Can a Homosexual Orientation be Changed?
Dear Supporter of the Family,
We are excited to announce the release of FWI’s much anticipated new documentary, “Understanding Same-Sex Attraction.”
Based on the overwhelmingly positive responses we have received from audiences that have previewed the film at several international conferences, we are certain it will be a major tool in helping people across the world better understand homosexuality.
This documentary is an eye-opening experience for many as it presents clear evidence showing that no one is “born gay” and that many people with unwanted same-sex attraction have been able to change. We summarize the research data, include interviews with top experts in the field, and present powerful testimonials from four men who speak honestly, openly and compellingly about what it was like for them to develop same-sex attraction and live the homosexual lifestyle. They then discuss their experiences with therapy that helped them to develop a healthy heterosexual sexual orientation.
We are also releasing our extensive new policy brief, Laws Banning Sexual Orientation Change Therapy are Harmful and Violate Fundamental Human Rights.
Our new documentary and policy brief together are very timely. More and more people are confused because of misinformation regarding homosexuality, and they believe the “born that way” (and can’t change) myth. Increasingly, the rights of those who seek change therapy (also known as sexual orientation change therapy or SOCE) are violated, as laws are being enacted to ban it. Consider the following recent serious developments:
- The Pan American Health Organization, affiliated with the World Health Organization, has called on its member countries to ban therapy for unwanted same-sex attraction, outrageously claiming such therapy violates international human rights. A movement was also launched at the United Nations last year to pressure UN Member States into banning change therapy.
As our documentary points out, denying people with unwanted same-sex attraction the therapy that could help them is the real violation of international human rights. Indeed, the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (1976) recognizes the “right of everyone to the enjoyment of the highest attainable standard of physical and mental health” (Art. 12:1). And the Universal Declaration of Human Rights states that “everyone has the right to … medical care and necessary social services. . .” (Art. 25:1).
- In the U.S., the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC), a liberal litigation group, has announced a campaign to ban change therapy or SOCE by whatever means they can. For example, they have filed suit against Jews Offering Positive Alternatives to Homosexuality (JONAH), which provides SOCE therapy and referrals for people of all faiths. SPLC is claiming that SOCE does not work for anyone and therefore JONAH has violated state consumer protection laws. An advance copy of our new documentary is being used as part of the defense in that lawsuit.
- Recently, New Jersey Governor Chris Christie signed into law a bill that bans sexual orientation change therapy for minors, making his state the second one to do so (after California). Both laws are being challenged in court because they violate parental, religious and first amendment rights, and are an impermissible effort by government to enforce viewpoint discrimination.
Astonishingly, when signing the bill, Christie said he believes people are “born gay” and that attempts to change sexual orientation in minors are mostly harmful. There is no research to support his beliefs. On the contrary, there is significant evidence proving that no one is “born gay,” and that SOCE therapy is beneficial for many and not any more potentially harmful than any other psychotherapy.
Family Watch and other groups, along with therapists and numerous individuals who were able to change their sexual orientation, flooded the governor’s office with relevant research and testimonials before Christie signed the bill. You can see copies of our letter and some of these other communications to him posted on a website Family Watch set up here. Political observers have opined that Christie’s decision was entirely political, believing it will help him win the Republican presidential nomination. Unfortunately, legislators in several other U.S. states are now also pushing to ban SOCE and need to be stopped.
A petition has been filed in the British Parliament to try to get the government to ban SOCE therapy in the United Kingdom as well. Family Watch has written British Prime Minister Cameron a letter warning that the petition is not supported by facts or research, violates international human rights, and would harm adolescents struggling with unwanted same-sex attraction.
There are many problems with these anti-therapy efforts, but none is more serious than the blatant assault they represent on the right of parents to seek the help their children need. Under international law, “Parents, families, legal guardians and other caregivers have the primary role and responsibility for the well-being of children. . . .” (A World Fit for Children (2002), 32-2).
There can be no mistake that undermining parental rights is a major objective of the proponents of these bans. For example, California State Senator Ted Lieu, the sponsor of the California therapy ban bill, has stated: “The attack on parental rights is exactly the whole point of the bill because we don’t want to let parents harm their children” (Orange County Register, August 2, 2012).
And the sponsor of the New Jersey bill, Assemblyman Tim Eustace, made an even more serious threat. Eustace said that SOCE was “child abuse” and warned that the state could remove the child from his or her parents if they seek this type of therapy: “What this [bill] does is prevent things that are harmful to people. If a parent were beating their child on a regular basis we would step in and remove that child from the house. If you pay somebody to beat your child or abuse your child, what’s the difference?” (WPHT interview 8/21/13).
