A PFOX anti-gay billboard in Richmond further demonstrates that Regina Griggs (head of PFOX) doesn’t understand science.

Image via Metro Weekly

Regina Griggs is very, very upset over a movie that she does not like. The leader of the group Parents and Friends of Ex-gays and gays has penned Hollywood Erases Hope. The movie that Griggs doesn’t like is Boy Erased.

Griggs’ group is fading. In 2016 it had revenues of about $37 thousand compared to nearly $100 thousand the prior year. My hope is that this will finally die off. Pfox only exists to justify discrimination. It is no friend of gays. Board members and officers include:

  • Robert Knight
  • Denise Shick
  • Peter Sprigg

Those are three professional anti-LGBT religious zealots who are also lacking in mental hygiene. As for Ms. Griggs, she has many problems telling the truth.

It has been some time since I took notice, However, in 2009, the CDC released a report that gay men accounted for 71% of HIV infections in 2005. Griggs then said that 71% of gay men were HIV positive.

A year later, Griggs claimed that a Washington judge ruled that homosexuality is not immutable. In spite of numerous people correcting the record (including me) she repeated this over and over again. What the judge actually ruled was that immutability was not required for protection under Washington, DC’s Human Rights Act.

Stupidity, mendacity or (likely) both? Making matters worse is the fact that Griggs has an openly gay son who wants nothing to do with her.

In 2013, when Griggs made a fuss, Warren Throckmorton pointed out:

They know there is no peer reviewed research on therapeutic change that supports them. They also know that at least one of their therapeutic methods (i.e., cartharsis [sic]) has been evaluated via research and found to be harmful in some instances. They also know that their narrative regarding homosexuality (i.e., failures in the parent-child relationship) is scientifically dubious and yet they continue to promote this view as if it is supported by research and experience.

Boy Erased

In a brief review, the Washington Post claimed that, “by one estimate, nearly 700,000 Americans have been subjected to what’s known as conversion therapy, a practice that attempts to change one’s sexual orientation and — without evidence of efficacy — is still legal in 41 states.”

Think they have an agenda? Why not frame it: “In nine states, clients’ constitutional rights have been violated by state laws preventing them from getting the professional counseling they need to help them recover their natural sexuality. And In 14 states, parents are barred from securing licensed reparative therapy for their children.”

Why not frame it that in 14 states, children are protected from ineffective and potentially harmful practices that have no scientific support?

In his paper, “Are Sexual Orientation Change Efforts (SOCE) Effective? Are They Harmful? What the Evidence Shows,” Family Research Council Senior Fellow for Policy Peter Sprigg summarizes …

Mr. Sprigg works for a rabid hate group (Family Research Council). Peter Sprigg is unqualified — he is a Baptist pastor. Mr. Sprigg’s conclusions are not based on reputable peer-reviewed research. The one study published to a respected academic journal (Spitzer) was retracted.

A Los Angeles Times reviewer was honest enough to inform us that Boy Erased portrays “with the coolly restrained tension of an art-house horror movie” the Love in Action (LIA) ministry as a place with a “toxic level of obtuseness.”

I have no idea whatsoever why Griggs would write that. Is she confused by “art-house horror movie” or “obtuseness?” We will never know.

Mr. Sprigg read the book on which the film is based and went to a screening. He concluded that the book was more truthful in revealing pre-counseling motivation and trauma experienced in real life by Garrard Conley, on whom the film’s “Jared” character is based. But even in the book, Mr. Conley misconstrues therapeutic programs.

I have not read whatever Sprigg wrote on this subject. Nevertheless, these are not “therapeutic programs” because they lack proof of efficacy. Referencing “trauma,” the intent of Griggs (and probably Sprigg) is to convey the idea that a sexual orientation they do not approve of is caused by external events. They usually refer to this as “the root of the problem.” Their problem is that it (homosexuality) is not a problem because of religious disapproval and there is no science to support their problematic theories.

“Critics of SOCE, including Conley, are also obsessed with “shame,” and a belief that such counseling operates by instilling a sense of shame over the client’s homosexuality,” writes Sprigg. “Yet every sexual reorientation therapist I have met has said the exact opposite…

Moronic parents instill the shame. “Reparative” practitioners exploit the shame.

LIA’s [Love in Action] handbook and other materials express the opposite:

  • “I believed many lies that I was worthless, hopeless, and had no future.”
  • “I’ve learned that I am loved and accepted even though I have been involved in sexual addiction.”
  • “I have worth. I am intelligent, funny, caring and strong.”

Love in Action was renamed Restoration Path in 2012. It is a Christian ministry engaging in pray-away-the-gay. Gay people do not need to be restored. Note that the second item expresses homosexuality in the past tense. Love and acceptance are predicated on changing from gay to straight.

Calling a sexual orientation a sexual addiction is just plain stupid. Similarly, the third statement about worth, intelligence, etc. is based on impossible change. In other words, as long as they admit to being gay, they do not have worth and they are not “caring and strong.” Shame and the anger of their god are the only motivational tools known to these people. Inevitably a parent will ask: “Don’t you want to have a family someday,” implying choice.

Sprigg knows that he is lying and Griggs knows that Sprigg is lying. Conversion therapy is based on shame. The shame is removed only when people profess to be heterosexual or cisgender.

In 2015, Jews Offering New Alternatives of Healing (JONAH) was found in violation of New Jersey’s consumer fraud law over JONAH’s referring people to reparative therapy counselors. The judge hamhandedly suppressed evidence. Stating that no one can possibly change his or her sexual preference, the judge disallowed testimony by successful clients. The far-left Southern Poverty Law Center had brought the case, which put JONAH out of business.

In a court of law Scientific evidence must meet the Frye standard. It is admissible only when the methodology is generally accepted as reliable in the relevant scientific community. This was eventually superseded by Daubert which is based on federal rules of evidence:

If scientific, technical, or other specialized knowledge will assist the trier of fact to understand the evidence or to determine a fact in issue, a witness qualified as an expert by knowledge, skill, experience, training, or education, may testify thereto in the form of an opinion.

There simply are no proponents of conversion therapy who would qualify as expert witnesses (eg Mr. Sprigg) and most states adopted either the Frye or Daubert standards. Furthermore, Griggs referring to “sexual preference” does not make it so. Sexual orientation is not a preference which implies choice.

After some additional false narratives about victimization:

Boy Erased even shows family members beating a young man with a Bible.

Like everyone else, people caught up in homosexuality need to know they are loved and that our sins — of any kind — should not be our defining identity.

After citing a long list of sinners, including homosexuals, who have become Christians, the Apostle Paul says: “And such were some of you. But you were washed, you were sanctified, you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God.” (1 Corinthians 6:11)

Griggs is a bigot and she cannot help herself. People are not “caught up in homosexuality.” Sexual orientation is a continuum with gay and straight at the extreme ends. Every point along the continuum represents a natural variant of human sexuality.

The fact that people call some of these variants sins, based on ancient chronicles, is irrelevant to scientific fact. Gay people do not need to be “washed” or to repent for the hand that nature dealt them. If there is a god then Regina Griggs better repent for all of her lies and for all of harm that she has done.

Now I will ignore this moron for another few years.

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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.