More on “Youth in the Cross-hairs”

In my earlier post on the NGLTF report Youth in the Crosshairs, I noted that the report made a lot of unsubstantiated claims, but didn't substantiate that objection with any examples. To remedy that bit of ironic hypocrisy, here is a small smattering of statements plucked from the report. Comments in parentheses and italics are mine.

p. 4

"Ex-gays who stop “living in homosexuality” prove their newfound heterosexuality through adherence to rigid gender behaviors."

(Support for this very general claim? Other than the testimony of a couple of ex-gays at one LWO conference? Support for the claim that any ex-gays believe that such adherence to "rigid gender behaviors" is a "proof" of "heterosexuality"?)

p. 10

"ex-gay programs operate under the premise that homosexuality is a mental illness."

(All ex-gay programs? Support for this claim?)

p. 14

"The rise in the number of youth who report attending ex-gay programs is not surprising."

(Info about the rise in number? I don't doubt that there is a rise in number, but NGLTF offers no evidence for this but anecdotes.)


p.15

"Exodus Youth’s Web site also includes resources specifically for the children of gay parents, offering answers to questions like, “How can I reconcile my faith in God with my parents’ homosexuality?” and “How can I offer support to my parent who is suffering with HIV/AIDS, while at the same time trying to deal with the pain of losing him/her?”59 The latter question is an example of a common message of ex-gay programs, which is that most homosexuals either have HIV or will become infected in the future."

(Info about how common a message this is? I never got it.)

p. 18

"The relationship between FOF and NARTH, and the important role it plays in the ex-gay movement’s strategy to reach out to youth and parents, cannot be understated."

(Info about the relationship?)

"…anti-gay leaders regularly claim homosexuality is a choice"

(Info on which anti-gay leaders regularly claim this?)

p. 20

"In his opinion, Judge Alexander William Jr. cited elements of the proposed curriculum that he ruled were biased against ex-gays, such as the claim that “[t]rying to change one’s sexual response to straight or gay is usually unsuccessful,” and that “[i]n fact, it is often societal homophobia that forces people to attempt to change.”85 As a result of the ruling, the school board was forced to alter its sex education curriculum, and even included a representative from PFOX on the committee charged with finding a replacement.86"

(Plenty of references here, but NGLTF misunderstands and/or incorrectly portrays the actual nature of the ruling. The judge objected to the curriculum's one-sided *religious* material supporting pro-gay religious views, and was in no way defending the ex-gay perspective or trying to protect them from bias.)

"This kind of direct action in schools is an increasingly popular strategy employed by he ex-gay movement."

(I'm not sure how the PFOX suit qualifies as an example of "direct action". ADF's Day of Truth, while its aims may overlap with those of the ex-gay movement, is not part of the ex-gay movement itself. It is more about defending straight evangelical students rights to stand up for their beliefs regarding homosexuality than anything else. So I see no plausible examples of direct action by the ex-gay movement in schools, and thus find it hard to see how it could be an "increasingly popular strategy.")

p. 25

"Evidence of this change in rhetoric can be seen in statements made by Jerry Falwell…"

(Two statements made by one man four years apart in two very different situations are taken to provide evidence for a sea change in "Christian right" rhetoric?)

p. 42

"Their solution is their conservative variant of evangelical Christianity; if homosexuals become born-again Christians, they argue, they can be “cured” of homosexuality."

(Support for this claim? If only it were that easy!)

p. 48

"The gay activists who, a decade or so ago, claimed that gays were 10 percent of the population were not lying, they were simply citing a study that s now outdated."

(Use of the 10% statistic did not suddenly disappear when the new data began to roll in. It is unfair to claim that all gay activists who ever used the number were lying (although they could be held responsible for not scrutinizing the study more carefully). But it is implausible to suggest that all who used the 10% number were simply unaware of the new, smaller and less attractive numbers. If the quotes of the curriculum from the judge's ruling are accurate, the controverisal proposed Montgomery County curriculum in 2004 included the 10% number.)

p. 54

"Like Nicolosi, Dallas ultimately draws from an obsolete notion of a “universal theology” and ignores the scholarship of the past 50 years that has brought about viable and diverse work on religion, biblical interpretation, and historical research, which makes his views of the bible untenable."

("Universal theology"? Info about research that makes Dallas's views of the Bible untenable?)

p. 55

"[Focus on the Family's] ultimate goal is a theocratic state in which one religious tradition—right-wing, evangelical Christianity—will determine public policy and individual rights, even those involving control over one’s body and one’s intimate relationships."

Info about / support for the "theocratic state" claim?)

p. 59

"The shifting definition of the word “change,” along with unclear details of how “change” happens, is an important development in the third wave of ex-gay activism."

(An important *development*? So we ex-gays used to be clear about what 'change' means???)

p. 77

"Young people are now being used as ammunition in the evangelical Christian and political right-wing’s war against equality for LGBT Americans."

(Support for the claim that they are being used as ammunition? Exactly how is such a tactic supposed to work? The more plausible view to me, based on the information that the report offers, is that these groups genuinely believe that kids are at risk and are trying to help them in accordance with their beliefs.)

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