Sixteen states, the District of Columbia, and Puerto Rico all have bans on conversion therapy for minors. There’s a reason for that. First it’s damaging to the mental health of people who undergo it; second, it is denounced by psychiatrist, psychologist, and medical practitioners; third, it is not based in science and is nothing less than quackery.

I was recently discussing Sophia Ruffin, a supposed ex-lesbian who prayed away the gay, with a classmate of mine. She used Sophia as an example of how the Holy Spirit can simply make people straight. If the Holy Spirit can indeed do that then why isn’t He? Of course, the blame, shame, and guilt fall on the LGBT person who isn’t trying hard enough, believing enough, claiming the victory or some other nonsense.

I pointed out that I’m always leery of testimonies that claim amazing transformations. Call me Doubting Thomas, but Christianity is full of fake testimonies designed to bring notoriety and a fat paycheck to the perpetrators of falsehood. Doreen Irvine, Mike Warnke, Rebecca Brown, and similar creative fiction writers have crafted deceptive testimonies that were accepted on face value and later revealed to be untrue. Christians love a good testimony and are willing to swallow any fantastic tale.

 I’m sorry, but when someone tells me they have prayed away the gay, I wonder what they are selling. Oh yes, Sophia Ruffin has books and webinars on how to pray away the gay.

I also pointed out that when you look at the long list of ex-gay leaders, they admit that the terms they use like “victory over homosexuality” and “freedom from homosexuality” are simply code for celibacy. There actually is no change in sexual orientation. Look at this long list of quotes from ex-gay leaders:

Alan Chambers, former president of Exodus International

Chambers told One News Now that he had never met someone who had a “sudden or complete change when it came to homosexuality.” He told the news service that he believes that God gives people the ability to overcome on a daily basis, rather than “a complete transformation in an instant.” (One News Now, June 22, 2007)

“I don’t think change is going from gay to straight. Just saying that doesn’t sound like an accurate representation of what Exodus facilitates or proclaims.” (Anything But Straight: Unmasking the Scandals and Lies Behind the Ex-Gay Myth, pg. 35, Haworth Press 2003, interview taped March 11, 2001)

“To say that Exodus is a great healer and the place for people to become straight, I would think that is not right. If there are Exodus ministries that do that, we need to change that. We need to work on that.” (Anything But Straight: Unmasking the Scandals and Lies Behind the Ex-Gay Myth, pg. 35, Haworth Press 2003, interview taped March 11, 2001)

“Put me in a bathhouse, would I find people attractive or would it stir me, it probably would. I’m not a raging heterosexual where I have to worry about if a lady walks in the room and I have to turn my head, while some guys are like that.” Anything But Straight, pg. 58, Haworth Press 2003, interview taped March 11, 2001)

Joe Dallas, Speaker, Focus on the Family’ Love Won Out tour

“No one has ever left therapy saying, “Wow, I have absolutely no homosexual thoughts.” (Los Angeles Times, April 5, 1990)

Jeff Konrad, Author, You Don’t Have To Be Gay

“Now don’t get me wrong, I don’t lust for women as some men do; that is not healthy behavior either.” (”You Don’t Have to Be Gay,” Pg. 280, Pacific Publishing House, 1987)

Alan Medinger, Author, Growth Into Manhood

“If an attractive man and an attractive woman enter a room, it is the man I will look at first.” (The Wall Street Journal, April 21, 1993)

John Smid, Executive Director, Love in Action

“I am not totally healed from homosexuality. It is part of my emotional, physical and spiritual history. It will not be erased as if it did not exist. I still struggle at times…I will shut down with my wife at times. I periodically have thoughts regarding men.” (

So the reality is that no one prayed away the gay, they just function in a heterosexual marriage, or they are celibate.

That doesn’t sound like victory or freedom to me. That sounds like bondage to guilt and shame So to those sixteen states, the District of Columbia, and Puerto Rico; I say, job well done!

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