Sexual identity therapy: A blast from the past

In light of conversations on the Exodus-PFOX thread, I thought it might be good to review a past mainstream media article that brought SIT more into the mainstream conversation.

The LA Times article now titled “Approaching agreement in debate over homosexuality” by Stephanie Simon (now with the Wall Street Journal) was published on June 18, 2007 with the title, “New ground in debate on ‘curing’ gays.”

The article begins with some familiar ground to this blog:

Alan Chambers directs Exodus International, widely described as the nation’s largest ex-gay ministry. But when he addresses the group’s Freedom Conference at Concordia University in Irvine this month, Chambers won’t celebrate successful “ex-gays.”

Truth is, he’s not sure he’s ever met one.

With years of therapy, Chambers says, he has mostly conquered his own attraction to men; he’s a husband and a father, and he identifies as straight. But lately, he’s come to resent the term “ex-gay”: It’s too neat, implying a clean break with the past, when he still struggles at times with homosexual temptation. “By no means would we ever say change can be sudden or complete,” Chambers said.

His personal denunciation of the term “ex-gay” — his organization has yet to follow suit — is just one example of shifting ground in the polarizing debate on homosexuality.

I am not sure if I am correct, but I think Alan later nuanced the remarks about not knowing ex-gays, but I do think he has made efforts including the recent article regarding Bryce Faulkner, to paint an accurate picture of his personal situation.

This article brought to a wide audience conversations that we have been having here for quite awhile — and continue to have. The ex-gay conversation is a recurring one here. Some newer readers may want to review this post (Ex-ex-gay?) and this one ( What does change mean?) and this one (Acceptance and Commitment Therapy).

The LA Times article quoted several people who approved of the framework, including commenter Michael Bussee.

“Something’s happening. And I think it’s very positive,” agreed Michael Bussee, who founded Exodus in 1976, only to fall in love with another man — a fellow ex-gay counselor.

Now a licensed family therapist in Riverside, Bussee regularly speaks out against ex-gay therapies and is scheduled to address the Ex-Gay Survivor’s Conference at UC Irvine at the end of the month.

But Bussee put aside his protest agenda recently to endorse new guidelines to sexual identity therapy, co-written by two professors at conservative Christian colleges.

Other notable folks gave a thumbs-up to the framework as well.

He and other gay activists — along with major mental-health associations — still reject therapy aimed at “liberating” or “curing” gays. But Bussee is willing to acknowledge potential in therapy that does not promise change but instead offers patients help in managing their desires and modifying their behavior to match their religious values — even if that means a life of celibacy.

“It’s about helping clients accept that they have these same-sex attractions and then allowing them the space, free from bias, to choose how they want to act,” said Lee Beckstead, a gay psychologist in Salt Lake City who uses this approach.

The guidelines for this type of therapy — written by Warren Throckmorton of Grove City College and Mark Yarhouse of Regent University — have been endorsed by representatives on both the left and right. The list includes the provost of a conservative evangelical college and the psychiatrist whose gay-rights advocacy in the 1970s got homosexuality removed from the official medical list of mental disorders.

“What appeals to me is that it moves away from the total polarization” common in the field, said Dr. Robert Spitzer, the psychiatrist.

“For many years, mental-health professionals have taken the view that since homosexuality is not a mental disorder, any attempt to change sexual orientation is unwise,” said Spitzer, a Columbia University professor.

Some therapies are widely considered dangerous, and some rely on discredited psychological theories. “But for healthcare professionals to tell someone they don’t have the right to make an effort to bring their actions into harmony with their values is hubris,” Spitzer said.

Just over two years later, we continue to discuss very similar concerns and the tension remains.

Activists on both sides caution that the rapprochement only goes so far.

Critics of Exodus note the group still sponsors speakers who attribute homosexuality to bad parenting and assert that gays and lesbians live short, unhappy lives.

And though Chambers has disavowed the term “ex-gay,” his group’s ads give the distinct impression that it’s possible to leave homosexuality completely behind.

Haven’t we just been discussing this topic?

The article concludes with a reference to the APA Sexual Orientation Task Force.

The American Psychological Assn. set up a task force this spring to revise the group’s policy on sexual orientation therapy. The current policy is a decade old and fairly vague; it states that homosexuality is not a disorder and that therapists can’t make false claims about their treatments.

