EX-GAY AND SIMILAR GROUPS
Essentially all of the groups who advocate reparative
therapy to "cure" homosexuality are from the most conservative wing of Protestant
Christianity (i.e. Fundamentalists and other Evangelicals, Mormons, etc.) The only exceptions that we
have found are:
||Transforming Congregations, a United Methodist Church ministry which is apparently composed of members from the
conservative wing of that mainline denomination.
||Courage, a Roman Catholic group with beliefs about homosexuality which
mirror Protestant Evangelical views.
Ex-gay groups generally believe that:
||the Bible is inerrant (the original manuscripts were inspired
by God and were without error)
||the anti-homosexual verses (a.k.a.
"clobber passages") in English translations of the
Bible should be interpreted literally as indicating God's hatred of
||God is omnipotent (all powerful)
||God answers prayer
From these fundamentals, the following beliefs are logically derived:
||God hates homosexual behavior.
||Homosexuality is unnatural and sinful.
||God will help a repentant homosexual convert to a heterosexual orientation.
otherwise would put limits on God's abilities and on the power of prayer.
unthinkable -- even blasphemy -- to an conservative Christian. To quote one Evangelical minister: "No
sin is to big for God to forgive. The homosexual, like anyone else, simply needs to
believe in the transforming power of Christ."
Their belief that God hates homosexuality is supported by their interpretation of
the biblical verse 1
Corinthians 6:9, which they believe states that individuals who lead immoral
lives, such as homosexuals, will "have no share in his kingdom." i.e.
will go to Hell for eternal punishment without any
hope of cessation or mercy. The following verse is believed by most conservative
Christians to affirm that God will convert a repentant person
with a homosexual orientation to heterosexuality: "And that is what some of you
were. But you were washed, you were sanctified, you were justified in the name of the Lord
Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God." (NIV) Many liberal theologians have a totally different interpretation of this passage.
Many ex-gay groups:
||Believe that homosexuality is a matter of
choice; they often use the term sexual
preference rather than sexual orientation. When they talk
about "homosexuality" they usually refer to
behaviors, not feelings of sexual attraction.
||Agree with the beliefs of authors of the Bible: that everyone is basically heterosexual,
but that some people engage in homosexual acts and often become addicted to them.
||Believe that poor parenting skills by their parents or sexual
molestation by a same-sex adult can greatly increase the likelihood
that a person will experiment with homosexuality.
||View sexual orientation in simplistic terms and frequently ignore the phenomenon of
bisexuality. They often believe that a person is either totally gay or completely
Their views are difficult to change because they are rooted in fundamental religious
beliefs. To change would first require them to believe that:
||the Bible is in error, or
||that certain passages should be interpreted differently than they have been in the past,
||that the Bible contains criticism of homosexuality which were valid only in ancient
||that certain sections of the Bible should be ignored.
In the past, conservative Christians have been able to make these types of
transitions over the matter of slavery and racial segregation;
some have begun the process of change with women's rights. But most have not yet begun the
same process over homosexuality.
Some statements by various groups on sexual orientation:
||Exodus International's statement of belief describes heterosexuality: "as
God's creative intent for humanity, and subsequently views homosexual expression as
outside God's will.....Exodus upholds redemption for the homosexual person as the process
whereby sin's power is broken, and the individual is freed to know and experience true
identity as discovered in Christ and His Church. That process entails the freedom to grow
||Evergreen International states that "homosexuality
unintentionally acquired condition that may have biological, developmental, and
psychological causes. It is not a predetermined or unchangeable condition, but one that
can be altered. The speed and extent of your transition will, to a large degree, be
determined by your individual set of challenges."
