Here's part of what Eliel Cruz, President, Intercollegiate Adventist Gay-Straight Alliance Coalition; student, Andrews University wrote in the Huffington Post yesterday about the Portland, Oregon "Gays in the Family" conference:
The "Gays in the Family" conference headlined pastors, a therapist and five ex-gay* and/or now-celibate (all older) presenters handpicked by the North Pacific Union Conference to represent the official stance of the Seventh-day Adventist Church...
The weekend wasn't a dialogue; it was a presentation. All five of the ex-gay/now-celibate speakers had traumatic childhood experiences to which they attribute the cause of their "same-sex attractions," most of them having been sexually abused or even raped. One speaker stated that he had had up to three partners a day for over 20 years. Lives of drug use, prostitution and promiscuity were presented as the norm for LGBT people.
There was little diversity: All were in their 50s or 60s, all had had incredibly sad and traumatic childhoods, almost all had lived very broken and destructive lives when they were accepting their gay identities, and all now live the "ideal lifestyle" as a "person redeemed from the homosexual lifestyle."
...But one of the most disturbing parts of the whole weekend was the presentation by the licensed therapist, Dr. Lucille Ball (and no, she doesn't joke about her name)...
Sadly, it just perpetuated the worst myths out there, and from a "scientific" perspective, which made it all the more damaging. The premise of her presentation was that homosexuality comes after a traumatic experience in childhood, most likely sexual abuse. Dr. Ball said, "We are not born gay," alleging that there is a "negative environmental factor which leads the person to think, 'I am gay.'" She added:
The bad news about that is that when we have that attitude that "I am born this way, and there is nothing I can do about it," it become so fatalistic: "I might as well give in to it. I might as well live the gay lifestyle, because there is nothing I can do about it." And you know what's something I discovered? It's that gay activists actually use that to get money from people, to fight for the gay agenda.Dr. Ball continued her hour-long presentation with a string of statements that are shocking to anyone who has read any real research on homosexuality. She insisted that "67 percent of gay men were sexually abused," and that once gay people are able to cope with whatever traumatic experience they encountered in childhood, they would be "healed" of their homosexuality. I couldn't believe my ears. It was as if I had stepped back to the 1950s, when such propaganda was used to institutionalize LGBT people.
During the Q-and-A portion of the event, my question was selected and directed to Dr. Ball. I had asked, "What do you say to the American Psychological Association, the American Academy of Pediatrics and the rest of the legitimate scientific community, which believes that same-sex relationships can be healthy, and that attempting to change someone's sexual orientation is in fact damaging?"
She responded, "[The professional organizations] receive much pressure to conform to the gay rights activists. I'd tell them that I take the Bible above any man-made organization."