The new policy, due early next year, must help psychologists uphold two ethical principles as they work with patients unhappy about their sexuality: “Respect for the autonomy and dignity of the patient, and a duty to do no harm,” said Clinton Anderson, the association’s director for lesbian, gay and bisexual concerns. “It’s a balancing act.”

In fact, the Task Force will report soon, in August, sometime during the APA convention. Stay tuned…

Although we will soon migrate the website, more on the SIT Framework is now here.

Bryce Faulkner’s parents say he willingly entered program

Here is a story about a young man who may have entered an ex-gay program. I am not going to comment much at this point as the details are still fuzzy.

One side, a former boyfriend and activist looking to make a name for himself, say the young man was forced into a program. The other side, including the fellow’s parents say he chose to enter.

Eventually, we will find out.

(via Exgaywatch)

Exodus no longer affiliated with PFOX

According to Exodus President, Alan Chambers, you won’t be able to find this reference to PFOX (Parents and Friends of Ex-gays and Gays) on the Exodus website much longer.

PFOX

Within the last couple of weeks, PFOX gave up affiliation with Exodus. While Chambers declined to give reasons for the PFOX move, he indicated that Exodus would not seek any future relationship. He noted that PFOX is a public policy organization and their activities do not fit in with the mission and direction of Exodus. I have asked Regina Griggs, Executive Director at PFOX, for comment and will report the reason for their decision if disclosed.

PFOX seems to be alone among conservative groups in advocating for ex-gays using civil rights language. I recall thinking this was a strange framework for a group that really doesn’t believe homosexual orientation exists. In any event, PFOX and Exodus has not been a good fit on many levels so this separation is a good move.

Reorientation therapies in the UK: Survey results

A new survey from BMC Psychiatry found that 4-17% of therapists surveyed offer some form of therapy designed to reduce homosexual attractions.
From the article in the BBC News:

A significant minority of mental health professionals had agreed to help at least one patient “reduce” their gay or lesbian feelings when asked to do so.
The survey, published in the journal BMC Psychiatry and conducted by London researchers, involved 1,400 therapists.
Many were acting with the “best of intentions”, said the lead author.
Only 4% said they would attempt to change a client’s sexual orientation, but when asked if they would help curb homosexual feelings some 17% – or one in six – said they had done so.
The incidence appeared to be as prevalent in recent years as decades earlier.

Here is the abstract from the journal article:

Background
We know very little about mental health practitioners’ views on treatments to change sexual orientation. Our aim was to survey a representative sample of professional members of the main United Kingdom psychotherapy and psychiatric organisations about their views and practices concerning such treatments.
Methods
We sent postal questions to mental health professionals who were members of British Psychological Society, the British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy, the United Kingdom Council for Psychotherapy and the Royal College of Psychiatrists. Participants were asked to give their views about treatments to change homosexual desires and describe up to six patients each, whom they have treated in this way.
Results
Of 1848 practitioners contacted, 1406 questionnaires were returned and 1328 could be analysed. Although only 55 (4%) of therapists reported that they would attempt to change a client’s sexual orientation if one consulted asking for such therapy, 222 (17%) reported having assisted at least one client/patient to reduce or change his or her homosexual or lesbian feelings. 413 patients were described by these 222 therapists: 213 (52%) were seen in private practice and 117 (28%) were not followed up beyond the period of treatment. Counselling was the commonest (66%) treatment offered and there was no sign of a decline in treatments in recent years. 159 (72%) of the 222 therapists who had provided such treatment considered that a service should be available for people who want to change their sexual orientation. Client/patient distress and client/patient autonomy were seen as reasons for intervention; therapists paid attention to religious, cultural and moral values causing internal conflict.
Conclusions
A significant minority of mental health professionals are attempting to help lesbian, gay and bisexual clients to become heterosexual. Given lack of evidence for the efficacy of such treatments, this is likely to be unwise or even harmful.

