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‘Ex-Gay’ Myth Hits Caribbean: Newspaper Ad Declares “Truth” About Gays

‘Ex-Gay’ Myth Hits Caribbean: Newspaper Ad Declares “Truth” About Gays

The ‘ex-gay’ religious movement has expanded beyond its American origins throughout the world.

Despite its evident shrinking in the US, with reports that the oldest ex-gay group Exodus International is on the verge of “social and financial oblivion” and widespread mockery of ‘therapy’ operators like Michele Bachmann’s husband, in the rest of the world it is growing.

Reports emerged in October of over 200 ‘ex gay clinics’ in Ecuador, some of which activists had managed to get closed after the torture they were practicing was exposed. It also emerged that the Hong Kong government is paying for so-called Sexual Orientation Conversion Therapy (SOCT) for LGBT citizens.

In Uganda, it is US ‘conversion therapy’ Christianist evangelists who have been behind those pushing the ‘Kill the Gays’ bill. Because of them, the idea that ‘the gay’ can be cured is widely believed throughout Africa.

Now the same lies pushed by the same American ‘ex-gay’ propagandists are finding an audience in the Caribbean.

A full page ad published in the leading Trinidad newspaper Sunday Express titled ‘What you should know about homosexuality’ has outraged local activists. They are calling for any further ads to be blocked by local media standards bodies.

Wrote local activist Brendon O’Brien in a letter to the newspaper:

They looked at this…and thought it was okay to publish? Not that something is wrong with publishing a religiously slanted ad, but one that openly discredits a community, questions their movement towards rights and even, in a sense, undermines their actual existence is definitely a problem. And this tried to do just that, and in a respectful and pseudo-scientific way as well. The publisher should have seen this and seen that it would’ve caused a problem.

A similar ad was published in Jamaica’s newspaper on World AIDS Day. The blog Gay Jamaica Watch pointed out that the false statements in these ads “would only justify the stigmas that people who experience same-sex attraction are not ‘normal’ but are all sexual defiant, mentally unstable, promiscuous and self-selecting.”

That Jamaican advert was followed up by a symposium on December 10 organized by the Lawyers’ Christian Fellowship and attended by many leading Jamaicans, including two judges of Jamaica’s Supreme Court and the Attorney General, and with American and British Christianist speakers. This event was aimed squarely at fighting the growing movement for decriminalization of homosexuality on the island, and throughout the Caribbean. That movement can now count on the support of the head of Jamaica’s Anglican church, who has called for the repeal of the colonial era anti-sodomy laws.

Writes Jamaican activists Maurice Tomlinson:

During the nearly 7-hour symposium, the presenters extolled the virtues of Dominionism — the belief that countries must be governed by a conservative Christian understanding of biblical law — and cautioned (actually, more like threatened) Jamaican Christians that if they don’t organize a counter-offensive against the militant gay agenda sweeping the world, their beloved country will be overrun by aberrant ideas “hell bent” on destroying marriage, children, and, of course, Christianity.

Tomlinson reported that “the entire proceedings were tightly controlled” and organizers tried to stop anyone offering a correction when false information was presented.

Tomlinson is one of those taking Jamaica’s anti-gay law to the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights. The law in Belize is also being challenged as unconstitutional.

Says veteran Trinidadian activist Colin Robinson of the apparently coordinated anti-gay Caribbean efforts:

The region is in the cross-hairs of religious groups in the North who think their battles for Christian Dominion ought to be waged on the bodies of Caribbean gay and lesbian men and women, just like they have done on the corpses of our Ugandan brothers and sisters.

But Robinson also pointed out that:

In Trinidad, however, just like happened when Phillip Lee from His Way Out Ministries came a year ago, what’s happening is that heterosexual people, especially young ones, are mobilizing to say: ‘This is wrong and harmful, and we will stand against it’. They are doing a much better job than we are of creating advocates for GLBT rights.

Related stories:

Jamaican Wins ‘Visionary’ LGBT Activist Award

Jamaica’s Sodomy Law Gets First Legal Challenge

“Barbarians” Take Over Bachmann Clinic With Glitter And Dance [VIDEO]

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Picture scan of Trinidad Sunday Express advert

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46 comments

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1:37PM PDT on Apr 20, 2012

Why should we take as our "guide" to our lives, some books written by nomadic sheep-and-goat-and-camel-herders thousands of years ago, with lives and outlooks quite different from ours? With much less knowledge of science, medicine and nature..... furthermore, these same books {our "Bible"}, have been translated, re-translated, mis-translated, added to, subtracted from..... something that scholars KNOW, that there can be no dispute over.
The Earth is flat? All humans are descended from INCEST? {The sons and daughters of Adam and Eve, the First Couple.} You are committing an "abomination" if you shave, eat shellfish, mix different kinds of threads in clothes.... you're commanded to stone your son to death if he curses you, sell your daughter into sex-slavery if you need the money, stone adulterers {if they are female]...... etc.
"God's So-Called Word" is simply RIDICULOUS! to any even slightly RATIONAL person......
There is some good advice in this book, on how to treat the Poor, for example -- examples of ancient "Wisdom Literature" dating back to the earliest hieroglyphic writings.
But as a "guide" based on MERE SUPERSTITION..... not so much!

12:26AM PST on Dec 27, 2011

It's just one more proof that America is the ultimate evil in the world.

3:32PM PST on Dec 22, 2011

Okay ,, Again ~ I don't see anyone telling anyone what to do, or what to believe.. What i do see/read is people offering help and conveying warnings.. Much the same as you would for someone who is speeding or doing anything else they were not supposed to be doing.. “Warnings”

So ~ For those of you who believe the Bible is Gods word ~ i would suggest you take your argument/petition up with the author.. This is about Your Choice ,, Your life ,, and Your Eternity..

8:04AM PST on Dec 22, 2011

This amazes me! These far out Christians make all these claims that are outrageous and have no basis of fact! I would respect Christians more if they spoke up against these nuts, but they don't! That leads me to believe that all Christians believe the same crap these Christian organizations spew. Now how can I or anyone else respect your religion if you let these fools speak for you? Go ahead and tithe to your church even though you have no idea where the money goes after it leaves your hands. Since we don't have not even one Christian to speak against these organizations, then I guess all Christians are should be my enemy!

11:12AM PST on Dec 21, 2011

I wonder at the sanity of people who want gays to be heterosexual..What, not enough kids in the world ? Do you STILL not recognize that there are far, far too many people in this overepopulated world ? Are you lonely, or what is your problem exactly ?

11:04AM PST on Dec 21, 2011

@ Jez w “being gay is not a disease! It is a choice,” No it’s not a disease and it’s not a choice. It is a state of being.



11:02AM PST on Dec 21, 2011

Thanks for the information.

10:23AM PST on Dec 21, 2011

Tom Y, Actually it's heterosexuality that is an efficient disease vector, especially for women. Plus, heterosexuality is the cause of unplanned pregnancies and abortion.

10:10AM PST on Dec 21, 2011

This is really sad to see re. Trinidad, and also infuriating. Historically Trinidad has been less anti-gay than Jamaica (the other large formerly British-colonized Caribbean island). Why has been questioned - probably because Trinidadian Christians (predominantly Catholics) have been less hostile than overwhelmingly Protestant Jamaican Christians.

And again the poisonous influence of US-based right-wing missionaries is a major factor.

8:03AM PST on Dec 21, 2011

There's nothing to 'cure' - being gay is not a disease! It is a choice, and people should be free to make their own life choices without interference. Bet these nosy parkers have worse things that being gay to keep secret!

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