USA Today, in a case of journalistic malpractice, chose to publish today an op-ed supporting so-called “ex-gay” or “reparative” therapy, a practice that has been denounced and labeled as not only ineffective but actually dangerous by many if not all major medical organizations. The op-ed is authored by a psychologist linked to NARTH, the “National Association for Research & Therapy of Homosexuality” whose main body of “work” is by Dr. Paul Cameron, aÂ wholly discredited “scientist.”
USA Today is in the business of publishing news and opinion from reliable sources, and has failed miserably in this instance. The editorial board should remove this dangerous column, apologize for publishing it, and follow up with one explaining the facts about “ex-gay” therapy and the dangers associated with it.
Contrary to popular desire among anti-gay and anti-science conservatives, some issues — like climate change and evolution — are settled science. There’s no “debate” to have because they are proven facts. The danger of “ex-gay therapy” is one of those settled science facts not up for debate any longer.
Additionally — shamefully, lazily, callously, and offensively — USA Today used an image of LGBT activists and allies from a recent New Jersey United for Marriage rally to accompany the op-ed, clearly without their express consent of it being used in association with this dangerous opinion piece. It was a poor choice and should be changed if the editors refuse to remove the piece entirely.Â Figured prominently in the image (screenshot, top) is New Jersey nativeÂ Penny Gnesin, wife ofÂ former Army Captain and LGBT activistÂ Sue Fulton.
“That’s Penny, in the scooter,” the couple told The New Civil Rights Movement in an email today:
“In eighteen years together, we’ve dealt with job loss, MS, and breast cancer. We’re strong enough to stand up to the haters, but we won’t allow our images to be used by those who would use their crackpot theories to mistreat young, vulnerable gay and lesbian kids. We are outraged.”
Now, to the actual op-ed.
“Sexual reorientation therapy not unethical” is by Nicholas A. Cummings.
Cummings’ bio in the piece says he “was president of the American Psychological Association (1979-80).” It does not state that he is associated with NARTH, nor does it state that he delivered a keynote address for the group, nor does it state that the man NARTH used to use before they were forced to turn to Cummings has denounced his previous reparative therapy studies.
In fact, every major leader in the “ex-gay” movement has denounced their participation and apologized for the harm they’ve caused.
But USA Today is oblivious to this fact, and by publishing Cummings’ op-ed has given unnecessary and false “hope” to some who still believe homosexuality is a disease and something in need of a cure, like cancer, diabetes, or high blood pressure.
In fact, homosexuality is as normal as being born blond, left handed, or tall.
“The sweeping allegation that such [reparative therapy] treatment must be a fraud because homosexual orientation can’t be changed is damaging,” Cummings writes. He is wrong, and there are countless medical professionals who have, do, and will oppose him.
“I personally saw more than 2,000 patients with same-sex attraction, and my staff saw thousands more. We worked hard to developÂ approaches to meeting the needs of these patients,” Cummings writes, as he links to an article at NARTH — another dangerous and poor choice by USA Today for allowing it, which they do again below.
“They generally sought therapy for one of three reasons: to come to grips with their gay identity, to resolve relationship issues or to change their sexual orientation,” Cummings continues:
We would always inform patients in the third group that change was not easily accomplished. With clinical experience, my staff and I learned to assess the probability of change in those who wished to become heterosexual.
Of the roughly 18,000 gay and lesbian patients whom we treated over 25 years through Kaiser, IÂ believeÂ that most had satisfactory outcomes. The majority were able to attain a happier and more stable homosexual lifestyle. Of the patients I oversaw who sought to change their orientation, hundreds were successful.
That last part, “hundreds were successful,” has been disproven time and time again by case after case after case of so-called ‘ex-gays” who amazingly get caught not being ex-gay. The perfect example is formerÂ officer and scientific advisor to NARTH,Â George Rekers, whom, you’ll remember, was caught with a young male prostitute comingÂ back from a European vacation. NARTH quickly scrubbed their website of any vestige of his name and Rekers was forced into exile.
Alan Chambers is another example.