Going a little deeper into the study, it appears that some of the efforts designated as change might not be direct efforts to change after all. Consider some reasons given for what is labeled by the authors as support for change efforts:

“…where someone had a strong faith, then working to help the person accept their feelings but manage them appropriately may be the best approach if (the) person felt they would lose God and therefore their life was not worth living.”
“Some bisexual individuals may wish to choose an orientation that is
comfortable for them and their lifestyle choices for example. This is a
therapeutic issue to explore and support if that is their wish. It is different from behavioural attempts to reshape desire.”
“Yes, possibly those within marriages that wish to continue with that
relationship rather than break up”

Rather, these therapists give what sound like client-centered responses based on the individual circumstances of the clients. I wonder if the authors of this article may have pushed these responses into either change or gay affirming camps without considering a third more neutral position – what Mark Yarhouse and I call sexual identity therapy.
Most of the other comments relied on a belief that therapists should follow the wishes of the client. This seems reasonable if the client is informed that change is infrequent at best and we do not know going in who might shift and by how much. Also, it is necessary to provide prospective clients with accurate information regarding homosexuality without regard to the ideological loyaties of the therapist. Also, it seems clear that non-homosexually identified people experience same-sex attraction. Helping them sort out their particular situation and arrive and a value-congruent position is not the same thing as reparative or reorientation therapy.
The authors paint a picture of 1 in 6 therapists engaging in change therapy and I think that is misleading. The 4% figure seems like the right number of therapists who deliberately promote change among their same-sex attracted clients.

More strict than God

I recall reading an article as an undergraduate regarding legalism. I do not remember the name of the author, nor the title of the article. I do remember a line from the article. The author was noting that many churches have rules for behavior that are not derived from the Bible. The rules seem important to the creator of the rule but should not be imposed on others when such rules make one “more strict than God.”
I thought of that mostly forgotten article when I read a post by Brian Pengelly (“When You’re Told that What God Has Done Is Not Enough”)on Bridging the Gap, the blog of New Directions. In that post, Brian describes a speech to a local youth group where he acknowledges that he is same-sex attracted. Even though Brian has not been in a same-sex relationship since high school, is married with kids (corrected 3/23) and does not advocate same-sex relationships, he was criticized severely by several youth ministers who attended the meeting.
Brian attributed the reaction to a theological difference – one we have discussed here before – and that is the difference between charismatic and non-charismatic Protestant Christianity. Brian’s specific concern relates to “Word of Faith” theology, a view that

…God has promised to heal every area of a believer’s life right now and given them the authority to command that healing into existence.

Remember James Stabile? He was the young man that was supposedly delivered from homosexuality during a Pentecostal street meeting. Problem was, he wasn’t.
Brian elaborates:

Because of this, my testimony was a great threat to them because God had simply not done enough in my life. Despite the fact that I could testify that I had not been in a relationship with another male since high school, despite the fact that I was able to enjoy a happy marriage to a woman, despite the fact that God had clearly been using me in ministry for over a decade….my testimony was not acceptable because God had not completely taken away my attraction to men.

Brian knows the thinking because he used to be a part of the Word of Faith perspective.

The authors assumed that because I was telling my story and had my experiences, I had never confessed my sin or had prayer ministry to cast out the demons in my life that may have entered because of being abused. In fact they were so bold as to write:

“Had at any time in Brian’s life he cried out to God and taken his authority that he has been given as a believer and told his body “IN JESUS NAME I AM NOT GAY AND GOD DID NOT MAKE ME GAY AND I WILL NOT HAVE HOMOSEXUAL TENANDANCIES (sic) ANYMORE”, and then taken his mind captive when ever those thoughts came in, Brian most likely would not struggle with this anymore. Had he at anytime repented of that initial time when he was in the library and he spoke out I am gay, and then asked God to forgive him for all the rest of the times that he has thought thoughts or acted in a homosexual manner, asked God to forgive him for that initial self cursing and THEN had the spirit of sexual perversion cast out of him, Brian most likely would not still struggle with this sin.”

The truth is that I once attended a youth group where they taught such things, and believing that they were true, I did go forward to the altar, confess these very sins, and pray that very prayer meaning it with every cell of my body. I believed that God would heal me…… and then he didn’t. When it didn’t happen I was told it was because I lacked enough faith, or I was doing something wrong. The message I received was that it was my fault. And yet I knew in my heart that I had prayed with all the faith that I had and could do no more. When I said this, I was rejected by that group. I spent years believing that lie, that it was my fault and I just wasn’t good enough to make it all go away. As I grew older and studied the Bible I came to realize that this was a false teaching and turned away from it. But that teaching left me in shame and despair for years of my life.

Then he notes the damage is not reserved for the person who experiences SSA, but for their parents as well.

