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Saturday, September 30, 2006


NARTH blog updates response to Schoenewolf controversy

Sojourneer, the anonymous blog administrator at the Narth blog has revised his/her statement about the Schoenewolf article controversy:

I am going to revise my comments on the Schoenwolf article. Many people have misinterpreted my defense of Schoenwolf, as speaking for Narth. I do not speak for Narth and any comments I have made on the blog are my personal opinions. Please read the Narth disclaimer regarding the blog. In addition, Schoenewolf can defend himself and his views are not endorsed by Narth. Regarding his comments about slavery, I regret his choice of words and think his point could have been made with a better choice of words. The comments were incendiary and have inflamed the debate. Therefore, for the sake of continued dialogue with all sides I am going to retract the first letter from Timothy Kincaid as an example of gay intimidation.

I don't know when this revision was actually posted since it took the place of one that labeled negative reactions from a variety of quarters as attempts to discredit NARTH and Dr. Schoenewolf. This statement is the first that implies that Schoenewolf's views are not endorsed by NARTH. However, since Sojourneer does not speak for NARTH, I cannot see how the statement can be accepted as an official position. Silence, thus far, is the only official response from NARTH.

Thursday, September 28, 2006


Angry Professor

Wow, I wonder if this is a hoax. Not that I would want to, but we could not do this at GCC :)


Dr. Spitzer on YouTube

I have posted this before but am doing so because I finally uploaded it to YouTube. I wanted to see how this feature works. If you have seen Dr. Spitzer's interview, there is nothing new here.

Tuesday, September 26, 2006


NARTH responds to the Schoenewolf controversy

Sojourneer at the NARTH blog has responded to the Schoenewolf controversy.


Gay brothers study

The Chicago Sun-Times posted an article about the Alan Sanders study of gay brothers currently recruiting pairs of gay brothers for a genetic linkage study. The website for the study is www.gaybros.com. The brochure describing the study is on the site as a pdf.

I wrote Alan Sanders several months ago and asked if he was including measures of gender nonconformity as a covariable but received no reply. Environmental measures would also be helpful in the event they did not find linkages. I wonder if ex-gay brothers should apply?

As I read the comments of the researchers about what they hope to accomplish both in the article and in the brochure, it occurred to me that the researchers may be introducing bias into the sampling.

Given Bailey's last twin study, I have to wonder about this statement to prospective participants:

Earlier studies suggest that homosexual orientation runs in families; 8 to 12% of brothers of gay men are also gay, compared to 2 to 4% of men in the general population. Twin studies suggest that this pattern is largely due to heredity rather than environment, but we cannot be sure of this unless we actually locate genes that affect sexual orientation.

Saturday, September 23, 2006


Palm Springs Unity Rally Spokesperson Misleads Readers

Claire Jordan Grant, in an op-ed today, again misleads readers by saying Dr. Joseph Berger's article regarding gender variant kids was published/written by Love Won Out/Focus on the Family. This is an extension of her false claim on the Unity Rally website about the Schoenewolf article. Ex-gay Watch agreed that the false claim should be removed and indeed advised the Unity Rally of this. I wrote a comment in the forum on the Desert Sun website. This was followed by Jason Cianciatto of the NGLTF who contends that I attempt to distract readers. I invite readers here to go over and have a go at commenting on the matter.

Friday, September 22, 2006


The Unity Rally Website Gets It Wrong Again

On the front page of the Palm Springs Unity Rally website, this statement is made:

Stand with us against prejudice in our home. Love Won Out, a Focus on the Family-sponsored group, will hold a conference on Saturday, September 23, in Indian Wells to encourage parents of gay children, or those who believe their children might be gay, to send their children to “gay conversion therapy" camps and programs. This is the same group that published an article suggesting that slavery has been historically misunderstood and that it was actually a good thing... for the slaves!

