‘Ex-Gay’ Leader Admits There Are No Ex-Gays


Warren Throckmorton reports that Alan Chambers, the president of ‘ex-gay’ group Exodus International, recently admitted at a recent conference that 99.9 percent of the people who claim to be no longer gay are still gay.

The majority of people that I have met, and I would say the majority meaning 99.9% of them have not experienced a change in their orientation or have gotten to a place where they could say that they could never be tempted or are not tempted in some way or experience some level of same-sex attraction. I think there is a gender issue there, there are some women who have challenged me and said that my orientation or my attractions have changed completely. Those have been few and far between. The vast majority of people that I know will experience some level of same-sex attraction.

That’s because they’re still gay. And they’ll always be gay. They can choose to be celibate, of course, just as many straight people do, and they can choose to have sex with the opposite gender, but that doesn’t make them not gay. A celibate straight person doesn’t stop being straight. And straight people can and do participate in same-gender sex (porn actors often do), just as gay people can and do participate in opposite-gender sex, but that doesn’t change their sexual orientation.

I don’t really have a problem with someone who wants to control their sexual behavior, for whatever reason. Individuals do this all the time and often for good reason. We may want to have sex with all kinds of people but if we are in a monogamous relationship, exercising control over your desires is not a bad thing. If a gay person genuinely believes that having gay sex is morally wrong and they put their effort and focus into not acting on their desires, more power to them. I don’t think that’s a healthy thing to do, but it’s their life. And just as I don’t think I am in any position to morally judge someone for having same-gender sex, I also don’t think I’m in any position to morally judge them for not having it. But don’t pretend that you’re no longer gay. And especially don’t pretend that others should do the same thing or should follow your path to becoming “ex-gay” when you are no such thing.

Comments

  1. says

    I’m sure they knew this from the get-go. Doesn’t their literature admit that a gay person will still feel same-sex attraction after they’ve “completed” the “program?” Isn’t that why “ex-gays” are (IIRC at least) advised to subsequently avoid places, situations, communications and people that would cause temptation, for the rest of their lives?

    That’s how obvious this scam is: the perps have been quietly admitting it in their own propaganda.

  2. matty1 says

    The vast majority of people that I know will experience some level of same-sex attraction

    This says a lot about his own um ‘lifestyle’.

  3. steve oberski says

    Much like the abortion debate, where the “at what point is a fetus human” argument is dragged in to hide the fact the the real issue is womens autonomy over their own bodies, whether or not being gay is a an inherent attribute or a conscious choice is not the issue, it’s whether adults can engage in non-coercive, consensual relationships or not.

  4. DaveL says

    The vast majority of people that I know will experience some level of same-sex attraction

    This says a lot about his own um ‘lifestyle’.

    Yeah, denying the existence of straight people has been a staple of the anti-gay movement for years.

  5. rork says

    “but that doesn’t change their sexual orientation”
    More talk about people’s internal mental states. To the degree that the things you are talking about cannot be measured, you are freer to have just about any theory you want, and so is everyone else. Is that getting us anywhere?

    I can say this: If you were openly living with a guy for many years, and a gay activist with a pink triangle bumper-sticker, you are pretty much treated as gay and likely self-identify so, but if after that you are living with a woman for 20 years, people treat you as straight, though if they also knew your previous boyfriends, they might raise their eyebrows. Has your “orientation” changed at all in there – how would I know? I do think human brains change – their structures actually alter – like I’m trying to alter yours right now. We can hardly resist the desire to have (over-simplified) models of other people’s thought processes – it’s adaptive no doubt – and it’s likely efficient if you are trying for sex with someone.
    The theory is only correct in theory though.

  6. matty1 says

    As has been said before if being gay is 100% a free choice that you can reverse any time then discriminating against gays is the same as discriminating against Christians.

    I want to see some consistency from the anti-gay activists, tell us how laws against Christian marriage would be perfectly OK.

  7. Michael Heath says

    Alan Chambers:

    The majority of people that I have met, and I would say the majority meaning 99.9% of them have not experienced a change in their orientation. […] The vast majority of people that I know will experience some level of same-sex attraction.

    We need to consider the source and continue to be skeptical of all his claims. I don’t think it’s wise to trust a former opponent when he’s reversed his position merely because it now lines up with our’s; unless he’s also demonstrably changed his behavior and character and shown some consistency with the truth. Mr. Chambers doesn’t provide validation of anything precisely because he’s a former liar who appears to me in the above assertions to continue to lie. In fact he appears incapable of referencing legitimate statistical findings which validate his positions.

