’Ex-Gay’ Movement Pushes Its Books Into Libraries

by Kilian Melloy

EDGE Staff Reporter

Monday September 8, 2008

An anti-gay organization has posted a sample letter and book titles in encouraging its members to request their local libraries to stock titles promoting to so-call "ex-gay" movement.

A posting from Peter LaBarbera, the president of the anti-gay group Americans for Truth About Homosexuality says that the sample letter and the list of "ex-gay" titles comes from P-FOX, Parents and Friends of Ex-Gays, which is an anti-gay counter-organization to P-FLAG.

LaBarbera's posting announced that his organization and P-FOX would work together with what LaBarbera termed "other pro-family groups and ministries" in order, LaBarbera wrote, "to attain--at the very minimum--balance in the selections that libraries carry on the homosexual issue."

Added LaBarbera, "There is no logical or common sense reason why taxpayer-funded public libraries should make available every latest 'gay'-affirming book--including those designed to open up young minds to the false and dangerous notion that homosexuality is normal--while NOT carrying faith-based and ex-'gay' books that oppose a pro-homosexual ideology."

The letter, forwarded from P-FOX, asked readers "to order ex-gay books." The P-FOX letter noted that the professional code of ethics requires librarians to stock books reflecting various sides of issues.

The letter included a personal note "from a P-FOPX dad," identified later as Jose Schwartz, saying that the issue of getting libraries to stock "ex-gay books" was "of critical importance, not only to us as parents and friends, but to all the families that are affected by SAME SEX ATTRACTION (SSA) to get involved with helping others."

The letter from "P-FOX dad" Schwartz went on to claim, "Recently, while looking at our public library website for something totally not related to SSA, my wife pointed out all the pro-gay information on the local library web site."

Added the letter, "After some diligent searching, it became apparent there was little to no information on unwanted SSA. Material on how homosexuality originates was absent. Any resources to help people overcome their SAME SEX ATTRACTION were also absent."

Adding that a search for "ex-gay books" in a number of libraries in other cities yielded little result, the "P-FOX dad" went on, "Fellow parents and friends, this is our time to stand together in order to assist other families."

Added the letter, "You can help by searching your local and school libraries for ex-gay books and resource material."

The letter went on, "If your [sic] determine helpful information is missing, write the schools, libraries, school boards, and politicians to alert them to this systematic censorship.

"Gently point out that censorship should not be the job of the library, and then insist that they include ex-gay books such as those listed below."

Added the letter, "You must also point out that this material belongs under the classification of homosexuality."

The letter went on, "Best wishes to all, let's all get to work. Write back to PFOX with your results at [email protected]' target='new'[email protected]|[email protected]>."

The sample letter to librarians contained the sentence, "Every day parents of gay children search for answers to their children's condition only to be given the same information: 'deal with it' or 'they are born that way'."

The passage continued, "Neither of these are satisfactory options for the concerned parent."

Added the sample letter, "In addition to the numerous homosexual books which appears on your library system, your library needs to provide ex-gay books to everyone seeking it."

The sample letter listed the titles of 15 "ex-gay books," including several titles that used the language of criminality or pathology, such as My Genes Made Me Do It: A Scientific look at Homosexuality, by Dr. Neil and Briar Whitehead; The Battle for Normality, by Gerard J.M. van den Aardweg, Ph.D.; and Healing Homosexuality: Case Stories, by Joseph Nicolosi.

Other titles listed included Restoring Sexual Identity by Anne Paulk; When Homosexuality Hits Home: What to Do When a Loved One Says They're Gay by Joe Dallas; Light in the Closet: Torah, Homosexuality, and the Power to Change, by Arthur Goldberg; and A Parent's Guide to Preventing Homosexuality, by Joseph and Linda Nicolosi.

Although some individuals have been shown to be able to suppress sexual desires in trying to "convert" to heterosexuality, the suppression of the libido seems to be a blanket effect, leaving the individuals with less consciousness of sexual desire in general, rather than eradicating one form of desire and replacing it with another.

Reputable mental health professionals have cautioned that so-called "ex-gay" approaches to "curing" homosexuality may do more harm than good.

Kilian Melloy serves as EDGE Media Network's Associate Arts Editor and Staff Contributor. His professional memberships include the National Lesbian & Gay Journalists Association, the Boston Online Film Critics Association, The Gay and Lesbian Entertainment Critics Association, and the Boston Theater Critics Association's Elliot Norton Awards Committee.

Comments on Facebook