Why is this so difficult? Focus on the Family did not publish the Schoenewolf article. NARTH did. FOTF does not endorse the Schoenewolf article.

If you are visiting my blog being linked from the Unity Rally site, please contact the organizers and ask them to correct this falsehood. I am.

UPDATE: No correction was made and the error remains. The folks at ExgayWatch noted the error as well.

Thursday, September 21, 2006


The Palm Springs Desert Sun reports on sexual orientation

There are several features in today's Palm Springs Desert Sun related to the upcoming Love Won Out conference. They include a point - counterpoint exchange between Melissa Fryrear (FOTF) and Ginny Foat (Unity Rally), an article on the theories of sexual orientation, an editorial regarding news coverage, and information about the events of September 23.


Palm Springs Unity Rally Website Gets It Wrong

The Unity Rally website refers to my entry below about Dr. Schoenewolf's article on political correctness but misrepresents me and the relationship (as I understand it) between NARTH and Focus on the Family.

The website attempts to link the article by Dr. Schoenewolf with Focus on the Family by claiming that "Love Won Out, NARTH (the National Association of Research and Therapy of Homosexuality), and Exodus are all intertwined with Focus on Family." The truth is that LWO is a ministry of FOTF but Exodus and NARTH are not a part of FOTF. They are separate organizations.

It is unfair to expect FOTF to answer for the content of NARTH's website (which is where the Schoenewolf article is located) and yet this is what is suggested by the Unity Rally website.

Another claim from the Unity Rally website: "One of their own speaks out against the article justifying and condoning slavery. Dr. Warren Throckmorton, a proponent of gay conversion therapy, openly criticizes NARTH's publication of this article on his blog."

My response: 1) I am not a NARTH member and 2) I am not a gay conversion therapist. However, I do support the right of clients to pursue a valued sexual identity which may include assistance in addressing unvalued sexual attractions in their therapy.

My post below was a very singular critique of Dr. Schoenewolf's article. It is an error, in my opinion, to associate this article on the NARTH website with FOTF. Furthermore, I fully support FOTF and LWO's efforts to articulate a conservative Christian view of sexual ethics.

Wednesday, September 20, 2006


Political correctness and the Schoenewolf controversy

Several brief reactions to the Schoenewolf article regarding political correctness:

Dr. Schoenewolf defines PC as 1) an ideology, 2) a culture, 3) a philosophy, 4) a lifestyle and 5) an extension of Marxist thought. He then discusses civil rights, feminism and gay rights as if they all are in the same intellectual tradition. This to me seems simplistic. It also seems to make an argument that many conservatives and civil rights veterans resist: gay rights are analogous to the Civil Rights Movement. I don't imagine this was his intention.

His analogy to families who seek therapy doesn't work for me (you'll have to read the article to understand this). I understand how therapists can remove their biases from work with families but I do not see how people in general can take a dispassionate view of slavery and oppression. Therapists are not responsible for how their clients turn out; however, people in a society have at least some responsibility to speak against injustice. Certainly, my religious tradition influences me to see my responsibility this way.

This sentence in the article puzzles me: "...various human rights groups began using his [Marx's] ideology to rationalize their movements, primarily in America. First came the Civil Rights Movement, which began in the 1850s and was one of the causes of the Civil War. " I cannot understand why the Civil Rights Movement needs to be examined as a rationalization. Slavery was a moral evil. We do not need to appeal to Marx or rationalizations to speak against evil. Many people needed and need courage to speak out. If there is rationalization, it is to quiet the internal dissonance between seeing an evil and being safe in silence. However, calling oppression what it is seems to me to be a response of compassion and service to God toward other bearers of His image. Many abolitionists approached the issue out of Christian compassion. The Golden Rule is not a Marxist invention.

