Roll the tape and you supply the commentary…
A group in Uganda called the “Forum for Kings and Cultural Leaders in Uganda” urged the government to pass the Anti-Homosexuality Bill yesterday. The news released reportedly said:
…homosexuality breaks the laws of nature, faith, the Constitution and the laws of culture and traditions
Bahati, cheered by the support said:
Mr Bahati, in a phone interview yesterday, welcomed efforts of the traditional leaders, saying “because at the end of the day, homosexuality is a danger to the culture that they are charged with protecting.”
While reading the article, I thought of my article titled, “Eliminating homosexuality: Nazi Germany and modern Uganda.” In it, I point out the attitudes of the National Socialists toward homosexuality. War criminal Josef Meisinger was the head of the Reich office charged with eliminating homosexuality. In a 1937 speech, he had this to say about the political reasons to combat homosexuality.
If one is really to appreciate the hidden danger of homosexuality, it is no longer enough to consider it as before from a narrowly criminal viewpoint. Because it is now so enormously widespread, it has actually developed into a phenomenon of the most far-reaching consequence for the survival of the nation and state. For this reason, however, homosexuality can no longer be regarded simply from the viewpoint of criminal investigation; it has become a problem with political importance. This being so, it cannot be the task of the police to investigate homosexuality scientifically. At the most it can take account of scientific conclusions in its work. Their task is to ascertain homosexual trends and their damaging effects, so as to avert the danger that this phenomenon represents for nation and state. No one says to the police: you shouldn’t arrest this thief because he might have acquired kleptomania. Similarly, once we have recognized that a homosexual is an enemy of the state, we shan’t ask the police-and much less the Political Police-whether he has acquired his vice or whether he was born with it. I should mention here that experience has shown beyond doubt that only a vanishingly small number of homosexuals have a truly homosexual inclination, that most of them by far have been quite normally active at one time or another and then turned to this area simply because they were sated with life’s pleasures or for various other reasons such as fear of venereal diseases. I should also say that, with firm education and order, and regulated labor, a great number of homosexuals who have come to the attention of the authorities have been taught to become useful members of the national community.
Note that the “danger” of homosexuality is framed in nationalistic terms, much as it is currently in Uganda. When one considers this nationalism along with the fervor that some religious leaders are inciting, and it should be clear why the situation must seem very precarious for homosexuals there.
You had to see this coming.
Parents and Friends of Ex-gays issued a press release today touting a certificate of appreciation given to Regina Griggs by the Mayor of the District of Columbia for her work as PFOX director. The certification lauded Griggs’:
dedication, commitment, and outstanding contributions as Executive Director of Parents and Friends of Ex-Gays and Gays.
Call me a prophet. When I saw that news, I immediately figured that the Mayor’s office would issue a clarification or denial before the end of the day. And lo, and behold, as has been reported elsewhere, Mayor Fenty’s office released a statement apologizing for the certificate, saying in full:
A staff level error was made when the request for the certificate in question was fulfilled. We apologize for the error as it runs contrary to the Mayor’s vision of a more open and inclusive city.
The Mayor is proud of his ardent support of the LGBT community as illustrated in his championing of the Marriage Equality legislation which he signed into law on December 18, 2009.
This full statement, courtesy of Mayor Fenty’s Director of Communications, Mafara Hobson, blames a staffer for the error and indicates he did not know what he was signing.
Some of the confusion could be the inclusion of “gays” in their title. The certificate mentions PFOX as being the Parents and Friends of Ex-gays and Gays. However, their 2008 990 form confirms that the legal name of the organization does not include the gay part.
Another interesting point on the 990 is that PFOX reports to the IRS that it is a “Christian Support Ministry.” However, on the Path coalition website, they portray themselves as a non-religious group.
Dog bites man. OneNewsNow distorts sexual orientation research.
In a great example of why I hope Janet Porter’s prayer to take over the media is never realized, OneNewsNow distorts the import of Elan Karten’s doctoral dissertation research reported recently in Journal of Men’s Studies.
Here is the OneNewsNow title:
‘Orientation’ change efforts effective.
Here is a statement from Karten and Wade (p. 86):
The purpose of the study was not to replicate findings from prior research or establish the efficacy of this treatment.