Chambers is theÂ former president of the now defunctÂ Exodus International, which used to be the top “ex-gay” organization. Here’s what he recently said about his “work”:
“I am sorry for the pain and hurt many of you have experienced. I am sorry that some of you spent years working through the shame and guilt you felt when your attractions didnâ€™t change. I am sorry we promoted sexual orientation change efforts and reparative theories about sexual orientation that stigmatized parents.”
Chambers also acknowledged that his work has ultimately resulted in suicides, and said:
â€œI have heard many firsthand stories from people called ex-gay survivors. Stories of people who went to Exodus affiliated ministries or ministers for help only to experience more trauma. I have heard stories of shame, sexual misconduct, and false hope. In every case that has been brought to my attention, there has been swift action resulting in the removal of these leaders and/or their organizations.”
At Think Progress, Zack Ford explains the harm caused by “ex-gay therapy”:
The APA has concluded that sexual orientation change efforts are at best ineffective, if not harmful. In a survey of ex-gay survivors â€” those who once attempted to change their orientation then later embraced it â€” over 90 percent reported that they experienced harm. A study designed to prove ex-gay therapy worked found that even those who claim success are just acting the part â€” their orientation hasnâ€™t changed. Arguably, many of the â€œtreatmentsâ€ the plaintiffs in the JONAH case experienced were not only ineffective and potentially psychologically harmful, but outright abusive.
Again, USA Today must remove the op-ed and apologize for publishing it. And they must publish one in its place detailing the dangers of “ex-gay” therapy.
Editor’s note: A previous version of this article incorrectly identified Dr. Cummings as a psychiatrist. He is a psychologist.
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‘A Bunch of New Yorkers in Addition to George Soros’: Greg Abbott Accused of Antisemitism
Texas GOP Governor Greg Abbott is facing a challenging re-election fight against Beto O’Rourke, the popular and charismatic former U.S,. Congressman and Democratic presidential candidate who is now his party’s gubernatorial nominee.
Texas voters have had to face mismanagement of the state’s electric grid, with hundreds of Texans dying in winter after the snowstorm that sent Senator Ted Cruz to Cancun, the horrific elementary school mass shooting in Uvalde, and Abbott spending millions of taxpayer dollars on anti-immigrant programs, including bussing migrants to Democratic-controlled cities like Washington, D.C. and New York City. Not to mention his support of the vigilante abortion ban and a “Don’t Say Gay” bill, his failed promise to end rape, and the fact that Texas leads the nation in mass shootings.
But none of that has stopped the 64-year old from doubling down on his conservative bonafides.
On Wednesday over at Fox News, Abbott engaged in what many are calling some old-fashioned antisemitism.
“We will explain to our fellow Texans that the Beto campaign is being aided by a bunch of New Yorkers in addition to George Soros, and that will do nothing but harm his campaign,” Abbott told Fox News host Harris Faulkner.
Greg Abbott: “We will explain to our fellow Texans that the Beto campaign is being aided by a bunch of New Yorkers in addition to George Soros, and that will do nothing but harm his campaign.” pic.twitter.com/23O6TtLwTO
— Justin Baragona (@justinbaragona) August 10, 2022
George Soros, who is Jewish, is a Democratic philanthropist and one of the liberals most-hated by the right, in large part because he funds left wing causes.
He also donated $1 million to help elect O’Rourke governor.
Two weeks ago polls showed O’Rourke gaining ground, striking with five points of his entrenched Texas Republican rival.
And now Abbott is being blasted for what many are calling antisemitism over his Soros statement.
“In this context, ‘New Yorkers’ and ‘George Soros’ are both signifiers for the alleged Jewish elite who supposedly control the world. Abbott is peddling antisemitic conspiracy theory rhetoric,” says writer and human rights activist Leah McElrath.
“When they say ‘Soros’ and ‘New Yorkers,’ they mean Jews,” notes freelance writer Henry Schulman. “It’s an old dog whistle and a code all the Trump-humping Nazis and their sympathizers understand. So add a new adjective besides ‘fascist’ in front of Abbott’s name. It’s ‘anti-Semitic fascist.'”
Others were even more direct.
