Is this the Ex-Gay Danger?I've always said that while I disagree with much of what groups like Exodus and other ex-gay organizations stand for (and the tactics that they sometimes employ to get their message heard), I've never advocated having the places shut down. I just want them to fully inform their clients of what's involved in attempting to become ex-gay, including success rates, any connection to increased depression and suicide (if one exists), etc. I also want them to stop using their "I used to be gay" claims as a way to try to change the gay rights debate. It's not honest, and it's not fair.
But, I read a story over at Queerty that gave me some concern. A judge in Spain told a lesbian mother that she either had to find a male companion (essentially becoming ex-gay) or lose her child. Sadly, because ex-gay groups don't track their success rates and harp so much on any negative they can find about gay people, they trick people like this judge into thinking that being ex-gay is both somehow possible for the majority of gays and better than being gay. The judge (and honestly most outsiders to gay life) hear claims of people that used to be gay and just assume that this is doable for most gays--they don't even give it a second thought. What we get is laws and perceptions that aren't based in fact, and it's a bad place to be in.
Until ex-gay groups start proving their success rates, rulings like this one just don't make any sense. I realize ex-gay groups want their voices heard, but appealing to the lowest common denominator without being completely straightforward isn't being honest.
Fortunately, the Spanish Justice Minister agrees and is investigating the judge for not following the law in gay cases.