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Post image for Maggie Gallagher: Moral Gays Deserve The Right To ‘Ex-Gay’ Therapy

Maggie Gallagher: Moral Gays Deserve The Right To ‘Ex-Gay’ Therapy

by David Badash on August 2, 2013

in Bigotry Watch,Discrimination,News

Maggie Gallagher has always had a knack for saying with a straight face something that would sound incredibly archaic and ignorant to anyone else living in the twenty-first century. She’s kind of like the Paula Deen of homosexuality, sans any “Today Show” apologies.

LOOK: USA Today Publishes Vile Op-Ed Supporting ‘Ex-Gay’ Therapy By NARTH-Linked Psychologist

This week, as reported here at The New Civil Rights Movement, USA Today chose to publish a dangerous op-ed supporting so called “ex-gay” or “reparative” therapy. The opinion piece was penned by Nicholas Cummings, a psychologist whose “ex-gay” work included, by his own admission, thousands of patients — from about 1959-1979. Cummings claims in his USA Today op-ed that “hundreds” became straight as a result of his work.

USA Today, by the way, conveniently chose to ignore Cummings’ association with the notorious and discredited “ex-gay” group, NARTH, which is one of the reasons USA Today should apologize to its readers.

If anything, as Warren Throckmorton, who has researched and written extensively on “reparative” or “ex-gay” therapy, suggests, “many of those ‘changed’ clients were bisexuals who found ways to live with or minimize their same-sex attractions.”

Needless to say, there’s been considerable outrage over Cummings’ piece.

“In his column, Nicholas Cummings criticizes a lawsuit filed by the Southern Poverty Law Center and co-counsel against JONAH, which stands for Jews Offering New Alternatives for Healing. The suit alleges that JONAH falsely promised to turn gay people straight,” responds SPLC President Richard Cohen in USA Today the day after the Cummings op-ed was published:

The plaintiffs, young men, claim that JONAH counselors instructed one or more of them in activities such as beating effigies of their mothers; fully undressing in counseling sessions; being called “faggot” and “homo” while blindfolded in a mock locker room; spending time naked with father figures in bathhouses; and group cuddling sessions among clients and older counselors.

None of these practices works to change sexual orientation. Claiming that they do violates consumer fraud laws, as well as common decency.

Cummings’ column, which failed to disclose that he submitted testimony on JONAH’s behalf in the lawsuit, says the case is an attack on “patient choice.” It is not. The lawsuit is about putting an end to dangerous, shocking and fraudulent practices that prey on vulnerable people.

Now, the anti-gay religious right has built an entire industry on demonizing LGBT people, and they’ve come to embrace the “ex-gay” industry in an effort to legitimize their own work. If you can turn a homosexual into  heterosexual, then it’s a choice, or an illness, and that “fact” legitimizes their work. Of course, you can’t, but actual facts have never stopped religious zealots from waging war in the name of God.

The “ex-gay” industry kept the cash flowing into the coffers of hate groups like the American Family Association and the Family Research Council, as well as Gallagher’s National Organization For Marriage (NOM).

So, imagine my surprise when Maggie Gallagher, co-founder and former Chair of NOM, the National Organization For Marriage, chose to write a glowing response to Cumming’s op-ed.

In her regular National Review column, Gallagher calls Cummings “rather a giant in the field of psychology,” which is kind of like calling ExxonMobile “rather a giant in the field of climate change denialism.”

But the best line from Gallagher’s post?

“Cummings’s point is that competent therapy can be helpful to highly motivated patients who choose to deal with same-sex attraction in other ways than, well, being gay.”

Jeremy Hooper at Good As You writes he didn’t expect Gallagher to become an “‘ex-gay’ water-carrier,” and notes:

In Maggie’s latest, she cites scientific outlier and recent NARTH (National Association for Research & Therapy of Homosexuality) keynoter Nicholas Cummings as “proof” that gay people can “change.” One big reason why Maggie is in this game at all is because Maggie serves on the board of the Freedom of Conscience Defense Fund, the organization (headed by the quite anti-gay Charles Limandri) that’s fighting in court to defend the anti-scientific practices of JONAH (Jews Offering New Alternatives for Healing).

Gallagher, however didn’t stop at her National Review column. She posted a comment, a response at the USA Today piece, which you can see in its full context below, and which included this revealing line:

“People who want to live their sex lives in accord with their moral or religoius teaching deserve the same right to seek help as other gay people.”

In other words, gay people aren’t moral unless they choose to not be gay.

Which pretty much sums up Gallagher’s entire position.


A few weeks ago, Gallagher, on her Facebook page, made a similar statement:

Gay people, primarily religious people but any other peop;le welcome, who want to live their lives in accord with Biblical–or any other–principals, should not be orphaned, disadvantaged, and not allowed any help.

That’s my actual view. Some of those people (probably a small number but I don’t know) may be able with help to marry in the Bibilcial sense. Others may choose to live celibate lives (see Eve Tushnet).

All of this is probably a minority of gay people, but they are real people and they deserve equal rights, too.

Maggie Gallagher, finally fighting for the rights of gay people, in her own very special way…

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{ 8 comments }

ferst49 August 2, 2013 at 11:45 am

Maybe she should deal with her opposite-sex attraction in other ways also lol

tomchicago01 August 2, 2013 at 1:12 pm

Maggie joins the chorus advocating "just say no" therapy, when all else has collapsed as ridiculous.

MacMorrighan August 2, 2013 at 2:38 pm

Maggie is such a flip-flopper!!! First she was demanding fed. dollars to research Reparative Therapy, than she claimed she had never advocated for it by the end of last month, and now she's endorsing it again?!?!?!

bndkllr2 August 2, 2013 at 4:37 pm

This NOM group has more holes in their logic than a piece of Swiss cheese. They "want to help moral gays," but their supporters hold hateful signs, like the man at their marriage tour three years ago with the placard showing two nooses as the "solution to gay marriage." And what about Maggie herself, who keeps saying she only cares about "supporting traditional marriage," but then gets involved in Don't Ask Don't Tell, ENDA, etc. Basically every single issue related to LGBT equality? The truth is, she, like Pat Robertson and Tony Perkins are opposed to LGBT PEOPLE, period. We shouldn't even exist, apparently.

Towanda August 2, 2013 at 8:13 pm

Gallagher's recent moves have somewhat surprised me. While at NOM, she at least had some modicum of diplomacy. Out of all of the NOM leaders, she was the most diplomatic, and the most able to put a more mainstream spin on her views. At this point, she doesn't even seem to be hiding her true feelings. She isn't at the level of Jennifer Roback Morse, but with the way she is going, I wouldn't be surprised if she gets there.

EdnaFurburger August 3, 2013 at 10:04 am

Just imagine the amount of '“reparative therapy" that would be required to make this women sexually appealing to heterosexual men, let alone homosexual.

russellsvocation August 5, 2013 at 3:26 am

Hmmm, Maggie Gallagher, Maggie Gallagher… sounds familiar…
Oh, wait, isn't she that Bible thumping bitch that had, not ONE but TWO children out of wedlock?

sdfrenchie August 5, 2013 at 11:45 am

Hey, Maggot Maggie! Go on a diet, get your own man or woman, and shut the fuck up about LGBT! You must live a pretty goddam boring life that you have to be so involved in ours.

Damn these people to hell! They want to be persecuted so they can whine more about the homosexual agenda. It's okay for them to persecute us (since forever), but give us a chance after being crammed into a closet all these years and they go berserk! They're no different than the witch hunters in Salem. Just waiting for them to start beheading us or hanging us. I hope she chokes on her own fat, the big ol' heifer.

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