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Jewish World Review /July 20, 1998 / 26 Tamuz, 5758

Don Feder

Don Feder Ads bring ex-gay movement out of closet

ON A CONTROVERSIAL ISSUE, one side practically shrieks: "The debate is over. This is reality. Refusal to embrace the truth is a symptom of bigotry, religious mania or just plain stupidity."

To this, the other side calmly, but firmly, replies: "Wrong. Dissent doesn't equal hatred. You haven't proved your case. And, in case you haven't noticed, this is still America."

Now, a new voice is heard. It started this past Monday, with a full-page ad in The New York Times, the establishment's holy of holies, followed by appeals in The Washington Post and USA Today.

Anne Paulk
The Times ad featured a picture of an attractive young woman with long, dark hair named Anne Paulk. She is identified as a "wife, mother, former lesbian."

In the ad, sponsored by a coalition of pro-family groups with over 30 million members, Paulk explained that at age 4 she was molested by a teenage boy.

This led to anger and self-loathing. When I reached her at her Colorado home, she told me that she was sexually attracted to women from the time she was 10 or 11 until her late 20s.

After a lesbian affair in college, she became a born-again Christian, had a spiritually inspired change of heart and, in the same year, met and married her husband, who is also an ex-homosexual. They are the parents of Timothy, age 18 months.

Anthony Falzarano, the head of P-FOX (Parents and Friends of Ex-Gays), a co-sponsor of the ads, was "exclusively homosexual" for the better part of a decade, during which time he had over 400 partners. Falzarano has been married for 14 years and is the father of two.

It is an article of faith for gay activists that once an individual has homosexual feelings his nature has manifested itself and change is impossible.

The movement responds to Paulk and Falzarano: You've been brainwashed. You have learned to suppress your sexuality so successfully that you actually believe you've changed.

If so, there's a whole lot sublimation going on. The Post ad is illustrated with a group photo of 850 former homosexuals attending the convention of an ex-gay ministry in Seattle. ("We're standing for the truth that homosexuals can change.")

At issue is a dogma that legitimizes the gay movement. The argument for group rights is based on the axiom that homosexuality is biologically determined, hence immutable.

So successfully have activists advanced this thesis that, with the media and much of the political establishment, it is simply beyond dispute or discussion.

This is reflected in Sen. Alfonse D'Amato's, R-N.Y., protest over the failure of his party to bring up for confirmation the president's nomination of James Hormel (a homosexual who has financed many outre projects) as ambassador to Luxembourg. "I am embarrassed that ... the Party of Lincoln is seen to be behind this injustice," the Senator recently complained.

In other words, objecting to this country being represented abroad by the man who endowed a gay and lesbian center at the San Francisco Library (stocked with homoerotic pornography and anti-Christian tracts) is prejudice on par with racism and anti-Semitism.

A USA Today story reporting on the ads is headlined, "Ad: God can 'cure' gays." Note the derision. Yeah, sure, gays can be "cured" of their homosexuality the way blacks can be cured of their coloration.

Doubtless, most of those caught up in homosexual behavior believe it's their nature. (The writer Camille Paglia is a prominent exception.) Rep. Barney Frank discloses, "I never met anybody who told me they decided to be homosexual." Of course not, any more than those in the grip of other sexual compulsions consciously chose to have their desires.

We are only beginning to understand the labyrinthine nature of sexual attraction and how it's shaped by our early lives. But the existence of over 20,000 people in the ex-gay movement strongly suggests that urges, even years of experience, do not equal a lifelong sentence.

Elizabeth Birch of the gay Human Rights Campaign Fund (which ran its own USA Today ad on Wednesday) claims mental-health groups agree that homosexuality isn't a product of personal choice. But up until 1973, the American Psychiatric Association said homosexuality was a disorder. The change was based not on new scientific findings or dispassionate debate but pressure-group politics.

Birch charges that the "manipulative ads throw red meat to the firebrand, extreme right." Beware the ideologue who is appalled by ideas at odds with her own, who believes an attempt at dialogue is dangerous ("throwing red meat"), who says, It's my way or the highway.


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7/13/98: Why are we scared of obnoxious 'activists?'
7/6/98: Fonda still resists reality
7/1/98: New York blesses domestic partnerships
6/29/98: Teddy and Calvin stood for virtue
6/24/98: Will Clinton betray Taiwan?
6/22/98: Big tobacco? What about big casinos?
6/15/98: Religion -- God for what ails you
6/10/98: Planning Clinton's China itinery
6/8/98: Republicans' Custer offers advice
6/4/98: Oh, Dems Christian-bashers!
6/2/98: Goldwater did conservatives more harm than good
5/27/98: A Clinton-hater confesses
5/15/98: Giuliani's assault on marriage
5/13/98: Hillary knows what's best for everyone
5/11/98: To honor her would not be honorable
5/6/98: Conservative chasm: pragmatism vs. worship of marketplace
5/4/98: Anglo-saxon me
4/29/98: Needle exchange programs are assisted-suicide
4/27/98: Chretien's mission of mercy to Fidel
4/22/98: School-choice is a religious freedom issue
4/20/98: Corporate execs deliver body parts to Beijing
4/14/98: National sales tax --- looks better all the time
4/13/98: The U.N. sinister? Hey, where did that idea come from?
4/8/98: Unions fight workers rights in 226 campaign
3/30/98: Africa's leaders should apologize
3/25/98: GOP shouldn't look to media for advice
3/22/98: You should care about Clinton's 'private life'
3/19/98: Color-coded reading, product of obsessive minds
3/16/98: Amendment will end exile of G-d from our public lives
3/9/98: Havana will break your heart
3/2/98: Vouchers Terrify Teachers' Union
2/25/98: Presidential politics starts at a resort hotel
2/23/98: Hillary's support comes at a price
2/18/98: How many times must we say "no" to gay rights?
2/16/98: Enoch Powell spoke the truth on immigration
2/11/98: Bubba behaving badly
2/9/98: A conservative dissent on the flag-burning amendment
2/5/98: We get the leaders we deserve
2/2/98: Send a signal that could penetrate boardroom doors
1/27/98: State of the president: hollow rhetoric
1/25/98: For Monica's playmate, we have no one to blame but ourselves
1/22/98: At Yale, bet on yarmulke over gown
1/19/98: Commission tackles America's fastest-growing addiction, gambling
1/15/98: Capital punishment and the hard case: no exceptions for Karla Faye Tucker
1/12/98: Partial-birth abortion and the GOP's future: the "big tent" meets truth in advertising
1/8/98: IOLTA: the Left's latest scam to crawl into our pockets
1/5/98: Connect the dots to create a terrorist state
1/1/98: The Unacceptables of 1997: Long may they rave
12/28/97: Hypocrisy is a liberal survival mechanism
12/23/97: Chanukah is no laughing matter
12/22/97: No merry Christmas for persecuted Christians around the world
12/18/97: Bosnia, Haiti, and how not to conduct a foreign policy

©1998, Boston Herald; distributed by Creators Syndicate, Inc.