Monday, October 12, 2020

Michael Brown: "Why Does Facebook Discriminate Against Gays?"

How many people do they have to fuck up to get a handful who claim that conversion therapy works?
Dr. Michael Brown

Reliable anti-LGBTQ polemicist, Michael Brown, asks Why Does Facebook Discriminate Against Gays?

It might seem petty but we should not tolerate changing the adjective “gay” into the noun “gays.” We are gay people. That said, Mr. Brown thinks he is a great deal cleverer than he really is:
Why does Facebook treat gays unfairly? Why does it put them in a special class, telling them they must remain gay, even if they want to change?

Why does Facebook suppress the stories of those who have changed—and are much happier for it—rather than give them the space to choose for themselves?
To answer Brown's preposterous rhetorical questions:

The promotion of any form of conversion therapy is both irresponsible and bigoted. It is irresponsible because, according to medical science, conversion therapy is ineffective and harmful. It is bigoted because it suggests that gay people should change.

Every mainstream health organization in the United States has determined that conversion therapy is ineffective and harmful.

22 years ago, Focus on the Family launched Love Won Out which, prior to its demise, was also known as True Story. Love Won Out was led by John Paulk whom Wayne Besen once found in a gay bar in DC. In April, 2013, Paulk disavowed conversion therapy as futile and harmful and apologized to the gay community saying that he identified as a gay man.

More importantly, the website of Love Won Out stated that its purpose was “to exhort and equip Christian churches to respond in a Christ-like way to the issue of homosexuality.”

Conservative Christians promote conversion therapy in order to argue that sexual orientation is a choice. Conversion therapy is then used to justify discrimination and oppression of LGBTQ people.

Later on Brown repeats himself:
Of course, I'm quite aware that Facebook is acting in cooperation with LGBTQ leaders. That's been an open secret for years.

But there is no question that Facebook is doing a disservice to that very community by censoring the stories of those who once identified as LGBTQ but do so no longer. On what possible grounds should their pages be removed? This is unethical and unfair.
“Unethical” defines the pseudoscience of conversion therapy. Homosexuality is not a disease. We don't need to be fixed or cured of a natural variation of human sexuality. What is “unfair” is shaming people (which is a form of coercion) into doing something that doesn't work and is toxic.
Predictable bullshit
Those who promote conversion therapy also promote the idea that it is deemed harmful because of extreme practices:
We're not talking about forcing gays to undergo shock treatment or encouraging parents to send their gay-identified kids to a prison-like "conversion" camp.
Conversion therapy is harmful in its most benign form. It creates depression and anxiety. Furthermore, when it inevitably fails to work and people realize that they are still gay they feel like they failed. The process is most harmful to minors whose parents buy into the nonsense and then add their pressure to the religious shaming.
Rather, what we're talking about is that, "Facebook recently shut down Restored Hope Network's (RHN) entire page, removing the organization's presence from the social media platform."

And what, exactly, is RHN? It is "a coalition of ministries, therapists and pastors who offer Christian help, support and healing for those struggling with unwanted homosexual and transgender desires, actions and identities. They also provide information and support for churches, friends and family members on these difficult topics."
Those “therapists” are at odds with their own professional organization. “Healing?” Gay people are not diseased. If they require healing it is because of the shame heaped upon them by religious fanatics. RHN is run by Anne Paulk, the ex-wife of the aforementioned John Paulk.

Brown's reference to “transgender desires” is ignorant and absurd. People are transgender to mitigate the effects of gender dysphoria. The most virulent form of conversion therapy is gender identity conversion efforts which create a lifetime of adverse mental health consequences.
They help the countless thousands of people who struggle with same-sex attraction and gender-identity confusion, the people who say, "I really don't want to be gay (or trans)."

They force nothing on anyone. They use no coercive methods. They simply offer prayer and counseling to those who want help.
If they have helped “countless thousands if people” then they should be able to provide a statistical abstract with several years of follow-up. They cannot. Joseph Nicolosi never did.

