National Review on Love Won Out

Eve Tushnet, writing for National Review Online, reviews the June 10, Love Won Out conference near Washington DC. It’s a pretty brief article but she finds most fault with the reparative therapy tone of the day. While she acknowledged that some men do fit the reparative-theory-predicted understanding of things, others don’t. Interesting was the man, “Frank,” who said he did fit the theory, but even with all the insight, he has not lost his same-sex attractions.

On the whole, she is unimpressed with the emphasis on causation. Reading further on her blog, she writes:

But there are all kinds of cases where family dynamics don’t explain very much. And honestly–family dynamics are often a reductive and boring explanation for homosexuality. Plus, the Love Won Out speakers were super defensive on the subject of origins, hammering on and on about how homosexuality isn’t genetic. Why on earth does this even matter? All kinds of things have a genetic component. Even from the ex-gay perspective, there shouldn’t be anything threatening about acknowledging that homosexuality has some kind of complex relation to genetics. People wouldn’t avoid treatment for anxiety disorders, or stop going to AA, or give up on controlling their tempers, just because anxiety or alcoholism or anger has a genetic component. So I really have no idea why the idea of an inborn predisposition to homosexuality wigged these people out so bad.

Yeah, I wonder that too. I suspect it is a reaction to those who say, “don’t tamper with someone’s feelings, they’re genetic!” However, I don’t think one overreaction deserves another.