So-called “ex-gay” therapy is the foundation of many anti-gay beliefs, policies, and laws — if gays can change, then being gay is a choice. Now, nine leaders of the flailing “ex-gay” movement announce they were wrong.
In an historic move, nine of “the founders, the leaders, and the promoters” of ex-gay therapy, also known as reparative therapy or conversion therapy — all pseudo science designed to try to make gay people straight — have joined together to announce that ex-gay therapy is a sham.
In aÂ deeplyÂ moving open letter,Â signed by formerÂ members of Exodus International, Love In Action, Courage UK, and other promoters of sexual orientation change efforts (SOCE), the nine founders,Â directors, and coordinators write,
We once believed that there was something morally wrong and psychologically â€œbrokenâ€ about being LGBT. We know better now. We once believed that sexual orientation or gender identity were somehow chosen or could be changed. We know better now. We once thought it was impossible to embrace our sexual orientation or sexual identity as an intrinsic, healthy part of who we are and who we were created to be. We know better now.
Other who know this too are theÂ American Psychiatric Association and many leading major medical organizations worldwide, who have deemed gay conversionÂ therapies harmful and ineffective.
In an exclusive report announcing the letter today, Buzzfeed’sÂ Tony MerevickÂ writesÂ it was released “in partnership with the National Center for Lesbian Rights,” which is “calling for a ban on gay conversion therapy and saying that LGBT people should be celebrated and embraced for who they are.”
Many of the signatories on the letter have previously spoken out against â€” and in some cases apologized for â€” supporting and advocating for gay conversion therapy. But for some included, itâ€™s the most public statement theyâ€™ve made since renouncing the practice, like John Smid, who was a member of Exodus International and who served on its board for 11 years.
â€œWe all got together and said itâ€™s time to produce a statement that is not a statement of apology, but a statement on our beliefs on how conversation therapy harms people,â€ Smid told BuzzFeed. â€œWe felt like we needed to make that statement.â€
Smid said he experienced the harms of gay conversion or reparative therapy firsthand â€” enduring what he described as the damaging message that gay people are somehow â€œbroken and sick and that they need to be repaired,â€ he said.
â€œIn my own life, that message kept me trapped in a cycle of believing that I was emotionally ill and incapable of having a healthy life until those things are fixed,â€ he said. â€œFor over two decades, I lived in that mind-set. Thatâ€™s why reparative therapy is so damaging. That was the message that I received and that I taught in my involvement with Exodus and Love in Action.â€
Several states, including California and New Jersey, have passed laws banning the use of SOCE on minors.Â
The Christian Post this week reports that “bans similar to California’s and New Jersey’s laws prohibiting sexual orientation change therapy, or SOCE, for minors have been voted down or withdrawn inÂ Virginia,Â Illinois,Â Maryland,Â Minnesota,Â New York, Washington, Ohio, Florida, Wisconsin, Hawaii and Rhode Island.”
The complete letter is available at Buzzfeed.
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Busted: Marjorie Taylor Greene Caught Illegally Claiming a ‘Big Tax Break’ in Georgia
Local press in Georgia caught Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-GA) illegally claiming a major tax break.
“A Channel 2 Action News investigation has found that Georgia Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene and her husband have two active homestead exemptions, which is against Georgia law. A homestead exemption is a big tax break any Georgia homeowner is entitled to for their primary residence. It is against the law to file for more than one,” WSB-TV reported Friday.
“But Channel 2 investigative reporter Justin Gray pulled records showing that the Greenes are getting the tax break on two different homes in two different counties,” the network reported.
WSB-TV had a fascinating interaction when it called the controversial Republican’s office.
“In a statement, Greene’s office told Gray to mind his own business and called it a ‘pathetic smear’ when he asked them about the homestead exemptions,” the network reported. “Greene still owns a North Fulton county home, but also bought a $610,000 house in Floyd County last year in the 14th Congressional district, which she represents.”
Bombshell Report on Matt Gaetz Is Just the Beginning: ‘This Is the Start of a Long Road’
One of the reporters who broke the bombshell Daily Beast report on Matt Gaetz doing cocaine with an escort who had a no-show state job said the story is just the first in many to come.
MSNBC’s Chris Hayes interviewed Jose Pagliery on Friday about the report.
Exclusive: US Congressman Matt Gaetz snorted cocaine at a GOP fundraiser after-party… with an escort.