They don't do it because they know that the overwhelming majority of people who claim to have changed will desist from being ex-LGBT. There are exponentially more ex-ex-gay people than ex-gay people. Furthermore, conversion therapy is coercive in any form.
Conversion therapy 101
  1. Convince people that established medical science is wrong.
  2. Convince healthy people that they are ill.
  3. Claim that they can cure people who are not sick.
  4. When the “cure” doesn't work, convince the same people (or their parents) that they are at fault.
  5. Refuse to substantiate claims.
  6. Assign opposition to anti-Christian bigotry.
Johnston explains that, "For years [RHN] has had a presence on Facebook. The ministry shared articles and videos about people walking away from homosexuality and gender confusion. Posts would give details about upcoming conferences and workshops for those caught in conflict between their sexual feelings and their biblical faith."
Brown never tells us who “Johnston” is. Here is the basic question: How many people do they have to fuck up to get a handful who claim that conversion therapy works? And keep in mind that people make claims to get reassurance and approval from their oppressors.

As for that supposed “conflict,” most Christians accept LGBTQ people for who they are. That includes many churches and many Christian sects. Michael Brown represents the radical, extremist fringe of the faith.

Brown quoting Anne Paulk:
"Facebook is deciding they have the authority to silence the stories of those of us whose lives have changed. Their dismissive action—canceling our page as if it never existed, leaving a vague 'the link may be broken' message in its place—is shameful. Not even extending us the courtesy of a notification, a chance to offer our side of the very politicized story, is unconscionable."
Facebook does have the authority to enforce its Acceptable Use Policy and Terms of Service. None of this is political. There is no “our side.” Just as there is no other side to the dangers of smoking or the spherical shape of Earth.
There are words to describe non-scientists who disagree with settled science: Crackpot, kook, lunatic, religious fundamentalist and so on.
My favorite part
The RHN press release sets the record straight, noting, "The removal of the page stems from Facebook's aggressive efforts to support the bans on so-called 'conversion therapy.' The problem: Conversion therapy doesn't exist."

As Paulk explains, "It is a deliberately and misleadingly provocative term coined by the LGBTQ activist community that does not describe any type of actual counseling assistance offered to men and women who struggle with same-sex attraction."
Actually, it is quite accurate. Conversion therapy describes the alchemy of turning gay people into straight people. Nicolosi called it reparative therapy. Gay people do not require repairs. Regardless of what you call it, the process is ineffective and harmful.

I told you that would get around to claiming that the settled science is wrong:
This is nothing but smoke and mirrors. This is nothing but Facebook protecting the idea that homosexuality is innate and immutable, that you're born that way and that the change of any kind is impossible.
The prime mover continues to be a means of opposing nondiscrimination laws. Michael Brown confirms that fact:
That cat has long been out of the bag, as ex-gay and ex-trans testimonies are becoming increasingly common. (For a representative sampling, see here and here.) Yet it is these very testimonies that undermine the entire foundation of LGBTQ activism, namely, that sexual orientation or gender identity is the same as race or ethnicity, thereby making LGBTQ "rights" equal to civil rights. But if people can change, that foundation no longer exists.
Of course Brown has it backwards. If it worked and was supported by science then we would have a different view. Furthermore, there might be some secular people who claim to have changed. Brown is claiming that it works because doing so supports discrimination. He admits that is the case.

The majority of supposedly ex-gay people seem to have an economic interest in claiming to be ex-gay. They are also trying to please judgmental people who really don't give a damn about them.

And of course:
There is also no denying that, right now, there is an 18-year-old girl who feels like a boy trapped in a female body, and she would like nothing more than to be at home in her body as a girl. She doesn't look forward to the prospect of a mastectomy or sterility or a lifetime of hormones. (See here for an important related study.) It is cruel for Facebook to shut down the very pages that could offer her real hope.
The “study” that Brown points to is not a study. It is Abigail's Shrier's idiotic book. Calling it a study is deliberately misleading given that Shrier has no scientific credentials and the book is neither peer reviewed nor published to a reputable academic journal.

What would be “cruel” is an attempt to convince that girl that someone can talk her out of her gender dysphoria.
Glazed bullshit for desert
It is one of the great ironies of LGBTQ activism that, in the name of diversity, it suppresses all opposing viewpoints and in the name of tolerance is utterly intolerant. That alone should indicate how flimsy and insecure its ideological foundation actually is.
That is like saying that Jews are intolerant of Holocaust deniers. Furthermore, sexual orientation does not have an “ideological foundation.” It is not a doctrine or philosophy. In point of fact sexual orientation is a continuum with heterosexual and homosexual at the extreme ends.

Dr. Michael Brown's problem is not with Facebook. Rather, it is one of his own making: A relentless effort to conform reality to ancient texts of dubious provenance.

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