Thursday, August 6, 2009

It’s Official: You Can’t Pray Away The Gay

At dinner Tuesday night the guy at the next table was speaking extremely loud, the kind of loud that you can’t help but overhear, much as you wish you could. And I really wished I could, because what he was saying was standard-issue evangelical Christianese.

Yuck. Reminded me of the time my mother and I went to Tony Roma’s and the couple at the next table waxed enthusiastically through the entire meal about how great God is to have created such awesome barbecue.

Anyway, such things wouldn’t be noteworthy here in the buckle of the Bible belt except Tuesday’s dinner yakker set off my gaydar big time. In fact, the disparity between the evangelical religious-speak and the clanging gaydar made it difficult for me to concentrate on my food, which I needed to do because we were using chopsticks, which I’ve never mastered. I just wanted to go over and ask the guy if he was aware he was gay and I hoped his church was okay with that, because if they weren’t, there are plenty of churches in Nashville that are.

Now of course I don’t know this person or what kind of church they are part of, so it’s very possible they’ve found a welcoming and affirming congregation, though there are precious few of those of the evangelical flavor.

But it’s really sad that so many religious folks have this completely messed up attitude toward gays and lesbians, even promoting these totally abusive “therapy” programs that the APA has now officially concluded don’t work:
There is no evidence to support the claims of some practitioners that sexual orientation can be changed through therapy, a special committee of the American Psychological Assn. reported today. Mental health professionals should not tell patients that they can change their sexual orientation and instead should help them "explore possible life paths that address the reality of their sexual orientation," according to the report, which was released at a Toronto meeting of the association and online.

I wonder if the American Family Assn.’s Charlie Butts will be all over this story like he was the APA’s statement on the "gay gene" that he misconstrued and redacted to say what he wanted it to. That lie ricocheted around the right wing media, including WingNut Daily.

It seems to me it’s better for everyone all around if we just accept people for who they are and be done with it, and avoid such tragic experiences as the ones "ex-gay therapy" survivor Patrick McAlvey relates here: