Meanwhile, the LGBT community watches people come out as ex-gay only to come back out months, years, or even decades later as ex-ex-gays who are usually bitter about religion and their experiences within the ex-gay world. We point out the ineffectiveness of ex-gay ministries, but politicians and religious folks (both leaders and followers) ignore our experiences.
Now big-time ex-gay leaders like John Smid or Alan Chambers of Exodus International admit that ex-gay ministries don't work for most people and still people want to debate the effectiveness of ex-gay ministries. Take, for example, Mission America president Linda Harvey:
Alan Chambers, has been under a firestorm of criticism lately because of several statements he has made lately that reflect poorly on his understanding of the basics of Christian faith.
For one, Chambers has said he doesn't believe a person can change his or her so-called sexual orientation. Now, there's not anything like this invented term called "sexual orientation" in Scripture in the first place, but then he also says that he still struggles himself with sexual feelings for other males. This shows very poor judgment as the leader of this ministry to, first of all, be experiencing this and secondly, to announce it to the whole world.
Of course a person can leave homosexuality; there are thousands of people who have done it and God's word clearly states that he can deliver us from sin. And the proud, open sinner who is publicly proclaiming it as good in defiance of God's word? It is highly questionable that such a person is saved.
Or pro-ex-gay proponent Robert Gagnon:
Robert Gagnon, associate professor at Pittsburgh Theological Seminary who supports conversion therapy. "It's not going to work for everybody. It might not even work for most people," he says. "But it will work for some people, so we're happy with anything that helps."And Harvey and Gagnon are not alone. There are church ministries that have broken away from Exodus International this year because the group has admitted that the cure doesn't work. They totally ignore people like Smid, who says that in years of ex-gay leadership he has never seen anyone cured, or Chambers, who admits essentially the same thing but who also acknowledges that the current ex-gay model actually pushes people from the Church. At least Gagnon admits that few are helped by ex-gay ministries. Harvey still claims to the notion that thousands have been cured. I think the difference is that Harvey writes up press releases. Smid and Chambers actually meet with people and see the fruits of these ex-gay efforts.
I understand the Right not taking the word of LGBT activists people. But why are they so resistant to listening to professional ex-gays? I mean, Chambers isn't advocating marriage equality now. He still thinks that LGBT people should avoid same-sex sexual encounters and remain celibate or even seek out heterosexual marriages in need be. He's just being more honest with the notion that most of them are actually going to totally transform from gay to straight.
It seems to me that the Religious Right needs a gay cure. They need homosexuality to be curable or else it's less palatable to reject anti-bullying efforts. They need homosexuality to be curable or else it's unconscionable for them to push straight men and women into mixed-orientation marriages. They need homosexuality to be curable or else they look awful for asserting that every failed ex-gay effort isn't actually the result of that person not praying hard enough for the cure.
That why they cannot admit that ex-gay ministries don't work -- even when the biggest leaders in ex-gay ministries themselves admit that they don't work.