Thursday, November 29, 2012

Hate group is livid over SPLC's lawsuit against 'ex-gay' group

News that the Southern Poverty Law Center is suing the 'ex-gay' group JONAH for consumer fraud has literally sent the Family Research Council into orbit. The organization made the following statement its Washington Update on Wednesday:

 . . . In its lawsuit, SPLC says that reorientation therapy "has no basis in scientific fact." As FRC's Peter Sprigg will tell you, there's an abundance of scientific and anecdotal evidence that the therapies do work--although critics are reluctant to acknowledge it. NARTH (National Association for Research and Therapy of Homosexuality) has cited "600 reports of clinicians, researchers, and former clients--primarily from professional and peer-reviewed scientific journals" which show that "reorientation treatment has been helpful to many." The left-leaning American Psychological Association (APA) says there is "no sufficiently scientifically sound evidence that sexual orientation can be changed." 

But the APA isn't claiming that there's no evidence change is possible--only that the evidence out there is "not sufficiently scientifically sound." In other words, it doesn't meet all the criteria for "gold standard" social science research: random samples, a prospective and longitudinal design, and use of a control group. Of course, a lot of pro-homosexual social science research doesn't meet those standards! And even when studies do meet that criteria (like Mark Regnerus's recent homosexual parenting study), the Left races to discredit them. More and better research would be great--but the same people who say the research is inadequate also adamantly oppose doing more studies on the topic! In this lawsuit, SPLC also strongly suggests that reorientation therapy is not only ineffective, but harmful. What's their evidence for that? Well, it's entirely anecdotal--the same kind of evidence they refuse to accept with regard to the effectiveness of the therapy!

The bottom line is that SPLC doesn't seem interested in helping people. Their actions and bank accounts show that the organization is more interested in profiting from them. If the Left truly had homosexuals' best interest in mind, they would recognize that for many, these attractions are unwanted. For those who struggle, hope is not in limiting avenues for change--but encouraging them. 

FRC's statement is full of distortions and misrepresentations. Let's break them down in a simple fashion:

1. According to FRC, its spokesman, Peter Sprigg, can point to an abundance of "scientific and anecdotal" evidence that "ex-gay" therapy works. I've never heard of anyone grouping scientific work with that of the "anecdotal" nature. But more to the point, where are the links to Sprigg pointing out this supposed evidence. For that matter, where is the evidence of FRC's claim that NARTH (an organization with NO credibility) has provided proof that "ex-gay" therapy works

2. FRC claims that a "lot of pro-homosexual social science research" does not meet the standards of credible social science research. Fair enough, but a classic misdirection. Not only does FRC neglect to mention said studies, but also does not mention just what does these alleged studies have to do with the lack of credibility of "ex-gay" studies.

3. FRC claims that the recent study regarding gay parenting by Mark Regnerus does in fact meet the criteria of credible of social science research. Not true. Regnerus' study has been blasted as faulty and flawed - not by "the Left" -  but by credible researchers for its myriad of errors, particularly its definition of what constitutes a "same-sex" household.

4. Lastly, FRC omits the simple fact that SPLC is pushing this lawsuit on the behalf of four ex-clients of JONAH, all of whom were the victims of the faulty belief that their sexual orientation needed to be changed:
The complaint outlines some of the bizarre treatment the men were subjected to in sessions with JONAH counselor Alan Downing and others:
  • remove all clothing during both individual and group therapy sessions including an instruction to Levin to hold his penis in front of Defendant Downing,
  • cuddle and intimately hold others of the same-sex including between young clients and older counselors,
  • violently beat an effigy of the client’s mother with a tennis racket,
  • go to the gym more as well as bath houses in order to be nude with father figures, and
  • be subjected to ridicule as “faggots” and “homos” in mock locker room and gym class scenarios.
Michael Ferguson, one of the four young men SPLC is representing in the case, recalled his own experiences under JONAH’s care:
I watched as grown men were frenzied into fits of emotional rage against their mothers and encouraged to act out physical violence against their parents, in order to access their so-called ‘true manhood’ and become more heterosexual.
… In another exercise, a man had to break through a human barricade that I was a part of in order to seize two oranges that were meant to symbolize his testicles. He was then frenetically instructed to squeeze the juice from them and drink it and to put the oranges in his pants in order to represent ‘gaining his testicles’ the symbolic absence of them supposedly being the cause of his homosexuality.

Full story here:
Someone should ask FRC just how does the above help anyone regardless of what their sexual orientation may be.

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olandp said...

One would think that FRC wouldn't bring up the Regnerus study as it really shows the harmful results of this therapy, the results of gays and lesbians entering into heterosexual relationships and the toll that they take on families.

In court they will have to put up or shut up. I'm sure that the SPLC wouldn't bring a suit unless they know they can win.

BJ Jackson Lincoln said...

They are losing the marriage "war".
They are losing the anti-discrimination "war".
Now they are losing their "Pray away the gay war".
Science wins over quackery every time!

Glenn Ingersoll said...

I would think they would be excited to present the bundles & scads & oodles of evidence they've stockpiled demonstrating the wonderful good ex-gay therapy has done for "many" - all those "many" who will happily, joyously testify under oath in a courtroom about the new lifestyle ex-gay therapy has provided them.