Lisle, media relations officer for the Arlington County police department.
“Based on the description the officer was given, he located the suspect at the fair. Another officer escorted that gentleman off the fair grounds,” his statement continued.
The result of the situation? Pro-homosexual activists vigorously condemned Griggs for “making up” the story when she alerted supporters about the situation.
“Regina Griggs has lost all credibility and must resign in shame for her dishonest behavior,” wrote Wayne Besen, executive director of the homosexual advocacy group Truth Wins Out. “What PFOX did was warped, twisted and an insult (sic) real hate crime victims.”
Griggs said at the time, “The gays became infuriated when our ex-gay volunteers testified about leaving homosexuality. … One gay man went so far as to hit our ex-gay volunteer because he refused to recant his ex-gay testimony.”
The fair was one of the events to which PFOX was admitted. Several other major influences in America today, including the National Education Association, and the Parent-Teachers Association, simply refuse to allow PFOX to appear at their events.
Griggs said her most recent application for an event was returned to her unopened. NEA and PTA officials refused to respond to WND requests for comment on their censorship policies.
Those who condemn homosexuality also face electronic badgering. When Sally Kern, an Oklahoma lawmaker, vocally rejected the homosexual lifestyle choice as a threat, she was inundated with tens of thousands of e-mails in a coordinated attack on her beliefs. Some of the e-mails threatened her.
In a PFOX commentary, the question was raised: “Why is it that the term ‘ex-gay’ so threatens the gay community?”
That’s because, “It implies that one remains homosexual by choice. That the gay person need not continue in the homosexual lifestyle is an unsettling message. It is far easier to believe that there is no way out than to contemplate the rigors of the change process. Let no one deceive themselves by thinking that leaving the homosexual lifestyle is an easy thing to do. It is extremely difficult. It is only when we totally give up and say, ‘Lord, I can’t do it on my own,’ that we allow God the opportunity to come in and begin to remake our lives. The process is slow and the gay person encounters much in the way of spiritual warfare. The enemy does not allow anyone to easily slip out of his control. Indeed, the ex-gay person passes through the fire.”
But the label itself is important, they say.
“It is our witness to the life-changing power of Jesus Christ. It is the ray of hope that flickers within the gay community that homosexuality is not a terminal condition. In itself, it says, ‘There IS a way out!'”
Griggs told WND the movement is becoming more aggressive in teaching that homosexuality is something people are born with, not something they choose for whatever reasons.
“We have a school board teaching homosexuality is innate. We have judges ruling schools are not required to teach fact-based [sex education] information,” she said. “Basically they are silencing anyone who holds a different opinion. Their sole concern is about advancing that homosexuality is normal, natural and healthy and should have all the equal benefits of marriage.
“If you come at it from a Christian perspective, that makes you a homophobe,” she said, citing the case of a University of Toledo administrator who was fired for expressing her personal Christian testimony regarding homosexuality.
“They’re not seeking equality; they’re seeking total control,” she said.
National statistics on crimes victimizing those who are leaving the homosexual lifestyle are virtually untracked, but a federal study does reveal that there is a level of violence involving same-sex partners.
The 2000 study that cites those statistics, however, notes that most intimate partner victimizations are not reported to police.
The federal study did reveal that violence between “partners” is more common among male same-sex duos than among female same-sex duos, women living with women reported less “intimate partner violence” than women living with men but men living in homosexual situations reported a higher rate of assault than men living with women.
At The State of America, an author raised the issue of the springtime event, the Day of Silence, which promotes homosexuality in public schools under the guise of highlighting “discrimination” against “gays.”
“The Day of Truth is simply a day of counter-cultural political activism. A day of silence would almost be okay if it was about all bullying, all intolerance, and all discrimination, but it is not. What about the harassment of the goofy looking guy with glasses, or the person with a big wart on her neck, or the one with too many ugly pimples, or wimps, or nerds, or those who wear black cloaks and look like gangsters, or all the others who are often harassed because of appearance or speech problem or whatever? Gays are certainly not the only one silenced, harassed, bullied, alienated, or isolated. A lot of kids have been murdered by others kids because of being harassed before and since the Columbine massacre. Why is their not a national day of protest for them? Because gays are the only group with a corporate funded political agenda.”
“Each year thousands of men and women with same-sex attractions make the personal decision to leave homosexuality by means of reparative therapy, ex-gay ministry or group counseling. Their choice is one only they can make. However, there are others who refuse to respect that choice, and endeavor to attack the ex-gay community. Consequently, ex-gays are subject to an increasingly hostile environment where they are reviled or attacked as perpetrators of hate and discrimination simply because they dare to exist,” Griggs said.
Researcher Georges Rekers, of the University of South Carolina, in a review of studies, confirms the results indicate homosexuality can be changed “significantly.”
“[The research] demonstrates with convincing scientific evidence that the Christian ministry interventions of Exodus International produce strong and clinically meaningful changes in homosexual orientation in a large percentage of individuals. Furthermore this … research … yielded no evidence to support the common assumption that attempts to change sexual orientation cause harm or psychological distress,” he said in a report on the website for The National Association for Research and Therapy of Homosexuality.
Exodus officials had protested when Congress recently considered the Local Law Enforcement Hate Crimes Prevention Act, H.R 1592, which was to protect those with “sexual orientation” issues. According to a Baptist Press report, a spokesman said the legislation was discriminatory.
“What we’re saying is this legislation is unfair, because it means that I was more valuable as a homosexual than I am today as a former homosexual,” the spokesman said.