Religion and homosexuality
1999: More "ex-gay" advertisements.
Reactions to the ads by LGBT groups.
This essay is of historical interest only.
1999-MAY TV ads (continued):
At no point do the advertisements specifically claim that anyone has actually changed
their sexual orientation from homosexual to heterosexual. The phrases used are
The intent of the messages appears to be that persons with a gay or lesbian sexual orientation can, by
being saved, convert to a heterosexual orientation through prayer and
therapy. This belief is supported by a very small professional mental-health association, NARTH. But all of the large professional associations, like the American
Psychiatric Association, and American Psychological Association, have
condemned reparative therapy; they consider it ineffective and potentially
dangerous. It can trigger severe depression and even suicide.|
||The actual wording of the ads can be interpreted to refer to:
||bisexuals who had been actively engaged in homosexual behavior but who
have decided to restrict their sexual behavior to members of the
opposite gender, or to
||persons with a homosexual orientation who decide to become celibate for the future.
At no point do the ads talk about orientation; they only discuss
behavior. Bisexuals can, by an act of will, decide to "change,"
and to "walk away" from homosexual behavior while still remaining bisexual. Persons with a homosexual orientation can,
through celibacy, also change and walk away.
The TV ads do not answer the question that the vast majority of friends and
relatives of persons with a homosexual orientation have: whether their friend or
family member can actually change their orientation. They may seem to answer the
question, but it is all sleight-of-hand.
A spokesman for the Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation (GLAAD) said:
are trying to put forward a kinder, gentler kind of prejudice; but it won't work."
The major television networks refused to run these ads. Bob Davies, the
executive director of Exodus International at the time, claimed
this is because leaders of homosexual-rights groups pressured the networks. An
alternative explanation is that networks are concerned about indirectly being
responsible for needless deaths due to suicide. The American Psychological Association
and American Psychological Association have warned that reparative
therapy is ineffective, since sexual orientation cannot be changed. It is well
known that the guilt, depression and sense of personal failure following
unsuccessful reparative therapy can trigger some clients of that therapy to commit suicide.
Davies said that:
"The gay community wants to silence us...In spite of
what they say, they are not interested in tolerance. ... The persecution
and hostility we are receiving now is beginning to happen to the church [at
large]. Looking five years ahead, I am starting to see where all this is headed.
Christians are becoming the bad guys. Christians create the problems in the
country, according to non-Christians...[The church is] being assaulted from
without and within...The authority of Scripture is being eroded daily.
Eventually it seems our whole foundation may crumble. It has been happening for
many years. The body of Christ is in danger of being compromised." 1
Concerned Women for America had two TV ads available on their web site. 2 Their site also include the text content from the ads.
Reactions by gay, lesbian and bisexual groups:
Human Rights Campaign Foundation: HRC produced a advertisement to counter the
religiously based ad. It was sponsored by a coalition of gay and lesbian groups, including
the Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation, Gay & Lesbian Victory Fund
Foundation, Gay Lesbian and Straight Education Network, The Gill Foundation, Human Rights
Campaign Foundation, An Uncommon Legacy Foundation, National Black Lesbian and Gay
Leadership Forum, National Center for Lesbian Rights, National Gay & Lesbian Task
force, National Latina/o LGBT Organization, National Youth Advocacy Coalition, and Parents
Families & Friends of Lesbians & Gays.
It featured topics like:
lesbian daughter is the apple of our eye;
Minnesota is in the heart of America;
- Gay people
and their families are people of faith;
- Our church, Your church;
- All leading medical
- Equal rights, not special rights;
Help us support our daughter.
Demonstration: On 1998-AUG-22, hundreds of gays and lesbians protested in front of the Coral Ridge
Presbyterian Church in Fort Lauderdale, FL. They waved signs; one read "Don't
crucify us with hate." D. James Kennedy, who heads Coral Ridge Ministries
"This ad campaign is not about hate. It's about hope. Hope for
change...People need to know this [homosexuality] is not a lifetime sentence. No one has
been saying that. Change is possible."
Some people who claim to have been healed
of their homosexuality were present at the Ministries' news conference. 4
|Bisexual groups' response: The bisexual and transgender communities
were outraged at the anti-LGBT ads. Some were also not particularly
enamored at the the response ads by lesgay groups which had ignored
bisexuals and transsexuals. The bisexual and transgender groups responded with a response ad of their
own. 5 It used the same slogan as the religious right:
"If you really love someone, you'll tell them the truth."
They then point out that:|
||Many people are bisexual.
||Many "ex-gays" who were "cured" by reparative
therapy are undoubtedly bisexual persons.
||Love is about honor and respect for yourself and others.
||Love makes a family.
||All of us - bisexual, lesbian, gay, transgender, heterosexual -
deserve their right to love whom we choose.
The ad states, in part:
"Bisexual people have the capacity for
emotional, romantic, loving and/or physical attraction to more than one
gender. Some of these so-called ex-gays are undoubtedly bisexual. Bisexuals
can choose to be open to the full range of possibilities, but our
bisexuality is the potential, not the requirement, for involvement with more
than one gender. Some bisexual people choose to be in committed monogamous
relationships; some choose other forms of relationships and commitments.
Heterosexual and homosexual people also make these choices."
The response ad was sponsored by:
Anything That Moves Magazine;
Bisexual Resource Center;
Children of Lesbians and Gays Everywhere (COLAGE);
Gay, Lesbian & Bisexual Veterans of America;
Gay, Lesbian & Straight Education Network;
Gay & Lesbian Victory Fund;
Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation (GLAAD) ;
International Gay & Lesbian Human Rights Commission;
Intersexed Society of North America;
LLEG: The Nat'l Latina/Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual &
Transgender Organization; Nat'l Center for Lesbian Rights;
Nat'l Black Lesbian & Gay Leadership Forum;
National Gay & Lesbian Task Force;
Nat'l Youth Advocacy Coalition;
Parents, Families & Friends of Lesbians & Gays (PFLAG),
and other groups.
Copies of the response ad were available in various formats for local use,
The following information sources were used to prepare and update the above
essay. The hyperlinks are not necessarily still active today.
"Gay activists suppress television ads," at: http://www.religiontoday.com/Archive/FeatureStory/
"The television ads," Concerned Women for America, at: http://www.cwfa.org/library/family/truthinlove/
"Toward hope and healing for America," a lesgay positive ad, at: http://www.hrc.org/feature1/hrcad1.html (Link no longer functioning)
Religion Today news summary for 1998-AUG-25 at: http://www.religiontoday.com/Archive/NewsSummary/
"Toward a new national discussion of sexual orientation,"
- GenderPAC (a.k.a. Gender Public Adcocacy Coalition) was formed from a group of transgender organizations in the District of Columbia during 1995. It promoted safe schools, workplaces and communities for LGBT persons. They ceased operation in 2009. Their web site is no longer functioning.
Copyright © 1998 to 2017 by Ontario Consultants on
Latest update and review: 2017-APR-20
Author: B.A. Robinson