Thursday, November 26, 2020

Gays do not need to be converted

I’m writing to express my concern over two programs which were sponsored by Campus Crusade for Christ on Monday and Tuesday. The events promoted a theory that lesbian, bisexual, gay or transgendered persons can be converted to heterosexuality through forms of therapeutic practices.

New research is implicating such therapies as potentially dangerous and detrimental to healthy LBGT identity development. I am not advocating any type of limits over who can be invited to speak on campus by any registered student organization. I understand that Campus Crusade for Christ has a right to advocate this viewpoint if it so wishes. However, I think it is damaging and irresponsible of members to do so and they should consider the following before repeating such an event.

Reparative therapy proposes that therapies including prayer can “make a gay person straight.” This implies that there is something “wrong” with being gay. To people who are questioning their sexual orientation, this view can be extremely destructive. Throw in the morality issue implied by the religious “endorsement” of these therapies, and you can see the object is to make LBGT people ashamed of who they are.

Prayer and therapy can no more make an LBGT person straight than it can change one’s skin color, ethnic background, height, eye color, or any other inherent genetic characteristic. People who have made a sincere effort to conform to these standards are doomed to feel even worse about themselves when they fail.

There are alternative supportive organizations, churches and counselors, many on the campus itself or in the Lansing and East Lansing area, where you can turn for information and support about living a healthy and happy life as an LBGT person. Please explore the options before you decide.

Val Meyers
Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgendered Faculty and Staff Association president

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