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08/04/2014

Homo---ual: 'Ex-gay' movement moving from 'change' to stop

by Jeremy Hooper

Religion writer Sarah Pulliam Bailey has an interesting new article detailing the fascinating changes happening within the "ex-gay" world. At the heart of the piece is the growing admission that so-called "conversion therapy" is, in fact, the total and utter hogwash that we LGBT activists have always claimed it is, which is a really positive development. However, the larger focus is on the LGB people who have learned to accept themselves but who can't reconcile their truths with what they see as religious objections, leading them to just stop having sex altogether. I encourage you to give it a read:

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Gay, Christian and … celibate: The changing face of the homosexuality debate [Religion News Service]

While it makes me sad to know that any person chooses to deny his or her self of the full, rich, satisfying life that, ahem, comes when you align truth with practice, I have to agree with those like Matthew Vines who see this subtle shift as a positive. This choice to be celibate is a personal choice. Unlike the "ex-gay" movement, which has long operated with a dogmatic, insistent, and truly dangerous political agenda that pushes an all-out lie into the information stream, in hopes of positing a faux counterpoint to credible science's truly salient points on sexual orientation, the idea that people can choose to deny themselves of earthly pleasures is something with which most of us can agree. And support, even.

People like me, who have spilled a whole lot of ink waging unapologetic condemnation at the feet of the "ex-gay" movement, have never been out of hurt the "ex-gay" people themselves. Most of us have always believed that people have the right to conduct their lives however they choose, which has always included the individuals who carried water for groups like Exodus. If those who used to push "ex-gay" nonsense want to help us shoot down that, a truly ignorable sham that only fallen man's opportunistic urges could have crafted, then very few of us are going to care if they are sleeping with someone of the same-sex, with someone of the opposite-sex, with people of both sexes, or with a toaster, frankly. Or with no one at all.

Don't get me wrong: when it comes to an LGB person in my own life, I'm going to do my best to encourage him or her to enjoy sex. Sex is great. Sex is powerful. Sex is a gift of life. Some would argue that sex is spiritual. For me, sex is a very real and binding part of my commitment to my one and only husband for life.

But if you, an LGB person, choose to sit on the sidelines rather than open this gift? Okay, fine. Just be clear that you are the one who is making a lifestyle choice to suppress what is clearly an orientation.

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