Howl of the KweerWolf

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Location: Kansas City, Missouri, United States

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

Saturday, January 20, 2007

Selling the 'ex-gay' snake oil

The Kansas City Star, Kansas City's only daily newspaper, is selling snake-oil. Again.

On Friday’s op-ed page, The Star handed over space to a proponent of “ex-gay” therapies and allowed him to hawk his dubious “pray away the gay” cures in a piece titled “Christian community can transform homosexuals.”

This is the second time the Rev. Andrew Comiskey of the “ex-gay” Desert Streams Ministry has been allowed to promote his anti-gay agenda unchecked on The Star’s opinion pages. He first attacked the LGBT community with an op-ed piece in the June 21 issue of the newspaper.

We all know that “ex-gay” ministries are not only a fraud, but represent a clear danger to LGBT youth and others who become ensnared in such programs. However, it’s apparent that The Star doesn’t know that … at least not yet. That’s why I’m encouraging everyone to inundate The Star with letters to the editor (letters@kcstar. com) and send letters and e-mails or call the newspaper’s op-ed page editor, Charles Coulter (816-234-4476 or ccoulter@kcstar. com) and it readers’ representative, Derek Donovan (816-234-4722 or ddonovan@kcstar. com) objecting to space being given for Comiskey to promote his anti-gay agenda.

Some talking points you may want to consider using are:

The American Psychiatric Association and the American Psychological Association (among many other organizations) have condemned “ex-gay” therapies and have gone so far as to declare them harmful to clients.

Studies of these programs show they have very low success rates, in the neighborhood of 3 percent of participants successfully converted. That's a big difference from the highly exaggerated success rates these programs claim.

Comiskey's own Desert Stream Ministries has provided examples of what a sham these programs are. Desert Stream Ministries was sued in 1998 by the parents of a client who alleged the young man was sexually abused while undergoing therapy. The family later settled for an undisclosed sum.

By providing a platform for people like Comiskey to claim sexual orientation can be changed, The Star is promoting a potential harmful “treatment” no different from fake “cures” for cancer that prey on the gullible and desperate.

Additionally, if you're in the Kansas City area I would like to hear from anyone who might be interested in forming a delegation to meet with The Star’s editorial board and taking our concerns directly to the newspaper. If The Star is going to publish opinion pieces from opponents of our community, then it’s time that The Star begins publishing more voices from our community.

If you are interested in meeting with officials from The Star or getting involved in some way, please e-mail me at kayceewolf@yahoo. com.