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Mailbag: In Which I Become The Target Of A Professional Ex-Gay Advocate

by David Badash on August 12, 2010

in Bigotry Watch

Post image for Mailbag: In Which I Become The Target Of A Professional Ex-Gay Advocate

After Judge Vaughn Walker released his Prop 8 ruling last week, I was contacted by a reporter for the Washington Examiner, and asked how the decision would affect Obama and the midterm elections. In “Gay marriage ruling creates political trap for Obama,” writer Julie Mason quoted a few of my thoughts.

You know, I used to be really good with email — until Twitter and Facebook came along. But today I read a rather strange email sent to me by a reader, Sharon Kass. I’ve never heard of her, and since I was one of several addressees (the others being a writer from, and a professor at Claremont College, along with Julie Mason, the Examiner writer,) I thought I’d Google Ms. Kass.

Turns out, she is a professional “ex-gay advocate,” acording to the website Truth Wins Out (“Fighting ex-gay lies and the ex-gay myth.”)

TWO said of Kass in 2008,

“Police continue to investigate multiple death threats against Montgomery County, Maryland, council member Duchy Trachtenberg.

Trachtenberg has been threatened because of her support of a bill opposing discrimination against transgender county residents. Letters to her have allegedly varied in tone, from outright threats to profane language to haughty messages parroting ex-gay and antigay memes unrelated to transgender issues.

One of those letter-writers is Sharon Kass of Silver Spring, Md., an increasingly prolific enemy of civility in public discourse about gay and transgender equality.”

Oh my. Lovely!

Anyway, here is Ms. Kass’s letter. I’ll let her crazy-talk speak for itself. Um, enjoy…

To Ms. Dahlia Lithwick, Prof. Audrey Bilger, and Mr. David Badash:

While the media works vigorously to obscure the real and essential facts, more and more Americans are learning them:

o  Homosexuality and transgenderism are psychological disorders indicating deep-seated gender self-alienation.

o  They are preventable and treatable.  (,, and

o  Forty years of Politically Correct false science, and “arguments” constructed on it, don’t change the truth.

Public opinion skewed by a crazy Left and a feckless Right is not a valid basis for lawmaking.

The real facts, which you won’t hear on NPR or read at, are getting around.

Even if the Supreme Court okays same-sex “marriage,” people will still be wanting to escape homosexuality.  And we in the ex-gay movement will be helping them.

If the complementary nature of man and woman isn’t obvious to you, there’s something wrong with you.

Thank you.

–Sharon Kass
Washington, D.C.

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Elaine August 12, 2010 at 7:31 pm

Oh, dear. This is what you get for talking to that stupid Washington Examiner. Nothing but a shill for its conservative owner, Philip Anschutz. I'm friends with one of their news editors; he tells tales of having to rewrite headlines to make them less "favorable to Obama." (Hence the "trap" headline.) If they contact you again, just be aware of their agenda. And their readership.

Julie Mason August 13, 2010 at 12:23 am

Hi Elaine — I am the reporter who quoted David in the Examiner. I have no agenda, and he seemed pleased with the story. I've never actually been accused of being a conservative, and I have never met Mr. Anschutz.

You got anything else?

Chris August 12, 2010 at 7:35 pm

"You can lead a wingnut to logic, but you can't make them think." -unk.

I cannot count the number of times I've had the great "gay debate" with some conservative or religious type. In my experience, it has been quite obvious they are spoon fed what to think and what to say about the issue. Any cursory amount of research and you dig up the same quotes they use in their argument, most come from Fox News, AFA, Dobson and others of their ilk. I consider myself fairly well informed. Moreso than your average citizen. If I'm interested in the current events, I research, compare, look up more facts, research and compare some more. In many of my "gay debate" discussions with the conservative and religious, I have pointed out explicit facts from well respected organisations, like the American Psychological Association, The CDC, various medical journals, sociology journals, and anthropological journals. Even though the professionals of these organisations dedicate their entire lives to the profession and research, the conservative and religious will simply say the research is insufficient, inconclusive, and/or outright biased. Statement of fact. However, they will support whole heartedly their favourite talking head of the day with zero authority on the subject and champion him or her as a paragon of fact.

They simply WILL NOT admit, nor consider that people who spend their entire lives devoted to research may know better than they. That is the end of discussion. Simple logical disconnect from reality.

I (personally) don't see a way to combat them. You could beat them over the head with dozens of years of peer-reviewed research, volumes and volumes of papers, studies and publications to refute every one of their claims. This is why we still face accusations of pedophilia, zoophilia, wanting to "convert" their children, destroying marriages, destroying the family, and many other slurs and slanders at their hands. If they believe in it, it MUST be true. One of the Counsel in the Defense of Perry v. Schwarzenegger said it more succinctly during the trial. (you'll have to pardon me because I cannot find the exact quote or day that it occurred, I know it's toward the end of the trial, but it IS in the transcripts) Counsel said to the judges question about what proof is there that allowing marriage equality would be detrimental to opposite sexed marriage and the State, the Defense said, "We don't have to prove it,"

That says it all.

Michael August 12, 2010 at 9:17 pm

Clearly, the goal of a professoinal "ex-gay" advocate is to make sure her pay check continues. According to the Bible, which many paid "ex-gay" advocates claim to believe, we can choose God or money. It's sadly clear which "god" shrill "ex-gay" activist Kass has chosen. Thus, you should evaluate her comments through that greedy lens.

Julia Taylor August 23, 2010 at 10:47 pm

Although I thoroughly enjoy the "complementary nature of man and woman," I would assert that the complementary nature of compatible hearts and minds is far more important to a healthy relationship than any of the many complementary ways that body parts match up. Anyone who thinks otherwise probably suffers from "psychological disorders indicating deep-seated gender self-alienation".

I don't know whether I want to slap this woman for spreading this hurtful poison, or if I pity her for being a willing prisoner in the trap of being "normal".

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