So how are parents harming their children according to Governor Christie, Senator Lieu and Assemblyman Eustace? Parents are refusing to affirm children in their homosexuality and instead are seeking to get them help to overcome their unwanted same-sex attraction at a time in their lives when it is easier to do so.
Think about that for a minute. Suppose your son is sexually abused, which research shows puts him at a high risk for developing same-sex attraction (SSA). If he develops SSA and acts on it, as our policy brief shows, statistically he will be at a much higher risk for depression, drug abuse, anal and colon cancer, hepatitis, HIV/AIDS, suicide, and much more. Yet in California, New Jersey and anywhere else where SOCE therapy is now being banned, you not only would be denied the ability to seek this proven therapy for him, your child could be taken away from you, and you could be prosecuted for doing so even though both you and he want to avoid the high-risk homosexual lifestyle.
So what is behind this aggressive push to discredit change therapy and make it illegal despite the evidence showing it has helped many people? The simple answer is “politics.”
Opinion polls show that people who believe the “born that way” (and therefore can’t change) fallacy are more likely to support the goals of the homosexual agenda, including legalizing same-sex marriage and homosexual adoption. Therefore, a major strategy of the homosexual “rights” movement in achieving their political agenda is to try to convince the world that it is impossible for homosexuals to change. See, for example, this video from an address given at a NAACP conference equating homosexuality with race and promoting the false argument that sexual orientation is “fixed, immutable, and unchangeable” like race, and therefore merits civil and political rights such as same-sex marriage.
In pursuing this strategy it is common for homosexual activists to get angry, attack and harass people who claim they have changed. They engage in what they call “jamming” by harassing and discrediting anyone who claims they have changed in order to squelch their message. This is why two of the men in our documentary felt they needed to hide their identity. All of these men are very brave to tell their story. It is beyond ironic that homosexual activists who demand tolerance and acceptance of their lifestyle choice are so intolerant of the right of those with unwanted same-sex attraction to choose a different lifestyle.
We at Family Watch will continue to work to dispel the myths about homosexuality and help people better understand this important issue.
Because we care and are concerned about those who struggle with unwanted same-sex attraction, and want to preserve hope for those who seek help. We are also completely committed to defending the family and family values from any attack, no matter its source or nature.
Click here to see the documentary now.
Family Watch International
Note: Producing and distributing this documentary takes substantial resources. If you are in a position to make a donation of any amount to support this effort, please click here. Generous contributions like yours enable us to reach more people with our message and materials in defense of the family and family values. For U.S. taxpayers, contributions to Family Watch are tax deductible.
News Items of Interest
Illegal Sex-selective Abortions Widespread in Indian Surrogacy Industry. Health officials in India are concerned about hospital records that show a huge discrepancy between the number of boys delivered compared to the number of girls delivered in surrogacy cases. Read more here.
Governments Increasingly Object to UN Abortion Agenda. The Catholic Family and Human Rights Institute reports that many governments are realizing that human rights are being reduced to sexual and reproductive rights. At the same time, abortion advocates are recognizing that it is becoming increasingly difficult to advance their agenda in UN documents. Read more here.
Arizona’s Anti-abortion Medicaid Law Struck Down. The 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that Arizona cannot remove Medicaid funding from doctors and clinics that perform abortions. The bill would have stopped Medicaid reimbursements for contraceptives, cancer screenings, treatment for sexually transmitted diseases and annual women’s exams at the state’s more than 80 hospitals and clinics that also perform abortions. Read more here.
Study Finds Unborn Children Can Learn. According to a new study, unborn children can hear speech while in the womb, and the sound-processing parts of their brain become active in the last trimester of pregnancy. There is evidence that they can understand sounds well enough to retain memories of them after birth. Read more here.
Growing Belief of Some that Parents Should Host Teen Sex Sleepovers. Some believe that rather than treat children as dependent minors until they are old enough to accept the responsibilities of adulthood, families should redefine this standard tradition. The theory is that allowing a teenager to have a boyfriend or girlfriend sleep over removes the "sneaking around" aspect of teenage romance and will lead to teens taking fewer sexual risks. Read more here.
Federal Court Says Alien Tort Claim for LGBTI Persecution in Uganda can Proceed. A Massachusetts federal district court has refused to dismiss a lawsuit filed against Scott Lively, president of the Abiding Truth Ministries, by a Ugandan LGBTI advocacy group. Lively works around the world to teach the truth about homosexuality. Read more here.
