Thursday, July 28, 2005

Love in Action and Zach's Blog Come To Good Morning America

I read over at Ex-Gay Watch that Good Morning America was going to do a short piece on Zach and Love in Action. The 5 minute piece came on just as I was about to leave for work, so I stayed to watch it (even though I had DVR'ed it).

I have to say, I was happy with the overall reporting. They did a good job of reporting about Zach's blog comments, the attention it has been getting, and the now heated controversy that has surrounded LIA and the ex-gay movement as a whole.

Diane Sawyer met with 2 former clients of LIA. Both entered as adults (so this was a bit different than Zach's experience). One of the clients was now openly gay, the other considered himself a success of the therapy, and now actually worked for the organization. Now, I find it odd that if the group claims a 65% success rate (as reported on GMA), that they could not find a success story that was not being paid by LIA. They were capable of finding an unhappy client, so why not just one more impartial person?

Anyway, both of the guys were young and well-spoken. But this 65% change rate sure did start to sound shady when the LIA staffer claimed that change did not mean a change in attractions, but a change in actions. He even admitted that his attractions had not changed, but that he now had guardrails up to help him not act on his attractions and to help him marry a woman. No one asked him specifically if he was previously or is now sexually or romantically attracted to women- a pretty big miss if you ask me.

The anti-LIA client also pointed out that LIA does not follow any clients after they leave the group. So, if 65% of clients agree that they will no longer participate in gay romantic life, they are considered a success, even if 2 weeks later they change their minds.

I was glad to hear the LIA guy say that changing attractions wasn't the goal (and almost admit that it didn't even happen). Now if the whole ex-gay movement will be so forth-coming about this type of information, it would be great. Obviously the staffer is happier now than he was, and he deserves to be. But, the gay people going in trying to change their attractions should know it probably won't happen. Oh yeah, and if LIA wasn't giving a completely negative view of what it is like to be gay, as stated by Zach's dad, I'd be almost ok with that group. Until then...


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