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Friday, June 16, 2006

Did We Read The Same Column?

Andrew Sullivan calls this article on the Love Won Out conference by Eve Tushnet "excellent." He snags one quote about individual who is dissatisfied with the annual conference's topic, ex-gay ministries, but he doesn't say anything about this portion of the article (emphasis added):

Even some who consider themselves "ex-ex-gays" acknowledge that the programs help some people. Joe Riddle, who spent five years in the Mormon ex-gay group Evergreen, told me, "I definitely think the ex-gay choice is valid, and for some people it truly [works]." But, he added, "I think those people tend to drop out of the ex-gay groups and fly solo. The people who make it work are the people who do it on their own and depoliticize it." And in his experience, such people were few: "I only met two people who shared convincing stories of [change of sexual orientation]."

Anyone who reads Sullivan knows that he thinks that ex-gay ministries is 100% bad - indeed, he likens Love Won Out to "detach[ing] gay people from God's love" in the post linked above. You'd think he'd go nuts over any suggestion that anyone could change homosexual orientation.

As for Mr. Riddle's remarks, one guy's opinion doesn't tell us anything about the number of ex-gays or the success rate of changing sexual orientation with or without the help of ex-gay ministries, any more than my own observations say about the number of Scientologists, HIV sufferers, American Idol contestants, or Azerbaijani; to the best of my knowledge I have never met such people. But his claim that former homosexuals exist at all can't be ignored, especially since a lot of people are making such claims. Ask Dennis Jernigan.

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