    It reminds me of this U of CA Berkley scientist who recently claimed his recent work on global temp. trends validated the work of climate scientists to the point it was now time to end skepticism the global climate wasn’t warning. His work is essentially meaningless on that argument; he brought no distinguishing moral authority or expertise precisely because he’s earned our distrust. He was and remains a liar, including post-publication of his new findings. We already had independent validation of climate science findings. The only news is that a denialist has now joined the other camp. Same in Chambers’ case. Merely because their in our camp doesn’t mean we can trust their assertions simply because they now square with our own. We should instead hold our assertions based on the work of trustworthy experts using correct processes to determine what’s true.

  8. says

    Isn’t one of our problems thinking of sexual orientation as a gay/straight, black/white dichotomy? Isn’t it more likely that there is a nice spectrum of sexual orientation, with strict same-sex attraction at one end and strict opposite-sex attraction at the other, and a whole host of attractions in the middle, with most of us leaning close to yet not exactly at either end, Or at least living our lives that way) but still many, many people fitting all colors in between?

    Sort of like a rainbow, appropriately enough.

    We spend too much time trying to pin labels on people rather than enjoying them for whatever they are.

  9. Pierce R. Butler says

    Michael Heath @ # 10: … this U of CA Berkley scientist who recently claimed his recent work on global temp. trends validated the work of climate scientists … he’s earned our distrust. He was and remains a liar…

    Presumably you speak of physicist Richard Muller, whose change of mind after a Koch-funded study made a lot of headlines last year.

    Plenty of people accused Muller of arrogance for his earlier skepticism, and for then saying that his own group’s review (confirming the conclusions of the great majority of climatologists) should end the argument, but you make the first claim (I’ve seen) that he lied.

    Please show us some evidence.

  10. marcus says

    There are valid points being made in all of these posts. Speaking for myself and my own experience I can only say that my orientation is pretty much the same as it has always been. In the seventies when I was working with a group thats main focus was the treatment of sexual dysfunction (ED men and pre-orgasmic women) the meme of the day was that all people “really” were bi-sexual and that sexual predilections were mostly conditioning and choice. I had several intimate, enjoyable experiences with men in the spirit of being open-minded, and I discovered that I “really” wasn’t bi-sexual, that being with men lacked a definite “something” that I could only experience with women. While the premise (at least for me) was proved incorrect, it did make with see sexual orientation differently, insofar as realizing that sexual orientation is a part of a person’s nature and not to be dismissed lightly, nor treated as some kind of dysfunction by society at large. (I had always been “tolerant” of the right of people to choose their own way but after that experience I could actually empathize.)

  11. Michael Heath says

    Pierce Butler writes:

    Plenty of people accused Muller of arrogance for his earlier skepticism, and for then saying that his own group’s review (confirming the conclusions of the great majority of climatologists) should end the argument, but you make the first claim (I’ve seen) that he lied.

    Please show us some evidence.

    As I already noted, Muller lied by claiming it was his findings that should shut the door on doubt regarding temp. trends, which you concede he’s asserted. Previous findings using several lines of evidence had already shut that door years ago, do you not know this? If you don’t I understand your skepticism to my assertion here but if you do then I don’t understand the logic of your challenge.

    Muller’s validation in no way distinguished itself as the convincing finding needed to shut a door shut long ago. It’d be like Michael Behe validating another scientists’ work on natural selection and random mutation and then asserting based on his new work we should now accept evolution as already understood by biologists. That would be a lie of the same type Muller now tells. Both misinform their audience regarding the state of the science independent of Behe and Muller’s arguments. Muller’s continued dishonesty seems self-evident to me so I’m surprised it’s challenged.

  12. interrobang says

    People whose sexual orientation is fluid are probably bisexual. Which is not to say that I agree with the “seventies people” marcus quotes, in that everyone is a bit bisexual, but more that the hypothetical person rork describes would be completely bisexual. Most bisexuals tend to lean more one way than the other, though.

    The saddest thing is that a lot of these resolutely, determinedly straight Christian types have to work so hard at being straight. If you continually have to remind yourself that you’re attracted to opposite-sex people, then you’re probably much more gay than straight. These same people tend to treat same-sex sex as an incredible temptation, when, for straight people, it really isn’t.

    It took me a long time to realise I was bisexual, but that didn’t mean the attractions weren’t there — granted, far more in the hetero than homo direction, which did help keep me in denial for a long time.

