My new Twitter “buddy,” Peter LaBarbera, brought some folks to the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force’s Creating Change conference last week. He represents, of course, Americans for Truth About Homosexuality, an organization that condemns homosexuality and supports ex-gay therapy, incredibly harmful positions that completely contradict decades of psychological and sociological research.
Naturally, Peter and his group were quite put off with some of what they found at Creating Change (which apparently was sponsored by Chili’s? I didn’t realize, but I’ll remember next time I chance to eat there). As my twitter exchange with Peter continues and he prepares to report on more detail about what he and his spies “discovered,” I thought I’d offer an initial response to the complaints he has filed about the conference.
Here are the different ways Peter perceives The Task Force’s “extremist vision” (and why they all sound great to me!):
Taxpayer-financed “sex change” operations for transsexuals (not to do so is “discrimination” against “transgenders”)
Apologies to my transgender friends and allies for his mocking quotes. You deserve to be talked about like the real people you are.
For better or worse, gender identity disorder is a diagnosable condition. It’s been in the DSM for over 30 years. To treat it is a question of health care. Peter seems to have a problem with people getting health care.
Using polling, focus groups and emotional arguments to persuade evangelical Christians to ignore Scripture and accept homosexuality-based “rights”
Evangelical Christians don’t need the influence of the gay agenda to ignore Scripture. They do it all the time. We just want them to ignore the verses they use against us too.
It’s pretty easy to connect the dots between Biblical condemnation and youth suicide, or between international evangelism and legalized anti-LGBT oppression, or between ex-gay therapy and genocide. Given how upset Peter gets that he and his ilk are painted as “hateful,” he should be glad that the gay agenda wants to minimize the infamous correlation between evangelism and discrimination.
Using the tragedy of homosexual youth suicides to shame Christians into stop calling homosexuality sinful
Well, if you tell young people their choices are a life of depression or an after-life of agony, what do you expect to happen? Think about it, Peter. You make them feel so miserable about the lives they might live as gays or lesbians that they would rather send themselves off to Hell than endure the picture you’ve painted for them. If you want to own that, feel free, but I would think true Christians would experience shame for all the judging and first-stone-throwing you promote.
Celebrating sadomasochism (consensual sexual violence and degradation) and “kinky”/fetish sexual behaviors
I don’t really know what’s bad about this. AFTAH bothered to include the word “consensual,” which should make it a non-issue. Live and let live. As we discussed in the Sexual Liberation institute I attended, if there is consent and mutual benefit, everything should be fair game.
I feel bad for those upstanding Christian heterosexual couples who never let themselves get a little nasty! They’re missing out.
Pro-homosexuality lessons for grade school kids (because waiting until middle school is too late to reach them)
Well yeah. There are kindergartners who have same-sex parents. And not just parents who they go home to, but parents who will serve on the PTA and chaperon field trips and volunteer in classrooms. They are families that are part of the community, so yes, for the sake of those children, their families need to be validated, and more importantly, not alienated.
Of course, from the way this is phrased, it is probably meant to imply teaching young children about how to have anal sex, which isn’t really on anyone’s agenda.
Non-judgmental condom advocacy for young men in the name of HIV prevention — and even being non-judgmental in “safe sex” training when it comes to bizarre/disgusting “fetish” behaviors
So what… if people want to get a little nasty, we should not encourage them to still use condoms? I think supporting condom use and safe sex is always a good thing. Why does AFTAH think it’s a bad thing?
Predicting not just a future “gay” president of the United States but also a “bi” and a “transgender” president! (I’ll withhold the jokes…)
I’m pretty sure the Constitution doesn’t mention “heterosexual” or “cisgender” as required qualifications. It sure sounds like Peter/AFTAH aren’t just anti-LGBT, they’re anti-LGBT happiness and anti-LGBT dreams. You don’t have to be cruel to be the opposition. Sheesh.
“[F–k–g] with gender,” and celebrating bisexuality and “genderqueer” lifestyles (see this definition for latter: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Genderqueer)
Gender is fun to play with. This is another one where I don’t even see what could possibly be negative about it. Just let people be who they are. I’m surprised the definition is provided; I am all for people better understanding the diversity around them!
Are anti-LGBT evangelical Christians so insecure that anything that doesn’t resemble Leave It To Beaver completely freaks them out?
Using “gender identity” laws to pressure businesses to bend to the transgender agenda of “Gender-Neutral Restrooms” — to replace the old-fashioned variety with an “M” or an “F” on the door.
Most gender-neutral restrooms are single-use, so I don’t see the problem. Like so many of the others, this sounds like it’s meant to scare and provoke. “BE AFRAID! THINGS MIGHT CHANGE!” Ally McBeal was so far ahead of its time.
So that’s it. For now. Apparently, “there is much, much more” and AFTAH will be reporting on it over the coming weeks.
Honestly, I find this list even less compelling than I did when I first started writing this post. The tantrums of AFTAH over the efforts toward LGBT equality are laughable, and if this is all they have to try to smear the work of NGLTF and the Creating Change conference, it probably won’t be worthwhile to respond to their ensuing posts.
Still, compared to the obvious vitriol documented at AFTAH’s “Truth Academy” this summer, it seems worth a good laugh that this is the best they can do to criticize Creating Change, a conference with 5500% more attendees and 100% less restrictions on who can attend.