“Ex-gay” people claim to be straight. Oh, the repression is just so awful!

Peter Sprigg

Peter Sprigg of Family Research Council is angry with Mark Zuckerberg, CEO of Facebook. Sprigg calls the entrepreneur “two-faced.” We begin this saga with an all-too-familiar political stunt by an all-too-familiar congressional whack job:

Congressman Jim Jordan (R-Ohio) grilled the CEOs of Amazon, Apple, Google, and Facebook about censorship of conservative voices online in a congressional hearing July 29 …

Here is what Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg said in reply:

Yes, Congressman. I believe strongly in free expression. Giving people a voice is an important part of what our services do, and I’m very worried about some of the forces of illiberalism that I see in this country that are pushing against free expression. I think that this is one of the fundamental democratic traditions that we have in our country. And it’s how we make progress over the long term on a number of issues. And our company is committed to doing what we can to protect people’s voice.

As you read the following, keep in mind that Peter Sprigg’s training is limited to being a Baptist minister. Sprigg routinely and often pimps conversion therapy because he feels that it justifies his employer’s anti-LGBTQ animus (FRC is an anti-LGBTQ hate group).

Sprigg and Family Research Council have also used conversion therapy in their efforts to defeat pending nondiscrimination laws. According to Sprigg — “Sexual Orientation” and “Gender Identity”Should Never Be Specially Protected Categories Under the Law.:

If Zuckerberg means what he said in his sworn testimony to Congress, step one would be to immediately reverse his company’s decision to “cancel” all content supportive of sexual orientation and gender identity change efforts (SOCE or GICE)—usually referred to by its critics as “conversion therapy.”

In the past, Sprigg has cited crackpot studies to support his contention that conversion therapy is safe and effective. Facebook recognizes conversion therapy for what it is: A means of marginalizing LGBTQ people which is ineffective and harmful.

In 2001 U.S. Surgeon General David Satcher issued a report that stated, “there is no valid evidence showing that sexual orientation can be changed.” 19 years later that is still the case. There is no evidence to support conversion therapy efforts.

Here’s where the bullshit meets the compost pile:

It’s puzzling that an offer to help willing participants achieve their own personally-chosen goal of overcoming unwanted same-sex attractions or becoming comfortable with their biological sex would be considered an “attack against people based on sexual orientation or gender identity.”

On the other hand, it seems logical that “attacks against people based on sexual orientation or gender identity” would include attacks upon people who self-identify as ex-gay based upon their sexual orientation (as well as attacks against people who formerly identified as transgendered but who have de-transitioned based upon their gender identity).

Dense! People are not criticized because they are supposedly ex-gay or ex-trans. People are criticized for promoting an intervention that is ineffective and harmful. They usually do so for religious or financial reasons (sometimes both).

No one really changes their sexual orientation. So-called “ex-gays” are still gay people who pretend to be straight. Sometimes ex-gay men marry ex-gay women. Alan Chambers, former president of Exodus International, is known to have said that no one really changes.

When Exodus International ceased to exist in 2013 that should have ended the ex-gay movement. It persists because organizations like Family Research Council have a vested interest in promoting the mythology.

Trans desisters are a slightly different story. The most infamous is probably Walt Heyer who never asserts that some form of therapy caused him to desist. Most people who do so are influenced by family pressure.

Walt Heyer is not representative of anything meaningful. He transitioned in middle age and had surgery about 40 years ago and he is a religious zealot and he makes a living as an ex-trans person and Walt Heyer is batshit crazy. The environment and diagnostic criteria are very different today from what they were 40 years ago.

Sprigg embarrasses himself with “people who self-identify as ex-gay.” Supposed ex-gay people are supposedly straight. The only people who “self-identify” as ex-gay are people who promote conversion therapy.

Peter Sprigg is so accustomed to saying “self-identify” that he cannot help himself. Usually it is “self-identify as homosexual.” You could subject Sprigg to the rack and he would not say “homosexual person” because he would be admitting that gay people exist as opposed to maladjusted straight people.

Peter Sprigg is not terribly smart:

But Facebook’s new policy is not prevention against attacks on individuals self-identifying as ex-gay—it is apparently the successful result of them. The announcement of the new policy follows a systematic campaign of social media attacks upon a U.K. man named Mike Davidson and his organization Core Issues Trust (CIT). These attacks were waged precisely because of Davidson’s self-identified sexual orientation as ex-gay.

Ex-gay is not a sexual orientation. Sexual orientation is based on a person’s attraction to men, women, both or neither. Ex-gay is supposedly heterosexual. That is their sexual orientation. At least that is what they claim is their sexual orientation.

Mike Davidson is not criticized because he claims to be ex-gay. He is criticized because he is a conversion therapy practitioner. Davidson claims that sexual orientation is a choice and that being gay is unnatural. Moreover, Davidson promotes the idea that gay people should change.

The arguments get more ridiculous as he progresses:

I’m not aware of Facebook consulting with any therapists who actually conduct sexual orientation change efforts—although they would seem to be the people with the most “expertise” on the subject. Nor does Facebook seem to have consulted with people whose “personal experiences” include having benefited from undertaking sexual orientation change efforts. Facebook’s “approach” will not be “informed” if they listen to only one viewpoint.

Why would he be aware? It is the science that informs us. The science is represented by peer-reviewed articles published to respected academic journals.

Stupid quoting equally stupid:

Shurka is an LGBT activist who has told legislatures a far-fetched tale that when he attended a weekend retreat with an ex-gay ministry called Journey Into Manhood, “Not everyone walked out alive.” As the National Task Force for Therapy Equality has noted,

Perhaps the most disturbing part of Shurka’s testimony is that no one, not even the press, asked him why he didn’t report the so-called “deaths” that occurred during his experience with Journey Into Manhood. Surely, if a crime, suicide, or homicide had occurred, a police report would have been filed. Yet, these stories continue to be recorded as testimony in front of state legislatures and printed in gay activist media outlets . . .

The above confirms that conservatives just do not get satire. He is referring to Mathew Shurka, co-founder of Born Perfect.

And some misdirection added to the fetid soup:

More to the point—where’s the “aversion therapy?” The electric shocks? Where’s the coercion—especially of minors? Where are the sweeping guarantees of immediate, total transformation? Where are the licensed mental health providers saying all you have to do is “pray away the gay?” Where’s the “shaming” of people with same-sex attractions? Where are all the horror stories that are regularly trotted out to justify imposing unprecedented legal restrictions upon the goals of private psychotherapy?

The religious right claims that we claim that conversion therapy is evil because of aversion therapy. Conversion therapy is bad, regardless of any methodology employed. It is ineffective and harmful without aversion therapy. Sprigg is deeply invested in conversion therapy which he employs in an attempt to defeat pending nondiscrimination laws.

… and in conclusion:

It seems pretty clear to me that the reason the LGBT activists are concerned about what’s on Facebook is not because people are finding “lies” about “conversion therapy” there—it’s because they are afraid people may find the truth, unfiltered by the distortions of LGBT activists and their lackeys in the “mainstream” media.

The truth about any therapy is represented by the science which (ad nauseum) is represented by peer-reviewed articles published to reputable academic journals. Conversion therapy is not promoted for its value to LGBTQ people. It is promoted to create a pretext for discrimination.

Ergo, the promotion of conversion therapy is homophobic and transphobic per se. Peter Sprigg writes endlessly about conversion therapy. He recently travelled to Alaska to beat back an ordinance in the City of Anchorage

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