  13. marcus says

    interrobang @17 I believe the “seventies people” were just making the same mistake as the christotards but in the other direction. And, of course, I in no wise meant to say that there were not truly bisexual people, just that, in terms of gratification, I am not one. In their excellent work “The Ethical Slut” Eastwood and Hardy talk about various aspects of sexuality and emotional response that, I think, help demonstrate the depth and dimensions of sexual and emotional responses available in human relationship. (One could identify themselves as sexually hetero and emotionally bi or as celibate slut, etc.) If you haven’t read it I highly recommend it. In my own life I do enjoy the sensual and emotional feelings that I get being affectionate and loving with my gay and bi friends, I also realize that if I kissed and hugged my straight friends with the same ardor that they might be taken aback. Obviously (as long as there is no intent to bring harm to another being) there is no “wrong” way to be. It is such a shame that in their stupidity and fear the religio-fascist try to kill all that is beautiful and fascinating about being a human.

  14. slc1 says

    Re Michael Heath @ #15

    Heath is neglecting the fact that Prof. Muller wasn’t performing the study that caused him to change his mind all by himself. There were several members of the UC Berkeley physics department involved, including Prof. Art Rosenfeld who I personally knew as I took a course from him a million years ago.

    Prof. Muller is not the first former skeptic to change his mind. Dr. Michael Shermer, who was also a skeptic on global warming, also changed his mind several years ago.

  15. Michael Heath says

    slc1:

    Heath is neglecting the fact that Prof. Muller wasn’t performing the study that caused him to change his mind all by himself. There were several members of the UC Berkeley physics department involved, including Prof. Art Rosenfeld who I personally knew as I took a course from him a million years ago.

    I can’t imagine how Muller doing this collaboratively has anything to do with my point. His findings, conclusions, or the quality of his research were not relevant to my argument. I suggest reading my argument more carefully.

    slc1:

    Prof. Muller is not the first former skeptic to change his mind. Dr. Michael Shermer, who was also a skeptic on global warming, also changed his mind several years ago.

    Which again has nothing to do with my point, which was that Muller lied and continues to lie which provides him with no moral authority to weigh in on the state of climate science but in fact strongly argues we should ignore him on such matters. [I get this last point of yours slc1 might not be a rebuttal to my previous post. In case it is I’ve responded accordingly.]

    I was never condemning skepticism, but instead both denialism and dishonesty.

  16. matty1 says

    Bisexual is a continuum and people can move along it. Overall about 20% of the people I’ve been attracted to were men but over time that percentage has dropped from 50/50 when I was about 16 to maybe 5% now.

    Now if by bisexual you mean can be attracted to both genders then yup thats me, if you mean equally attracted to both genders and just as likely to have their next relationship with either I’d say no.

  17. matty1 says

    Oh and nothing I said above has anything to do with the idea you can be prayed or ‘thereapied’ into changing your sexuality.

  18. No Light says

    matty1 – defining bisexuality as “exact 50/50 split in attraction” would mean that very few people could be considered bisexual. ‘Bi’ just means ‘both’. Sexual attraction to your own sex, and the opposite sex (in any proportion) is bisexuality.

    Marcus – just, no. Perhaps your own particular gay and bi friends have different attitudes and cultural mores than your straight friends, but take care not to paint all LGB people with the same narrow brush. Just like any other type of human we’re wildly different in outlook, attitudes and behaviour.

  19. Azkyroth says

    No X-Gays?

    You mean Fagneto, Bearverine, Professor Xgayvier, Vogue, Archfairy…all just fictional?

    :(

  20. regexp says

    @marcus

    In my own life I do enjoy the sensual and emotional feelings that I get being affectionate and loving with my gay and bi friends, I also realize that if I kissed and hugged my straight friends with the same ardor that they might be taken aback.

    Oh – you are one of those. An extrovert. :)

    Speaking as a gay introvert – if you attempt to hug or kiss me – you are going to get decked.

  21. Pierce R. Butler says

    Michael Heath @ # 16: … Muller lied by claiming it was his findings that should shut the door on doubt…

    Sorry, I find that closer to delusion than dishonesty, in the sense of telling an untruth* but believing in it.

    *To the extent that any short generalization about a complex topic can be either “true” or “untrue” – just as you find Ronald Reagan admirable while I see him as an asshole: each of us can cite exceptions to the pattern painted by the other, but does this make either you or I an unequivocal liar?

  22. Michael Heath says

    Pierce Butler:

    . . . just as you find Ronald Reagan admirable while I see him as an asshole.

    I conclude Ronald Reagan’s presidency was successful, I wouldn’t claim I find him to be generally admirable person. And he certainly was an asshole on many occasions, especially his treatment of ‘the least among of us’, e.g., gays suffering from AIDS.

