Wednesday, May 2, 2018

Ex-Gay "Freedom March" featuring Elizabeth Johnston

Ex-gay Freedom March
Freedom is not pretending to be someone else to satisfy religious extremists. Real freedom is achieved by being who you really are.
Oh joy! On Saturday, ex-gay and ex-trans people will engage in a Freedom March, apparently organized by Voice of the Voiceless. It doesn't seem to be much of a march but rather a gathering of some folks at the National Sylvan Theater which is more of a public band-shell on the grounds of the Washington Monument National Mall. I am in the process of checking the permit with the National Parks Service.

Special guests, according to the Christian Post
Elizabeth Johnston, who's also known as The Activist Mommy and who has over half a million followers on Facebook, will be one of the event's speakers. She said … that many LGBT activists have tried to diminish the voices of those who left homosexuality because their voices present the most powerful refutations of the "gays are born that way and can't change" argument.
The incurious Ms. Johnston is exceptionally gifted at self-promotion (savant syndrome) which obscures a diminished intellect devoid of effective critical thinking. Johnston's understanding of sexual orientation is not grounded in any scientific or medical understanding. She is confusing faith and clearly cannot distinguish between belief and evidence.

Johnston goes on to recite some confused talking points about California's proposed ban on conversion therapy, She makes reference to “addictions of the gender-confused lifestyle.”

Pull her string and Johnston responds with prerecorded anti-LGBT bigotry.

Gay conversion therapy, sometimes called reparative therapy is pseudoscience. The American Psychological Association studied the issue and found it to be ineffective and possibly harmful. There is no peer-reviewed research published to a scholarly journal to support the idea that sexual orientation can be changed. The APA study found that, at best, the approach can teach gay people how to pretend to be straight — something that is inherently unhealthy. Lately the ex-gay crackpots have added gender identity change to the menu of the absurd.

“Pray-away-the-gay” is the most accurate description and Johnston will be joined by Luis Javier Ruiz who claims to be a survivor of the June 2016 massacre at the Pulse nightclub in Orlando where 49 people were murdered. Apparently, Jesus Christ turned Ruiz straight — at least for now.

According to the event's Facebook page:
Meet Luis Ruiz (Pulse nightclub shooting survivor): I should have been number 50! Going through old pictures of the night of Pulse, I remember my struggles of perversion, heavy drinking to drown out everything and having promiscuous sex that led to HIV. My struggles were real ! The enemy had its grip, and now God has taken me from that moment and has given me Christ Jesus. I've grown to know His love in a deeper level. 2 out of the 49 were my close friends and are no longer with us. They lost their life that night. I should have been number 50 but now I have the chance to live in relationship and not religion - not just loving Christ but being in love with Christ and sharing His love. I know who I am and I am not defined with who the enemy says I use to be - but who Christ Jesus says I am.
All of his (former) friends are perverts? Those two murdered “close friends” would be appalled. Someone with considerable skills as a psychologist might be able to untangle why Ruiz feels that he “should have been” murdered as well. Ex-gay “therapy” is based on shame and is possibly responsible for Ruiz's lack of ego strengths.

I could not care less about Ruiz's religious beliefs. If he wants to believe that Jesus turned him into a Rottweiler that is fine with me. My condemnation is based on the fact that he is shilling for anti-LGBT bigots. Conversion therapy is promoted to excuse, and even foster, discrimination. Ruiz lacks the introspection to realize that he is an instrument of oppressing his former friends.

Voice of the Voiceless has compiled a record of doing some spectacularly stupid things. Apparently started by Christopher Doyle, the organization is a 501(c)3 nonprofit (January, 2015 ruling). In its most recent tax filing for 2016, the Manassas, VA operation reported no revenues and no assets.

Christopher Doyle
Christopher Doyle, circa June, 2016. In addition to VoV, Doyle operates under National Task Force for Therapy Equality and Equality and Justice for all. These all have the same address.
The president of Voice of the Voiceless organization is Minnesotan Daren Mehl who is an IT consultant for a company called Rsam which is located in New Jersey. Mehl has a faux associate degree from the now defunct Brown College, a for-profit school that lacked regional accreditation (thus the AA provides no transferable credits). Mediocrity describes most pray-away-the-gay advocates.

Exactly one year ago to the day, Voice of the Voiceless issued a bizarre press release which reads in part:
Today, a major blow was delivered to three of the largest gay activist organizations in the United States, as the National Task Force for Therapy Equality, representing tens of thousands of licensed psychotherapists, psychiatrists, and physicians and over 1,000 clients and patients, filed a consumer fraud complaint on behalf of eight organizations with the Federal Trade Commission, charging the Southern Poverty Law Center, Human Rights Campaign, and National Center for Lesbian Rights of committing mass deception and fraud in their efforts to ban counseling by licensed professionals for clients distressed with unwanted same-sex attractions and gender identity conflicts.
They do not even realize that there is something very strange about supposedly tens of thousands of mental health professionals with just over 1,000 clients. Do the “therapists” share their victims? In any event, that “major blow” has had -no effect whatsoever. States and locales continue to ban conversion therapy.

What exactly did they expect the FTC to do? Would any sane person believe that there are tens of thousands of licensed mental health professionals who, in direct conflict with their own professional peer organizations, attempt to turn gay people straight?

In 2013 the group named July as “Ex-Gay Pride Month.” Then they delayed events until September (at an undisclosed location fearing antagonists). About a dozen people showed up. They have not repeated their comedy act. Is May now “Ex-Gay Pride Month?”

According to Voice of the Voiceless, supposed ex-gay people are terribly persecuted:
It’s time to stand up, speak out, and unite! For too long former homosexuals, individuals who experience unwanted same-sex attraction (SSA), and their families have been marginalized and misrepresented.
They do a pretty good job of marginalizing themselves. Who knew that heterosexuals were the victims of such oppression?

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