There has also been a sad legacy within the ex-gay movement of using this kind of teaching to burden parents as being at fault for their children’s sexual orientation. I do not know how many times over the years I heard about generational curses, mixed in with some pop psychology to explain the fact that I was attracted to men. My own story does include significant perceived rejection from my father. But the truth is that causation of sexual orientation is incredibly complex and that there is no good evidence to link it to parental behaviour. In fact, several of my best gay friends had wonderful relationships with their parents. But because of this kind of teaching, I have met with more parents than I can count who blame themselves for their children’s sexual orientation. I have listened to them as they examined every little thing they did or said in their lives wondering where they had spoken curses over their children!

One does not need to go to a Word of Faith church for this guilt, although it apparently helps. A NARTH conference will do. Or a well-meaning but errant Christian radio program.
In traditional Christianity, human nature is not perfectable. Perfect parenting, wonderful therapy or any other reparative concept cannot offset this condition. The causes of sexual orientation, while of scientific interest, should be relatively unimportant in a ministry domain. To require change in the direction of desire as a measure of spirituality seems to me to expect something more strict than God expects.

Christianity, homosexuality and the law

I am repeating in full a post from August, 2008 regarding religious arguments for the separation of church and state. I do this in response to the calls from Stephen Langa, Caleb Brundidge and Scott Lively to maintain laws criminalizing homosexuality in Uganda (and elsewhere). First the post:

Sally Kern, with help from my friend and colleague at Grove City College, T. David Gordon provides today’s open forum discussion.
Mrs. Kern is in the news today about a speech she gave in Norman, OK about her entrance into government and her role as a “culture warrior.” She says:

“I started praying about whether or not the Lord wanted me to run,” Kern said. “And the more I prayed, the more I felt He did.”
Kern said she expected to “run, lose and just be a much better government teacher.”
“But lo and behold I won,” she said. “And so here I am, and I’m not the typical legislator. The Lord showed me right off the bat that I’m not supposed to be. As a matter of fact, my Lord made it very clear to me that I am a cultural warrior. And you know I tried to say ‘no’ to that, too, ’cause that’s pretty hard. But, anyway, that’s where I am.”

I cannot discern however, what Mrs. Kern believes government should do. On one hand, she talks about preserving the founders reliance on “one true religion” and on the other she indicates that

“Government cannot force people to change, and yet we see that’s what government is doing,” she said. “Every time government passes another law, they are taking away some of our freedoms.”

I do agree that government cannot force people to change, but I am unclear how government is making people change. If homosexuals pursuing the democratic process to elect legislators and pass laws is more threatening than terrorism, then what would winning the culture war against homosexuality look like? I have a clearer picture in my mind about winning over a foreign aggressor would look like. But if homosexuals are using the democratic process (elections, laws, courts) to pursue their interests, then how will the Christian culture warriors win? What will victory look like?
I fear that many colleagues on the religious right want the coercive power of the state to enforce a particular view of morality, one that comports with their understanding of Christianity. I might like others to believe like me but I surely think it is futile to seek the state to bring it about. Closer to the therapy world, where I usually labor, I do not believe that counselors should use the coercive power of the counseling relationship to attempt to inculcate religious fruit. We can provide information but the results are not in our hands.
On this point, last school year, Religion prof at GCC, T. David Gordon presented a paper titled, “Religious Arguments for Separating Church and State” at our annual Center for Vision and Values conference. I was edified by this presentation and link to it here. A couple of excerpts gives the tone and direction of the paper:

In the so-called “culture wars” of the late twentieth century, one commonly hears allegations that the separation of church and state reflects and promotes a “secularist” agenda. It is certainly true that most secularists (such as Paul Kurtz, in the 1973 Humanist Manifesto II) wish to separate church and state. However, many religious individuals and societies favor such separation also; therefore it is misleading to refer to separation of church and state as a secular or secularist idea. The purpose of this brief survey is to list some of the religious arguments that have been presented in favor of separation, so that religious people may consider those arguments as “friendly” to their faith-commitments, rather than hostile to them.

and regarding individual liberty:

For Protestant Christianity, the doctrine of the conscience plays a very important role. Unlike the Baltimore Catechism of the Catholic Church, where conscience normally appears only in sections dealing with Penance or Confession, some Protestant confessions have an entire chapter devoted to it, such as the Westminster Confession’s chapter on “Christian Liberty and Liberty of Conscience.” Within this understanding, an action or belief is only morally approved when it is a sincere act, an act that accords with conscientious faith. The conscience is thus “free” from false authority to serve God, the true Authority. Any professed faith or outwardly religious act that is merely done to avoid civil penalties is not an act of any true moral worth. When the beliefs and practices of the church are prescribed by the State with its coercive powers, this does not promote true religion, but hypocrisy. For many Protestants, therefore, one of the best ways to preserve true liberty of the individual conscience is to leave that conscience entirely free, in religious matters, from considerations of civil consequences.

