I’m not generally an angry person, but something about the proposed London bus ads by the Core Issues Trust made me quite cross. If you missed the news, these were to be large banners with the words “Not Gay! Ex-Gay, Post-Gay and Proud. Get Over It!” They were a deliberate parody of the campaign by pro-equality group Stonewall, whose posters had said, more simply, “Some people are gay. Get over it.”
Although the anti-gay posters were accepted by CBS Outdoor, the media company subcontracted by Transport for London to handle advertising, that decision was reversed by the Mayor of London in his role as Chairman of TfL. Mayor Boris is in an election year, and public opinion is overwhelmingly opposed to extremist religious groups and their message, but good on him anyway.
Perhaps what angers me is that Core Issues’ message is based on a blatant lie: that sexuality is a matter of choice. I know it’s not. I didn’t get out of bed this morning and say “I think I’ll be hetrosexual today. It seems like a lot of fun.” I am hetrosexual. That’s the way God made me, if you want to put it like that. And I see absolutely no reason to suppose that you’re any different. What you are is what you are. It’s not up for negotiation.
Like other people around who make a career of denying reality, Core Issues wants to be seen as “scientific”, to create a mask of impartiality, lack of bias. Therefore they like to point to all the myriad of scientific papers which show evidence that sexual orientation can be changed. Well, actually, one paper, certainly published in a peer-reviewed journal, but in reality a very poor piece of academic work because of numerous blatant weaknesses of methodology and statistics.
Minor changes in attitude were reported in a small sample of people undergoing religion-based “therapy”. For me, the single fact that torpedoes that entire study is that 40% of the group dropped out, presumably having decided that they had “failed”. The remainder, whose statistics were claimed as the paper’s “result” would have been those most motivated to conform.
Because that’s actually what the so-called therapy is. It’s a method of teaching people to lie about their feelings and emotions. Lie upon lie upon lie. Well, Christians, what did Jesus have to say?
“The reason I was born and came into the world is to testify to the truth. Everyone on the side of truth listens to me.” John 18, verse 37 (New International Version).