Social Workers Allow British Homosexual Couple to Abuse Foster Boys. The social workers feared being accused of homosexual discrimination if they investigated complaints against the two men. The men cared for 18 children in 15 months, and sexually abused four boys between the ages of eight and 14. Read more here.
Gender Identity Proposal Pulled in Miami. A coalition of pro-family organizations defeated a measure that would have given transsexuals access to public restrooms and locker rooms used by the opposite sex. The Miami-Dade Commission approved the addition of “gender identity and expression” to the county’s anti-discrimination law, but after aggressive lobbying by opponents of the law, sponsors of the bill withdrew it because they lacked the votes to get it through committee. Read more here.
Air Force Base Hosts Drag Queens. At a Diversity Day event at the Los Angeles Air Force Base, military personnel were treated to a musical performance by three transvestites. Some Air Force members were offended by the performance and felt it was inappropriate. Read more here.
Scottish School Children to Receive Homosexual Propaganda. Stonewall Scotland, a pro-homosexual organization is providing children with DVDs that celebrate same-sex couples. The organization was given funds for the project by the national lottery. Read more here.
Lawsuit Immediately Filed Against New Jersey Homosexual Therapy Ban Bill. Liberty Counsel filed a suit in federal court claiming that the bill is unconstitutional in several regards. The group also filed for an injunction to prevent the law from being enforced. Read more here.
Groups Around the World Join to Support Russian Homosexual Propaganda Laws. The Catholic Family and Human Rights Institute reports that 71 human rights groups around the world have expressed support for the Russian law that outlaws exposing adolescents to homosexual propaganda. Homosexual activist groups around the world have been protesting the law and urging punitive action such as boycotting the Sochi Winter Olympics next year. Read more here.
New Zealand Presbyterian Head Seeks Same-sex Wedding Ban. Ray Coster, head of the third largest church in New Zealand has asked its ministers to consider banning same-sex marriages to preserve peace and unity within the church. The country's largest Protestant churches are divided over how to respond to the legalization of same-sex marriage. Read more here.
Disney Brings Lesbian Mothers to TV Program. The Disney Channel is planning to feature a married lesbian couple on "Good Luck Charlie," a popular children's sitcom. According to a Disney Channel spokesman, "This particular storyline was developed under the consultancy of child development experts and community advisers.” Read more here.
New Mexico Court Rules Refusal to Photograph Same-sex Couple Illegal. The New Mexico Supreme Court ruled that Elane Photography violated the New Mexico Human Rights Act by refusing to photograph a commitment ceremony of a homosexual couple. The court said that the photographer's refusal to photograph the same-sex ceremony was the same as refusing to photograph an inter-racial wedding. Read more here.
Military Gives Bonuses Only to Same-sex Couples. The Department of Defense announced that a military member who wants to enter a same-sex marriage but is more than 100 miles from a state that allows same-sex marriages will receive seven days of extra paid leave to travel to their wedding. This benefit is not available to heterosexuals. Read more here.
African Anglican Bishops Calling Second Conference on Homosexual Marriage. The bishops' first conference resulted in setting up an Anglican Province in North America as a haven for congregations wishing to break away from the Episcopal Church over the ordination of homosexuals. This province is described as thriving, and the bishops reportedly will look at setting up additional provinces of the African Anglican church in other parts of the world to serve a similar role. Read more here.
Homosexual Marriages Begin in New Mexico. A local judge ordered one county to begin issuing marriage licenses to homosexual couples declaring that refusing to do so violated the state constitution. Several other counties quickly followed suit, and homosexual marriages are now being performed. Read more here.
U.S. Black Clergy Divided Over Homosexual Marriage. The National Council of Black Churches was apparently able to agree that the Bible offers no consensus on homosexuality. The clergy were sharply divided over whether to support the legalization of homosexual marriage. Read more here.
Opinion and Analysis Worth Noting
In his column, “Gay Panic Over New Russian Laws,” Austin Ruse exposes how the traditional homosexual activist tactic of “jamming” is being applied to the outrageous distortions of Russia’s laws to protect minors from homosexuality messages and prohibiting homosexual adoption. Read his column here.
Matt Barber in his column “'Gay' lawmaker to Christians: 'We'll take your children'” gives a blunt analysis of New Jersey Governor Chris Christie’s action to sign the state’s Sexual Orientation Change Efforts therapy ban bill and also highlights the assault on parental rights. Read more here.
In her column, “Redefining Marriage in New Zealand: lessons for Oz,” Carolyn Moynihan concludes from her observation of the legalization of homosexual marriage in New Zealand that legalizing it in Australia is not inevitable and offers lessons that are also valuable for marriage defenders all over the world. Read more here.
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