Luis Javier Ruiz
Real  indoctrination: Luis Javier Ruiz

According to Mat Staver, leader of the hate group Liberty Counsel: “Pulse Survivor is Free in Jesus.” This is all based on the fact that Christian zealots use the prayer “cure” to justify discrimination. The simple fact is that Luis Javier Ruiz admits that he is still gay. He is quoted in Staver’s email admitting that he is gay:

I feel there still is temptation, and some days are tougher than others, but I feel free from it. I am not doing it on my own – I’m letting Christ guide me in that.

Ruiz, who is a preacher’s kid, sadly doesn’t realize that true freedom is the freedom to be yourself and now he is allowing others to exploit his shame. At 34 years of age Ruiz has probably felt the shame for most of his adult life. Ruiz has now decided to be a featured guest at Saturday’s weird ex-gay/ex-trans event organized by the even weirder Jeffrey McCall.

Staver writes:

After the shooting, Ruiz felt God tugging on his heart, saying, “Hey, I’m giving you another chance.” But Ruiz was still trying to drown the memories with alcohol.

Is a self-absorbed Ruiz (through Staver) suggesting that he was not murdered because his god wanted to give him a chance not to be gay? God made a point by apparently “allowing” 49 other people to be murdered? The truth is that Ruiz probably has PTSD and did not get professional help. People who are treated immediately after a traumatic incident can avoid many of the complications associated with the disorder. Self-medicating with alcohol makes matters much worse. Ruiz did not need a pastor. What he needed was a qualified shrink.

The breaking point was when he found out he was HIV positive. “That hit me hard. I realized I was making a lot of bad choices. I was burned out and lying flat on the floor. I needed my life to change.” Even though he knew there was medication for HIV, he decided to turn to Christ and to ask for help to make lifestyle changes. “Little by little, it was a process. I would leave church and go to the club. But in that time, Jesus was taking those things away without any effort from me.”

The wording is strange. It is as if he got religion as an alternative to HIV meds. I get the sense that Ruiz believes that HIV is God’s punishment for being gay.

If Luis Javier Ruiz wants to believe that Jesus enables him to be heterosexual or celibate or whatever, that’s fine with me. I do not really care if he finds god in marshmallow fluff. The bad choices that Ruiz made were getting drunk and having unprotected sex. Those things have nothing to do with sexual orientation. Those are bad choices; period.

He is right in believing that he had to make some lifestyle changes but being gay is not a lifestyle. He and Staver are conflating alcohol abuse and high risk sex with being gay. Staver does so because that is who he is; an unhinged bigot. He routinely calls being gay a lifestyle to suggest incorrectly that sexual orientation is a choice. Ruiz does so because he is someone with very poor judgment and now he has made another bad choice. He is now pretending to be someone he is not.

The even worse choice that Ruiz has made is to be exploited and to exploit others with the promotion of ex-gay nonsense. Some of the people at Saturday’s event are rabid anti-LGBT bigots like Elizabeth Johnston (the so-called Activist Mommy). Ruiz has chosen to be part of that in spite of the fact that he knows the truth. His sexual orientation is the same now as it was two years ago. As Alan Chambers (president of the now defunct Exodus International ministry) said: “Nobody really changes.”

The rather verbose email concludes with:

“In relationship with Jesus Christ, there is hope and forgiveness. You become a new creation. The old has past and the new has come. Luis Ruiz has been set free” said Mat Staver, Founder and Chairman of Liberty Counsel. “There is freedom and hope for all who believe,” Staver said.

Right because bondage to ancient texts is freedom. For a time Ruiz will satisfy his new masters. Most ex-gays that we become aware of have an economic interest in claiming to be ex-gay. They become professional ex-gays. Next stop for Ruiz might be a book and then the obligatory tour. We will see. Meanwhile, he is being recruited by some very unsavory, cynical and not terribly smart people.

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By David Cary Hart

Retired CEO. Formerly a W.E. Deming-trained quality-management consultant. Now just a cranky Jewish queer. Gay cis. He/Him/His.