On Wednesday, Ryan Kendall testified in the Prop 8 trial about the horrors he endured at the hands of N.A.R.T.H. and his evangelical christian parents. The kid’s mother must gotten advice from these sick fucks . It is absolutely disgusting what these people did to their own kid, all in the name of their invisible god. The name of god allows them free license to practice psychology without one. Without the legal protection of “religion”, these abusive “therapies” would be shut down and their operators imprisoned.
While at NARTH, Kendall said his family rejected him:
I went to NARTH from 14-16. My entire life changed. Before NARTH, parents put notes in my lunch, made my lunch. After, they abused me emotionally. Mother told me she hated me, that I was disgusting, repulsive. She wished she’d had an abortion rather than having a gay son. She said she wished I’d had Down’s syndrome or been born retarded.
Kendall couldn’t take the abuse – or the therapy – and at age 16, became a ward of the state.
I was a sixteen-year-old kid. I had just lost everything. I walked in and out of jobs and schools. I was extremely suicidal. Turned to drugs to escape. Things did not get better (he’s very choked up). Period lasted 4 or 5 years. Struggle for survival; not able to support myself. When my healthcare ran out, I went to emergency rooms.
The good news, if there is any in this sordid story, is that Kendall has landed on his feet. At 26, he now has a stable job and has reconciled his spirituality and sexuality on his own. He’s no bleeding heart liberal, though, but a member of the Log Cabin Republicans
The defense objected to Kendall being able to tell his story on relevance grounds, but the judge disagreed, saying they had opened the door to the “subjects of sexuality as a conscious choice and people’s ability to successfully change their sexual orientation in their opening testimony. ‘It seems to me that you’ve raised the very issue to which the witness is going to testify,’ (U.S. District Judge Vaughn) Walker said, adding that Kendall’s first-hand account would be ‘very helpful.“
Kendall’s story — not an aberration — shed much-needed light on the dangers of “ex-gay” therapy. The abuses of of the “therapy” led the American Psychological Association to conclude that “there is insufficient evidence to support the use of psychological interventions to change sexual orientation.”
For all the years that NARTH and other “ex-gay ministries” have been around, they have but a handful of “success” stories to share with the world. (Usually, those “success” stories go on to be paid, professional ex-gays, giving speeches and trading on their “cure.”) Their “therapy” is based on outdated or repudiated studies, and often consists of enforcing strict gender roles by teaching men to be more masculine and women to be more feminine. NARTH, in particular, continues to use the discredited views that parents can turn their kids gay.