Thursday, July 2, 2015

#1403: Janet Boynes

Janet Boynes is an ex-gay activist and close ally of Michele Bachmann (they have described each other as “friends”); she has been called “the Religious Right’s ‘ex-gay’ du jour,” she is embraced by hate groups like the Family Research Council, and is touted by Marcus Bachmann in his fundamentalist “counseling clinics”. Boynes has made a career promoting her ex-gay autobiography and other ex-gay propaganda through her ministry (the vice president of which is Barb Anderson of the Minnesota Family Council, perhaps most famous for leading the 2012 ballot initiative to ban same-sex marriage in Minnesota’s constitution) and an ex-gay front group known as the National Ex-Gay Educators’ Caucus. And, of course, her whole ex-gay career is built on rather dubious foundations – there is (if it needed mentioning) no evidence of the efficacy of ex-gay therapies, and Boynes’s story is certainly not such evidence.

Predictably, Boynes is a fanatic opponent of marriage equality. In particular, “[n]o one should be promoting Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, Transgender (GLBT) behaviors. They are not born that way. There is no scientific evidence that proves they are. None,” says Boynes, and will never see that the premise is, even if true, irrelevant to the conclusion. In her book and elsewhere she frequently compares homosexuality to polygamy, pedophilia, incest, and bestiality, lamenting for instance how the school system is trying to get kids “hooked” on homosexuality, but the issue is of course larger and more epic than insignificant human tendencies toward sin; according to Boynes the struggle to defeat gay rights is a spiritual battle against the demonic forces of evil, and Satan is the one who is really actively trying to stop her ex-gay activism through his minions and worshippers in the gay communities: “There’s a spiritual conflict that is waging war around all of us and it’s a battle between forces, you’ve got good and evil and you’ve got light and darkness.” Thus works the mind of a raging fundie bigot. And never one to go for false modesty, she has declared that she is “a threat” to Satan.

Apparently Boynes has some trouble seeing why many gays would want marriage equality – why don’t they just “leave [the church] alone because we’re not out there bothering them?” asks Boynes, suggesting that she has deeply misunderstood something fundamental – and instead of the obvious, directly opposite (and true) answer has concluded that they want marriage equality “because they’re not comfortable with their own skin, they’re not comfortable with who they are.” This column for Charisma magazine doesn’t suggest much by way of awareness either.

Like many crazy dingbat anti-gay activists Boynes has convinced herself that marriage equality is an attempt to send people “back to slavery”, but she is unable to spell out the whys and hows in any coherent manner.

Diagnosis: Stupid and evil. 

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