Here is a passage that leaves me puzzled:

This is not to say that the Civil Rights Movement was or is wrong. Of course, racial discrimination does exist and many horrible things have happened to African-Americans; the question is not whether or not it exists, but how one interprets it and how one reacts to it. Civil rights leaders insist there is only one meaning and one way to react. The Marxist view is superimposed on the race issue: Only an absolute and simplistic view of the issue is allowed--one which divides people into good guys and bad guys--either you're with us or you're against us.

There is no attempt by civil rights leaders to see both sides of the conflict, to understand the complex sources of the problem, to view people on both sides as having both good and bad in them. There is no attempt to negotiate a win-win situation that would benefit all society; instead a win-lose scenario is forced on all of society, whether they like it or not. All whites are guilty of what was done to blacks, particularly all white males, and all must pay.

With all due respect, there is another way, or other ways, to look at the race issue in America. It could be pointed out, for example, that Africa at the time of slavery was still primarily a jungle, as yet uncivilized or industrialized. Life there was savage, as savage as the jungle for most people, and that it was the Africans themselves who first enslaved their own people. They sold their own people to other countries, and those brought to Europe, South America, America, and other countries, were in many ways better off than they had been in Africa. But if one even begins to say these things one is quickly shouted down as though one were a complete madman.

To his credit, Dr. Schoenewolf indicates that discrimination exists and horrible things have been done. However, I do not understand what both sides of the conflict are. It would certainly help me understand his meaning if he had pointed out what both sides are and what a "win-win" scenario would look like in this context. As far as I can see there is only one correct side to the issue of racial discrimination - it is wrong. Adding that Africans "were in many ways better off than they had been in Africa" makes this section incomprehensible to me. As it is worded, the passage trivializes a clear moral evil in an incredibly insensitive manner.

Another idea I do not understand is here: "The irony is that the Civil Rights Movement has been vehement about pointing out the hysterical lynchings that took place in the old South, but completely blind to its own hysterical tactics." This is the most egregious example of a kind of parallelism that the author seems to want to communicate. Lynchings are not called good by Dr. Schoenewolf, but somehow they are placed in parallel to "hysterical tactics" used by the civil rights movement. However, the tactics are not spelled out and the parallel is assumed. This is offensive on many levels but I will note one. Words mean something and lynching cannot be considered a parallel to name-calling or other forms of social disapproval, no matter how hysterical they may seem. This comparison again trivilizes unspeakable inhumanity to attempt to make a lynching parallel to anything that is not a lynching.

I cannot judge inner attitudes from this piece. However, there is enough wrong with it that it really should be pulled. That would not be PC, but it would be wise.

UPDATE (9/21/06) - This post is from the NARTH blog: "The offensive article has been removed from the NARTH site. The criticisms have been duly noted."

Tuesday, September 19, 2006


Dr. Gerald Schoenewolf's article on political correctness

Well, this issue seems to be picking up some steam. Here is an article about it. The article by Dr. Schoenewolf is here; so let's talk.

UPDATE: NARTH responds to criticism over the article on their blog:

Michael and others, regarding Gerald Schoenewolf, Ph.D.

Michael, you are trying to discredit Narth by attacking individual members. You seem to be scouring the Narth website looking for information that you can distort and use for your disinformation campaign. Your resent attack on Schoenewolf is classic. If you can imply he is a racist then his opinion does not count and he becomes invalidated. Then by associated Narth is also racist, homophobic, or religious and Narth has no voice. I think you are doing this because Narth is making a difference in people’s lives and beginning to make an impact on a larger organization like the APA.

As far the article you refer to, I posted the link below for others to read the entire paper in context. It is a rather interesting article title, Gay Rights and Political Correctness: A Brief History.

My views on his comments about race are as follows. He is not saying slavery was a good thing nor, is he saying it was no big deal. What he is saying is that good things can come out of bad situations. The good that came out of it was that African people came to America. Coming to America was a great thing because America is the greatest country in the world. When a person has been victimized by some unfortunate circumstance, one way to cope with it is to get something positive out of it. This in no way minimizes the traumatic event. Slavery was an immoral practice and a shameful event in the history of the United States. However, slavery was not just practiced by America. Schoenewolf points this out in the paper. He says that slavery was practiced by the Africans themselves. In addition, slavery was used by many other cultures and countries for many centuries.

