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Author Archive | Wayne Besen

GOP Leaders Flock to ‘Kill the Gays’ Preacher

  THERE USED TO BE a time when sane politicians ran away from endorsements from the insane. They would avoid embarrassing situations where they were photographed with loose cannons or people with loose morals. In today’s Republican Party the script has been flipped. The candidates now line up to fete the outrageous and the perpetually […]

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The Rise and Fall of the ‘Ex-Gay’ Myth

IN JUNE 1998, fifteen anti-gay organizations launched the ‘ex-gay’ Truth in Love campaign with full-page ads in America’s largest newspapers. The first ad appeared in The New York Times and featured an ‘ex-lesbian’ who smiled under the optimistic headline, “I’m Living Proof That The Truth Can Set You Free.”

The religious right jumped on the “ex-gay” bandwagon because its traditional fire-and-brimstone rhetoric was beginning to backfire. …

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Top Ten GLBT Events of 2010

LAST YEAR was an unusually tumultuous one for GLBT rights, at times a trying one, but ultimately a triumphant time for the gay community. By year’s end, it seemed we had reached a tipping point in the struggle for equality such that momentum for eventual success had finally gained the upper hand over the forces of resistance that have stymied full equality. Here are my choices for the top ten events that made 2010 such a memorable year:

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On the Varieties of Homophobia

TO COMBAT HOMOPHOBIA, it is crucial that we first understand it. We often talk about homophobia as if it were a monolith, requiring just one set of solutions. In truth, this phenomenon comes in several varieties that are linked by a web of overlapping motivations, theories, religious doctrines, political calculations, and psychological issues. Its roots are as complex and diverse as homophobia is itself multifarious. The reality of this social disease necessitates that we carefully diagnose it so we can calibrate our responses and tailor our educational campaigns.

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Narth ‘Study’ a New Low in Junk Science

IN A BRAZEN EFFORT to pre-empt an American Psychological Association report on human sexuality before its scheduled release in August, an anti-gay organization unveiled its own report, which amounts to rubbish in the guise of research. The National Association for Research and Therapy of Homosexuality’s (narth) “new” study, “What the Research Shows: narth’s Response to the American Psychological Association’s Claims on Homosexuality,” is so embarrassingly slipshod that no scientist would take it seriously.

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The Politics of the Ex-Gay Movement

ALAN CHAMBERS, the President of Exodus International, a group claiming to change the sexual orientation of homosexuals, sunk in his chair and squirmed as the camera closed in on his crinkled face. There was a quick cutaway to the audience where his fidgety wife, Leslie, looked as if she wanted to run to the nearest fire exit. Sensing the kill, talk show host Montel Williams asked Chambers if his organization could “change” homosexuals into heterosexuals.

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