Now the way NARTH discusses the study, one might think replication of prior change research was the intent, but it was not a study that was designed to “establish the efficacy” of sexual orientation change efforts (SOCE). Rather, the authors surveyed 117 men who were trying to change and asked them what seemed to be working in their quest. It was not an outcome study and there were no follow up interviews with any of the subjects.
OneNewsNow says this:
Researchers at Fordham University have released a study showing that homosexual men can change their “orientation” by developing healthy, non-sexual relationships with other men.
As noted by the article, the study did not demonstrate change via any mechanism nor was the stated intent of the study to establish this finding. The study was not designed in such a way that change could be verified. Karten recruited participants from Journey Into Manhood participants and from therapists who conducted change therapy. The subjects were only required to have some same-sex attraction, meaning that we do not know how many, if any, exclusively homosexual men were in the study. There was only one measurement of sexual attraction via the survey with no follow up measures. Thus, change was not really measured, in that there was no pre-treatment or post-treatment assessments. Participants were asked to rate how helpful various interventions had been and various characteristics relating to masculinity. Nothing causative can be inferred from any of the reported correlations.
There are several problems with the study which make any interpretations of findings speculative but I will return to that in a future post. For now, it is clear that the Karten article contradicts the reporting of OneNewsNow.
This is not the first time OneNewsNow has skewed facts regarding sexual orientation research. For instance, when the APA sexual orientation task force reported findings in August, 2009, OneNewsNow reported uncritically the incorrect view that the APA recommended that evangelical gays should change churches to join affirming groups. In my blog at US News and World Report, I pointed out that OneNewsNow refused a request to correct the record. In fact, when I called to point it out, the reporter hung up on me.
So when Janet Porter prays that Christians take over the media and that CBS should be the Christian Broadcasting System, I cringe. OneNewsNow is owned by the American Family Association, one of the sponsoring organizations for the May Day 2010 taking place this Saturday. In the program for that event, this prayer is offered for the media:
-Repent for how the media has turned its backs on God and the truth.
-Repent for how they have become activists for evil.
-Invite God back into the media to guide and direct reporting in a truthful way.
As noted in this video and the above prayer, Mrs. Porter proposes that truth will be served if Christians reclaim media. Well, I am all for truthful reporting. However, this OneNewsNow report demonstrates how beliefs about the truth can lead to inaccurate and biased reporting. To me, doing media Christianly at least involves getting all the facts and reporting them accurately, whatever the story might be.
Peter LaBarbera today reprints Laurie Higgins critique of an article by Mark Yarhouse regarding the application of our sexual identity therapy framework (SITF). I am aware he does not mean to promote the framework but his articles have increased my emails about the framework and requests for referrals to therapists who practice in that manner. I refer them to the registry of practitioners who claim to use the SITF at the Institute for the Study of Sexual Identity. However, a quick look will confirm that many areas of the country are unrepresented there. This area clearly needs to be developed.
Those affiliated with ISSI include people working in several graduate programs in counseling and we aware of other programs who inform students about the SITF. By far, the largest organization that offers information regarding the SITF is the American Association of Christian Counselors. Mark and I presented a preconference workshop at the 2007 AACC conference titled, Introduction and Clinical Application of the Sexual Identity Therapy Guidelines.” A 3 CD set of that workshop is available on the AACC website. In 2008, Mark presented the SITF at the AACC West Region conference. A audio of that workshop is also available on the AACC website.
The website supporting the SITF is www.sitframework.com. There we have posted articles consistent with the SITF and a list of presentations regarding it. On YouTube, there is a two part demonstration of how I worked with BBC reporter David Akinsanya in 2005. Akinsanya had just left Love in Action early because he felt it did not fit him and his values. This interview was conducted in 2005 as the SITF was being developed.
Wall Street Journal reporter has followed the development of the SITF with a 2007 article in the LA Times and then a 2009 piece in the Wall Street Journal. Wikipedia has an entry on the SITF. The APA’s 2009 sexual orientation task force cited the SITF favorably as a means for clients to therapeutically explore their options.
Much needs to be done to develop the model and describe how existing models are applied with it. Between us, Mark and I have trained several hundred mental health and ministry professionals in the model and look forward to providing more opportunities for supervision and training.