The widely discredited “ex-gay” religious movement has expanded beyond its American origins throughout the world.
Despite its evident shrinking in the U.S., with reports that the oldest ex-gay group Exodus International is on the verge of "social and financial oblivion" and widespread mockery of “therapy” operators like Michelle Bachmann's husband, in the rest of the world it is growing.
Reports emerged in October of over 200 “ex-gay clinics” in Ecuador, some of which activists had managed to get closed after the torture they were practicing was exposed. It also emerged that the Hong Kong government is paying for so-called Sexual Orientation Conversion Therapy (SOCT) for LGBT citizens.
In Uganda, it is U.S. “conversion therapy” Christianist evangelists who have been behind those pushing the “Kill The Gays” bill. Because of them the idea that “the gay” can be cured is widely believed throughout Africa.
Now the same lies pushed by the same American “ex-gay” propagandists are finding an audience in the Caribbean.
A full page ad published in the leading Trinidad newspaper Sunday Express titled “What you should know about homosexuality” has outraged local activists. They are calling for any further ads to be blocked by local media standards bodies.
Wrote local activist Brendon O'Brien in a letter to the newspaper:
A similar ad was published in Jamaica's newspaper on World AIDS Day. The blog Gay Jamaica Watch pointed out that the false statements in these ads "would only justify the stigmas that people who experience same-sex attraction are not "normal" but are all sexual defiant, mentally unstable, promiscuous and self-selecting."
That Jamaican advertisement was followed up by a symposium Dec. 10 organized by the Lawyers' Christian Fellowship and attended by many leading Jamaicans, including two judges of Jamaica’s Supreme Court and the Attorney General, and with American and British Christianist speakers. This event was aimed squarely at fighting the growing movement for decriminalization of homosexuality on the island, and throughout the Caribbean. That movement can now count the support of the head of Jamaica's Anglican church, who has called for the repeal of the colonial era anti-sodomy laws.
Writes Jamaican activists Maurice Tomlinson:
Tomlinson reported that "the entire proceedings were tightly controlled" and organizers tried to stop anyone offering a correction when false information was presented.
Says veteran Trinidadian activist Colin Robinson of the apparently co-ordinated anti-gay Caribbean efforts:
But Robinson also pointed out that: