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When media make up 'gay' science

Greg Quinlan is president of Parents and Friends of Ex-Gays and Gays as well as executive director of Equality and Justice For All.

Did anyone see, in any of our major daily newspapers or reported on any TV networks, his Oct. 31 statement:

“When I decided to leave homosexuality after seeing hundreds of my friends and acquaintances die of AIDS, I was demonized and excoriated as an ex-gay traitor, which continues to this day. Now I see that same hate against the ex-gay community being targeted against African-Americans who refuse to equate sodomy with their skin color and against heterosexuals who will not recognize homosexual behavior as a civil right.”

He also wrote, “Even though no scientific evidence exists of a ‘gay gene,’ parents in California are now prohibited from taking their children to see a therapist to resolve their child’s unwanted same-sex attractions.

“So for parents who discover that their son has been molested and is now sexually confused, their only option is to make an appointment with a gay affirming therapist because unlike heterosexual affirming therapy, gay affirming therapy has not been declared illegal in California even though such therapy has not been proven beneficial by the APA. …

“So as gay activist organizations band together to demand that state legislatures ban heterosexual therapy, its anti-heterosexual consequences are ignored and the rights of parents over their own children are outlawed.”

On Nov. 1, the New York Times’ Erik Eckholm reported the following from Los Angeles:

“For most of his life, Blake Smith said, ‘Every inch of my body craved male sexual contact.’

“Mr. Smith, 58, who says he believes homosexual behavior is wrong on religious grounds, tried to tough it out. He spent 17 years in a doomed marriage while battling his urges all day, he said, and dreaming about them all night.

“But in recent years, as he probed his childhood in counseling and at men’s weekend retreats with names like People Can Change and Journey Into Manhood, ‘my homosexual feelings have nearly vanished,’ Mr. Smith said in an interview at the house in Bakersfield, Calif., he shares with his second wife, who married him eight years ago knowing his history. ‘In my 50s, for the first time, I can look at a woman and say ‘she’s really hot.’

“Mr. Smith is one of thousands of men across the country, often known as ‘ex-gay,’ who believe they have changed their most basic sexual desires through some combination of therapy and prayer – something most scientists say has never been proved possible and is likely an illusion.”

Think about that statement: “most scientists say …”

For there is, in this Times story, no report whatsoever showing that “most scientists say” this.

This Times report goes on to claim:

“Major mental health associations say teenagers who are pushed into therapy by conservative parents may feel guilt and despair when their inner impulses do not change.”

But, here again, the New York Times did not identify even one of these alleged “major mental health associations.”

Instead, the Times quoted just two individuals as follows:

“In April, a prominent psychiatrist, Dr. Robert L. Spitzer, publicly repudiated as invalid his own 2001 study suggesting that some people could change their sexual orientation; the study had been widely cited by defenders of the therapy.

“Then this summer, the ex-gay world was convulsed when Alan Chambers, the president of Exodus International, the largest Christian ministry for people fighting same-sex attraction, said he did not believe anyone could be rid of homosexual desires.”

In striking contrast to these two individual opinions, the New York Times also reported:

“Joseph Nicolosi, a psychologist and clinical director of the Thomas Aquinas Psychological Clinic in Encino, Calif., which he describes as the largest reparative therapy clinic in the world, disagreed.

“‘I don’t believe that anybody is really gay,’ he said. ‘I believe that all people are heterosexual but that some have a homosexual problem, and some of these people attempt to resolve their conflict by adopting a sociopolitical label called ‘gay.’

“By unearthing family trauma, Dr. Nicolosi said, many patients find their homosexual urges dissipating. …

“S. Marc Breedlove, a neuroscientist and psychologist at Michigan State University, said there was overwhelming evidence that sexual orientation is affected by both biology and environment. Clearly, he said, reparative therapy helps some people alter sexual behavior. But that is far different, he noted, from transforming instinctive sexual desires, something never proved in scientific studies.”

Once again, think about these three: Spitzer, Chambers and Breedlove – and wonder with me how any major newspaper would mention only these three as evidence in claiming “most scientists say” and “major mental health associations say.”