Posted by: Sojourneer at September 20, 2006

Monday, September 18, 2006


American Counseling Association Dust Up Over Conversion Therapies

In the July, 2006 newsletter of the American Counseling Association - Counseling Today - an article reporting the Ethic's Committee's analysis of conversion therapy was printed. A very similar piece is on the ACA website as a news release. Several counselors, myself included, have letters of response published in the September issue. I am considering asking the committee to rule on critical incident stress debriefing or Jungian analysis. The most surprising aspect of the ACA Ethics Committee work was citing Nicolosi et al as an evidence of harm. If that is true, then Shidlo and Schroeder really indicate benefit from change efforts.


Evergreen conference article

Evergreen Conference wrap up. Note Alan Chamber's quotes at the end. Evergreen is the Latter Day Saint organization that is comparable to Exodus.


Australian news report on APA's presidents comments

Australian paper on the APA and the President Koocher's comments regarding therapy for same-sex attraction conflicts.

Sunday, September 17, 2006


Agapepress article about PFOX

A reader emailed to ask why the Agapepress is reporting that I still speak for PFOX. The writer is recounting events of over a year ago to describe the PTA's response to PFOX. I was indeed involved in a 2005 event where my bullying and sexual orientation curriculum were released while at the PTA meeting with PFOX. This is old news however, and I am not currently involved with PFOX. For what it's worth, my understanding is that Richard Cohen is not on the PFOX board any longer.

Saturday, September 16, 2006


Backlash on the Pope

So should Catholics now burn an effigy of Muhammad?

Friday, September 15, 2006


Depression and gay men

The Southern Voice is running an article about the Medius report on depression and gay men. I think this addresses some of the comments and concerns expressed in recent posts. This article expresses the common view that depression leads to risky sexual behavior. However, I wonder if this could go the other way around. We have evidence that at least for teen girls, sexual behavior leads to depression. I wonder if this the link could run both ways in this case.

Tuesday, September 12, 2006


Common Ground?

Commenter Dr. David Blakeslee suggested 8 points of possible common ground regarding sexuality policy on a recent thread. I am posting these for continued discussion. Feel free to suggest others. The idea is to discuss issues of perceived common ground rather than policy positions that are unlikely to generate commonality (e.g., Federal Marriage Amendment versus the federal recognition of same-sex marriage). As usual, it is fine to discuss the merits of any given policy position as long as it is done civilly. For this post, however, I think it would be interesting to discuss the points of commonality.

Dr. Blakeslee suggested "a short-list of proposed common ground:
1. Ethical therapeutic practices.
2. Protecting gays and lesbians in public and private settings.
3. Forbidding discrimination in employment and housing.
4. Access to quality sex education (not advocacy education)
5. Encouraging delay in sexual expression (heterosexuals also) into early 20's.
6. Building a consensus on the scientific literature on same-sex attraction (a general title).
7. Protecting all groups (gay and straight) from sexual exploitation.
8. Encouraging the bonding of love as an expression of empathy and devotion with the behavior of sex."

I invite those from all sides to express whether you feel you can agree to these points. Feel free to be candid about points of disagreement or concern.

Sunday, September 10, 2006


Washington Times Op-ed

In today's Washington Times, our (with Gary Welton) op-ed "Does Birth Order Determine Sexual Orientation?" is printed.

Thursday, September 07, 2006


Australian TV documentary: "Gay Conversion"

I blogged about the Australian Broadcasting Corporation radio program regarding ex-gay programs on August 22.

The 20 minute video is now available on the ABC news website. The documentary features much more than the radio interview, although the radio interview has some material not in the video. Click here for the broadband streaming video. The link to the website above has options for Real video and Windows video for dial-up and broadband.

