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Location: Kansas City, Missouri, United States

Doing my part to irritate Republicans, fundamentalists, bigots and other lower life forms.

Tuesday, December 06, 2005

BUSTED! Anti-gay AFA sells 'ex-gay' snakeoil

Suppose for a moment that an author famous for his books on raising children got caught up in a child abuse scandal. After years of advising parents how to raise their children, he gets caught doing something awful to his own kids like scalding their hands for misbehavior or beating them to the point of requiring medical attention.

News like that would undoubtedly cause sales of the author's books to plummet and stores selling his books would likely pull them off the shelves quietly. And rightly so. No one wants to take advise from someone who so clearly doesn't follow his own advice.

Now suppose a prominent "ex-gay" who touts a video claiming he was cured of him "homo-seck-shul afflicition" by his faith in Jesus is discovered not only to have continued to cruise for men on line, engaged in unsafe sex with multiple partners, and failed to mention the fact that he was HIV-positive.

That doesn't exactly speak highly for his "I was saved from buggery by Jesus" video. In fact, you'd figure any business carrying the video would pull it off the shelves faster than the religious reich could shout "Abomination!"

But if you thought that, you'd be wrong - at least in the case of the rabidly anti-gay American Family Association, a group led by the religiously insane Donald Wildmon.

Author and activist Wayne Besen sent out a press release today that busted AFA for continuing to promote and sell "ex-gay" spokes-homo's Michael Johnston's video "It's Not Gay" on its web site.

According to the copy accompanying the listing:

It's Not Gay presents a story that few have heard, allowing former homosexuals the opportunity to tell their own story in their own words.

Along with medical and mental health experts, these individuals express a clear warning that the sanitized version of homosexuality being presented to students is not the whole truth.

Uncompromising, yet compassionate, It’s Not Gay is a fair and balanced approach to this challenging subject.

Caught selling an "ex-gay" video made by a notorius ex-"ex-gay" is bad enough, but AFA continued to push this video even now ... two years after Johnston resigned in the wake of the disclosure about his secret life.

Says Besen in his press release:

After the incident, AFA spokesman Buddy Smith called Johnston's failure a "moral fall." With the AFA publicly acknowledging that they were aware of Johnston's failure as an ex-gay and his unsafe behavior, it is shocking that they would continue to promote "It's Not Gay" on their website.

"The American Family Association is blatantly committing fraud by suggesting that Johnston is heterosexual and they are promoting the spread of HIV by continuing to use him as a spokesperson," said Wayne Besen, author of Anything But Straight: Unmasking the Scandals and Lies Behind the Ex-Gay Myth. "This episode suggests a stunning lack of integrity on the part of the American Family Association and utter contempt for the truth. If they have a shred of decency and morality, they will immediately stop selling the tape and apologize for their disgraceful behavior."

Yep ... nothings says "gays can change" better than a guy who cruises the internet for men and then doesn't bother to tell him his HIV status. That says a lot about Johnston's real "moral fall."

It also says a lot about AFA's moral bankruptcy that they would continue to promote Johnston's video while knowing his "ex-gay" pose was just a facade.

That's the trouble with the whole "ex-gay" movement. It's become big business for the religious reich and as long as they can continue making money off of it, they won't let the little matter of it's totally fraudulent premise stand in the way.

Meanwhile, AFA continues to sell "ex-gay" snakeoil at $15 a pop.