This has been widely reported by now but the AP has a story making the rounds that report statements by Michael Bussee, Jeremy Marks, and Darlene Bogle lamenting their work in ex-gay ministries. Actually, this is old news as Michael has been ex-ex for a long time, Darlene since 1990 and Jeremy since 2000. What made it irresistable to the AP, I suspect, was the tension between the ex-ex-gay conference and the Exodus conference occuring this week.
By now, the dinner is over I suppose. I wonder if anyone who was there will be giving any kind of report. My understanding is that such disclosures would not occur but we shall see.
I have lots of mixed feelings about the entire series of events. I have little time to explore this now but I do have one question for anyone involved in any of the ex-ex-gay organizations to react to: What are you wanting to accomplish? Ok, a follow up question. Do you want to see your vision of reform at Exodus or do you want to see Exodus shut down?
To the degree that the objective is to see Exodus discredited to the point of closing up shop, there will continue to be polarization and distance.
Wednesday June 27, at 8pm (est), Paula Zahn will examine changes in attitudes among people doing sexual identity therapy and ministry. I was interviewed for this segment as was Alan Chambers. Not sure what the exact focus will be. But the Zahn website has this brief description:
Boys who want to be girls… women who want to be men.. and gays who want to be straight! Uncovering changing attitudes and changing lifestyles, this Wednesday on “Paula Zahn NOW,” 8 p.m. ET.
UPDATE: Apparently it is a kind of GLB-fest today on CNN with several segments devoted to research about causes and change of sexuality. Here is a segment that was posted today online. Douglas Abbott takes the environmental view. You can read more about his views here.
Today begins the Exodus Conference in Irvine, CA. I have attended the last two meetings but cannot attend this year. Anyone who is there and would like to offer comments or observations are welcome to chime in. Let us know what’s happening this year…
The Toronto Star features an article about genetics and gayness. I thought the contrasts between Canada and the US were interesting and the explanations about behavioral genetics enlightening for a lay audience. Discussing Hamer’s early Xq28 research, the article notes the media fascination with the topic:
Because of the social, political, and cultural implications, his results â€“ inevitably headlined “Gay gene found” â€“ were hailed globally as a major breakthrough. Wrongly so, said the genetics community. The coverage was inflated, simplistic and misleading. No “gay gene” had been found, nor ever would be. Why? Because behavioural genetics is much more complex than “Mendelian” genetics. In other words, traits such as eye colour are 100 per cent inheritable but the genetic contribution to various behaviours, aggression, shyness, extroversion and so on, is considerably less, below 50 per cent.
Ruth Hubbard, Harvard emeritus professor of biology and biochemistry and author of Exploding the Gene Myth, has said that searching for a gay gene “is not even a worthwhile pursuit.
“I don’t think there is any single gene that governs any complex human behaviour. There are genetic components in everything we do, and it is foolish to say genes are not involved, but I don’t think they are decisive.”
Behavioral genetics research is going to continue to explode. The fun is going to be in examining pathways for the expression of various traits under various conditions.
Here is a recent article quoting Michael Bailey and Lisa Diamond among others regarding sexual orientation research.