His donors footed the bill, because the hotel was a campaign expense.
The woman landed a taxpayer-funded job… where no one saw her work.https://t.co/uGIqQhALAj
— 𝙅𝙤𝙨𝙚 𝙋𝙖𝙜𝙡𝙞𝙚𝙧𝙮 (@Jose_Pagliery) May 14, 2021
“When Rep. Matt Gaetz attended a 2019 GOP fundraiser in Orlando, his date that night was someone he knew well: a paid escort and amateur Instagram model who led a cocaine-fueled party after the event, according to two witnesses. The Florida congressman’s one-time wingman, Joel Greenberg, will identify that escort to investigators as one of more than 15 young women Gaetz paid for sex, according to a source familiar with the investigation,” The Beast reported.
“But what distinguishes this woman, Megan Zalonka, is that she turned her relationship with Greenberg into a taxpayer-funded no-show job that earned her an estimated $7,000 to $17,500, according to three sources and corresponding government records obtained by The Daily Beast. On Oct. 26, 2019, Gaetz attended the “Trump Defender Gala” fundraiser as the featured speaker at the Westgate Lake Resort in Orlando. Two witnesses present recalled friends reconvening at Gaetz’s hotel room for an after-party, where Zalonka prepared lines of cocaine on the bathroom counter. One of those witnesses distinctly remembers Zalonka pulling the drugs out of her makeup bag, rolling a bill of cash, and joining Gaetz in snorting the cocaine,” The Beast reported.
“It seems to me, should this all be true, I just feel like there’s not going to be real shortage of witnesses here,” Hayes said. “Has a real open secret vibe to me right now.”
“This was an afterparty, we have identified at least half a dozen people who were there and saw this take place,” Pagliery said. “The reason that we decided to break this news and start with this one is that there are lots of other parties like this. There are more young women, more locations and more actions and bad behavior on the part of Gaetz and Greenberg that we’re going to be exposing.”
“This is the start of a long road,” he added.
Boebert, Cawthorn, Greene on List of 101 ‘Pro-Life’ and ‘Pro-Family’ GOPers Who Just Voted Against Pregnant Workers
The U.S. House of Representatives on Friday passed the Pregnant Workers Fairness Act, a bill to protect the rights of pregnant workers, but 101 Republican members of Congress who claim to be both “pro-life” and “pro-family” voted against the legislation.
The bill, sponsored by New York Democrat Jerry Nadler, was first introduced 9 years ago. It passed Friday in a 315-101 vote. All the no votes were from Republicans. No Democrat voted no.
The bill was supported by the right wing U.S. Chamber of Commerce, which called it “a balanced approach that clarifies an employer’s obligation to accommodate the known limitations of employees and job applicants that accompany pregnancy.”
The website Motherly put it even more simply: “No one should have to choose between their paycheck and a healthy pregnancy.”
Democratic Rep. Val Demings of Florida:
Pregnant workers have been fired or discriminated against simply for being pregnant. Today we passed legislation to protect pregnant Americans. This is just basic fairness. Proud to cosponsor this legislation.
— Rep. Val Demings (@RepValDemings) May 14, 2021
Apparently, 101 Republican lawmakers disagree.
Among the more notable Republicans voting “no” were Lauren Boebert (CO), Kevin Brady (TX), Mo Brooks (AL), Ken Buck (CO), Madison Cawthorn (NC), Liz Cheney (WY), Scott DesJarlais (TN), Virginia Foxx (NC), Louie Gohmert (TX), Paul Gosar (AZ), Marjorie Taylor Greene (GA), Jody Hice (GA), Thomas Massie (KY), and Chip Roy (TX).
Here’s the list of all the lawmakers who voted against pregnant workers:
Armstrong (North Dakota)
Barr (Kentucky) NAY
Bishop (North Carolina)
Budd (North Carolina)
Cawthorn (North Carolina)
Duncan (South Carolina)
Foxx (North Carolina)
Franklin, C. Scott (Florida)
Herrell (New Mexico)
Mace (South Carolina)
McHenry (North Carolina)
Miller (West Virginia)
Norman (South Carolina)
Rice (South Carolina)
Rouzer (North Carolina)
Scott, Austin (Georgia)
Timmons (South Carolina)
Van Duyne (Texas)
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