Friday, July 17, 1998

WASHINGTON -- A coalition of organizations will answer an anti-gay newspaper ad campaign, launched by several right-wing groups, with a full-page ad in Wednesday's editions of USA Today. The coalition ad will highlight a Minneapolis family who loves and supports their lesbian daughter and it will counter the myths propagated by the religious right, according to the Human Rights Campaign.

DARELL GINGRICH --NEWT AND CANDACE'S COUSIN -- AND OTHER FORMER EX-GAYS SPEAK OUT AGAINST WHAT THEY CALL PSYCHOLOGICAL TERRORISM Former Ex-Gays Refute Claims That Homosexuality Can Be Changed And Cite The Damaging Effects Of Such Efforts WASHINGTON -- Newt and Candace Gingrich's cousin, Darell Gingrich (twice removed), joined several other former "ex-gays" today to help refute this weeks misleading Right Wing misinformation newspaper ad campaign which claims gays can be changed through therapy and religion.

"This right wing political ad campaign of misinformation and pseudo-science is hurting many people and is nothing more than a slick attempt to make discrimination against gay people safe and legal. They are desperately trying to legitimize anti-gay discrimination," said HRC communications director and senior strategist David M. Smith.

The Right's ad campaign contradicts medical and mental health experts who say that homosexuality can not -- and should not -- be cured. In August 1997, the American Psychological Association overwhelmingly passed a resolution, at the APA convention, that asserts that there is no sound scientific evidence on the efficacy of "reparative therapy," which seeks to "cure" homosexuals. In 1973, the American Psychiatric Association removed homosexuality from its list of mental disorders. Earlier this week, in response to these ads, the American Psychological Association again questioned the efficacy of so-called "conversion therapy."

"For nearly three decades, it has been known that homosexuality is not a mental illness. Medical and mental health professionals also now know that sexual orientation is not a choice and cannot be altered. Groups who try to change the sexual orientation of people through so-called conversion therapy' are misguided and run the risk of causing a great deal of psychological harm to those they say they are trying to help," said American Psychological Association Executive Director Dr. Raymond Fowler.

"I am here to say that these ex-gay' ministries dont work. Even though many of the people involved in these ministries might be well intentioned, they are causing pain in the lives of those who would be better off accepting how God created them," said former ex-gay' Darell Gingrich.

"For fifteen years I endured the mental torment of the ex-gay' movement. I did everything they told me to do. I prayed. I spoke to church counselors. They had me convinced I was going to hell. I finally realized that the hell the ex-gay ministries spoke of was the life I was living by pretending I was a heterosexual. These groups prey on those who are gay and Christian and I really feel bad for those who are still caught in their web of deceit," said HRC senior policy advocate and former ex-gay' Tracey St. Pierre.

"I entered the ex-gay' movement as a sixteen year Pentecostal who was afraid of going to hell. I quickly realized that this movement was dysfunctional and cured no one involved," said former ex-gay Matt Smith.

"Make no mistake about it, these ads are politically motivated. It is not a coincidence that these ads are running the same week that extremist members in Congress have launched an unprecedented wave of anti-gay legislation. From the Hefley and Riggs amendments, to the attack on hate crimes legislation, the Far Right is orchestrating a highly organized political campaign against gay Americans," said HRC political director Winnie Stachelberg.

Rev David Michael Rice
Mariner's Ministries, Dana Point

Shy David's House of Knowledge


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