Some laws which coerce moral behavior are needed to protect us all from each other. I am very glad when going to my car at night at the mall that the threat of punishment from the state might prevent some would be attackers from carrying out the desires of their evil hearts. However, as T. David states so well, some (many, which ones?) matters of personal liberty should be off limits from the state.
With that background, I will turn it over to the forum. I encourage you to read Dr. Gordon’s well-crafted paper. What is the proper role of a Christian in governance? How are legislators to govern in a plural society? Given that Christians were so involved in the founding of the nation, why did they create such protections for pluralism of belief, including the ability to believe nothing and pursue happiness via that worldview? How do we best advance the mission of the church? In which vision of governance is personal and religious liberty best achieved?

Here is another quote from Dr. Gordon’s paper which speaks to how religious people ordinarily confuse criminality and immorality.

Confusion on this point often centers around a misunderstanding of Paul’s comments about the civil magistrate in Romans 13, where he refers to the magistrate as one who is a terror to evil conduct. Many religious people conclude, therefore, that the magistrate’s duty is to punish all evil conduct, as the Bible describes “evil”. In its historical context, however, this interpretation is unlikely. The particular magistrate to whom Paul refers is the Roman authority, who knew nothing of the law of Moses or the commands of Christ, and yet Paul referred to this pagan Roman magistrate as a “minister of God for your good.” The “evil” spoken of by Paul is societal evil, evil of a public nature that threatens the well-being of the commonwealth or its
individual citizens. From what we know of first-century Roman law, it appears that Paul rightly assumed that the magistrate would punish crimes against persons and crimes against property. If the magistrate did this, Paul was content that he was serving his divinely-instituted role fine.
Many other behaviors might well be sinful and immoral, but they are not and need not be criminal. In the late eighteenth century, John Leland, the Massachusetts Baptist, addressed this important distinction:

What leads legislators into this error, is confounding sins and crimes together — making no difference between moral evil and state rebellion: not considering that a man may be infected with moral evil, and yet be guilty of no crime, punishable by law. If a man worships one God, three Gods, twenty Gods, or no God — if he pays adoration one day in a week, seven days or no day — wherein does he injure the life, liberty or property of another? Let any or all these actions be supposed to be religious evils of an enormous size, yet they are not crimes to be punished by laws of state, which extend no further, in justice, than to punish the man who works ill to his neighbor.

Leland reflected common views in his day: That states exist to preserve the natural or inalienable rights of humans, frequently considered to be life, liberty and property as referred to by Leland. Thus, an act is criminal when it harms another’s person or property, or restrains his liberty; but other acts are tolerable by the state.

It will not impair the Church for homosexuality to be legal but nations which attempt to coerce moral sexual behavior will impair the free exercise of conscience by same-sex attracted people. To repeat from Dr. Gordon’s paper:

Any professed faith or outwardly religious act that is merely done to avoid civil penalties is not an act of any true moral worth. When the beliefs and practices of the church are prescribed by the State with its coercive powers, this does not promote true religion, but hypocrisy. For many Protestants, therefore, one of the best ways to preserve true liberty of the individual conscience is to leave that conscience entirely free, in religious matters, from considerations of civil consequences.

Gay Ugandan man seeks asylum in UK; EU group condemns Ugandan homosexuality conference

Gay Without Borders is reporting that John Bosco Nyombi is back in the UK after being returned to Uganda against his will. While there, he was beaten and had to hide from police to avoid detention, according to GWB.
Nyombi’s case made headlines in September of 2008 but little has been reported since. I post this case in light of the recent ex-gay conference in Kampala, Uganda involving Exodus International board member, Don Schmeirer, International Healing Foundation’s Caleb Brundidge and Scott Lively. During this series of meetings, a new anti-gay group was formed, and Scott Lively called for tougher criminal laws and forced therapy of homosexuals.
Bosco claims he was beaten and lived under threat.

