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03/08/2011

Video: 'Ex-gay' debate caught up in Oprah's net

by Jeremy Hooper

Tonight on OWN, 10/9C:



Gut reactions:

The first clip: Alan's admitted struggle always makes us sad. Because he really seems to believe that adult relationships must come with this kind of deep, internal warring. Sure, adult relationships have challenges and issues and problems, or whatever. But the demon Alan seems to fundamentally fight against in order to stay focused not only on his bond and commitment but rather on the gender of his partner? Well it goes well beyond taking out the garbage or forgetting an anniversary. And it's hard to fathom, really. So when we set aside the very hurtful work he does via his Exodus leadership and instead just look at and listen to the human being attached, we can't help but feel a measure of sympathy (even if he thinks we're the ones who deserve it instead).

The second clip: Once again, we see the "ex-gay" thing framed as a choice between clubs and stripping and some sort of "lifestyle," with attraction to/desire to marry an opposite-sex partner juxtaposed against the same. It's a false and offensive tradeoff that needs to stop. We sincerely hope the full program will make strides to both call it out and combat it.

The third clip: Nice. Good to see coverage of actual programs that seek to soothe the headline-grabbing "ex-gay" movement's considerable wounds. Because what this does is show the viewer that all of these kinds of programs are essentially contrivances, designed to in some way foster viewpoints. It says, "Hey, look -- both sides can round up young people and tell them things about who they are and how they should view their lives, but all are bound to the facts of science." And when one looks beyond these dueling organizational choices of motivated humans and instead looks to the shared body of concrete, credible science, only one of these camps earns backing that transcends personal, faith-based whim. That is where the conversation lies tells the truth.

We look forward to seeing the full show.

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