“Just say Jews you coward,” tweeted a columnist for The Forward, Alex גדעון בן װעלװל.
“‘The bespectacled, bagel-eating, gefilte fish-slurping, globalist intelligentsia from the Upper West Side’ is what he’s trying to say, although the specifics of who that is maddeningly unclear,” mocked Aki Pertiz, an intel and national security expert. “Also, doesn’t Soros live in NY state? Why single him out hmmmmm.”
Former Chicago Tribune editor Mark Jacob explains: “Right-wing code is pretty simple. ‘New York’ and ‘Soros’ = Jewish. ‘Chicago’ = Black people.”
Former Governor of Vermont, DNC Chair, and 2004 presidential nominee Howard Dean blasted Abbott, comparing him to the Hungarian dictator and, some say, fascist.
“Abbott has become just another GOP whack job. He sounds like victor Orban,” Dean wrote.
‘Same Answer’: Trump Sat Across From the NY Attorney General and Pleaded the Fifth to Each Question For About 5 Hours
Donald Trump arrived at the New York Attorney General’s Office early Wednesday morning, around 9 AM. At 10:04 AM posted to his Truth Social account was a lengthy statement that says, “under the advice of my counsel and for all of the above reasons, I declined to answer the questions under the rights and privileges afforded to every citizen.”
Trump was finally forced to appear after a subpoena ordering him to give a deposition on January 7 in New York Attorney General Letitia James’ investigation into his real estate pricing practices. Trump’s former attorney Michael Cohen told Congress in 2019 his former boss would increase what he claimed his properties are worth when attempting to arrange credit and decrease their value for tax purposes.
The Guardian’s Hugo Lowell reported Trump “departed 28 Liberty at 3:20pm slumped in a black Secret Service SUV and peered out of the rear window as his motorcade crawled out of an underground garage past onlookers.”
At 3:42 PM Trump posted: “Just leaving the Attorney General’s Office – A very professional meeting.”
The New York Times reports “Trump and James sat across from each other for hours as he said ‘same answer’ again and again.”
Trump “read a statement into the record in which he called the inquiry a continuation of ‘the greatest witch hunt in the history of our country’ and accused Ms. James of having ‘openly campaigned on a policy of destroying me.'”
That statement is similar to the one posted to his Truth Social account.
Trump’s attorney, Ronald P. Fischetti, “said that over the course of about four hours, with several breaks, Mr. Trump answered only one question, about his name, toward the beginning of the interview.”
That statement Trump posted Wednesday morning attempted to merge the FBI’s Monday raid on his Mar-a-Lago home with his appearance for sworn testimony in a very different case.
Dem Congressman Posts Horrific Audio of Violent Death Threat Against Him and His Family by Caller Praising ‘Trump 2024’
Democratic U.S. Rep. Eric Swalwell of California on Wednesday posted audio of a violent death threat against him and his family. The Congressman is married and the couple have three children. The speaker in the audio also calls for “all Democrats” to be killed, and ends with a call for “Trump 2024.”
Swalwell is a popular target for the right. He is a former candidate for president, a very visible member of the Democratic Party, and is the Co-Chair of the House Democratic Steering Committee.
The audio is profane and gruesome. In it, a male voice can be heard hoping for decapitations of the Congressman, his wife, and their children. The language is graphic.
READ MORE: House Republicans Visited Trump After FBI Raid to Urge Him to Announce Run for President
The voice also references President Joe Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris, using horrifically racist slurs, along with Back Lives Matter, immigrants, and Democrats in general.
It also attacks the state of California and Democratic Gov. Gavin Newsom, and then Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi, Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer.
It ends with a repeated call of “Trump 2024!”
The audio is nearly two minutes long but appears to have been edited, with at least the beginning cut off.
“LISTEN to this death threat against my children,” Swalwell urges. “Since the FBI search of Mar-a-Lago, Trump, McCarthy, and MAGA Republicans are stoking violent rhetoric against lawmakers and law enforcement. Someone is going to get killed.”
In 2019 Swalwell also posted a death threat he received. Fox News’ Tomi Lahren mocked him on social media.
NCRM has opted to not embed the audio but it can be heard here.
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