He fled to the UK from Uganda where homosexuality is illegal and carries a punishment of life in prison.
His case has attracted publicity in Uganda.
Mr Bosco said in a statement seen by the court that, on his return to his homeland, his circumstances had become “quite desperate”.
He had been beaten up during a period in detention and he had now gone into hiding to avoid being interviewed by the police about his homosexuality.
The judge said the evidence before him made it perfectly plain that Mr Bosco had come to the notice of the authorities, and this had added to the risk of his human rights being breached by reason of his homosexuality.
In rejecting the Home Office’s argument that it was safe to return Mr Bosco to Uganda, the judge said: “I find it impossible to conclude, on the basis of the evidence as it now is, that there is not the real possibility that a judge might find that he is at risk if he is returned (to his homeland) by reason of his homosexuality.”

Elsewhere, a LGBT group affiliated with the European Union blasted the Uganda conference and the American participants by name:

European Parliament’s Intergroup on Gay and Lesbian Rights strongly condemns the meeting of 5 March between several Ugandan parliamentarians and Scott Lively, Don Schmierer, Caleb Lee Brundidge and Stephen Langa of the USA and Uganda-based groups working to diminish human rights of LGBT persons.

In my view, American groups should be condemning the situation in Uganda and not enabling it.

More on the Ugandan ex-gay conference

Wanting to know more about the Family Life Network ex-gay conference in Uganda (first covered here), I wrote FLN Director and conference organizer, Stephen Langa.
In contrast to rumors that the Ugandan government funded the conference, Langa said that the Family Life Network funded it locally. I asked why he chose the speakers (Schmierer, Brundidge and Lively) and he said, “they each have unique expertise which we feel will address the needs we have in Uganda and Africa in general on the subject of homosexuality.” He noted that the speakers are not being paid for their time.
Regarding the need for the conference, Langa said no prior conferences had provided true information. He believed this conference would offer hope for “recovery and restoration” of homosexuals.
I asked some follow up questions but have not received a reply as yet. As noted in this African news report, I am very skeptical that value will come from the attempt to transplant US ex-gay ideas into a country with such a hostile climate for people who are same-sex attracted.

Uganda's strange ex-gay conference

I decided to post about this after reading an article about an upcoming (this weekend) conference in Uganda on homosexuality. The article begins:

Parents to train on how to handle homosexuality issues
Family Life Network and other stakeholders in Uganda have organized a three-day seminar to provide what they termed as reliable and up to date information so that people can know how to protect themselves, their children, families from homosexuality.

Reliable and up-to-date information? I doubt it given line-up of presenters (Scott Lively, Don Schmierer and Caleb Brundidge). I have little awareness of Mr. Lively’s work but Mr. Schmeirer and Mr. Brundidge I know more about.
It is ironic that Mr. Schmierer is speaking at a conference for parents. He recently spoke on Family Life Radio which prompted several parents to contact me – not with good feelings, I might add. Some parents who have been through the reparative therapy gauntlet are weary of programming they seek for spiritual support providing misleading information which serves to demoralize them. An portion of Mr. Schmierer’s book, An Ounce of Prevention was provided to parents to help them pick out their pre-gay child.

Signs That an Adolescent May Be Struggling with Gender Issues
Don Schmierer
None of these are clear-cut indications of homosexual tendencies. However, if several of them are evident, the young person may be struggling with gender issues.
1. A sensitive child being forced to feel different because of mocking or downgrading by peers or family
2. A young boy who hangs out with girls exclusively; history of playing with girls instead of boys prior to puberty
3. Effeminate behavior/appearance in boys or extreme macho behavior; mannish style and “butch” posturing in girls (not to be confused with simply being athletic)
4. Unnatural friendship that is compulsive, secretive, or inseparable developing between siblings, cousins, relatives, or neighbors—especially in merged families or foster families
5. Exaggerated rejection by same sex parent
6. Fatherless home or emotionally unavailable father
7. Dominant mother
8. Youngest male child
9. Young girls with much older female “best friend” in a relationship that excludes others of the girl’s own age
10. Anger—often manifested in sarcasm, cynicism, or withdrawal
11. Frail, deformed, deaf, or otherwise “outcast”; physical appearance not socially acceptable; “slow”
12. Comments, “I must be gay,” or “I guess I’m bisexual.”
13. Loner, preoccupied with self
14. Boys may avoid fights/physical altercations