    I concede he took some admirable positions, advocating and passing tax increases on top earners because inflation was hurting the middle class, abandoning “MAD” (mutually assured destruction) as a sane policy rather than seeking to eradicate nuclear weapons where him and Gorbechev started a legitimate process to do so, being as anti- a war-monger as we’ve had in the modern era joined only by Carter and Ford. I concede he took some poor positions, reversing Carter’s energy policies.

    My position on Reagan is impersonal, as it is with all presidents. I don’t make conclusions based on whether I admire them or whether they were assholes. But instead primarily if they were leaders with character (they all fail to some degree) whose presidencies were successful in improving our interests to the point they could control events or even create new paradigms for greatly changed results. The only president I ever personally identified with is our current president, largely because we’re a year apart, he studies and adapts, and the fact he’s confronting or attempting to confront the biggest challenges we face in spite of all his predecessors mostly avoiding these issues.

    Re Muller: I think we have an obligation to build arguments based on factually true premises. I think Muller built and builds arguments on factually untrue premises where the man is a scientist. I hold non-scientists accountable for asserting untrue premises which they can’t validate. Why would I let Muller off the hook? His education and profession should have us holding him to a higher standard than I use for the average Joe, where Muller fails even the average Joe test.

    I’m not looking at the result and claiming he’s lying or delusional. I’m instead looking at the process used to get the result he argues. There was and there remains ample opportunities for him easily validate those premises required to support his argument. Yet he purposefully used false premises which were outside the consensus view, repeatedly (consider his accusations regarding climate-gate, where he disparaged scientists and in some cases, misinformed people, e.g., his video).

    His lies are at least two if not three layers deep: by using unvalidated premises where he acts if they were validated [1], using his position to argue as an authority these premises are true when in fact he failed to validate his false premises [2], and then presenting conclusions which misinformed the public [arguably 3].

  23. Pierce R. Butler says

    Michael Heath @ # 27 – Now that’s a lot more like what I had in mind when I asked for evidence.

    Though I have to admit some ignorance – what video?

  24. marcus says

    @23 and 25 Please note that I said “friends”, that’s not a word I use lightly, nor do I lavish my affection on just anyone. What I am trying to say is that I feel less inhibited in expressing myself with some people more than others, my gay friends tend to be less homophobic (or less uncomfortable) with physical affection from another man, imagine that.

  25. sytec says

    “I don’t really have a problem with someone who wants to control their sexual behavior, for whatever reason”

    I agree, Ed. And I like it marginally better when the “therapists”, “spiritual guides”, ? (not really sure how they refer to themselves) admit that, no, they can’t really change a person’s sexual orientation. However, it still burns my ass that they so casually treat homosexuality like, say, alcoholism… a sickness. Like the alcoholic, you can never control yourself, so you must abstain, and do not be around things that will tempt you (like the alcoholic with his old drinking buddies, do not hang out with your gay friends). I say casually because it is often discussed as if these are comparable. Sometimes it’s casually compared to a pedophile’s urges to molest children as if they are similar conditions. I get so frustrated because no matter how slowly and specifically I explain, there are many who can not see that homosexuality is not a sickness. Homosexual acts between consenting, mentally fit adults harms nobody.
    Take away the homophobic, religious, morally superior arguments and see what objection remains…
    Because of this difficulty, and the fact that I am from extremely red, rural Texas (My father is way over there on the right, and likes to spew Rush Limbaugh at me when I visit), when people start with me about whether I think gays should be allowed to marry, do I think it’s wrong, etc., I have started responding with “well…. I don’t know, but it bothers me a lot less than people who seem to be obsessed with what other people do with their penis.”

  26. Michael Heath says

    Pierce Butler:

    Though I have to admit some ignorance – what video?

    Here’s Richard Muller’s explanation of “Mike’s trick” and “hide the decline”. Muller’s presentation is in regards to the most infamous and misrepresented of all the Climategate emails: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8BQpciw8suk

    Your not being aware of this has me assuming you’re not up to speed on Climategate and all the bad behavior by denialists. Therefore I highly suggest you first watch Peter Sinclair’s highly informative explanation via video of this email in general. Sinclair fisks parts of Muller’s presentation above which is why I present it rather than one of the official explanations which doesn’t cover the denialist response to these emails, only the content of the emails themselves: http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=tz8Ve6KE-Us

    If you were to read any of the several analyses of Climategate, I read Pew’s and Yale’s where there are more, you’d find additional evidence falsifying nearly every assertion Muller makes in the above video, not just the few Sinclair rebuts in the above Climate Crock of the Week video. Also, Sinclair’s rebuttal the data is easily available is a rebuttal to a different point than Muller’s assertion scientists wouldn’t give their data to some scientists. That reluctance to share data was true but was in a different email about a different topic. The Hadley scientists’ reluctance to share was due to the requesting scientists previously misrepresenting others’ work and still getting published in spite of enormous flaws in their paper(s?), which caused some editors of that journal to resign in protest since they concurred this work should never have been published (IIRC both the Yale and Pew findings go into detail on this matter). Muller falsely conflated that reluctance which is about a different email than the ‘hide the decline’ email.