||"Chaplain Ray from Dallas TX has authored an article on
"How Homosexuals Can Change." He says that gays should "Keep
active. Work. Exercise. Involve yourself in as much wholesome group activities as
possible." He believes that gays would have been "healthier emotionally
and psychologically if they had been involved in the rough and tumble games and fights of
the children on the playgrounds." 11
||Kenneth Gangel, of Dallas Theological Seminary, claims that
the "propensity [towards homosexuality] can be changed by the power of Jesus
Christ." He criticizes those Evangelicals who do not promote a total change of
the gay or lesbian to full heterosexuality. To do so is to "stop
short of the real power of the gospel."
||Leanne Payne, of Pastoral Care Ministries, calls all
homosexuality "a sexual neurosis...a condition for God to heal." She
says that a cure "is (in spite of the widespread belief to the contrary)
remarkably simple." Homosexuality, according to Ms. Payne, is a condition to be
repented of, forgiven and healed through prayer to Jesus. (See
||Kent Philpott, leader of the ministry: Love in Action, wrote a
book "The Third Sex?" It describes individuals that he said were able
to change their sexual orientation. The people mentioned in his book later denied that
they had been able to change; they sued the publisher and won their case. However, the book is still
being distributed in the UK.
||Robert Kronemeyer wrote: "Buried under the 'gay' exterior of
the homosexual is the hurt and rage that crippled his or her capacity for true maturation,
for healthy growth and love. After a quarter-century of clinical experience, I firmly
believe that homosexuality is a learned response to early painful experiences and that it
can be unlearned." 16
Early psychoanalytic theories held that male homosexuality was "caused"
by an emotionally distant father and an aggressive mother. These theories had long been
discredited and abandoned by the most mental health practitioners and by human sexuality
researchers. However, Dr. Elizabeth Moberly revisited this concept in the
early 1980's. It is her belief that homosexuality is caused by a defective bonding between
a child and their same-sex parent. This "defensive detachment" in turn
causes the child (and later the adult) to seek reattachment to a member of the same sex.
Homosexuality is "cured" by having the adult enter into a close, intimate, but
non-sexual relationship with an adult of the same gender - perhaps a therapist or
counselor. The client can then go on to overcome the deficiencies in their childhood. In
essence, they develop a close bond to a temporary replacement parent and repeat the
maturing process. Changing from homosexual orientation to heterosexual naturally follows;
the patient becomes attracted to members of the opposite sex.
Similar views have been promoted more recently. by Dr. Joseph Nicolosi of
the Thomas Aquinas Psychological Clinic in Encino CA . He is one of the founders
of NARTH. His proposes a model in which "due to
incomplete development of aspects of his masculine identity, the homosexual seeks to
'repair' his deficits through erotic contact with an idealized other." Treatment
then involves the "full development of the client's masculine gender identity"
- a task that they had not completed while they were children. He believes that this model
fits most of his male clients, but is not necessarily the sole cause of homosexuality. He
describes the concept of a "non-gay homosexual," a person who is driven
by his very conservative (usually Christian) beliefs to regard heterosexuality as the only
acceptable "pattern of life," yet has a homosexual orientation.
Dr. Nocolosi feels that the non-gay homosexual has been neglected by therapists. 18
Most of the specialists in human sexuality who are not Evangelical Christians believe
that sexual orientation is determined before school age by a complex interaction of
genetic and environmental factors that are only vaguely known at this time. And they have
reached a consensus that sexual orientation in an adult cannot be changed. Gays and
Lesbians have only two options -- to:
||become celibate or
||enter into relationship with members of the same gender.
Related essays on this web site:
"Open Hands" (Vol. 2, Nbr 2, 1986-FALL) Available at http://abacus.oxy.edu/qrd/religion/anti/exgay/
Robert Kronemeyer, "Overcoming Homosexuality," (1980)
Dr. J. Nicolosi, "Healing Homosexuality," Jason Aronson, (1993)
The Family Research Council publishes a list of ex-gay ministries. You can
order a copy from (800) 225-4008.
Copyright © 1996 to 2006 by Ontario Consultants on
Latest update: 2006-APR-09
Author: B.A. Robinson