There is a footage of Love Won Out, Love in Action, Richard Cohen, Focus on the Family, SoulForce, and Wayne Besen. Forgive me, if I have forgotten anyone...

UPDATE: I have wondered where Wayne got the subliminal recording that is supposed to reorient sexuality. Thanks to this ABC mini-documentary, I found it. It is done by a guy named Barrie Konicov at PotentialsUnlimited. Scroll down to Gay and Unhappy? I wonder how many of Shidlo and Schroeder participants got something like this and called it reorientation therapy.

Wednesday, September 06, 2006


A Boy and His Princess Obsession

Marguerite Kelly is an advice columnist for the Washington Post. I don't read much advice but this one caught my eye.

I take real exception to her statements about the hypothalamus.

Tuesday, September 05, 2006


Autism and older fathers

Read this study relating autism and older fathers. Note that the reporters interview people with all sorts of views (genetic, direct paternal influence, statistical artifact). Compare the reporting on this study and the reporting on the older brother effect. Even though there are explanations other than pre-natal, most media did not report them.

Sunday, September 03, 2006


Washington Times: APA's position unchanged

Today's Washington Times addresses the differences in interpreting APA President Gerald Koocher's remarks at the APA convention last month. We covered that issue here at that time noting that President Koocher clarified his remarks following the APA Town Hall meeting.

The Washington Times site has been down most of the last two days. Here is the article from the Google cache.

APA denies any retreat on gay therapy

By Joyce Howard Price
September 3, 2006

Some pro-family groups say recent comments by the head of the American Psychological Association suggest the organization is softening its opposition to treating homosexuals who want to change their sexual orientation.

The APA denies any changes in its stance, and the president later clarified his statements.

The Rev. Lou Sheldon, founder and chairman of the Traditional Values Coalition, a group that believes some homosexuals can become heterosexuals through "deep reparative therapy," said he is convinced "peer pressure came down on the APA president like a mountain cougar and forced him" to back away from public comments he made less than a month ago.

"The APA has no conflict with psychologists who help those distressed by unwanted homosexual attraction," said Gerald P. Koocher, president of the 155,000-member APA, at the group's annual convention in New Orleans last month.

In an e-mail message early last week, Sharon Slater, president of United Families International, a nonprofit that works to protect the family as the fundamental unit of society, called Mr. Koocher's comments "an amazing turnabout," given that for more than 30 years, the "APA has aggressively opposed treatment of unwanted same-sex attraction."

Leaders of groups engaged in treating homosexuals who want to become heterosexuals, such as the National Association for Research and Treatment of Homosexuals and Exodus International, also described Mr. Koocher's remarks as a positive development. They indicate the APA is "recognizing a person's autonomy and right to self-determination," Alan Chambers, president of Exodus International, told the Baptist Press. Mr. Chambers and other therapists who offer such treatment picketed outside the APA convention and believed their presence was a contributing factor in Mr. Koocher's comments.

But the APA executive clarified his comments shortly after the convention. "In a full, multifaceted therapeutic relationship, the therapist has every duty to respond to patient choice and to help patients achieve their goals," Mr. Koocher said. "I will always affirm the crucial importance of providing our services with careful attention to patients' wishes."

But Mr. Koocher said discussion of interventions in the "extremely complex issue" of sexual orientation "must balance patient choice with the therapist's ethical obligation to obtain informed consent for any therapy process." "When dealing with sexual orientation," he said, a therapist "must" be sure that a person wishing to change is not "motivated purely from the social pressures of a homophobic environment" because therapy "will not modify societal prejudices." Mr. Koocher further stressed that "patients must understand" that treatments intended to modify sexual orientation "lack a validated scientific foundation and may prove psychologically harmful."

There is not much new here but the Times is the only paper that I know of that has covered the post-convention spin.

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