Focus On The Family Tries To Distance Itself From Ex-Gay Conversion Therapy, Which It Strongly Supports

Focus on the Family head Jim Daly tried to distance his Christian organization from ex-gay conversion or reparative therapy in a recent blog post:

For the record, we at Focus do not advocate for any therapy that “requires” or promises categorical change or sexual conversion. We especially denounce any practice that shames, degrades, coerces, abuses, or insults individuals with demands to earn basic human acceptance.

Daly failed to mention that Focus on the Family’s political arm Family Policy Alliance has fought state laws that have banned reparative therapy/ex-gay conversion therapy for minors and adults, which has been debunked by every major medical organization, noted The Atlantic.

In 2017, the Family Policy Alliance tried to link child abuse to homosexuality in a desperate effort to promote ex-gay therapynoted Right Wing Watch.

The Family Policy Alliance has rebranded reparative therapy/ex-gay conversion therapy as “basic talk therapy,” and is misleading the public, noted Christian psychologist Warren Throckmorton in February.

Likewise, Daly rebranded ex-gay therapy as “individuals with unwanted homosexual attractions or gender concerns”: 

Individuals with unwanted homosexual attractions or gender concerns often suffer stress, family strain, depression, anxiety, and questions that are deeply perplexing.

As such, we believe in empowering individuals for health and realistic living toward their goals. For some, this includes therapeutically investigating their sexuality and exploring faith-compatible responses for their individual situation.

Daly never defines what “faith-compatible responses ” are; he intentionally leaves it vague.

However, Daly linked to a Focus on the Family page that clearly shows Focus on the Family  believes people’s sexual orientation can be changed (alterations):

Alterations in one’s inner sense of sexuality or attractions, while this does occur in the course of time for some, are subjective and individualized.

That same page laments regulatory state bans against ex-gay conversion therapy for children:

Regulatory bans against helping youth in any manner that does not comply with LGBT values and identity are advancing.

Daly failed to mention that in 2009 Focus on the Family sold its ex-gay “Love Won Out” conferences to the ex-gay organization Exodus International, which closed down in 2013 and apologized for its ex-gay efforts.

As part of its fight for debunked ex-gay conversion therapy, Family Policy Alliance recently screamed this false headline on its web site: “COLORADO: Stop the Legislature from Pushing Kids to Change Gender.”

The Family Policy Alliance added: 

House Bill 1245 is what is known as a “therapy ban.”  It would ban professional counseling for children and teens who are struggling with their gender identity. But the ban would ONLY forbid counseling that is designed to help them identify with their birth sex.

Back on his blog post, Daly tried to pretend that Focus on the Family advocates therapy that aligns with other people’s values:

Of course, we recognize that our values aren’t everyone’s values. But we believe the availability of respectful, safe, ethical counseling in matters of sexuality honors all clients by allowing them to receive meaningful help that aligns with their values.

(Sources: Focus on the Family, Love Won Out, Metro Weekly, Right Wing Watch, Warren Throckmorton, Family Policy Alliance, The AtlanticFocus on the Family)

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