By and large, the battle over same-sex marriage, transsexuality and homosexuality come out of attempts to enforce rigid gender constructs. Thus, it is not surprising that the Mormon Church has founded the Center for Gender Wholeness as their attempt to “rectify” lesbians and gays. It is part of their “love the sinner, hate the sin” attitude, the same one that they share with the Catholic Church. The problem, of course, is that the entire ex-gay therapy structure is based upon an inaccurate assessment of gender and sex.
The Mormon ex-gay group believes in this stuff:
Gay people are more likely to have a history of experiencing trauma and emotional and psychological problems.
Among the supposed “causes” of homosexuality are unhealthy childhood relationships with females, distorted concepts of gender, feeling incongruent with one’s own gender, problems in relationships with other males, sexual conditioning, sexual abuse, certain biological and physical issues, and certain emotional and psychological problems. [Obviously, this approach completely conflates transgender identities, despite gender identity being a completely independent variable from sexual orientation.]
People trying to help their gay friends should ask about how they have acted on their attractions, but should be careful not to give them ideas of behaviors they haven’t tried.
Therapy is “necessary” if an individual “reports unsuccessful attempts to diminish their same-sex attractions.”
Mormons should encourage (opposite-sex) marriage as a solution to same-sex attractions.
Mormons should recognize “the hope window,” when people with same-sex attractions are most optimistic about change.
Therapy can help resolve the “issues that underlie unwanted same-sex attraction.”
Treatment can include an addiction recovery program and medication.
The therapists apparently use “brainspotting” to determine “where a person is holding trauma or other negative experience in their brain.”
The Mormon Church’s ex-gay therapy center, as ThinkProgress notes, is supposedly not affiliated with the Mormon Church even though it seems to be very much connected to the LDS Church. A disclaimer reads “This site was not created by, or with support from, the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. The Center for Gender Wholeness (CGW) is not affiliated with the LDS Church. The contents of this site represent the veiws [sic] of CGW, which is solely responsible for its content.” Unfortunately, it would not be surprising to find out that the LDS elders are behind this move even as they attempt to distance themselves from this. It is a common trick these days given the growing acceptance of homosexuality.
The American Psychological Association, as well as a number of other groups, have noticed that ex-gay therapy is ineffective and reinforces the stigmas that often cause harmful effects.
Much of what ex-gay therapy does is reinforce the assumption that homosexuality and transsexuality are not natural. What ex-gay therapy does is assume that male and female genders match their sexes, and the belief is that same-sex attraction is unnatural because it violates the assumed structure of what male and female are even though it is inaccurate.
Ex-gay therapy amounts to attempts to cut off the bits of people’s gender and sexually identity and force them into standards that are often inaccurate and based on anachronistic views.