Monday, October 28, 2019

Marketing Pray-Away-the-Gay for Profit and as Pretext for Discrimination

According to Church United, a 501(c)3 in Newport Beach, CA: Former LGBTQ Individuals Say 'Equality Act' is Discriminatory and Fraud Prevention Act Denies their Existence. Apparently they are having a news conference in Washington. D.C. on Wednesday. Nevertheless, the real agenda is to promote religious conversion therapy. That's where the money is.
"Formers" (those who no longer identify as lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, or questioning) representing every state in the Union have selected 15 Former LGBTQ people to travel to Washington, D.C. October 28 – November 1 to address concerns about LGBTQ-focused legislation such as bill H.R. 5, which passed in the House in May, and H.R 3570, which was introduced in late June.
What? Did they take a vote or something. Church United is heavily invested in promoting conversion therapy. A frequent actor in CU's sphere is Jim Domen who claims to be an ex-gay pastor. Mazel tov.
Although dubbed "The Equality Act," Formers understand the bill is an unnecessary concession to the false idea that members of the gay community are marginalized. In fact, LGBTQ-identifying people have always had options in how they participate in broader culture. …
They have no appreciation of just how idiotic the above paragraph is. LGBTQ people face discrimination every day in housing, employment and public accommodations. “Options” means that they can always choose not to be gay or trans. Note the customary BS of not writing “LGBTQ people.” Instead, they offer “LGBTQ-identifying people” to suggest that sexuality is a choice and pretend that LGBTQ people do not exist.
Meanwhile, H.R. 3570, dubbed the "Therapeutic Fraud Prevention Act of 2019," …
HR-3570 would institute a national conversion therapy ban. It is DOA. It was introduced on June 26 and has no chance of passage in the Senate. I am not even sure that it will come to the floor in the House.
The House resolution further minimizes the lives of thousands of Formers by declaring "there is no scientifically valid evidence that supports the practice of attempting to prevent a person from being lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, or gender nonconforming" adding that conversion therapy is "substantially dangerous to an individual's mental and physical health, and has been shown to contribute to depression, self-harm, low self-esteem, family rejection, and suicide."
That text (which is not in the bill) is repeating the findings of medical science. The first finding of the bill in question is really the most meaningful:
Being lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, or gender nonconforming is not a disorder, disease, illness, deficiency, or shortcoming.
In other words, there is nothing that we need to be cured of. The biggest problem with conversion therapy is how its existence affects children. If parents subscribe to the pseudoscience then they believe that their LGBTQ children have made a choice that the parents do not approve of.

Those same parents might then coerce their kid to make a change that they do approve of. It is a change that is impossible for the vast majority of people, including children, to make. There really is no science to support sexual conversion efforts.
America does not need anti-discrimination laws or bans against treatment for those seeking to live out their faith biblically …
When we are hired, served, housed and insured comparable to straight-cisgender folks then nondiscrimination laws will be unnecessary. When kids cease to be preyed upon by conversion “therapists” then laws will not be required to protect those children. People are free to pretend to be straight and cisgender (which is the only thing enabled by conversion efforts).

People can also be observant Christians without converting their sexuality. LGBTQ-affirming religious sects probably outnumber the repressive groups. Most Christians see no need for gay people to become straight or trans people to become cisgender. Fortunately, a majority of Christians respect the established medical science and reject the crackpottery.

From there we get descriptions of supposed ex-whatever people:
  • African American Former, Edward Byrd, who identified as Sexually Androgynous, from Maryland shared …:
  • Latin American Luis Ruiz, Pulse Nightclub Survivor,…
  • African-American California Bishop Ed Smith, Zoe International, who leads scores of churches in California and the United States said,
  • Jeffrey McCall, a former transgender woman from Georgia, shared …
  • Missouri's Amanda Smith, a former lesbian added: …
  • Jim Domen, a former homosexual and Pastor/Founder of Church United in California, decried:
    Sexual behavior should not be a protected civil right. Changing the Civil Rights Act would create a super class for anyone identifying as LGBTQ, usurping everyone else's rights who are not LGBTQ or who disagree with the lifestyle because of religious beliefs.
I included the comment from Domen because he provides a template for bullshit. Nondiscrimination has nothing whatsoever to do with behavior. Again, they are pretending that LGBTQ people do not exist.
Church United with the CHANGED Movement are California based non-profit organizations partnering together to protect the freedoms of Former LGBTQ identified individuals who have CHANGED
The Changed Movement is not a non-profit organization. It is a “ministry” of Bethel Church along with “Equipped to Love” (in contrast to being independent 501(c)3 entities. Both Changed and Equipped to Love are run out of Bethel Church by Elizabeth Woning and Ken Williams. The purpose of Changed is to attempt to legitimize conversion efforts by claiming that there is a community of ex-whatevers. Many of the people mentioned above are on Bethel Church's payroll.

Equipped to Love is the actual conversion therapy arm of Bethel Church and it also advises other churches. It is presumed to be a cash cow.

Bethel's “ministries” are under the umbrella of Bethel Church. These include the Bethel Christian School, Bethel School of Supernatural Ministry, Bethel Conservatory of the Arts and many, many more. I have identified about 30 such operations.

In contrast to divisions of Bethel Church, these are just some of the separate 501(c)3 entities. Those marked with an asterisk are not required to file an annual report with the IRS.

MORAL REVOLUTION INC
BETHEL REDDING PROPERTIES*
IRIS RELIEF
BILL JOHNSON MINISTRIES
IRIS GLOBAL CHURCHES*
BETHEL CHURCH OF REDDING*
BETHEL MEDIA
BETHEL MUSIC
ADVANCE REDDING
HOPE CITY REDDING
INCREASE PRODUCTIONS
ROCKY POINT CHARTER SCHOOL
KRIS VALLOTTON MINISTRIES

I should mention that Bethel Media and Bethel Music provide a conduit for money to go back to senior Bethel people in the form of royalties. Two people each received over $300 thousand. Together the two entities had revenues of nearly $30 million in 2018. There are quite a few related entity transactions that are not properly accounted for on the tax returns.

Rocky Point Charter School is their pre-school. It is something that I need to look into further. The K-8 school is not a separate entity.

I have some digging to do. I also requested tax returns (directly from the Service) for Church United, run by Larry Smith. It does not fully pass the scratch-n-sniff test.

The bottom line is that there is absolutely no reason for anyone to change their sexuality. There are plenty of accepting churches and synagogues. Conversion efforts are dangerous and ineffective.

As you can see from the quoted text, conversion efforts serve as a pretext for discrimination. The serve no other legitimate purpose.

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