I don’t know where to start with this list. More to the point, I don’t know what a parent would do with a list like this. Take number 3: “Ok, son, time to tone down the machismo, you might be gay.” or “Son, how about being a little more macho, you might be gay.” I am trying to imagine how this list will go over in Uganda.
Mr. Brundidge, I featured here in the post just prior to this one. He divides his time between fringe groups – Extreme Prophetic and the International Healing Foundation. Here is another YouTube video of Mr. Brundidge when he was a pupil of Mr. Cohen. At least, it appears he was still a client in this video. With Mr. Cohen, you can be a client and staffer so maybe he was both. Embedding is disabled so you have to watch to about a minute into the video to see Mr. Brundidge and then again at 18:31. I wonder if he will demonstrate the tennis raquet technique in Uganda.
BrundidgeRaquet
Overall, I am surprised that an Exodus board member would go to a conference like this in a country where criminalization of homosexuality is still an issue. My impression is that Exodus had no position on such things or if there was a position it was that homosexuality should not be considered a crime. For a change, I agree with Exgaywatch that it sends the wrong message for these people to go where the agenda is not simply congruence with religious teaching but also on state intervention in private behavior.
PS – Here is an article describing some of the attitudes in Uganda. This conference will be aiding and abetting this kind of thinking, I fear.

Luca was gay: The lyrics in English

I posted in December, 2008 about the controversy in Italy regarding an ex-gay song to be sung in the Italian music festival, Sanremo by Italian artist, Povia. Up to now, the lyrics to the song not known. We now have them here.
Thanks to a translation by Emiliano Lambiase, I can now post the lyrics to Luca Era Gay (Luca Was Gay), the song sparking all the fuss.

INTRO:
Luca was gay and now he’s together with her, Luca speaks from his heart, Luca says I’m another man.
1st VERSE:
Luca says: Before telling you about my sexual change, I want to clarify that if I believe in God I can’t recognise myself in human thought which is divided on this matter, I haven’t gone to psychologists, psychiatrists, priests nor scientists.
I’ve gone into my past, delved into it and found out a lot about myself.
My mother had too much love for me, her love turned into full obsession with her convictions, her attentions wouldn’t let me breathe.
My father used to take no decisions and I could never talk with him, he was away at work all day, but I had the feeling that wasn’t the truth, that’s why Mum asked for divorce, I was 12 and didn’t
really understand my father, he said ‘that’s the right solution’ and started to drink after sometime.
Mum always spoke badly of Dad to me and used to say ‘never get married, for God’s sake.
She was sick jealous of my girlfriends and my identity was growing confused.
Chorus:
Luca was gay and now he’s together with her, Luca speaks from his heart, Luca says I’m another man
Luca was gay and now he’s together with her, Luca speaks from his heart, Luca says I’m another man.
2nd VERSE:
I’m another man now, but at that time I was looking for answers, I was ashamed so looked for my answers in hiding, some used to say ‘it’s natural.’
I studied Freud and he didn’t think the same, then high school finished but I didn’t know what happiness was, a big man made my heart shake and that’s when I knew I was a homosexual.
I had no inhibitions with him, he courted me and I thought that was love, yes with him I could feel myself, but then it became like a competition on who made the best sex.
I felt guilty, sooner or later they’ll catch him, but if evidence disappears he’ll be acquitted.
I was looking for who my father was in men, and I used to go with men not to betray my mother.
2nd Chorus:
Luca was gay and now he’s together with her, Luca speaks from his heart. Luca says I’m another man.
Luca was gay and now he’s together with her, Luca speaks from his heart, Luca says I’m another man.
SPECIAL:
Luca says: For 4 years I’d been with a man through love and deceptions, we often betrayed each other.
I was still looking for my truth, that big eternal love, then I met her at a party, among a lot of people, she had nothing to do with it all, she listened to me, undressed me, understood me. I only remember that I missed her the day after.
This is my story, only my story, no illness, no recovery.
Dear Dad, I’ve forgiven you even though you’ve never come back here.
Mum, I often think of you and I love you, and sometimes still see your reflection.
But now I’ve become a father and I’m in love with the only woman I’ve ever loved.
Final Chorus:
Luca was gay and now he’s together with her, Luca speaks from his heart, Luca says I’m another man.
Luca was gay and now he’s together with her, Luca speaks from his heart, Luca says I’m another man.

That is a long song, or at least it seems like it would be from the length of the story involved. Has a little reparative therapy feel to it with the parents involved but it also says, “no illness, no recovery” which is not consistent with that framework.
Luca Era Gay might be considered in the a Because of You genre.
UPDATE: This blogger has what he claims is a more accurate translation.
Peter Ould wonders if Luca was gay after all…