    Dr. Muller is lying about the urban heat myth in the above linked email. I’m aware of two studies which tested the veracity of American weather collection stations which found this myth to be false, in fact the bias in observations is slightly below actual, not above. Those studies were published years prior to Dr. Muller’s false assertions about urban weather stations, which he avoids and instead gets his information from the most famous denialist of them all, Anthony Watts (who is not the most dishonest however, that award must go to “Lord” Monctkon, who like Watts is also not a scientist). This is another form of dishonesty, arguing from authority as a scientist while avoiding the actual scientific articles and instead getting his information from non-scientific sources like these emails and Anthony Watts.

    Please also be cognizant Muller is doing a verbal presentation in the first link. Consider how quickly Dr. Muller glosses over that the divergence being hid in this one graphical presentation are declining tree rings which serve as proxies while actual temperatures were available and were rising during this period. Note how he also falsely asserts to his audience that no work was done to check the validity of the proxies prior to the temp. record when in fact that work was done. I bet most of his audience concluded after this presentation that “the decline” was a temperature record as Fox News repeatedly and falsely claimed. Describing proxies takes time, describing the divergence is critical to Muller’s criticism and yet his audience gets virtually nothing at all from him on this most critical point.

    In addition Dr. Muller never informs his audience that the decline was never hid, but in fact this divergence was cause for a Mann et al. paper published in Nature. Several subsequent studies were also done on why tree rings declined after 1960 (IIRC by other groups, not Mann). Two of the hypotheses are some combination that the trees had reached their tolerance for heat with the rise since the 1950s where the additional heat breached the trees limits for heat and stressed them or and/or the extension of the growing season with equal or less precipitation also stressed the trees.

    Also consider the shows Dr. Muller goes on and that he’s supported their denialist message. In spite of the fact Dr. Muller demonstrates near-complete ignorance about the actual science from the climate science community’s perspective and instead depends on non-scientist denialists for his “facts”. I’m not a scientist and yet I’m easily able to keep up with what’s going regarding these matters. And no one’s asking me to go on shows as an expert, nor should they. Yet Dr. Muller does go on as an expert when he’s not and uses his position to make arguments from authority acting as if he’s a knowledgable when in fact he’s clearly not – which goes to my earlier point that he’s both lying by presenting false premises he promotes and is also lying about his properly validating those premises as scientists properly do.

    So from this perspective, I do argue he’s lying in three ways when he goes on Fox News and clearly lies in the aforementioned two ways about his premises. Those two ways leads to his creating misinformed conclusions amongst Fox News’ viewers that there is a scientific controversy regarding climate when there is not and where Muller falsely conveys scientists are behaving poorly when they are not.

  27. Pierce R. Butler says

    Michael Heath @ # 32: Your not being aware of this has me assuming you’re not up to speed on Climategate …

    I confess: I saw fairly early it was yet another denialist hustle and moved on to the next shiny object.

    You’ve given me evidence on top of evidence, and clear explanations as well – I couldn’t ask for more. Thank you, most sincerely.

    And there I was respecting Muller as a scientist who’d fairly assessed his opponents’ case and came to a well-reasoned reconsideration. *sigh*

  28. slc1 says

    Re Michael Heath @ #32

    Be all that as it may, Prof. Muller is now paying the price of changing his mind as he has come under vicious attack by Anthony Watts and his fellow traveling syncopates and it is extremely unlikely that he will be invited back to the Fascist News Channel.

  29. Michael Heath says

    slc1:

    Prof. Muller is now paying the price of changing his mind as he has come under vicious attack by Anthony Watts and his fellow traveling syncopates and it is extremely unlikely that he will be invited back to the Fascist News Channel.

    Of course, Muller abandoned the tribe and seemingly committed science; that’s two unforgivable crimes. Still, it would take a lot for Muller to earn back trust by climate scientists given how he grossly and repeatedly misrepresented both their findings and their character.

Leave a Reply