Just another “ex-gay” blowhard.

Dennis Jernigan
Dennis Jernigan seems more interested in selling his crackpot books than selling albums. Homosexuality is at the top of his list.

Kendra Semmen wants people to know How Jesus Saved an International Worship Artist From Bondage of Homosexuality:

Dennis Jernigan ministers to millions of people around the world with his worship and praise albums. Though he’s married with nine kids now, he used to struggle with homosexuality—stemming from other people’s opinions about him.

You would think that he was giving his albums away for free. Furthermore, were there really an omnipotent god, he would require neither worship nor praise. What? He is insecure? The fact that Jernigan is married and has nine kids has no bearing on the presence or depiction of his sexual orientation.

The idea that someone’s sexual orientation is influenced by the opinions of others (as Ms. Semmens claims) is ridiculous. Only in conservative Christian storytelling would anyone attempt to float such a preposterous idea. In the past Jernigan has claimed that he thought he was gay because he thought that his father had rejected him.

It is rather difficult to be a gay Christian recording artist. That is probably what drives his claims. Born, raised and living in Oklahoma also doesn’t help

Jernigan is as full of crap as most ex-gays. So, you changed from gay to straight? Mazel tov. It seems that every ex-gay we become aware of:

  1. Insists that every gay person should pray away their gay.
  2. Has an economic interest in claiming to be ex-gay.
  3. Makes numerous claims about sexual orientation that defy medical science.
  4. Claims to be a victim.

Jernigan is a purveyor of garden-variety ex-gay BS:

I believe that was the enemy planning [sic] lies in my mind. I chose to believe the lies. It was like the enemy had his foot planted in the door of my heart now. He could get little lies in—that carries through to the fact that I could hear things on the radio and go sit down at the piano and play them. I didn’t understand why I could do that. I just thought that was natural.

But you get to school, and the other little boys find out that’s what you do. That’s what girls do. You’re a sissy, and anything else you can imagine. And then feeling, Man, I’m somehow different than the other guys.

So the other kids convinced him that he was gay?

In his own post titled: No One is Born Gay, Jernigan has a different version:

From my earliest recollections I felt drawn to other males. … When I was five years old an adult male confronted me in a sexual manner. … the other boys at school in my formative years seemed to relish in reminding me how much of a fag I was. In my college days, a friend and mentor – married with children, Christian, and community leader – made a sexual advance …

Once I began to understand God’s true plan for my identity, I began to think in a way I had never thought before. No longer was I one trapped in bondage (homosexuality). Now I was a NEW CREATION …

Jernigan’s college days were spent at that great bastion of critical thinking: Oklahoma Baptist University. Jernigan indulges in the commonplace APA mythology:

In the early 1970s – after many years of protests by the pro-gay movement – homosexual activists campaigned against the DSM … classification of homosexuality as a mental disorder, protesting at APA offices and at annual meetings from 1970 to 1973. In 1973 the Board of Trustees of the APA voted to remove homosexuality as a disorder category from the DSM…

He is trying to convey the false impression that the American Psychiatric Association made a decision based on political correctness rather than medical science. The truth is quite different:

In 1951, Drs. Clellan Ford and Frank Beach published their research as Patterns of Sexual Behavior. It was an extensive study of many cultures as well as the animal kingdom. Ford and Beach confirmed that homosexuality was far more prevalent than previously thought and that it existed in nature.

In 1957, Dr. Evelyn Hooker published The adjustment of the male overt homosexual. Hooker compared, through psychological testing, a group of gays who were not psychiatric patients with a comparable group of heterosexuals. She determined that the gays were no more psychologically disturbed than the control group of heterosexuals.

The prevailing belief among psychologists at that time was that gay people were severely psychologically disturbed. So, 16 years prior to removing homosexuality from the DSM psychologists had evidence that gay people were not emotionally ill.

I would argue that so many years were required because psychiatrists had a vested interest in claiming that gay people were sick and could be cured. The gay community certainly got the APA’s attention and there were protests of the form: “Look at the evidence!” The evidence was what it was.

The change occured in 1973 after a symposium and then moving through various subcommittees. Finally, the board of trustees removed homosexuality from the DSM. A group of psychoanalysts had a shitfit and the issue was put to a referendum. About two-thirds of the APA membership supported the change.

Meet Dennis Jernigan, geneticist:

Quite simply, THERE IS NO GAY GENE! Even openly homosexual researchers have come to that conclusion. In 1996, a research team of five led by Dean Hamer at the National Cancer Institute released a study that attempted to link homosexuality with a specific region of the X chromosome. Dean Hamer made the statement “…environmental factors play a role. There is not a single master gene that makes people gay.” He went on to say, “I don’t think we will ever be able to predict who will be gay.”

We now know that many genes combine to have a significant effect on sexual orientation. Jernigan probably doesn’t understand that environmental means anything that is not genetic. For example, the birth mother’s hormones are a presumed contributor.

Twin studies confirm genetics as an important factor as well. If an identical twin is gay, the odds are 50% that the other twin will be gay. The difference is explained by the subgenome. If a fraternal twin is gay (sharing less genetic material), the probability drops to 25%.

Jernigan, who has the intellectual curiosity of a scallop, relies on NARTH.

A well-known brain study of 1991 by Simon Levay tried to find the differences in the hypothalamuses (a very small portion of the brain) of both homosexual and heterosexual men. Levay, who was one of the researchers and himself a gay activist, offered criticism of his own work: “It’s important to stress what I didn’t find. I did not prove that homosexuality is genetic, or find a genetic cause for being gay.

Nonsense. The results of Both Hamer’s and Levay’s research is more accurately detailed (along with other research) at Arizona State University’s Embryo Project.

So why do I care? After all, Dennis Jernigan is just one more ignorant schmuck. I care because Jernigan is claiming that homosexuality is both a choice and a character flaw. Through selective observation he has arrived at those conclusions in an attempt to conform reality to scripture. His is a work of dishonesty with the patina of sanctimonious truth.

Jernigan might believe his own bullshit but sexual orientation is a continuum. Every point between homosexuality and heterosexuality is a natural variance of human sexuality. The needle does not move with prayer or conversion “therapy.” The sooner that religious conservatives accept the scientific facts, the sooner they will not be regarded as ignorant bigots.

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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.