June 30, 2007

A Majority of Americans Say Homosexuality is Not Changeable

From the Christian Post:

Former leaders of the nation's largest evangelical referral ministry on homosexual issues made a public apology on Wednesday for the harm they say they caused in their gay conversion efforts.

"Some who heard our message were compelled to try to change an integral part of themselves, bringing harm to themselves and their families," said Michael Bussee, Jeremy Marks and Darlene Bogle, who formerly helped lead Fla.-based Exodus International, in a joint written statement. "Although we acted in good faith, we have since witnessed the isolation, shame, fear and loss of faith that this message creates."

Their statement at a news conference in Hollywood reflects the opinion of the
general American public on homosexuals and change as the latest CNN/Opinion Research Corporation poll revealed that same day. For the first time in a CNN poll, the majority of Americans (56 percent) said they do not believe sexual orientation can be changed. That statistic jumped from the 45 percent that a CNN/USA Today/Gallup poll found in 2001. In 1998, the number was 36 percent, according to a CNN/Time poll.

There is plenty here to comment on. First, kudos to the former Exodus leaders for stepping up and taking responsibility for their actions, which although well-intentioned unquestionably hurt people. You don't see people stand up and be accountable for their mistakes very often these days, so for these folks to do so was refreshing and lent more credibility to their message.

The poll numbers show that people are learning that the whole "ex-gay" concept is bogus. This will help people be more accepting of GLBT people and willing for them to have equal rights. It will hopefully diminish the ability of orgainzations like Exodus to lead people down a path to deny who they really are.

Further down in the Christian Post article, Exodus' president Alan Chambers was quoted as saying:

"There are thousands of people like me who have overcome this. I think there's room for more than one opinion on this subject, and giving people options isn't dangerous," said Chambers, according to The Los Angeles Times.

I very strongly disagree with that statement. After Chambers' recent comments about not being to lead people to a total "cure" from homosexuality, I believe his organization should be renamed "Exodus Lite." Regardless, giving people false hope IS VERY dangerous.

Let's face it, someone who is seeking or being pushed to change or deny their sexual orientation is in a bad place in their lives. This would make them particularly vulnerable to the "opinion" that they can change their lifestyle.

Just ask Wayne Besen, the expert on this issue, how many people actually sustain this type of change, and how many of those are not on the payroll of an ex-gay organization. In general terms, the answer is not very many. It clearly didn't take for the three people who apologized for their actions.

While I support Alan Chambers right to free speech, it is important to support people like Wayne Besen who refute his dangerous, misleading "opinions" with cold hard facts.

God didn't make anyone in a way that they would have to deny who they are. To say anything different would be saying God made a mistake. He receives us all as we are through the sacrifice of Jesus as long as we give our hearts and souls, be they heterosexual or homosexual, to Him.

As Pastor Brenda wondered earlier this week, what could people like Alan Chambers do with the energy they have to spend fighting off their homosexual desires? How much more could they use their gifts to serve the Lord if they weren't so busy denying who they really are?

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