By Sunnivie Brydum
Originally published on Advocate.com July 15 2013 2:25 PM ET
An organization that claims to advocate for the rights of "former homosexuals, individuals with unwanted same-sex attractions, and their families" cited vague "security threats" when postponing its planned "Ex-Gay Pride" events this month, celebrating the supposed ability of gay people to become straight.
"This harassment and anti-ex-gay extremism has reminded us just how intolerant some individuals and organizations are about the existence of ex-gays and former homosexuals," reads Voice of the Voiceless' blog post announcing the ex-gay pride's postponement.
Voice of the Voiceless, an "ex-gay" group founded by prominent ex-gay activist Christopher Doyle, blamed "anti-ex-gay extremism" for the occurrence of several "security threats" that forced the organization to reschedule its July 31 lobbying day on Capitol Hill and evening dinner and reception at the antigay Family Research Council's D.C. headquarters. The event will be postponed and held at an undisclosed location in the coming months, according to VotV's website. Instead, VotV announced, September will mark the first Annual Ex-Gay Awareness Month.
"Ex-Gay Awareness Month in September will be a time to reflect on the discrimination and marginalization that former homosexuals and ex-gays experience in the public at large," reads the same blog post. "It will also provide some much needed exposure to students in secondary schools and colleges across the country to learn about the plights, challenges, and tribulations facing ex-gays in our culture."
Doyle is a prominent figure in the dwindling ranks of the ex-gay elite. He claims he was cured of his homosexuality, and is now married to a woman with whom he has three children. Doyle has gone on record stating that he believes homosexuality is caused by sexual abuse, and that if states continue banning the scientifically discredited practice of so-called reparative therapy — as California did and New Jersey is considering — pedophiles and rapists like Jerry Sandusky "will get off scot-free," notes ThinkProgress. Doyle also serves as the executive director for the International Healing Foundation, a 20-year-old organization that advocates for sexual orientation change therapy.
Truth Wins Out, a pro-LGBT organization that advocates for those who have escaped ex-gay or "reparative therapy," laughed at VotV's cancelled event.
"There was never going to be an actual 'Ex-gay Pride Month' because ex-gays are as rare as the Dodo bird," said TWO's Executive Director Wayne Besen in a statement. "They simply could not find real 'ex-gays' to participate and had to cancel to save face. This was nothing but a desperate publicity stunt intended to revive a failing industry that has repeatedly embarrassed anti-gay organizations."
Besen also challenged VotV and Doyle to release the names of LGBT activists and organizations that supposedly threatened the ex-gay organization, anticipating that the group will not do so because no threats were actually made.
Every major psychological and mental health organization in the country has rejected so-called ex-gay or reparative therapy that aims to change a person's sexual orientation from homosexual to heterosexual. Last month, the nation's largest and oldest ex-gay "ministry," Exodus International, announced it would close its doors, and re-emerge in the future with a different focus.
A new website at ReduceFear.org, announced in Exodus's press release, is under construction, and currently displays a summary mission statement that says, "We serve in our pluralistic culture by hosting safe conversations about gender and sexuality, and partnering with others to reduce fear, inspire hope, and cultivate human flourishing."